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Unocal's pipeline in Burma becomes a test case in corporate responsibility.

Viewed close up, the "model" of democracy for all of Iraq is something less.

It threatens the United States--and the world.

Hillary Clinton's autobiography comes out barely a week after Martha
Stewart is indicted for obstruction of justice and fraud related to
alleged insider trading, and you still don't beli

It is notoriously difficult to prove a negative. At what point can you
be sure that something does not in fact exist?

They pushed the CIA to say
That nukes could quickly come our way--
Saddam might, with a finger snap,
Remove Chicago from the map.

Congress has once again passed a bill banning "partial-birth abortion."
It's not the first time. President Clinton vetoed similar bans in 1996
and 1997.

"We have to hold these people until we find out what is going on."
According to a report issued June 2 by the Justice Department's own
Inspector General, that's what Michael Chertoff, head of t

The Bush Administration's carefully stage-managed June 4 Aqaba summit
could not hide the serious structural impediments to a resolution of the
Israel-Palestine conflict.

As quixotic searches for "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq continue
to yield little more than chagrin, the Washington establishment is
growing restive.

As America's jobless rate hit a nine-year high and after-the-fact
analyses of the Republican tax plan revealed that the Bush
Administration and its allies in Congress had denied child tax credi


SHIITES, SUNNIS & IVINS

Washington, DC

Americans were duped: Evidence of Administration manipulation and mendacity just keeps rolling in.

Remember the outrage over Bill Clinton's dissembling about Monica? But where's the outrage on the right over this Administration's manipulation of intelligence regarding Iraq's WMD? (Factoid: Did you know that the investigation of what went wrong in the run-up to 9-11 is currently funded at $15 million, less than one-fourth of what the Republican-led Congress authorized for the Monica Lewinsky investigation?)

New York Times columnist William Safire, who lived in a constant state of outrage during the Clinton years, argues that anger over the Bush Administration's manipulations is overblown. But the evidence that a cabal of neocons misled America into war just keeps on coming. (On Friday, a declassified September report from the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that there was "no reliable information" that Iraq was producing new chemical weapons.)

The White House faces a mounting credibility gap of staggering scale. Newspapers around the globe are accusing the Administration of lying to the world. Tony Blair is facing fierce pressure at home over the issue. Analogies to Watergate are rife. Indeed, the celebrated question of that scandal is as relevant today as it was then: What did the President (and his key people) know and when did they know it?

Democratic presidential candidates were handed a dream audience of 1,000 "ready-for-action" labor, civil rights, peace and economic justice campaigners at the Take Back America conference organized in Washington last week by the Campaign for America's Future. And the 2004 contenders grabbed for it, delivering some of the better speeches of a campaign that remains rhetorically -- and directionally -- challenged. But it was a non-candidate who won the hearts and minds of the crowd with a "Cross of Gold" speech for the 21st century.

Recalling the populism and old-school progressivism of the era in which William Jennings Bryan stirred the Democratic National Convention of 1896 to enter into the great struggle between privilege and democracy -- and to spontaneously nominate the young Nebraskan for president -- journalist and former presidential aide Bill Moyers delivered a call to arms against "government of, by and for the ruling corporate class."

Condemning "the unholy alliance between government and wealth" and the compassionate conservative spin that tries to make "the rape of America sound like a consensual date," Moyers charged that "rightwing wrecking crews" assembled by the Bush Administration and its Congressional allies were out to bankrupt government. Then, he said, they would privatize public services in order to enrich the corporate interests that fund campaigns and provide golden parachutes to pliable politicians. If unchecked, Moyers warned, the result of these machinations will be the dismantling of "every last brick of the social contract."

The Chernobyl disaster provides the clearest evidence available of what a dirty bomb exploded by terrorists might do.

"If you want to avoid another Saddam Hussein, you have to work
toward peace and democracy in the Middle East."

As Gore Vidal likes to say, we're living in the United States of Amnesia. If you had any reason to doubt the great man, check out the new reality shows crowding our TV screens currently. There's Dog Eat Dog, NBC's new offering, in which "six sexy and savvy players play upon each other's strengths and weaknesses" to compete for $25,000.

The other night, in the show's quiz section, a young female contestant was stumped when asked: "Which West Point graduate led the allied forces in Gulf War One?" A fog of amnesia passed over her youthful face, then she lit up and blurted: "Al Gore." Gore Vidal would have enjoyed that.

*****

Ari, Watch What You Say

Remember Vice President Dick Cheney's dire warning, in the run-up to war against Iraq: "The risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action." I'd like to see Congressional hearings in which the VP is forced to account for that statement, in light of growing evidence that the Bush Administration grossly manipulated intelligence about those weapons of mass destruction.

While we're at it, let's throw Cheney's warning back at him in another context. How about the argument that the risks of inaction on fundamental healthcare reform are much higher than any of the risks associated with a major overhaul of our failing system?

As David Broder noted in a recent Washington Post column, even leading private sector leaders and heads of several of America's major corporations are beginning to make the case that, as the head of California's public employees retirement system known as CalPERS put it, "fixing our dysfunctional health care system...needs to be our top priority."

"What amazes me is that the President himself is not clamoring for an investigation."

Romeo Dallaire has the name of a silent-movie star and a face to match:
clear eyes, ample mustache, chin of cleft granite.