Free Downloads of Our 2009 Papers
December 18, 2009 (Vol. CCLIV, No. 6)
For thirty years, the Federal Communications Commission has granted the right to broadcast at 96.7 on the FM radio dial to a station now known as WQSO, “The Wave.”
For the first 29 of those years, so far as we know, this was a fairly harmless use of federal regulatory power. Then last spring, the owners of the station changed what is called its “format.” Where listeners had once heard innocuous “Oldies” music, they now heard “News/Talk.” News/Talk bears the same relationship to current events that professional wrestling does to the Olympics …
December 4, 2009 (Vol. CCLIV, No. 5)
We attempt to make the case that class warfare is the Schrödinger’s cat of American politics. Everyone is on one side or the other, but neither will admit it’s going on. If the winning side were to confess it is fighting, it would immediately begin to lose. If the losing side were to acknowledge that there is a war, it would either have to start fighting or quit complaining.
November 20, 2009 (Vol. CCLIV, No. 4)
The Obama Administration recently went before the U.S. Supreme Court and sided with two former Iowa prosecutors who argued that citizens have “no constitutional right not to be framed.” At times like these, the impossibility of communicating with the dead seems especially cruel. We would give almost anything to hear Patrick Henry’s response to this assertion.
November 6, 2009 (Vol. CCLIV, No. 3)
With the Afghan election over, we go back a little way to try and discern exactly what it is we’re doing in Afghanistan. Apparently we overshot the mark a little bit — we found ourselves back in Vietnam.
October 23, 2009 (Vol. CCLIV, No. 2)
General McChrystal wants President Obama to give him a whole lot more troops in Afghanistan. We try to figure out what in the world he might do with them.
In the News Briefs, we note with dismay that our Senior Senator appears to be taking the side of rape-enabling corporations. Why are we not surprised?
October 9, 2009 (Vol. CCLIV, No. 1)
From the Fortnightly Rant: “Just when it began to seem that the Democratic role in the health care debate was to be modeled after Rocky Balboa’s punching bag, something new appeared in Congress: a Democrat with a pulse. Someone ought to get ahold of Barack Obama’s personal physician and find out if the President and Grayson share the same blood type. A transfusion seems to be in order.”
September 25, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 26)
In this issue’s Rant we attempt to make sense of the Senate’s approach to the reform of our national health care mess.
Not having the ready access to the central figures in the debate, we struggle to explain why the Finance Committee, rather than the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, has jurisdiction. From there it only gets more disheartening.
Heading our News Briefs is an encouraging look at corporate personhood, and our newest Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
September 11, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 25)
We attempt to report on Dick “Dick” Cheney’s latest lack-of-charm offensive. It’s a challenge, since the EPA no longer allows us to print using pure vitriol on asbestos-based paper. But we did what we could.
Once again, we find our brethren in the media coming up a bit short in the fact-checking department. One paper, The Wall Street Journal, draws particular attention to trying to out-Onion the Onion. We hope.
August 28, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 24)
Six out of seven Americans polled in June said the American health care system needed to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt. The function of Congress is to carry out the will of the people. Health care, ahoy, right? Not exactly. That would be disrespectful to the shareholders of the profit-making health insurers, their lobbyists, the GOP, and the media.
August 14, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 23)
President Obama came to town, and Linda Boettcher, a teacher at Portsmouth High School for 37 years, asked him the most pertinent question heard all summer: “if every American who needed it [had] access to good mental health care, what do you think the impact would be on our society?” For one thing, the summer would have sounded a lot different.
July 31, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 22)
So the big financial houses have put millions out of work, destroyed half savings of the middle class, and generally wrecked the economy. Is that any reason to punish them? Is that any reason not to let them continue to run the show?
July 17, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 21)
The late Robert Strange McNamara labored for decades to exculpate himself from blame for Vietnam by claiming that it was all a tragic mistake. We summarize the import of Gareth Porter’s reporting, which indicates that McNamara “deliberately suppressed” doubts expressed by Admiral U.S. Grant Sharp, Jr. on the initial reports of the Tonkin Gulf incident.
July 3, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 20)
Governor Mark Sanford’s mea culpa performance might have struck some as a too-easy topic for a Fortnightly Rant, but we felt a moral obligation to tackle it.
June 19, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 19)
To prepare to write the Fortnightly Rant for this issue, we had to steel ourselves and take a good look at the fight over health care reform. Sure enough, it made us sick.
June 5, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 18)
He’s out of office, but he won’t shut up — in this issue’s Rant we ponder whether Richard “Still Dick” Cheney is the worst Vice President in U.S. History. Rather surprisingly, we find he is not. Also, in our News Briefs, we take note of a recent hyper-patriotic Memorial Day event.
May 22, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 17)
In the Rant, we try to figure out how so many chickenhawks can get so cranked up about Nancy Pelosi telling what’s probably the truth, but not seem to give a damn about the revelation that the U.S government was torturing people to create out of whole cloth an excuse to invade Iraq.
May 8, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 16)
In the Rant: the Justice Department seems to be passing the buck for prosecuting Bush administration officials to the bar associations of the relevant states. If the bar associations decline to prosecute, then maybe it’s up to the municipalities where the parties reside, their Neighborhood Watch associations, Kiwanis, Rotary, &c. Also: our report on the Save Our Bridges Rally, &c.
April 24, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 15)
In a slightly less long-winded Rant than usual, we take a look at the Laurel & Hardy of Congress, John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA). We took up the remainder of the front page with an alert for the April 28 Rally for Memorial Bridge, and to print a few dozen messages from the Market Square Tea Bagger Rally. Inside: our best effort to convey the thoughts of Kevin Phillips, who spoke in Portsmouth on April 14 on the causes and effects of the collapse of the American financial racket.
April 10, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 14)
Although it pains us to acknowledge the fact, our newspaper and Fox News share a birthday. On October 7, 1996, 240 years to the day after Daniel Fowle published the first issue of this paper, Roger Ailes’s Frankensteinian “news” network went “live.” Glenn Beck, Ailes’s vilest new demagogue, is using the network to tearfully promote Tea Parties. In this issue, we attempt to plumb the depths of this phenomenon. We also report on the latest developments in the effort to save the bridges between Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth.
March 27, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 13)
The Obama administration’s quiet de-funding of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump prompted us to write a Rant titled “Kicking the Nuclear Waste Cannister Down the Road.” It looks back at America’s fifty-year history of creating nuclear waste now while promising to do something responsible with it one of these days. It includes a brief summation of the long-forgotten (though not by us) Crystalline Repository Project, which could have put a high-level nuclear waste dump in southwestern New Hampshire. As if that weren’t incendiary enough, we checked in with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and learned that, sure enough, the loss of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, between Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, could jeopardize the future of one of the region’s biggest employers. Not to mention our national security.
March 13, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 12)
Local entrepreneur Marshall Malone angles for some free publicity by donating tea to one of several Santelli-inspired astroturf “tea parties.” He succeeds. Whether it does him any good or not is another question. In News Briefs, we try to keep up with the latest from New Hampshire’s suddenly-entertaining senior Senator, Judd Gregg.
February 27, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 11)
In lieu of a Rant, we publish “Helicopters, Cover-Ups, and War Crimes,” a deeply disturbing piece by Jeffrey Klein and Paolo Pontoniere. They write that the outrageously expensive contract for 28 new Marine One helicopters appears to be “a payoff to the Italian government for supplying the forged documents showing Saddam had obtained weapons grade uranium from Niger. President Bush famously used this fraudulent yellowcake’ intelligence to justify launching the war.” In News Briefs, we continue to try to report rationally on the increasingly bizarre Judd Gregg situation. We also note a new challenge to the inhumane Feres Doctrine, which despite a judge’s ruling, appears as durable as ever. And we report on the results of Benjamin Porter’s Piscataqua River Bridge survey.
February 13, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 10)
In the Fortnightly Rant—A Stimulating Debate. The financial debacle of the past twenty-eight years notwithstanding, Congressional Republicans adhere to their faith and demand tax cuts. After all, the federal government is still taking in revenue! In News Briefs, we attempt to get inside Judd Gregg’s head—not a job for the squeamish!
January 30, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 9)
In the Fortnightly Rant—”Free At Last! Free At Last! Thank God Almighty, We Are Free At Last!” We cover the Inauguration we feared might not happen, noting that Obama’s address to the nation echoed, among other things, Stephen Colbert’s roast of #43 some time ago, as well as a rare appearance by one of our favorite Revolutionaries, Thomas Paine. In News Briefs, we note with appreciation Jill Lepore’s reference to our paper in her splendid New Yorker piece, “Back Issues,” which reviews Marcus Daniel’s book, Scandal & Civility.
January 16, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. Eight)
In the Fortnightly Rant—You May Go Now. Please. We anticipate the alluring prospect of the Bush administration’s taillights receding into the distance, and review his last press conference. In News Briefs, we consider the resurgence of piracy, a topic this paper has not had to cover for a couple of hundred years. We also analyze the latest reports from the Middle East from Joe the Ex-Plumber, and try to get inside the Pentagon’s thinking about issuing Purple Hearts to military personnel with PTSD.
January 2, 2009 (Vol. CCLIII, No. 7)
In the Fortnightly Rant—Enduring Bush’s Parthian Shots. We attempt a brief survey of some of the more egregious injuries the Bush administration is attempting to inflict on the nation during his final weeks. We’re forced to dredge up the CIA’s Post WW II “Operation Gladio,” as well as the Roman Emperor Crassus, in order to make any sense of it. To give credit, if that’s the word, where it’s due, we also compare and contrast the relative crookedness of Richard Nixon and Dick “Dick” Cheney.