Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Other Items

What else in the New York Times this morning? Floyd Norris forgets *he's* a reporter and assumes he's the Tony Robbins of capitalism hence "In France, an Economic Bullet Goes Unbitten" full of harsh judgements of those who refused to get with the economic model of his choice. He tosses around "the push for change" at one point (lamenting the lack of it outside of possibly Germany) so he should just title his book, book on tape/disc, motivational videos and seminars The Push for Change and quit pretending to be a reporter.

Brandon notes Elizabeth de la Vega's "Final JeopardyAsking the Right Question About the President's Involvement in the CIA Leak Affair" (TomDispatch.com via Common Dreams):

The latest in a parade of horrors emanating from the Bush administration appeared Thursday in the form of a revelation buried in papers filed in federal court by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in his investigation into the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, now under indictment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, told the Grand Jury Fitzgerald convened that President Bush had -- via Vice President Cheney -- authorized him to disclose selected information from a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to New York Times reporter Judith Miller, which he did during a private breakfast meeting at the St. Regis Hotel on July 8, 2003.
On Friday, in a
press conference that bore a striking similarity to Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" routine, President Bush's spokesman Scott McClellan dutifully responded to reporters' questions about the disclosure. No, the increasingly robotic McClellan said, the White House will not comment on an ongoing case. But, he assured the assembled journalists, the President can declassify whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants. So, McClellan implied, it would have been perfectly legal for the President to have taken this action, which he could not, of course, comment on because this was an ongoing case (and so on).
Thus has begun a debate in our media whose starting questions usually run along the lines of: "Is what the President did legal?" or "Does the President have authority to declassify information at will?" (Given the President's failure to deny Libby's allegation, it has largely been accepted as true.) The answer to those questions has generally been: Yes, the President -- as chief executive -- has the authority to declassify information at will.
But it is not only in the TV game show world of Jeopardy! that the correct answer to a problem depends on the question asked. And, as it happens, those are simply not the right questions.

The Davids (see previous entry) should take note.

Martha notes Dan Balz and Darryl Fears's "'We Decided Not to Be Invisible Anymore': Pro-Immigration Rallies Are Held Across Country" (Washington Post):

Hundreds of thousands of pro-immigration demonstrators mobilized on the Mall and in scores of cities across the country yesterday in a powerful display of grass-roots muscle-flexing that organizers said could mark a coming-of-age for Latino political power in the United States.
Calling for legal protection for illegal immigrants, the demonstrators -- the overwhelming majority of them Hispanic -- streamed past the White House in Washington, jammed streets near City Hall in Lower Manhattan, marched in Atlanta, held a small candlelight vigil in Los Angeles and, in Mississippi, sang the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" in Spanish.

Demonstrators massed in cities large and small. In tiny Lake Worth, Fla., several thousand legal and illegal immigrants, marching to the beat of drums, demanded fair treatment, with one sign reading "Let Me Love Your Country." In Phoenix, an estimated 100,000 rallied at the Arizona Capitol, with families pushing strollers wedged among construction workers, high school students and old men wearing cowboy hats.

Reminder, the demonstrations are the scheduled topic for today's Democracy Now!:

* We cover the continuing mass protests across the country for immigrant rights.

Micah notes that today on WBAI (eastern standard time is given):

2:00-3:00 pm: Arts Magazine
Screening Room: Sir! No Sir!: the suppressed history of the GI anti-war movement, a conversation with filmmaker activist David Zieger. High Noon in the Bronx: the art of preservation and an encounter with Congressman 'Joe.' Local Moroccan musicians perform live on traditional instruments.

Sir! No! Sir! will be playing in NYC shortly:

April 17 -- Preview Screening New York, NY, IFC Center
327 6TH AVE.

(212) 924-7771
www.ifccenter.comClick here for more details
April 19 -- THE IFC CENTER
327 6TH AVE.

(212) 924-7771

Carl points out the "everyone posted yesterday." That would be:

Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills);
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
Wally of The Daily Jot
Seth of Seth in the City

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.