A few weeks ago, I posted a "Nightline" segment featuring an interview with John Jackson, the prosecutor in the death penalty case of Cameron Todd Willingham. Willingham, who was almost certainly innocent, was nonetheless found guilty and executed by the state of Texas in 2004. The basis for the conviction was evidence given by arson investigators that was subsequently shown to be entirely unscientific.
The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President By Taylor Branch (Simon & Schuster, 707 pp., $35) In her infamous first sentence of The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcolm swings for the fences and proclaims that "every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible." She means that journalists use their human subjects and then dispose of them; that we con them in person by "preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness"--it occurs to me to note that however bleak print's future seems
Politico owner Robert Allbritton is planning to launch a local Washington D.C news website, TNR has learned. In his most direct challenge to The Washington Post since launching Politico, Allbritton is putting former Washingtonpost.com editor Jim Brady in charge of the new Metro site, sources said. Details are still emerging, but this is what I've learned so far: The new site will feature a mix of original reporting, aggregation, and GPS-map features. The site will cover D.C and the suburbs, and echo Politico's aggressive, scoop-oriented focus. Allbritton's spokesperson couldn't be reached.
J Street is having an identity crisis right in front of the cameras. For a year and a half it's been trumpeting that it's both "pro-Israel" and "pro-peace." Actually, that's how I would characterize myself. I am for a two-state solution and always have been. I was for a "Jewish state" and an "Arab state" ever since I was a kid. That's ultimately what nearly every Israeli prime minister has been for, too. And that's what Israel has been trying in different ways and in different circumstances to negotiate.
... impersonate 'em! That, at least, seems to have been the Connecticut GOP's plan: Twitter, Inc., shut down 33 fake Twitter accounts created by Republicans using the names of Democratic state representatives. The Republican scheme was to send out posts under the Democrats' names mocking the liberal tax-and-spend bastards. "That's unfortunate," was state Republican Chairman Chris Healy's response when told of Twitter, Inc.'s decision.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is holding hearings this week on the new chairman’s “mark” of the draft Senate climate and energy legislation released Friday night by committee chairman Barbara Boxer and Sen. John Kerry.
It's well-known that the United States and China are the two biggest greenhouse-gas polluters in the world. But relatively few people can name number three on that list. It's Indonesia, thanks to heavy deforestation: It is that frenzied rate of deforestation that has propelled Indonesia, home to 237 million people, into its top-three spot in the global league table of climate change villains.
Over the past few days, the Internet burped up three noteworthy energy-related studies that I kept meaning to blog, but never found the time. Thankfully, that's why some visionary on the Internet invented link dumps: 1) One talking point that never seems to get enough airtime is just how much can be done right now to reduce our carbon emissions, without the need to wait for fancy new technology.
After years of stalemate, negotiations over Iran's controversial nuclear development program seemed to progress last week when an Iranian delegation in Vienna agreed to the export and modification of its low-enriched uranium. The resulting optimism did not last. Officials in Tehran demurred, insisting that they needed more time to study the proposal and could not meet Friday's deadline to ratify the agreement. While Iran's stonewalling came as a disappointment to the United States, it did not come as a surprise.
A while ago, I criticized a new paper on the supremacy of the U.S. healthcare system that was being touted by Gary Becker and Greg Mankiw. The paper, by Samuel Preston and Jessica Ho at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that mortality trends for prostate and breast cancer were much better in the U.S. than in other advanced countries. My main beef was that Preston and Ho's research design was too blunt to really pick up on why this was the case. But I see that an updated NBER version of the paper has more details on what could be behind the better U.S.