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A Modest Roundup of (Im)pertinent Media about the Current Administration

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"The Rough Guide to Baghdad." Inside Iraq's U.S.-occupied Green Zone, the air conditioners hum and civilian contractors tranquilly tap away at laptops. But unplug from this Matrix, writes Christian Parenti in The Nation (July 19/26), and you'll find yourself in the "urbanized plain of misery and squalor" that is Sadr City, where bombed-out streets flood with raw sewage, hospitals must re-use needles, and both terror and the only small measures of order available are wrought by Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army. "In the new Iraq," says Parenti, "only chaos is truly sovereign." www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040719&s=parenti

 

"Could Bush Cancel the Election?" For the past three years, Bush has been trick-or-treating as a democratically elected president. Could this Halloween season hold in store an election postponed by the chief executive himself? On Democracy Now! (July 12), Amy Goodman interviews Michael Isikoff about Isikoff's Newsweek article reporting that the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security have been exploring ways to do just that in the event of a terrorist attack near Nov. 2. Listen to or watch the interview at www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/12/1345243. (The TV version of Democracy Now! airs locally 8-10 a.m. Mon.-Fri. on PCTV21. The radio version airs 8-9 a.m. Mon.-Fri. and 9-10 a.m. Mon., Tue., Thu., and Fri. on WRCT 88.3 FM.)

 

"To the Ladies in the Room." Working women, especially younger ones with young children and those who don't make much money, are disproportionately likely to be undecided voters; Republican strategists are targeting them. But Molly Ivins wonders aloud on Alternet (July 8) how W will woo this constituency, considering that: His Labor Department doesn't go after equal-pay law violations, and is waging war on paid family leave; his Justice Department is busy dropping sex-discrimination cases; and his budget is whacking away at Head Start, child care, K-12 education, services for domestic-violence victims and more. www.alternet.org/columnists/story/19183/

 

"Con Ed." Wasn't it great when in his State of the Union address W proposed more dough for community colleges? But Alexander Barnes Dryer of The Washington Monthly (June 2004) reveals that Bush's 2005 budget would actually reduce overall funding for those unsung workhorses of the American post-secondary education system. In fact, as with programs from AmeriCorps to subsidies to help communities hire more cops, Bush's strategy has been remarkably consistent: Loudly say you'll be spending more, then quietly begin spending less. www.washingtonmonthly.com

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