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Archive for August, 2004

Najaf to New York? Better: New York to Najaf.

Friday, August 27th, 2004

Sadness. More sadness than anger is what overcame me when I read the latest Nation magazine column by Naomi Klein. I’ll grant it has a catchy title: “From Najaf to New York.” But this column by Klein, who has earned the admiration of a new generation of dissidents with a notable intellectual keen-ness, unwittingly reveals […]

Adios, General!

Thursday, August 26th, 2004

And maybe this time for good. After hiding for the last 3 years behind the excuse of being too frail of health to stand trial for his record of torture and murder, former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet is once again mighty close to finding himself in the dock thanks to a ruling just announced […]

Pimps and Wimps– Swift Boats and Briar Patches

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

My latest L.A. Weekly column on the Swift Boat Wars has just been posted. Please read the entire column. Here’s a piece of it: …George Bush’s Republicans have about as much intention of spurning support from the likes of SBVT than the Kerry Democrats do of shutting down Just because the two major parties […]

Prepping for RNC: Lite Posting

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

Yes, sad, but true. I will be heading out to New York on the weekend to do some reporting from the Republican National Convention. As I get ready over the next few days, posting here will be light. During the RNC I will be blogging daily on both the L.A. Weekly and The Nation websites. […]

One Last Time (I Promise): Chavez

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

Call this a Dog Days of August Saturday afternoon blogging. I swore I wouldn’t come back to the distasteful subject of Hugo Chavez but here we are again. The OAS and the Carter Center this afternoon have formally ratified last Sunday’s vote in which Chavez soundly defeated a referendum to recall him. So lucky Venezuela […]

Sportfishing Boat Veterans For Truth

Friday, August 20th, 2004

I figured you could all debate the Great Swift Boat Story by yourselves and it was safe for me to take a day off. So late Thursday nite my friend Mark Schubb and I went down to San Diego and at 6am Friday morning we boarded the Point Loma all day sportfishing boat. The captain […]

Meet The New John Kerry: Sounds Like The Old Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

Uh-oh. I’ll admit that last week I publicly muttered that it was looking like John Kerry might actually have a good chance at winning in November. I should have added: “that’s if he can bail out from his sinking campaign boat.” Indeed, Swift Boat Captain Kerry seems to be steering straight for the rocks. He […]

Our Fanatics and Theirs

Tuesday, August 17th, 2004

I was watching, by accident, the opening ceremonies of the Olympics the other night and was struck by the language used by the NBC network anchors. As the U.S. delegation came onto the field and was met with a thunderous ovation, the NBC guy said (paraphrasing closely): “The Greeks clearly distinguish between the American people […]

Comrade Chavez Wins Glorious Victory

Monday, August 16th, 2004

If you don’t mind I’ll withold any applause for yesterday’s electoral victory by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. I find nothing redeeming in the record of this former Army Colonel and former coup plotter who– with the solidarity of comfortable cafe revolutionaries in London and New York– now fancies himself the embodiment of Radical Democracy. For […]

Chavez… More…. (UPDATED)

Sunday, August 15th, 2004

Make sure you read our debate on Hugo Chavez in the next posting down on the blog. Meanwhile, here’s some more on Chavez in today’s L.A. Times by policy wonk Michael Shifter . It’s a calm and well-documented argument bereft of any illusions about Chavez or his opposition. It’s subscription only, so here are some […]

Dancing With Dictators: Recall Chavez [Updated]

Friday, August 13th, 2004

The worst kind of politics are those posited on the knee-jerk notion that the “enemy of my enemy is my friend.” And there’s no more vivid symptom of this malaise then the muddle-headed support and “solidarity” that too much of the Left is extending to the semi-literate thug who currently sits in the Presidential chair […]

Public Radio Appearance Satrurday

Friday, August 13th, 2004

I’ll be on the new, not very imaginatively named, Public Radio Weekend Show Saturday morning at what looks to be 10 am Pacific. I’m on for the full hour, apparently as some sort of kibbitzer. (In the SoCal area it airs on KPCC 89.3 FM). I think as a guest I’m asked to respond with […]

Border: Deaths Hit Record This Past Weekend

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004

Click here to read my just-published L.A. Weekly column on the deadly game on the southern border. This has been the deadliest weekend in three years on the U.S.-Mexican border. The bodies of at least a dozen people have been found near the border just since Friday. The spike in deaths come as the Dept. […]

Heroes, Cowards and Ghosts

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004

Photo: From The Oregonian. A person identified as a 14-year-old boy sits blindfolded and restrained. The boy purportedly was among the prisoners found when Oregon National Guardsmen responded June 29 to reports of what appeared to be prisoner abuse at the Ministry of the Interior in Baghdad, Iraq. The repulsive quality of state-sponsored torture and […]

Hope (less) Is On The Way

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004

Not because I went to the DNC nor because I covered a Kerry rally in Arizona this weekend… but because of some pretty complicated dissection of polling data I heard from a Republican consultant, I’m beginning to think Kerry might actually win. I apply that old standard of trying to think of three concrete things […]

Hairy Kerry

Monday, August 9th, 2004

Flagstaff, Arizona Before heading back to L.A. I drove up to magnificent Flagstaff to intercept a Kerry campaign rally late Sunday nite Here’s the good news for the pro-Kerry folks: it was a huge crowd for a town this size. Somewhere between 5-10,000 people. And most of them waited in line and then in place […]

Border Blues, Beers and Buds

Friday, August 6th, 2004

Tucson, Arizona Friday Nite Had a great evening tonite drinking Pacificos and eating barbecue as dark rain clouds moved over the desert floor and the air smelled electric with lightning in the foothills. Best of all, I was able to spend some quality time with two talented writers and friends from two different generations. Chuck […]

Dead Center

Wednesday, August 4th, 2004

My just-published L.A. Weekly column looks at Kerry campaign strategy and reflects on what if anything the Democratic convention meant. Click on the link above to read the entire column. Here’s what they call the lede: PHOENIX “” Here in the triple-digit dog days when at times you can literally fry an egg on the […]

Cuba’s Embargo

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004

Eric Umansky, who writes the “Today’s Papers” column for Slate, is spending a week in Cuba and posting an online diary. Check out the first two days of postings. Clearly, this is Umansky’s maiden trip to Fidel’s Private Paradise and he seems rather shocked by the oddities and outrages that we more frequent visitors sort […]

Self-Hating Conservatives?

Sunday, August 1st, 2004

A few months ago I posted here the blasphemous notion that maybe the Democrats would do better to effectively sit out this election, let the Republicans win it, and force Bush to manage his own crises– both the war and the deficits. This was the old Italian Commmunist Party rope-a-dope strategy: let your adversaries wear […]