Thursday, June 09, 2005

Just Say No to the Patriot Act

The state of Colorado passed a bipartisan resolution calling on Congress to bring the controversial Patriot Act in line with the Constitution. Colorado becomes the seventh state, and joins at least 382 other communities that have passed such resolutions. A similar resolution recently passed the Idaho state legislature.

Ann Coulter Thursday

It's Thursday! Time for a new Ann Coulter collumn. This week she has comments about:

Marraige: "See, the idea of marriage is to get a man other than your own father to support you while you raise children."

Deepthroat: "Of course, in Felt's defense, he wasn't Deep Throat. There was no Deep Throat. Now we know. As most people had generally assumed, the shadowy figure who made his first appearance in a late draft of "All The President's Men" was a composite of several sources."

The resignanation of Nixon: "This will come as small consolation to the Cambodians and Vietnamese tortured and slaughtered as a direct result of Nixon's fall."

Carter: "Ironically, only because of Watergate — which Felt helped instigate — could a nitwit like Jimmy Carter ever become president — a perch from which Carter pardoned draft dodgers and prosecuted Mark Felt."

The good news: This week's collumn did not mention the name Clinton once!

Hannity vs Reality

HANNITY: I want to ask -- I want to ask one question. Are we better off with Saddam captured and the mass graves and rape rooms closed, yes or no?
ROSIE O'DONNELL (guest co-host): Do you think that we are not raping and torturing the prisoners at --
HANNITY: No. Do you have any evidence that we are?
O'DONNELL: Oh, my God, Sean, don't you see the pictures from Abu Ghraib?
HANNITY: Where's the evidence?
HANNITY: There was underwear on the head of one of them. We're not raping and killing anybody.
O'DONNELL: Oh, my God. I think you're delusional.

ABC's The View Clip on Media Matters

Congressional study shows large disparity in coverage of key stories

From Media Matters:

Yesterday, in conjunction with a forum they hosted on media bias, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and other House Judiciary Committee Democrats released a study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service examining coverage of key news stories on 13 cable news programs on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel in the three days after each story broke. The study shows that events such as the release of the Downing Street Memo, a secret British intelligence memo suggesting that the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to support its case for war in Iraq, and the revelation of Jeff Gannon's true identity received little or no coverage, while events such as the Scott Peterson trial and the beginning of the Michael Jackson trial received substantial coverage.
For example:
The Downing Street Memo received no coverage on the 13 cable shows in the three days after the British news media reported on it.
The revelation that Jeff Gannon, a partisan operative, had attended dozens of official White House press briefings using an assumed name also received no coverage in the three-day period after it occurred.
On the other hand:
The filing of formal charges against Michael Jackson received coverage by 10 of the 13 shows on the first day alone, with four shows leading with the story.
The Scott Peterson verdict received coverage on five shows the first day and eight the second, with five shows leading with the story.
Media Matters for America on coverage of the Downing Street Memo:
Downing Street Memo update
Media finally begins to notice British intelligence memo
Readers complain, but Wash. Post ombudsman mum on lack of coverage of U.K.-Iraq memo
What is media coverage of Iraq war good for? Absolutely nothing

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Judicial Filibuster Compromise

Under the deal, Democrats have agreed to allow final confirmation votes for Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor, whom Bush has nominated for appellate court judgeships, the Associated Press reported....

But Ann Coulter wrote:
"Let's not put the seven Republican senators who engineered the "compromise" deal with the Democrats in charge of negotiations with North Korea. I would sooner trust the North Koreans to keep their word than the Democrats. The North Koreans at least waited for the ink to dry on Clinton's 1996 "peace" deal before they set to work violating it by feverishly building nuclear weapons. After hoodwinking seven Republicans into a "compromise" deal, Senate Democrats waited exactly seven seconds before breaking it.

The seven Republican "mavericks," as The New York Times is wont to call them, had just signed off on this brilliant compromise when the Democrats turned around and filibustered John Bolton, Bush's nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations."

Yet even conservative BP reported:
"Three Democrats joined 53 Republicans in voting to end debate and bring his nomination up for a vote, but they fell short of the minimum of 60 required to shut down a filibuster. The vote was 56-42.The action, coming only three days after a compromise on judicial filibusters was agreed to by seven Democrats and seven Republicans, elicited criticism from GOP senators."

Apparantly, Ann Coulter doesn't know the difference between a Judge and an Ambassador. And she went to law school...

Jeff "Divorced from Reality" Gannon

6/3 Jeff Gannon: I'm wondering why Kerry has signed but not filed that pesky Form 180 that would release his FULL military record. When is a good time for a "war hero" to authorize the publication of documents that show he was given a less than honorable discharge?

Well, Kerry has filed it and his records were released to the Boston Globe. What was he hiding? His grades at Yale were just as bad as Bush's (Kerry got four D's during his Freshman year).

So I guess poor Jeff Gannon is dissapointed that there wasn't anything to indicate that Kerry "was given a less than honorable discharge." Where Gannon got that impression if the first place is a mystery to me...

As the Boston Globe, which was given access to the Kerry records reports: "The records, which the Navy Personnel Command provided to the Globe, are mostly a duplication of what Kerry released during his 2004 campaign for president, including numerous commendations from commanding officers who later criticized Kerry's Vietnam service."
The only smoking gun, other than Kerry's lackluster grades, was the flip-flopping veterans who praised Kerry when he was in the service and then tried to belittle him when he was on the campaign trail.

Patriot Act

The FBI would get expanded powers to subpoena records without the approval of a judge or grand jury in terrorism investigations under Patriot Act revisions approved Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"When lawmakers seek to rewrite our Fourth Amendment rights, they should at least have the gumption to do so in public," said Lisa Graves, the ACLU's senior counsel for legislative strategy. "Americans have a reasonable expectation that their federal government will not gather records about their health, their wealth and the transactions of their daily life without probable cause of a crime and without a court order."

from ABC News

Carter, Rumsfeld and Gitmo

June 7 - Former President Jimmy Carter called on the United States on Tuesday to shut down its prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to demonstrate the country's commitment to protecting human rights.

June 8 - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today that the Bush administration was not considering shutting down the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and he defended the treatment of prisoners under American military control as humane.

Another Fox protecting the Hens

A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.

In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.

From the New York Times

Aid Myth vs Reality

According to a poll, most Americans believe that the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on aid to poor countries; it actually spends well under a quarter of 1 percent. As Jeffrey Sachs, the Columbia University economist in charge of the United Nations' Millennium Project, put it so well, the notion that there is a flood of American aid going to Africa "is one of our great national myths."

The United States currently gives just 0.16 percent of its national income to help poor countries, despite signing a United Nations declaration three years ago in which rich countries agreed to increase their aid to 0.7 percent by 2015. Since then, Britain, France and Germany have all announced plans for how to get to 0.7 percent; America has not.

From the New York Times

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Downing Street Memo

It was marked "Secret and strictly personal - UK eyes only." That was the header of the Downing Street memo that exposed a meeting in July 2002 between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior national security team. The text to the minutes of the secret briefing was published by the Sunday Times of London last month.

Kerry said: "I think it's a stunning unbelievably simple and understandable statement of the truth and a profoundly important document that raises stunning issues here at home. And it's amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being missed on the Internet, I can tell you that."

Whistle Blower beaten

A Los Alamos lab whistle-blower scheduled to testify before Congress was badly beaten in an attack outside a Santa Fe bar

Tommy Hook's wife and his lawyer believe the attack was designed to keep him quiet.
Susan Hook said the assailants told her husband during the attack early Sunday that "if you know what's good for you, you'll keep your mouth shut."

Confusing Diplomacy

Political diplomacy can make me dizzy. Like this sentence:

"North Korean representatives, in talks with U.S. officials yesterday in New York, didn't show willingness to resume talks aimed at curbing its nuclear arms development, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said."

So they had talks about not talking... (???)