The president's promise of ethical transparency … is just a promise

A week after the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States, the chief of his transition team, John Podesta, served notice that the president would make good on his campaign promise of change in the area of ethics. In a statement, Mr. Podesta said:

President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to change the way Washington works and curb the influence of lobbyists. … During the campaign, federal lobbyists could not contribute to or raise money for the campaign. … [T]he president-elect is taking those commitments even further by announcing the strictest, and most far reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history.”

Presumably, that means President Obama wishes to end the pay-to-play philosophy that pervades the practice of politics. Well, he’s got some explaining to do, because what he promises is not always what he does.
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CNN's Roberts spins again

Oops, he did it again.

CNN’s John Roberts, co-host of the cable news network’s American Morning program, continues to decide what the appropriate spin is for a story in his intros to interviews. He did it earlier this week with correspondent Christiane Amanpour, who stuck to facts instead.

This morning, Mr. Roberts did it again while introducing Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times. Said Mr. Roberts:

Joining us now is New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. His article, “Tear Down This Cyber Wall” focuses on Iran and the technology war of information.

So many people are saying that this could be the very first Internet revolution. How much of a part do you think the Internet is playing in what’s going on inside Iran versus what we’re learning about what’s going on? [emphasis added]

Mr. Roberts has a penchant for advancing a premise based on the apparent testimony of a teeming slew of unidentified sources. Continue reading

Happy Father's Day! The Dad and the Law

by Terry Hargrove

A word to all my fellow former hippies: remember being yelled at by your dad because your hair was too long or your skirt was too short? Remember discussing Vietnam and politics with him, and the otherworldly volumes he could attain? Remember his lofty opinions of your musical choices, and how he could share those opinions with the neighboring state? Remember thinking that screaming at kids was a pretty good job description of what dads do?

Well, I remember it, and I think enough time has passed for me to say that, yes, your dad was loud. I heard him hollering at you for hours every day. It was kind of distracting. We discovered early on the secret to getting along with our father: we never saw him. The Dad was a busy guy. He worked six days a week at the Casting Company, and as I have six brothers and sisters, he enjoyed some late-night diversions as well. Our house was a place of calm in a loud decade, and The Dad was a time-displaced President Eisenhower — we didn’t bother him and he didn’t bother us. Continue reading