April 5, 2004

throwing nickels at the sunset to buy more time

* The Black Table writers (Tom Perrotta, James Frey, Dan Shanoff, Jonathan Ames, Whitney Pastorek, Amanda Stern and Tim Grierson) remember Kurt Cobain.

* John Dean claims the Bush Administration trumps "even the Nixon regime in secrecy, deception and political cynicism."

* The Nation on Bush's treatment of New York City. an excerpt:

"The Bush Administration has treated New York City like a battered wife who still gets displayed for photo-ops and state dinners. George Bush and the Republicans who control both houses of Congress have starved New York for three years with fiscal policies that alternate between abuse and neglect. But now Bush will stage his renomination convention in the city he has used and abused--sticking his finger in our eye and exploiting our bereavement. This August, Karl Rove, the kitschy guru of political theater, will try to convert the crematorium of Ground Zero into a re-election billboard.

"One of Bush's first TV ads of the season was another example of his exploitation of New York. It contained footage of New York firefighters carrying the remains of a dead co-worker on a gurney draped with an American flag. The image was an icon of the carnage. Scores of 9/11 widows and firefighters condemned the ad's poor taste and hypocrisy. As Jimmy Breslin wrote in Newsday, 'In his first campaign commercial, George Bush reached down and molested the dead.'

"There are many ways in which the Bush Administration has attempted to strangle New York. The most telling has to do with its treatment of the city after the September 11 attacks. But there are others that show the extent of Bush's contempt not just for New York but, by implication, all of urban America."

"It's not possible to know with certainty why Bush and his team have treated New York so unfairly, or what Bush says about us in private with the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Tom DeLay, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. The Bush team's economic, cultural, political and regional biases surely work against us. I suspect, but can't prove, that they want to punish us because so many New Yorkers are Democrats, union members, immigrants, blacks, Latinos, gays, war critics, civil libertarians, feminists, Jews, artists and bohemians. All I know is that we have been their policy piƱata.

"We do know what another modern Republican President really felt about New York--because it is preserved on tape. The darkest expression of right-wing nativism can be heard coming out of the mouth of Richard Nixon, on a Watergate tape recorded in 1972 and made public in December of 2003. Sounding like John Rocker on steroids, Nixon exclaims, 'God damn New York.' Then he whines that New York is filled with 'Jews, and Catholics, and blacks and Puerto Ricans.' He said there is 'a law of the jungle where some things don't survive. Maybe New York shouldn't survive. Maybe it should go through a cycle of destruction.'

"The irony is that even Richard Nixon--after he vented--treated New York more equitably in his policies and priorities than George Bush has."


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