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Reservists mutiny in Iraq, old people keel over standing in line for flu shots and all sorts of cats leap out of Bush's bag of secrets: According to Ron Suskind's revelatory New York Times Mag

Survey finds risk of swaying election to Bush major concern of Nader
backers

As neither candidate seems to be aware, healthcare is increasingly available only to those who can pay.

The new Tom Waits album begins, in very Waitsian fashion, with a racket: a squall of percussive noise that sounds like it was recorded in a freight elevator.

On January 9, 2004, Royal Dutch/Shell, one of the world's largest publicly traded oil companies, shocked the international financial community by announcing that it had overstated its oil and gas

FIVE-OH FOR THE OBSERVER

The Bush era has seen an explosion of sharply political creativity.

The election season is always hellish for people who fancy that they live by political principles, because at such a time "politics" becomes, even more than usually, a matter of show business and

George W. Bush said Saddam Hussein's brutal regime had chemical and biological weapons and a revived nuclear weapons program. It did not.

Not being "middle class," the poor have been invisible in this campaign.

Philosophy student Julian Johannesen and photographer Cosby Lindquist have been encamped in the neighborhoods of Columbus, Ohio, for more than a year.

Many Arab-American voters loathe Bush, but they have little love for his rival.

Bush's hometown is still behind him, but not with the enthusiasm of 2000.

Let's hedge this with all the usual qualifiers. Kerry could pull it out. The spread's within the margin of error. Respondents to polls are lying out of fear of John Ashcroft.

He can't remember one mistake.
He'll stay on course till Hades freezes.
How can he be so certain still?
Because he's got the word from Jesus.

The presidential campaign debates are over, and the time for decision has come. The Nation endorses Senator John Kerry to be the next President of the United States.


RACE AGAINST THE MACHINE

Albany, NY

The largest gathering ever of Native Americans in the nation's capital greets the opening of the NMAI.

With 12 days left before the election, millions of Americans have already cast their ballots -- records are being set for early voting and absentee ballots in all of the battleground states and in many non-battleground states. Yet, it is no easier to identify a frontrunner now than it was last spring. Rarely in history has an American presidential contest remained this close for this long, and it is beginning to appear that, like 2000, 2004 may be a year when neither candidate opens up a clear lead at the close of the contest.

That's got George W. Bush's reelection campaign team running scared, as races that stay close to the end tend to break for the challenger. But John Kerry's camp has had a hard time identifying themes in the post-debate period. For instance, it took the Democrat the better part of a week to figure out that the shortage of flu vaccine is precisely the sort of real-life crisis that illustrates the problems that result when the federal government adopts a hands-off approach to health care concerns.

The big movement seems to be occurring not in the presidential race but in contests for the Senate, where Republican overconfidence has created unexpected openings for the Democrats.

In Senate races across the country, Republicans are falling behind.

Apocalyptic language intensifies, but the election may be less definitive than many think.

I wrote nearly twelve months ago in this space about the importance of building progressive strength in 2004 and beyond. A year later, progressives have hope in the decade ahead, thanks in part to Howard Dean.

Dean's new book, You Have the Power, is an eloquent attack on Bush's failed record. At its core, however, is Dean's belief that progressives must look beyond November 2nd to achieve a progressive majority.

For starters, tactics matter, argues Dean. "By...establishing a permanent election-to-election presence on the American political scene through think-tanks, foundations, and grassroots organizations," Dean writes, the radical right has achieved political power. Extremists can be beat at their own game, though.