Friday, April 01, 2005

Democracy Now: Zimbabwe elections, Afghanistan, Pope John Paul II; Daily Howler, Jude (Iddybud); Ron (Why Are We Back in Iraq), Matthew Rothschild

From Democracy Now!,"always worth watching" -- Marcia, it's one don't miss segment after another:

Headlines for April 1, 2005
- Pope John Paul II in "Very Grave" Condition
- Terri Schiavo Dies, 13 Days after Feeding Tube Removed
- World Bank Oks Wolfowitz To Head Bank
- ACLU Says Top Iraq Commander May Be Guilty of Perjury
- U.S. Intelligence Agencies "Dead Wrong" on Iraq WMDs
- U.S. Accused to Using Food Access as Military Tactic
The Zimbabwe Elections: Opposition Accuses Mugabe of Rigging the Vote
Yesterday, parliamentary elections took place in Zimbabwe. Reports from the country say that the elections went off relatively peacefully. And for the first time- the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, was able to campaign openly. The party is the first to seriously challenge President Mugabe's government since Zimbabwe won independence in 1980. [includes rush transcript]
Taliban Country: Afghanistan 3 1/2 Years After the U.S. Invasion
We talk to Sonali Kolhatkar, co-Director of the Afghan Women's Mission and filmmaker, Carmela Baranowska who was embedded with 800 U.S. Marines in one of the most remote and dangerous parts of Afghanistan. She made a film called Taliban Country which is a disturbing expose of American actions in that country. [includes rush transcript]
A Look At The Legacy of Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II is in what the Vatican describes as very grave condition and has been administered the last rites after suffering heart failure yesterday. The 84-year-old Pope reportedly decided himself not to go to the hospital. [includes rush transcript]

Over at The Daily Howler, Bob Somerby is addressing Michelle Cottle's (of The New Republic) claim that the national press mocks people of faith. In the excerpt below, he's providing examples which don't appear to back up Cottle's claim:

Did Terri Schiavo "attempt to verbalize the sentence" for Weller? Weller had made even more outlandish claims in that earlier declaration, the one which fooled that compassionate observer. But so what? The Times simply described Weller as "a lawyer." The Times politely refusing to ridicule Weller. Indeed, the paper refused to even mention the good lawyer's religious point of view.
But just who is this Barbara Weller, simply described by the Times as a lawyer? She's a lawyer for the Christian Law Association, a point Times readers might have wanted to know as they read her miracle declarations. Long before Weller got involved in the Schiavo case, the Hartford Courant's David Renner described her conduct elsewhere:

RENNER (7/5/92): They met on Independence Day, but people who are unhappy with the liberal positions of the United Church of Christ said they were not ready to declare their own independence--yet.

They were urged Saturday to stay within the 1.6 million-member denomination to fight to change such policies as the church's stand in favor of abortion rights and its taking affirmative action to place gay and lesbian ministers in church positions.
"It is God against the devil," said Barbara Weller, a founder of the Biblical Witness Fellowship, a conservative caucus within the church.
She said that the devil appears to have the upper hand, thwarting conservative Christians at every level.
In 1992, Weller thought the devil had gained the upper hand because Christian conservatives were being thwarted. Now, she said Terri Schiavo was trying to verbalize pre-canned thoughts--and the New York Times printed it straight.
What exactly should the Times do about a source like Weller? That's a tough call, but it's perfectly clear that the paper-of-record went out of its way to avoid "ridiculing" her religious views, which are in fact "out of the mainstream." For the record, the Washington Post took the same tack with Weller and her miracle declarations. They also reported Weller's claim straight. To the Post, Weller was a "lawyer," plain and simple. There was no reference to her religion. Simply put, there was nothing to mock.

Over at Iddybud, Jude's demonstrating her wisdom once again. As Rebecca noted last night (in her Women's History Note), don't ask where are the women writers, ask why you don't know about them. Jude's someone who should have her a huge audience and be booked on the chat & chews. From "Dead Wrong" she addresses why she hasn't felt the need to
weigh in on the WMD report:

We have known it all along. What I would like to know is when we'll see an official report examining the role of the White House, particularly Dick Cheney and his band of NeoCons, in massaging the data on WMD. The Commission's report did not deal with that subject matter at all.

To the point, informed, saying what needs to be said -- check out Jude's blog Iddybud because she's also got some amazing photographs lately. (I was referring to buildings, but John Edwards supporters will be pleased with other photos as well.)

Over at Why Are We Back in Iraq?, Ron continues to do amazing work. He's owned the Talon story from the start and continues to do so. Today, he has a post regarding Talon and this post which Billie picked for excerpting:

Finally, NYU's Jay Rosen at Press Think responds to another sort of challenge, issued by blogger, writer Halley Suitt, in regards to the meme about "white, male, American bloggers...not promoting enough diverse talent in the blogosphere." So Jay rises to the challenge, by introducing his readers to some new and different voices that he selected with the help of Lisa Stone: Fourteen New Voices: A Reply to Halley's Comment. Now I'm presented with the additional challenge of checking out all the bloggers named and adding them to my blogroll which I'll get to within the next week. In the meantime, go read Jay & Lisa's co-post and discover some new voices for yourself.
Journalism isn't dead yet. It's up to us to give it new life, by doing it ourselves or by helping them to understand that they haven't been doing their jobs very well at least the last five years. The more blogs, the merrier. Of course, I already link to a ton of blogs that I couldn't possible keep up with every day, but I do make a point of hitting the neglected ones that aren't on my short list every chance I get, and I hope everyone else does the same when they can.

Over at The Progressive, Matthew Rothschild has two "This Just In"s up. The first deals with Schiavo and we'll excerpt from the second entitled "Bush, Cheney, Get Their Whitewash:"

Another investigation, another whitewash.
The presidential commission on how the U.S. was so wrong about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction gives Bush and Cheney exactly what they wanted: cover.
The Silberman-Robb report lays the blame primarily on the CIA for "poor tradecraft and poor management" and for presenting Bush with "alarmist" information in his daily briefings.
And it essentially exonerates Bush and Cheney from the charge that they cooked the intelligence. "In no instance did political pressure cause [analysts] to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments," it said.
Never mind that Cheney virtually set up camp at the CIA while they were drawing up those judgments.
How his unprecedented lurkings didn't represent political pressure is just beyond me.

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