Friday, September 29, 2006

Conservationists take on incumbents in Maryland

Let's watch these two races and see if we can tell whether the environmental movement is alive or dead. Today's story is from the Annapolis Capital.

Monday, September 25, 2006

An obsession with plugging leaks

David Carr's column this morning notes the increasing volume of discussion about how corporate and government secrets make their way into the public press. Part of the friction around those disclosure has been an attempt to punish not only the leakers but the journalists who share the information with their readers. An important passage:
The ability to cultivate confidential sources is one of the building blocks of journalism. Without it, the media world would run on press releases. No one knows how many stories are going unreported, how many whistles going unblown, as a result of the increase in subpoenas....
Many reporters are now forced to conduct themselves like CIA operatives, encoding files, shredding notes and switching cellphones.

So why does it matter if the press is inconvenienced, even curbed? Do you mean you're able to learn all you want from the official announcements of the White House, your boss, your local school board? I thought not.

Here's Carr's full column, though you'll probably need to register to read it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Compromise called possible on interrogations

The maneuvering between White House and the Republican-dominated Congress has been fascinating. Today it looks like a breakthrough might be in sight, says the New York Times (registration required). In the same edition, Times columnist Paul Krugman asks and answers the question of why the Bush administration is so determined to validate torture in questioning terrorism suspects, when it would so clearly erode not only our standing in the world but also the protection given our soldiers under the Geneva Conventions. Krugman's answer:
The central drive of the Bush administration -- more fundamental than any particular policy -- has been the effort to eliminate all limits on the president's power.

Here's AP's slightly fresher take on the story, from this morning. Not clear on details of the Conventions? Here's a handy Reference Guide.