Friday, December 30, 2005

Democracy Now: "2005 in Review"; Danny Schechter, Katrina vanden Heuvel, John Dean

2005 draws to a close and what moments will you remember? Which with shame, which with pride, which with horror, which with amusement?

And will the moments that matter to you get ticked off on the network news? That's a question we'll ask because Keesha wrote a great e-mail about today's Democracy Now! which features part one of a retrospective on the 2005 (part two airs Monday). Keesha thinks this is "must see TV." (For those who listen -- I do -- consider it "must hear radio" and for those who read the transcripts online, consider it "must read.")

Keesha: It really has been a roller coaster year. I saw moments that I had forgotten and moments that I remembered. I'm really looking forward to the second part of this.

Which, again, airs Monday. Remember that in addition to the transcripts being online, you can also listen or watch online as well at Democracy Now!

Here's what you've got on part one today:

2005 in Review: Power, Politics and Resistance

Today, part one of our special look back at 2005, including George W. Bush's
inaugeration and protests against election fraud, the occupation of Iraq,
the conviction of attorney Lynne Stewart, the appointment of John Bolton to
the UN, the revelation of Deep Throat, the conviction of Edgar Ray Killen
for killing the three civil rights workers in 1964, and much more.

Featuring the voices of: Colin Powell, Allan Nairn, Stephanie Tubbs Jones,
Jessie Jackson Jr., George Bush, Ossie Davis, Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte,
Dahr Jamail, Robert Fisk, Ghazwaan Al-Mukhtar, George Galloway,
Barbara Boxer, Condoleezza Rice, Robert Byrd, Peter Kornbluh, John
Negroponte, Alberto Gonzales, Orrin Hatch, Ted Kennedy, Lynne Stewart, Bill
Quigley, Tom DeLay, Ken Goodman, George Voinovich, John Bolton, Giuliana
Sgrena, John Stauber, Tim Rieser, Ricardo Alarcon, Jose Pertierra, Scott
McClellan, Bill Moyers, Timothy Karr, Jim Shultz, Carlos Mesa, Mike Gravel,
Jennifer Dohrn, Donald Rumsfeld, Mike Honda, Amy Hagopian, Simbi Veke
Mubako, Wellington Chibebe, Flash Sharrar, Michael Scherer, Magdalano
Rose-Avila, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Cindy Sheehan, John Conyers, Claire
Short, Chris Chafe, Linda Chavez-Thompson, Bernie Sanders, Carolyn Goodman,
Steven Schwerner, Ben Chaney, and Keith Beauchamp.

As Marcia says of Democracy Now!, "always worth watching." You also have the daily headlines but Keesha asked if we could really emphasize "2005 in Review: Power, Politics and Resistance" so we'll start by noting it (and in large font).

Headlines for December 30, 2005
- Secret Prisons, Renditions Enacted Under Broad CIA Program
- Transit Union Has Won Most Demands: Analysts
- Gitmo Hunger Strike Jumps To 84 Detainees
- House Bill Would Outlaw Aiding Undocumented Immigrants
- 9th Ward Residents Win Temporary Halt to Demolitions
- Doctor: Jailed Haitian Priest Has Cancer
- Ex-British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Leaks Torture Documents
- US Company Finances, Equips Indonesian Military in Papua

We'll grab from the headlines later tonight. (Remember that Elaine and Mike select two headlines a day from Democracy Now! and comment on them.)

Martha e-mails to note that Danny Schechter has a year in review up at News Dissector. We'll note this from Danny's latest:

Its been a hard year for us at Globalvision, and me personally. I have spent most of it writing and hopskotching the world preaching the gospel of media change. I promoted my film WMD and started a new one on the debt trap we are all in. Most days I wrote this blog and found time somehow to have two books published to elablorate my ideas and express my outrage. See
I sure need help in getting the word out about them and the work we do here in this space and on this site every day. Thanks again to all I work with: Rory, David, Olivia, Jen, Frank, and our regular readers and contributors....
It is in the spirit of appreciation and hope that I write this last dissection of the year. I took the time to go back a year to a time 12 months back , dominated by news of the Tsunami whose living victims are still victimized to find out what was on our minds then. I began a late December 2004 blog tby citing the AP's top stories a year ago.

What were the top stories? Use the link.

Brad notes that Katrina vanden Heuvel's also taking a look back with "A Year of Sweet Victories" (Editor's Cut, The Nation):

In the dark days after the election of 2004, the mainstream media was touting the making of a permanent rightward shift, and the progressive community was deeply deflated. It was difficult, in those times, to maintain a sense of hope--as corruption, war, lies and injustices large and small loomed all around, and outrage about the Right's assault on our democracy threatened to overwhelm us.
A year later, the dark and menacing clouds that hovered over The Nation's November 2, 2004 cover ("Four More Years") seem to be slowly lifting. Millions of us are organizing, agitating, mobilizing--and there are many hard-fought victories to celebrate.The attempt to destroy Social Security has been successfully blocked, the movement for withdrawal has captured the majority of the public's support, the mainstream media is slowly rousing from its slumbers, the White House's surveillance state is being revealed, there is talk of impeachment in the air, Vice President for Torture Cheney suffered a stinging rebuke when John McCain's torture ban passed, the GOP is mired in corruption and cronyism ( "Jack Abramoff seems to have the whole party on his payroll," Katha Pollitt writes in her end of year review for The Nation), and scores of local, statewide, and national victories have been won. Here are some of my favorite "sweet victories" of '05--to savor as we head into 2006.

Rebecca's also taking a look back and Sherry e-mails to note that. Sherry also notes that Rebecca's look back includes Jake Gylllenhaal and says "everyone needs to check out the photo!" (Sherry suggested Rebecca include it in a year in review.)

Eric e-mails to praise the latest gina & krista round-robin. I'll echo that and remind everyone that Gina lost the whole thing (and her laptop when the laptop fried) so she had to reconstruct it last night. Gina and Krista always do an incredible job. If you haven't read the round-robin yet today, go to your inboxes already.

This is a dictated post and I'll take a moment to think friends (named and unnamed) who have helped in so many ways with this site. I'll also thank members, you make it what it is. And thank you to The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz; Seth of Seth in the City and Wally of The Daily Jot who do their part in keeping the community alive. And a special thank you to Ava and Jess who tackle the e-mails Monday through Friday (the e-mails here) as well as to Martha and Shirley who pitch in when things get backed up even more than usual.

We'll close by noting Holbert's highlight, John Dean's "George W. Bush as the New Richard Nixon . . ." (Find Law via Common Dreams):

On Friday, December 16, the New York Times published a major scoop by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau: They reported that Bush authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Americans without warrants, ignoring the procedures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
It was a long story loaded with astonishing information of lawbreaking at the White House. It reported that sometime in 2002, Bush issued an executive order authorizing NSA to track and intercept international telephone and/or email exchanges coming into, or out of, the U.S. - when one party was believed to have direct or indirect ties with al Qaeda.
Initially, Bush and the White House stonewalled, neither confirming nor denying the president had ignored the law. Bush refused to discuss it in his interview with Jim Lehrer.
Then, on Saturday, December 17, in his radio broadcast, Bush admitted that the New York Times was correct - and thus conceded he had committed an impeachable offense.
There can be no serious question that warrantless wiretapping, in violation of the law, is impeachable. After all, Nixon was charged in Article II of his bill of impeachment with illegal wiretapping for what he, too, claimed were national security reasons.
These parallel violations underscore the continuing, disturbing parallels between this Administration and the Nixon Administration - parallels I also discussed in a prior column.
Indeed, here, Bush may have outdone Nixon: Nixon's illegal surveillance was limited; Bush's, it is developing, may be extraordinarily broad in scope. First reports indicated that NSA was only monitoring foreign calls, originating either in the USA or abroad, and that no more than 500 calls were being covered at any given time. But later reports have suggested that NSA is "data mining" literally millions of calls - and has been given access by the telecommunications companies to "switching" stations through which foreign communications traffic flows.
In sum, this is big-time, Big Brother electronic surveillance.

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Note from Jess. There have been a few e-mails about the link in the Danny Schechter excerpt. For those interested in checking out the books available at the store, try the link now and see if it doesn't work. Also we'll be discussing at least one book by Schechter in January at The Third Estate Sunday Review.