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November 20, 2006 | The Nation

In the Magazine

November 20, 2006

Cover: Cover by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels with apologies to Norman Rockwell

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John Nichols declares winners in the off-year presidential primary, Negar Azimi looks at civil society at risk in Iran, K. Leander Williams considers the music of Todd Snider.

Letters

A GIRL CAN DREAM, CAN'T SHE?

Boise, Idaho

Editorials

Even the most naive American voter
cannot be expected to see the morally, legally and politically questionable death sentence given to Saddam Hussein a milestone in the Bush Administration's illegal war in
Iraq. As the milestones pile up, so do the bodies.

As presidential hopefuls from both parties press their advantage on the
platform of the 2006 midterm election, the winners are...

To repair our broken voting system, declare Election Day a holiday,
establish national election standards and require reliable voting
machines and a paper trail.

Stay the course? Cut and run? Cut the crap? What will former Secretary of State James A. Baker III propose after the midterm elections, when the bipartisan Iraq Study Group reveals new scenarios to end the Iraq debacle?

What are we laughing at when we laugh at Borat?

Human rights advocates are pressing German courts to prosecute Donald
Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other Bush Administration officials for
war crimes. They just might succeed.

Columns

TruthDig

Bush insisted that Saddam Hussein's trial be held in Iraq so that an international tribunal would never expose America's history of support for the tyrant.

Take time out to acknowledge the return of the NBA--and the beginning of
a political season of sorts for NBA players with a social conscience.

Music

If people keep making sexist attacks against Hillary Clinton, I may just
have to vote for her. That means you, Elizabeth Edwards!

As things stand in organized politics today, a purely formal protest
against what the GOP has done to America is the most we can hope for.

Articles

John Bolton's surprise announcement that a former Washington
Times
editor will head the UN's World Food Program bodes ill for
the idea that competence is more important than political loyalty.

The electoral process worked for pro-choice advocates in South Dakota,
overturning an abortion ban with a grassroots appeal to keep the government out of citizens' personal lives.

Joe Lieberman won an idiosyncratic victory. He holds his seat despite his relentless support for Iraq, rather than because of it.

Despite Daniel Ortega's many flaws, the return of the Sandinistas to power creates the possibility that his challenge to the "savage capitalism" of the previous regime can genuinely benefit Nicaragua's poor.

A virtual state of siege prevails in Oaxaca, where military police have occupied the central square, clearing barricades and detaining scores of activists.

John Kerry should stop being nice about the Deserter in Chief. He should be reminding voters that the President who has sent more than 3,000 US soldiers and allies and untold thousands of Iraqis to their deaths deserted his post during the Vietnam War.

If US officials stopped their saber-rattling over Iran's nuclear
ambitions and began to negotiate directly, they would have an
eye-opening experience.

The Bush Administration has so politicized government agencies that an entire culture of civil service professionals is being replaced by
conservative political operatives loyal only to the White House.

As Iran and the United States trade insults and America presses for Iranians to rise up, educators, students and women's rights groups may pay the greatest cost.

Demonstrators wearing a controversial T-shirt tested the limits of free
expression on the Staten Island Ferry.

Books & the Arts

Film

Penelope Cruz shines in Pedro Almodóvar's Volver; James Longley's Iraq in Fragments is a repository of small truths.

Music

Todd Snider has a songwriter's flair for the absurd--and he's morphed
from a barroom wiseacre to a keen observer of life at the workaday
fringes of Bush's America.

Book

The secular left should think twice before casting religious people as
its foes. After all, alienating potential allies and confining
ourselves to a small sect of like-minded believers is what
fundamentalism is all about.

3rd Party Article

History will prove folding on online gaming to be a bad bet.

Onion

November 8, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC--After nearly six years of much-publicized service as Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld announced his resignation Wednesday afternoon, saying that he had "proudly accomplished everything [he'd] set out to bungle." "Years ago, I decided to bog this great nation down in an extended, grueling foreign occupation, and I'm happy to say that's exactly what I've done," said Rumsfeld in a farewell address at the White House, during which he urged Americans to continue waging the ill-conceived, mismanaged, and evidently unwelcome fight for democracy in the Middle East. "Each of my actions--from undersupplying troops with body armor to focusing on capturing Saddam Hussein while Osama bin Laden remained free--has led America inexorably toward our current state of extreme crisis. Well, anyway, goodbye!" President Bush expressed confidence that Robert Gates, his new nominee for Secretary of Defense, will be able to "fuck everything up the rest of the way."