Real Turkey. When George W. Bush made his swashbuckling Thanksgiving trip to Baghdad not all was as it seemed. The turkey the Prez brandished on the front page of papers cross-country wasn't a turkey at all, but a "decoration"--a prop provided by Bush's spin team.

Love, Franken-style. Al Franken says: "If you listen to a lot of conservatives, they'll tell you that the difference between them and us is that conservatives love America and liberals hate America. They don't get it. We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America the way a 4-year-old loves her mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding  what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world." (Via Utne.)

Dean slams Big Media. Despite receiving huge campaign contributions by Disney, Sony and Vivendi, Howard Dean says he'd "break up giant media enterprises."

Ohio nixes touchscreen voting. The state of Ohio will be using punch-card voting in the 2004 elections because of security flaws in its four brands of electronic voting machines.

Worry less. Rick Perlstein, on a taking-the-pulse tour of middle America, finds that Democrats and liberals have to worry a little less about beating Bush: now even staunch Republicans are getting skittish about the president. But Dems still need to capitalize on Bush's dismal record on war and the economy. Writes Perlstein: "Here's a riddle: What do shuttered factories manufacture? Democrats. Or at least they might, if the national Democratic Party had the balls to do what needs to be done."

Not that kind of terrorism. When authorities cracked a terrorist plot in Texas in March--discovering illegal weapons, a sodium cyanide bomb, fake IDs and chemicals like HCl--why didn't anyone report on it?

Trafficking in Torture. TalkLeft links to a new Amnesty International report, The Pain Merchants, that fingers the Bush adminstration for "violating the spirit of its own export policy by approving the sale of tools to countries known to use them to torture detainees." In addition to shipping some 10,000 leg irons to Riyahd, US companies last year exported $14.7 million and $4.4 million, respectively, in electro-shock weapons and restraints that can be used for torture.

Boycott Coke tomorrow. Eight years ago tomorrow, Isidro Gil, lead negotiator for a Colombian food and beverage workers’ union was shot dead at Coca-Cola's bottling plant. On the same day, Coke allegedly kidnapped Luis Adolfo Cardona and looted and burned the union hall to the ground. Seems like a fitting date for a Boycott Coca-Cola Day of Action.

No Big-Box X-mas. Do the bargain-basement prices at Wal-Mart redeem its abysmal labor practices (substandard wages, forcing unpaid overtime on its workers and refusing to provide affordable health insurance)? Tell Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. that, because of their labor record, you'll be taking your business elsewhere this holiday season.

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