Friday, March 25, 2005

News for March 25th: Media Circus Edition

Good Friday has arrived, and I’m praying. Oh, yes, I’m praying. I’m praying to God that Terri Schiavo doesn’t die this weekend because it’ll be all the sign that the fundies need to know that God is behind them in this and that the Satanic liberals are behind the whole thing and they’re all next. That’s right, as if the whole thing wasn’t mindboggling enough, people are now honest-to-God worried that judges are going to come along and kneecap the elderly, TP nursing homes, and kill every disabled person out there; all because they’re driven by the evil Liberal agenda that hates life and those who live it. Yes, all liberals are undead vampires driven by the blood of the living! you heard it here first!

You know, I can’t decide, what is the worst part of this whole thing? It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet of idiocy, hypocrisy, pandering, power grabs, and self-righteous bullshit. There’s plenty of blame to go around, too. Is it the media? Well, Fox News used John Edward as an “expert” to tell us that Terri is all around us and the air is made of Terri, and, oh yeah, Terri wants us to let her live so she can get up and join a revival of Cats. If nothing else, this case has shown me that the media is about as credible as the WWE.

Brother, whatcha gonna do when the 24-inch feeding tubes come crashing down on you?

Seriously, it's all about sensationalism and smack down debates. Where are the real journalists? Where are the people who bother to gather facts and tell a story? Oh, sure, you might see a snippet of one of these “facts” that liberals seem to love so much, but news now almost entirely consists of appeals to authority, with several talking heads brought in to scream at each other, leaving the rest of us to scream at our TVs. Where is the fourth estate? Is the judiciary really to be the last untouched part of our Government?

Don’t think the Democrats are blameless in this, either. They’re showing the spine of a jelly fish; just read the story below, and you’ll get just as disgusted as I did. It’s this kind of shit that makes me want to leave, but I’m hanging in there. I think everyone needs to write to Howard Dean and other Democratic leaders to demand action on a massive scale. I think they perceive us as the minority, when we clearly can help them get back out and do the right thing. We have to show our numbers, our unity, and our willingness to stand up and be counted.

Oh yeah, on a side note, I had to laugh when I read a righty blog that said: “Ever notice how much liberals love ‘studies’?” Man, you can’t make that kind of buffoonery up.

Parties Put Aside Fights on Schiavo Case
By DAVID ESPO AP Special Correspondent
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON Mar 24, 2005 — "Reid and Senate dems have been helpful thruout," Majority Leader Bill Frist messaged fellow Republican senators privately during pressured negotiations on legislation designed to save Terri Schiavo. The atmosphere was little different in the House, though Democratic opponents wanted extra time for debate and an on-the-record vote last weekend before allowing the final bill to pass.

The attitude marked an exception for a minority not accustomed to muting its opposition, a reflection of Schiavo's personal tragedy and the desire of many Democratic lawmakers to support the bill or at least avoid opposing it.

The party didn't want to be on the wrong side of "the culture of life," said one Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Add to that their hope fanned by recent polls that Republicans would wind up paying a political price by offending large segments of the electorate out of a desire to appeal to social conservatives.

"That's why we have just been sort of keeping our mouths shut on this," said one Democratic aide, explaining the strategy on condition of anonymity.

If the Republicans were prodded to action by one part of their political base, there was no countervailing pressure from organizations aligned with the Democrats. Not that they weren't hoping to gain quickly from the GOP drive to intervene, especially with polls showing as much as 70 to 80 percent of the public wanted politicians to stay out of Schiavo's family struggle.

Elliot Mincberg of People for The American Way said Thursday he hoped fallout from the Schiavo case would hamper GOP efforts to change Senate rules and speed confirmation of controversial Bush court appointees.

Speaking of Republicans who are undecided on the rules change, he said, "When they look at the Schiavo case and look at where leadership led them and look at the fact that 70 percent of the people are against them, we'd hope they'd think two, three or four times before plunging over the cliff."

More at ABC News

So one of the more under-covered stories these days is voting reform. One of the “grassroots” groups that has come forward with a more conservative bent is the American Center For Voting Rights. Sounds pretty impressive, right? Well, wait. You know if it’s a Republican organization there’s guaranteed to be some sort of shell game or bullshit involved. Typical, really…

Mystery Solved! Location of 'American Center for Voting Rights' Found! Exclusive Photographs!

Photos Suggest ACVR Website Developers Most Likely Very Very Tiny Republicans!

Funders for the so-far undocumented 501(c)3 organization and apparent GOP front group still unknown!

Thanks to the dilligence and footwork of a few BRAD BLOG readers and foot-soldiers, we are now able to offer an Exclusive photographic look at the location of the mysterious...

Thanks to the dilligence and footwork of a few BRAD BLOG readers and foot-soldiers, we are now able to offer an Exclusive photographic look at the location of the mysterious "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR)! Or at least a look at the mysterious and unnamed Dallas, TX company who is said by ACVR press spokesman, Jim Dyke, to have developed their website.

After recently reporting that the newly-formed, tax-exempt, "non-partisan", "voters rights" group, calling themselves the ACVR, is apparently little more than a GOP front group run by Dyke (the 2004 Communications Director for the Republican National Committee), Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II (the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.) and others, we sought to learn more about them.

In our exclusive BRAD BLOG interview yesterday with Dyke, the "contact" person for the group -- which suddenly appeared on the Internet last Thursday and was then called to give expert testimony last Monday before a U.S. Congressional House committee on the November Election Irregularties in Ohio -- we had asked Dyke about the location of the ACVR.

The hard-right Republican (responsible, among other things, for posting folks in "Flipper" dolphin costumes at John Kerry events in 2004) instructed us that, though he personally was in Charleston SC, the Dallas TX address on the Internic record for the new group -- the one which shows they just purchased their website domain just last week -- belonged to "the company that designed the website".

More at Brad Blog

As a counterpoint to the stupidity that’s going on, how about this. If you’re so outraged, Mr. Bush, if you’re so much about the “Culture of Life”, then why are you silent on the school shooting in Minnesota?

Native Americans Criticize Bush's Silence
Response to School Shooting Is Contrasted With President's Intervention in Schiavo Case

By Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 25, 2005; Page A06

MINNEAPOLIS, March 24 -- Native Americans across the country -- including tribal leaders, academics and rank-and-file tribe members -- voiced anger and frustration Thursday that President Bush has responded to the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history with silence.

Three days after 16-year-old Jeff Weise killed nine members of his Red Lake tribe before taking his own life, grief-stricken American Indians complained that the White House has offered little in the way of sympathy for the tribe situated in the uppermost region of Minnesota.

"From all over the world we are getting letters of condolence, the Red Cross has come, but the so-called Great White Father in Washington hasn't said or done a thing," said Clyde Bellecourt, a Chippewa Indian who is the founder and national director of the American Indian Movement here. "When people's children are murdered and others are in the hospital hanging on to life, he should be the first one to offer his condolences. . . . If this was a white community, I don't think he'd have any problem doing that."

Weise's victims included his grandfather and five teenagers; seven other students were wounded, and two of them remain in serious condition in a hospital in Fargo, N.D.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, in an informal discussion with reporters Tuesday, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were killed."

"I hope that he would say something," said Victoria Graves, a cultural educator at Red Lake Elementary School on the reservation. "It's important that there's acknowledgment of the tragedy. It's important he sees the tribes are out here. We need help."

The reaction to Bush's silence was particularly bitter given his high-profile, late-night intervention on behalf of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman caught in a legal battle over whether her feeding tube should be reinserted.

"The fact that Bush preempted his vacation to say something about Ms. Schiavo and here you have 10 native people gunned down and he can't take time to speak is very telling," said David Wilkins, interim chairman of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota and a member of the North Carolina-based Lumbee tribe.

More at the Washington Post

Posted by crimnos @ 9:34 AM