Blogs

Newmont Mining Cleared in Indonesian Pollution Lawsuit

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 8:10 PM EST

mojo-photo-fairytale.jpg

We called him Mr. Clean for a reason.

And today Rick Ness is a happy man. Newmont Minahasa Raya (a subsidiary of Denver-based gold-mining giant Newmont, where Ness was formerly president) was cleared of pollution and environmental damage charges related to Buyat Bay in Indonesia. Back in April Ness and the company were acquitted of all criminal charges (and in 2006, Newmont settled a civil suit brought by the Indonesian government on charges of environmental pollution).

The judge in the Indonesian case said in today's ruling that "The plaintiff could not prove that Newmont polluted the environment, sickening fish and damaging coral reefs."

But, in fact, evidence abounds.

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Video: Huckabee & Norris Split the Screen on Larry King Live

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 6:55 PM EST

At this risk of turning this site into "All Huckabee All the Time," here's an entertaining bit of video: it's the Huckster splitting the screen with an awesomely wordy Chuck Norris last night on "Larry King Live." Fun highlights include: counting how many times Huckabee blinks during Norris' intro ramble; the way Norris pronounces "a raging FIE-yer;" and his blinding white teeeeth! (Maybe that's why Mike was blinking so much).

BBC Reverses Decision to Censor Pogues Track

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 6:06 PM EST

mojo-photo-fairytale.jpgThat was fast. I reported, like, just a few seconds ago that BBC Radio 1 had decided to cut two sections of the Pogues 20-year-old Christmas song, "Fairytale of New York," including the word "faggot" and the line "old slut on junk." Now comes word that they've reversed the decision and will play the original version of the song. Radio 1 "controller" Andy Parfitt released this statement to the press:

Huckabee: Shhhh, It's Between God and Me

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 4:01 PM EST

I'm telling God, not you.

That seemed to be Mike Huckabee's message to the people of Arkansas when he was governor there. Here's an item from the February 19, 1999 issue of the Arkansas Times:

What the people don't know won't hurt me.
In an interview with the Arkansas Baptist news magazine, Gov. Mike Huckabee elaborated on his statement that he had resolved to "trust God more and people less."
The magazine said: "Citing 'the classic Baptist phrase to trust the Lord and tell the people,' he noted, 'I've found you can still trust the Lord, but you better not tell the people everything. Too much information can hurt you more than not giving information."
Huckabee went on to say that being guarded was "the reversal of everything I have practiced and been led to believe."

When Jimmy Carter ran for president in 1976 as an evangelical, he looked voters straight in the eye and promised, "I will never lie to you." Will former pastor Huckabee proclaim, "I will not tell you everything"?

And my pal Robert Wright of Bloggingheads.tv wonders (as he sits in my office) if this Huckabee statement represents the intersection of Baptist theology and the neocon-Straussian concept of the noble lie. In any event, how noble of Huckabee in this instance to ignore a Baptist injunction for the sake of his own administration.

The Theology of Paul

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 3:42 PM EST

Once Ron Paul is knocked out of the GOP contest, what will become of his supporters? Will they dissipate, gravitate towards someone else, or reemerge with a third party bid? Whichever way the Paulites go, other candidates would be smart to study their movement's trajectory. Like the Howard Dean campaign in 2004, or the McCarthy campaign in 1968, the Paul campaign could be most important for its ability awaken and define a new generation of political citizens.

FCC Relaxes Media Ownership Rules... Again

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 3:08 PM EST

mojo-photo-fcc.gifFirst of all, has anyone ever noticed that it looks like the eagle is getting electrocuted on the FCC's official seal over there? Ker-ZAPP, take that, freedom! Anyway, earlier today in a party-line 3-2 vote, the good old Commission overturned a 32-year-old ban that forbade broadcasters in the 20 largest media markets from also owning a newspaper. Do you get the sense that everybody in the Bush administration is just kind of "shooting the moon" at this point? Like, "screw it, let's just do all the evil crap we want, who cares?" Both Republican and Democratic members of congress had asked FCC chairman Kevin Martin not to proceed with the decision, but the White House was gunnin' for it. Yee-haw. [Edit: Hey, turns out MoJo's totally on top of this beat, check out this article, "Breaking the News," for some background.]

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Tuesday Cures Your Flus with Music News Day

| Tue Dec. 18, 2007 2:35 PM EST

Music News

  • BBC Radio 1 has edited the Pogues' Christmas standard "Fairytale in New York," reports the NME. The song, originally a hit in 1987, now has the word "faggot" dubbed out, as well as the phrase "an old slut on junk." Who knew Kristi MacColl and Shane MacGowan were actually singing real words? MacColl's mother defended the songs in an interview, saying the singers are playing "characters."

  • 50 Cent has become the first high-profile artist to perform in the Kosovan capital Pristina since the war. The rapper gave a concert at a soccer stadium Monday night for which over 25,000 tickets had been sold.
  • The Breeders have announced a tour of the UK and Ireland in April of 2008. The band has been inactive for five years, but never officially broke up, and Kim Deal has of course been busy with a reunited Pixies. Word "on the street" is the Breeders will headline Coachella as well.
  • M.I.A. has posted a rambling message on her blog decrying the "censorship" she's experienced in the U.S., referring to the removal of gunshot sounds from her track "Paper Planes" during a performance on the Letterman show and by MTV. She also said she "felt soooooo bad for what they did to my sound" on the Letterman performance, something I mentioned here previously. Anyway, M.I.A. wants us all to watch the uncensored version of the video because "putting meanings in your videos in my opinion is a dying art." Fine, fine:

  • From New Hampshire: Mike Gravel on the Ropes

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 2:17 PM EST

    MANCHESTER—Expected in New Hampshire for a series of events this morning, Mike Gravel canceled them all. A spokesman says he caught cold in California and is recovering, soon to fly up here. But. . .

    Robert Parry On Ed Rollins And The $10 Million Payoff To Reagan

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 1:44 PM EST

    With Ed Rollins taking over the Huckabee campaign, it's a good time to remember that Rollins says a Filipino politician told him he'd given the 1984 Reagan campaign $10 million in cash from Ferdinand Marcos. Former AP and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry examines the evidence at his site Consortium News:

    The pundits on CNN's "Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" were unanimous: Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins was a great guy and his hiring as national chairman for Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign gave it a solid jolt of credibility.

    But Blitzer's panel of journalists on Dec. 14 didn't seem to either know or care that Rollins has withheld evidence since 1991 about the identity of a top Filipino politician who admitted delivering an illegal $10 million cash payment to Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    What NOW? Feminist Fatigue and the Global Quest for Women's Rights

    | Tue Dec. 18, 2007 1:41 PM EST

    Western feminists can't win for losing.

    We're taken to task for not gearing up the war machine against third world countries which, inarguably, treat their women like dogs. You know, since sexism is all under control here. Where, oh where, was NOW when a 16 year old girl in Canada was murdered by her father for refusing to wear the hijab? Anne Applebaum, at Slate, nags us about the Saudi Arabian gang rape victim sentenced to jail and 200 lashes and asks where our campaign on their behalf is. [Salon's Broadsheet adds that though she's been pardoned, it's only because she's suicidal and lost in despair (you might be, too, if your brother had already attempted your "honor killing"). Heinously guilty of being alone with an unrelated man, the "Girl of Qatif" drove those seven male passers-by to rape. She's as guilty as they. Had she not fallen apart emotionally, she wouldn't have been pardoned. Her psychological destruction, says good King Abdullah, is all justice ever required, hence her pardon.] Of course, let's not forget good old FGM. We got all NOW'd up over that one just to find ourselves dismissed, by the very women living with circumcision, as imperialists trying to deprive them of the joy of castration . Damned if we do, damned if we don't.