Thursday, October 28, 2004

Oh My 
This is sickening:

LONDON (Reuters) - Deaths of Iraqis have soared to 100,000 above normal since the Iraq war mainly due violence and many of the victims have been women and children, public health experts from the United States said Thursday.

"Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq," researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland said in a report published online by The Lancet medical journal.

"Violence accounted for most of the excess death and air strikes from (U.S.-led) coalition forces accounted for the most violent deaths," the report added.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Sinclair Broadcasting 
According to reports, the Sinclair "news" special that they pre-empted an hour of primetime programming for ended up as an even-handed report, giving about equal time to Bush and Kerry partisans. They even showed about as much of Going Upriver as they did of Stolen Honor.

Make no mistake, though - this was NOT Sinclair's plan - they wanted to spend the entire hour showing Stolen Honor. The only reason they relented was intense pressure on their bottom line and their stock price. Advertisers, both local and national, were telling Sinclair (via their checkbooks) that such partisanship was unacceptable. Institutional stockholders too were unhappy. While some 90% of Sinclair stock is privately, and closely, held, the 10% that trades on the open market was sinking like a stone, costing the controlling Smith family %40-$50 million in value within just the last few months.

As the right-wingers have learned over the last 30 years and the center-left are learning now, the way to gain the field is to work from the margins in. The election of 2000 was the wake-up call that progressives needed to move from demoralization to anger, and the subsequent couple of years to transalte that anger into concrete ideas and action. It remains to be seen whether the coalition that has coalesced around this year's election can hold for long, but it's beginning to look like the right's time is waning.

When John Kerry wins, brings the Senate with him, and narrows the gap in the House, there will be years of work merely to clean up the messes of the last 10 years of Republican legislative control. To get beyond the needed structural repairs and move ahead to some real progress will take years more work, and a good deal of solidarity. The Democrats have long been a loose collection of centrists, moderates, progressives, and leftists in varying degrees, and not nearly as cohesive as the Republicans have been since the emrgence of Ronald Reagan. Let's hope that the current rallying 'round the Kerry candidacy can hold together long enough to accomplish work that all of us know needs doing.

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