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November 17, 2006

Recommended reading

-The end of Clear Channel? [BW]

-Egypt held a chaotic referendum on whether to allow contested presidential elections. Pro-democracy groups, quite understandably, called the referendum a sham and urged Egyptians to boycott the vote. At this point there's no consensus about whether the boycott worked or not. Estimates of voter turnout range from 3%-5% to over 70% of eligible voters. The measure passed overwhelmingly, but the government is being accused of ballot box stuffing. What is known is that the police singled out female protesters for especially brutal reprisals during the vote. [BBC]

-Egypt's dictator Hosni Mubarak urged Vladimir Putin to seek a third term--even though the Russian constitution imposes a two-term limit. [RSpy]

-The president is determined to stay the course on climate change: "The president is very committed to the policy and strategy which he has set forth," [Under Secretary of State Paula] Dobriansky said. "At the same time the administration welcomes and looks forward to a continued dialogue with our Congress on this very important issue." The Bush administration rejects calls from Democratic senators to impose caps on CO2 emissions. [Reuters]

-A telemarketer agrees to plead guilty to helping Republicans jam phones during an election in New Hampshire. [AP]

-Some recent double-blind studies suggest that omga-3 fatty acid deficiency may impair brain function and increase the risk of aggression and mood disorders. [SMH]

-Another model dies of starvation on the eve of an international photo shoot. At the time of her death Ana Carolina Reston was 5'7" weighed 88 pounds. [WaPo]

-Canadian authorities arrest a suspected Russian spy and the government suspends his habeas rights with a so-called "security certificate." [CBC]

-Two more ex-Enron execs are sentenced to jail. [BW]

-How Wal-Mart's suppliers and other manufacturers in China hide their sweatshops. [BW]

-Defense contractors are terrified that the Democrats will kill Star Wars. [BW]


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I think there's a strong case to be made for Missile Defense from a liberal perspective. The problem is that the existing program is more about funneling money to well connected megacorporations and looking 'strong on defense' than it is about actually shooting down missiles.

Speaking of reading, after celebrating the >Republican meltdown I had to put politics out of my mind for a few days and just flake out. Read a good book, fly with the cranes. The Echo Maker -- the book for which Richard Powers won the National Book Award for fiction this week -- is one of the best books I've read this year. A few thoughts, and a lotta links:> Winged avatars of memory and return.

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