Tough time for satirists
My friend Don Monkerud has been trying to write satire about the follies of the Bush administration. It's getting really tough. The stuff going on now -- bombing a wedding party and then trashing their own henchman's headquarters (Chalabi) is beyond satire. Take this quote from Bush (that is captured in a film clip in the new documentary, "Control Room," about Al-Jazeera). As Caryn James reports in today's NYT (The War's Dark Side: Filling in the Blanks):
There, President Bush is shown commenting on Americans captured by Iraqis, saying, "The P.O.W.'s I expect to be treated humanely, just like we're treating the prisoners we captured humanely."
Try to satirize that!


Being conspicuously nice to some Iraqis
Sophia Niarchos, a colleague in the New York chapter of the National Writers Union, writes:
This morning in one of my rare viewings of network TV, NBC's Today Show news reported about a very young Iraqi child with a major tumor in the neck area who was brought to the U.S. so that her life might be saved by American doctors in, I think, Ohio (hmmm, isn't that a "battleground" state?). There was video of her being put on a helicopter, of her mother in an interview, of the child herself, of doctors discussing their hopes for a happy ending.

In a country where HIPAA compliance (protecting patient privacy) is required of medical professionals and where photos of flag-draped caskets of unidentified soldiers are (or were) not permitted, how is it that this Iraqi family can have their privacy invaded? Could it have anything to do with the military's need for a "goodwill" story to keep this war looking like a benefit for the Iraqi people? To keep Americans looking like heroes? They haven't shown us the people we murdered, have they?


Kerry, just do it!
Forward from our friends at MoveOn:
Dear friend,

As George Bush's poll numbers drop quickly, John Kerry is facing an important choice -- perhaps the most important choice he'll make in his campaign. He has to decide whether, as some consultants will urge, he should be cautious and run toward the center, or whether he should present a bold agenda for change and rally Americans around a vision for our future.

Through his history, Kerry has made a practice of standing up for bold initiatives to provide health care, protect the environment, and safeguard the right to reproductive choice. Together, we need to let him know that we want him to be his best, boldest self -- to go big, ask more of us, and power his campaign on the politics of hope.

Please join me in calling on John Kerry to "go big" at: www.moveonpac.org

Thank you.

"Condi's a jerk"
You knew that already, of course, but look who's saying it! Read Casualty of War by Wil S. Hylton, in the forthcoming June issue of GQ. "Four years into an embattled Bush administration, Colin Powell is hard at work at something he's never had to worry about before: salvaging his legacy."