Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"March for Peace, Justice & Democracy, April 29,2006, NYC"

Finger's healing, thanks to those who e-mailed wondering. Please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's commentaries which are always worth reading. I'm off tomorrow and may not blog on Friday. Check with C.I.'s entries Friday because I think C.I.'s going to note who is blogging and who isn't Friday. (We are all headed for NYC, for the protest, and that's one reason I was really hoping Rebecca could get tickets to The Threepenny Opera for this weekend -- one trip instead of two.

"New White House Spokesperson Criticized Bush" (Democracy Now!):
In news from Washington, Republican officials have confirmed Fox News anchor Tony Snow has agreed to become the new White House Press Secretary. Snow will replace Scott McLellan, who resigned last week. President Bush is expected to make the announcement today. Although Snow will be tasked with defending the President, one of his first duties may be to answer for previous criticisms he's made of his new boss. In an op-ed piece published in November, Snow said President Bush had "lost" his swagger and was "cowering under the bed" in the face of Democratic opposition. Snow went on to say: "The newly passive George Bush has become something of an embarrassment."

So he's giving up his radio talk show and pundit gig (I don't think he's still a Fox "News" "anchor") for his love of Bully Boy? They had to do something with Bully Boy continued low polling numbers. Scott McClellan is damaged, even for this administration. He's the one who said that Karl Rove wasn't involved in Plamegate. Which makes him like the Gerald Ford's first p.r. secretary (forget his name) who resigned after Ford pardoned Nixon.

The official word was that Ford wouldn't pardon him. The press secretary repeated that. Within a month, Ford had pardoned Nixon. The press secretary was bothered by this. Especially since Ford refused to pardon those who resisted the draft (Jimmy Carter would do that). So the press secretary resigned. He was right to do so. Draft resisters didn't bomb Cambodia. Draft resisters weren't breaking into the Watergate. Draft resisters didn't authorize illegal wire taps on citizens. Draft resisters didn't plot to kill Jack Anderson. Draft resisters didn't compose an enemies list that was then utilized by various branches of government to target private citizens. Nixon shouldn't have been pardoned. He should have been tried. The same thing with Bully Boy. You have to send a message that these actions are not okay.

I am disgusted to this day that Ford pardoned him (and that Dan Rather went on CBS to talk about how great this action was for the nation). I am disgusted that Bill and Hillary Clinton were part of the effort to redeam Nixon in his final days and that Bill Clinton gave that testimonial to Nixon.

Nixon was a crook. He was a crook of the highest order and he wasn't punished. Leaving office in shame was something, but not nearly enough. Obviously, it wasn't enough. If more had been done, someone -- maybe not Bully Boy, but someone in the administration -- would have thought twice. There's little indication that any thought was ever put into the administration's various schemes -- certainly no second thoughts.

So now the hope is that Snow will snap everyone in the press into order. I think they're putting more faith in Snow's reputation than his reputation deserves. This isn't a respected reporter. This isn't anything but a partisan hack. Though I'm sure "Stretch" will rush to apologize for every question in that cowardly manner he's fond of.

If you need a laugh right about here, you can visit Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BULLY BOY TAPS IT!" and I'm swiping from Wally to note posts at community sites:

"NYT: Do we get excited as the whitewash continues?"
"flashpoints (rita moreno) cover to cover with denny smithson (jane fonda)"
"Condi hides in Greece, NY Teens sue Rumsfeld, Wakeup Call, Jane Fonda"
"Cell Phone Use Tips"
"Thomas Friedman is the Meanest Generation"
"Guns & Butter airs tomorrow; The Free Design, Ani DiFranco, Pink, Josh Ritter"

"Carriles To Apply For US Citizenship" (Democracy Now!):
Lawyers for detained Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles have announced he has applied for US citizenship. Carilles is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela for his role in a 1976 bombing that killed 73 people aboard a Cuban airliner. He was arrested in Miami last May after entering the US two months earlier.

Instead of being deported, Carilles and his partner/plotter in terrorism Orlando Bosch are on our shores, walking freely. There's a great article on this that I'll excerpt below but you really should read the full thing.

"Bush's Hypocrisy: Cuban Terrorists" (Robert Parry, Consortium News):
Not only did the first Bush administration free Bosch from jail a decade and a half ago, the second Bush administration has now pushed Venezuela's extradition request for his alleged co-conspirator, Posada, onto the back burner.
The downed Cubana Airlines flight originated in Caracas where Venezuelan authorities allege the terrorist plot was hatched. However, U.S. officials have resisted returning Posada to Venezuela because its current government of President Hugo Chavez is seen as friendly to Castro’s communist government in Cuba.
At a U.S. immigration hearing in 2005, Posada's defense attorney put on a Posada friend as a witness who alleged that Venezuela's government practices torture. Bush administration lawyers didn’t challenge the claim, leading the immigration judge to bar Posada’s deportation to Venezuela.
Theoretically, the Bush administration could still extradite Posada to Venezuela to face the 73 murder counts, but it is essentially ignoring Venezuela's extradition request, instead holding Posada on minor immigration charges of entering the United States illegally.
In September 2005, Venezuela's Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez called the 77-year-old Posada "the Osama Bin Laden of Latin America" and accused the Bush administration of applying "a cynical double standard" in its War on Terror.
"The United States presents itself as a leader against terrorism, invades countries, restricts the civil rights of Americans in order to fight terrorism, but when it is about its own terrorists, it denies that they be tried," Alvarez said.
Alvarez also denied that Venezuela practices torture. "There isn't a shred of evidence that Posada would be tortured in Venezuela," Alvarez said, adding that the claim is particularly ironic given widespread press accounts that the Bush administration has abused prisoners at the U.S. military base in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba.

It's easy to forget that this was terrorism since our mainstream press, that can't stop chasing down video releases, somehow manages to miss out on what is going on in this country. They want to get all excited and bothered over a video release that may or may not be authentic. But two terrorists, with blood on their hands, roam the nation free. A supposed watch dog press might want to follow up on that but, with few exceptions, they really haven't. Cedric's said that Robert Parry's work online is the equivalent to Seymour Hersh and I think that's an accurate call.

"Democracy Now: Kevin Anderson, Mark Feldstein, Daniel Ellsberg; Michael Ratner ..." (The Common Ills):
Iraq snapshot.
Chaos and violence continue.
Associated Press notes that "[m]ore than 100 Iraqi civilians or police have been killed . . . since [Jawad] al-Maliki was tapped as Iraq's prime minister designate on Saturday . . ." Not a pretty picture. Thank goodness the word's premier video popped up to distract everyone with instead. (Has so much time been consumed covering a video since Madonna's "Like a Prayer"?) South of Baghdad (to use the 'location' favored by the BBC here and CNN here -- Reuters identifies it as Yusufiya), a US air strike (and "ground forces") have attacked a house in Baghdad an twelve people are dead including one woman. The media's running with the US military's statements (presented not as quotes) that it was a "safe house." The facts are, as known now, a US air strike and "ground forces" has resulted in 12 deaths "south of Baghdad." In Baghdad? China's People's Daily reports that a minibus contained a bomb which killed at least three Iraqis and wounded at least four while a roadside bomb "hit a passing police patrol" and killed at least one person and wounded at least two others. The AP notes that four corpses were found in Baghdad. Reuters notes that the four bodies had "signs of torture and . . . gun shot wounds to their head".
Corpses continue to surface all over Iraq. As
noted last week by Knight Ridder, the US administration didn't take the militia issue seriously. That may be the nicest explanation. Jawad al-Maliki is calling for the militias to disarm according to Reuters.
Knight Ridder's Lelia Fadel reports that sectarian lines are forming in Iraq's university system as well. KUNA reports that a "decomposed dead body in a bag" was discovered in Kirkuk. Reuters notes six corpses found "signs of torture and gunshot wounds" in Kerbala. In Kirkuk, "a wealthy trader" was kidnapped while, in Mahmodiya, "a bomb blast" has wounded three police officers.

Reality in Iraq. But will you read it on the front page? You didn't read yesterday's snapshot news on the front page today. You had "Oh Condi and Donnie went to Iraq!" That didn't prevent any dying today. But someone thought it was "amazing."

"March for Peace, Justice & Democracy, April 29, 2006, NYC" (United for Peace & Justice):
End the war in Iraq
Bring all our troops home now!
No war on Iran!

Stand up for immigrant and women's rights!
Unite for change -- let's turn our country around!The times are urgent and we must act.
Assemble: 22nd Street and Broadway, 10:30AM onward
(contingent assembly areas)March: At noon down Broadway to Foley SquareGrassroots action festival: 1:00-6:00PM, Foley Square
Maps and details
Find an April 29 solidarity event in a city near you.
Too much is too wrong in this country. We have a foreign policy that is foreign to our core values, and domestic policies wreaking havoc at home. It's time for a change.
INITIATING ORGANIZATIONS: United for Peace and Justice, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, National Organization for Women, Friends of the Earth, U.S. Labor Against the War, Climate Crisis Coalition, People's Hurricane Relief Fund, National Youth and Student Peace Coalition, Veterans for Peace
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