Monday, March 21, 2005

Democarcy Now: Greg Palast, Protests against the invasion around the world, The Daily Holwer-Sommerby, Iddybud-Jude & Why Are We Back In Iraq?-Ron

Democracy Now! "always worth watching" (Marcia) is only more so today. Don't miss Greg Palast's report from the BBC which they rebroadcast. And thank God, some real protest coverage. (As opposed to the non-stop coverage of a certain issue in Florida.)

Headlines for March 21, 2005
- Bush Signs Emergency Law in Terri Schiavo Case
- GOP Memo Hailed Schiavo Case as "Great Political Issue"
- Anti-war Protests Take Place In Over 800 Cities & Towns
- Pentagon Formalizes Preemptive Strikes As Official Policy
- World Bank Workers Criticize Wolfowitz's Nomination
- Israel Expands West Bank Settlement by 3,500 Homes
- Wal-Mart Pays $11M For Using Undocumented Workers
- Mexico Criticizes Vigilante Groups Patrolling U.S. Border
- Hunger Strikers Call For Living Wage At Georgetown

U.S. Broadcast Exclusive: Secret U.S. Plans For Iraq's Oil Spark Political Fight Between Neocons and Big Oil
In an explosive new report, investigative journalist Greg Palast charges that President Bush was planning to invade Iraq before the September 11th attacks and was considering two very different plans about what to do with Iraq's oil. The plans reportedly sparked a political fight between neoconservatives and big oil companies. Greg Palast joins us in our firehouse studio and we air his exclusive report, "Secret U.S. Plans For Iraq's Oil" for the first time in this country. [includes rush transcript]

From New York to Fayetteville, London to Rome - Major Protests Mark Second Anniversary of Iraq Invasion
On Saturday, major protests were held around the country and the world to mark the second anniversary of the invasion in Iraq. From New York to Fayetteville, London to Rome, people took to the streets to demonstrate against the war. We bring you the words of some of the people who took to the streets. [includes rush transcript]

Thousands Protest in Fayetteville in Largest Army Base Demonstration Since Vietnam
A protest near Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina was the largest protest of any kind there since a 1970 protest against the Vietnam War. We hear some of the speeches from the rally. [includes rush transcript]

Bob Somerby and The Daily Howler. Ay-yi-yi-yi. How do you excerpt from so powerful an entry as today's? You can't and do it justice. He wonders why no one ever calls Matthews on his statements and since Natalie e-mailed asking that the below be quoted, we'll go with that. But there's so much more there and you'd be so much better off for reading it.

Here's our excerpt (via Natalie who chose well):

INSIDER VALUES: As Matthews' chat with Imus continued, the red-faced talker discussed his recent interview with Clint Eastwood, a session which took place on Eastwood's ranch. What are the actual values of your insider press? Matthews almost made it too obvious:

MATTHEWS (3/18/05): I liked that Clint Eastwood thing on Tuesday. I gotta tell you, that was the most fun I ever had in this business, going out to the Mission Ranch and spending some time with him. I mean, this guy is who he is is who he is [sic]. He’s the guy he plays--Clint Eastwood is the guy Clint Eastwood plays. He's a libertarian, a guy who lives on a ranch, a bit of a cowboy who has developed his entire life he wants to live. He's got his golf courses, his young wife--he's got erverything exactly the way he wants it. He lives like a Clint Eastwood character.

Actually--with no disrespect to Eastwood intended--many Eastwood characters, including the most recent, live in painful estrangement from female family members. Quite pointedly, there are no "young wives" around. But notice Matthews' notion of the good life. Eastwood has golf courses--and a young wife! Trust us--Matthews' values are not the ones that result in that dread "liberal bias."
As Marshall seemed to suggest, the establishment press has long expressed a noxious "right-leaning dinner-party" ethos. In Part 7, we’ll ask the obvious question--when will your cowering "liberal spokesmen" finally stand up and say so?

Jude of Iddybud has written an incredible entry on what's going on in Ohio today. It's entitled
"Your Vote: Worthless in the Eyes of MediaJudging from the lack of news media coverage, you probably haven't heard about today's House Committee hearing." This puts the entire thing into perspective (no relying on implications or allusions I did). Again, please read the entire thing. (Though judging by the e-mails a lot of members already have Maria gets credit for being the first one to e-mail on it.)

A House Administration Committee field hearing will be held today in Columbus, Ohio. You can access information about it online: "Committee to Continue Oversight on Election Reform with a Field Hearing in Ohio on Monday." The committee is chaired by Rep. Bob Ney, Republican of Ohio. I have my doubts about the progress that will be made by this committee, having already read Rep. Ney's comments about the 2004 election:
"Despite the formidable challenges faced by election administrators and notwithstanding the predictions of the skeptics, the 2004 election was a tremendous success and there is growing evidence that this was due in large part to the bipartisan Help America Vote Act. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of the demise of the American election system were greatly exaggerated and those who still continue to insist otherwise are not only wrong on the facts, but their baseless criticisms are a disservice to the thousands of state and local election workers who did a very good job.."
There are currently TWO (2) stories about the Congressional field hearing available on Google search.
It would appear, if you look at the media coverage, that no one cares about the integrity of our electoral process. Yet, I know that is not true. In an Annenberg poll taken on election eve, only 62% of voters felt that they could trust the integrity of the process. (*And voters committed to Bush were far more confident).
When - and why - did news-reporting about the fight for the right to vote leave the forefront? At Daily Kos, a diarist named 'Freedom' has said that all the problems we see in America and the world today will mean "NOTHING if, come next election, the people are not given the means to exercise their right to vote."

Jude took on the issue, BuzzFlash is noting it and Ron of Why Are We Back In Iraq? is also addressing it providing background on why Kenneth Blackwell was 'too busy' to testify last time. (No, Ron's not justifying Blackwell's thumbing his nose at the Congress and the people.) From his entry entitled "Did Anyone Hear About The Hearing In Ohio?"

Three hours from now, a hearing is scheduled to take place in Columbus, Ohio, and this time Katherine Harris...I mean...J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio Secretary of State, is supposedly going to be able to fit it into his busy schedule (I imagine he's busy making speeches to fundies to get funds for his Governor race, probably speeches against those homosexuals who want to marry...I don't imagine he figures on foraging for funds from the African Americans whose votes he wouldn't count last November).
Even though Rep. Bob Ney, the Chairman of the House Administration Committee, blasted Mr. Blackwell in February ( link) for not attending the last meeting held in Washington (Mr. Blackwell was in town - I believe - looking up an "old" friend of Dick Morris'), the fact that he's got an R next to his name probably means nothing is going to come out of the hearing. Well, nothing we'll like anyway. I'm sure they'll figure out a bunch more tricky ways to bring back the Jim Crow laws on election day and earn money for voting machine companies so that they can give more money to the Republican Party and ensure that democracy remains the law of the land (what land I'm not quite sure).

Natalie, who's following who's covering Ohio and who isn't, was the first to e-mail about Ron's post. Maria, Natalie, Eddie Paul, Rob, Kara, Maggie, Ben, Elaine, Martha, Keesha and Lloyd all e-mailed regarding Jude and Ron's posts as well as BuzzFlash noting the issue. If you've seen something somewhere else, please e-mail this site:

Sorry for the delay on this. And there's another delay because Rebecca's having trouble now (logging in so she can blog at her site) (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude.) So I'm going to take a moment or two to see if I can help her. (Thanks, as always to our UK members, the UK computer gurus, who save my butt more than once a week.)

[Note post corrected due to spacing in title "DemocracyNow" instead of "Democracy Now" and Marcia's name has been put in bold as it should have been to begin with.]