pacifica will cover the alito hearings live & the round-robin schedule

Mon., Jan. 9 through Fri., Jan. 13The Pacifica Radio Network is bringing you the Samuel Alito Senate Hearing for nomination to the United States Supreme Court live!Verna Avery Brown teams with Mitch Jeserich from Free Speech Radio News and Pacifica National Affairs correspondent, Larry Bensky, to bring you the controversial nomination hearing of Samuel Alito for United States Supreme Court, live.
Anchors: Larry Bensky, KPFA; Verna Avery Brown, WPFW; Mitch Jesserich, FSRN.The schedule of hearings includes a one hour pre-show on the opening day, and an half-hour wrap-up show each evening. Live analysts will join us in the booth and via telephone throughout the hearings.
Pacifica will be bringing you live coverage (as they did during the Roberts' confirmation hearings). That's great if you live in an area Pacifica broadcasts in, right? Well, online access permitting, many people live in areas where Pacifica broadcasts because they provide live webcasts (as well as archived ones). This isn't Renee and Steve yucking it up with Cokie on NPR Monday where maybe you'll get a (canned) story about the hearings that day. This is live coverage. No cutting to "cute" stories about a fisherman who . . . (fill in the anecdote, NPR loves their "cute" fisherman stories). So this starts Monday (unless the hearings are postponed for some reason). You can listen via webcast, live streaming (which you can use any day of the week, at any hour, to listen to Pacifica programming, live or archived programming).

ruth saw the announcement (italics) and c.i. posted it as a heads up. pacifica is public radio. they see it as a public service, broadcasting the hearings. and npr? they'll be offering their usual soft talk and crappy music. so if you're interested in hearing the hearings, you won't hear them on npr, not live. but you can hear it on pacifica. so if you're interested in following closely, please listen.

(i say 'if' because as a woman who's had an abortion, i'm honestly scared to death that alito will be confirmed and that reproductive rights will be destroyed. i'll listen because i have to hear and try to figure out how it's going. but i can understand if some 1's so frightened that they need the distance that following it in the next day's paper will provide.)

the democrats in the senate have already hinted that this isn't something important enough to filibuster.

it's just a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. nothing big there.

they think they need to save the ammo for something really important. maybe funding wild flowers on the side of arizona highways? but this, it's not a biggie. if you wonder why the democrats are in the minority party, look no further than the fact that going into a confirmation hearing for the biggest appointment congress can make, the most long lasting, they're rushing to offer whispers that they're taking the filibuster offer off the table.

check out buzzflash's "Thank God our current Senate Democrats weren't at Lexington and Concord!":

If the patriots had held their powder at Lexington and Concord, this nation might still be under a monarchy. (Well, in a way we do still have King George in power, but that's another story.)
This thought comes to mind because the Democrats in the senate are now thinking of "keeping their powder dry" and letting Sam Alito, who believes in unbridled executive branch power (aka, monarchy, dictatorship, etc.) get greenlighted to a seat on the Supreme Court. Forget, for a moment, that Alito is opposed to the fundamental principles of the Democratic Party platform; Alito is opposed to democracy.
Scalito, as he is called, believes in having a Republican president violate the Constitution by simply making a statement giving his interpretation of any law passed by Congress when he signs it. According to Scalito, this Republican presidential interpretation then becomes the law, not the "intent of Congress."
The man who Bush would have join the other absolute power of the Republican executive branch supporters on the Supreme Court came up with this idea while serving in the Reagan Administration. He urged adopting the "executive branch statement of interpretation" quietly and gradually, so it wouldn't draw much press or legal attention.

that pretty much sums it all up, doesn't it? i try not to pick on john kerry but was it just last week that he sent out that e-mail asking for donations to the 2006 races? the 1 that said we needed to reach into our pocketbooks because the democrats will fight?

maybe we should demand a test drive 1st?

as with the tragedy of john roberts jr. being confirmed, the gina & krista round-robin will have daily special editions. c.i. posted a schedule and there are some additions. i'm printing c.i.'s schedule but adding to it and since i use lowercase. this is the schedule for when the roundtabls will take place. the friday roundtable (if the hearings go on that long) will run in a special round-robin on monday morning. (and the round-robin monday will feature a roundtable because we participated in 1 tonight. it's mainly predicitions.) here's the line up:

Monday: Francisco, Susan, Eli, Shirley and Martha, c.i., ruth, tracey, ava, jess, jim, ty, dona, elaine, wally, mike, nina, cedric, betty, kat, mia, and me
Tuesday: Marcia, Charlie, Keesha, Eli, Eddie, Billie, Rob, Kara, Brad, Beth, Keshawn and Liang,
c.i., ruth, tracey, ava, jess, ty, elaine, wally, mike, cedric, betty, wally, mike, nina, dominic and me
Wednesday: Bonnie, Eli, Joan, Maria,
c.i., ruth, tracey, jayson (ruth's grandson), ava, jess, dona, jim, elaine, wally, mike, kat, kayla, kendrick, and me
Thursday: Erika, Eli, Brady,
c.i., ruth, tracey, jayson, ava, jess, ty, dona, cedric, betty, elaine, wally, mike, nina, kat, zach, and me
Friday: Miguel, Eli, Lynda, Keesha,
c.i., ruth, tracey, ava, jess, jim, wally, betty, elaine, kat, mia, cindy and me

so you can look forward to that. other names may be added but as of right now, that's the way that the schedule stands. wally decided to do every night because eli was. we're all pretty impressed with eli. he's not just the oldest member of the common ills community, he's also 1 of the sweetest and 1 of the wisest. there are other people who will participate in other ways in the special editions. and 'judge' will give us a peak at strategies like last time.


reply to e-mails

i had some e-mail about yesterday's entry which was a joint entry c.i. and i worked on together.

first question was 'why did it post so late?' i got the idea late in the day. i wanted to work on it with c.i. because i do think there need to be more joint entries. things are really busy for c.i. right now and i left a ton of messages and noted in all of them, 'call me when you get this, no matter what time it is' which did happen.

i explained what i wanted to do and c.i. was cool with it. we discussed songs and i was really pushing for 'american pie'. c.i. pointed out 'it's so long!' and it is. it was also late and i wish that hadn't been the case. but we worked and worked on it.

some of it we just tossed in hoping to go back and fix it later.

then it was so late and i said 'i'm too tired' and c.i. said, 'you know what? that's cool. ellie greenwich and barry mann often ended up with something people liked when they threw something in and weren't able to fix it later.'

my favorite line (6 e-mails asked that) is the 1 about 'naomi and the book of baghdad' which c.i. came up with. c.i. said 'baghdad' like they do on the bbc and it just sounds so much better that way 'naomi and the book of baghdad.'

was it fun?

hell yes. if we hadn't had fun, it would have been awful. it was late but the time flew.

why did we do it together?

because the lack of disclosure on the part of you know who 1st surfaced together.

c.i. was contacted by a man wanting my phone number. why? i have no idea. he didn't seem to read what i wrote. so i'm guessing he saw 'sex' and thought 'score.'

i didn't know him. i was on vacation. c.i. called and i checked my e-mail throughout as most of my regular readers know. but the 1st time c.i. called i got told about the e-mail and how the guy, who doesn't know me and doesn't know c.i., is asking c.i. to give out my phone number.

that was sort of freaky and everything that followed was as well.

but we both got drug into this and i felt we should write it together.

it was so late and i made the mistake of saying 'i wish you'd write something about it' and then called back because mine was up and c.i.'s wasn't. c.i. was trying to write something. c.i. reads some of it to me and i say 'okay, that's a book.'

and turns out that c.i. worked and worked on it. no sleep at all last night and i honestly feel bad about that.

i know c.i. was tired all day and i urged that there be no posts tonight.

i hope that's the case.

so why 'american pie.' for a number of reasons. but 1 is that the daily howler died.

i'm sorry that's the case.

i'm sorry bob somerby goes out the way he does.

but that's the way it goes sometimes.

1 e-mail asked 'is kim gandy screamed' a knock at kim gandy?

no. 'dreamed' and 'screamed' rhymed which was the main reason we came up with it. c.i. did raise that after we came up with the line: 'people won't think this is an insult, will they?'

so we debated that line last night and then decided that these are times when you scream, that you scream when you're in pain and that 'the scream' is a famous work of art.

most of all, kim gandy will not go quietly into the night. she is going to fight for what is right with everything she has. (she seems like a giant on tv because she's so strong but she's actually not that tall.) if you're smart, you seem her as the warning system. when something's wrong, she says so. she doesn't sugar coat and she doesn't sit there with a silly grin on her face when she's interviewed. if it's wrong, she says it's wrong.

she's an important voice and 1 that i'm glad exists because she's a fighter and we need her so badly now. sometimes we have to fight and feel like we're on our own. with kim gandy heading now, we aren't. she's a real leader and 1 that this country needs now more than ever. she's an inspiration. if you don't read her column regularly, you should start reading it. you can find it and other things at now's website.

if you know about her, you know what i'm talking about. i don't know what to make of the naacp yet. they have a new leader and i'm waiting to see how that goes. but julian bond is a brave voice and hopefully the new leadership will follow in his footsteps.

there are so few really brave voices. there are a lot of people who try to appease the bully boy and then a year or 2 later they whine that they were tricked or they were fooled. when you're dealing with a bully, you have to fight. kim gandy knows how to fight.

what other songs did we consider? c.i. named some carly simon songs and they were good choices. we also thought about the beatles 'i am the walrus' and jefferson airplane's 'plastic fantastic lover' for melodies.

the other big question was from people who laughed and they were wondering if that was okay?
yes, it's supposed to be funny. but considering the way the world is today, i would urge you to laugh anytime you see the chance.

there was a lot of feedback on this and i'm so glad that so many enjoyed it.

so bye, bye bob somerby

the following is the tune of don mclean's 'american pie' and was written by c.i. and myself. we've grown tired of the conflicts of bob somerby. there's more i could say but i'll leave it at this tonight. it says it all and if it's a puzzle to you, trust that the person its here for fully gets it.

a long, long time ago ... i can still remember how
that howler used to make me smile.
and i knew if i clicked the link,
that it could make me think,
and maybe make me laugh for awhile.
but larry summers made me shiver,
new republicans you'd prop and deliver,
depressing my morning routine ....
i couldn't take another read.
i can't remember if i cried
when i heard about your conflict inside
but something ended the crazy ride
the day the howler died.

so ... bye, bye bob somerby
checked out the conflict and the conflict was inside (of you)
and like cokie and tim you took people for a ride
singing 'you shall never see me clown
you shall never see me clown.'

did you write the (slam) book on joe (wilson)
and did you sell your soul?
if a buddy tells you so
do you repeat GOP spin?
who will save your mortal soul
who will walk through you slow?

well i know you're friends with him
cause i saw you dancing in the gym
you both took out your knives
went after joe wilson with spin and lies.

i was a depressed woman in a funk
pissed off at the election and the bully punk
and i knew that the howler was sunk
the day the howler died.

so ... bye, bye bob somerby
checked out the conflict and the conflict was inside (of you)
and like cokie and tim you took people for a ride
singing 'you shall never see me clown
you shall never see me clown.'

now for the next election cycle we're on our own
and that might make some moan and groan
but you're off in the dlc zone
the jester jumping the king to push the queen
in a coat borrowed from time magazine
in a voice that came from you and you know who
and while the queen was acting a hawk
you were silent on iraq
you were clowning to the max
self-disclosure was real lax.
while naomi read from the book of baghad
we were gathered in central park
but you were somewhere in the dark
the day the howler died.

so ... bye, bye bob somerby
checked out the conflict and the conflict was inside (of you)
and like cokie and tim you took people for a ride
singing 'you shall never see me clown
you shall never see me clown.'

new york times in the summer scandal
judy miller left without shelter
kicked off her peerch and falling fast
she landed foul upon the grass.
but you never wrote of her or him
and in the end that did you in
now you're the daily fool
who broke his own rules
a crank, no longer cool.
as the truth tried to take the field
spin, you refused to yield
even so you've been revealed
the day the howler died.

so ... bye, bye bob somerby
checked out the conflict and the conflict was inside (of you)
and like cokie and tim you took people for a ride
singing 'you shall never see me clown
you shall never see me clown.'

there we were all in defeat
no time left to clown on the beat
the constitution taking heat
but bob be obtuse
bob be a bore
bob tell us about 99 once more
cause you've got so little to say about today.
as i watched you divert from the stage
my hands were clenched in fists of rage
not even joan baez speaking real
could break your faustian deal
and as smoke poured from the screen
robert novak wasn't that mean
the day the howler died.

there was a time when i sang the blues
but you could cheer me up with your views
those days have long faded away
i went back to the source within
where i found strength to begin
and no sexists were allowed
and in the streets kim gandy screamed
the women gathered and the women dreamed
not a word of you was spoken
your promise had long been broken

and the three women i admire the most
naomi, gandy and gloria the most
said that this was no time to coast
and the howler died.

so ... bye, bye bob somerby
checked out the conflict and the conflict was inside (of you)
and like cokie and tim you took people for a ride
singing 'you shall never see me clown
you shall never see me clown.'


2006 focus

RUSSELL TICE: Well, the National Security Agency is an agency that deals with monitoring communications for the defense of the country. The charter basically says that the N.S.A. will deal with communications of -- overseas. We're not allowed to go after Americans, and I think ultimately that's what the big fuss is now. But as far as the details of how N.S.A. does that, unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to say that. I don’t want to walk out of here and end up in an F.B.I. interrogation room.
AMY GOODMAN: Russell Tice, you have worked for the National Security Agency. Can you talk about your response to the revelations that the Times, you know, revealed in -- perhaps late, knowing the story well before the election, yet revealing it a few weeks ago -- the revelation of the wiretapping of American citizens?
RUSSELL TICE: Well, as far as an intelligence officer, especially a SIGINT officer at N.S.A., we're taught from very early on in our careers that you just do not do this. This is probably the number one commandment of the SIGINT Ten Commandments as a SIGINT officer. You will not spy on Americans. It is drilled into our head over and over and over again in security briefings, at least twice a year, where you ultimately have to sign a paper that says you have gotten the briefing. Everyone at N.S.A. who's a SIGINT officer knows that you do not do this. Ultimately, so do the leaders of N.S.A., and apparently the leaders of N.S.A. have decided that they were just going to go against the tenets of something that’s a gospel to a SIGINT officer.

i love democracy now and think it's 'always worth watching' like marcia always quoted saying at the common ills (i think her new phrase is 'always informing you' for 2006 judging by c.i.'s latest entry). but i figure that most of you are already watching. i watch. but you can also listen to the show or you can read the transcripts. i'm pulling from a transcript, in fact.

so if you can't watch it and maybe can't get listen either through radio or the net, you can read the transcripts. here's 1 that you should, 'National Security Agency Whistleblower Warns Domestic Spying Program Is Sign the U.S. is Decaying Into a "Police State."'

this is your country. are you going to go through 2006 wasting your time and the time of people around you focusing on trivia or are you going to take part in your country?

did you make some resolutions on 2005? i think they're pretty useless. but maybe you do that.
how are they going? have you stuck by them? if so good for you. if not, well start over. and regardless we can make a resolution, even me, to be better informed in 2006. that requires information, access to it, and it requires paying attention.

democracy now is one hour a day monday through friday. don't have an hour to give? are you a speed reader? you can probably read the transcripts quickly.

janeane garofalo often tells people that they can spare ten minutes a day and with just that they can watch or listen to or read the daily headlines at democracy now. so listen to janeane if you won't listen to me.

but we saw huge changes in 2005. i don't just mean the crimes of the bully boy. we know about that. we've discussed that. but we saw the people get involved in large numbers. we need to keep that trend going in 2006.

for my high school readers (and my now 3 middle school readers), you do a wonderful job. you talk about the events and get the word out. you put some adults in this country to shame. if you're an adult and you're reading this, have you wasted 2005 talking about trivia or have you made a point to use time with your friends to talk about things that matter to you and to the country?

everybody likes to have fun. i like to have fun. but there's a place for that and there's a place for doing things that matter. in 2006, we'll have fun here. we'll talk about men's bodies, we'll laugh, we'll joke, we'll dish. but we'll also continue to address important issues. that includes railing against sexism because sexism is still very real and still with us. we'll talk about the bully boy and the war.

we can do that and much more.

but a lot of e-mails came in, usually after people spent the holidays with their families, about how they were surrounded by trivia.

if that's a problem facing you, take the lead and make the change. don't wait for someone to talk about something that matters, bring it up yourself.

that's how we'll make a difference. that's how we'll participate in the world around us.

that doesn't mean you can't talk music. kat does. but she's not whining that britney's pregnant or some such nonsense. she's talking about how music matters to us, how it can matter to us, what it can say and the reality that these days there's a lot of crap out there.

are you a couch potato? c.i. and ava, who aren't couch potatoes, take on tv every week in their reviews at the third estate sunday review. but, unlike the pristine types, they aren't blindly gushing over tv shows. they don't, for instance, see a woman, usually in a push up bra, and think it's a break through for feminism. they're looking at what the show's saying and what it isn't saying. they're looking at representation, and if you read their latest you know that african-americans are still under represented in the midseason replacement shows. you can discuss entertainment and do it in a way that matters as opposed to blindly shouting out 'watch veronica mars it is so cool and it's like my hero joss is back!' now hearing that from a teenager would be sad enough but from a middle aged woman? but, as readers know, there exists such a woman who apparently suffered through high school and therefore the country must suffer as she desparately searches for a tv show aimed at teenagers that can restore her wounded ego by allowing her to relive high school her way.

my young readers are too young to remember this in real time but hopefully they've heard it. bill clinton was elected in 1992 and 1 of his campaign promises was to lift the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military. guess what? didn't happen. huge b.s. from the right and colin powell throwing road blocks. oh it would destroy the military! oh the military has to be beyond sexual relations and gays and lesbians would harm that! oh the fears in the showers! forget that gays and lesbians have always made up a part of the armed services. that was the lie repeated over and over. so bill did the best that he could do (i hope it was the best that he could do at that time) for the time and created the don't ask don't tell policy. that says that no 1 can be asked what their sexuality is and that you don't tell. as long as you keep your head down (and continue the message of shame - the compromise was a deal with the devil), you can serve.

so when ava and c.i. looked at navy ncis, which is t's favorite of all their reviews, they noticed when the show opened with two officers, a male and a female, rolling around on top of each other. pretending to have sex. the show has military advisors and they didn't object. so the whole sex issue is phoney. it's only an issue when it's same-sex. and that's the approach ava and c.i. took in discussing the show. that's how you can talk intelligently about entertainment, that's called perspective. a middle aged woman typing 'joss is so dreamy' isn't contributing anything but to her further decline as a semi-rational adult.

so let's all try to be as mature as my high school (and 3 middle school) readers are. i think we can pull that off. let's look at the world around us and talk about it. we can still have fun. and we can have blow off days where all we do is have fun. but let's make 2006 about something more than trivia.

"The Common Ills Year in Review 2005" is a must read and so is kat's "Kat's Korner: 2005 in Music" but tonight i want to make a comment about "Ruth's Year End Report" because i had some e-mails on that. ruth is talking about when kenny tomlinson was out to destroy npr and pbs. my attitude, and it's up here in real time, was 'what's the point?' ruth and i have discussed it back then and since. there isn't a problem between ruth and i; however, some who didn't know the history read it today and e-mailed to ask me why ruth was mad at me? she's not.

and it's not that she suddenly agrees with my point of view. she just remembers what happens everytime the left fights a brave battle to 'save' npr or pbs. we give our time, we give our money and after it's over npr and pbs give us shit in return. they don't make a point to say 'hey, the left fought for us so they are out there. maybe we should put some more of them on as guests?' they keep doing the same crap they did before which is center-right and right guests who are officials from the government or elected officials or from center and center-right think tanks and the people, all the people not just the left, are once again left out in the cold.

that's why my attitude was 'what's the point?'

pbs espeically. they're about to turn their back on the public. the transfer to digital broadcast, when complete, will mean the 'public' will have to pay for cable or digital tv to receive pbs. that's not 'public television' - not when over 73 million americans do not currently have cable or digital tv. not when a healthy portion of the public won't be able to afford it.

they take all this corporate money and it keeps them from airing anything to hard hitting, no matter how true the thing is. so quit calling yourself 'public television.' you're not public television. and does the public really need to see suze orman at 1 of her fundraiser/workshops spouting her easy nonsense into a microphone while she works the room? that's good television? that's an informercial and pbs hawks her tapes, her books, her videos.

so my attitude is if they go away i won't cry. i'll watch if something interesting is on (which is about once every three months) but i don't 'pledge.' my tax payer dollars already take care of my 'pledge' and their programming doesn't reflect my interests.

npr is even worse with their silly shows on the morning that straddle the fence between pure waste of time and a few morsels of information.

i've done the pbs/npr battle before and learned then that they didn't give a damn about the public. they care about not offending the right wing members of congress. that's the basis of every decision, 'how much can we do and not upset the republicans' and that makes for crummy broadcasting. it doesn't make for public television or public radio.

but that was my opinion back then and i was open about it. ruth knew it and we talked about it then. i also, because ruth has become a good friend, made a point to note a few 'save pbs' and 'save npr' things while noting that i was doing that out of respect for ruth.

we have no problem, ruth and i. but to some readers who didn't know the background, there was a question of 'is ruth mad at you' and she's not. people can disagree and get along. back then ruth and i disagreed on the need to save npr and pbs. we didn't hate each other. i didn't pull a pristine and slam ruth's writing and suggest that she's a no talent the way pristine did when she attacked kat. ruth and i and it was on a topic that was important to ruth so i tossed out a few links to help out a friend on a cause they were supporting. i don't regret that. i doubt ruth does. and she shouldn't regret trying to defend npr and pbs because that was her honest reaction and where she was at. she's no longer at the same place and that's fine too.

she mentioned me, i think, largely because we are friends and she was attempting to give me a link but also because she was talking about realizing how you can fight and fight for pbs and npr and they never appreciate you. that's why she uses the word 'manipulated' to describe how she feels since the last big battles.

hope that clears it up for the readers who had missed the original discussions on npr and pbs.