Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for March 11th, 2007

Colin McEnroe On Scooter Libby, Tim Russert, And Journalists’ First Amendment Rights

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 11, 2007

(hat tips to Atrios and Digby for this)

Colin McEnroe is too honest for his own good, and in a just world he would have David Brooks’ column space over at the New York Times.  

Here he ensures the enduring hatred of the Beltway crowd by spilling the beans on the whole “Patrick Fitzgerald damaged journalism by picking on those poor widdle journalists” scam:

When Russert was first subpoenaed, in 2004, to speak to the grand jury in the Libby case, he and NBC made a great show of fighting to quash that subpoena because, in the words of NBC News president Neil Shapiro, “The American public will be deprived of important information if the government can freely question journalists about their efforts to gather news.” This quote appeared in a “story” on the MSNBC website about NBC’s brave resistance.

Stirring words. Only one problem. It emerged at trial that Russert spoke freely to an FBI agent about this whole matter the first time he was ever contacted. The whole pageant of refusing to cooperate was kind of a charade. He had already cooperated. I mean, shouldn’t the story MSNBC ran about NBC’s commitment to the American public have explained that Russert compromised at least some of that commitment the first chance he got?


…Russert’s policy is one of his own invention, and it’s the kind of policy you’d have if you prized your cozy relationship with powerful people more highly than you prized your role as a reporter.

I mention all this because, here and there, you read comments about the prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and how much he damaged the First Amendment by sweating a bunch of journalists. Please. It’s more like he lanced some kind of infectious boil.


Posted in Fitzgerald, GOP/Media Complex, Libby trial, Media machine, mediawhores, mythmaking | Comments Off on Colin McEnroe On Scooter Libby, Tim Russert, And Journalists’ First Amendment Rights

Well, Duh.

Posted by MEC on March 11, 2007

The New York Times has just discovered that Alberto Gonzales is a goon.

During the hearing on his nomination as attorney general, Alberto Gonzales said he understood the difference between the job he held – President Bush’s in-house lawyer – and the job he wanted, which was to represent all Americans as their chief law enforcement officer and a key defender of the Constitution. Two years later, it is obvious Mr. Gonzales does not have a clue about the difference.

He has never stopped being consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency. If anyone, outside Mr. Bush’s rapidly shrinking circle of enablers, still had doubts about that, the events of last week should have erased them.

The events of the last week? The last week? How about “everything he’s done since he lied his way to becoming Attorney General”?

As often as the Busheviks have been caught out in baldfaced lies, I wonder why anybody has believed anything they’ve said since day one.

Oh, wait. I don’t wonder. As long as Bush’s approval rating was riding the 9/11 air currents, they didn’t care that the Busheviks lie, because the important thing was to stay on the Bush’s good side.

Don’t let that hard-hitting first paragraph fool you. The Times still isn’t prepared to acknowledge the obvious. Witness the final sentence:

We’re not going to be oblique. Mr. Bush should dismiss Mr. Gonzales and finally appoint an attorney general who will use the job to enforce the law and defend the Constitution.

Children, if you were truly going to be “not oblique”, you’d have said. “Mr. Bush isn’t going to dismiss Mr. Gonzales and appoint an attorney general who will use the job to enforce the law and defend the Constitution any more than he’s going to agree to withdraw troops from Iraq, so it’s time to tot up Mr. Bush’s offenses against the Constitution and use that evidence in his impeachment proceedings.”

They’ll say that the day they apologize to Bill Clinton for giving Jeff Gerth column inches to create a scandal out of nothing.

Posted in Alberto Gonzales, anti-truth, beat the press | 1 Comment »

Time For Another Blogger Ethics Panel (Twin Cities Media Edition)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 11, 2007

On the front page of today’s paper edition of the StarTribune, right above the fold, there is a rather odd piece by Patricia Lopez and Conrad Defiebre.  The piece attacks the DFL for attempting to undo Tim Pawlenty and the Republican Party’s tax cuts for the well-to-do. 

Among other things, the piece implies that low taxes automatically equal “fiscal restraint” — ignoring the fact that it was Tim Pawlenty’s tax cuts for the rich that ran up a huge debt and gave Pawlenty the go-ahead to slash services that benefitted every Minnesotan rather than undo his free-money giveaways to his wealthy patrons. (See here and  here for details on how Pawlenty and his GOP buddies cooked the books — and how the state’s major media let him get away with it.)

Today’s Strib piece reads as if it could have come straight from a talking-points spin sheet from David Strom and his Minnesota (Rich) Taxpayers League.  This shouldn’t surprise anyone, since Strom considers Lopez and her longtime Strib collaborator Dane Smith to be “friends of mine”, as Steve Perry mentioned in City Pages back in 2005.

Posted in beat the press, big money, blogger ethics, GOP/Media Complex, local blogging, mediawhores, Minnesota, StarTribune | 1 Comment »

Sunday Afternoon Pizza Blogging

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 11, 2007


Just because.  :-)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sunday Afternoon Pizza Blogging

Bin Laden’s War

Posted by Charles II on March 11, 2007

The so-called war on terror has been misdirected from the beginning. By striking at America, bin Laden knew he could not kill more than a few of us or destroy very much property. But if he could make us afraid, he could destroy our strength, especially our economy.

Economists have set out to measure his success. A CEPR working paper (#6173) by Daniel Mirza and Thierry Verdier, which I read lightly, proposes to measure the cost of terrorism on trade. Seal the borders and there is no trade and no terrorism. Open the borders to achieve trade and some terrorists may slip through. Some of the countries where there has been a big growth in incidents: Colombia, Somalia, and Nigeria.

Although the connection is nonlinear, a 1% increase in terrorism attributed to a country reduces its exports to the US by 0.01%. The effect is more pronounced for small countries, especially when there are repeat incidents. So, for example, Colombia suffers a 3% decrease in trade for a 1% rise in terrorism.

There are also negative effects on foreign direct investment (Abadie et al). Others have estimated a decrease of 4 – 7.6% in bilateral trade for countries that suffer a terrorist attack. Also, there are negative effects on business visas. A 10% rise in business visas is associated with a 5% rise in trade. 

Posted in economy | 2 Comments »

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