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Electoral Politics

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Americans' Right To Know"

John Chuckman

In a number of states and in the American Congress, legislation is being advanced, usually under the deliberately misleading heading of the "consumer's right to know," to restrict the ability of companies and government agencies to use call centers abroad. The legislation is nothing less than the kind of non-tariff barrier so castigated by the same American legislators when one appears in another land. The legislation dangerously plays to the considerable xenophobia found in America.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"These Colours Don't Run"

John Chuckman

Given its strutting brownshirt quality, here is a slogan that might well have been coined by America's most articulate political thug, Pat Buchanan.

But the slogan, with little waving-flag pictures, is being used for bumper stickers selling John Kerry. Good marketers know that you want an offering for every niche, so here's Kerry for the belly-over-the-belt, beer-belching, walrus-mustache set.

Nader Selects Camejo as Running Mate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader
selected longtime Green Party activist Peter Camejo to be his running
mate on Monday, a move sure to boost his chances of winning the Green
Party's endorsement this week and its access to ballot lines in 22
states and the District of Columbia.

"Landslide Approval of Irish Citizenship Referendum"
James Davis

Last Friday Ireland went to the Polls to elect local councilors and members of the European Parliament and to decide on an amendment to the constitution which would strip some Irish born children of their right to Irish Citizenship. The referendum is the culmination of the states efforts to limit the rights of asylum seekers and refugees who have arrived on the Island in increasing numbers during the economic boom there over the last 10 years. The referendum was passed by a landslide with 80% of voters approving the new restrictions in a big victory for nativism.

Initially the referendum was proposed by the Minister For Justice, Michael McDowell, as a way of defending Irish maternity hospitals which were, he argued, overwhelmed by foreigners arriving to give birth within the EU. Under the old rules where parents could claim residency rights in the country by virtue of their children’s citizenship, Ireland was out of step with the rest of the EU, or so the argument went until the facts got in the way. While the current right wing coalition government has been plotting some sort of referendum on this matter for years, Friday’s vote was only announced in March. McDowell initially argued that the Masters of the Maternity hospitals had plead for ‘something’ to be done about the hordes of pregnant refugees packing the hospitals. The doctors in question quickly distanced themselves from such claims, realizing perhaps they were being played in a pretty transparent electoral stunt and statistical fraud.

"Missing Papers Have Reference to Rumsfeld"

Greg Jaffe and David Cloud, Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials said that among documents regarding the
Iraq-prison scandal that the Pentagon failed to give Congress is one
described as a "draft update for the Secretary of Defense" on
interrogation rules.

The date and contents of the document referring to Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld are unknown. But Col. Thomas Pappas, the senior
intelligence officer at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, has suggested in
testimony to Army investigators that it discusses a set of rules to
guide interrogations in Iraq and suggests that military police should
"support interrogations," said a U.S. official.

"Gore Sez Rummy, Condi, Other Bushies Should Get Canned"

Associated Press

Former Vice President Al Gore called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, CIA director George Tenet, and national security adviser Condoleeza Rice on Wednesday in a fiery denunciation of Bush administration policies.

In a speech at New York University, Gore argued that officials, including several of Rumsfeld’s top civilian deputies, should step down because the situation in Iraq is out of control.

“I am calling today for Republicans as well as Democrats to join me in asking for the immediate resignations of those immediately below George Bush and Dick Cheney, who are most responsible for creating the catastrophe we are facing in Iraq,” Gore said, drawing strong applause from the partisan crowd.

Useful information may be found here, however ideologically contaminated by the purveyors, for those inclined to take polls, as well as electoral politics, seriously.

Electoral Battleground

"When Bonesmen Fight"

Tom Hayden,
Yale Politic

I hope some journalist has the guts to ask John Kerry
(Skull and Bones, 1965) and George Bush (Skull and
Bones, 1967) whether they have any qualms about
belonging to a secret, oath-bound network since their
college days. Did they discuss Skull and Bones in code
when President Bush called Senator Kerry to
congratulate him on his primary victories? Will they
agree not to leave the room if the reporter blurts out
"322", coded references to Demosthene's birthday and
Skull and Bones' founding.

Am I scratching the blackboard yet, dear reader? Or are
you smugly dismissing these questions as paranoid and

"Sikh Who Saved India's Economy Is Named Premier"

Amy Waldman, NY Times, May 20, 2004

NEW DELHI, May 19 — Manmohan Singh, the gentlemanly Oxford-educated economist who saved India from economic collapse in 1991 and began the liberalization of its economy, has been appointed the country's next prime minister, ending a week of high political drama.

Mr. Singh said Wednesday night that the country's president had asked him to form the next government. At his side stood Sonia Gandhi, who a day earlier had stunned the country by announcing she would not become prime minister as expected.

Mrs. Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, reiterated that decision on Wednesday, despite pleas and protests from party members. Parliament members from her Indian National Congress then selected Mr. Singh, who was finance minister from 1991 to 1996. He will be sworn in within a few days.

In many ways, Mr. Singh, the architect of the restructuring of the Indian economy after four decades of quasi-socialism, is an apt choice to lead India now, when it is fast rising as a global economic power.

It faces the challenge of reforming further in order to ensure higher growth rates, but also delivering the benefits of reform beyond the growing middle class. That is the message being taken from the election results, when the largely pro-reform government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party was rejected by voters.

"We will give to the world and to our people a model of economic reforms," Mr. Singh said Wednesday night, but with a "human element." The new government, he said, would "create new opportunities for the poor and the downtrodden to participate in development."

Full: here.

"Fear for Sale"

Greg Palast

September 11, 2001, was Derek Smith's lucky day. There were all those pieces
of people to collect-tubes marked "DM" (for "Disaster Manhattan")-from which
his company would extract DNA for victim identification, work for which the
firm would receive $12 million from New York City's government.

I have no doubt that Smith, like the rest of us, grieved, horrified and
heartsick, at the murder of innocent friends and countrymen. As for the
12-million-dollar corpse identification fee, that's chump change to the $4
billion corporation Smith had founded only four years earlier, ChoicePoint
of Alpharetta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.


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