NAOMI KLEIN ON BOARD

Please welcome our newest columnist, Naomi Klein. Author of No Logo, the bible of the global justice movement, and Fences and Windows, she’ll be filing a monthly column, “Lookout,” from her vantage point as an observer of the underside of the global economy. Klein, a Canadian currently based in Argentina, offers an arresting glimpse this week of the emerging outlines of the new “fortress continents,” Europe and North America.

NATION WINS ONE

Utne magazine has honored The Nation for General Excellence in its fourteenth annual Independent Press Awards. The awards will be presented at the Independent Press Association’s convention on January 18 in San Francisco. Winner of the General Excellence award for newsletters was The Hightower Lowdown, published by Nation contributor Jim Hightower.

BUSH’S LITTLE DIVIDEND

However you look at it–welfare for the rentier class, a legal mare’s-nest that will enrich lawyers, a deficit deepener–Bush’s tax-cut plan is a lousy idea. From the office of Senator Edward Kennedy comes still another way of viewing it that makes it look even lousier. Consider it in terms of the government programs that $364 billion–the total cost of the tax cut over ten years–could pay for. Just a few examples: With an additional $36.4 billion a year, the government could underwrite a year’s worth of school lunches for 43 million children; or provide one dinner 365 days of the year for 50 million seniors; disburse enough money to keep almost every hospital emergency room in America running; pay for energy assistance for 29 million poor families annually. Or should the money go to the wealthiest 1 percent to buy more stuff?

TODAY’S BIBLE STUDY

The What Would Jesus Drive? anti-SUV campaign (see “Religion in the News,” January 6) touched off hermeneutics on the Web: Acts 1:14: “These disciples all continued in one accord.” (A Honda?) Genesis: God drove Adam and Eve out in a Fury.

NEWS OF THE WEAK IN REVIEW

The party of Abe has a long way to go to overcome its present-day racism, says Shannon Reeves, secretary of the California Republican Party. In a letter opposing a candidate for party chairman who sent out pro-Confederacy material in a newsletter, Reeves said blacks like him are “window dressing” in the GOP. He cited personal humiliations. At the 2000 convention in Philadelphia, for example, though he was wearing a delegate’s badge, “no less than six times did white delegates dismissively tell me [to] fetch them a taxi or carry their luggage.”

HATE THAT ANTIDRUG AD?

Lots of angry letters protest the “dime bag” ads we ran. They’ll appear next week with an explanation of our advertising policy. Remember: A brain on drugs is a terrible thing to fry.