default.html Issue 82
Table of Contents

Nuke Industry Eager for "Generic" Fed Approval

by J.A. Savage The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, at the urging of the nuclear industry and its henchperson Senator Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico), is going the way of all things generic. According to the feds, a storage cask for high level radioactive waste is a storage cask no matter where it's bolted down. The NRC maintains an inspector is an inspector whether s/he has a background in engineering or operations. And a license to operate a reactor an extended 20 years is just that, whether it's in freezing Wisconsin or earthquake-prone Southern California


California "Energy Crisis" Tied to Stock Market

by J.A. Savage With two of the largest utilities in the nation declaring that they are disturbingly close to filing bankruptcy, repercussions on the businesses themselves and their Wall Street backers would be dire -- although their holding companies would probably do all right. However, the backlash could be devastating to the state and the nation say economists


Activists Protest Climate Talk Collapse

by Naomi Klein After allowing the clear cutting of North American forests, bulldozing over environmentalists who had the audacity to argue that trees clean the air (those flakes), our politicians went to The Hague armed with Power Point presentations about the magic of photosynthesis


When Will the U.S. Become Serious About Global Warming?

by Bill McKibben Instead of a straightforward plan to wean the world from coal and oil and gas, there was a Rube Goldberg machine that attempted to meet every national interest


Resume Talks Immediately, Groups Plead

by Danielle Knight After January, Europe could face the administration headed by Bush, who is almost certain to push for sinks and market-based mechanisms that environmentalists call "loopholes." "This was a critical window of opportunity," says Clapp. "To let it close was a monumental miscalculation." But with more time to negotiate, conservation groups remain optimistic that an agreement is still attainable


Climate Change Could Bankrupt World by 2065

The sixth largest insurance company has warned that damage to property due to global warming could bankrupt the world by 2065. "We've still not yet really begun to see the effects of climate change in the West. What we are seeing so far is largely the result of more people living in areas which are becoming more dangerous. But once this thing begins to happen, it will accelerate extremely rapidly, as the IPCC report makes clear"


Soviet-Style Show Trial Sends Warning to U.S.

by Eric Margolis The real purpose of the trial was to send a warning: the 'everything's for sale' era of Boris Yeltsin was over. The KGB's hard men, with President Vladimir Putin at their head, were shutting down Moscow's military-secrets mart


Philippines Transfixed by Impeachment Drama

by Marites Sison The impeachment trial of Philippine President Joseph Estrada opened December 7, with prosecutors insisting that he violated his oath of office "like clockwork," and defense lawyers arguing that the move to oust him subverted the will of the Filipino people


As Others Retreat, China Embraces Altered Crops

by Antoaneta Bezlova Faster than any other Asian country, China has committed to the research and commercial production of genetically modified or GM crops. The rush towards genetic crops is propelled by the need to ensure that food production keeps pace with population growth. Yet another lure for China, which sees itself as a scientific superpower, is to embrace the new technology while it is still in its relative infancy


Screensavers of the World, Unite!

by Louisa Dalton SETI@home gives anyone connected to the Internet an opportunity to hunt for signs of intelligent life in the universe by analyzing radio signals from outer space. Volunteers simply download the SETI@home screensaver and software. While they are away from their computers, the screensaver pops up and begins processing the radio signals. Meanwhile, the software automatically checks in at a central website to drop off results and pick up new assignments. But SETI@home is only the beginning


What Went Wrong for Ralph?

by Micah L. Sifry A full postmortem requires an honest look at the mistakes the Nader campaign made on its own, ranging from its late start, weak vice-presidential candidate and problems created by the Greens, as well as the stumbles of an inexperienced staff that didn't maximize the campaign's message. Finally, it's worth questioning whether Nader was too "left" or too "Green" a candidate to reach most voters -- a topic of great importance if he and the Greens are to prosper in the future


Bush Cousin Was Key Player in Election Night SNAFU

by Michael A. Niman In a classic case of pack journalism that college professors will no doubt cite for years to come, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN all followed Fox's lead during the next four minutes, calling the election for Bush. The telling part of this story is that the call was made by John Ellis, a freelance political advisor contracted by Fox News to head their election night "decision desk." Ellis is also first cousin to George W. Bush and Florida governor John Ellis "Jeb" Bush


Irreparable Harm to Supreme Court Credibility

by Arianna Huffington Bush's lawyers had tried to get Judge Nikki Clark to recuse herself from the Seminole Country absentee ballot trial on the grounds that she had once been passed over by Gov. Jeb Bush for an appellate court position and might be holding a grudge. Well, what about the possibility that Scalia, after being demonized by Gore and his surrogates, might be holding a grudge, too? Continuing the recount, he said on Saturday, would cause "irreparable harm." No, not irreparable harm to the nation, our democracy or our faith in our government, but irreparable harm to George W. Bush


Let's Look at the Bright Side

by Michael Moore Instead of brooding over the antics of our Supreme Court Jesters, I'd rather focus on what makes this country great. Such as all that hooey our 7th grade civics teacher told us about how ANYONE can become President of the United States. She was right! It's true! ANYONE just became president. Let this be a lesson to my younger readers -- listen to your teachers!


Gore Could Have Won with Puerto Rico

by Kelly Virella An August 29 court ruling had given Puerto Rico -- a U.S. territory with 2.4 million registered voters, 80 percent of whom would have supported Gore -- the right to vote in the upcoming Presidential election. But the Clinton-Gore Justice Department opposed the ruling, and appealed it to a higher court. The higher court overturned the lower court's ruling in mid-October, taking the vote away from Puerto Ricans again. That ultimately cost Gore eight electoral votes -- seven more than he needed to win the Presidency


Surprise -- Voting for President is not a Right

by Harold Meyerson Two contradictory lessons, then, are emerging from November's presidential election. One, in view of the excruciating closeness of the contest, is that every vote counts. The other, propounded by conservative jurists at play in the fields of 18th-century law and values, is that it's not even the case that any vote counts. Or at least, that there's no constitutional right to vote for president


Bogus Ex-Felon ID Blocked 1,000's of Fla. Voters

by Gregory Palast A 10-county review suggests a minimum 15 percent misidentification rate in the lists that disenfranchised Florida voters on the grounds that they had committed felonies in other states. That makes another 7,000 innocent people accused of crimes and stripped of their citizenship rights in the run-up to the presidential race. And not just any 7,000 people. Hillsborough (Tampa) county statisticians found that 54 percent of the names on the scrub list belonged to African-Americans, who voted 93 percent for Gore


How Florida Democrats Torpedoed Gore

by Jim Hightower Now it gets really ugly for the Gore campaign, for there are two other Florida constituencies that cost them more votes than Nader did. First, Democrats. Yes, Democrats! Nader only drew 24,000 Democrats to his cause, yet 308,000 Democrats voted for Bush. Hello. If Gore had taken even 1 percent of these Democrats from Bush, Nader's votes wouldn't have mattered. Second, liberals. Sheesh. Gore lost 191,000 self-described liberals to Bush, compared to less than 34,000 who voted for Nader


A Tale of Two Appointments

by David Corn In the opening pirouettes of Campaign 2004 -- yes, it is under way -- the Republicans wiped the Democrats by choosing Colin Powell as secretary of state, while the Democrats chose cash-man Terry McAuliffe as their party's chairman


Bipartisanship in DC? Fat Chance

by David Corn Bush, who will arrive in Washington a tarnished daddy's boy who triumphed in a tainted process, needs bipartisanship more than the citizenry does, particularly if his brand of bipartisanship means tax cuts for the well-to-do and handing Social Security to Wall Street


GOP Masters of the Big Orwellian Lie

by David Corn Would Orwell be shocked by how the Bush campaign, the Republicans, and the conservative movement were able to generate via repetition the storyline that Gore was trying to "steal" the election by "changing the rules" to allow for "inaccurate manual recounts?" The Bushies were practicing the Orwellian big-lie technique ("war is peace"), for each of the key elements of their script was demonstrably wrong


The Right-Wing Scandal Machine

by David Corn After a non-decisive Election Day, the Gore camp rolled out the lawyers, as did the Bush team; Delay mobilized two hundred or so Republican staffers and dispatched his khaki-clad footsoldiers to Miami. They swarmed the county office where a recount was under way, screamed and yell, and created a disruptive and tense atmosphere in which the local election canvassing board then decided to cease the recount. In a wonderful piece of investigative journalism, Washington Post columnist Al Kamen -- who pens a gossipy who's-doing-what-in-official-Washington feature -- printed a photo of the GOP mob in Miami and asked his readers to identify the angry demonstrators. Of the twelve protesters pictured, ten were present or recent House Republican aides. The guy leading the pack: Tom Pyle, a policy analyst for Delay


Clinton Signs $62 Billion Corporate Welfare Law

While the nation's attention was riveted on the presidential vote recount in Florida, on November 15th President Bill Clinton quietly signed a new law that means tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks for a select group of major corporations. The new law, "The FSC Repeal & Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act of 2000," offers an estimated $62 billion in tax relief over the next decade to Boeing Company, General Electric, Monsanto, RJR Nabisco and other companies that are major exporters -- and major campaign contributors


In Praise of the Florida Circus

by David Corn Chadgate brought out the real George W. Bush. Forget his promise to be a healer. Forgot all those warm-and-fuzzy photos of a kindly Bush with children-of-color. Forget the spin that he's a comfortable-within-his-skin fella who could take or leave the presidency. Here was a bitter, combative, paranoid, self-righteous, do-anything/say-anything pol


Africans Fear Bleak Future With Bush/Cheney

by Salih Booker Africa did not make his short list: the Middle East, Europe, the Far East, and the Americas. A Bush presidency portends a return to the blatantly anti-African policies of the Reagan-Bush years, characterized by a general disregard for black people and a perception of Africa as a social welfare case. Vice President Dick Cheney is widely expected to steer the younger Bush on most policy matters -- especially foreign affairs. Cheney's perspective on Africa in the 1980s was epitomized by his 1986 vote in favor of keeping Nelson Mandela in prison and his consistent opposition to sanctions against apartheid South Africa


Orangutan Trade Destroying Species

by Richel Dursin Orangutans are found solely on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. In 1993, there were about 25,000 of them in Indonesia. The rampant illegal trade in the animals is one of the major reasons for this. Indeed, some sellers even advertise openly in the papers. In Pramuka market in East Jakarta, meanwhile, baby orangutans are being sold from $212 to $319 each


Pro-Life Movement Targets UN

by Pam Squyres Several groups are becoming increasingly active in promoting their agenda -- a global version of traditional family values -- at the United Nations. UN conferences on women's issues have been the near-exclusive domain of progressives, but recent years have seen a surge of lobbying by religious conservative groups -- lobbying that could affect the UN's stance on issues from contraception to sex education to gay rights


PETA Rolls Out Anti-Meat Chicken Ads

Chickens raised in factory farms spend their entire lives in dark, crowded conditions. Many are so cramped they cannot turn around or spread their wings. They briefly glimpse daylight on an equally cramped, hot ride to the slaughterhouse, where their throats are cut while fully conscious


Inuits Report Climate Change Impact

by Danielle Knight Residents tell of how they blame the shorter winters, longer summers and increase in water for the high number of insects in the area. "We now have sand flies here for the first time," says Kuptana. New species of birds, including robins and barn swallows, have also been spotted and bird behavior is changing, she says. Snow geese stay for a shorter time in the spring, while some small birds which traditionally migrated, now stay the entire winter


Japan's High Unemployment Sparks Fears

by Suvendrini Kakuchi The country's unemployment rate already reached a record high in September -- 4.7 percent, or 3.2 million people -- according to the Management and Coordination Agency. But labor experts say the real rate is much higher, reaching as much as 10 percent in this country of 130 million people. "Japan's unemployment figure is grossly understated because it reflects only the number of people who report they have no jobs"


Pioneer Satellite TV Network Transforming Arab World

by Virginia Quirke With the re-release of "The Exorcist" and the up-coming Halloween broadcast of "Possessed," a TV documentary about a purported exorcism in a mental hospital, and you've got a prescription for a sudden jump in the number reported demonic possessions


U.S. Anti-Drug Money Has Led to Colombia War Escalation

by Yadira Ferrer Plan Colombia, the military aid package largely backed by the United States, was supposed to launch new prospects for peace and development, but at year end, it has instead led to an escalation of the armed conflict, and the impact of the strategy has already begun to be felt by neighboring countries, say local analysts


U.S. Media Picks a President

by Randolph T. Holhut There may be a few people out there who still believe the press is dominated by liberals, but there can't possibly be that many. After seeing the coverage of the 2000 presidential election, no one can seriously make this claim again


The P.U.-litzer Prizes For 2000

by Norman Solomon In his popular syndicated column on pro football, Norman Chad (his real name) aimed an autumn barb at a favorite target, the owner of Washington's NFL team, which plays at the stadium renamed FedEx Field. "Redskins high-handed honcho Daniel M. Snyder quietly taking bids for naming rights to his children," Chad wrote. But when the column appeared in the Washington Post, "children" had been changed to "helicopter," and the quip was shortened to simply read: "Daniel M. Snyder quietly taking bids for naming rights to his helicopter." The Post's top sports editor defended the rewrite, asserting "We edit everybody"


Y2000 Environmental Setbacks Overshadow Victories

by Danielle Knight The breakdown in negotiations in The Hague, according to Alden Meyer, director of government relations at the Union of Concerned Scientists, "represents a tremendous failure by governments to respond to the growing public demand for action on global warming"


Neo-Nazism on the Rise

by Yojana Sharma The sheer size of the far right movement in Germany and the historical legacy of Nazism pose a particular challenge. In Germany, extreme-right leanings do not have the stigma they bear in many other countries. Far from being a fringe activity, racism, violence and neo-nationalism have become normal in some communities


Human Rights Scorned in Central America

by Nefer Munoz Central America earned low marks this year in the area of human rights, as impunity for perpetrators of abuses remained the norm in most of the region, poverty grew and social violence continued to plague the area's 35 million people


UN Chief Laments Disappointing Year

by Claude Robinson In a broad review of development strategies and human progress at the end of the first year of the new millennium, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan lamented the irony of a world characterized by unprecedented wealth alongside growing poverty and misery


Stormy Confrontation at World Bank Summit

by Ranjit Devraj The World Bank and its market-driven health policies were slammed by health activists and experts here, who say the Bank's cures are harming the developing countries they seek to help


Continued Urban Sprawl Threatens U.S. Coasts

Stated simply: people want to live and work in or near cities; and, because of better, faster transportation options today, people can continue to demand semi-rural residential locations while still maintaining a reasonable commute-time to work


U.S. Report to UN Admits Racism "Persistent"

by Jim Lobe "Overt discrimination is far less pervasive than it was 30 years ago, yet more subtle forms of discrimination against minority individuals and groups persist in American society," according to the 100-page report, which was prepared by an inter-agency group led by the State Department


Pinochet Regime Linked to Euro Arms + Drug Rackets

by Gustavo Gonzalez New book explains that DINA would set up ghost companies as fronts to finance international operatives, through which it did business with anti-Castro Cuban groups and neo-fascist Italians, among others. Leaders of those groups were in turn connected with other political-leaning organizations with mafia relations, such as Propaganda Due (P2) of Italy, which turned to dealing in narcotics and illegally moving weapons in order to finance their activities


Colombia's Land Mine Peril Risks Children

by Maria Isabel Garcia In Colombia, a nation of 40 million inhabitants, 3 million children are directly affected by the decades-long civil war. This year, 58 fell victim to anti-personnel mines, graphically known here as "leg-smashers." An estimated 100,000 of these weapons of war are buried throughout 10 percent of the country's 150 municipalities, with one exploding every 20 minutes on average, under the feet of some farm worker, often a child


Pinochet "Victory" May Hasten Future Trial

by Gustavo Gonzalez Chile's Supreme Court Dec. 20 threw out an arrest order for Augusto Pinochet based on a technicality, but gave the prosecution additional time to remedy the error, leaving open the possibility that the former dictator could eventually face criminal trial


Clinton Pardon Last Hope for Leonard Peltier

by Mark Bourrie The Innocence Project, a Canadian group that tries to expose wrongful convictions, organized a one-day inquiry into the Peltier case in Toronto in October. There, key extradition witness Myrtle Poor Bear recanted her testimony of two decades ago, admitting she lied when she told police she saw Peltier kill the FBI agents. The commissioner of an inquiry into the Peltier case has concluded that the Indian activist was extradited from Canada under false pretenses after Poor Bear falsified evidence


European Waters Threatened by Toxic Shipwrecks

by Tito Drago A sinking of a ship carrying toxic chemicals in the English Channel and the presence of a damaged nuclear submarine at the Rock of Gibraltar, in the north and south of Europe respectively, have triggered alarm among environmentalists, politicians and scientists


Barbara Bush, Iron Butterfly

by Joyce Marcel Anyone who has even cursorily studied a photograph of Barbara Bush knows where the character, strength, drive, power and backbone is in that family. Forget the nonsense about her being "grandmotherly." I look into that face and see a dangerous combination of anger and sheer determination


Maori People Split on Whaling

by Bob Burton A just-ended conference of whalers in New Zealand has sparked a vigorous debate among the Maori community over whether Native people should lend their support for increased commercial whaling. The conference had 150 delegates from more than a dozen countries, including Inuit from Greenland and Canada, Ainu from Japan, and representatives from Norway, Denmark and the Faroe Islands, as well a number of Maori communities


A Rare Victory for the Right to be Left Alone

by Steve Chapman If police can pull over a motorist who's done nothing wrong to check his car for drugs, why not stop drivers to check for evidence of other criminal offenses? There are all sorts of bad guys who might be apprehended for all sorts of crimes thanks to this useful tool. Dragnets could be a daily feature of our lives


When the Culprit Becomes the Advisor

by Lucy Komisar There is no little irony in United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointing Robert Rubin, a chairman of Citibank, to serve on an advisory panel that will propose how to help poor countries where over a billion people suffer abject poverty. He might have some interesting conversations with another panel member, David Bryer, director of Oxfam. Oxfam recently condemned practices of banks such as Citibank as a major part of developing countries' problems


On 7th Anniversary, Zapatistas Near Victory

by Naomi Klein It's a mark of the Zapatistas' influence that the very first act by Mexico's new president was to order a partial withdrawal of troops from Chiapas. Vicente Fox also invited the Zapatistas to resume negotiations that broke down under his predecessor. Marcos told reporters he's ready to talk, but not until Mr. Fox completes the troop withdrawal and releases all political prisoners


Restoring Democracy Easier Said Than Done

by Steve Chapman Last month, Haiti held a presidential election, with Aristide allowed to run, and nobody came. The government says 60 percent of the people turned out, despite an opposition boycott, but the U.S. State Department says it may have been lower than 10 percent. In just six years, Aristide has not honored Haitians' faith in the ballot box: He's destroyed it. Not that it mattered to the preordained result of this election, which was an easy victory for him


Coming Soon to a Library Near You: Internet Censorship

by Steve Chapman If you were looking for a book for a school-age youngster and didn't have a good idea of what would be suitable, would you ask advice from (a) your local librarian, (b) the child's teacher, (c) a parent or (d) your U.S. senator? If you answered (d), then you're gonna love the Children's Internet Protection Act


Give Clinton His Due

by Molly Ivins The time has come to bid farewell to President William Jefferson Clinton. Been a lot of wasted time and wasted talent these eight years. The politics of personal destruction. A level of vituperation so intense and so stupid that it shut down the federal government twice. And through it all came the Unsinkable Clinton, ever bobbing up again cheerfully in a fashion that maddened his enemies


Year-End Surprises, Bad and Good

by Molly Ivins Just before it left town last week, Congress passed a little horror called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, brought to us courtesy of heavy lobbying by Wall Street banks and investment brokers


A Few Good Holiday Books

by Molly Ivins Be it resolved that we will be found from now until quite late on Christmas Eve solving all our Christmas shopping problems at the best one-stop shop in town, the bookstore -- preferably a local bookstore


New Texas Governor Has... Really Good Hair

by Molly Ivins As a matter of politeness and patriotism, all Texans are obliged fall in line and wish our new governor the best of luck, which I cordially do, and besides, I have been pointing out for years that he has good hair. Really, really good hair. But don't expect me to forget that he went to A&M to become a veterinarian and had to change his major when his grades weren't good enough. Besides, he's part of the Cheerleader Conspiracy running rampant in Republican circles. Otherwise, he's an amiable fellow


Forgive But Don't Forget

by Molly Ivins I not only think the Republicans stole this, I think they know they stole it. On the whole, I think it's better this way. For one thing, I think there are so many immature jerks in their party that they clearly had a hard time admitting it was just one helluva close election and the smart thing to do was count the votes carefully. Determined to be more self-righteous, more outraged than thou, no matter what. It seems to me an almost singular stigmata of their party, that weird inability to admit that their own stuff don't stink


Welcome to Local Control, Election-Style

by Molly Ivins My favorite moment came when the Florida Legislature, faced with a dicey political, legal and constitutional pickle, rolled up its sleeves and proceeded to make it all worse


Welcome to Local Control, Election-Style

by Molly Ivins My favorite moment came when the Florida Legislature, faced with a dicey political, legal and constitutional pickle, rolled up its sleeves and proceeded to make it all worse


Can We All Just Cool Down?

by Molly Ivins Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country. Wash off the war paint; ease up on the reins; choke your motor; don't get your bloomers in a knot here


Red-Faced and Screaming

by Molly Ivins Keep this up and we're going to have a whole country full of people who cannot discuss what is indeed a very close and exciting election without becoming all red in the face, the tendons in their necks popping out and their wattles shaking like a turkey gobbler's


Henry B. Gonzalez

by Molly Ivins As you look back on his career, what's astonishing is how principled, consistent and right he was. In his 37 years in Congress, he lived entirely on his salary and refused to take contributions from the special interests affected by the committees on which he served, including all his years as chairman of the Banking Committee. The man never sold out to anyone


Ashcroft Debate Will Define Senate -- and the Media

by Norman Solomon The Ashcroft nomination could turn out to be the defining issue of the presidential transition. Will Senate Democrats knuckle under or fight for minimal principles? How deeply will journalists probe beneath the new administration's rhetoric?


Bush Faces "Legitimacy Gap"

by Norman Solomon Is the next presidency going to be legitimate? This question now hovers over George W. Bush. Made possible by a bare majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, his triumph is lawful -- but many Americans see it as illegitimate. Bush can look forward to wielding enormous legal power. But his moral authority is another matter.


Apply Network News to Real Issues

by Norman Solomon The news coverage filling our screens is routinely the product of haste, with little exploration beyond the surface. Generally, the sizzle of the moment prevails -- which is understandable, since novelties tend to be more captivating than chronic situations. But over time, barraged with accounts of the atypical, our society can easily lose sight of what matters most


Hooray, No Pre-Inaugural Schlock

by Norman Solomon It's a hoary media ritual -- so deeply ingrained that journalists don't seem the least bit embarrassed when they use fawning terms like "romance," "put him up on a pedestal" and "roll out the red carpet" to describe their usual approach. As a matter of time-honored routine, from early November to Jan. 20, the president-elect basks in the mythic lights of intense media glory


Prime Time Coup

by Alexander Cockburn After all the sonorous sermons about "closure" and "finality," it is slowly dawning on people that this really was an amazingly corrupt election, far worse than the notorious shenanigans in Cook county wrought by JFK's men in 1960. I've already met three people here in Northern California who are eager to travel to an "anti-inaugural" in Washington D.C. to coincide with the swearing in of the beneficiary of the stolen election. The phrase "Republican coup d'etat" is not overly dramatic


Five Magnificent Causes

by Alexander Cockburn Thinking of sending an end-of-year contribution to a public interest outfit, perhaps one of the big green groups? Why not pass up the outfits with big staffs and excessive overhead in favor of less well known, but nonetheless lean and hardy battlers for the public good


No Closure on Disenfranchisement

by Alexander Cockburn Beyond the obsession about defiant punch card machines, obstacle course ballots, and pregnant or hanging chads, there are more serious issues that, in the miles of print written about the election in Florida, have received barely a mention: the systematic intimidation of poor people, blacks, Hispanics, immigrants and the disabled


The Benefits of Crisis

by Alexander Cockburn Each evening we are worn down by pundits calling gravely for "closure" or "finality," and by Larry King importuning Republicans and Democrats with anguished questions about whether they can "come together." Why should they? The whole point of the political campaigns just concluded was to indicate to the citizenry that there are national issues about which there is serious division. So why should we now be informed that these pretenses of grand divisions were essentially bogus and a national coalition government would be satisfactory? And why should we have had "closure" until the challenger exhausted every recourse, and until disappointed Florida voters explored every avenue for redress? Back at the time of Watergate, the pundits were the same way, timidly squeaking that probes into Nixon's election activities were "excessive." Barely had the scandal begun to unroll before the opinion formers were urging that we put it all behind us


Greens, Fears, and Dollars

by Alexander Cockburn Then came the Clinton/Gore era. Since the mainstream green groups had anointed Gore as nature's savior, and had become so politically intertwined with the Democrats, they had no way to disengage and adopt an independent critical posture when the inevitable sellouts began


What Seattle Wrought

by Alexander Cockburn One would have thought that Al Gore and his strategists might have scented danger as the L.A. police trampled green activists with horses and sprayed them with gas and rubber bullets. But they never woke up until it was too late, because they had been operating so long under the assumption that these green activists had nowhere but the Democratic Party to turn to, regardless of how far to the right that Party might have drifted. Now the Democrats gnash their teeth as they look at those 97,000 green votes in Florida that went to Nader


Russia Drops Restrictions on Foreign Nuclear Waste

by Sergei Blagov Before Dec. 21, Russian law allowed only countries with Russian-built nuclear power plants to send nuclear waste to Russia. However, Russia's Nuclear Power Ministry, Minatom, was long seeking foreign clients to reprocess spent nuclear fuel at its Chelyabinsk plant. The storage of spent nuclear fuel from other countries will allow Russia to earn $20 billion in the next 10 years



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