Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Guantanamo prisoners and the clown Gail Collins

Good evening. Let's put Hump Day to bed by kicking things off with Democracy Now!

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Landmark Gitmo Case
In Supreme Court news, oral arguments began Tuesday in a case that will decide whether the Bush administration can use military tribunals to try detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison. Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who worked as Osama bin Laden's driver in Afghanistan, is challenging the tribunals. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia took part in Tuesday's hearing despite growing calls for his recusal. In a recent speech, Scalia dismissed the idea detainees have rights under the U.S. Constitution or international conventions.

Did you notice what you read? I ask for a reason. If you read C.I.'s "Other Items" this morning you know that Linda Greenhouse in the New York Times and Charles Lane in the Washington Post wrote lengthy articles on the trial but failed to mentioin Scalia's speech or the issue of whether or not Scalia should have recused himself. On Democracy Now! today, this was just one item in the headlines and Amy Goodman managed to note it. I think that's called "Doing your job." Remember who does their job and who doesn't. It's not a one time thing, it happens over and over in many ways.

With Roberts recusal this means the vote could be a tie. I don't think it will be. C.I. and my dad both say a tie means the lower court's verdict is affirmed. I'm hoping for a strong vote to support the rights of the prisoners to have their days in court.

France Hit With Nationwide Strike As Over 1 Million Demonstrate
In France, students and unions staged a massive country-wide strike that shut down schools, businesses and public services and brought more than a million demonstrators into the streets. The strike was called in response to a government law that makes it easier for employers to fire young workers. More than 800 arrests were made around France. In Paris, police fired tear gas at the end of a rally after some officers were hit with projectiles.

Today's show was devoted to the protests in this country. If you missed it, you should check it out. The protests going on against the Congressional proposals having to do with immigrants are happening for a reason. You won't find that reason in the New York Times which offers pure crap in an editorial. I read that and thought, "Gail Collins thinks she's so cute and funny." She's not. Writing about how to kill a cow wasn't cute. Is she trying to compare immigrants to cow? How would she feel if she was compared to a cow? She showed her lack of awareness and caring when she refused to write an editorial on Coretta Scott King (though she could write one on her friend) and refused to commission an op-ed on Coretta Scott King either. Gail Collins doesn't seem to care too much for people of color or maybe it's just people who aren't her friends.

Now in France you've got protests. (Elsewhere too and Elaine's grabbing a different protest headline.) And you've got protests in this country. But you don't really hear about it. You hear people like Gail Collins distort what's going on. She's praising the a Senate bill, calling it "a smart, tough Senate measure." I wonder how "smart" and "tough" she'd think it was if she found out that she could be detained for an unnamed length of time? Maybe she'd see it as a way to lose weight? (I'm not calling her overweight. She looks thin. She does need to do something about those eyebrows -- Betty always gets some good jokes from those eyebrows.)

The bill that Collins praises is like a bill saying "We'll have slavery still but we'll call it something else." Her shame will be remembered and should.

And in France, you see the same thing with the New York Timid. CounterSpin talked about this last week. How the paper was distorting reality and acting like "Shame on you, foolish French!" They're protesting for a reason and the sneers from our papers don't deal with what's going on there. It's part, my opinion, of the whole spread neoliberalism all around the world, destroy unions, piss on workers' rights and give it all up for corporations. They really should be ashamed of themselves. Every last one. But we saw the same thing when they were covering the MTA strike and couldn't deal with real issues, just try to shame the strikers. Call them law breakers, but when Peter Kalikow, MTA chair, admits to breaking the law, the Times calls it an "error."

They really are disgusting and you can see how disgusting they are when it comes to the protests in France or here. They push the neoliberal line and don't give a damn about the rights of the workers. People should shame Gail Collins. If she ever walks in where any of you work, refuse to wait on her or at least make her wait and mess up her request. She doesn't give a damn about workers so we shouldn't give a damn about her. And in ten years or so when the paper drops her and she's trying to write her "I was a first" book, scream back, "Yeah and you didn't do a damn thing that made a difference. You were a sell out then and you always will be."

I'm serious. She's disgusting. And if she doesn't agree with the editorial's position, if they come from the board, that's no excuse. She's fronting for a board that wants to destroy workers. She has no self-respect and she doesn't have the strength to fight for anyone.

That's the generous take; the harsher one is that she supports every position she writes about. Either way, she's useless.

Now I wanted to note this yesterday. It's C.I.'s take on the NSA hearing by the Senate Judiciary committee:

Before highlights, let's talk the concluded hearing. And? Yawn. **Leahy and Specter seem to be in a competition over who'll be the first to start a fan club for the other.*** And Miss Priss Instant Cuckoo? America, get worried. O Hatch felt the need to play the ticking time bomb. "Millions of lives at stake" Miss Priss said. Repeatedly. And at one point, "I can tell you personally that very well may be the situation." That being "millions of lives at stake." Congressional police, arrest that man!
Exactly what information does Miss Priss have and what is Miss Priss planning? "I can tell you personally," claimed Miss Priss.
Seriously, don't get worried, O Hatch has nothing and knows nothing -- as has been the case so often in his career. But he wants to scare us all. (Couldn't he just send out 8x10 glossies?) So he plays the fear card, Extreme Fear Card.
Watch for him on NBC. He'll be happy to announce the events but he won't hop in a coffin of bugs or any other situation. Not Miss Priss.
Sadly, while O Hatch worries about the mythical lives, he forgets that lives really are at stake. If we have to trample liberties today, lives are at stake. If we abandon what we stand for, lives are at stake. (I should add "American lives" -- those were the lives that O Hatch was referring to.)
O Hatch likes to forget that a war was fought, around the time he first learned to snarl (1700s), for rights and liberties.

Did you know that yesterday was the anniversary of the Three Mile Island disaster? If you want to know what was going on then, check out Rebecca's post. Also Cedric added some more to the backstory of what was going on Sunday with The Third Estate Sunday Review's latest edition. So check that out.