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If the US is to prevail in the war on terror, we must do it by
distinguishing ourselves from the enemy. Torture and degrading
treatment are as morally evil as terrorism, because they brutally
disregard the value of human life.

The CIA leak scandal has revealed the Bush crew's dishonesty and
hypocrisy. But don't expect the Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald
or Bush to ever explain what really happened.

The nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the US
Supreme Court forces the debate the President and the Senate have tried
so mightily to avoid: whether the Court should shift decisively and
radically to the right.

The scandals suffocating the Bush Administration seem less like Nixon
and Watergate and more like Louis XV and pre-Revolutionary France. They
are harbingers of a potent cultural event that may jolt the public out
of complacency.

San Francisco recently launched universal preschool, designed to make young participants higher earners and better citizens when they reach adulthood. If successful, San Francisco’s initiative could make preschool as commonplace as kindergarten.

Recycling electronics using US prison labor is a booming business, with
a captive workforce paid pennies per hour for dangerous work that is
largely unregulated. The human and environmental consequences of
negligent handling and disposal of electronic waste are considerable.

As the nation's wealthiest family, the Waltons could be
a force for social good. But when they choose to spend their fortune
lobbying for pet projects, tax cuts and charter schools instead of
providing a living wage for their workers, they are dangerous (and
costly) to the nation.

AFTER HE'S GONE...

Stockholm

Senator John McCain's latest Senate inquiry into über-lobbyist Jack Abramoff strikes deep in the corrupt heart of the
Bush Administration.

In a landmark ruling, Colombia's Constitutional Court has allowed
President Alvaro Uribe to seek a second term.
That's good news for the Bush Administration, which considers Uribe a
staunch ally. But others in Colombia are not so sure.

Vincent Carretta's Equiano, the African is the complex narrative of a Carolina
slave who bought his freedom, married an English woman and published a
memoir on his life as a seafarer and gentleman.

Jill Lepore's New York Burning paints a realistic portrait of a
purported slave rebellion in 1741 and the hysteria that followed, a
harrowing lesson of how abusers of power become haunted by the
nightmare of retribution.

Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost plumbs the
mysteries of losing oneself and finding oneself in the realm of the
utter unknown.

Breakfast for Pluto is the upbeat and whimsical fable of a girl
in a boy's body. Watching Claire Danes in Shopgirl will make you
forget for a while that other actresses exist.

The death last week of Rosa Parks at age 92 has inspired a predictableoutpouring of tributes from politicians of every partisan andideological bent. Even President Bush, a man who inspired the ire ofParks as far back as the mid-1990s, when she was campaigning againstcapital punishment in Texas, hailed the mother of the civil rightsmovement as "one of the most inspiring women of the 20th century" anddeclared that she had "transformed America for the better."

In their self-serving rush to praise Parks prior to her funderal today,a number of politicians displayed their complete ignorance of thewoman's history and her legacy. The worst of them was Senate MajorityLeader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, who said of the protest that sparkedthe Montogomery bus boycott of the 1950s and gave rise to thehigh-profile civil rights movement of the 1960s: "Rosa Parks' bold andprincipled refusal to give up her seat was not an intentional attemptto change a nation, but a singular act aimed at restoring the dignityof the individual."

Frist was, of course, wrong. Parks' refusal to give up her seat on thatbus was an intentional attempt to change a nation. At a time when theNational Association for the Advancement of Colored People was underattack in the segregated south, Parks was an elected official of herlocal NAACP branch from the 1940s on and an activist with Voters'League, a pioneering voting rights group in Alabama. Employed byClifford and Virginia Durr, who were among the most outspoken whitesupporters of civil rights in the south, Parks was trained at theHighlander Folk School and acted as an informed and intentionalactivist.

Senate minority leader Harry Reid forced Republicans into a closed-door
session Tuesday to examine the Administration's use and misuse of
intelligence on Iraq. Could Democrats finally be acting like an opposition party?

Scroll down for an update from Jeff Chester, one of America's leading media reform experts, re Kenneth Tomlinson's departure from the CPB board.

Early last month in this space, I wrote about the release of the CPB's Inspector General's report on on former CPB chair (and Bush crony) Kenneth Tomlinson's payments to a conservative consultant to rate the political leanings (and loyalties) of PBS guests.

Well, it seems that the IG is expected to present his findings--which reportedly include ethical and procedural violations as well as misuse of funds--Tuesday afternoon to a closed-door meeting of the CPB board of directors, of which Tomlinson remains a member. But, there are currently no plans to make this report public until November 15--after the CPB board has had the chance to vet and potentially alter the report.

Interest rates nosed higher today as the Federal Reserve Board
sought to control inflation. But the impact of runaway inflation is
already being felt by workers whose wages will stagnate and whose
earning power is on a steep decline.

Questions for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.: What are the
rights of an individual before the law? Are these rights any
different from what Alito views as the rights of a corporation?

Reporters like Judith Miller who fought to avoid testifying in the CIA
leak case were knowing accomplices in the White House's attempt to
punish a whistle-blower. By failing to report the truth, they bear
responsibility for leading us into an illegal war.

Much of official Washington remains focused on the issues -- legal and political -- that have arisen from the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney who was a principal architect of the administration's approach to Iraq before and after the invasion and occupation of that distant land. This is as it should be: Libby and his former boss need to be held accountable for leading this country's military forces into a quagmire that has cost more than 2,000 American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives.

The only problem with this otherwise healthy obsession with the investigation is that it draws attention away from the disaster that Cheney, Libby and their crew of neoconservative nutcases have created.

In addition to the rapidly mounting death toll -- 93 U.S. troops were killed in October, the highest casualty rate since January -- the insurgency's Tet offensive-level attacks within the capital city of Baghdad, and the degeneration of the trial of Saddam Hussein into a legal farce, there is the tragedy of the country's bumbled attempt to craft and implement a constitution.

If the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court becomes the
titanic battle that both sides in the judicial wars have been
anticipating for years, Democrats must create a new playbook. If they
stick to the same old strategies, they could end up wishing that
Harriet Miers had fared better.

The indictment of I. Lewis Libby indictment casts Vice President Dick
Cheney in a key role in the CIA leak investigation: It suggests Cheney
had reason to suspect Valerie Wilson was a covert officer.

If a senior White House official leaks classified information that identifies an undercover CIA officer to reporters in order to undermine a critic of the a...