Monday, April 11, 2005

Democracy Now: Bolton?, Negroponte?, Venezuela; The Daily Howler; Why Are We Back In Iraq?

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "always worth watching"):

Headlines for April 11, 2005

- Up to 300,000 Iraqis Protest Against U.S. In Baghdad
- 40 Iraqis Die in Violence Over the Weekend
- Rep. Shays Calls on Tom Delay To Resign Post
- Mexican Populist Candidate May Be Barred from Running
- Cardinal Law to Celebrates Mass For the Pope
- Israeli Forces Kill Three Palestinian Teenagers
- Eric Rudolph Pleads Guilty to Abortion Clinic Bombings
- GM Pulls Ads From LA Times Over Coverage

Extreme Unilateralist or Strong Leader? A Debate on UN Ambassador Nominee John Bolton
The confirmation hearings for John Bolton - Bush's choice for US ambassador to the United Nations - begin today in Washington. We host a debate with Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies and Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation. [includes rush transcript]

Fmr. Honduran Human Rights Commissioner: "Impossibly Negroponte Did Not Know About Human Rights Violations" in Honduras
Senate confirmation hearings on John Negroponte's nomination to the post of National Intelligence Director are scheduled to begin Tuesday. We take a look at his record as U.S. ambassador to Honduras with a Honduran activist whose brother was disappeared by Honduran security forces, the former Honduran National Human Rights Commissioner and a filmmaker who has profiled human rights issues in Latin America. [includes rush transcript]

Venezuela: Revolution in Progress
Today is the third anniversary of the failed coup attempt to overthrow democratically elected Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. We speak with filmmaker Matt O'Neil about his new documentary, "Venezuela: Revolution in Progress." [includes rush transcript]

Bob Somerby's addressing a number of topics in today's The Daily Howler but we'll focus on the Times with this excerpt.

ELISABETH BUMILLER--PAP WITHOUT END: Bill O'Reilly will trash the New York Times tonight--and, this time, he'll mainly be right. He'll be trashing the Times for this Gail Collins ed, which calls those Arizona Minutemen "gunslingers" and "vigilantes" and says that they're "taking the law in their own hands." Collins sniffs at this lower breed--but makes no attempt to explain or defend her characterizations. O'Reilly will trash her work tonight--and this time, he'll mainly be right.
But Bill won't mention the other Times--the Times of Elisabeth Bumiller. Surely, Zeus' great halls rocked with laughter last night as
her latest fatuous piece was posted, in which she types what the White House told her about the president's tastes in music. How exactly does Bumiller know what tunes are on the president’s iPod? Simple--she doesn't know what's on that Pod, she only knows what Bush's agents have told her. But she's always pleased to type up some pap, as long as her pointless (but politically pleasing) "information" came to her straight from the White House. By the way, what's the headline on today's piece? "Favorite Tunes for the Freewheelin' George Bush!" Freewheelin'! You have to love that! Just like the younger Bob Dylan!
As we mentioned last week, Bumiller's Monday "White House Letter" has been one of the most embarrassing projects in this age of press corps pimpistry. Her subject matter is relentlessly banal--and she always types just what she’s been told. And remember--this feature continued throughout Campaign 04, producing a weekly tongue-bath for Bush. Oh yeah! Who did the weekly, feel-good "Campaign Letter" on Kerry? No one did it--it didn’t exist! This is the side of the vacuous Times Mr. O'R won't be citing.

Over at Why Are We Back in Iraq?, Ron has "Two 16-year-old Girls Alone In Prison (part 3) :"

(Please scroll down and read the previous two posts if you missed it yesterday (Part 1 and Part 2). It's about two 16-year-old girls from New York City - one Guinean, the other Bangladeshi whose parents entered this country illegally - who have been detained as possible "suicide bombers" based on what looks like no evidence whatsoever. They need our help and support; they need e-mails and letters written to whomever can help them; they need phone calls and marches and rallies and whatever it takes.)
I know that there have been some people who have been hesitant to get behind this case because both of the girls are illegal immigrants and so are their parents. But maybe the fact that both girls have brothers and sisters who were born in America and are American citizens will help change their minds. These girls need our help.
Adem Carroll, a friend of the Bangladeshi girl, is a "a tireless fighter for Muslim civil liberties" who is allied with the Islamic Circle of North America. Adem is also 16 years old.
At a Yahoo newsgroup called "Shobak::CNN FOR THE LEFT" there is a
page that contains a heartfelt letter Adem wrote the morning after the arrest and more details that he gathered in an interview with the parents of the Bangladeshi girl; her name is included there, too, but since she's only 16 I don't feel comfortable including that information at this time. If you follow the link please respect whatever privacy the 16-year-old girl still retains, but feel free to contact the lawyer who didn't show up for her hearing; his name I did include.

Comments on the two above excerpt. Ron's piece. The government has told us that ___ is a terrorist only for us to see the entire case fall apart later. So for anyone thinking, "Oh, we'll they're terrorists," I'd say they're innocent until proven guilty. Leaks to papers from the prosecution often indicate a weak case (in any case).

Comments on Somerby excerpt. First of all, on Feb. 9th, I did comment on a Bumiller "White House Letter." I saw that this weekend and my apologies for thinking I hadn't. Wasn't the first time I was wrong and won't be the last. I'll comment on Somerby with no op-ed for the Times restrictions. When a list includeds the names that were printed in the Times, it's not about what the person is listening to, it's about covering bases, so I'd agree that those quick to swallow should be a bit more skeptical. I howled at the inclusion of a Joni Mitchell song -- some aide trying to come off erudite and probably cursing themselves that Bully Boy gets credit (and not s/he) for knowing an obscure Mitchell song. (A cover version of a song made famous by Elvis and one of the worst recordings Mitchell has ever done -- my opinion.)

The e-mail address for this site is

Oh, Susan will ask. if she didn't see the article, "You're So Square (Baby I Don't Care)" is the Mitchell song that makes the list. (Are you laughing, Susan? Me too.) And it's off Wild Things Run Fast.

To answer a question that pops up in today's e-mails frequently, "Juliet" (Stevie Nicks song I quoted during the roundtable for The Third Estate Sunday Review) is off the album (Stevie Nicks solo album, not Fleetwood Mac) The Other Side of the Mirror. If I'd read over the piece after Ava and I finished the TV review, I would have asked that the album title be included because I know from past experience here that e-mails will come in asking that.

To answer the question that popped up the most in the e-mails, Kat will have a Kat's Korner up by this Sunday. (That's according to Kat.) Ruth had suggested an older album and Kat wanted to check with Eli to see if he knew either of the two Ruth suggested. (Kat: I was hitting a block with the Beatles because they've been written and rewritten about.)