News strained through my progressive filter

As always: no claim to originality, just news items of interest cut and pasted from the "Internets."


What liberal media? : "We have to take the president at his word when he says that the problem with Common Article 3, which prohibits outrages against personal dignity, is that it is unclear. And we can't have our interrogators trying to get information that we need to protect this country under a bit of language here that is this vague. We can do better than this." Tony, when I want the uninformed opinion of a talking head, I'll beat it out of you.

"The president wants us to forget the mistakes he's made in Iraq. He says capturing bin Laden isn't a priority for him. And now he's off caught up in a fight with senators of his own party about which kinds of torture we should use. This president just can't or won't keep his eye on the ball. President Bush took his eye off the ball in Afghanistan when bin Laden was in our grasp because he wanted to hurry up and get into Iraq. And now he wants us to forget about Iraq because he doesn't want to take responsibility for all the mistakes he's made in Iraq. The American people have a choice on November 7th. If you think our country is going in the right direction, if you think Iraq is making us safer, vote Republican. If you've had enough and thinks it's time for a change, vote Democratic." -- quoted from a (fictional) congressional candidate.

But they won't get them Senate Democrats on whether the White House pressured top military lawyers to go along with their torture policy.

Republican Science marches on: EPA to , lay off scientists, and reduce oversight.

Hold that party! FOX News viewers, 9/14, that the network would be breaking out the champagne to celebrate the demise of Air America. Guess that party was cancelled because Air America is alive and well with

Defend science People For the American Way have produced an to help you defend science in your community.

Wash up there, Pontius Pilate Bush: I won't question my opponents patriotism. .

Is this our America? Four Iraq vets and one supporter arrested for leaving brochures about depleted uranium at a public area of the Pentagon. Watch it: In rather small type on that page, it says "play video" not the best layout, but it's there.

Hilarious on Sen. Allen's 'ethnic rally'.

BBQ the chickenhawk Sean Hannity, who declined to serve in the military when he had the chance, condemned General Colin Powell and Republican Senators , and , all of whom did serve, for taking a stand on behalf of the legal rights of prisoners and maintaining the Geneva Conventions’ standards for humane treatment.

Top 25 censored stories of 2006 Project Censored is a media research group originating from Sonoma State University and an excellent resource on news that the media just seems to disdain over the "missing blonde" stories that run 24/7. They have just released their annual Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007, which is available for purchase . 2006’s Top 25 Stories listed .

Maybe it'll work. And maybe it won't work. But whichever way it falls out, we can still point out the cartoonish logic and unbridled cynicism of the president's last ditch election ploy.



Don't like history? Rewrite it! During today’s press conference, ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz asked Bush why he continues to say Saddam “,” despite the findings that Hussein “did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi.” Bush replied: “I never said there was an operational relationship.” In fact, Bush has repeatedly asserted that Saddam “harbored” and “provided safe-haven” to Zarqawi:

BUSH: [Saddam] was a threat because he provided safe-haven for a terrorist like Zarqawi… []

BUSH: [Saddam] is a man who harbored terrorists - Abu Abbas, Abu Nidal, Zarqawi. []

BUSH: [Zarqawi’s] a man who was wounded in Afghanistan, received aid in Baghdad, ordered the killing of a U.S. citizen, USAID employee, was harbored in Iraq. []

The president is now that "time is running out" for Congress to pass his Kangaroo Court bill.



You go girl! The anti-Hollywood theme continued on Hannity & Colmes last night as attention turned away from Rosie O’Donnell (who engendered two H&C debates with her comment that radical Christians are as dangerous as radical Muslims) and moved on to Sean Penn. Penn became the scapegoat of the day for saying, as substitute co-host Bob Beckel put it, that “Bush may bring facism to America” and that he has “quote devastated our democracy and has done enormous damage to this country and mankind.” But instead of the usual Democratic pundit knocking Penn and saying that he doesn’t represent Democrats, radio talk show host Stephanie Miller made all the right points: That FOX News makes a point of attacking liberals, that the right wing attacks on dissenters are anti-democratic, that there’s a double-standard for Republicans on FOX News and that Democrats are patriots, too. She played offense instead of defense, and she did it all with a smile.



In this fight, my money's on Powell Yesterday, Gen. Colin Powell sent a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) sharply criticizing President Bush’s plan to establish military commissions. Powell wrote, “. To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk.” During today’s press conference Bush said that criticism like Powell’s was “flawed logic” and “unacceptable.” It is of course more or less a perfect replay of 2002. At least then there was a notional, if bogus, argument for urgency. Now? Time is running out to set up military tribunals to try suspected terrorists who we've had in custody for two, three, four, in some cases I think even close to five years with no particular need or urgency to try them at all. But right now, seven weeks before the election time is running out because when Congress comes back in December it'll be too late. By then I guess we'll have had to release them and give them a clean suit, two hundred bucks and release into some American city. Time's running out! And that from the same guy who wants a permission slip from the Pakistani government to hunt down Osama bin Laden.



Lawyer says FCC ordered study destroyed (it got the "wrong" results)

The Federal Communications Commission ordered its staff to destroy all copies of a draft study that suggested greater concentration of media ownership would hurt local TV news coverage, a former lawyer at the agency says. [..]

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. received a copy of the report "indirectly from someone within the FCC who believed the information should be made public," according to Boxer spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz.

Adam Candeub, now a law professor at Michigan State University, said senior managers at the agency ordered that "every last piece" of the report be destroyed. "The whole project was just stopped _ end of discussion," he said. Candeub was a lawyer in the FCC’s Media Bureau at the time the report was written and communicated frequently with its authors, he said.

So Former Chairman Michael Powell commissions a study to prove that allowing corporations to own multiple stations in regions doesn’t actually hurt the public’s interest in quality or quantity of local news information and local media ownership DOES give the consumer greater and more relevant local news.

What’s a Bush appointee to do?

Bury the report in a drawer and order all the work product to be destroyed–destroyed, not shoved in a vault, not filed in some "mislabeled" folder to be shuffled in some bureaucratic hell. Then go ahead and approve more corporation ownership of local stations, thereby working against the public interest of which they are charged. Current Chairman Kevin Martin claims he was unaware of the report in .

has more and an action item to call for an investigation.



Idiot on parade In an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and current World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz was challenged by a reporter about his pre-war assessment that Iraq “.” Wolfowitz responded, “What surprised all of us is the war has gone on a lot longer than we thought in a different manner.”

The fact that the Iraq war has raged on for years should not be a surprise to Wolfowitz, but it’s not to the intelligence community. Wolfowitz and others in the Bush administration were warned repeatedly that postwar chaos was likely. Wolfowitz chose to disregard these warnings:

A yearlong State Department study predicted many of the problems that have plagued the American-led occupation of Iraq, according to internal State Department documents and interviews with administration and Congressional officials. … Several officials said that many of the findings in the $5 million study were ignored by Pentagon officials until recently, although the Pentagon said they took the findings into account. [NYT, ]

[T]wo classified reports prepared for President Bush in January 2003 by the National Intelligence Council, an independent group that advises the director of central intelligence,…predicted that an American-led invasion of Iraq would increase support for political Islam and would result in a deeply divided Iraqi society prone to violent internal conflict. [NYT, ]

A review by former intelligence officers has concluded that the Bush administration “apparently paid little or no attention” to prewar assessments by the Central Intelligence Agency that warned of major cultural and political obstacles to stability in postwar Iraq. [NYT, ]


September 16, 2006 - 10:14pm