Thursday, October 13, 2005

Democracy Now: Emira Woods, Yousri Fouda; Tom Hayden, Matthew Rothschild, Christine (Pop Politics), Ron (Why Are We Back In Iraq?) ...

SEC Subpoenas Frist’s Financial Records
The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist to hand over personal financial records related to his recent sale of stock in his family’s company HCA, the Hospital Corporation of America. The SEC is investigating whether Frist violated insider trader laws when he sold off HCA stock shortly before the company’s stock value fell. HCA is the largest private hospital corporation in the country.

Police Fire Water Cannons At Filipino Protesters
In the Philippines, dozens of students were injured after anti-riot police fired waters cannons in an attempt to stop a protest on Wednesday. At the rally outside the presidential palace in Manila, students were demanding President Gloria Arroyo resign. Last month Arroyo ordered police to break up all unpermitted rallies. Arroyo has also issued a gag order on any official who is called to appear before legislative investigations organized by opposition lawmakers. Opposition leaders are now openly comparing Arroyo to Ferdinand Marcos, the country’s former dictator. Opposition Congressman Teodoro Casino said "At least during the Marcos period, you knew what to expect. You were up against a fascist dictatorship, you knew that under a dictatorship, your rights were really being violated openly. This time, they have this veneer of legality, of the rule of law. Casino went on to say “They keep on saying the rule of law, when in fact they are violating it."


Nobel Peace Prize Nominated Prisoner Set to Die
In California, officials have scheduled Stan Tookie Williams to be executed on December 13, two months from today. On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Williams’ final appeal. Williams helped found the Crips gang in Los Angeles and was sentenced to death in 1981 for the killing of a convenience store worker. But he has since been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work at San Quentin State Prison where he was worked to curtail youth gang violence. Last year a documentary titled "Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story" aired on television. Jamie Foxx played Williams.


The above items are from Democracy Now!'s Headlines today and were selected by Brady, Carl and KeShawnDemocracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):


 Headlines for October 13, 2005

- Bush Cites Religion As Factor in Miers’ Nomination
- SEC Subpoenas Frist’s Financial Records
- Report: White House Ignored CIA’s Iraq Warnings
- Dozens Killed in Chechen Rebel Raid in Russia
- Police Fire Water Cannons At Filipino Protesters
- Nobel Peace Prize Nominated Prisoner Set to Die
- Dozens of Officers Go On Trial in Genoa
- Haiti To Delay Elections
Liberia’s First Election Since the Civil War: High Turnout and High Hopes

Liberia holds its first elections since the end of the 14-year civil war two years ago, drawing 1.3 million voters. The first official results show former soccer player George Weah and former World Bank economist Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as the leading figures in the race. We speak with Liberian Emira Woods, of the Institute for Policy Studies, about voters' hopes for the country's future and challenges stemming from the past.
Top Al-Jazeera Reporter Yousri Fouda On the Media and His Interviews with Al Qaeda Leaders

Investigative reporter Yousri Fouda from Al-Jazeera, the Arabic satellite television station, talks about his interviews with the al Qaeda members behind 9/11 and the danger al-Jazeera correspondents risk in light of the U.S. bombings of networks stations, the killing of correspondents, and the jailing of al-Jazeera reporters. Fouda speaks about the international attitude towards the network as it grows.
Democrats Chant “Shame” in Congress After Bills Pass Benefiting Big Businesses

In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, legislation in the Senate and House has been criticized as beneficial to corporations while sidelining the victims of the disaster. Recently, House Republican leaders pushed through a bill to make it easier for oil companies to build new domestic refineries.
Susan e-mails to note Tom Hayden's "What Iraqis Really Think About The Occupation" (Common Dreams):

The lack of critical media coverage at the beginning of the Iraq War is widely acknowledged. But the media's failure to cover Iraqi voices of opposition is arguably a greater default.

The mainstream media convey the impression that there are two categories of Iraqis--the handful of fanatical jihadist terrorists and the majority who showed their yearning to be free during January's election. In this paradigm, our troops are seen as defending, even cultivating, a nascent democracy. Not surprisingly, a Fox News poll in February revealed that 53 percent of Americans believed the Iraqis wanted our troops to stay while only 35 percent thought the Iraqis wanted us to leave.

To a public fed this distorted narrative and nothing more, the actual facts may be too jarring to believe. There has been little or no coverage of these realities:

A majority of Iraqis in polls favor US military withdrawal and an end of the occupation. At the time of January's election, 69 percent of Shiites and 82 percent of Sunnis favored "near-term withdrawal." Surveys done for the Coalition Provisional Authority in June 2004 showed that a 55 percent majority "would feel safer if US troops left immediately."

A recent summary of numerous Iraqi surveys, by the independent Project on Defense Alternatives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, concluded that a majority of Iraqis "oppose the US presence in Iraq, and those who strongly oppose it greatly outnumber those who strongly support it." The PDA report went on to say that "the fact that [these surveys] have played little role in the public discourse on the Iraqi mission imperils US policy and contributes to the present impasse."

The only Iraqis who strongly support the US occupation are the Kurds, less than 20 percent of the population whose semi-autonomous status is protected by the United States, and who are represented disproportionately in the Iraqi regime. By backing the Kurds and southern Shiites, the United States is intervening in a sectarian civil war. The US-trained Iraqi security forces are dominated by Kurdish and Shiite militias.

In mid-September of this year, the eighteen-member National Sovereignty Committee in the US-sponsored Iraqi parliament issued a unanimous report calling for the end of occupation.


Marshall e-mails to note Matthew Rothschild's "Southwest Air Is Chilly" (McCarthyism Watch, The Progressive):

Lorrie Heasley, 32, of Woodland, Washington, was flying home from Los Angeles on October 4 on a Southwest Air jetliner.

The flight had a layover in Reno before proceeding to Portland, but Heasley was booted off before takeoff to Portland.

And it was all because of a shirt she was wearing.

It said, "Meet the F**kers," and it had pictures of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice on it.

"Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said the T-shirt became an issue after several passengers complained," the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

McInniss told the paper that it has a contract with the FAA allowing it to deny boarding to any customer whose clothing is "lewd, obscene, or patently offensive."

Heasley told the paper that no one from Southwest said anything about the shirt when she got on.


Martha e-mails to note Christine's "Are Movies Thinking Too Much" (Pop Politics):

"A truly provocative film," continues [Caryn] James, "would deal with the backlash against sexual harassment laws, the contemporary sense that political correctness has gone too far. The sitcom 'The Office' (both the British and American versions), with its troglodyte boss and a human resources department that stages seminars on appropriate behavior, says more about harassment today."

(While the may be true, feminist groups are banking on North Country and its well-known stars -- Charlize Theron is on the fall cover of Ms. -- to get viewers talking about sexual harassment. It will be interesting to see if conversations take place outside the same circles.)

What's the most hopeful sign that Hollywood is going for real depth? The number of films on the horizon that try to make sense of conditions in the Middle East.


And on the subject of movies, Ron has "F**k Mamet" (Why Are We Back In Iraq?) where he recasts Glengarry Glen Ross:


Susan Hu's Glengarry Glen Rove is currently playing at
the Booman Tribune.

The WHIG players:

Alan Alda as Andrew Card.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Karl Rove.

Meryl Streep as Karen Hughes.

Matt Damon as James R. Wilkinson.

Catherine Keener as Mary Matalin.

Al Pacino as Nicholas E. Calio.

Angela Bassett as Condoleezza Rice.


Note, there are photos with the entry of the Repubes and the dream cast.


Dona e-mails to note Norman Solomon's "The War on Terror -- In Translation" (FAIR):


When the Bush administration fires off a new round of speechifying about "the war on terror," the U.S. press rarely goes beyond the surface meanings of rhetoric provided by White House scriptwriters. But the president's big speech at the National Endowment for Democracy on Oct. 6 could have been annotated along these lines:

  • "We will not tire or rest until the war on terror is won."

    Translation: This is a war that can go on forever.

  • "And while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil but not insane."

    As president, I am the world's authority on evilness and insanity.

  • "These extremists want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace and stand in the way of their ambitions."

    Those who stand in the way of our ambitions are extremists.

  • "They hit us and expect us to run. They want us to repeat the sad history of Beirut in 1983 and Mogadishu in 1993, only this time on a larger scale with greater consequences."

    Clinton and even Reagan were wimps compared to me.
    Just last week, we were wondering where Vicky ToeJam was.  Had a spray cleared her up?
    No.  Bill Scher notice the fungus is still among us in "Where's The Spin?" (Liberal Oasis) and she's jawing it up on Hardball but apparently she's in a baby-cried-the-day-the-circus-came-to-town mode.  Scher asks, "Where is the spin?" and answers:

    Trick question: there isn't any.

    There are no current signs of a coordinated spin effort to discredit Fitzgerald or defame the Wilsons.

    Ken Mehlman isn't doing anything to counter the rumors and defend Rove and top Cheney aide Scooter Libby. Conservative pundits aren't hammering Joe Wilson.

    Toensing is out there by her lonesome. Which is a great way to sound like a raving lunatic.

    Reminder, Elaine will not be posting on Thursdays through December due to group. 
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