Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Democracy Now: Murray Waas, Jennifer Harbury, Malcolm Suber, Sister Diana Ortiz; Afghan women, Salim Muwakkil ...

More Questions About Bill Frist's Sale of HCA Stock
Meanwhile Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's private financial dealings are back in the news. The Associated Press reports Frist earned tens of thousands of dollars from stock in HCA, the family-founded hospital chain largely controlled by his brother. Earlier this month the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating whether Frist engaged in insider trading by selling off stocks in HCA. The nonpartisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights estimates that Frist made between $2 million and $6 million by selling his HCA holdings just before stock values plummeted in the face of a bad earnings report.

Death Toll Passes 2,000 in Guatemala
In Guatemala, the death toll from mudslides caused by Hurricane Stan has passed 2,000 people. Rescuers called off their search yesterday for hundreds of people trapped for six days beneath solidifying mud. Agence France Presse reports 2,055 were killed in Guatemala alone. Forty-two others were killed in Mexico, 72 in El Salvador and 11 in Nicaragua. Guatemalan leaders have launched an appeal to the United Nations for over $21 million in aid. The Washington Post reports officials said about 107,000 people were living in shelters and the country would need about 22,000 tons of food over the next three months.

Report: 'Scooter' Libby Misled Prosecutors In CIA Leak Case
Speculation is growing in Washington that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby and President Bush's top advisor Karl Rove could soon be indicted by a federal prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Investigative Journalist Murray Waas is reporting in the National Journal that Libby failed to tell the grand jury about a discussion he had with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in June 2003 - weeks before Plame's name first appeared in the press. Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald only learned of the discussion after Miller announced last week that she had discovered a set of notes on the conversation. Fitzgerald, who has been investigating the case for nearly two years, has now asked Miller to testify again today before the grand jury. Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports Fitzgerald's pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent's name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy. The Journal reports at least part of the outcome likely hangs on the inner workings of what has been dubbed the White House Iraq Group which was set up to sell the Iraq war to the American public. Libby and Rove were instrumental in the group. Plame's name was leaked only after her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly revealed that the Bush administration had lied when it claimed Iraq was trying to purchase enriched uranium from the country of Niger in order to build nuclear weapons. Wilson has long accused the White House of outing his wife as an agent in an effort to smear him. We'll speak to Murray Waas in a few minutes.

The above three items are from Democracy Now!'s Headlines and were selected by Kyle, Juan and Samantha. Democracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):

Headlines for October 12, 2005

- Report: 'Scooter' Libby Misled Prosecutors In CIA Leak Case
- Pakistan Relief Efforts Impeded By Heavy Rainfall
- Iraqis Agree to Last-Minute Constitution Change
- Fighting Escalates in Afghanistan Ahead of Rice Visit
- Israeli Army Seeks OK to Use Palestinian Human Shields
- Liberia Holds Presidential and Parliamentary Elections
- Delay Legal Team Subpoenas Texas Prosecutor

Los Titulares de Hoy: Democracy Now!'s daily news summary translated into Spanish

Exclusive Interview: Murray Waas On How Dick Cheney's Top Aide 'Scooter' Libby Misled Federal Prosecutors in the CIA Leak Case

As speculation grows that Libby and Karl Rove could be indicted, we speak with Waas on his new expose that Libby never told prosecutors that in June 2003 he spoke with New York Times reporter Judith Miller about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of the Iraq war. Miller will testify once again today about their conversations. [includes rush transcript]

Community Activist Calls New Orleans Police Beating "Typical Behavior"

Three New Orleans police officers plead not guilty to assaulting African-American Robert Davis in the French Quarter, caught on videotape by journalists. We speak with longtime New Orleans activist Malcolm Suber who has led the struggle against police brutality in the city for more than 25 years.

Jennifer Harbury on Why Guatemalan Villagers Refuse Military Aid in Mudslide, Remembering Decades of Torture and Massacres

The death toll in Guatemala has mounted to 2,000 after mudslides buried whole villages caused by the torrential rains of Hurricane Stan. Although desperately in need of aid, villagers in Panabaj are refusing military assistance because of painful memories of a 1990 military massacre. We speak with human rights lawyer Jennifer Harbury about this haunting past, whose Mayan husband was killed by a Guatemalan officer on the CIA payroll.

Sister Dianna Ortiz Details Her Abduction and Torture by U.S.-Backed Guatemalan Military

Sister Dianna Ortiz speaks about her abduction and torture by security forces in Guatemala in 1989, when she worked as a missionary among indigenous peoples. She testifies for a mock trial of Bush administration officials for breaking laws on torture held during the “Call for Justice Weekend” in September. [includes rush transcript]

I've wasted half an hour trying to respond to today's Daily Howler. I'm deleting it all. I will note that "Jury duty" was the excuse on Tuesday for still not covering Louis Freeh's attack on Bill Clinton (which was news on Monday). I will note that Tuesday it was promised that Louis Freeh would be addressed today and he's not. Community members, what could make a Bob Somerby behave that way? Why the chance to attack women one more time. I'm not going to waste everyone's time. I will note that fact checker needs to fact check himself because The Nation is not a Democratic house organ. It is a liberal weekly, it makes no claim to be Democratic. I'll also note Katrina vanden Heuvel was right when Somerby wrote his trash KvH piece (which he links to again today) and time's only made her more right. Otherwise, I'm not wasting time. (Or more time.)

Susan has an idea for a new game. It's called, "Is this sexism, Laura?" (See this morning's entry.) Susan notes "Editor of Afghan Women's Rights Magazine Remains Jailed" (Feminist Wire Daily, Ms. Magazine):

The editor of an Afghan women's rights magazine has been jailed for ten days so far on charges of publishing articles criticizing execution and other severe punishments for adultery, thievery, and murder under Sharia (Islamic) law. Ali Mohaqiq Nasab, the male editor of Haqooq-i-zan, which means Women’s Rights, was reportedly arrested at the urging of Mohaiuddin Baluch, who serves as a religious advisor to President Hamid Karzai.

"This is of grave concern," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. "The United States is telling the world that the US is supporting women's rights and democracy in Afghanistan. Freedom of speech is fundamental to women's rights and democracy."

Feminist Majority is calling on women's rights supporters in the United States to email Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Under Secretary for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky to seek the immediate release of Ali Mohaqiq Nasab and to urge the global community to join them in their efforts.

Send an email urging Rice and Dobriansky to use their influence to seek the immediate release of Ali Mohaqiq Nasab

Susan wonders where the newly feminist Laura Bush is on this issue? (Like myself, Susan doesn't mistake Laura Bush for a feminist, she's being sarcastic.)

Liang e-mails to note that we're at 30 US military fatalities for the month of October (for those who haven't checked their calendars yet today it's the 12th of October).

Keesha e-mails to note Salim Muwakkil's "Accepting the Slurs" (In These Times):

How do black players on the NFL's Washington Redskins reconcile their team spirit with the racial slur that is their team's name?

The word "Redskins" derives from the genocidal practice of scalping Native Americans to earn a bounty. Certain parts of the country valued these bloody clumps of flesh and hair (red skins) as currency.

How could African-American athletes, who need only look to their own history to find similar demeaning slurs, tolerate such overt disrespect of another historically oppressed group?

This is a question not just for black ball players.Public acceptance of the Redskins mascot reveals America's race consciousness (or lack of it) better than any politician's speech hailing American democracy. What's more, how can we allow such a symbol of savagery to be the name of a sports team in America's capitol city?

These thoughts occurred to me as I pondered the recent decision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to implement a limited ban on Indian mascots. In May, the NCAA decided to prohibit the use of American Indian mascots and logos by sports teams during postseason NCAA tournaments.

Brad e-mails to note Marian Wright Edelman's "Kids Should be more than Fodder" (The Chicago Defender):

It is our responsibility and withing our power to make our nation see all our children as the sacred gifts they are of our Creator and not just as fodder for war or as a consumer market. We adults must regain our moral bearing and teach our children that the most important things in life are not things but love, justice respect, service and integrity. We must challenge the glorification of violence in our culture. And we also must challenge families, religious, cultural, media, corporate, and government leaders and citizens to make our children's health, safety, education, family and community life our overarching national purpose.
[. . .]
Beginning now, we must demand that our leaders commit in 2006 and 2008, as a condition of our vote, to an America which by 2010:
· Ensures every child and their parents health insurance.
· Lifts every child from poverty.
· Gets every child ready for school through full funding of quality childcare and Head Start, and new investments in universal preschool education.
· Ends child hunger through adequate child and family nutrition investments.
· Makes sure every child can read by fourth grade and can graduate from school able to succeed at work and in life.
· Provides every child safe, quality after-school and summer programs so they can learn, serve, work, and stay out of trouble.
· Ensures every child a place called home and every family decent affordable housing.
· Protects all children from neglect, abuse, and other violence and ensure them the care they need when families break down.
· Ensures families leaving welfare the supports needed to be successful in the workplace, including health care, childcare, education, and training.
· Creates jobs with a living wage.

Lyle e-mails to note Shystee's "50% of Americans Support Chimpeachment" (Corrente):

By a margin of 50% to 44%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he lied about the war in Iraq, according to a new poll commissioned by, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

The poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,001 U.S. adults on October 6-9.

Also shocking, the Beltway Dems are completely out of touch with the Rabble [back] they’re supposed to represent:

Judging by the e-mails from visitors to the public account (thanks Martha & Shirley for going through those) there's a guessing game going on. Who was I addressing last night? ___ got the point. (And members already knew who it was.) But they think they can go to some site named Blog Shares and determine who was delinked. The problem with that is that the first permalink they have us linking to is Atlanta Indymedia.

That's a great site and we have linked to them in entries but we've never linked to them on our permalinks. Others listed have similar problems. You can try going by a cached versions via Google. But note "versions." We've had a prankster whose enjoyed taking off sites and adding them to our permalinks. So make sure you're going by more than one week while you play.

For members, if I wasn't clear (and I apparently wasn't) in last night's post, I was saying I'd pulled all the members with their own sites together. I'll go over that this evening but I wasted too much time trying to respond to something that doesn't deserve a response and I'm out of time.

Seth has a new entry up. He mentions Rebecca's photos. Those are actually for an entry that she was in the middle of when I asked her to participate last night. So look for her entry that will utilize those photos.

And Tracey's Mike's interview for tonight. I almost forgot that. This is Ruth's granddaughter Tracey. They'll be doing the interview this evening so it will probably post a little later than Mike usually does but check Mikey Likes It! for that.

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