Friday, April 21, 2006

Hey! Come Here!

This is my absolute favorite photo from the recent visit of President Hu. Even better than Vice President Cheney, ummmmm, studying his notes.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bush Apologizes for Protester

Ceremonies today in Washington D.C. welcoming China's President Hu were interrupted briefly when a woman who gained access to the press area began shouting "President Bush, stop him from killing". The woman, identified as 47 year old Wenyi Wang, was charged with disorderly conduct. Other charges are being considered.

President Bush reportedly apologized to the Chinese President over the human rights protest.

"It's hugely embarrassing," said Derek Mitchell, a former Asia adviser at the Pentagon and now an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

China "must know that this Bush administration is good at controlling crowds for themselves, and the fact that they couldn't control this is going to play to their worst fears and suspicions about the United States, into mistrust about American intentions toward China."
Without any sense of irony, President Bush later said the Chinese government cannot continue to deny its citizens "the right to assemble, speak and worship as they choose."

"I Think You're An A**hole"

That's how a letter from Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) ended. It was sent to Bill Jones, a constituent in Centerville, Missouri. Even though the letter was signed by the Congresswoman, and included a hand-written note from her apologizing for a delay in responding, the representative denies knowing anything about the obscenity or how it was included in the correspondence.
"We cannot determine whether the addition to the letter was made by someone within the office or by someone with access to the office, but it is on my letterhead and the responsibility for it lies with me. A valuable lesson has been learned and new procedures will be adopted as a result."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Scott McClellan Resigns

In a widely anticipated move. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced today that he is resigning. I wonder who David Gregory will have to kick around now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

FBI Wants Anderson's Files

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that the FBI wants access to the archive of Jack Anderson, the late reporter known for his extensive contacts and secret sources. The 200 or so boxes that comprise the archive are currently at George Washington University's library, pending a transfer of ownership by the Anderson family. The Feds want to go through the boxes and remove whatever they don't like, an idea that doesn't sit well with the family or the University.
Were he alive today, Jack Anderson "would probably come out of his skin at the thought of the FBI going through his papers," said Kevin N. Anderson, the journalist's son.
via Romenesko

NYC Cops Detain Photographer

Late last month, Brian Hoberman and a fellow volunteer from the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives were photographing illegally parked vehicles in New York City. When they started photographing an SUV which was partially parked on the sidewalk, they were confronted by the owner, a policeman in plain clothes.

The two were taken into the police station and questioned extensively by a number of officers. The cops tried to establish a link between the two volunteers and other activist groups. A driver's license was taken and held. The photographer was ordered to delete the offending images.

The police repeatedly invoked the Patriot Act, as if that somehow explained their actions. In a reply to a reporter's query, Deputy Chief Michael Collins said he'd find it unusual if they hadn't been detained and questioned.
But Chris Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union says the incident is troubling. "There are no prohibitions against photographing in public spaces," Dunn notes. "They can't mandate anyone to destroy photographs. If they said [the volunteers] could be held, that sounds like coercion to me."
via BoingBoing and Declan

Monday, April 17, 2006

Lockdown Students Denied Bathroom

During last month's immigration demonstrations, Worthington Elementary School Principal Angie Marquez reportedly misread the school district handbook and imposed lockdown rules designed for nuclear attacks. The result were restrictions so severe, children were denied access to bathrooms and were required to use a bucket in the classroom when they needed to egest.
Tim Brown, the district's director of operations, confirmed some students used buckets but said the principal's order to impose the most severe type of lockdown was an "honest mistake."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Reminder: No Hexes on Planes!

Russian singer Svetlana Yankovsky was busted by the FBI after slapping a flight attendant, throwing a hex, and telling fellow passengers on a Delta Airlines flight that they were all gonna die.

She was mad the wine she'd been chugging had been confiscated.

But when flight attendants tried to calm Yankovsky down, she told them, "Not good, plane crash, all die," according to an FBI agent's affidavit.

"Yankovsky continued her erratic behavior by 'hexing' the aircraft, the crew and the other passengers," the affidavit said.

"Yankovsky was singing and chanting in the aircraft and saying that everyone was going to die, their children would die and their grandchildren would die," it continued.

via Obscure

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Scalia's Proudest Moment

Apparently it was declining to recuse himself from the 2004 case involving his friend Dick Cheney, who refuses to disclose details regarding the involvement of energy industry executives in the Energy Task Force.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Why Comedy Central Wins Broadcast News

Today I heard about Tom Delay and Cynthia McKinney from all the major news orgs. Whether it was PBS, NPR or even Pacifica, I heard about them this morning as I was driving to work, and this evening as I was coming home. Over and over again, stories regarding Mr. Delay and Ms. McKinney dominated the day's news.

After the first five times I heard it, there was little more to learn. But that didn't stop the speculation and repetition. It seemed, beyond the occasional mention of Katie Couric or some obscure basketball tournament being held, there was little else to report.

However, the *only* time I heard about how the EPA is now listing water hazards at golf courses as wetlands was on The Colbert Report. I didn't hear about it anywhere else. Not once. I had to Google the topic later to find a story from Tuesday's Palm Beach Post. But it was nowhere on the broadcast news. Doesn't it seems to be an important issue during this year of record setting weather conditions?

Oh, and The Colbert Report followed a rather excellent interview with Studs Terkel on The Daily Show, where the grand old man reminded us all that it's okay to tell the President to "Bugger Off".

Oh, and *that* followed an interview between Jon Stewart and John McCain where Mr. Stewart asked you know, real questions about what the Senator is doing today. Questions along the lines of "What? Have you lost your mind?"

So if anybody is wondering, maybe the people are turning to a comedy channel to get their news because there is actually more news on the comedy channel. This is a poor reflection on the producers of the news, but *not* the consumers, and I don't think the producers get it. Until they do, they are destined to fail, and they deserve it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tom Delay is Not Jesus

Some folks are comparing Tom Delay to Jesus Christ and Greg Saunders isn't pleased about it.

"Grandma in Iraq" a PR Flack?

Justin Root has posted a story about Suzanne Fournier, the Grandma in Iraq, who writes a blog for the Cincinnati Enquirer. She states at the top of the blog that she's stationed with the "U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers", but she doesn't go out of her way to point out that she is a Public Affairs Officer within the Corps. Given the nature of Public Affairs, Mr. Root is left with questions.
Should a news organization have a military flak writing for it at all? If so, shouldn't she be explicitly identified as a public affairs officer?

Senator Suggests Evangelical General

Senator George Allan reportedly wants the evangelical Christian General Boykin to head the U.S. special operations command. Senator Warner says it ain't likely.

Goodbye Tom

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.