Progressive Minds

Blogging live, from somewhere in the reality-based community. Speaking truth to power. You've entered the real "no spin zone." Republicans beware!


Spy Nation

@ 11:48 PM (112 months, 4 days ago)

The NY Times reports that George Bush allowed the super-secretive National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct domestic spying---and here's the kicker--WITHOUT THE COURT-APPROVED WARRANT that is normally required.

Republican Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committe, has said he will hold hearings on the issue next year, and stated "There is no doubt that this is inappropriate." 

Former NSA General Counsel  Elizabeth Rindskopft said she found it troubling that such a change to our spying policy would be made my executive order, while a former senior official specializing in security law said "This is really a sea change.  It's almost a mainstay of this country that the N.S.A. only does foreign searches."

Equally, troubling, the New York Times sat on this story for a year.  They say administration officials asked them not to publish the story, for fear it would tip off would-be terrorists (READ: or maybe even those pesky peace groups, speaking out against the war). The newspaper says it delayed publication on this story for a year, in order to "conduct additional reporting."

(Or maybe the "liberal" New York Times held off on the story, fearing it might negatively impact Junior in the 2004 election).

On Capitol Hill today, the Senate (wisely) rejected the renewal of portions of the U.S. Patriot Act (a.k.a the Spy Act, b.k.a. the Civil Liberties Abuses Act).

Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts

Bush Approved Eavesdropping, Official Says

Bush won't confirm report NSA spied on Americans

Patriot Act renewal fails in Senate

Senate rejects reauthorization of Patriot Act

School Dress Code Story a Fabrication

@ 09:19 PM (112 months, 4 days ago)

Looks like Bill O'Reilly (or is that O'LIEly) is at it again.

On the December 9 episode of his Fox News Show, he reported that a school in Plano, TX told their student population they could not were red or green, because they are Christmas colors.

Well, looks like O'Reilly completely fabricated that story.

Following is a copy of an email sent to parents in the Plano school district:

Dear Plano ISD eNews Subscribers:

On Friday, December 9, on the Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor,"
with Bill O'Reilly and guest Jim Pinkerton, Fox 4 News analyst, it was falsely reported in a segment entitled "More Victories for Christmas" that ...

....."In Plano, Texas, a school told students they couldn't wear red and
green because they are Christmas colors."......

Due to the number of e-mails, inquiries and phone calls to Plano ISD
regarding students "wearing red and green," Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Doug Otto is e-mailing this communication to eNews subscribers (and has posted this message on the PISD website) to assure the school community that this rumor is false.

"The school district does not restrict students or staff from wearing certain color clothes during holiday times or any other school days," noted Dr. Otto, who said that the school district's attorney has requested that Mr. O'Reilly retract the statement.

Dr. Otto said that our attorney requested of Mr. O'Reilly that, in the
future, he ask his fact checkers to do a more thorough job of confirming the facts before he airs them.

"It would be our hope that you would engage in fair and balanced reporting of this nationally recognized school district in the future," PISD's attorney wrote to Mr. O'Reilly.

Bush Plan For NOLA Is Bad for the Lower 9th Ward

@ 09:10 PM (112 months, 4 days ago) you knew there had to be a catch to Junior's plan for NOLA. 

And now, here it is.

Seems that the Army Corps of Engineers is saying that Bush's plan will do nothing to protect the Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans East or St. Bernard Parish.

Incidentally, these are the places where some of the poorest residents of New Orleans lived.

Once again, the least of us, left out and locked out.

New plan won't protect St. Bernard, Lower Ninth or N.O. East

Pentagon to Plant Pro-U.S. Stories; Won't Identify U.S. As Source

@ 12:00 AM (112 months, 5 days ago)

Even BushCo. has sense enough to be worried about the Pentagon's plan to plant pro-U.S. stories in foreign media outlets, without identifying the U.S. government as the source.

Pentagon rolls out stealth PR