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"Step This Way" - Tourism U.S.A.

The Bush Legacy (Take One)  
by Tom Engelhardt
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

— Emma Lazarus, 1883
If you don't mind thinking about the Bush legacy a year early, there are worse places to begin than with the case of Erla Ósk Arnardóttir Lilliendahl. Admittedly, she isn't an ideal "tempest-tost" candidate for Emma Lazarus' famous lines engraved on a bronze plaque inside the Statue of Liberty.
After all, she flew to New York City with her girlfriends, first class, from her native Iceland, to partake of "the Christmas spirit." She was drinking white wine en route and, as she put it, "look[ing] forward to go shopping, eat good food, and enjoy life." On an earlier vacation trip, back in 1995, she had overstayed her visa by three weeks, a modest enough infraction, and had even returned the following year without incident.

This time — with the President's Global War on Terror in full swing — she was pulled aside at passport control at JFK Airport, questioned about those extra three weeks 12 years ago, and soon found herself, as she put it, "handcuffed and chained, denied the chance to sleep… without food and drink and… confined to a place without anyone knowing my whereabouts, imprisoned." It was "the greatest humiliation to which I have ever been subjected."

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Southern Arc: Kenya's Gamed Vote

Kenya's Rigged Election
by Tavia Nyong'o
The admittedly dire situation unfolding in Kenya today -- where violence has flared up in Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa and elsewhere -- is not another Rwanda. The underlying crisis is more like that of Ukraine, where, four years ago, an election commission also rigged the results in favor of one candidate and a commanding majority of the people rose up in protest, forcing a cancellation of the fraudulent election and, ultimately, a revote that installed Viktor Yushchenko as president.
Raila Odinga has yet to get his revote. But he has vowed not to negotiate with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki until the latter admits the election was stolen and resigns. (In an unusual coincidence, the banner color of Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement is the same as Yushchenko's.)

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War Parties United

Common Cause: Dems and Reps Unite for Imperial Overkill
by Chris Floyd
Glenn Greenwald provides a snapshot of the true – and truly gargantuan nature of the American Imperium in his piece, "The bipartisan consensus on US military spending."
The facts – chiefly, that the United States spends more on its military than all of the rest of the world combined, including Russia and China – are not exactly news to anyone who has been paying attention these past many years, but it is useful to see it all set down clearly with the latest figures.

Greenwald also rounds up some telling quotes from those "fightin' progressives" leading the race for the Democratic presidential nomination – all of whom, even the "angry populist" John Edwards, have publicly committed themselves to maintaining – and expanding – America's imperial legions around the world.
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All in the Family: Hillary Promises No Accountability for Bush Crimes

Hillary Signals Free Pass for Bush
by Robert Parry
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is signaling that a second Clinton presidency will follow the look-to-the-future, don’t -worry- about- accountability approach toward Republican wrongdoing that marked Bill Clinton’s years in office.

That was the significance of former President Clinton’s remarkable Dec. 17 comment that his wife’s first act in the White House would be to send Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush on an around-the-world mission to repair America’s damaged image.

  • “The first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again,” said Bill Clinton, who has accompanied the senior Bush on international humanitarian missions over the past several years.

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Channeling Mao: Big Media Following the Leader

Has Mao Become A Role Model For Our Media?
by Danny Schechter
When that bible of business, the Economist magazine, put Mao Zedong on their cover in a red Santa Hat, I thought it was their way of suggesting that the Chinese Communist Party had become the new stabilizer and bearer of gifts for a western-capitalist system in distress. 

Mao fought a revolution for independence from the West, which now seems to have become dependent on loans and finance from his People’s Republic.

Mao had always preached, “no investigation, no right to speak,” so I investigated further to find an article inside the issue suggesting that “for all his flaws” – like maybe 60 Million or more deaths, 30 million from famine alone — “Mao was inspiring.”
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Democrat Prez Candidates Taste Occupation

Obama and Romney Iowa Campaign Offices Occupied by Peace Activists
by Mike Ferner
Des Moines – Opponents of the occupation of Iraq today occupied the Iowa campaign headquarters of presidential candidates U.S. Senator Barak Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, waiting for a response to a letter requesting them to oppose any more spending for the war or occupation and forswear an attack on Iran.
image: protesting Clinton offices November '07

Eight people were arrested at Obama’s Iowa campaign headquarters and four at Romney’s, in this, the third day of such nonviolent “direct actions” organized by “Seasons Of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project” (SODAPOP) since the presidential primary season began in Iowa late last year.  

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And Shall it be the Law of the Town? Arresting George W. Bush

And Shall it be the Law of the Town? Arresting George W. Bush
by C. L. Cook
What if it's as easy as that; what if stopping the horrors we, the whole of humanity, have witnessed in the person of George W. Bush and his extra-legal operatives these past seven years could be as simple as that? 
Kurt Daims
Seven long years; is that not enough suffering endured to atone any sin; long enough to have an end to torment? Kurt Daims of Brattleboro, Vermont thinks so, so he's taking the notion to council of a war crimes indictment, to be sworn out against Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney should they happen by the township. 

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The Global War on Terror as Experienced Around the World

Bush's Global War on Terror
by The Nation 
The Nation magazine offers a five-part series on the "global war on terror," and how it is working in five countries throughout the world.
Below, how the GWOT has affected US relations with: Thailand; the Philippines; Egypt; El Salvador; and, Pakistan.
[From the December 17, 2007 issue of The Nation.]

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Spying Incorporated

Domestic Spying, Inc.
by Tim Shorrock
A new intelligence institution to be inaugurated soon by the Bush administration will allow government spying agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States for the first time.
Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office (NAO) will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites.
If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the U.S. one of the world's most closely monitored nations.
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Bush in Your Bedroom

Bush in Your Bedroom: Top Ten Worst Appointees for Reproductive Rights (so far… )      
by Heather Wokusch
Bush has used his Oval Office years to limit reproductive freedom and stack critical posts with right-wingers bent on rolling back the clock.

And now it appears yet another reactionary Bush appointee is on track to get a lifetime position as a federal judge...
"On September 11, we saw clearly that evil exists in this world, and that it does not value life ... Now we are engaged in a fight against evil and tyranny to preserve and protect life."

– George W. Bush in 2002, linking abortion rights with terrorism, as he declared the 29th anniversary of Roe v. Wade to be "National Sanctity of Human Life Day."

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New York Times on Kristol (meth?)

The Gray Lady Gives Bill Kristol and New Lease on Life
by Kurt Nimmo
It’s the height of mediocrity. No, scratch that. It’s a prime example of the continuing effort to push the false right-left paradigm.

Bill Kristol, neocon wunderkind, is now a “conservative” voice over at the New York Times. Paul Mulshine, writing for, gets it right. “Kristol is in fact a neoconservative,” he declares, although this is also a misrepresentation, as there is no room for the word “conservative” in “neoconservatism.”

As Paul Craig Roberts notes, there “is nothing conservative about neoconservatives. Neocons hide behind ‘conservative’ but they are in fact Jacobins.”

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