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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Baithak World May 21: Kevin Phillips, Michael Hirsh, Headlines, Brodner, RealNews

In 2008, we can mark another perilous decade: the tech mania of 1997-2000, morphing into a bubble and market crash; the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; imperial hubris and the Bush administration's bungled 2003 invasion of Iraq. These were followed by OPEC's abandoning its $22-$28 price range for oil, with the cost per barrel rising over five years to more than $100; the collapse of global respect for the United States over the Iraq war; the imploding U.S. housing market and debt bubble; and the almost 50 percent decline of the U.S. dollar against the euro since 2002. Small wonder a global financial crisis is in the air. Here, then, is the unnerving possibility: that another, imminent global crisis could make the half-century between the 1970s and the 2020s the equivalent for the United States of what the half-century before 1950 was for Britain. This may well be the Big One: the multi-decade endgame of U.S. ascendancy. The chronology makes historical sense -- four decades of premature jitters segueing into unhappy reality. The Old Titans All Collapsed. Is the U.S. Next? Kevin Phillips

The issue goes way beyond Bush's decision to invade Iraq in the middle of the war in Afghanistan. U.S. government literally broke down during the Bush years. The interagency process was destroyed as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld set up what was effectively a "black" alternative government (the veep's shadow national security council, and Doug Feith's Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon). The White House treated its coequal branch, Congress, like an interloper (to the annoyance of Republicans as well as Democrats). Junk science infected the policy-making apparatus on key issues of importance to our allies in Europe and Asia, like global warming. Junk legal reasoning by White House and Justice Department lawyers was used to publicly justify torture, decimating our once high moral stature around the world. Junk economics—an excess of free-market fervor—infected the Federal Reserve and other regulators, who slumbered while Wall Street ran amok selling fraudulent mortgage securities to foreign markets. Congress went to sleep while the administration ran up record deficits. (The fallout from the subprime debacle and budget imbalance has cost us as much prestige in the economic sphere as Iraq has cost us in the foreign policy arena.) The Department of Homeland Security, misconceived and oversized even at its birth, grew into an unmanageable monstrosity, leading directly to the disaster of the Hurricane Katrina response. Michael Hirsh


Huffpollstrology: Candidates' Horoscopes, Polls And More For May 21

Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It

Water: Conflict or Resolution in China, Tibet and Darfur?

Bush apologizes over US soldier's Quran shooting

South Africa reels under anti-foreigner violence

Daily News Leaves Times in the Dirt

Lost Media, Found Media

YouTube urged to pull al Qaeda videos

Chuck Hagel Takes On McCain, Repeatedly Praises Obama

MSNBC Vs. Fox News/White House

Commodity prices are heading down

Vital US Supply Line Threated By Taliban Militants, Thieves

Robert Brustein: Confronting Huntington

Mort Gerberg: Out Of Line: Unanimous

Senior Israeli Official: Bush Intends To Attack Iran

Like Sharon in the libel suit

Donkey jailed in Mexico for violent behaviour

Book Excerpt: The Family

Faux News:That’s Not Exactly What He Said
The Lede: Defusing a Koran Shooting in Iraq
Iraqi army seizes Sadr's Baghdad bastion
West Wing: The World's Conservatives Head Left

Brodner's Cartoon du Jour: Brankrupt Political Philosophy

Two good articles this week in The New Yorker and The Nation on the end of the line for conservative dominance in American politics. Comfort food for us told-you-so's, regardless of who wins the White House. I did the one illustrating the very good George Packer piece and my buddy Victor Juhasz (one of the most gifted narrative artists anywhere) was plowing the same field over at The Nation (his is much funnier). The loss for the conservatives is expensive. Think of all we've had to experience for people to start to wake up. Maybe they'll stay that way awhile! Bankrupt Political Philosophy

Read Today's Strip

Paul Jay presents RealNews

Katrina survivors struggle years after hurricane
A documentary report from New Orleans presents voices of Katrina survivors still fighting for survival view

The candidates and the military-industrial complex
Kathy Kelly: The Dem candidates do not take on the defense industry view

China earthquake: Still facing danger
The Guardian: Survivors and rescuers in China remain at risk from aftershocks and rising water levels. view


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I am a Tibet supporter from Japan.
Please read this letter written by Dr. Robert Thurman that
includes a great idea to make " Dialogue between the
Dalai Lama and Hu Jintao" happen at the G8 Summit
this July in Japan. Sign this letter and send it to your
country's leader immediately! Let's make this happen!

the detail is here.
Free Tibet Team Japan

May 22, 2008 6:15 PM  

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