Saturday, December 03, 2005
The National Security Council document released this week under the grandiose title "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" is neither an analytical report nor a policy statement. It's simply the same old talking points - "victory in Iraq is a vital U.S. interest"; "failure is not an option" - repackaged in the style of a slide presentation for a business meeting.
It's an embarrassing piece of work. Yet it's also an important test for the news media. The Bush administration has lost none of its confidence that it can get away with fuzzy math and fuzzy facts - that it won't be called to account for obvious efforts to mislead the public. It's up to journalists to prove that confidence wrong.
The point isn't just that the administration is trying, yet again, to deceive the public. It's the fact that this attempt at deception shows such contempt - contempt for the public, and especially contempt for the news media. And why not? The truth is that the level of misrepresentation in this new document is no worse than that in a typical speech by President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney. Yet for much of the past five years, many major news organizations failed to provide the public with effective fact-checking.
So Mr. Bush's new public relations offensive on Iraq is a test. Are the news media still too cowed, too addicted to articles that contain little more than dueling quotes to tell the public when the administration is saying things that aren't true? Or has the worm finally turned?
Posted by cuddlefish at 8:16 AM
Friday, December 02, 2005
Justice Department lawyers concluded that the landmark Texas congressional redistricting plan spearheaded by Rep. Tom DeLay (R) violated the Voting Rights Act, according to a previously undisclosed memo obtained by The Washington Post. But senior officials overruled them and approved the plan.
The memo, unanimously endorsed by six lawyers and two analysts in the department's voting section, said the redistricting plan illegally diluted black and Hispanic voting power in two congressional districts. It also said the plan eliminated several other districts in which minorities had a substantial, though not necessarily decisive, influence in elections.
"The State of Texas has not met its burden in showing that the proposed congressional redistricting plan does not have a discriminatory effect," the memo concluded.
The memo also found that Republican lawmakers and state officials who helped craft the proposal were aware it posed a high risk of being ruled discriminatory compared with other options.
But the Texas legislature proceeded with the new map anyway because it would maximize the number of Republican federal lawmakers in the state, the memo said. The redistricting was approved in 2003, and Texas Republicans gained five seats in the U.S. House in the 2004 elections, solidifying GOP control of Congress.
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:38 AM
Photo by Ryan McManus
friday random ten:
"My Girl Josephine" - Super Cat
"Two Bluebirds" - Sue Foley
"Angels With Dirty Faces" - Los Lobos
"Speed Racer" - 2 Nice Girls
"Time Is Tight" - Booker T. & the MGs
"I Do Care" - The Big Boys
"Passover" - Joy Division
"People in the House" - Glass Eye
"Damage" - Yo La Tengo
"Frankenstein" - The TunaHelpers
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:36 AM
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
The flat track Carolina Rollergirls will skate their 2005 Fall Season Championship Bout this Sunday, December 4th.
Sunday, December 4, 2005.
Skate Ranch of Raleigh
Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
Doors open at 5:30pm, bout at 6pm.
Please visite the Carolina Rollergirls website for more info.
tags: roller derby, rollergirls, Carolina Rollergirls, Debutante Brawlers, Trauma Queens
Posted by cuddlefish at 12:53 PM
The flat track Minnesota RollerGirls skate this Sunday, December 4th.
The Atomic Bombshells take on the Dagger Dolls.
The second match features the Garda Belts vs. the Rockits.
Sunday, December 4, 2005.
Roy Wilkins Auditoium
Trackside seating: $12 advance / $14 game day
General admission: $10 advance / $12 game day
Ages 9 and under are always FREE with an adult!
Doors open at 6:30pm, bout at 7:30pm.
Please visit the Minnesota RollerGirls website for more inf.
tags: roller derby, rollergirls, Minnesota Rollergirls, Rockits, Dagger Dolls, Garda Belts, Atomic Bombshells
Posted by cuddlefish at 12:52 PM
The flat track Texas Rollergirls take on the Tucson Saddletramps in an inter-league bout this Saturday, December 3rd.
Saturday, December 3, 2005
Playland Skate Center
Tickets are $10 in advance.
Doors open at 6:30pm.
Music by Sons of Hurcules and DJ El Jefe.
Texas Rollergirls roster
#4 Hydra, Captain
#00 Sparkle Plenty, Co-Captain
#4 Bloody Mary
4X4 Loose Tooth LuLu
#08 Eight Track
#21 Buckshot Betsy
#22 Slim Kickins
.44 Derringer 44
l#56 Lucille Brawl
#XX Cat Tastrophe
#3e8 Rice Rocket, Bench Manager
Tucson Saddletramps roster
Jezze James (Jezebelle)
Flo on the Range (Sloppy Flo)
Zoe Bowie (Whiskey Mick)
Hoot'n'Annie (Aja Consent)
The Bad (Doris Badenov)
Nokka Ho Down (Barbicide)
Fisti the Kid (Fisti Cuffs)
Doe Holiday (Deadlock Doe)
Randi Canyon (Bolshe Vixen)
Bitch Cassidy (Penny Tencherry)
Ridin' Anya (Hard Anya)
Tombstone Teri (Dirty Teri)
Please visit the Texas Rollergirls website for more info.
tags: roller derby, rollergirls, Texas Rollergirls, Tucson Saddletramps, Austin
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:36 AM
Sunday, November 27, 2005
The Defense Department has expanded its programs aimed at gathering and analyzing intelligence within the United States, creating new agencies, adding personnel and seeking additional legal authority for domestic security activities in the post-9/11 world.
The moves have taken place on several fronts. The White House is considering expanding the power of a little-known Pentagon agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, which was created three years ago. The proposal, made by a presidential commission, would transform CIFA from an office that coordinates Pentagon security efforts -- including protecting military facilities from attack -- to one that also has authority to investigate crimes within the United States such as treason, foreign or terrorist sabotage or even economic espionage.
The Pentagon has pushed legislation on Capitol Hill that would create an intelligence exception to the Privacy Act, allowing the FBI and others to share information gathered about U.S. citizens with the Pentagon, CIA and other intelligence agencies, as long as the data is deemed to be related to foreign intelligence. Backers say the measure is needed to strengthen investigations into terrorism or weapons of mass destruction.
The proposals, and other Pentagon steps aimed at improving its ability to analyze counterterrorism intelligence collected inside the United States, have drawn complaints from civil liberties advocates and a few members of Congress, who say the Defense Department's push into domestic collection is proceeding with little scrutiny by the Congress or the public.
"We are deputizing the military to spy on law-abiding Americans in America. This is a huge leap without even a [congressional] hearing," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a recent interview.
Posted by cuddlefish at 10:45 AM
The Mad Rollin' Dolls will skate an Inter-League Bout against the Arizona Roller Derby travel team this Saturday, December 3rd.
Dairyland Dolls vs. Tent City Terrors
Saturday, December 3, 2005.
Fast Forward Skate Center 4649 Verona Rd, Madison, WI
Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
Doors open at 6:30pm, bout at 7:00pm.
Please visit the Mad Rollin' Dolls website for more info.
tags: roller derby, rollergirls, Arizona Roller Derby, Mad Rollin' Dolls, Tent City Terrors, Dairyland Dolls, Madison
Posted by cuddlefish at 10:03 AM