Ted Rall’s Latest Books:

“The Stringer”
graphic novel
by Ted Rall & Pablo G. Callejo
“Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party”
by Ted Rall
“Bernie (Revised 2020 Edition)”
by Ted Rall

Perhaps We Need More Uncertainty, Maybe

            “We know where they are,” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in March 2003 about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. “They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” We found nothing. Rumsfeld knew nothing. A year after the invasion, most voters believed the Bush Administration had lied America into war. At the core of that lie: certainty.             The 2002 run-up to war was marked by statements that characterized intelligence assessments as a slam dunk. “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us,” Vice President Dick Cheney said in August 2002. “These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence,” Secretary of State Colin Powell told the UN.             Rumsfeld knew that if he said that Saddam probably had…
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Corporate Journalists are Blind to a Big COVID Lesson

           One of my complaints about mainstream media is that they recruit reporters from inside the establishment—Ivy League colleges, expensive graduate journalism programs, rival outlets with similar hiring practices. Some staffs develop admirable levels of gender and racial diversity. But they all come from the same elite class. Rich kids believe in the system and they accept its basic assumptions.             On New Year’s Day a reporter (UPenn and Oxford, of course) published a solid piece for The Washington Post about an important issue, how America’s “fractured healthcare system” hurts our response to COVID-19. Seeking to answer the question of why the pandemic is still going on after the miraculously rapid development and distribution of vaccines, the Post identified organizational shortcomings as part of the problem, citing the need for “improvements on the delivery side.” She quoted an expert who called for “increasing staffing and funding for local health departments, many of which have been running on a shoestring. Officials…
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America’s Tortured Take on Political Violence

[Original post modified 1/9/22 to correct an error as noted below in the text]           In line with other surveys taken in the run-up to the anniversary of the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill riot, a new NPR/Ipsos poll finds that 32% of Republicans and 22% of Democrats say that political violence is sometimes justified. The media is going nuts—as usual. Fearful expressions that we might lose our democracy to an act of terrorism, coup attempt, assassination or another form of brute force have been a staple of official propaganda for years. A December 2021 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science notes: “Since 2016 we counted 2,863 mentions of political violence on news television, more than 630 news stories about political violence, and over 10 million Tweets on the topic of the January 6th riot alone.”             Politicians of all stripes constantly state that, as Trump commented after the 2017 Unite the Right march in…
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Student Loans: A Silent Scandal No More

            Student loans, long a non-issue that ruined countless lives, have finally become a political flashpoint in the conflict between progressive and moderate Democrats. Yielding to lefties’ pressure after Joe Manchin torpedoed Build Back Better, President Biden has extended Trump’s pandemic relief to 43 million federal borrowers by pausing payments another three months, to May 1. The issue isn’t going away. 62% of Democratic and 57% of Republican voters aged 18 to 29 told a Harvard Institute of Politics poll that student loan debt is a major problem—a problem they think about when they pay their bills every month. Left-leaning lawmakers want to go far beyond Biden’s stop-gap extension as well as his long-forgotten campaign promise to cancel $10,000 of debt per borrower. (The average ex-student owes $37,000 in federal loans.) Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and Ayanna Pressley propose to wipe out $50,000 each; Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez want to forgive all $1.7 trillion. A bill proposed by Republican…
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