Thursday, January 26, 2006

Other Items

The suit was filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan on behalf of the scholar, Tariq Ramadan, and three national organizations of academics or writers who have invited him to speak to their members. The groups, including the American Academy of Religion, the leading American organization of scholars of religion, say Mr. Ramadan has never expressed support for terrorism. They also argue that the Patriot Act clause has been applied to stifle academic debate in the United States.
Mr. Ramadan, a Swiss citizen, has been denied a United States visa since July 2004, when he was on the verge of moving with his family to Indiana to take up a tenured professor's position at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
In a telephone interview from Oxford University in England, where he is currently a visiting professor, Mr. Ramadan said he had never had an explanation why his visa was revoked, after he had been approved to teach at Notre Dame and had been a frequent traveler to the United States for many years.
"It's clear there is nothing in my record supporting terrorism," Mr. Ramadan said.

The above is from Julia Preston's "Lawsuit Filed in Support of Muslim Scholar Barred From U.S." in this morning's New York Times. Preston's article is worth reading, one of the few in the paper this morning that was worth printing on paper.

Then there's . . . Eric Lipton's article which has a bad headline and somehow lost its lead (lost to the point of buried). We'll walk you through the way the Times should have.

As Congress attempts to figure out the government response to Hurricane Katrina, they go through "documents and testimony from governors, mayors, Homeland Security and Pentagon officials." What they don't have is information from the administration.
Michael Brown, then the head of FEMA, told "the House committee that he repeatedly e-mailed or spoke on the telephone to Mr. Bush, Mr. Card and Mr. Card's deputy, starting Saturday and Sunday before the hurricane struck."
Brown has clammed up and won't reveal his "conversations with the president's chief of staff and the president."
But documentation exists that demonstrates the adminstration knew ("hours before the storm hit") that there would be "severe flooding and/or levee breaching." The administration is stonewalling. Bully Boy and Cherftoff claim the Condi-defense: No one could have guessed that the levees would be breached. The admistration has also claimed that immediately after the storm they thought the danger had passed and "that the city had survived without catastrophic damage." This is what is known as a "lie."

From the article:

That night, after the storm passed, a report sent to the White House warned of a quarter-mile breach "in the levee near the 17th Street Canal" and that "an estimated 2/3 to 75 percent of the city is underwater."

Now that's the story of what happened. The paper today (all of the summary is based on the article) feels the need to dance around reality.

These are brief entries this morning, sorry. I saw the piece of fluff (see previous entry) and immediately began calling friends at the Times to find out what was going on? Feeling out in the cold is what's coming from the top and leading the paper to rip away at the threads of their own NSA reporting.

Dallas notes BuzzFlash's editorial "This Isn't A "Vote Of Conscience" Concerning A Filibuster; It's A Vote To Save Democracy. And If Reid Can't Cajole And Bluster 41 Democrats Into Saving Democracy, He Should Resign His Position:"

The New York Times, in a January 26th Editorial, Calls for a Filibuster of Alito. If Harry Reid doesn't start acting like a majority leader and get the Salazars, Landrieus, Bidens and Feinsteins to support one, then he should step down as majority leader. This isn't a "vote of conscience" concerning a filibuster; it's a vote to save democracy. And if Reid can't cajole and bluster 41 Democrats into saving democracy, he should resign his position. Period. The future of America is at stake. Even the New York Times realizes it now.
[. . .]
As we noted, in 2003, John Kerry, who would like to be president, promised to lead a filibuster on a nominee that fits Sam Alito to a "T." Then, lead, John Kerry, lead, or be a hypocrite and get trounced in the Iowa primaries. If you don't have the 41 votes, get them. If you want to be president, you better be able to secure the backing of your party caucus, because if you can't lead the Democrats, you can't lead the nation.

Topics for today's Democracy Now! include Hamas and the elections. Robert Dreyfuss is one guest. (Thanks to Eddie for that heads up.)

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