Saturday, July 15, 2006

does pbs hate the troops?

* Lehrer notes dead amgrunts individually which they announce with names and photos 'in silence, as their names and pix become available.' you might remember that i like to note whether there is a disproportionate number on fridays. last week, for some reason, they seemed to cut the show short, and so i couldnt give an update. today, nuthin at all. i wonder if they've given up that little ritual. does pbs hate the troops?

* miguel sent through this article on whistleblower legislation s494:
"S 494 restores the Whistleblower Protection Act, which has been effectively canceled by hostile judicial activism since 1994, when it was unanimously approved as the strongest free speech law in history — on paper. This time employees will have normal access to appeals courts to implement those rights, and apply them to broader harassment scenarios like security clearances, retaliatory investigations and gag orders.

The bill’s fate will be determined by a conference committee. But the Senate action makes it a foregone conclusion the whistleblower law will be strengthened. The remaining questions: Will all of the Senate reforms survive in conference? If so, will strengthened due process rights equal to those for corporate workers be extended to all government workers and contractors who defend the taxpayers?
The Senate bill does not contain five critical reforms in the legislation of Reps. Tom Davis, R-Va., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., approved by the House Government Reform Committee: protection for national security whistleblowers at the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency and related agencies; protection for contractors; protection for baggage screeners; jury trials for a fair day in court; and cancellation of the “state secrets privilege” as a way to avoid whistleblower cases. Jury trials are the cornerstone of Congress’ Sarbanes-Oxley reform for corporate workers, and became law last year in the Energy Policy Act for employees at the Energy Department and Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

How did the Senate pass S 494? The formula was inspiringly simple — marathon stamina and hard work, bipartisan collegiality based on earned trust, and mastery of the Senate’s procedural options. Since 2004, Senate leadership has put a hold on the bill, acquiescing in the back rooms to demands by the Justice Department. Justice fights whistleblower cases in court, so not surprisingly the bureaucracy’s trial lawyers have been closed-minded about a law to restore fair play, when they’ve won 119 of the last 120 whistleblower cases.
* sibel isnt enamoured with the bill.

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