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Native American activists are braced for a tense summer, as a motorcycling entrepreneur goes forward with plans for a resort that will draw hundreds of thousands of bikers to the sacred site of Bear Butte.

The New York Times devoted a lot of ink to the BushAdministration's practice of secretly rummaging through internationalbanking transactions in pursuit of terrorists. But, frankly, I had ahard time grasping the scandal.

After all, the Treasury announced it was going to do something likethis after 9/ll -- a legitimate, legal method of discovering thenetworks financing terrorist cells.

So I called an old friend and source for elucidation. Jack Blum is alegendary investigator and lawyer in Washington, who for decades hastenaciously uncovered the global flows of dirty money. Jack confirmedmy hunch. He was outraged, but not by the Times revelations.

Right-wing nutcase Bernard Goldberg may think he has a lock on who's messing up the Republic, but consider Dan Brown, Joe Franklin, Tucker Carlson...

Dear Ari,

I was provoked enough by the title of your last post and your recent critiques of the Democrats to read onward, expecting some jabs at the hopelessly hobbled party that couldn't even achieve unity on the feeble Levin-Reed amendment yesterday. Instead, I was surprised to find sanguine tributes to the party you recently accused of ducking and covering on the war. Now you applaud them for "openly struggl[ing] to find the right policy," and you describe the rhetorical dodge ball the Democrats played this week as a "healthy debate." Did I miss something?

As you yourself have argued, Democrats have hidden under the false pretense that the American public is divided on the war in order to avoid even broaching an anti-war platform. Yet as you note "voters in the country's top 68 swing districts prefer a Democrat who supports bringing the troops home within a year over one who does not" and "72 percent of American forces serving in Iraq said last February that the US should leave within a year." Never mind Bush's dismal approval ratings and the consistent anti-war sentiment within the party's rank and file, swing voters and our own troops want out of Iraq! Just how wide of an opening do the Democrats need?

Senator Joe Lieberman has maintained his status as the Bush administration's favorite Democrat.

Lieberman did not merely vote against the proposal by Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold and Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry to get U.S. troops out of Iraq by next year, the Connecticut Democrat also voted against a vaguely-worded proposal by Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed and Michigan Democrat Carl Levin that urged the Bush administration to start thinking about an exit strategy.

Lieberman was one of just six Democrats who backed the administration's position on both measures. The others were Minnesota's Mark Dayton, who is not seeking reelection this year, and four Democrats who represent Republican-leaning southern and western states: Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, Arkansas's Mark Pryor, Florida's Bill Nelson and Nebraska's Ben Nelson.

Co-written by Sam Graham-Felsen.

If trends continue, 2006 may be remembered as the year the world woke up to the global climate crisis. And Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth--which recently opened nationwide at over 400 theaters--may be credited with the wake-up call. The film continues to soar at the box office, and is projected to eclipse Bowling for Columbine as the third highest grossing documentary of all time (excluding IMAX and concert docs). The tremendous buzz caused by the film has jolted the public consciousness, propelling concerned citizens and Congress into concrete action.

Last week, Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) introduced the Safe Climate Act, a landmark environmental bill that would dramatically reduce heat-trapping emissions directly responsible for global warming. HR 5642 would freeze emissions in 2010 at the 2009 levels and then cut emissions by 2 percent each year beginning in 2011. By 2020, emissions would be lowered by 5 percent per year, making emissions 80 percent lower than 1990 levels by the year 2050. Senators James Jefforts (I-Vt.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are expected to introduce a similar bill in the Senate in coming weeks.

As an author of numerous articles about Democratic division on Iraq, I have a confession to make. My ears and eyes can only take so much.

Over and over for the past two weeks, as the House and Senate debated the war, we've heard that "Democrats are divided."

So what?

The great American tragicomedy that is Wal-Mart continues. Last fall, a diverse crew of suckers, ranging from the far-right editorialists at the Wall Street Journal editorial page to yours truly , took seriously CEO Lee Scott's call for a higher federal minimum wage. We speculated on why he was doing that, and whether it was in his company's interests. But there was another possibility we should have considered: that Scott's statement was absolutely meaningless and devoid of content. According to Wake Up Wal-Mart, of the 46 Senators who yesterday voted against raising the minimum wage (all of them Republicans), 42 have received campaign contributions from Wal-Mart. And the Retail Industry Leaders Association, an industry group of which Wal-Mart is the most powerful member, aggressively lobbied to defeat the minimum wage increase.

Then there's the news this morning, from the New York Times, that the company has hired one of its critics, former Sierra Club president Adam Werbach, who has in the past likened Wal-Mart to a "virus" and a "toxin." Perhaps I should send my resume.

As CEO of Halliburton, Dick Cheney was not much different from other
corporate titans ensnared by accusations of incompetence and fraud.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a really bad guy. But the Bush
Administration's armchair warriors mythologized him into a
self-fulfilling prophecy of insurgent terror.

Celebrating the death of Zarqawi, the President puts his spin on the
truth.

HOLD THE PHONE COMPANIES

If the United Nations is to keep its promise to grant people with AIDS universal
access to treatment by 2010, it will be because activists are holding
world leaders accountable.

"Vote Blue, Go Green" is the new slogan of Britain's Conservative
Party, a measure of just how great a concern climate change is becoming
to politicians of all stripes.

Americans know it's time to end the US presence in Iraq. They will
reward the party that offers a plan for leaving before more American
soldiers--and countless Iraqis--are killed.

The drug war is the heir to Jim Crow: a form of widespread, legalized
discrimination.

The hidden toll the Iraq War is exposed in a photo essay on how one mother braces for her son's second deployment to Iraq.

Prison rape is not a dirty joke; it's one of the most frequent and
widespread human rights abuses in America.

The unfolding conflict over US plans to build missile defense components near post-Soviet Russia, in Poland and the Czech Republic, is the latest proof of the way US-Russian relations are deteriorating into a new cold war.

SECOND THAT EMOTION

Pittsburgh

To honor Andrew Hill's passing, we are reposting an article about his life's achievements originally posted in July, 2006.

In Elaine Feinstein's new biography, the complicated life of Russian
poet Anna Akhmatova is flattened into a fable of suffering and
redemption.

"This innocuous-looking document initiates the single most important public policy debate that the FCC will tackle this year," Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps explained Wednesday, as the commission issued the "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" that initiates the next big fight over media ownership rules in the United States.

"Don't let its slimness fool you," added Copps. "It means that this Commission has begun to decide on behalf of the American people the future of our media. It means deciding whether or not to accelerate media concentration, step up the loss of local news and change forever the critical role independent newspapers perform for our country."

The commission's decision to issue the notice marks the beginning of an epic battle in the long struggle over whether to loosen ownership rules in a manner that would allow individual media companies to effectively take control of mass communications in cities across the country. But the precise nature of the fight was left unclear by FCC chairman Kevin Martin, who is guiding the rulemaking process.

The War Tapes, a documentary shot by US soldiers and sanctioned by the military, may turn out to be the most powerful statement against the war to date.