Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Democracy Now: Nicholas Detorrente, William Schulz; Bob Somerby (The Daily Howler); Jude (Iddybud), Jude (The Rational Liberal -- same Jude)

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "always worth watching"):
Headlines for June 1, 2005

- Bush: Iraq War Will Be Seen As "America's Golden Moment"
- Suicide Bomber Kills Over 20 At Mosque in Afghanistan
- Ex-FBI Official Mark Felt Exposed As Deep Throat
- Bush: Amnesty Report on Guantanamo Abuses is "Absurd"
- U.S. Threatens to Withhold $10M in Aid to Kenya Over ICC
- Mass Protests Force in Bolivia Force Congress To Suspend Session
- Singer and Activist Oscar Brown Dies, 78
Sudan Arrests Two Officials With Doctors Without Borders Following Report of Widespread Rapes in Darfur

MSF-Holland director Paul Foreman said he was arrested and interrogated on Monday and Vince Hoedt, Darfur co-ordinator for the Dutch section of MSF was arrested and questioned on Tuesday. Foreman was charged with crimes against the state, publishing false reports, spying and undermining Sudanese society. [includes rush transcript]
CIA Secretly Restores Ties to Sudan Despite Ongoing Human Rights Abuses in Darfur

The Los Angeles Times recently revealed that the U.S. has quietly forged a close intelligence partnership with Sudan despite the government's role in the mass killings in Darfur. Charles Snyder, the U.S. State Department Senior Representative on Sudan, defends the Bush administration's policy on Sudan.
Guantanamo Bay: A "Gulag Of Our Times" or a "Model Facility"? A Debate on the U.S. Prison & Amnesty International

A week ago Amnesty International accused the Bush administration of being a "leading purveyor and practitioner" of human rights violations, debate has intensified over the U.S. war on terror. On Tuesday, Bush described the Amnesty report as "absurd." Today we host a debate between Amnesty's William Schulz and attorney David Rivkin.
At The Daily Howler today, Bob Somerby has a great deal to say about Daniel Okrent.  Here's an excerpt:
WHEN FOPS ATTACK: Okrent v Krugman? Just like that, it has all been posted, on the Times public editor's site. First, Paul Krugman replies to the nasty attacks in Dan Okrent's final column. Okrent then responds to Krugman; finally, Krugman makes a brief closing post. And what has come from this exchange? Incredibly, Okrent's specific complaints against Krugman are even more daft than we would have expected. As we'll see below, Okrent has to struggle hard to come up with any complaints at all; indeed, to build his total up to five, he has to cut-and-paste something Krugman brought up in his initial reply! Meanwhile, how inane are the mighty Okrent's objections? Here is one of his five complaints, with an explanation by Brad DeLong:
COMPLAINT BY OKRENT: [Krugman's] 2/3/04 assertion that tax proposals offered by Democrats would help the 77 percent of taxpayers in the 15 percent bracket or less. The most recent generally accepted figures available at the time indicated that the number was actually 64 percent.

EXPLANATION BY DELONG: I believe that 77% of all taxpayers are in the 15% bracket or less; 64% of those who pay income taxes to the Treasury are in the 15% bracket or less; there are a bunch of people who pay taxes but not income taxes.

In short, Krugman's assertion from 2/3/04 was perfectly accurate, as you can see if you link to his column. (Note that Okrent has to search back sixteen months to come up with even this bungled complaint.) Krugman himself says this, in his brief final post: "I could explain why 77 percent, not 64 percent, is the right number, but does it really matter? The only significant example was his claim that I blended household and establishment survey data on jobs, in an attempt to score political points. But as I showed in the previous note, I didn't and in the column itself I pointed readers to the correct data." Krugman’s demolition of this, Okrent's "only significant example," is at the public editor's site.

Yep! Except for that one demolished complaint, ""[e]verything else is picking nits," Krugman writes. Indeed, Okrent's complaints are the work of a fop--of a self-involved Manhattan dilettante, the same inane schoolboy who informed the world that the New York Times doesn't ID Bill Moyers when the world's simplest fact-check would have shown that this well-scripted claim was just false (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/24/05). But this is the type of dunderhead work that results when a certain social class takes control of the mainstream press corps. Okrent's a classic Manhattan Fop, as we'll examine in detail below. Did Okrent really belong in the key post he held? Yes, he did! Okrent belonged there the way we belong at the head of the space shuttle program.

Maria notes Judy of Iddybud.  Jude's got a nice thing on the state of the press that notes The Third Estate Sunday Review.  Maria also asked that we note Jude's involvement with TPM Cafe (same link but scroll down).  Maria's mainly asking about Jude's weblog The Rational Liberal.

The panel has put permalinks on hold while they focused on getting their proposal together and ready for a vote by members.  The proposal is complete.  This is the first of the three days of notice.  I'm obviously rushing due to time constraints (hence the links to Jude's Iddybud and her The Rational Leader but no excerpt -- sorry, please check those out).  Remember that if you have questions regarding instant run off voting, Shirley's the pro on that.  (She'll also be addressing some questions she's already received in Friday's gina & krista's roundrobin.)

Remember there will be two more days where this is noted.  And remember that voting will end fourteen days from now. 

Since this is for community members, with regards to e-mails, I'll be focusing on member's emails during the next fourteen days.  Ava and Kat will also be assisting with the e-mail in the next 14 days.  The point is to make sure the ballots are received and to help with counting the votes on this end.  (Remember, you'll mail your vote here, to Eli and to Keesha in one e-mail.)

I am rushing, and I'm sure I've forgotten something.

Before I rush off the page, let me note this item from Jude's The Rational Liberal:


The e- Whistleblower Group Wants Legal Protection For Whistleblowers

Led by Sibel Edmonds and joined by Daniel Ellsberg and Colleen Rowley, a new group calling themselves the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC)wants Congress to take action to enable whistleblowers to sue government retaliators in their personal and official capacities. They also wish to be able to bring suit against agencies for failure to follow up and rectify wrongdoing by employees after the whistle's been blown. The group is also asking for sufficient safeguards against whistleblower retaliation. Ms. Edmonds has said: "In recent years the number of national security whistleblowers has grown exponentially, so has the level of retaliation and harassment against these whistleblowers by the government." Edward Markey of Massachusetts, a senior Democratic member of the House of Representatives committee on homeland security, said he plans to introduce a bill to protect national security whistleblowers.

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