[snip] Wanna hear “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” every time your phone rings? In the Philippines a recording of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo conspiring to fix an election was downloaded more than a million times as a cell-phone ringtone. According to netpulse.politicsonline.com, “Riot Tones” will soon offer would-be activists the ability to create similar ringtones.

[snip] The party of no ideas. Writing in Slate, Michael Kinsley observes that “Bush’s drug benefit comes without even a theory about how it will be paid for. Even after nearly three decades of Republican abracadabranomics, this may be a first.” Republicans at least defend every tax cut they propose “on the grounds that it will pay for itself by stimulating new economic activity. This is a theory based more on faith than on evidence, but at least it’s a theory.”

[snip] “If Stalin could see American agriculture today, he’d assume his forced collectivization had caught on,” writes George Pyle in Orion, reprinted at adbusters.org. For example, 95 percent of chickens consumed in the U.S. are grown by contract farmers: “Truckloads of baby chicks…pull up to [the farmer’s] built-to-corporate-specifications barn, the one he went [a] half-million dollars into debt to buy. Ninety days later, more trucks come to take the slaughter-weight broilers away for processing.” The processing firm owns the birds–as many as 90,000 of them in one barn–and it has myriad rules but no provision to pay the farmer more for improved care and healthier chickens.