Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for August 23rd, 2008

The coup brewing in Bolivia

Posted by Charles II on August 23, 2008

The American military presence in Colombia
The American military presence in Colombia as of 2000, from a report by Adam Isacson

BBC has footage of the city of Santa Cruz from August 19th.

Rory Carroll and Andrés Schipani , The Guardian:

Violent protests against President Evo Morales have shaken Bolivia and cut the Andean nation in half, with rebel provinces blocking government attempts to regain control and tensions running dangerously high between the country’s Indian majority and inhabitants of the richer and whiter eastern provinces.

Militia groups armed with clubs and shields took to the streets last week to impose a strike which paralysed much of the eastern lowlands and deepened a political crisis. Youths opposed to Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, beat up senior police commanders in front of television cameras, underlining the brazen challenge to central government authority.

…Protesters have halted beef supplies to the west, blockaded highways and made moves to create a new police force to assert their push for autonomy from the capital, La Paz….

The eastern lowlands however, which have the richest gas reserves and farmland and a freewheeling capitalist spirit, see Morales as a power-hungry autocrat with ruinous economic policies. They are especially enraged by an attempt to redistribute land and to funnel gas revenues away from the provinces and into a state pension fund for those aged over 60, seen as a populist ruse to weaken the provinces. ‘If there is inflation, it is because the elderly poor are now having money to eat chicken,’ one man grumbled on television.

La Jornada has an impressive video on the coup that occurred in Bolivia 28 years ago, showing the connections of narcotrafficking and neo-Nazism to reactionary politics…. including the nascent coup of today. There are a number of other interesting videos. On the front page of La Jornada is an interview of a couple of journalists explaining how difficult it is to report the news. One is reporting for Quechua-language Catholic TV. She was stalked and threatened with assault and death.

There’s plenty of American firepower in the vicinity should the US decide to take an active role in a coup against Evo Morales.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Latin America, Oil | 18 Comments »

Remove Ron Fournier

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 23, 2008

As you may already know, Ron “Rove” Fournier has a long history of shivving Democrats and sucking up to the GOP. It’s been suspected that the main, if not only, reason he didn’t become the McCain campaign’s official press secretary is that they and he figured he’d be a more effective propagandist if he could still falsely cloak himself with a journalist’s mantle of assumed objectivity.

Jane Hamsher over at FDL, my second blogging home, has something to say — and for us to do — about this. Go, read, and do what she says.

Posted in 2008, GOP/Media Complex | 1 Comment »

Expect More of This

Posted by MEC on August 23, 2008

The news that Barack Obama has chosen Joe Biden as his running was reported as follows on Detroit radio station WWJ.

Top-of-the-hour news from CBS, my paraphrase:

Obama has chosen Joe Biden as his running mate. He had to choose an veteran politician because Obama himself lacks the experience to be president. Choosing a veteran politician makes Obama a hypocrite because his message is “change”. Even the man he’s chosen as his running mate has criticized Obama for being inexperienced.

Local news announcer immediately following, quoting as accurately as memory allows:

“Democrats are thrilled by the choice of Joe Biden as Barack Obama’s running mate. But what do Republicans think? We asked Republican consultant….”

If you guessed that they did not include soundbites from “thrilled Democrats”, much less have a Democrat on the air to discuss the choice, you guessed right.

All together now, with four-part harmony: What liberal media?

Posted in beat the press, GOP/Media Complex | 4 Comments »

Jamison Moser Speaks

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 23, 2008

You listen:

When John Edwards was running for president, and the media were obsessing about his wealth, they linked his fortune to his policy positions. Surely John McCain — who can’t remember how many houses he owns, “jokes” that you aren’t rich unless you make $5 million a year, and supports tax policies that would save him and his wife, Cindy, nearly $400,000 a year — should be held to the same standard?

Of course, John McCain is rarely held to the same standard the media apply to Democrats. But if basic fairness doesn’t convince reporters to examine how the candidates’ policy proposals relate to their wealth — and to the voters they are trying to woo — maybe this will: John McCain wants the media to link the candidates’ wealth with their proposals.

McCain’s campaign released a statement yesterday linking Obama’s 2007 salary with his “plans to raise taxes.” (Obama would, in fact, cut taxes on the vast majority of Americans, which didn’t stop several journalists from reporting McCain’s false attack as though it were true.) If media darling John McCain wants the media to consider the candidates’ wealth in concert with their policy proposals … well, few reporters have a track record of resisting McCain’s desires. Why should they start now?


Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, GOP/Media Complex, John Edwards, John McCain | 3 Comments »

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