The Liberal Patriot Blog
 The Liberal Patriot Blog is dedicated to collecting and sharing information about National and State [New Hampshire] Political Action, News, and Events.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

HB665 minimum wage roll call

Does anyone else see a trend here???
Date of Vote:
05/26/2005
Bill Title:
relative to the applicable minimum wage for hourly employees.
Vote #:
56
Question/Motion:
Inexpedient to Legislate - Estabrook/Hassan
Bill No.:
HB665
Yeas:15
Nays:9
Senator Party District How voted
Barnes, John Republican 17 Yea
Boyce, Robert Republican04 Yea
Bragdon, Peter Republican 11 Yea
Burling, Peter Democrat 05 Nay
Clegg, Robert Republican 14 Yea
D'Allesandro, Lou Democrat20 Nay
Eaton, Thomas Republican 10 Yea
Estabrook, Iris Democrat 21 Nay
Flanders, Robert Republican07 Yea
Foster, Joseph Democrat 13 Nay
Fuller Clark, Martha Democrat24 Nay
Gallus, John Republican 01 Yea
Gatsas, Theodore Republican 16 Yea
Gottesman, David Democrat 12 Nay
Green, Richard Republican 06 Nay
Hassan, Margaret Democrat 23 Nay
Johnson, Carl Republican 02 Yea
Kenney, Joseph Republican 03 Yea
Larsen, Sylvia Democrat 15 Nay
Letourneau, Robert Republican19Yea
Martel, Andre' Republican 18 Yea
Morse, Charles Republican 22 Yea
Odell, Bob Republican 08 Yea
Roberge, Sheila Republican 09 Yea
Yeah, try to rise up.


Friday, May 27, 2005

NEW HAMPSHIRE FREEDOM TO MARRY

Tuesday May 31st 6:30pmLittleton, NH

The State of New Hampshire established a commission to study ‘same-sex marriage and all of its legal equivalents. This commission has determined that one of the ways it will gather information and a sense of what the citizens of NH want is to hold four public hearings around the state.

There will be one in Littleton at the Opera House which is on Route 302 at the intersection with Route 115. (The other hearings will be held in Portsmouth, Nashua and Keene.)

It is critically important that the supporters of same sex marriage make a positive impact on the commission members in Littleton.

Contact: Ed Butler EdoftheNotch@aol.com (603)374-6131

NHFTM Message points on Marriage Equality

The following memo includes messages and talking points on marriage equality. We have also included some questions and answers on these topics.

Message points on marriage equality

• Marriage is a commitment. It is about sharing, love, trust, and compromise. Two adults who make this private personal choice to form a life-long commitment should not be denied the right to marry just because they are gay or lesbian.

• Gay Americans serve in the military, keep our communities safe as firefighters and police officers, staff our hospitals, build our cities, and pay taxes. Denying gay couples the right to legally marry takes away legal rights in pensions, health insurance, hospital visitations, and inheritance that other long-term committed couples enjoy. We should end this discrimination.

• Today we look back, almost disbelieving, on the time when many Americans did not tolerate marriage between Catholics and Protestants, between whites and blacks. Unfortunately, our laws continue to deny a basic right to marry to two adults simply because they are gay or lesbian.

Talking points on marriage equality

1. Frame the debate as “denying the right to marry” and “discrimination.” Avoid talking about “recognizing,” “allowing” or “supporting” gay marriage. These terms suggest to voters an approval of gay behavior, which is a larger leap for many voters than no longer denying rights or doing away with discrimination. The frame of not “denying” rights is easier to agree with because these voters can still disapprove of the behavior personally but argue that gay individuals should not be discriminated against and that gay couples in life-long committed relationships should not be denied the right to marry.

2. Talk about marriage as commitment, sharing, loving relationships, and a personal choice that should not be denied to couples just because they are the same sex. Avoid terms such as “gay marriage,” “same-sex marriage,” “civil marriage,” or others because they only serve to set gay couples apart as different and do more harm than good for long-term communications. Instead talk about not denying the right to marry to two people of the same sex.

3. Remind the public that gay Americans are American citizens who pay taxes and protect our communities as fire fighters, police officers, and by serving in the military, and therefore desire the same rights and protections as other Americans.

4. Illustrate the harm of denying these rights – lack of legal rights – hospital visitation, inheritance rights, etc.

5. Without attacking the tradition of marriage directly, remind people that there comes a time when our country breaks with traditions that wrongly discriminate against individuals. For example, today we look back almost disbelieving on the time when many Americans did not tolerate marriage between Catholics and Protestants, or between Blacks and Whites. Unfortunately, our laws continue to deny the right to marry to adults just because they are gay or lesbian.

6. Never say lifestyle as this implies orientation is a choice.Questions & Answers


Question and Answer.


Q. Hasn’t marriage been traditionally defined as between a man and a woman?

A. Marriage is about commitment, love, sharing, and compromise. It is a private, personal choice that should not be denied to couples just because they are the same sex.

Not long ago it was a tradition in America that women were not allowed to vote and that Blacks had to sit in the back of the bus. There came a time when America decided these traditions needed to be fixed to end discrimination.


Q. What about religious groups who believe homosexuality is wrong – won’t this pressure them to recognize homosexual couples?

A. No. We are not asking people to change their religious beliefs. There are many things about modern society that religious organizations disagree with, such as divorce and birth control that are now legal in this country.

Q. What about those people whose say their religious beliefs are threatened by gay marriage?

A. We are not asking people to change their religious beliefs. Just as we did not ask them to change their religious beliefs when we legalized divorce and legalized birth control. Ending discrimination of gays and lesbians is the same thing.


Q. The majority of Americans feel gay marriage is wrong. What do you say to them?

A. American attitudes toward marriage are complex. Americans’ attitudes toward the rights of gays and lesbians are evolving just as attitudes on civil rights of other groups of Americans have evolved over time. We do know from the polling data that Americans oppose discrimination of gays and lesbians.

Marriage is about commitment, love, sharing, and compromise. It is a private, personal choice that should not be denied to couples just because they are the same sex.

Q. Won’t marriage persuade young people to be gay?

A. Being gay is not a matter of choice -- it is something you are born with. People cannot be persuaded to be gay or straight. It is just part of who they are.

Q. What about the impact on children?

A. Allowing two people who are in a loving and committed long-term relationship to have legal protections will have a positive impact on the children they parent, adopt and care for, and for other children in their communities.


Chandler fallout.

The dust is settleing a bit too quickly for this semi-novice blogoscyte. The Righty buds of unethical former House Speaker Gene Chandler are, in the words of one Righty blowbag, "shedding tears and very emotional'. Yeah, waah. My post from yesterday gives the lowdown but today we hear from many in the Granite Block House that Chandler is a swell guy. Hmmm. Representative Dan Eaton, D-Staddard, and up to this mornings interview enjoyed my respect, has said of Chandler that "people don't understand what it takes to remain in a position of leadership such as Rep. Chandler". Yeah, I do, you have to be a crook. Eaton spewed some drivel about the Chandler suggested punishment from the Committee that it would befit any rank and file member but not so with this Righty from Bartlett in Chandlers case. What kind of crack did Dan Eaton get ahold of yesterday??? The leadership should all be held as accountable, if not more so, than the rank and file members. I'm friggin outraged that the Left is again bending over to accept the oncoming high hard one from the Right. The purported "party of the people" deserves everything they get down there and it's tragic we the people put our faith and trust in the Chanlders, D'Allesandros, Gallus's and so many more that consistently perform "appearances of unethical behavior and improprieties". If Chandler does not receive his walking papers from the entire House membership next wednesday, if he refuses to step aside like a man, if the Committee recommendations are not upheld with the concurrence of the AG, then let me tell you our system is not just bad, it blows. A failure. I was derided last P.M. at a planning board hearing with 2 contentious developments and due to the fact that I wanted both petitioners to follow the rules, I got blasted. One guy was a "swell guy Gene", the other a rank and file member of the community. Guess which one got the free ride? Where is the sense?

We the People deserve better than this. Eaton and his colleagues on both sides can say Swell Guy Gene all they want but hold some form of ruling that makes it worth the paper the rules are written upon stand for something. This is tragic to the letter. Hey Lefty leadership, get some friggin balls. PEACE the hell OUT!!!

It hurts to laugh...

"To show that his energy bill is more than about drilling for oil in Alaska, this week President Bush visited a plant in Virginia that turns soybeans into a clean-burning diesel fuel -- which the President hopes will one day power oil drilling machines in Alaska." -Tina Fey, SNL's Weekend Update Anchor

Thursday, May 26, 2005

No minimum wage increase this session.

It appears the Senate has effectively killed the HB665, Minimum Wage increase bill with the old cowards standby ITL. I don't have the roll call as of yet but I will publish the whole list if they didn't use the even more cowardly voice vote. Stay tuned.

Chandler to be expelled.

Yeah this is the biggest thing since pockets. The House Ethics Committee has released its report and it appears in the final few paragraphs the Committee has taken courageous and unprecedented steps to expel one of the most undisputedly controvertial members of the Righty controlled House. Take a few minutes to read this and wait for the appeals to fly. I have the hopes that this is finally a House Ethics Committee committed to keep teeth bared and feet to the fire. Good for them. RISE UP!

Busy day and the Status

It is a busy day at The Granite Block House in the Senate and behind the doors of the House Ethics Committee. The Committee will release its report and a hand slapping to someone that probably would be doing time across town in another Concord House if he were a registered D.

The binezz will be updated as we receive same and here is your Status rundown.

Habitual Holdover- I won't mention her name again...
No replacement for now-Marty Honinberg is on the other side and the pro-prochoice guy here.
Eatons cowardly act as per Sully- The Head Dem Party gal is getting tough...at least she stopped eating her young...for now...
Bass-Bradley- Playing politics the SOP Righty style...Tragic.
Bruce who???- $4M and still a no-namer...
Lynch smooching-paying huge $dividend$
Visits- Richardson, must see;
..........- Clark, tired of seeing;
..........- Edwards, would love to see.
Running for another party -(HMMM???) Some Righty in a wig getting alternative party exposure
Finally some quick takes with yours truly and Benson team hitting the beaches. Let's hope they leave their dozer at home this time.

That's the Status. I have to go. PEACE!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Pole tax exemption flies through House

The Verizon and PSNH folks will be enjoying some steak and lobster and a few brews with the wind fall from this junk piece of crap. The SB11 Pole Tax Exemption bill went through with 255-109 to repeal the current sunset date of 1July2006 and extend to 1July2010 and allow the conglomerates to get away with another huge free ride and not pay their fair share of property taxes to your local communities. This drek has a co-sponsor in Senator Lou-show me your wallet-D'Allesandro. This guy can track a money trail better than my lead dog on a sleddog trail and she's a friggin champion. Lou, you're pathetic and the cowards that voted to join you to give the utilities a huge break are just as bad. These same companies charge rent to other utilities to use their poles and cable tv, the gas utilities and others, (all taxed), don't get this kind of quality bendover knee service from the legislature that Big Lou and his ilk readily allow and provide with vigor. The roll call goes like this for the lower House...
Brave NAYS; Merrick, King, Morneau...
Coward not for the people YEAS; Richardson, Lary, Remick, Stohl, Tholl, Theberge, Mears
Not Voting; Bernie Buzzell and I'm sure he would not have voted for the conglomerates but I can't say for sure since he is out sick. Yeah, sick of this type of legislation being added to the BOHICA pile to the working class. See you after next session when they need to make up the shortfall to the now expanded burden to the Counties and the shell game of the State wide property tax shuffle. RISE UP you down trodden, working, over taxed, middle class.

SB30 ion to Guvnahs desk.

The SB30, Emergency Collaborative Contraception Programs bill is through the lower House with a resounding 195-169 vote. I don't have the roll call as of yet but I will pass that along when I can (for your future fodder tossing in the midterms). This important bill was in debate for 2 hours and met with a haphearted attempt for amendment by Representative Bettencourt to gut the bill which met with little support. The Good Governor Lynch has promised to sign this piece of logical legislation into law when it gets to his desk. One small win for Freedom to choose your own legal medication. Good for all of you that took the time to contact your respective legislators. STAY ACTIVE!!!

Still more on the holdovers

I didn't make up the term but it does appear to be bantered about as of late. The fact that the AG is legislating through litigation is quite clear and even the Righty House has members touting Ayotte and her attempts to keep this a solid Red state. The anti-Union Leader has the latest details. I'm hoping we can get the Good Guvnah to finally grow a set of baggetts, slice off the flagrant obstructionist carbuncles and avoid these frivolous wastes of taxpayer funded appeals and usurpations of his authority and policy making. Purple is a color that is not on the Righty chart and I think the reaching across the aisle show should move on to the next act.
See my background post from earlier this week on this issue of holdovers. GET ACTIVE!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Now it's official

With the other 2 top NH political venues on line garnering a story, I guess I better get serious about acting Senatorially. The Liberal Patriot had the scoop but PolticsNH.com and NHInsider have given some much needed and much appreciated ink to this solonic hopeful. I think they will be invited to the soft ball game too!!! Wish me luck and give me your vote. PEACE OUT!!!

Personal choice showdown.

This is just the thing I have spoken about and will continue to speak about with our guvnah holding on to deadweight, Benson obstructionists. The first story here, gives you the outline of the high court battle looming on the ever expanding personal choice notification debacle. This stems from one older piece of legislation the Righties managed to push through last cycle and I'm not yet convinced the bad guys won't be trying it again tomorrow on SB30. The
next story here, gives a little insight into how our current AG is trying to balance current career with future aspirations and loyalty to one former obstructionist governor and our current centrist, bipartisan touting Head State Executive. Now I won't say I told you so... well yes I will. I friggin told you so. Keep the last guys crap appointees in the house and get nothing but crap in return. I saw absolutely no Lefties hanging on for too long under Herr Bensons heavy Right hand and we should see more obstructionists ass heading out the door from Lynchs office. Screw it. Ayotte was a lead counsel for former governor Benson and was on his election team. Remember??? Hey, while we're at it, how about sending HHS Commish John Stephen back to the private sector. He has his ducks in a row with plenty of alleged kick backs from managed care coming his way. Ooops, that still is alleged right? I hope our Good Guvnah does not get everything he deserves. Yeah, read these stories and RISE UP!!!

No More Viagra For Convicted Sex Offenders

New York state's comptroller announced that 198 convicted rapists and sex offenders had been reimbursed by Medicaid for Viagra between Jan. 1, 2000, and March 31, 2005.

They received the medication after they were paroled or completed their sentences for crimes against victims that Comptroller Alan Hevesi said were as young as 2 years old.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he will introduce legislation to make sure sex offenders cannot use Medicaid to pay for Viagra. "The fact that some of the most dangerous perpetrators are allowed access to Viagra on the taxpayer's dime is mind-boggling," he said.

from USA Today

Protecting the Osprey.

This is very cool. There has been at least one pair of Osprey around this neck of the woods for the past few years that I am aware. I've seen them in my little chunk-o-heaven from my back deck. Very sweet sight. The nesting construction began in earnest a few weeks ago and caused a power outage at the mills in Groveton. The birds were seeking a low rent district on a utility pole between the dam and the treatment plant. It caused an arc and the PSNH folks to dismantle and take down the bird condo. However, the flying fishers said that would not do and began to build another highrise. The mills have a mandatory operational shutdown starting today and the power will be (has already been) shut off. Good news. The nesting site will be relocated to a new highrise pole to be set parallel to the birds existing choice pole this week and cones will be set on existing power poles so the birdies won't try to rebuild and can have their home and the mill can have its unfettered power from Canada. I don't know who came up with this idea but I'm thinking very cool indeed. If you get a chance, take a peep (sorry) peak at the Osprey. They are awesome to watch. When you approach Groveton going toward my house (heh-heh), just after the Down Home Motel, look to the left at the river behind the dam. You can park and take pics. Look both ways before you cross the street.

Filibuster Deal...

I am not sure how I feel about this. The Ring Wing and Frist's Crazy are PISSED!!! That is good. The rank and file nuts don't like this deal. The real answer to whether this was a good or bad deal will probably take time to be seen. Russ Feingold and David Sirota don't like it.

From Daily Kos:

Still no details beyond the AP's brief description:

Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances."


For their part, Republicans agreed not to support an attempt to strip Democrats of their right to block votes.Some of the judges will get their up and down vote, at least two others will not. Frist doesn't look to happy on the Senate floor. Reid seemed happy.

Thing is, we don't know that we had the votes. We had 49. We needed two more. Did we have them?

Now, some wanted to roll the dice, but had we lost, Dobson would've chosen the next Supreme Court justice. I wasn't willing to make that bet, and I'm glad we didn't have to.

On top of everything, Frist looks weak. He's failed his crazies. He's finished.

More from Daily Kos:

For those who want to be angry at the deal, Feingold is with you:

This is not a good deal for the U.S. Senate or for the American people. Democrats should have stood together firmly against the bullying tactics of the Republican leadership abusing their power as they control both houses of Congress and the White House. Confirming unacceptable judicial nominations is simply a green light for the Bush administration to send more nominees who lack the judicial temperament or record to serve in these lifetime positions. I value the many traditions of the Senate, including the tradition of bipartisanship to forge consensus. I do not, however, value threatening to disregard an important Senate tradition, like occasional unlimited debate, when necessary. I respect all my colleagues very much who thought to end this playground squabble over judges, but I am disappointed in
this deal.


As an aside, the following judges are NOT getting an up or down vote: William Myers, Henry Said, Brett Kavanaughm William Haynes.

From SirotaBlog:

His first thoughts:

The "deal" on the filibuster essentially lets Bush have a number of his most extreme judicial nominees, meaning policy-wise, Democrats agreed to let the filibuster as a regularly-used tool be weakened, or at least be frightened into a corner. It also could be eliminated (or severely reduced) in practice because now Democrats may refrain from using it for fear of raising another "nuclear" debate. The effect of all of this could be to kill/weaken the filibuster IN PRACTICE - one of the GOP's big objectives, so they can ram their agenda through Congress, and fire up their right-wing base.

However, the other goal of the GOP is to keep the filibuster around as a CONCEPT or threat - as a demon for conservatives to continue railing against. As Tom Frank aptly notes in his writings, the conservative movement does not function unless there is some target to run a permanent campaign against ("obstructionsts" is one of the big ones). The continuation of the CONCEPT or threat of a filibuster by Democrats - especially now that its profile has been elevated by the media - gives the GOP that target, even though it may not be used, and has been weakened in PRACTICE.

Second Thoughts:

First and foremost - the radical right is freaking out. That means that, policy-wise, we've not only done something right by defeating the "nuclear" option, but politically we've opened up a divide between the lunatic fringe wing of the GOP, and the (albeit dying and tiny) mainstream wing. It also may split open a divide between the economic fat cats and the religious right that make up the GOP base. This is no small achievement - and bodes well for Democrats. As the Republicans themselves have shown in unfortunately splitting Democrats apart on core economic issues, when parties break apart, their own power is weakened.

Secondly, in the short term, the defeat of the "nuclear" option will be chalked up to moderation, and credited to Democrats. With polls showing disapproval of Congress at a high, that's especially good. The polls mean that people don't like what Congress is doing - and if Democrats get credit for stopping some of what Congress is doing, that's a positive, at least in the short term. As long as they don't get labeled obstructionist ON GOOD THINGS (like they dishonestly did on the creation of the Department of Homeland Security), that could also be a good thing in the long term, as long as Democrats play it right.


Sirota Offers Good Advice:

I'm going suck up my worry for now, have faith, and be an optimist (something that doesn't come natural to me) - a cautious one, but an optimist. Here's hoping the party can turn this into a long-term victory.



Let's say this is a win for us and see what happens.

Recent Votes

Recent Senate Votes

Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users - Vote Agreed to (89-11)The Senate passed this $295 billion bill that would fund transportation projects over the next six years.
Sen. Judd Gregg voted NO......send e-mail or see bio
Sen. John Sununu voted NO......send e-mail or see bio

Recent House Votes

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations, FY 2006 - Vote Passed (424-1, 8 Not Voting)The House passed this $30.1 billion bill funding the Department of Homeland Security for the 2006 fiscal year.
Rep. Charles Bass voted YES......send e-mail or see bio

Department of the Interior Appropriations Act, FY2006 - Vote Passed (329-89, 15 Not Voting)The House passed this $26.2 billion bill funding the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency for the 2006 fiscal year.
Rep. Charles Bass voted YES......send e-mail or see bio

DAILY OUTRAGE

Right-wing radio host and president of the right-wing group "American Families Association" Tom Wildmon claims liberals have more time to fight for their issues because they "don't have the kind of family responsibilities that most people have, and certainly not church responsibilities."

From C4AP

Good News

Representatives from the American Psychiatric Association – the country's leading mental health organization – voted Sunday to support marriage for same-sex couples. The group is the first major medical association to give its support to the issue.

From C4AP

Monday, May 23, 2005

Guest Speaker in Littleton this Wednesday

There is a really good speaker going to Littleton this Wednesday. Please come out if you can.

The North Country Democratic Committee will be meeting this coming WEDNESDAY May 25, 2005 at the Clam Shell Restaurant, Littleton.

The guest speaker is David T.Z Mindich, the author of TUNED OUT, Why Americans Under 40 Don't Follow the News.

An optional social time and dinner will be from 5:30 P.M. to 7:00. Prof. Mindich will be on at 7:00 P.M. The speaker's program is free and open to the press and public.

Here's what Walter Cronkite said about the book: "This is a very important book. Professor Mindich has undertaken to determine the extent of the news illiteracy of an entire generation of American young people, and, to speculate with authorities in broadcasting and print as to what can be done about it. This volume is a handbook for the desperately needed attempt to inspire in the young generation a curiosity that generates the news habit. Their lack of knowledge or even interest in our government bodes a critical danger to democracy as they become the nation's voting majority."

More information can be found at: Http://academics.smcvt.edu/dmindich

After Professor Mindich completes his remarks they'll be an abbreviated business meeting of the NCDC, to adjourn at 9:00 P.M.

LIEberman stays course, McCain continues downward spiral....

Nuke subsidies being added to McCain-Lieberman climate bill

The latest draft of the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act proposes hundreds of millions of dollars in new subsidies for the nuclear power industry, in the form of a cost-splitting arrangement that would have the feds shoulder half the expense of developing and getting regulatory approval for three new nuke-plant designs. The proposal (not yet finalized) is reportedly a bargaining chip to win conservative support for caps on greenhouse-gas emissions. One might expect the idea to run into a brick wall of opposition from environmental groups, but that wall shows signs of cracking. Several high-profile greens have recently argued that given the grim realities of global warming, nuclear power deserves a second look. But Thomas Cochran of the Natural Resources Defense Council urges enviros to keep the focus where it belongs: "The issue isn't: Do you support nuclear? The issue should be: Do you support massive subsidies to the tune of billions of dollars for nuclear power? The answer is no."

straight to the source: The New York Times, Felicity Barringer, 15 May 2005

From Weekly Grist 5/17/05 http://www.grist.org

Chandler fighting accountability.

Blaming everybody (I even saw Santa Claus on the list) and everything on his shady ethics and improprieties, former House Speaker and Righty strong arm Representative Gene-show me the bbq $$$-Chandler is taking the "off me ball" attitude. His litigious Righty hack representation Ovide Lamontagne has expressed his interpretations on the "conflicting laws, guidelines, and previously not enforced ethics statutes" for Chandlers mis-interpretations, confused prior-roarities and mis-underestimations of what he thought he could get away with. The story is linked here and it shows the House Ethics Committee will continue to look at this case. I think they SHOULD see it is just another Righty trying to get away with something that a Democrat would have already been impeached for doing. Having anything remotely resembling these types of shenanigans have let the public know how skewed, or is that screwed, our government system is and how we continue to get the BOHICA.

Newsspeak double standard..

Newsweek ran a sensational claim based on an anonymous source who turned out to be completely wrong. While one can't blame the subsequent violence entirely on this report, it's fair to say that credulous reporting like this contributed to a climate in which many innocent Muslims died.

The inaccurate Newsweek report appeared in the magazine's March 17, 2003 issue, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq. It read in part:

"Saddam could decide to take Baghdad with him. One Arab intelligence officer interviewed by Newsweek spoke of 'the green mushroom' over Baghdad--the modern-day caliph bidding a grotesque bio-chem farewell to the land of the living alongside thousands of his subjects as well as his enemies. Saddam wants to be remembered. He has the means and the demonic imagination. It is up to U.S. armed forces to stop him before he can achieve notoriety for all time."

Unlike a more recent Newsweek item (5/9/05), involving accusations that Guantanamo interrogators flushed a copy of the Quran down a toilet, Newsweek has yet to retract the bogus report about the "green mushroom" threat. The magazine's Quran charge has been linked to rioting in Afghanistan and elsewhere that has left at least 16 dead; alarmist coverage like Newsweek's about Saddam Hussein's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction paved the way for an invasion that has caused, according to the best epidemiological research available (Lancet, 11/20/04), an estimated 100,000 deaths.

Newsweek was right to retract the Quran story--mainly because the magazine claimed to have "sources" for the information, when Newsweek's subsequent descriptions of how it acquired the story mention only a single source. But it's far from clear that Newsweek's source was inaccurate in saying that U.S. investigators had uncovered abuse of a Quran in the course of a recent investigation; similar allegations have repeatedly been made by former Guantanamo prisoners (Washington Post, 3/26/03; London Guardian, 12/3/03; Daily Mirror, 3/12/04; Center for Constitutional Rights, 8/4/04; La Gazette du Maroc, 4/12/05; New York Times, 5/1/05; BBC, 5/2/05; cites compiled by Antiwar.com, 5/16/05).

It has been repeatedly said--including by Newsweek itself, in its initial apology (5/23/05)--that the magazine's source erred in saying that the Quran incident was contained in a report for the Pentagon's Southern Command. In fact, the original report said that the incident was "expected" to be in the report--an expectation that could have easily been altered by the fact that the explosive allegation became public.

Newsweek's retraction of the Quran story, contrasted with the lack of any correction of its "green mushroom" claim and other similarly erroneous WMD coverage, is quite illustrative of the actual rules--quite different from the ostensible rules that are taught in journalism school--that govern contemporary journalism:

* Anonymous sources are fine, as long as they are promoting rather than challenging official government policy.

* It's all right for your reporting to be completely wrong, as long as your errors are in the service of power.

* The human cost of bad reporting need only be counted when people who matter are doing the counting.

from Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Susan B explains when it's O.K.

Supreme Commander of Righty Bashers, Susan B, is on the front page of P4C and as usual has lent her awesome insight to the blogoshere for our reading pleasure. This gal is killer. Check out "OK When They Do It" by one of my best, Susan B. Talk about vigilance. RISE UP!!!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?