FUBAR

Michael Moore’s latest scam

What’s the difference between art and propaganda? The artist wants to communicate and share and the propagandist wants to manipulate.

Michael Moore is a talented filmmaker, a great marketer, and a superb propagandist. Those skills have now been invested in his latest film venture about health care, “Sicko.”

Part of the shtick, of course, is the portrayal that he’s a man on a mission. A social crusader — a kind of Ralph Nader whose medium is film.

How many more Americans must die?

As President George W. Bush continues to claim success in his failed Iraq war, the death toll of Americans dying in that “success” continues to increase.

Eight Americans, along with a British soldier, died Saturday — bringing the four-day death toll for U.S. servicemen to 25 (including one death the Pentagon called a “non-battle” related casualty).

Yet with American military deaths rising at alarming rates, the Bush White House still preaches the fallacy that the “troop surge” in Iraq is working.

In fact, violence in that civil-war ravaged nation spirals out of control and American men and women die for nothing.

Many more Americans will die in Iraq

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday US forces face more tough fighting in Iraq and his top military adviser said the rising level of violence was the “wrong metric” for judging the surge.

The comments by Gates and General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came as the US military reported 14 US soldiers killed in three days of fighting in Iraq.

Our poor, underpaid federal judges

Recently, Chief Justice John Roberts devoted his entire annual report on the federal judiciary to complaining about how little federal judges are paid. (Trial court judges are paid $165,000 per year, while appellate court judges and Supreme Court justices subsist on annual salaries of $175,000 and $203,000, respectively).

Where’s the smoking gun?

Chairman John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee in justifying the subpoenaing of two former top White House aides said that this was not just a request but a “demand” by the American people, who are burning for answers about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys, who, it seems necessary to mention once again, serve at the pleasure of the president of the United States.

The ‘Generalization’ of Iraq

A surprising surge of optimism has just bubbled up from America’s famously circumspect and straight-talking top military man in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus. Next came a not-surprising rush to rebuke by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.

An overwhelming lack of common sense

A young man of 17 engages in a consensual Clintonesque sexual activity at a party with a 15-year-old girl and is put away for 10 years and must register as a pervert.

A Washington, D.C., administrative judge sues a cleaning establishment for $54 million for a missing pair of pants and actually gets his case heard.

A prosecutor and judge team up to throw the book at a former vice presidential aide in a blatant political show of force over something that occurs almost daily in this city.

Hard times for the NAACP

The recent announcement by the NAACP of a major retrenchment due to funding shortfalls received brief coverage and got scant attention.

But I think it is an important story that should get attention, because it is a story as much about the real challenges facing our country today as it is about the NAACP.

The NAACP announced that it will cut its national staff by 40 percent and that seven regional offices will be cut — at least temporarily. Several weeks before this the organization announced a delay of plans to move from Baltimore to fancy new headquarters in Washington.

Moore admits omissions from films

Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore admitted Saturday he left details of a discussion with then General Motors chairman Roger Smith out of the documentary that launched his controversial career but claimed he could not get an interview that he felt was central to the film.

The bombastic Moore shot back at "Manufacturing Dissent," a documentary that accuses Moore of dishonesty in claiming that he never talked to Smith in his 1989 film, "Roger and Me."

"Anyone who says that is a fucking liar," Moore said Saturday after a screening of "Sicko," his latest take on the Bush Administration and post-9/11 America.

Most of Baghdad beyond U.S. control

Security forces in Baghdad have full control in only 40 percent of the city five months into the pacification campaign, a top American general said Saturday as U.S. troops began an offensive against two al-Qaida strongholds on the capital’s southern outskirts.

The military, meanwhile, reported that paratroopers had found the ID cards of two missing U.S. soldiers at an al-Qaida safe house 75 miles north of where they were captured last month, but there was no sign of the men. The house contained computers, video equipment and weapons.