Dick's directive: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, told NPR that Dick Cheney's office—and new chief aide David Addingtoon—was responsible for directives which led to U.S soldiers abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. "There was a visible audit trail from the Vice President's office through the Secretary of Defense, down to the commanders in the field," authorizing practices that led to the abuse of detainees.

Tax cuts at the expense of the rest of us: Writing that the time isn't right for tax cuts, the New York Times editorializes: "Tax-cut zealots are also misleading Americans when they imply that they are offsetting reductions in revenue by slashing government spending. These lawmakers have largely spared pork-barrel spending and are instead cutting deeply into programs that foster better health, more education and a stronger infrastructure. Those are precisely the things that are crucial for widespread economic vitality."

Debt: The US national debt is now $8,028,204,675,510.52. That's around $27,000 per citizen, or $61,000 per taxpayer.

Brand America and Bush's blunders: Cheney and Bush were both failed businessmen, writes Mark Engler, and despite government handouts to Halliburton, an investor who sunk $100,000 in the company before Dick Cheney became VP would only have $60,000 to show for it today. Same's true for the American economy: Bush and Cheney's policies in Iraq and elsewhere have sparked a "Corporate Quagmire": "If Bush is an oil president, he's not a Disney president, nor a Coca-Cola one. If Cheney is working diligently to help Halliburton rebound, the war he helped lead hasn't worked out nearly so well for Starbucks."

Driving a tank: Bush's approval rating has sunk to 39% and Cheney, who probably won't be running for president on these numbers, is seen favorably by only 19% of Americans.

Killer Coke: NYU will follow the lead of 19 other universities December 8 when it'll begin banning Coca-Cola from its campus. Gothamist writes that there's one way for the company to not get booted: they have to agree to an independent investigation of its Colombian bottling operations, site to alleged kidnappings, murders, and labor violations.

Rosa and responsibility: At Rosa Parks' funeral, Rev. Joseph Lowry urged us to honor her legacy by moving from ceremony to sacrament, from lip service to meaningful action. "Sacrament means that we must not tolerate homelessness and hunger in the midst of our community," he said. Meanwhile, in an America governed by "compassionate conservatives," hunger has risen by 43% in the last five years.

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