Friday, June 03, 2005

Democracy Now:Hisham Melhem, Jim Shultz, Augusto Boal; The Daily Howler; Matthew Rothschild

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "always worth watching")
Headlines for June 3, 2005

- Mass Protests Continue in Bolivia
- Opposition Calls on Lebanon President to Quit
- Bush Names Cox to Head SEC
- ACLU to Get More Prisoner Abuse Docs
- Amnesty Defends ‘Gulag’ Label
- Court Rules Seattle Had Right to Limit Protest at WTO in 1999
- Emmett Till’s Body Exhumed
Top Journalist Killed in Lebanon, Opposition Calls For President to Quit

It is being called the highest profile assassination in Lebanon since the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Journalist Samir Qasir died after his car exploded. Now, calls are increasing for the country's president to step down. We'll speak for a colleague of Qasir's, Hisham Melhem, correspondent for an Nahar newspaper. [includes rush transcript]
Indigenous Uprising: The Rebellion Grows in Bolivia

Rebellion is in the air in Latin America's poorest country, Bolivia. For weeks, indigenous-led protests have rocked the country and have brought the government to a near shutdown. The protests began as demonstrations calling for nationalization of the country's natural gas resources but that was just the spark for a much bigger war; a war over the rights of the country's majority indigenous population. We go to Cochabamba for a report from human rights activist Jim Shultz of the Democracy Center. [includes rush transcript]
Famed Brazilian Artist Augusto Boal on the "Theater of the Oppressed"

We are joined in our studio by one of Latin America's most famed dissident artists, Brazilian Augusto Boal. He reflects back on his life in exile and his use of theater as a tool of resistance. [includes rush transcript - partial]
At The Daily Howler, Bob Somerby's running down a number of issues including his continued discussion of "fiery liberals."  He promises a Saturday Howler on Okrent, so look for that.  Here's an excerpt from today's Howler:

But then, O'Donnell is typical of the high class which now runs the press corps in Washington. By the fall of 1998, they were in head-long pursuit of Vile Clinton, as Sally Quinn incomparably described in a lengthy report in the Post. Quinn's report returned to the news this week because of John Harris’ new book about Clinton; indeed, Atrios reprinted her full 11/2/98 piece (to read it, just click here.) For ourselves, we'll strongly disagree with those who trash Quinn for writing this seminal report; in our view, this was one of the most important journalist works of the 1990s. With perfect accuracy, in full detail, Quinn reported the outrage of the foppish elite which powders its nose at high Washington parties. But early on, she made it clear--these people weren’t like thee and thine:

QUINN (11/2/98): With some exceptions, the Washington Establishment is outraged by the president's behavior in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The polls show that a majority of Americans do not share that outrage. Around the nation, people are disgusted but want to move on; in Washington, despite Clinton's gains with the budget and the Mideast peace talks, people want some formal acknowledgment that the president's behavior has been unacceptable. They want this, they say, not just for the sake of the community, but for the sake of the country and the presidency as well.

In addition to the polls and surveys, this disconnect between the Washington Establishment and the rest of the country is evident on TV and radio talk shows and in interviews and conversations with more than 100 Washingtonians for this article. The din about the scandal has subsided in the news as politicians and journalists fan out across the country before tomorrow's elections. But in Washington, interest remains high. The reasons are varied, and they intertwine.

At THE HOWLER, we say it loud and proud: Thank God for Quinn's essential piece, a brilliant portrait of the age! In great detail, Quinn recorded the way the Washington High Foppist Class had its knickers knotted over Clinton. As of late 1998, were opinion leaders of the Washington press corps actually driven by that famed "liberal bias?" Only a fool could sustain the claim after reading this detailed report. Four months later, by the way, Candidate Gore began to campaign--and this gang of Capitol Fops landed on him like a big ton of bricks, inventing a string of phony misstatements and mocking his make-up, his clothing, his demeanor and his manner, as a fiery "TV liberal" would still be doing some nineteen months after that. The Drums don't like to bring this up, and they clearly don't like to name High Names. But Quinn's report makes something quite clear--the Washington press corps’ opinion leaders are not a bunch of fiery liberals. Neither, of course, are most "TV liberals." Neither was simpering, dissembling O'Donnell on that fateful and memorable day.
Somerby's noted the 1998 piece by Quinn, and we'll note here that that Quinn's distaste
goes far back and there was never a honeymoon period for the Clintons.  I can remember during the inauguration festivities (Jan. 1993), a piece Sally Quinn contributed to Newsweek "advising" Hillary on how to conduct herself being the topic of intense discussions and debates.  The tone was dismissive and condescending from the start. 
Over at BuzzFlash, Thomas Hartmann's latest book review is up ("Independent Thinker" Book of the Month).  He's reviewing What Went Wrong In Ohio: The Conyers Report on the 2004 Presidential Election (Anita Miller, editor; Gore Vidal wrote the introduction and it's available as a BuzzFlash premium):
Two weeks before the presidential election of 2004, The Washington Post ran an article titled "Some Fear Ohio Will Be Florida." "Florida" has become shorthand for the illegal purging of tens of thousands of largely Democratic African American voters by Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris, and that state's Republican machine just before the election of 2000.

"We cannot forget what happened in Florida," the Post quoted Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), as saying about the stories in the news that were already emerging about massive Republican voter disenfranchisement efforts in Ohio. "And," Lewis added, "it will not happen here."

Lewis was wrong. It did happen in Ohio. George Bush Junior stole another election.

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee refused to participate in any sort of investigation of voting irregularities in Ohio, so the Committee's ranking Democrat, John Conyers, went to Ohio with 11 other Democratic members to convene a hearing and take testimony under oath. What he found was startling.

"We have found numerous serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election," the Committee wrote in their official report, "which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousands of voters and votes in Ohio, raise grave doubts about whether it can be said that the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner conforming to Ohio law, let alone Federal election commission and constitutional standards."

Two from Matthew Rothschild (sent in by Gina and Lloyd).  (Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive.)

Where is the Deep Throat of Today?

I don't care about Deep Throat.

Watergate is long ago, and Nixon is dead and gone.

What I care about are the high crimes and misdemeanors that our current President has been committing, and what I want to know is, where is the Deep Throat of today?

Who will come forward with the American equivalent of the Downing Street memo?

Who will point reporters in the direction of facts and documents that directly implicate Bush in this ongoing torture scandal?

The French and Dutch Say No to the Free Market

Don't misconstrue the no votes from the people of France and Holland.

They rejected the European constitution not because of the residues of primitive nationalism or the recrudescence of provincialism.

No, they've been among the leaders in the move beyond nationalism and toward European integration.

But it's the nature of that integration they soundly rejected.

And the defining characteristic of this integration is the worship of the free market.

For the last 13 years, the European Union has been governed by the Maastricht Treaty, which imposed a monetarist policy on every country and required crude cutbacks in the public sector. This led to "business failures, transfer of industries abroad, cutbacks in social services, reduced purchasing power, and mass unemployment," as Diana Johnstone has noted in an article posted on Counterpunch.


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