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Notes and observations on the press, politics, culture, technology, and more. To sign up for e-mail delivery, click here. To send an e-mail to Dan Kennedy, click here. For bio, published work, and links to other blogs, visit For information on Dan Kennedy's book, Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter's Eyes (Rodale, October 2003), click here.

Monday, August 16, 2004

JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE PARANOID DOESN'T MEAN THEY'RE NOT OUT TO GET YOU. A truly chilling story on the front of today's New York Times. Eric Lichtblau reports that the FBI has been visiting dissidents across the country - and in some cases even issuing subpoenas - in an attempt to stop illegal activity before it starts at the Republican National Convention.

And that's the best interpretation of it. The tactics really seem aimed at scaring would-be protesters into staying away from New York.

But don't worry. It's all legal! The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel says so. Lichtblau explains:

In an internal complaint, an F.B.I. employee charged that the bulletins improperly blurred the line between lawfully protected speech and illegal activity. But the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, in a five-page internal analysis obtained by The New York Times, disagreed.

The office, which also made headlines in June in an opinion - since disavowed - that authorized the use of torture against terrorism suspects in some circumstances, said any First Amendment impact posed by the F.B.I.'s monitoring of the political protests was negligible and constitutional.

By the way, here is the "Denver antiwar group" that Lichtblau refers to near the top of his article - the American Friends Service Committee. According to the Times, 21-year-old intern Sarah Bardwell was visited by six agents. John Ashcroft knows that you just can't be too careful with those Quakers.

BUSH, SLIDING. Josh Marshall notes that Washington Post columnist David Broder, the ultimate establishmentarian, has embraced the slowly emerging consensus that George W. Bush is heading toward a decisive loss this November.

But Yale economist Ray C. Fair - a John Kerry supporter - tells the New York Times Magazine that his econometric model shows Bush coasting with nearly 58 percent of the vote.

Media Log's prediction: the event or events that will determine the outcome have yet to occur.

posted at 9:09 AM | 4 comments | link


There is actually a fourth economic stimulant, unmentioned by Broder: A depressingly weak dollar.

It should also be noted that a major reason for the sad state of the labor market today is the legal and illegal mass immigration of low- and unskilled workers who have, unsurprisingly, lowered wages and crowded out native and established immigrants, while straining public services and the health care system. President Bush is the the most prominent proponent for said immigration and now he has to eat that crow, too.

I fear that Bush's four years as president will be remembered as reckless and wreckful.

By Anonymous, at 12:38 PM  

> Media Log's prediction: the event
> or events that will determine the outcome
> have yet to occur.

I agree with this. I hate the conspiracy theory feeling I get when I say it though.

Even though those electoral numbers look pretty good for Kerry right now, I would never count the Bush team out. They're just too devious.

By wigworthy, at 2:39 PM  

I don't think Bush will win with about 58 percent of the vote, but I am almost certain he will win his first elected term.

The Republicans got in through devious means, and they aren't going to give up the White House without a fight.

It's still WAY too early to write off Bush.

By Susan, at 4:03 PM  

Would someone please put my mind at rest:
Who is this quote from(origionally)...?
a) Sigmund Freud
b) Albert E=MC**2
c) Golda Mier
d) Henry Kisinger
e) _________________________ the true attribution.

By Anonymous, at 2:08 AM  

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Dan Kennedy is senior writer and media critic for the Boston Phoenix.

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