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December 19, 2005 | The Nation

In the Magazine

December 19, 2005

Cover: Cover by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels

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2004

Heather Rogers examines the hidden threat to climate
change posed by greenhouse-gas generating landfills, Jeremy
Scahill probes the motives behind George W. Bush's war on Al
Jazeera and Jonathan Kozol pens a stirring challenge to
apartheid education in America.

Letters

BUSH: INDICTABLE CO-CONSPIRATOR?

Aiken, SC

Editorials

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AUGUSTO

A top-secret memo detailing George W. Bush's proposal to bomb Al
Jazeera is not "outlandish," as the White House claims. The Bush
Administration had been threatening, insulting and imprisoning Al
Jazeera staffers and other unembedded journalists long before Bush
reportedly floated the idea to Tony Blair.

The controversy surrounding conservative lobbyist Jack Abramoff is
creating headaches for red-state and swing-state Republicans and
opportunities for Democrats to turn a national bribery and
influence-peddling scandal into political paydirt.

George W. Bush's plan to privatize Social Security is dead, thanks to a
remarkable mobilization by progressive groups. Much can be learned from
the way The Campaign for America's Future, labor unions, MoveOn.org and
others worked together to inform citizens and arouse opposition to the
plan.

Columns

TruthDig

A trove of new documents detailing the corruption and influence-peddling by Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed and Tom DeLay is sweeping the high-minded prophets of the Republican revolution off their pedestals.

With professionals at the top forced out and replaced by GOP
fundraisers, the right-wing takeover of the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting is now plain to see. Though CPB's Inspector General has
exposed former chair Kenneth Tomlinson's ethical transgressions, what
else are they hiding?

It's one thing for our State Department to plant phony stories in the
media or jam broadcasts in Cuba. It's quite another for conservative
policy analyst Frank Gaffney bolster's George Bush's grudge against Al
Jazeera by arguing that it was "imperative that enemy media be taken
down."

Dick Cheney channels Nat King Cole in an unforgettable rendition of the
meaning of the word "reprehensible."

Articles

General Motors is dimming the headlights on its industrial utopia in
Spring Hill, Tennessee. The cutback at the visionary Saturn plant,
where workers and managers once shared decision-making and cooperated as equals, is the latest affront to US autoworkers and American self-esteem.

The New York Mets' squelching of first baseman Carlos
Delgado's longstanding protest of the war in Iraq during the
seventh-inning stretch speaks volumes about how the rules of the game
have changed on political dissent.

Under pressure from Wall Street, newspaper journalism is being
frog-marched out of the media marketplace. And once it's gone, how will
we know anything?

A showdown looms in Congress this week over two competing measures
involving bedrock human and legal rights: John McCain's legislation to
ban all forms of torture and Lindsey Graham's proposal to strip federal courts of the power to hear habeas corpus
appeals by terror suspects.

The tragedy that is Iraq can never be told in numbers alone, but the hard facts--every loss, every life, every dollar--only strengthen the arguments against this brutal war.

Apartheid education is alive in America and rapidly
increasing in hyper-segregated inner-city schools. And though it's now
fashionable for policy-makers to declare integration a failure,
effective programs across the country still survive--and deserve to thrive.

Gas-guzzling SUVs take a lot of blame, but landfills make stealthy
stealthy contributions to climate change. While they should be
developing innovative waste disposal strategies, corporate-owned
landfills use techniques that generate heat-trapping methane that
accelerate global warming.

Progressive groups that mobilized for the 2004 elections are
now dismissed as failures. But though they were unable to defeat Bush,
grassroots activists are creating waves across the country. They may be
the ticket to Republican defeat and the creation of a new movement.

Books & the Arts

Book

Still going strong at 93, Studs Terkel has produced yet another oral
history, And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc
Jockey.

Book

Nancy Drew has been a fixture in young girls' lives since 1930. But the
continuing appeal of this spunky American icon--never sad, wrinkled or
misunderstood--is both heartwarming and a little scary.

Book

America's Constitution: A Biography examines
America's obsession with the Constitution--its origins, evolution and
interpretation.

Book

The Jewish Century defies the conventional view of
Jews as outsiders and traces their symbiotic relationship with
Christians. A History of the Jews in the Modern World follows
the impact the multitude of journeys that Diaspora Jews have taken on
countries in the modern era.