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Archive for February, 2006

Inside the UFW: The Fermentation Begins

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

When we last left off, the legendary United Farm Workers union and its affiliated “movement” was threatening to sue the L.A. Weekly over a column I had written. The L.A. Times was similarly threatened because of a ground-breaking investigative series on the house that Chavez built written by Miriam Pawel. Both Pawel and I had […]

A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Guess I wasn’t imagining things when I reported a sense of fear and trembling rippling through the conservative confab I attended last weekend. All those skittish Republican pols must have been anticipating last night’s rather stunning numbers coming out of the most recent CBS News poll: Mr. Bush’s overall job rating has fallen to 34 […]

The Last Temptation of Arnold

Monday, February 27th, 2006

Governor Schwarzenegger survived this past weekend’s California State Republican convention after four resolutions aimed at censuring him were shot down before reaching the floor. Arnold has been facing a simmering intra-Republican rebellion on his right since he got his heinie handed to him in last fall’s special election; since he hired on a high-profile, pro-life […]

Ashcroft and Me

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

I’ve been kind of quiet the last few days because I’ve been busy working. So here’s some fodder for the holier-than-thou Hairshirt Brigade: I’m in Phoenix attending the Restoration Weekend organized by uber-righty David Horowitz (Gasp! Shriek! Moan! Plotz!). Nah, sorry to disappoint my critics. I’m not “pulling a Hitchens” nor “defecting” as some would […]

Meat-Head Politics

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Back in 1998, when actor/director Rob Reiner was pushing a ballot prop that taxed ciggie sales to fund pre-schools, I half-joked at the time that it would be better if he taxed, say, movie production instead. I thought it a tad holier-than-thou for a mutli-millionaire to slap a regressive tax on tobacco addicts — a […]

Father Knows Best

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

“Even if Hussein were captured and his regime toppled, U.S. forces would still have been confronted with the specter of a military occupation of indefinite duration to pacify the country and sustain a new government in power. “Removing him from power might well have plunged Iraq into civil war, sucking U.S. forces in to preserve […]

Dead In Their Tracks

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Next week for the first time in two decades– the Senate finally takes up the issue of immigration reform. Over the next handful of weeks, in different venues, I’ll be publishing a numberof articles, essays and reports on the subject. I begin with a report in the new edition of the L.A. Weekly. My story […]

Oily Waters

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

You’ve got to hand it to the Bushies. They wanted us to start talking about something other than Quailgate. So they gave us the Dubai ports story. Cool. We’ll take it. I loved listening to Bush talk about this. He sounded like he just came out of some Diversity Day activity at some dopey Summerhill […]

Heart to Hart

Monday, February 20th, 2006

On this President’s Day, a short time-out to remember someone who might have been president. Who could have President. And if he had, might have radically changed the way the last two decades of American politics have so drearily played out (who would have imagined that –out of sheer desperation and self-delusion– some two-bit con man […]

Cheney: The Sequel

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Ah geez. You almost feel sorry for these guys. The Cheney shooting story is gonna have a second week. Or more. There’s always a chance that the administration will do something else stupid to pump even more life into this dreadful story. I mean, they tried pretty hard to do so on Sunday when they […]

California Going Indie?

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

See my new post at The Nation’s group blog.

Spanish For Beginners

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Time for today’s combined public affairs and Spanish lesson. Our word for the day: DESCARADOS. It’s literal meaning: those without a face. Its practical connotation: those who are openly, blatantly and absolutely shameless. Example: “The Republican Senate leadership are a bunch of descarados.” Not enough that we had a secret, unaccountable and patently illegal warrantless […]

Laugh Till It Hurts

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

That’s it. Trying to conjure up one more laugh about Dick Cheney feels right now like a case of the dry heaves.Indeed, Cheney doesn’t deserve our mirth. Disgust is the more proper offering. Especially after viewing the long suppressed set of additional blood-curdling photos out of Abu Ghraib.  Or looking at the video of the same […]

Bush-Quail 2006

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Talk about having a “minor heart attack.” You’ve got to think that just about now the Bush White House strategists are caught in a bit of a panic. The gross incompetence, the ingrained arrogance, and the reflexive hubris of this administration have all colluded in turning what should have been a one day weekend story […]

Cheap Shots

Monday, February 13th, 2006

I have to admit that when I wrote last night’s posting about Dick Cheney winging a geezer instead of a quail, I was just taking some cheap shots. Having a few midnight laughs at the expense of Dr. Darkness. Same story about the delay in reporting the incident – 18 to 22 hours, depending on […]

Straight Shooters

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Accidents happen. You invade a country expecting a cake-walk and, boom, you get a quagmire. Next thing you know, you’re out trying to blast some quail and, damn, you shoot one of your fund-raisers instead. Remind me, please, to keep refusing Dick Cheney’s persistent invitations to go hunting with him. Could happen to anybody, right? […]

On Assignment

Friday, February 10th, 2006

I’m actually working (and not blogging) this weekend in Oklahoma City where GM is shutting down one of its big plants. Back by Monday.

UFW Moves to Sue Its Critics: Me! [Updated]

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

The United Farm Workers union — founded 40 years ago by Cesar Chavez– has found a novel way to quash criticism of its poor performance in the fields. It is now directly threatening to sue its critics in the press. Including me. Last Friday the L.A Weekly was handed a 20 page lawyers’ letter demanding […]

Blogging Ourselves to Death?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

My latest book was dedicated to Neil Postman, the magnificent social theorist who died in late 2003 at age 72. No single intellectual has exercised such a dramatic influence on my thinking and it has been my privilege to teach entire university-level communication theory classes based solely on his work.Pleased I was, then, to see […]

New Post at “The Notion”

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Check out my latest post on The Nation’s group blog — "The Notion."