Thursday, September 29, 2005

Short post because Blogger acted up

Good evening. As always we'll kick things off with Democracy Now!

First sad news but hopefully her life was as happy as it was productive.

Civil Rts Lawyer Constance Motley Baker Dies at 84
And finally, the first African American woman to serve as a federal judge has passed away. Famed civil rights lawyer Constance Baker Motley died Wednesday in New York. She was 84. As a young lawyer, Motley represented Martin Luther King Jr. After a brief political career, she began a distinguished four-decade span as a judge in 1966, becoming the first black woman appointed to the federal bench. Motley earned her degree in economics in 1943 from New York University, and three years later, she obtained her law degree from Columbia Law School. In 1945, she became a law clerk to Thurgood Marshall, who was then chief counsel of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In the late 1950s, Motley took an interest in politics and by 1964 had left the NAACP and become the first black woman to serve in the New York State Senate. In 1965, she became the first woman to serve as president of the borough of Manhattan, where she worked to promote integration in public schools. In her career, she worked on some of the nation's most famous civil rights cases, including preparing the draft complaint in 1950 for what would become Brown v. Board of Education. From 1961 to 1964, Motley won nine of 10 civil rights cases she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now for this.

Reuters Protests 'Long Parade' of Media Deaths in Iraq
The Reuters News Agency says the conduct of U.S. troops in Iraq, including increasing detention and accidental shootings of journalists, is preventing full coverage of the war from reaching the American public. In a letter to Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Reuters said U.S. forces were limiting the ability of independent journalists to operate. The letter from the agency's Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger called on Warner to raise these issues with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who is due to testify to the committee on Thursday. Schlesinger referred to "a long parade of disturbing incidents whereby professional journalists have been killed, wrongfully detained, and/or illegally abused by U.S. forces in Iraq." At least 66 journalists and media workers, most of them Iraqis, have been killed in Iraq since March 2003. U.S. forces acknowledge killing three Reuters journalists, most recently soundman Waleed Khaled who was shot by American soldiers on Aug. 28 while on assignment in Baghdad. The Pentagon says the soldiers were justified in opening fire. Reuters believes a fourth Reuters journalist, who died in Ramadi last year, was killed by a U.S. sniper. Schlesinger said the Pentagon has refused to conduct independent and transparent investigations into the deaths of the journalists, relying instead on inquiries by officers from the units responsible, who had exonerated their soldiers.

I asked C.I. today if the New York Times would join in on this and C.I. said it was really doubtful. They haven't been highlighting the Reuters issues or calling for accountability in the deaths of reporters (although now that they lost someone that might change). If a number of others join in, the Times might have the guts to but it's not been a leader on the issue of harm to reporters in Iraq via the U.S. military. Remember to check out Elaine.

I want to thank Betty again for the interview. I appreciate everyone who's granted an interview but I know how little time Betty has and I know she was giving up the little time she has to do stuff by herself and just relax before going to bed. So I really want to say thank you to Betty. Let's note Betty's latest thing which is called "Thomas Friedman's Endgame Should Start With A Shower"

Gail Collins has some very interesting choices in men. Carson Daly? Elaine and I both exchanged looks on that one. I mean, I guess I could see the attraction, if I really looked hard enough but he seems so non-Gail Collins-ish. I had to wonder if the fumes from Todd S. Purdum's smelly jock strap had effected her as well?
(Thomas Friedman swears that
the fumes from Todd S. Purdum's smelly jock are like a jolt of warm coffee in the morning. He is just sniffing, right?)
After that a long lull set in as Gail Collins had discussed walking hand in hand with Daly back to her place and then tying him to the bed . . .
We were honestly a little shocked. But after we realized it, we all had a good laugh."Is it that I'm too old for Carson Daly?" Gail Collins wondered.
I explained that he just didn't seem her type -- which I always pictured to be more Village, more intellectual, and a lot less photogenic. Sighing, Gail Collins said she was a little envious of me because I had seen
Davy Brooks in a sock. I tried to assure her that it was a very empty sock but she wasn't having any of that. She likes his teeth. Says they remind her of a hamster she had as a child, Cuddles.

It is now 10:30 p.m. I'm leaving the time stamp from when I started this entry. I saved to draft at this point and intended to add to it but I couldn't get back into it because Blogger was down for maintance. Nina wanted to see the new Jodie Foster movie so we had already planned to do that and then we hung out for a bit. Now I'm back here and this is going to be it.

New blog from Seth called Seth in the City. Check it out.