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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Is Anyone Still Listening?

A Castro Behind Every Bush

by ALAN FARAGO

People won’t get as many colds, is how White House spokesperson Dana Perino put it yesterday when asked about global warming and criticism that the Senate testimony of one of the nation’s top scientists, CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding, had been "eviscerated."

While Perino was giving blondes a bad name, elsewhere President Bush was attacking Castro, in "what aides called a defining speech for his U.S. position on post-Fidel Castro Cuba".

According to The Miami Herald, President Bush was applauded by Cuban Americans in the audience 20 times while invited foreign diplomats "mostly held their applause until the end."

Get the picture? Who is listening any more, except the people already in the echo chamber?

According to The Miami Herald, "Bush used the occasion to draw a line: There will be no concessions to Cuba’s communist government."

That’s a "defining speech"? It’s white noise for everyone else.

The invited diplomats were bored. Said one, "It was really nothing." As the world understands, it’s always been more about Florida than Cuba.

Back in Miami, one spokesperson of the Cuban American community that supports President Bush said: "I think the president’s speech could be a catalyst to open the door in Cuba for the people to lose their fear."

Wait. This is the president who helps people lose their fear? I don’t think so.

This is a president for whom the fear card is every other card in the deck.

Pray, next November, for a new arrangement.

In the meantime, there is an end-of-the-world exhaustion to this administration– no matter how many times it tries to plant the flag of democracy in Cuba.