Monday, November 21, 2005

Plamegate, School of the Americas and Commander-in-Chief

I'm late tonight. Elaine will be as well. That's because we've been on the phone trying to figure out what to do. C.I.'s asking for people to figure out when they'll be blogging this week.

The Common Ills has never been on vacation ("thus far," C.I. noted) and there's a reason for that. Last year at this time, C.I. gets members complaining about NPR and ends up using the time to do a long entry on how NPR brought on Robert Kagan to "critique" John Kerry in the last month (October) of election 2004 even though Kagan's wife worked for Dick Cheney and NPR didn't tell listeners that their impartial critic had a wife working for Dick Cheney.

Because of that entry, during the "holidays," members started asking if Christmas would be a "holiday" too. A few members brought up the fact that they were Jewish and some members explained they wouldn't be home for Christmas. One in particular couldn't afford to go. She couldn't tell her parents there because they didn't have the money to bring her home so she was acting like she was working. And the whole holiday had her depressed. So C.I. decided, no vacation.

On holidays especially, C.I. feels like something needs to be done at The Common Ills. C.I.'s been out of the country on Christmas before and one time, college years, due to some campus stuff, C.I. didn't have a huge crowd. So C.I.'s attitude is "I've been there, I know what you're going through." (All of this has been up in different posts at The Common Ills.)

So we're trying to figure out what to do and I talked to Wally too. He didn't post today. He and his grandfather were going around grabbing things on the list for his mother's big feast.

Elaine's flying on Tuesday. Barring jet lag, she'll have something up late Tuesday.

She says she can probably blog every day. She'll be celebrating Thanksgiving at C.I.'s and figures it shouldn't be a problem. She said she may not be hitting hard on anything.

Me, I'd like Thursday off. I can guarantee every other day, but I'd like to take Thursday off.
If it's just going to be C.I. & Elaine on Thursday though, I'll blog on Thursday to do my part for the community. But I've got to do Thanksgiving here and at Nina's so if I do blog on Thursday, I have no idea what time I'll do it.

Wally's planning on taking Thursday off.

So where it stands right now that I know of, C.I. will be blogging every day. Elaine and I may have different times but we'll have stuff up this week. For Elaine, it will be every day. For me, I'd like Thursday off.

But I'll wait and see how everyone else shapes up and if it's just C.I. and Elaine or them plus Rebecca, I might go ahead and blog on Thursday. I'm really lucky in having family around me every holiday. But I know everyone's not like that. And Elaine brought up something she and C.I. had talked about which is that the holidays can be rough on people.

So I'll try to figure out what I'm doing on Thursday and let you know ASAP. The community is important and the community is important to me. So I'll do my part for the community.

Now we'll note Democracy Now! and remember to check out Elaine's site Like Maria Said Paz for her take.

CIA Leak Prosecutor to Go to New Grand Jury
And this update on the CIA leak case... Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said Friday that he plans to present new evidence to another federal grand jury. The announcement came three weeks after an earlier grand jury indicted Vice President Cheney's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Last week investigators questioned Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward for two hours after learning that a senior administration official revealed Valerie Plame's identity to him in mid-June 2003. There has been great speculation over who within the Bush administration might have been Woodward's source. The Times of London claims it is Stephen Hadley who is now Bush's National Security Advisor. At the time Hadley was deputy National Security Advisor under Condoleeza Rice. Newsweek magazine has suggested it might be former deputy secretary of State Richard Armitage.

This isn't over. Bob Woodward just opened up a mess of worms. He should have been honest and not gone all over saying the investigation was nothing and the work of a 'junk-yard dog.' He looks like a hypocrite and a liar.

He had an image and he trashed it. But like Rebecca said he's not Robert Redford and if someone made a movie of him these days, he'd be played by David Spade, cause he's a clown.

19,000 Protest At School of the Americas
In Georgia, an estimated 19,000 people demonstrated outside Fort Benning calling for the closing of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas. It was the largest protest to date for the annual event. 40 arrests were made. Protest organizers said the U.S. military has used the school to train Latin American military officials to torture. The protests are timed to coincide with the anniversary of the November 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador. The weekend demonstration came just weeks after it was revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney was seeking Congressional approval for CIA interrogators to engage in torture.

The largest protest to date. That's incredible and just demonstrates that the summer of activism has deep roots and people are looking around and saying, "This isn't what America's supposed to be and I'm not going to stand for it." There's just this wave of activism.

And Elaine goes maybe Bully Boy can be thanked for it. Not just for being the idiot that's destroying our country but also because he wrapped himself and his lies in the flag and it ended up getting a lot of people thinking about the country. Not at first. At first, they just waved the flag to silence dissent. And it worked for some. But you keep waving the flag and at some point people are asking questions about what it means to be an American and what the United States means and stands for.

He's back to trying to hide behind the flag again and that's only going to fuel the activism of this summer. We're living in some wild times and I'm hopeful for the future. I think Bully Boy will leave office disgraced and that we'll all be a little more educated than before.

Yesterday, I mentioned Ava and C.I.'s review of Commander-in-Chief and I thought Ma would be happy. Wrong. :D She said, "Mike, you didn't put a quote from it." She really loves this review. I do too but she really, really loves it. So for Ma, I'll include a section of the review:

We searched in vain, through aired episodes and unaired ones, to find some sort of a feminist conscience to the show. We couldn't. While it's true that Davis rescues a woman in a foreign country, we're not really sure that "Send in the Marines" (even with Sondheim chords) will rank up there with Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" as a feminist anthem.
This manuever was applauded by some critics. We're failing to see the "feminism" involved in Davis' decision. She attempted to get international support, while still vice-president, and was shot down. So she's acting unilaterally.
For those who can't connect real lives with TV lives, let's speak slowly, unilaterally is an approach the Bully Boy endorses and, unless we missed it, he's yet to make the cover of Ms.
Like the Bully Boy, Davis sends in the marines not because the United States is threatened.
She's willing to risk a war because she wants to act alone and because she's "plucky."Well hell, smear some of Davis' crimson lipstick on the Bully Boy and let's all hail him as "plucky" as well.
Okay, well what about her background?
It's sketchy. But let's go over what viewers know. She's an "independent." She was elected on a ticket with a man, Republican, whose ideas go against everything she stands for. There's much talk of this in the first episode where we learn that she won't carry out the ailing president's "agenda" but that the Speaker of the House would (and turn back the clocks in the process).This is feminism? This isn't feminism, this is Dan Quayle sop thrown out in an attempt to get voters -- to fool them.
How can Mac be part of a ticket pushing an agenda she doesn't believe in? Or, for that matter, an agenda she strongly opposes? Mac appears to be, from the start, in it for herself. Nah Nah to notions of Sisterhood.
Davis wrongly won an Oscar (supporting) for The Accidental Tourist (Michelle Pfeiffer should have won for Dangerous Liasons) and now she plays The Accidental President and for some reason we're supposed to be thrilled.A sell-out, who wants to be a vice president just to be vice president, is elevated to the presidency and, surrounded by men, demonstrates she's got the "stones" to be as arrogant as any male before her. This is what passes for feminism today?

It's a great review and the sort of thing, like Jim said, that makes Ava and C.I. such strong TV critics. They don't ride the wave of "This show is a water cooler topic! Let me jump on the bandwagon." They offer insight and criticism. Ma's somewhat appeased by the fact that I told her about my favorite prof saying this was the most honest look at Commander-in-Chief he'd seen.