What Others Are Saying

October 30, 2007

Rep. Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican, put it best recently in the Congressional Record when he spoke in favor of a bill he has fought hard to pass: "As a conservative who believes in limited government, I believe the only check on government power in real time is a free and independent press," Mr. Pence said. "The Free Flow of Information Act is not about protecting reporters; it's about protecting the public's right to know."

The bill, which would give journalists qualified protection from revealing their sources in federal cases, passed the House, 398-21, and has strong, bipartisan support in the Senate, where both the House bill and a Senate version are under consideration. The Bush administration opposes the measure, citing national security concerns.

The Senate should move quickly to pass a bill with a veto-proof majority.

- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Who says the Bush administration hasn't learned from Katrina?

For this disaster - wildfires in Southern California - President Bush got to the scene promptly. For this disaster, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff understood that refugees were at a stadium. Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency had a different response.

After Katrina, FEMA endured questions about why residents of an American city looked as if they were in a Third World country.

Last week, FEMA held a briefing by teleconference but gave just 15 minutes notice. Those few reporters who called in couldn't ask questions.

But somebodies were asking questions of Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson. In fact, the questions came from FEMA employees, who said they were asking what they had heard reporters talking about. When it was over, everyone at FEMA agreed that FEMA was doing a heckuva job.

- Palm Beach (Fla.) Post

I've never been able to explain Halloween to the kids, with its odd thematic confluence of pumpkins, candy and death. But Halloween is a piece of pumpkin cake compared to Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. In this special week, organized by conservative pundit David Horowitz, we have a veritable witches' brew of Cheney-style anti-jihadism mixed in with old-fashioned, right-wing anti-feminism and a sour dash of anti-Semitism.

- Barbara Ehrenreich, The Nation

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