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November 21, 2005 | The Nation

In the Magazine

November 21, 2005

Cover: Cover art by Robert Grossman, cover design by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels

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Naomi Klein writes about how indigenous movements are
redrawing the map of Latin America, David Corn explains why
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald cannot tell the truth about the
CIA leak scandal and Stuart Klawans reviews Shopgirl and
Breakfast on Pluto.

Letters

Nation online readers write back on Senate Democrats, lobbyist
Jack Abramoff and WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes.

AFTER HE'S GONE...

Stockholm

Editorials

Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel takes on the role of publisher and
general partner at the magazine, and Victor Navasky becomes publisher
emeritus and a member of the magazine's editorial board.

WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes has just come out of the closet. But why
didn't anyone care?

The fictional world created by the Bush Administration over its five
years in power is falling to pieces, with the blood-soaked folly in Iraq, a
ruined environment, massive corruption and a basic failure to govern.
Yet the faith-based President continues to fashion lies, and believe
them.

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE...

The Baathist regime is the most opaque on earth, and Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad must develop a strategy to save himself and his regime,
as the UN investigation of the assasination of Lebanese Prime Minister
Rafiq Hariri unfolds.

As remarkable as the concept may sound after years of Democratic
dysfunction, something akin to a two-party system appeared to take shape
November 1, the week after Scooter Libby was indicted.

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.

Columns

Column Left

A newly declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document discrediting reports of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq disproves the Bush Administration's claim that they went to war using the best available intelligence.

Across Latin America indigenous movements redrawing the continent's
political map, demanding not just "rights" but a reinvention of the
state along deeply democratic lines.

Liberals need to find a means to bridge the gap between Americans'
belief in liberal solutions and their willingness to trust liberals to
enact them.

The right has ushered in a moment of cult celebrity for the pre-born.
But let's not be seduced by this idea of personhood. Remember the poor
and not-so-perfect post-born children of America? Aren't they persons,
too?

Articles

The lesson of the defeat in California of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's referendum
revolution is this: The American people will not forever be fooled. The
negative message of the Republican right has lost its power to terrorize voters.

Top oil execs were asked numerous questions at a Senate hearing on
spectacular profits earned in the wake of tropical storms. But they had
no real answers about how to ease the burden on ordinary Americans.

As Democrats gloat over two gubernatorial wins and the defeat in
California of Gov. Arnold's intiatives, the GOP approaches off-year
elections weighed down by Bush's baggage.

Democrats celebrate electoral victories in Virginia, New Jersey and
California, they shouldn't waste time gloating. They need to find
effective candidates like Tim Kaine and Jon Corzine who will build
momentum.

What motivated director Robert Greenwald to spend a year on a
documentary detailing Wal-Mart's impact on American life, culture and
commerce?

Who is Diego Maradona, and how did a former
Argentinian soccer star become the nemesis of an American President?

As the Senate opens hearings this week calling energy execs to
account for their windfall profits on gasoline and natural gas, the
question must be asked: Is this price-gouging or just good
old-fashioned capitalism?

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Argentine soccer hero Diego
Maradona led thousands in a massive rebuke of George W. Bush, his trade
policies and his neoconservative agenda at the Summit of the Americas in
Mar del Plata Argentina. Despite some sporadic violence, the protest
focused on developing indigenous alternatives to US-led trade
initiatives policies.

Republican candidates in Virginia do a lot of posturing on being tough on crime--but behind their self-righteous political ads, there is a hidden history of racism, questionable funding and sexual misconduct.

A hard-hitting documentary, an embarrassing leaked memo on healthcare
and abandonment by customers who don't like its politics. It's
getting harder these days for Wal-Mart to put on a happy public face.

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.

Books & the Arts

Book

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.

Book

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.

Book

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.

Film

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.