Puerto Ricans’ chances of winning a right to vote in U.S. elections are as close now as at any time in American history. A First Circuit Court of Appeals decision last week has set up the conditions needed for the Supreme Court to review the possibility of voting rights for Puerto Rico’s four million residents.
The appeals court deadlocked 3-to-3 on whether to hear a case in which a lower court already denied Puerto Ricans a right to vote. A tied vote means any previous rulings are left to stand.
And two more things:
1. Contrary to what AP would like to believe, The Ground Zero Mosque actually is at Ground Zero. On September 11, 2001, this part of the JetBombs fell on the Burlington Coat Factory building:
This part of the planes that crashed on the World Trade Center buildings actually fell on the Burlington Coat Factory building and damaged it.
In a conversation this morning with Jeff Dunetz, we both discussed whether the building has been checked for human remains that scattered all through the neighborhood, and whether any would be found in a search. I don’t know the answer to that.
Imam Rauf and his media defenders have compared this to building a Jewish community center. But there are over 25,000 Jewish household in Lower Manhattan, or almost 20 percent of the population. There is no statistically significant Muslim population in the area. The 2000 census showed 3,522 people living in the Ground Zero mosque zip code, 375 of whom identified as Asian. Considering the proximity of Chinatown, it’s likely that they actually are Asian, as opposed to Pakistani or Bangladeshi. (And the director of Al Arabiya has confirmed that: “there are no practicing Muslims in the area who need a place to worship“.) What the census numbers also show is that the mosque is being built in an area with a small residential population, that is heavily commercial, with far more offices than homes. Even if everyone living in that zip code were a Muslim, Rauf would still be proposing to spend nearly 30,000 dollars per Muslim on the mosque. But since they are not Muslims, what Rauf is proposing is a 100 million dollar expansion in an area whose Muslims are outside commuters and generally use basement and storefront mosques.
Building a 100 million dollar facility for Muslims that most of them can only use on their lunch break or briefly after work, before they go home to Brooklyn or New Jersey, is not about serving the community. It’s about making a statement. There would be no way to raise that kind of money otherwise. Rauf is not building a facility that local Muslims need. His flock comes from different boroughs and states entirely. They hang around Lower Manhattan as part of the Hallal Mafia, peddling unhygienic burned food from carts, or in storefronts selling cheap knockoffs of brand name merchandise, pirated DVD’s and used clothes below Broadway. Some of them work as financial analysts helping Wall Street get the whole Sharia Finance thing right.
There might be a call for a 100 million dollar facility aimed at Muslims in Jersey City or off Atlantic Avenue, but no need or use for it near Ground Zero. There is no reason to build a Mosque there, except to make a statement. Rauf admitted as much early on, billing the mosque as part of a campaign of tolerance or healing. knowing that most liberals would not look past such euphemisms and enthusiastically embrace the project to showcase their vaunted tolerance, and rejection of “right wing extremists”. That Rauf himself is quite the extremist has not interested them at all. The same Time Magazine which wrings its hands over the “politicization” of Ground Zero has whitewashed Rauf and his own plans to politicize the site. Just as the rest of the media has ignored the inconsistencies in Rauf’s changing story, questions about where the money is coming from, and the most elementary question– who actually needs the Ground Zero Mosque.
According to Gov. Jindal, well over 300 miles of Louisiana coast is now impacted by the BP oil spill. Not only is the spill affecting Louisiana but the Obama administration has ordered a moratorium on certain Gulf of Mexico rig drilling that is hurting the Louisiana economy and many of families and businesses already hurt by the oil spill.
Not missing a chance to aggravate Nicolas Sarkozy, the Obamas went out to dinner in a very public way.
As you may recall, Sarko’s staff had been trying to arrange for a dinner with the Obamas but got egg on their faces as the Obamas turned them down. The Obamas followed up with another very public event – one of their date nights, this time at La Fontaine de Mars (the fountain of Mars), which by the way, meant that French security in riot gear were paid by the government Obama snubbed. The amount of security for the Obama’s Paris outing (including their stop at the Pompidou, and the restaurant) was considerable, as you can see in this video:
Ah, Paris. The city of love. And the city of this week’s presidential date night.
A week after flying to New York for dinner and a Broadway show, President Barack Obama and first lady, Michelle, dined at a cozy neighborhood bistro just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower.
The president and first lady were in France to join their counterparts from France, Canada and Britain to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the allied invasion of Normandy in World War II that led to victory in Europe.
La Fontaine de Mars dates back to 1908 and specializes in rustic dishes from France’s southwest region of Bordeaux Perigord and the Basque. Foie gras, duck and cassoulet are on the menu, although the White House has not said what the president and first lady chose.
The Obamas shared the restaurant with other diners, and other restaurants on the winding Rue St. Dominique were filled. Police, some in riot gear, lined the street. Crowds pressed behind barriers at the end of the street to glimpse the first couple, and about 100 people gathered there burst into applause as the Obamas left the restaurant. Clusters of people at street corners held up cell phones and cameras to snap pictures.
Apparently there were 20 30 cars in the motorcade. You can bet your fois gras that none of those were PUMAs or Smart Cars.
“Do you think our prime concern is what glossy magazine we’ll be pictured in, or what restaurant we’re going to go and spend an evening in, or whether we spend an extra night here or not?”
Sarko may not be; he leaves that to the Os.
In other cheerful news, the Louvre was closed to the public for Michelle’s sightseeing. So, let’s see, that meant closing the Pompidou, the Louvre, Notre Dame cathedral, and their surrounding neighborhoods. Parisians must really have enjoyed seeing the Obamas. Associated Press says the Obamas
touched lives in simple ways
and AP’s probably right. Nothing says “touch me” like a massive traffic jam.
AP and its reporters were much too starry-eyed to put Michelle’s shopping trip through the same scrutiny as a shopping trip by, say, Sarah Palin.
Now that we know there’s a food taster, will a court jester be next?
Does the taster get to go to Five Guys, or only overseas?
U.S. manufacturers, including major drugmakers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water — contamination the federal government has consistently overlooked, according to an Associated Press investigation.
The numbers sound big — 271 million pounds per year of chemicals are released into the water.
That works out to 14 ounces per person per year, or 7 grams a day. With daily use at 69 gallons per family, those 7 grams are pretty diluted. Add to it that most of those 271 million pounds are placed in the entire water stream from which the water is taken — and only a small portion of the overall water stream winds up at the water treatment center.
AP tried to make it sound as if the pounds were mainly drugs. But it is not until Paragraph 15 — well after the story is cut off in most reports — that you learn that most of the “pollution” is phenol and hydrogen peroxide:
“Two common industrial chemicals that are also pharmaceuticals — the antiseptics phenol and hydrogen peroxide — account for 92 percent of the 271 million pounds identified as coming from drugmakers and other manufacturers. Both can be toxic and both are considered to be ubiquitous in the environment.”
Hydrogen peroxide is H2O2 — water with double the oxygen.
So you have 7 grams a day, but much of that is H2O2 and we are not really sure how much of that 7 grams winds up in your water treatment center to begin with.
Taking aim at the way news is spread across the Internet, The Associated Press said on Monday that it will demand that Web sites obtain permission to use the work of The A.P. or its member newspapers, and share revenue with the news organizations, and that it will take legal action those that do not.
Associated Press executives said the policy was aimed at major search engines like Google, Yahoo and their competitors, and also at news aggregators like the Huffington Post, as well as companies that sell packaged news services. They said they do not want to stop the appearance of articles around the Web, but to exercise some control over it and to profit from it. The A.P. also said it is developing a system to track news articles online and determine whether they were used legally.
Here’s what puzzles me:
If AP posts its content on line, and the people who quote it fully attribute it to AP, does that constituted unauthorized use?
Apparently AP believes it does.
There is the issue of sharing revenue. Lots and lots of websites using AP are losing money hand-over-fist (I have worked for some of them), so would AP be suing websites that are already in the red?
I can’t for the life of me figure out why AP and its member papers think Google News is hurthing their business model. They merely aggregate headlines and send links to the original online sources — i.e., AP’s members.
However, there’s another big issue, that of ascertaining “the original source or the most authoritative source,”
One goal of The A.P. and its members, she said, is to make sure that the top search engine results for news are “the original source or the most authoritative source,” not a site that copied or paraphrased the work of news organization.
Here’s the tricky part:
As you all know, I do the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean, and I also write on Latin America for Real Clear World. I am in frequent contact with a number of people in Latin America, so before I post on a story I have often discussed news with them. I also have as my podcast guests people who are closely watching a story, as I did in last Thursday’s podcast when I interviewed the son of Ecuadorian journalist Rómulo López Sabando. By the time I post a story I use dozens of links from international media, including local newspapers from the countries where the stories develop. This post has close to four dozen links. In addition to the media from the Latin American countries, I also research European media if it’s relevant to the story, such as Sarkozy‘s trip to Mexico, where I read several French newspaper articles but used English-language sources so my readers wouldn’t have to translate the original source.
Should I be concerned that AP is going to sue me because they think that I may have “copied or paraphrased” them? Or should I just bypass anything from AP and totally ignore them?
A look at the original AP “fact check” shows that it is based on numbers from . . . the Associated Press! The AP admits that “tracking civilian deaths is a difficult task,” but it takes its own numbers as definitive, although it apparently makes no effort to deal with the questions we raised in the preceding paragraph.
In any case, the AP’s dubious numbers are hardly relevant to the truth of the McCain ad’s assertion about what Obama said. And why is it necessary for USA Today to have an opinion on the latter point anyway? Why not just report what the McCain ad said, report what Obama said, and let the reader make up his own mind?
Somehow these reportorial “checks” almost always seem to come out in Obama’s favor. Is that because he is the more honest candidate, or because he is the candidate reporters find more attractive? Here’s an example that strongly suggests the latter, again from the Associated Press:
Corsi’s book claims the Illinois senator is a dangerous, radical candidate for president and includes innuendoes and false rumors–that he was raised a Muslim and attended a radical black church.
Obama is a Christian who attended Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and his campaign picks apart the book’s claims on the Web site FightTheSmears.com.
It is a “false rumor” that Trinity United is a “radical black church”? It’s hard to see how anyone could believe this even as a matter of opinion, but for the AP to present it as fact makes a mockery of journalism.
Associated Press can’t seem to realize that a pastor who rails against the “US of KKK” and hollers out, “G-d damn America” is indeed a radical. Just as they don’t bother to list Biden’s big lie, and his 22 other lies.
While we’re on the subject of Jeremiah Wright, it comes down again to character:
Last AprilNoam Scheiber answered the question, “Why’d Obama Join Trinity in the First Place?”
Obama’s decision to join Trinity was probably the opposite of cynical. Trinity was the place where, despite the potential pitfalls–and he must have noticed them early on–Obama felt most true to himself.
Is that who America wants in the White House?
But back to the subject of fact-checking, Gerard VanderLeun writes about fact-checking and the worst president the US had had. Carter surely must fervently hope Obama wins, since an Obama administration will make us look back fondly at the Carter years.