About Jay Bookman

Jay Bookman is a columnist and blogger at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues and state and local politics. He has won two national awards for outstanding editorial writing, the National Headliner Award and the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Award.
In addition, his work on environmental issues has been recognized with the Aldo Leopold Award, granted by the Wilderness Society, and the American Conservation Award, by the National Wildlife Federation. He is an eight-time winner of the Best of Cox Newspapers Awards for columns and editorials.
In 2008, he became the only two-time winner of the $75,000 Eugene Pulliam Fellowship for editorial writing, sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists. He is using the fellowship to study the role of media in modern information warfare.
Bookman is also the author of “Caught in the Current,” published by St. Martin’s Press, about the social impact of technology.
Bookman is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with degrees in history and journalism. He has lived in Atlanta since 1990, and previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Nevada and Massachusetts. He is married with two daughters.
His first book, “Caught in the Current,” was published by St. Martin’s Press in July, 2004.

43 comments Add your comment

Timothy Rife

March 16th, 2009
11:03 am

Mr. Bookman:

An article of yours inspired me to write a piece for my son’s blog. Normally, I would never suggest to a columnist that he read anything I’ve written, but the piece in question provides a solution for our current economic woes (last two pages) and I thought you might find it interesting. The piece may be found at rifestorch.com and it is titled “The Matrix: Greed, Power and Fear”.

If you decide to read it, I hope you enjoy it.

Tim Rife

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Thomas Land

April 3rd, 2009
9:34 am

Hey..Mr. Bookman, where is the editorial link here? Is it not possible to read and send editorials for consideration on line? Thanks for the help, Tom

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April 27th, 2009
9:08 am

I daresay Marxist Bookman & Tucker are two of the primary reasons the Marxist Atlanta-Obama-Journal has lost app 500K conservative white literate readers..Griffin. Ga.

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April 27th, 2009
9:15 am

I THOUGHT A NAME CHANGE FOR THE Left-leaning paper would be in order—from the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution…to the Atlanta-Michelle-Obama Journal….would fit the times. Since the paper is a propaganda organ for the Obama WHITE HOUSE.

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April 27th, 2009
9:24 am

J. BOOKMAN was attacking the BUSH White House in the year 2000, right after the US Supreme Court stoppped the silly reCount in Florida. Bookman has been attacking George W every day since..Bush bashing has been Bookman’s mantra.

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April 27th, 2009
10:13 am

. Mr. Bookman (grandson of Karl Marx) will soon be leaving the Atlanta-Obama-Journal to be a propaganda-speech writer for the OBAMA White House…I predict.

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May 7th, 2009
1:51 pm

Jay, Jay, your drinking toooo much Kool-Aid.. Here’s a plan for the terrorist bearing in mind the war on terror is now an overseas contingeny operation and a terrorist attack is a man made disaster, lets kill them before they kill us.. pretty simple, and hopefully the commisar in chief will quit apologising to the world that America is a bad place, releasing memo’s he shouldn’t have, I predict there will be a lot less captured enemy combatant’s in future operations…

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May 7th, 2009
2:01 pm

So…….Mr. B only agrees- quotes Southern Baptist when the S.B.C. agrees with M. left-wing ideology……Captured, English soldiers during the American Revolution were tortured–beatened for intel. DON’t tell me torture is against American ideals. General Sherman killed men, women & children in GA on his march to the Gulf.

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May 22nd, 2009
3:48 pm

You dumb-dumb righties should read David Brooks’(an intelligent conservative – yes there are some) op-ed piece on your boy Cheney and his latest efforts to mislead americans – it’s entitled: Cheney Lost To Bush http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/22/opinion/22brooks.html?_r=1

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Hilda Dortch

June 2nd, 2009
2:58 pm

Jay, as a reader of this paper for more years than I would like to mention, I am looking for help in finding the name of a person to whom I can express my disatisfaction about no service received by your OUTSOURCED CUSTOMER SERVICE (?? DEPT. (TO MANILA IN THE PHILLIPINES,???**&*^^(*%) . If my experience is the norm, then the paper is in serious trouble! ( e-mails say you will be answered in 24 hours , it has been days and no reply. I need a body, preferably an Atlanta body, can you refer me?

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et gentin

July 5th, 2009
8:55 pm

irrespective of ones politics – i know all atlantans are grateful for israel for keeping cynthia mckinney as long as they did.

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Billy Bob

July 24th, 2009
6:18 am

Georgians downstream of Atlanta have been observing the events of the past few days regarding Governor Perdue’s reaction to the ruling on the use of water from Lake Lanier. There is a good hunk of Georgia population that live south and downstream of the metro area and this big tank of water that stores the bulk of the water on the Chattahoochee. Now the future of the river is being relegated to a “chosen” few in a new shadow government for water. No mention of the Georgia folks downstream that use these waters being included in the process. Even more worrisome is that a representative of the great Southern Company- the single largest consumer of waters on the river has been given the keys to the car? Wow that’s scary policy coming out of Atlanta.

But maybe Perdue’s plan is to sacrifice all of us to the south in his response and planning?

Could there not be a beter way that’s more inclusive of all interests in the river system that is not “controlled” by those with a singular special interest?

Jay please share your thoughts on this.

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Aaron Borenstein

July 31st, 2009
8:00 am

The predictably liberal editorial board should of been enough to cancel the paper, but when the head of the sports page tells me to look stuff up on the internet because there is not enough room in the sports section, it was goodbye ajc.

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August 7th, 2009
10:36 am

Bookman, what is your work email address? I want to speak with you one on one.

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August 7th, 2009
2:48 pm


August 18th, 2009
9:16 am

Please keep writing editorials. Open discussion of anything involving politics, freedom, or any other over used buzzword that Patriots cling to is needed more than ever in this day and age.

We live in uncertain and dangerous times. People blame poverty, race, and freedom as the reasoning behind their hatred, violence, and disgust.

And then they decry anyone who speaks against their hatred as a communist or a liberal. I often wonder if they understand the meanings of those two words, or if they are simply echoing their favorite AM radio talk show hosts opinion.

Thank you

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ck hall

August 18th, 2009
10:57 am

I can see why some want to bring guns after recently seeing the ACORN thugs with pipes using intimidation to block certain voters at polling places!

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Harold Maass

August 18th, 2009
11:13 am

Hi Jay,

I just wanted to let you know that THEWEEK.com has featured your piece, “The barely veiled threat of violence sometimes not veiled at all” as Best Opinion in an article we wrote, titled “Obama, assault rifles, and threats” (http://www.theweek.com/article/index/99653/Obama_assault_rifles_and_threats).

We really enjoyed your take on the subject.

Thanks, and all the best,
Harold Maass
Online Editor

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Amelia Godfrey

August 26th, 2009
10:32 am

Jay, your bio has a typo. Just to let you know. Find it.

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Tonja Harrison

August 27th, 2009
2:41 pm

While reading about healthcare reform, I became more distressed about how disconnected people seem to be from their concept of government than about the reform of healthcare. I feel very comfortable with government. I admire and respect firement and policemen for their bravery and dedication to a sometimes cynical citizenry. They just keep at it anyway. I felt comfortable that, when I lived in another country the state department kept regularly in touch with its American citizens, making sure they were accounted for. When I see our amazine feats from NASA, I feel very connected to our government and lastly I sleep better at night knowing that our government, which we are a part of, is paying and administering the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. When it comes to problems that are huge and involve our whole country, the government has done a great job. I see no difference in these great feats and their potential ability to administer a healthcare system.

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September 3rd, 2009
3:19 pm

To PB&J: David Brooks is far from a conservative.

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September 18th, 2009
8:40 pm

I read the article “Gentlemen The Man is not suddenly black” and realized that you have not done your homework or you are deliberately lying. Barack Obama is most certainly a racist. Why have you not read his books. “Dreams of my Father” is spectacularly prejudice. Whitey is always depicted as slow and stupid while all the blacks in the book are brilliant. He outright talks about Whitey being the thing that is wrong with blacks. Here is a link to a video on utube and although some of the audio is missing you can read it from the screen. There is tons more of this stuff if you really want to do a good job. Glen Beck deserves an apology from you!


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September 30th, 2009
10:55 pm

Jay,I’m a “Native Atlantan”(1941– ).I Have been an avid reader/suscriber to the AJC for most
of the past thirtynine years.You could make the case that in terms of the AJC I am A very
well read person.I say that to say;with regard to your editorials,I agree with you about Ninenty-
nine percent.Also very high on my chart is guest columnist,Leonard Pitts.I only differ with slightly
on matters of Illegal Immigration.When it comes to editorial cartoons,Mike Luckovich is the man.
Thomas Sowell I believe is from another planet.In a rare moment of weakness,I once agreed with
Jim Wooten.You guy’s never bashed Bush,he did a great job of it all by his self.I have made several
scrapbooks from the AJC.I would love for you Mike to see them.

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October 2nd, 2009
6:01 pm

Thank you very much Mr. Bookman for your courageous and accurate article about the inadequacy of the sex offender laws. My mentally ill son was falsely accused by an 8 yr. old girl many years ago and due to the horrendous political/legal climate, he took an Alford plea and has been on the registry for years. He never had a traffic ticket before this. Two years ago the girl recanted. She gave a very strong deposition. Why did she do this? Well, she grew up in a family and neighborhood where lying is a way of life. Two older women gave her the idea because they did not like my son, thought he was wierd. Many mentally ill people present as “odd” or wierd. My son was like a lamb going to the wolves in that neighborhood. He was gentle and naive. This child was as street-wise as they come. She hated that my son was getting close with her older sister, a prostitute, who my son wanted to get off drugs, the street and marry. This child was very close to her older sister. She finally told the truth to an ex-homicide commander in Maryland, now head of a national, voice-testing company-Mike McQuillan. But my son is still on the registry. One paper, the gutsy Baltimore City Paper had the courage to tell the story.
There are more false allegations that people realize. And more men who are not dangerous at all who are on that registry. There has been a hysteria in this country and it is NOT protecting children any better, only ruining non dangerous men’s lives and their families.

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bobby stewart

October 2nd, 2009
9:22 pm

hey jay(i love any statist) bookman, if you don’t care for a free market, capitalistic, less government country then why don’t you just pack your pen/and or laptop and move to n.korea or better yet IRAN? I’M SURE THEY WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU! NOW GET!

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October 18th, 2009
5:45 am

Just to let you know that we have picked up your Saudi piece, comments and reference to the NYT in World Streets today. You can check it out at http://www.worldstreets.org. PS. And if you can’t arrange for residence in n.korea or IRAN, as per Bobby Stewart’s kind recommendation, get in touch and we can see what we can do to find a place for you in FRANCE. Eric Britton

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Gregory Tart

October 26th, 2009
8:12 pm

Most of the media tries to be honestly unbiased? I suppose thats why your sorry excuse for a newspaper had to apologize to its readers.

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November 3rd, 2009
4:36 pm

I read your opinion piece in the AJC today (Nov. 3, 2009) about School Vouchers and Eric Johson. I home school my daughters because we have no choice in this state. Many of my friends also homeschool. Most are agnostic or atheist and we home school because our kids have special needs that the schools will not or cannot address. One of my daughters has an IQ over 160. One school offered to put her in a room alone all day but refused to promote her even one grade for “social reasons”. My daughter is about 3-4 grades ahead of same age peers. The gifted teacher and the school psychologist at the next public school said there was nothing for her there either to send her to a private school. This is certainly out of our financial range. My daughter also has mild Aspergers and ADHD. Rather than provide us with a school for children with such needs the public schools waste the time of all students trying to accomadate students like my daughter. Or worse, they used her to help teach the other students! I know kids who have severe dyslexia, sensory disorders, autism, genius I.Q.s who need special schools, which there are many in this area, but their parents cannot afford the tuition. So they either home school them or send them to public schools who do not taech them. The teacher at one school told me she did not have the time to deal with my daughter. Great, so she learned nothing at taxpayer expense, disrupted the class which took away from the other kids education and was finally put into the copy machine room for hours a day alone. Her crime? She was bored, frustrated and wanted to learn something new. I wonder how many kids in Georgia would not be doped up if we had more school choice. I wonder how many more would actually finish high school had they attended schools that cater to their learning differences or special needs or even special talents and interests. I wonder why I paid into the system for so many years but cannot use that money to educate my children. I had to quit my job to teach my children so right there is less taxes being put into the pot and even less for us to spend. If the money followed the child from school to school it would improve our public schools. The schools would have to compete for those dollars. So everyone wins. The kids who need special schools get it. The public schools improve. The powerful school boards and teachers union wants to keep every dollar they can so naturally they are putting out false information to prevent vouchers. Please don’t say this whole idea is the Christian Fundamentalists. They have a lot of private schools right now but if we had vouchers even more secular schools would open to fill the need. As a Democrat I am appalled that my party wants all kids to be on the same level. There is no place for the child who is different right now. We need those places.

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December 3rd, 2009
9:48 am

Hi, Jay:

A friendly dare: I dare you do take on the Comcast/NBC Merger on the blog. You up for it?

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December 3rd, 2009
9:31 pm

I live in Dahlonega. We have a local paper called the Dahlonega Nugget. We’ve always wanted to have a newspaper that was the size of the AJC. Now we do. I wonder if those liberal idiots like Bookman, Tucker, et all, will ever realize that your paper is disintegrating because of it’s liberal content. When you finally cease to exist it will be a most pleasant day for Georgia. I’m glad for one, as I quit reading its dribble a good number of years ago.

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Ben nthe Independent

December 11th, 2009
5:17 pm

Hi Jay: You are my favorite far left lib. A person may pick a subject and I can tell them your position on the subject. Certainly CHRISTmas is a subject about which you would be very predictable. I understand your working in Washington and Massachusetts but how on earth did you chose Georgia. Georgia is a fastest growing state while Massachusetts pays college grads. to remain in the state).

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December 13th, 2009
3:31 pm

I hope you pratice fair & balance reporting. Atlanta is due for some snow & freezing weather before Christmas. Arctic air forcast to dip into the southeast DEc 15-25. It’s going to be a white Christmas in Atlanta this year. When was the last time Atlanta had snow for Christmas?

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December 17th, 2009
8:30 pm

Mr. Bookman,
I recently ran across a lecture by a UCSD professor of history on the origin of the debate on global warming. She gave an wonderfully clear explanation for the political forces that have invented this popular and non-scientific debate.

Well worth your time.


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sam isaac edwards

December 24th, 2009
8:59 am


(please see above link)

POSTED FROM KABUL…THE STORY OF WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO ALTRUISM WHEN THE ARMY IS INVOLVED (A Christmas backhand across the chops of the 600 military families of the 108th Armor Battilion HQ’d in Calhoun, GA)

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March 18th, 2010
1:04 pm

Hi Jay, new here -History is a very difficult subject at school.Therefore , most of us are very ignorant of historic facts.Concerning Israel´s history, things are very clear.And it is easy to prove.
When Islam was invented , (mohamed bought a Bible and read the Talmud,and he made up Islam out , inpired by OUR BOOKS) ..Jewish people had been living for centuries in these lands.There is no possiblity whatsoever that “palestinians” had lived there and even had ancestor who had lived there.The so-called”palestinians”(by the British Mandate) were just Arabs coming from neighboring countries.Ask the Arabs about their history prior to 1913.They don´t want to mention that, because if they do, they would be send quickly to the countries they had fled from.Get it?
A shame you don´t show your e-mail address. I have a document written by a Prof. whose parents were living there at that time.It compiles both statements,Arabs and Jeewish -.Famous writers who visited the land in those days.Censuces with graphics and maps .Everything made by neutral people.
Therefore , this alleged “palestinians” really don´t know they are just invaders in Jewish lands.
Mohamed was very careful while studying the Bible of taking note of the Jewish Kings and tribus.So that he chosed one to claim the Arabs intitlement to land.Lies are short-legged .
Gazans are 1,500,000 people with no destiny , no education , no justice , no freedom ,just because their leaders need them to keep their billonaire business going ( The U.S., U.N., NGOs , HRW, etc) give them per year. Out of doing nothing .Just training their children to hate and kill. They have ruined several of Arab kids that at this point , won´t have any decent normal life, no future.
When the world hits the roof on the mainstream media (sponsored by arab-oil-money)it is just to keep their salaries coming in .Mind you , to avoid being killed as well . The truth won´t be uncovered because of fear.
And because of racism and envy .Israel is a jewell in the middle of the desert.They want to kill the Jews but they would love to own Israel as it stands today.
Well, it was not mades as if by magic.But through long years of hard work, sweat and tears . Mostly made by de power of their BRAINS (envy)-
Then Palestinians do not exist as such.It is not a country.It is a geaographical name. As if I say: Anctartica.No currency, no president , no laws , nothing.
Obama is a Muslim.And a communist , pseudo-intellectual , a fake. He cheated on the world with his alleged change.Here you are watching the change he promised. America is in rags.It´s no more the leading country.Because of the whims of a bunch of leftists.Be prepared for a great scandall , 54 actual Congressmen have links to Arabs sponsors.All democrats .
I beg you to write to me.I have plenty of things to open your beautiful eyes.

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March 31st, 2010
7:42 am

I live in an apartment complex in Norcross, Georgia. Norcross is just outside Atlanta. The complex has 460 unites – about 1,000 residents. Not one resident in the complex has received their 2010 Census form. The forms are due back on April 1st.

The Census has two primary functions.

One Function is Constitutional. That is to distribute political power. We are a representative democracy and accurate distribution of political power is a cornerstone of our Republic.

The second is statutory (written into law). That is to distribute federal funds.

Both are critical to Norcross and Gwinnett County.

This apartment community (The Conservatory) has been here for 25 years so it’s not as though they don’t know we are here. Long time residents recall receiving their 1990 and 2000 census forms.

Why have we not received our census 2010 forms? I can think of only two reasons:

1: Maybe Incompetence. Which would be remarkable since the Federal government is spending 14.7 billion on the census.

2: Maybe the administration is planning on using statistical sampling which was outlawed by the United States Supreme Court (for congressional apportionment) prior to the 2000 census.
Diana Davis of WSB-TV did a story on the problem. The Census Bureau representative would not do an on-camera interview but when he was asked by Diana what went wrong she was told “nothing had” He said “the residents can go online to find a help center.”
“Nothing had” gone wrong? Breathtaking!
Our government wants to take over our healthcare system. My God, they can’t even count!
I can just see a family asking “what went wrong?” after a loved one dies after a minor illness.
God help us.
PS. The Census Bureau online help center says you can’t fill out the form online. Plus, many residents don’t even have internet access.

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April 7th, 2010
4:04 pm

It’s obvious, that you were not born in the South. If you were you would know how deep and rich in History this region is and has been. The North ,since they won the invasion of our home land always feel that they can revise our history. Grow a back bone and go back to following Al Gore Jr. Around.

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Paul D

April 30th, 2010
11:52 am

Jay, you need to ask why those API (American Petroleum Institute) TV adds showing the spokesperson goin down and elevatior into the earth, or the one where the spokesperson shows one offshore rig managing up to 50 wellheads have suddenly disappeared from broadcasting?



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June 18th, 2010
2:04 pm

It is rare that I encounter an AJC article. Y’all must be getting better at this Internet stuff.

I used to have a subscription to the AJC before the Internet came along. It was such a hassle collecting and dumping the papers I was relieved I no longer needed the printed page.

What hasn’t changed is the leftist bent of the AJC.

Keep up the good work of getting indexed in Google and elsewhere. Perhaps the AJC will gain more interest on the Internet. You certainly are not in the league of other leftist websites like MSNBC. MSNBC is a destination website simply because certain sections (such as technology) have less leftist orientation. Buty, even MSNBC has become less important because of its leftist bent. CNBC is now my most visited website.

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Brad Spencer

July 17th, 2010
9:01 am

Hey, Jay, Karl Rove is at it again. He has written in the Wall Street Journal that Democrats falsely attacked the integrity of Bush & Cheney when they said the two of them lied.

So here I am, once again, reminding you that the CIA/DIA White Paper on the trailers was a deliberate lie and was used by both Bush and Cheney to falsely “prove” that there were WMD (or at least active WMD programs) in Iraq at the time of the invasion.

You’ve read of the so-called “MacGyver bomb”? Based on Drano? Drano is a mix of dry lye and dry aluminum. Add water and you get hydrogen and heat.

The Iraqis told the US the trailers were used to make hydrogen. The White Paper reported that aluminum and lye (called “caustic” in the White Paper) Gee, why the less explicit term?) were found on the trailers. The White Paper reported no evidence of any kind that proved illicit WMD manufacture, yet it (amazingly!) concluded the trailers were for WMD manufacture. Sure looks like somebody (hmmm – who was visiting the CIA frequently back then?) persuaded the CIA to issue that White Paper and that as soon as it came out both Bush and Cheney trumpeted its “findings.” (The White Paper claims to be a CIA/DIA document but the DIA pulled out right away.)

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Brad Spencer

July 17th, 2010
9:41 am

Ah. Looking over the web I found something I wrote years ago. I suggested that Tenet’s then-upcoming book, if it talked about the trailers, would be highly significant. What happened was that the book was delayed – so that Tenet could remove what he said about the trailers.

Also, it is easy to find reputable stories from when Bush was in office that clearly show how Bush and Cheney were deceptive. Rove is trying to rewrite history. (Hope you were sitting down as this must have been a big shock to you. Ha ha ha.)

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Richard Logan

September 6th, 2010
10:11 am

I have to say that your opinions more closely resemble mine and the voice of common sense than any commentator I have read in quite a while. Please do not be discouraged by the thoughtless, insidious, name-calling comments of reactionaries that haven’t had an original thought in their lives! I am often disouraged by just how ignorant a large segment of the Amercan public can be. Thanks for your wisdom!

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phil c

September 17th, 2010
7:41 am

re: Nathaniel Deal: Is it too early to start printing “Vote for the Crook” bumper stickers yet?

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