Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Recommended News Items

The Alito hearings have been front and center, but I noted several other interesting developments this week. The January 29, Sunday, NY Times carried an article on the front page involving James Hansen, a scientist at NASA, who claims that he was denied permission for a public radio interview because his views on global environmental issues do not agree with those promoted by the Administration.

The other interesting feature is in the February 6 issue of Newsweek (and carried online as well) about the revolt of the palace guard in which at least two conservative officials, James Comey and Jack Goldsmith, carried out a secret battle against NSA's decision to wiretap without warrants and/or FISA permission. This is the type of story which seems to elude reporting by most media outlets.


Ed said...


I missed the story about the NASA scientist....

Ed said...


Atrios is on it!



"It is not the job of public-affairs officers," Dr. Griffin wrote in an e-mail message to the agency's 19,000 employees, "to alter, filter or adjust engineering or scientific material produced by NASA's technical staff."

The statement came six days after The New York Times quoted the scientist, James E. Hansen, as saying he was threatened with "dire consequences" if he continued to call for prompt action to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases linked to global warming. He and intermediaries in the agency's 350-member public-affairs staff said the warnings came from White House appointees in NASA headquarters.


The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee< in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the "war room" of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen's public statements.

In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on aset of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word "theory" needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

It continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

This administration is just, plain scary.!