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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

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Should Gen. McChrystal Get Canned? Opinions Updated Here All Day

Reaction to the Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal and remarks he and aides made about President Obama and others is now rolling in. We will update the reactions—should he stay or should he go?—as they come in, updated from the top.  For the key links and background so far go to today's Daybook here.

**

Stephen M. Walt at Foreign Policy:  "Whatever happens to McChrystal, the real question remains unresolved: What the heck are we doing in Afghanistan, and is an open-ended war there in the U.S. national interest?"

Rep. Ron Paul on Hardball says McChrystal should go.  Why are we concerned about his "survival" when should be worried about survival of our troops.  War going badly and we should get out.

Tom Ricks at Foreign Policy:  McChrystal will go -- in a week or so.  He wants Petraeus to "step down a command" and take over.  Need whole new team.

Joe Klein on CNN says a "good source" tells him McChrystal has offered to resign.  But Obama also has option of making point by firing him.   No confirmation at all from White House.

Michael Hastings, author of Rolling Stone article, says all key quotes from McChrystal or "inner circle."   Also, had tape recorder in clear view, he tells CNN.

Rolling Stone editor Eric Bates interviewed by Huff Post. Says they knew long ago that had "explosive" quotes.   Plans to publish material that was cut from story. Mad at Politico for wrongly stating that the magazine showed article to McChrystal in advance--then publishing PDF of article on their site before Rolling Stone did.

Gen. Barry McCaffrey on MSNBC: whether McChrystal goes or stays, his authority "fatally" damaged and "should go." Don't expect criticism of Obama from military if he cans him... Mike Allen of Politico: Robert Gibbs briefing this afternoon suggests he is toast. So do statements by three hawkish senators, including Lieberman.

Jonathan Alter at Newsweek: Military code demands his ouster: "Having been burned once by Stanley McChrystal, the president is not likely to allow himself to be burned again." David Ignatius at Wash Post: If anything, article understates level of "backbiting" going on. Obama needs to get right team in place.

Ben Smith at Politico recalls that Pat Tillman's mother had warned about elevaring McChrystal, who took part in coverup of son's death.

Secretary of Defense Gates: McChrystal "made a significant mistake." Statement here.

Conservative writer Byron York: Retired military guy who served under McChrystal tells him "just a matter of time" for him to implode, always disdainful of "the suits." But Obama in bind—fully justified in canning him but bad for Afghan drawdown... Another righty, Victor Davis Hanson at National Review, also says he should go, partly because if he couldn't ID a Rolling Stone write-up as a danger, how can he defeat the Taliban? 

Joe Klein at Time: He still loves McChrystal but knows he speaks his mind, is myopic and bad at PR, so  "I suppose he will have to be sacked now. He is not irreplaceable. There are more than a few fine generals in the Army."  Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic agrees—general showed disrespect, a sin.

General Jack Jacobs on MSNBC: It's mainly aides'  fault but "McChrystal will show up tomorrow with his resignation." Also, what's Gen. Petraeus up to? "Chain of command breakiing down in both directions."

Marcy Wheeler: What's really being missed in article—and most important—is devastating portrait of failing Afghan policy.

Military law expert: McChrystal within rights, but should go away anyway.

Juan Cole: Should Obama fire McChrystal (who has not kept his Afghan promises anyway) like Truman axed MacArthur?... Yes, general should go, argues Jonathan Capehart at Wash Post... 

James Fallows says Obama must can him: "It's about civilian control of the military, respect for the chain of command, and the concepts of disrespect and insubordination." 

McChyrstal aides mocked him, but John Kerry says he won't respond because mission too important, president will handle.


DAYBOOK for Tuesday: Gen. McChrystal Recalled to Washington Over 'Rolling Stone' Article

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates every afternoon. Plus: Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

That Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal causing tsunami-like waves--see full list of links below.  Also for full range of opinions on whether he should get fired, see my collection of views here.  Even many on right say he should go. 

Plus: Writer of article says most damaging quotes came in first 24 hours--so wasn't a case of "charming" the general of him letting down guard....  Politico wrote that Rolling Stone editor says McChrystal saw article before publication--and raised no objections at all.  But Rolling Stone later denies--says he okayed facts in fact-checking, didn't see whole thing ....Vanity Fair:  3 giant ways the general went wrong in dealing with Rolling Stone.

Surprise: U.S. judge overturns Obama moratorium on offshore driling after families complained.

Karl Rove demands NYT and Gail  Collins correct claim that President Bush suggested Americans "go shopping" after 9/11.  Text of letter.  Fact checking surely to come.  The Rude Pundit finds somewhat similar Bush quote.

Editor of Sarah Palin's hometown paper who sort of threatened writer Joe McGinniss with violence gets sacked.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now says key documents related to air strike on civilians in Afghan to be released this week but that rumored video to not appear until later in summer.

That acclaimed documentary about my old friend William Kunstler -- by his daughters -- on POV tonight at 10 pm in New York, possibly also elsewhere on PBS. 

-- NUGGETY GOODNESS FOR TUESDAY MORNING

McCHRYSTAL'S NEW PERSUASION:   Explosive Rolling Stone article -- just posted in full -- on Gen. Stanley McChrystal and tension w/ Obama administration over Afghan policy and problem causing huge stir.  It's titled "Runaway General."  Thin-skinned and underachieving general disses "out of depth" Obama and aides mock Biden and ambassador.  First, he apologized  saying,  "Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard."  Read plenty here via Politico.  Juicy excerpts here.  Key  updates:  McChrystal has fired a press aide -- and the general has been recalled to Washington for a talk.

Juan Cole:  Should Obama fire McChrystal (who has not kept his Afghan promises anyway) like Truman axed MacArthur? Yes, general should go, argues Jonathan Capehart at Wash Post.  James Fallows says Obama must can him"It's about civilian control of the military, respect for the chain of command, and the concepts of disrespect and insubordination." Gen. Jack Jacobs on MSNBC: It's mainly aides'  fault but "McChrystal will show up tomorrow with his resignation." Also, what's Petraeus up to?  "Chain of command breakiing down in both directions."

In article McChrystal aide makes a "fucking gay" remark, to boot....   NYT covers: At least no doubt now where general stands. 

GENERAL DISORDER  On above, Seth Meyers tweets:  "To be fair, who could have possibly known granting access to Rolling Stone could have a downside?" ...  Adam Serwer:  "BREAKING:  Joe Barton apologizes to McChrystal." .... Harry Shearer:   "White House plans severe punishment for McChrystal -- making him remain in charge of Afghan war."  Also from Harry:   "McChrystal defense: why he talked to Rolling Stone--"They were fair to Korn." 

HAYWARD LEEWARD  Jon Stewart on Tony Hayward yachting: "So NOW he's into wind power."  Andy Borowitz:  "Thanks to McChrystal,  the BP oil spill has now dropped to second-worst leak."

COMCAST WINS    Opponents win some concessions, but Comcast / NBC Universal purchase going through.

DON WE NOW OUR MALE APPAREL  For Mad Men fans:  Yes, it's returning July 25 and, yes, that's an exclusive look at poster for this season (left).... Industry hitting back at HBO film Gasland, which aired Monday, so strong it led to rare occasion of Jon Stewart reading off some of the critique in interviewing director of the film, Josh Fox, last night. ... Yes, folks, there is a second season of Treme coming. 

OUR MONEY TO TALIBAN  Congressional report finds taxpayer money may be going to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan fighting our troops via you-guessed-it (American private contractors).... 

GOODBYE TO ALL THAT  Bob Herbert:  While Dems and Repubs squabble, or blame Glenn Beck, "the greatness of the United States, which so many have taken for granted for so long, is steadily slipping away."

THAT'S WHAT HE SAID  President Obama and GOP Sen. Kyl in "war of words" he said / he said duel over what was said at private meeting about border security. 

NEW 'NYT' SCOLD  NYT names new public editor and it's a famous namesake in journalism history: Arthur Brisbane.    During the first decades of the 20th century, Arthur Brisbane, his grandfather,  was one of William Randolph Hearst's top editors and columnists. The current Brisbane, former editor of the Kansas City Star,  was one of two execs in line to head Knight Ridder before it was sold to McClatchy.

AP KILLER:  CNN cuts ties with the Associated Press....   Doonesbury today with poke at ever-thinner print newspapers--becoming not just the proverbial "rag"? 

BITS & PIECES:  As world watches:  85 Senators sign on to AIPAC letter backing Israeli action vs. Gaza flotilla.... Double standard alert:  Marty Peretz, bigoted against Muslims and Arabs, condemns Helen Thomas heartily.... In a free speech vs. national security case, U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal law that makes it a crime to provide “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations, even if the help takes the form of training for peacefully resolving conflicts.

TODAY's LAFF

A new auto-tuning the news with TV pundits talking/singing about pot and Elena Kagan's possible sexual orientation.

 TODAY's MUSIC

I gave up on the show after about three shows but that won't keep me from giving you Snoop's new homage and offer to be a "Bon Pimp."  Can some Dogg get some love?  

 

Monday DAYBOOK: BP Warned, Israel Backed, New 'NYT' Public Editor Named

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates every afternoon. Plus: Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

NYT names new public editor and it's a famous namesake in journalism history: Arthur Brisbane.    During the first decades of the 20th century, Arthur Brisbane was one of William Randolph Hearst's top editors and columnists. The current Brisbane was one of two execs in line to head Knight Ridder before it was sold to McClatchy.

As world watches:  85 Senators sign on to AIPAC letter backing Israeli action vs. Gaza flotilla.... Double standard alert:  Marty Peretz, bigoted against Muslims and Arabs, condemns Helen Thomas heartily.

TPM:  Tea partiers to Obama: lay off BP!  ... For a chuckle: Here's GOP tea party fave Sharon Angle's first ad vs. Harry Reid, an attack ad attacking him for attacking her.  Love that music. 

MSNBC's Contessa Brewers this afternoon equates GOPers backing BP, and Tony Hayward going yachting, with Obama playing golf--even sponsors a poll on it.

In a free speech vs. national security case, U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a federal law that makes it a crime to provide “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations, even if the help takes the form of training for peacefully resolving conflicts.

Andrew Sullivan and others hit Utah's attoreny general for tweeting firing squad execution of prisoner.

Even as many in middle, and on right (e.g. Ross Douthat) wonder why "liberal" pundits are criticizing Obama, Glenn Greenwald wonders why so many continue to back him on certain key issues. ... Once relatively sane Michael Barone  (he wrote for me at a magazine years ago) calls Obama a thug and backs Joe Barton on BP. 

Please, more of this: Buffalo News breaks ranks,  bans anonymous commenters on web stories....With officials and pundits apparently all sticking to the facts now, PolitiFact has time to fact-check Snooki. 

-- MONDAY, CANT TRUST THAT DAY

STIMULATING:  Huff Post: Robert Reich compares Alan Greenspan, because of his statement against more stimulus,  to none othe than -- Tony Hayward.  Paul Krugman affirms:  "Spend now, while the economy remains depressed; save later, once it has recovered. How hard is that to understand? Very hard, if the current state of political debate is any indication."

RIGGED:  Major front-page NYT probe of lax oversight leading to blowout preventer failing at Deepwater Horizon rig.  Interactive material at Times site....  BBC:  Deepwater Horizon worker says he found leak in oil rig's safety equipment weeks before Gulf of Mexico blast... Wash Post front-pager: BP tapping deep well of D.C. lobbyists.

FATHER ALONE:  See my new piece for all the dads whose kids have not come home from our wars: One man 's story.... If you missed the Weekend Daybook, it's still here.

EVERYBODY MUST GET STONED   Oliver Stone on Democracy Now today, talking about his new documentary .... Financial Times turns over Stone, interviews Hugo Chavez.... Japanese theater in reversal finally to screen last year's great doc, The Cove

OUTSOURCING REPORTING:  Howie Kurtz with a  report (a little behind the curve) on big print news orgs hiring outsiders and nonprofits to do investigative work, plus surge in hirings at AOL, Yahoo etc.  ... Wash Post:  Ombud says Deep Throat might be out of luck at the paper today, people with tips don't know how to reach reporters or have trouble doing it when they try ...Online news still has not put a dent in Japan's print media giants--unlike in USA.

SUCCEEDING KING  David Carr:  Larry King celebrating 25 years at CNN, ratings falling, but network has no clear idea on a successor:  Eliot Spitzer?  Katie Couric? Pehaps they should hold a "bake-off." 

ON THE CAN-PAIN TRAIL:   Wash Post:   For survival, Dems to spend tremendous amount this year to get  minority and youth votes.  But WSJ writers claim Indys may sink Dems -- unless popularity of health plan rises, which it could .... Chuck Crist widens lead over Rubio in Florida Senate race.  And WSJ blames it on the Democrats.... Nikki Haley still expected to win GOP runoff for governor in S. Carolina tomorrow....

HOW YA GONNA KEEP 'EM DOWN ON THE FARMVILLE?   Andy Borowitz tweets: "I started playing the new Facebook game, Oilville -- but now I can't make it stop."

GAS ATTACK  Important doc on HBO tonight: Gasland, about dangers of new drilling mania, with water and chemicals injected into shale.  Trailer:

 

A FULL LOAF:  Big, juicy profile of MIke Huckabee coming in this week's New Yorker.  For one thing, he's given up the dimoved to Florida.  Still protests the "ick factor" in gay sex.... Spotted on Fox last night:  Huckabee on bass backing up Meat Loaf.  Which reminds me: In a NYC softball league game many years ago, Mr. Loaf hit what should have been a single to center--but I threw the lumbering singer out at first from short center field.  He was a good pitcher but called for infleld pop-ups like a bat out of hell. 

BITS & PIECES  Israel eases, but far from ends, Gaza blockade.. .   Obama likely pushing back decision on KSM terror trial past the midterm elections? .... . Treme closed with great Steve Earle song (he also again appeared as street singer in episode)....  Dan Kennedy:  Sarah Palin "a disgrace" for calling Rahm Emanuel a liar for hitting GOPers for backing BP.....   High school journalist shows adult reporters how to do it -- state senator walks out on tough interview.

TODAY's LAFF

Classic "Even Stephen/Steven" Daily Show debate between Colbert and Carell, this time on legalizing marijuana. 

 

TODAY's MUSIC

Springsteen doing one of Dylan's greatest and most poetic (but mainly overlooked today) songs, "Chimes of Freedom," in East Berlin, 1988. 

 

On Father's Day: For All the Dads Whose Kids Never Returned From Iraq

Bill Mitchell of Atascadero, California, never expected his boy to make Nightline, let alone Doonesbury. He was happy enough that his son Mike had made a man of himself in the US Army, while not losing his compassion and fun-loving nature.

But now, there was the face of Michael W. Mitchell, staff sergeant in the US Army, in the Washington Post, on Nightline and on the front page of USA Today, his name plastered all over other newspapers and even etched in a panel of Garry Trudeau's comic strip. It was all part of Memorial Day remembrances in 2004, back when the names and faces of the fallen were still limited enough to read or show all of them, in print or on the air.

Mike Mitchell had been shot by a sniper on April 4, 2004, dead at the age of 25, after volunteering to take control of a tank's machine gun during an ambush in Sadr City.

What did his father, a wiry 53-year-old Army veteran, think of the Doonesbury mention and similar honors, which some pro-warriors in the media denounced as "antiwar" gestures?  "I like seeing the names out there,"  Bill Mitchell (no relation)  told me, six days before Trudeau's tribute appeared, with every deceased  soldier's name in tiny lettering. "Otherwise, they are just unknown soldiers."

Surprisingly, he took it further:  "I would welcome printing the name of anyone who has died due to this war. Is an American death worth more than the death of an Iraqi, an Australian, or a Spaniard? I would bet you the grieving parents of those who were killed could straighten out some people in America who only think our loved ones are important! These deaths are the real cost of war, and every single one should be given the honorable mention it deserves."

Bill didn't require the death of his son to oppose this war, however. He had carried a sign during a March 20, 2004, peace protest near his home that read, "Bring my son home now."  Less than three weeks later, Mike would come home, in a coffin, with a flag draped over it. Roughly 4000 Americans have since followed.

I met Bill Mitchell (pictured at left)  in an odd but appropriate way. When I wrote a column comparing the Iraq war with Vietnam on April 8, 2004—then a bit of a stretch, now far from far-fetched—I ended it with a tribute to the Americans lately killed in action, using a list the New York Times carried every day.  Among the names: Michael W. Mitchell. 

Someone apparently forwarded this column to Bill, who was in Germany, looking after Mike's fiancee, Bianca. Bill wrote me a note thanking me for attaching a name to the number that was his son.

We began corresponding. When Tami Silicio's now-famous photo of caskets waiting to be flown home from Kuwait appeared in the Seattle Times, breaking the Pentagon ban on such shots, Bill told me he was positive the body of his son was in one  of them: The dates lined up.

Later, he sent me a letter he'd just mailed to the Seattle Times, backing what Silicio and the newspaper had done. "Hiding the death and destruction of this war does not make it easier on anyone except those who want to keep the truth away from the people," BIll wrote. "I know that the current government policy has the bodies being flown in under the cloak of darkness."   I wrote a column about that, and when that got a strong response, I directed a few media inquiries to Bill.

Then Bill sent me a copy of a letter he had mailed to Mike's commanding officer, full of pride, gratitude, and anger. One line jumped out at me, as Bill described the "irony" that his son "was killed by the very people that he was liberating. This is insanity!" He added: "I am having a major problem with being OK with his death under these circumstances and I really do not believe that Iraq, the world, or the lives of his family and friends are better due to his death." One can only imagine the pain between those lines.

But Bill also took a longer view: "Someone needs to take a step back and analyze what has happened in Iraq over the last 14 months. We are now at war with those very people that we set out to liberate." Six years later, that war goes on.

Another postscript:: When Mike Mitchell's name made the Times in the daily casualty list  it appeared alongside the name of another soldier who later became far more famous: Cindy Sheehan's son, Casey. This amazing link led Bill to take part in one of Cindy's encampments, as well as a lobbying trip to Capitol Hill. His photo from these protests turned up in the Times (planting a cross) and at the Life magazine site (in the halls of Congress). The last time I spoke with Bill he said,  "Some say that my boy will have died in vain if we pull out of Iraq. But what I believe is—just the opposite." 

 

Sunday DAYBOOK: Bono, BP, Barton and Beethoven

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates every afternoon. Plus: Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

FATHER ALONG FOR SUNDAY

Bono pens NYT op-ed on this week's shocking "Bloody Sunday" report:  justice at last for families, and lessons for elsewhere, maybe.  Plus, a flashback to the studio when U2 recorded "Sunday Bloody Sunday."   Record exec: Kill the bloody, bad word for radio.... Update on the Lord Saville report itself, and the man at least partly responsible, as I highlighted earlier this week, for it:  the whistleblowing "Soldier 027" (now in witness protection program).

Frank Rich: Obama was right, this is a "9/11" moment, and he needs to "clean house" and clean clocks--and show government can work. ... Nick Kristof for Father's Day pays tribute to his late dad and the immigrant experience.... See my new piece for all the dads whose kids have not come home from our wars: One man 's story.

Daily Beast headline:  "ANTICLIMACTIC: Federal Panel Votes Against 'Female Viagra."

Naomi Klein on Gulf leak, a "hole in the earth," and the "hubris" of capitalism. .... Andy Borowtiz imagines BP boss Tony Hayward's comment on going to yacht races yesterday:   "Well, at least my yacht doesn't have a leak."

Another day, another report of Afghan civilians, including kids, killed in air strike....

Wash Post:  Ombud says Deep Throat might be out of luck at the paper today, people with tips don't know how to reach reporters or have trouble doing it when they try.... High school journalist shows adult reporters how to do it -- state senator walks out on tough interview.

 

-- SATURDAY ON THE LINKS

AFGHAN AWOL  Nationwide alert for Afghan pilots who went AWOL --  in Texas.   Oh, how much trouble could a few planes do? ....  This comes just as  more concerns raised about Obama's double-talking on the war back in their home.  George Will  pushing for keeping to timetable for U.S. pullback as timetables threatened (again).

YACHT, ME WORRY?  Tony Hayward reported at yacht races in UK on Saturday -- as tar balls arrive in more places in the Gulf.   Locals not amused about "Tony Baloney."  ...  Joe Nocera charges that BP for years ignored the "omens of disaster," particularly from two accidents in Alaska and Texas....   The Onion:  "Suffering Blue Whales Plead With Environmentalists To Let Them Go Extinct Already.WSJ:   

WIKILEAK INTRIGUE  Glenn Greenwald with a major probe of the very strange case of the outing of that alleged WikiLeaks source for Iraq "murder" video and much more.....Ezra Klein in tomorrow's Wash Post:  You've seen "the stimulus," now meet "the anti-stimulus," as state cutbacks go in opposite direction. ...  Krugman vs. Greenspan's op-ed:  Yes, facts are biased  .... 

S%#T HAPPENS:    NYT reports that the Twitter-fed "Shit My Dad Says" book has replaced Laura Bush memoir as #1 bestseller.   Laura should have titled her book, "Shit My Dud Says. "

AL FRANKEN's FULL-COURT PRESS   Mother Jones:  Al Franken takes on the U.S. Supreme Court under Roberts: the rights they care most about are those belonging to corporations, not people, and there's more danger ahead.

A SORRY CASE  Dems charge, yeah,  Joe Barton apologized about his BP apology but, really,  that's the GOP position at heart -- that BP has been wronged....   Meanwhile, don't miss fun new site  Apologize to BP.   Like, totally.  You can even submit your own apology. 



HERO RATS   Remember that Nick Kristof column we linked to a couple of days ago--where he suggested  donations to help feed rats used to find old landmines?  More than $50,000 raised so far.  

PAGING LITTLE RICHARD    NYT probes the controversy over call that cost USA a World Cup win.  Good golly, miss by Mali?  ...  What Happens When You Auto-Tune a Vuvuzela? Geekosystem Investigates.

BITS & PIECES   Glenn Beck continues  rightwing attack on  soccer: worse  than curling.  Eh?  ....  That rumored Obama admininistration move against Arizona immigration law now looks like it is going forward...  FDA nixes "female viagra" for now.....  And here's new Democrat ad hitting Joe Barton for his "shakedown" charge.

-- TODAY's LAFF

The unlikely mashup:  Toy Story and The Wire.  

 

 

-- TODAY's MUSIC

NYT reviews new book about the creation, and world, of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, probably the most influential, popular and revered major piece of music ever written,  especially considering its global impact.  Plus, here's Sunday Times piece on upcoming New York Philharmonic performances of the Missa Solemnis.  Here's a trailer for the upcoming film on the Ninth by my friend Kerry Candaele, which takes a worldwide and political look:

 

 

Friday DAYBOOK: Apologize to BP Here, Update on WIkiLeaker, World Cup Controversy, Much More!

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates every afternoon. Plus: Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

Glenn Greenwald with a major probe of the very strange case of the outing of that alleged WikiLeaks source for Iraq "murder" video and much more.

Don't miss fun new site of the day: Apologize to BP.   Like, totally.  You can even submit your own apology. 

Tony Hayward, like Michael Scott once had to do, handing over "day-to-day" responsibilities at BP.  May get life back, such as it is.  More here, plus video.

Mother Jones:  Al Franken takes on the U.S. Supreme Court under Roberts: the rights they care most about are those belonging to corporations, not people, and there's more danger ahead.

NYT probes the controversy over call that cost USA a World Cup win.  Good golly, miss by Mali?  ...  What Happens When You Auto-Tune a Vuvuzela? Geekosystem Investigates.... NY Yankees announced today a ban on the horns at the Stadium. 

That rumored Obama admininistration move against Arizona immigration law now looks like it is going forward... And here's new Democrat ad hitting Joe Barton for his "shakedown" charge.

 

-- T.G.I. FRIDAY ON THE LINKS 

Dan Barry:  Tony Hayward played his part in "ritual" of public "shaming" well.  British media not so tough on "affable geologist" Tony Hayward.   But you may want to check out how The Guardian covers it all today.  Barton Fink:  Rep. Joe Barton forced to apologize for his apology to BP.  Apology for the apology for the apology coming?

Inmate in Utah executed by a firing squad this morning.     (See my book with Robert Jay Lifton, Who Owns Death?) The Guardian with usual depressing rundown of which countries still execute. 

George Will in his column coming on Sunday raises big red flag about Afghanistan and need to disengage.  Find Mike Allen's preview down the page a bit....  Wash Post's Leila Fadel on state of mental health services in Iraq. Sad.

Jon Stewart's take on Barton and the "Strife Aquatic."

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Day 59 - Judgment Day - The Strife Aquatic
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

 HORNS OF AFRICA   The Onion:   South African Vuvuzela Philharmonic angered by soccer games breaking out during concerts.

GREENE DAZE   Democrats in S. Carolina refuse to oust  Alvin  "It's Not Easy Being" Greene as party's candidate for Senate, despite facing felony obscenity charges. 

RAZING ARIZONA:  Hillary Clinton says we'll sue them over immigration law.

BLOODY GOOD JOB   Sir Harry Evans hails "Bloody Sunday" report -- and how Times of London probe, back in 1972, helped start the long, long process toward justice.   He was editor then.

AND WHAT IF THEY'D LOST?   The usual post-championship reaction -- fans of winning team celebrate by wrecking or burning things.  This time in L.A. for Lakers.

HEADED WHERE?   Cargo worker at airport in Little Rock opens three boxes and discovers -- 45 human heads. 

JUNK SHOT NEEDED  From that @BPGlobalPR faux Twitter feed:    "Yes!  Sean Hannity doesn't blame us!  We'd hire him, but the feds say we've got one too many gaping holes spewing garbage."   Andy Borowitz:  "Say what you will about BP, they sure discovered a lot of f***ing oil down there".... Ben Craw, formerly at TPM and now at Huff Post, finds amazingly similar Tony Hayward's testimony to Congress -- and text of him reciting in recent BP ads. 

 

BITS & PIECES  Nebraska town torn as vote nears on banning businesses that hire illegals.  Shape of things to come?....Earlier this week we recommended Jay Rosen's piece on the "actual ideology" of political reporters, knowing it would stir up a response.  It has.  He's promised to respond....

-- TODAY's LAFF 

He's baaack: Remember Dale Peterson, the Alabama candidate for Ag Commisioner, whose wild campaign ad went viral? Now he's returned to endorse a former rival, firing off a shotgun to make a point!

--  TODAY's MUSIC

To mark the final episode of Treme coming this Sunday, here's the great Allen Toussaint with Elvis Costello (boht appeared early in the series) doing Allen's "Yes We Can Can," which should have been Obama's official campaign song in 2008.  

DAYBOOK for Thursday: Afternoon Media & Politics Updates!

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates every afternoon. Plus: Keep up with fresh items via tweets. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

TV drama this afternoon, as BP's Hayward grilled by Congress, with Rep. Waxman accusing him of "stonewalling/."  Still denies underwater oil plumes and says disperants safe ... Dick Armey latest GOPer to, somehow, slam BP's $20 billion promise. Michelle Bachmann agrees.

Rep. Joe Barton at hearing called it a White House "shakedown," which WH called "shameful." Barton got at least $1.4 million in oil donations. Pat Buchanan calls his statement "courageous."  Fox, as arm of GOP, edits out Barton's statement.  Barton later apologizes for apology-- apology for that apology TK.

Keith Olbermann writes that he'll stop posting at DailyKos -- for a bit -- due to harsh and he feels unfair criticism of his slamming of Obama's energy speech this week...  Meanwhile, Politico notes that Tea Party facing tougher scrutiny with three books coming out from unfriendlies (it doesn't even mention a Will Bunch book) soon.

He's baaack: Remember Dale Peterson, the Alabama candidate for Ag Commisioner, whose wild campaign ad went viral? Now he's returned to endorse a former rival, firing off a shotgun to make a point!

Fred Thompson on Daily Show tonight—interview might last longer than his race for president.

--THURSDAY'S NUGGETY GOODNESS

LEAK WORSE? Mother Jones: New expert claims that BP oil leak is "unstoppable" because pipes under the floor have already burst or leaked. Talking Points Memo chart on ever-increasing estimates of BP oil leak. Dick Armey latest GOPer to, somehow, slam BP's $20 billion promise. Today's smile: Rep. John Boehner bought a lot of BP stock last year... Stephen Colbert on Twitter: "In honor of oil-soaked birds, 'tweets' are now 'gurgles.' "

AFGHAN STRATEGY Typically strong Landay-Youseff McClatchy story on this subject, "Experts: U.S. Has No Long-Term Political Strategy for Afghanistan." But hey, it's only been eight years or so.

RATS VS. LANDMINES Great Nick Kristof column on what to buy Dad for Father's Day instead of a neck tie or wrench: A giant rat. Yes, $36 will pay to feed a giant rat trained to detect land mines in Africa. And can't beat that for macho...

KICKING HARDBALL—AND KEITH You know how the left has gotten many advertisers to quit Glenn Beck? Now tea partiers launch bid for advertiser "boycott" of "Hardball" after last night's Chris Matthews special on the far right...

BEHIND HELEN THOMAS Mike Calderone at Yahoo publishes letters from Bloomberg and Fox News—in pissing match over Helen Thomas's (still warm) seat. "The Fox assertions are riddled with contradictions," and so on.

LET'S (NOT) DO IT NYT looks at coming execution on Friday by firing squad in Utah. No Paths of Glory, or even Gary Gilmore.

JON vs. 8 PRESIDENTS Jon Stewart offered brilliant review of eight presidents promising energy "independence," and failing. Who knew he did such a good Nixon impersonation?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
An Energy-Independent Future
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

WIKILEAKS LEAK The Guardian: WikiLeaks to release video of deadly US Afghan attack which killed, among others, a bunch of kids. And Iceland enact WikiLeaks-inspired law to protect journos and sources.

PRESIDENT MADDOW Rachel Maddow last night closed her show as "the fake president"—with an Oval Office backdrop delivering the speech she wishes Obama had given on the oil leak and our energy future this week. It was so strong she needed to finish by claiming she never wanted to run for office herself. Scott Brown exhales.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

GIBBS FEELS "LEFT" OUT—AND TEA PARTY WORRIED? The White House press spokesman responds to Obama hits from Olbermann and Stewart.

SHOOTING BACK ON NRA: Liberals in Congress now deciding to fight that "carve out" deal to exempt the NRA from new campaign finance disclosure rules.

BRAIN SCAM? Three congressmen demand answers on traumatic brain injury care of soldiers at Texas base after recent ProPublica / NPR probe.

SUBHED OF THE WEEK: "Southwest Airlines employee finds human heads on their way to Fort Worth"

BITS & PIECES: Andy Borowitz: " BREAKING: BP's Credit Rating Now Lower Than Nicholas Cage's"... Satirical BP greeting cards to raise money for cleanup efforts... New NYT hit on GOP Illinois Senate candidate Mark Kirk—this time for wildly exaggerating his "teaching" experience... 12 innovative projects get major funding in Knight Foundation's "News Challenge" grants.

TODAY's LAFF

American movies have gotten so bad sometimes the credits at end are the best thing about them (at least they indicate that you can go home). But here is rundown of the 10 funniest credits ever, with Spinal Tap coming in only at #4:

 

TODAY's MUSIC

"I Dreamed I Saw Phil Ochs Last Night," BIlly Bragg once sang. Now you can see my old tortured occasional friend yourself, circa 1971,  below.  Among other things, Phil was a former journalism student who loved newspapers. which fed his topical songs. His song "Here's to the State of Mississippi" was later updated, by him, to fit Richard Nixon ("and the speeches of the Spiro / Are the ravings of a clown"). Eddie Vedder substituted George W. Bush and you can find Sarah Palin versions and more at You Tube.

 

Wednesday DAYBOOK: Hot Afternoon Media & Politics Updates!

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits / misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates every afternoon.  Plus: Keep up with fresh items  on Twitter @GregMitch.  E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

Roger Ebert:  "Obama accused of eating ice cream cone while the oil is still gushing.  Bush was out to lunch for eight years."

BP reportedly agrees to $20 escrow fund requested by Obama last night.   BP chairman after meeting with Obama:  "We care about the small people."  Paging Randy Newman.....WSJ  today with story on how boycotts of BP hurting local owners of gas station who did nothing wrong.  Check out AP picture of Elvis impersonator (left) hired to ask local motorists in Pensacola for support. ...  Pro Publica: Tally by states of illnesses caused by oil leak far exceed those kept by BP.  Surprise!....   BP hires private security "thugs" to keep people and media away from its "black water"....

After all the jokes,  Kevin Costner   had last laugh,  getting orders from BP  for 32 of his oil cleanup machines....
Media Matters: Criticism of Obama speech way overblown? 

Good Kevin Drum piece taking issue with recent Tea Party analysis and asserting that they're really nothing new, just predictable reactonaries.  And deficit concerns just drummed up by rightwing media....  Rep. Souder, who quit last month after admitting affair, for some reason is still giving interviews and claims even prayer and hymns could not save him.

Jon Stewart: "What's covered in heroin and sitting on gold? No, not just Amy Winehouse.... Afghanistan."

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Ore on Terror
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

12 innovative projects get major funding in Knight Foundation's "News Challenge" grants today.... 

NYT:  American held in Cairo for six weeks, for no good reason....  

 

-- MORNING BECOMES ECLECTIC

HATCH BROKEN  Sen. Orrin Hatch proposes drug testing for those seeking new unemployment or welfare benefits. 

RISEN's FALL?  James Risen of NYT exploded in anger at critics of his blockbuster this week about Afghanistan's mineral riches.  Something about what sexual act bloggers allegedly  in their bath robes--which writer of this Yahoo report tweeted but was forced to leave out of his story.  Now NYT's Dean Baquet also defends.... 

SPEECH:  LESS?  Obama to meet with BP execs today and give noon time report to press.  Reaction to last night's big oil leak / energy  speech:  NYT blog quotes wide variety of web analysts from left and right.  It put  Robert Reich "to sleep" and he asks, where is the "moral outrage"?  Ezra Klein of Wash Post felt it reminded him of selling health reform bill.  Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthew immediately attack it.   Mike Allen with roundup all the inside-the-Beltway negativism.   Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones, who has done much reporting on crisis,  disappointed:  "His speech was short on specifics concerning both the near-term response to the immediate crisis and the long-term energy policy that will curb the nation's dependence on oil."   Don Van Natta Jr. of the NYT tweets:  "Where were the vuvuzelas when the POTUS most needed them?"  

PAGING TOM CRUISE  The St. Petersburg TImes, which has a long history on this subject, with another probe of Scientology, with chilling account of women being urged to have abortions against their will.

IMPOSSIBLE  ANGLE:  Harry Reid's opponent in Nevada, Sharron Angle, earlier this year floated possibility of armed insurrection "if this Congress keeps going the way it is."  And here she defends Scientology. ... 

QUOTE OF THE DAY   Dept. of Now They Tell Us:  "When these things happen, we are not well equipped to deal with them." -- Oil Company CEO at hearings yesterday.

 

BLOODY AFTERMATH  My new piece on yesterday's explosive Bloody Sunday report which at long last found no justification at all for the Brit paratroopers' killing of 13 marchers in 1972.   Go to The Guardian site for latest updates and much background.  Bernadette Devlin McAliskey (who was there in 1972): Put Brit government, not soldiers, in the dock.

UNCIVIL WAR   Also on last night's how, Jon Stewart did a kind of Glenn Greenwald imitation, hitting Obama hard on breaking campaign campaign promises on Gitmo, rendition, civil liberties....

HATS OFF TO LARRY  Lawrence O'Donnell, frequent sub for Olbermann, gets 10 pm slot at MSNBC, Keith re-play bumped to 11.  Subbing for Olbermann leads to own shows, it seems.

HARD CELL  San Francisco passes cellphone radiation measure, even though evidence not fully in.

DID THE ANGELS WEEP?  Greatest opening line in newspaper story of a protest ever? ... Plus: Lightning strike destroys famed "Touchdown Jesus" statue but leaves Hustler club unscathed.  Act of God?

THRILLER CHILLER   Wash Post reviews Glenn Beck's new novel, claiming its success " will be measured not by its literary value (none), or its contribution to the thriller genre (small), or the money it rakes in (considerable), but rather by the rebelliousness it incites among anti-government extremists. If the book is found tucked into the ammo boxes of self-proclaimed patriots and recited at tea party assemblies, then Beck will have achieved his goal."

BITS & PIECES   Let's not do it:  Utah inmate facing death by firing squad in Utah this Friday has stay denied.... Andy Borowitz: "Elephants eat 17 hours a day.  That's how they got their nickname, 'Americans'" ...  Rep. Obey moving to halt spending request for Afghan war until assistance to states goes through....

TODAY'S LAFF 

Sarah Palin's train wreck on Fox.  Even Bill O'Reilly is incredulous.  Believe me, worth it if you need a chuckle:

 

 

TODAY's MUSIC

 

Yes, It Was Murder: 'Bloody Sunday' Report Released at Last

After a twelve-year inquiry, the Lord Saville probe of the 1972 "Bloody Sunday" killings in Derry came to a climax this afternoon (Irish time) with the release of his mammoth report. It found that the shooting of the thirteen marchers, largely young people, was completely "unjustified," none of them were posing any threat to the paratroopers, and many, as long charged ("How long must we sing this song"), were shot in the back or while crawling away injured. Prime Minister David Cameron apologized.

Following the coverage via BBC and The Guardian, I can report  it's truly an amazing day in Ireland,  the public riveted by Bloody Sunday report. While the report, to the surprise of many, found no true government coverup and recommended no murder charges, the families of victims may push for the latter. They expressed profound relief and sense of delayed justice in emotional speeches outside the Guild Hall in Derry shortly after the report's release, especially with the conclusion that all of the victims were indeed "innocent."  It also found that many of the soldiers lied in their testimony.

Final two sentences of report summary: "What happened on Bloody Sunday strengthened the Provisional IRA, increased nationalist resentment and hostility towards the army and exacerbated the violent conflict of the years that followed. Bloody Sunday was a tragedy for the bereaved and the wounded, and a catastrophe for the people of Northern Ireland."  

Here's the constantly updated blog at The Guardian, and see links to its original coverage in 1972 and many interactive features. Here's the full report, if you dare. One op-ed from Irish writer: Laying the ghosts to rest? 

As long alleged, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness was found to be carrying a machine gun that day—but there is no evidence that his actions provoked any of the killings.

Andrew Sullivan makes the interesting, if imperfect, link to Gaza and the flotilla killings.

I am wondering how the report treats the anonymous "Soldier 027" who became something of a whistleblower, if inadvertently.  Read a new account of how his story came to light by journalist who did that.  The soldier has been in a witness protection program since his account came to light back in the 1990s.

Certainly I recommend highly the 2002 Paul Greengrass film Bloody Sunday, which certainly anticipated these findings, and has a key character based on Soldier 027.  A key adviser was Don Mullan, who wrote the best book on the subject, Eyewitness Bloody Sunday (which helped spark the Lord Saville probe)  and became one of my long-distance friends after I wrote about the book and movie.  Trailer for Bloody Sunday below and then U2 song with footage from that day:

 

DAYBOOK for Tuesday: Afternoon Media & Politics Updates

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus  fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates every afternoon.  Plus: Keep up with fresh items and analysis on Twitter @GregMitch.  E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.

AFTERNOON UPDATES

The St. Petersburg TImes, which has a long history on this subject, with another probe of Scientology, with chilling account of women being urged to have abortions against their will.

How long did we sing this song: Amazing day in Ireland, public riveted by Bloody Sunday report, after 12 years officially reveals coldblooded kilings, victims not responsible, though no government  coverup and no murder charges.   Final two sentences of report summary:  "What happened on Bloody Sunday strengthened the Provisional IRA, increased nationalist resentment and hostility towards the army and exacerbated the violent conflict of the years that followed. Bloody Sunday was a tragedy for the bereaved and the wounded, and a catastrophe for the people of Northern Ireland."   How The Guardian covered shootings in Derry in 1972 and much more  interactive.    My new piece on all this. 

Lawrence O'Donnell, frequent sub for Olbermann, gets 10 pm slot at MSNBC, Keith re-play bumped to 11.  Subbing for Olbermann leads to own shows, it seems.

Big oil to be put on trial today in hearings led by Rep. Waxman and Rep. Markey as concerns spread beyond BP and current leak. ... Stephen Colbert:  The oil spill is the "biggest British mess to hit our shores since Amy Winehouse."  Meanwhile a hotel on the beach in Pensacola is offering guests "Tar Removal Towelettes. " 

Stuck in the Middle With You:   Jay Rosen explores "The Actual Ideology of the American Press," suggesting "Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right."   Glenn Greenwald again goes after D.C. press and cozy dealings with top officials.

Wash Post reviews Glenn Beck's new novel, claiming its success " will be measured not by its literary value (none), or its contribution to the thriller genre (small), or the money it rakes in (considerable), but rather by the rebelliousness it incites among anti-government extremists. If the book is found tucked into the ammo boxes of self-proclaimed patriots and recited at "tea party" assemblies, then Beck will have achieved his goal."


--TOPS OF THE MORNING 

SLICK EXCUSES   Internal BP documents reveal concerns about "nightmare well" before Deepwater Horizon explosion -- as efforts to contain the spill are now described by local officials as "chaotic" and Obama prepares tonight's big speech.   But from Andy Borowitz:  "Good news for BP --  They've discovered a new technology to convert lies into energy."     And Brit actress Helen Mirren on Letterman show said BP now stands for "Bloody Piss-Poor."    

REVOLT OVER WAR?    NYT:  "Six months after President Obama decided to send more forces to Afghanistan, the halting progress in the war has crystallized longstanding tensions within the government over the viability of his plan to turn around the war and begin pulling out by July 2011."  Biden wants to "re-think," Petraeus says "stay the course."  Wash Post front-pager: Democrats in Congress getting worried, may take action (don't hold you breath).

ON THE CAN-PAIN TRAIL:  Meg Whitman, now GOP nominee fo governor in Calif,  while  at  eBay was accused of shoving an employee -- and paid a settlement.... GOP candidate for House seat in New Mexico calls for land mines on Mexico border.... Amanda Marcotte  at Alternet answers (thank god) Ross Douthat's column on GOP women and feminism.

ISRAEL AGONISTES  Eyal Press at New York Review of Books: Could Israel handle a non-violent Palestianian movement, a "white intifada"? .... McClatchy:  Israel's internal  flotilla inquiry inadequate, Turkey and others say.

SOUTH SUPREMACY  Gram Parson hailed the state's "Hickory Wind" but for Jon Stewart, as he quipped last night, it is just "one big whooped cushion," as he cited the recent campaign wackiness:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Alvin Greene Wins South Carolina Primary
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

 

 

OPEN MIKE, INSERT FOOT  Daily Beast assembled quite a collection of the worst   politician "off-mike" disasters, pre-Carly FIorina, including Jesse Jackson, Dick Cheney, Joe Biden and more.

CENTRIST KAGAN  Elena Kagan, under Clinton, chose the side of centrist Democrats over liberals in bid to help gain victories.

SHOOTING A FINE FILM  Terrific documentary on HBO last night about Iranian heroine "Neda," with brave,secret interviews with her family at their home, and a good deal on plight of women. Watch for re-runs.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING NEWSWEEKLY   Amid rumors of the magazine's  demise, programmers at Newsweek's web site yesterday had some fun, planting a fake "ZOMBIES ATTACK" page that appeared if you typed in the gamester "Konami Code."  It may be gone by now but check it out if you wish.

ANOTHER CANDIDATE LIES ABOUT VIETNAM?   Shocker from The Onion:  "In a major scandal that could cast doubt on his political future, U.S. Senate candidate Chris Wilfred came under fire this week for comments he made alleging he had died heroically while fighting in the Vietnam War."

DARK TIMES FOR "PAINTER OF LIGHT":  Thomas Kinkade faces DUI and fraud charges, and bankrutpcy.  

BITS & PIECES:  The Guardian:   Those FBI files on Ted Kennedy released yesterday reveal death threats that plagued him.  Also: His father pushed J. Edgar Hoover to run for office in the 1950s and promised to be his biggest funder ....  In impoverished Rwanda, 92% of the population has health insurance (more than in USA).... AP:  Americans most-radiated people in the world, medical scans and dangers way up, could be big cause of cancer.... Salon wonders if Perez Hilton "upskirt" photo is "child porn" -- but has now run two stories on it ....  Huff Post blogger had been covering Blago and Jesse Jackson Jr. without disclosing her ties to Jackson..... Watch Daniel Ellsberg and Julian Assange of Wikileak at recent PDF forum. 

-- TODAY's LAFF

We linked to the fantastical short video at The Guardian site yesterday re-enacting  down the recent USA-England World Cup match -- via Legos -- but now we can put up the YouTube version straight away.

 

TODAY's MUSIC

Rare footage of Louis Armstrong, the most important American musician of 20th century, on tour in Ghana in 1956,  performing his civil rights song, "Black and Blue" ("My only sin / Is in my skin"), and later chatting with Edward R. Murrow. 

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