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September 12, 2003
The Soul of Capitalism
That's the title of William Greider's new book, which seems to be getting slightly lost among the avalanche of recent "George Bush Sucks and I Hate Him" releases. Having recently become reacquainted with the difficult but painfully necessary task of publicizing a new book myself, I asked him if he wanted to write a few words about it for this site, and he graciously consented. So without further ado, I give you Bill Greider:
So why would anyone want to read about "The Soul of Capitalism" when George W. Bush is the ripe target? Why daydream about a "moral economy" when the existing one is tanking? Reasonable questions. My short answer is: progressive forces are never going to gain real traction in American politics until they develop a much larger vision of the future. The right has its agenda. Left-liberal activists have been on defense for so long many have lost the capacity to think this way. They are unlikely to revive the Democrats' reform tradition until they can tell a more ambitious (and radical) story about what this country can become.
The Man in Black
Well you wonder why I always dress in black
(Via Kos's message board)
Ann Coulter: idiot or scheming psychotic genuis?
August reports, you decide.
September 11, 2003
Hey Columbus Ohio people
There are some cities in which the various papers will fight each other bareknuckled for the right to run my cartoon. And then there are cities in which I can't get arrested.
As I've mentioned previously, my cartoon was dropped from Columbus Alive a few months ago due to "budgetary considerations"...(update: I got my facts wrong here and unfairly maligned the editor of the paper as a result. I'm deleting it here and apologizing above.)
Many of you suggested I contact The Other Paper; unfortunately they tell me they're not interested in picking up new cartoons at this time. If you live in Columbus and would like to see the strip in print there again, might be a good time to drop The Other Paper a friendly note and let them know how appreciative and grateful you'd be if they picked it up. (And it still wouldn't hurt to to write Alive and let them know what a terrible mistake they made. If you're so inclined.)
And anyone who wants to spearhead a Bring Back Tom Tomorrow movement in Columbus--you know, flyers, protest marches, civil disobedience, that sort of thing--gets my undying gratitude and, I don't know, a signed book or something.
In happier news, I'd like to welcome the Louisville Eccentric Observer to the Tom Tomorrow stable of client papers.
Further proof that Dick Morris is evil incarnate
From his New York Post column:
The White House must realize the temptation the president's low ratings pose for Gore and Hillary, and understands that if Bush's numbers keep sinking the pressure for one or both of these heavyweights to run may prove irresistible.
Two years, cont'd.
Yes, that's right. CAPPS II, the program you sort of heard about this spring and early summer when it received a modest amount of scrutiny in Congress, is underway. This week, in conjunction with a creepy computerized reservations company called Galileo, Delta Airlines became the testing ground for an almost unthinkable violation of our civil rights.
Go to Neal's site to read the rest, and to follow the links. And you can go to this EFF page to take action. In the meantime, I'd like to suggest boycotting both Galileo and Delta Airlines. Who's with me?
One of those little news stories that somehow seems to sum up everything
ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. -- Police are searching for a man who paid for $150 in groceries at a Food Lion grocery store with a $200 bill.
Update: via an alert reader who does more research than the reporters who wrote the story, here's a source where you can buy $200 George Bush bills. They're not exactly the same ones as pictured, but they do have the same signs on the White House lawn.
It’s a beautiful fall day, much like the obscenely beautiful day two years ago when the world turned inside out in a matter of minutes. And as in the weeks which followed 9/11, they seem to have changed the flight patterns over Brooklyn, so that planes are now coming in low enough that you can almost make out the airline logos painted on them, and the low roar as they pass overhead sets off sick-making memories of those days when every plane made you cringe and hold your breath slightly, straining to listen for that terrible sound of metal-on-metal, like a flatbed truck bouncing over a pothole somewhere in the distance—except a flatbed truck the size of New Jersey.
And when I took the dog out last night, I noticed that they’ve turned the "Towers of Light" back on.
And it all comes rushing back: what it was like to be here that day, and what it was like in the months following, waiting for the other shoe to drop—a continuing sense of unease which eventually becomes such a familiar companion, you can’t quite remember living any other way.
And we’ve recently learned what we already knew, on some level: that the fumes spewing out of the wreckage—the fumes that lingered in the air over my neighborhood in Brooklyn for weeks—were, contrary to EPA lies at the time, incredibly toxic. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone—when dealing with politicians in general and this administration in particular, cynicism is the only rational response.
And now the administration which has so cynically used the attacks of 9/11 to pursue goals the PNAC crowd had been fantasizing about for years beforehand will try to use the war on terror to maintain their grip on power for another four years. The Democrats will try to point out how ineptly the Bushies have handled these past two years—Osama bin Laden is, after all, still apparently alive and well and sending us video postcards, while we’ve committed massive resources to conquering a country whose sum and total involvement in the events of 9/11 resides entirely in the fertile imaginations of the easily misled--and those Democrats will be portrayed as hating the West, hating America, all for stating the truth, assuming they have the courage to do so.
But this country’s split pretty evenly down the ideological divide, and I think that refrain will ultimately prove self-defeating—the average American who happens to lean toward the Democratic side is going to grow tired, at a certain point, of being told that he hates his country and wants the terrorists to win.
At least, I sincerely hope so.
(Edited marginally for clarity.)
This is where we are now:
Rumsfeld said the 660 or so men held at the Guantanamo Bay naval base are imprisoned not as punishment but "to keep them from going back and fighting again and killing people." He said most would be held until the global war on terrorism is over - a fight that Rumsfeld has said could last years, if not decades.
Via Talk Left.
September 10, 2003
Headline for a column by George Melloan in the print edition of Tuesday's Wall Street Journal op-ed page:
Bush Parries a Terror Attack, From the Democrats
But I thought that was the point
Rumsfeld, a couple of days ago:
The people who are going to make this country are the Iraqi people. They are going to provide for their political future. They are going to provide for their security future. Simply flooding the zone with two or three times the number of foreign forces that are here, it would increase the number of targets for the handfuls of criminals and the handfuls of terrorists, for the handfuls of Ba'athist remnants.
He clearly hasn't been reading the right wing blogs.
Tan, rested and ready, Sullivan has returned from his leisurely August vacation to once again cheer on the troops for doing such a great job as, well, bait. He posted this Monday:
The extra beauty of this strategy is that it creates a target for Islamist terrorists that is not Israel.
The next day, thirteen people were killed and dozens more wounded in two separate suicide attacks in Israel.
This is the thing: this absolutely delusional idea that terrorism is a zero sum game, that there are a static number of terrorists which can be kept busy, and therefore away from us. (Leaving aside, for the moment, the sheer depravity of that very concept—that our troops are best utilized as bait, to keep the bad guys occupied.)
But don’t imagine that ongoing attacks in Israel will dissuade the proponents of "flypaper." The concept has no grounding in reality to begin with, so it’s certainly not going to be disproven by, you know, reality. For that matter, don’t imagine that another attack on US soil would change their minds. If that happens, they’ll just blame you and me, for criticizing the President, encouraging the terrorists with our disunity.
And round and round and round it goes.
Afterthought: anyone capable of referring casually to these people as "flypaper" is a walking moral abyss.
Update: Even more good news for Andrew.
The moral relativism of the right
This says it exactly:
The anti-Michael Moore backlash is now underway, I notice. And about time too. I have to own up to following the herd and believing the disinformation spread about him. He's fat! He's hairy! He looks pleased with himself! He lives in a nice house! How can he possibly have anything to say about important issues? We watched Bowling for Columbine last week and although Moore does try to tie too much together, and in his enthusiasm turns out to have relied on some news material that has since been proven to be inaccurate, I still wonder how anyone with a functioning consciousness could come away from this film thinking that he's just the left's equivalent of Ann Coulter*. I feel deeply ashamed of myself for taking the word of vacuous twits and not going to see the film when it came out so that I could make my own mind up.
September 08, 2003
Shorter George Bush
The invaluable Billmon nails it:
"Iraq is now the central front in the global war against absolute evil, but it's not so important that we have to roll back any of my tax cuts, send more U.S. troops to Iraq or do anything else that might make swing voters slightly less likely to vote for me next year. Thank you and God Bless America."
All the world's a stage
Only saw a bit of the 9/11 movie, but I've got it recorded, and I suppose I'll have to force myself to sit through it sooner or later. As for the "real" president and his little appearance last night--well, he reminded me of the guys who come on the subway car and begin their spiel:
Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry to disturb you, my name is George W. Bush and I've had a run of bad luck, can you please find it in your hearts to donate eighty seven billion dollars...
Oh, and Europe, old friend, old pal? About that "freedom fry" business? Just kidding!
Afterthought: the oddity of casting Timothy "That's My Bush" Bottoms in the 9/11 movie has been widely noted. But there was another particularly inspired casting choice: Condi Rice is played by the actress who is best known as the scheming wife of 24's President Palmer, a character who spent the second season of the show conspiring with wealthy oilmen to start an unnecessary war in the Middle East.
September 07, 2003
For your viewing pleasure tonight...
...you'll have to choose between the fictional president on Showtime's 9/11 docudrama, which airs at 8:00 pm EST--or the somewhat-less-fictional president who plans to address the nation at about 8:30.
I suppose most sane people would simply ignore both, but for a political cartoonist, this is pretty much the definition of a dilemma.
Snopes has updated that 9/11 page again, and this time they've included an apology to Michael Moore. It took a little prodding, but they did the right thing, and as far as I'm concerned, the matter is finished.
Afterthought: unless they pull something like this again, of course.
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