Brooklyn Rock Festival

Brooklyn Rock is offering a 3-day festival of music next week. The line-up includes lots of under the radar local favorites. Best of all, they are offering a free one-year subscription to TimeOut for anyone who buys a $10, one-day ticket. Sign up here. See the schedule here.

Forget Turd Blossom and Scooter

It was Cheney who authorized the leaks.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been “authorized” by Cheney and other White House “superiors” in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration’s use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records.
Libby specifically claimed that in one instance he had been authorized to divulge portions of a then-still highly classified National Intelligence Estimate regarding Saddam Hussein’s purported efforts to develop nuclear weapons, according to correspondence recently filed in federal court by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald.
Beyond what was stated in the court paper, say people with firsthand knowledge of the matter, Libby also indicated what he will offer as a broad defense during his upcoming criminal trial: that Vice President Cheney and other senior Bush administration officials had earlier encouraged and authorized him to share classified information with journalists to build public support for going to war. Later, after the war began in 2003, Cheney authorized Libby to release additional classified information, including details of the NIE, to defend the administration’s use of prewar intelligence in making the case for war.

When all else fails…

Having no logical defense against his illegal wiretaps, Bush decides to rely on what always works best for his administration. Good old-fashioned fear.

Delay to sit on subcommittee overseeing the Abramoff investigation

Huff Post currently has this as their top story, but we thought we’d run it too since it’s been buried elsewhere:

DeLay, R-Texas, … claimed a seat on the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, which is currently investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmaker

Can anyone say “conflict of interest.” To make matters worse, Repubs have also given Delay a cushy seat on the Appropriations Committee. Bill Burton, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has this to say:

“Allowing Tom DeLay to sit on a committee in charge of giving out money is like putting Michael Brown back in charge of FEMA ‚Äî Republicans in Congress just can’t seem to resist standing by their man,”

Evidently, the GOP doesn’t remember that Delay was just arrested, fingerprinted, and released on $10000 bail for conspiracy charges related to his own appropriations. Read the whole, disturbing article here.

Cowboys In Scandinavia

Kevin from turned us onto a great new compilation, “Cowboys In Scandinavia: The New Folk Sounds From Northern Europe.” All the songs are sung in English and there are more than a few gems. Put out by Fargo, Andrew Bird’s label, it’s one of our favorites thus far this year.
EverythingIsFire has some MP3’s:
4. Nicolai Dunger – Soul Rush (mp3)
8. Dusty Fingers – Quite Alright (mp3)
12. Johanna Berhan – To Hide This Way (mp3)
And you can listen to a few others here.

More Cartoon Nonsense

We keep hoping this will just go away. From New York Observer:

The editorial staff of the alternative weekly New York Press walked out today, en masse, after the paper’s publishers backed down from printing the Danish cartoons that have become the center of a global free-speech fight.
Editor-in-Chief Harry Siegel emails, on behalf of the editorial staff:
New York Press, like so many other publications, has suborned its own professed principles. For all the talk of freedom of speech, only the New York Sun locally and two other papers nationally have mustered the
minimal courage needed to print simple and not especially offensive editorial cartoons that have been used as a pretext for great and greatly menacing violence directed against journalists, cartoonists, humanitarian aid workers, diplomats and others who represent the basic values and obligations of Western civilization. Having been ordered at the 11th hour to pull the now-infamous Danish cartoons from an issue dedicated to them, the editorial group—consisting of myself, managing editor Tim Marchman, arts editorJonathan Leaf and one-man city hall bureau Azi Paybarah, chose instead to resign our positions.
We have no desire to be free speech martyrs, but it would have been nakedly hypocritical to avoid the same cartoons we’d criticized others for not running, cartoons that however absurdly have inspired arson, kidnapping and murder and forced cartoonists in at least two continents to go into hiding. Editors have already been forced to leave papers in Jordan and France for having run these cartoons. We have no illusions about the power of the Press (NY Press, we mean), but even on the far margins of the world-historical stage, we are not willing to side with the enemies of the values we hold dear, a free press not least among them.
This was not an easy decision. I’ve been reading the Press since 1988 and have dreamed of running it for nearly as long. The paper’s editorial staff has worked impossibly hard hours and has come quite a ways in only a few months towards restoring the paper’s tarnished editorial reputation and credibility. I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and wish we’d had time to finish the job. I wish the Press all the best, and hope that under new ownership and leadership it can again be an invaluable read for all good Gothamites.

Nevertheless, there’s a bigger cartoon scandal at New York Press. They no longer run Maakies. On another note, NPR has decided not to publish the cartoon. And thus far no major UK papers have published the cartoons. In this country, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Sun are the only two major U.S. papers to publish any of the cartoons as of Tuesday night.

Cat Power Tour cancelled

Damn. And we bought tickets. Hope she’s okay:

[from the Matador site]We regret to announce that Cat Power’s entire US tour has been canceled due to health reasons. Out of respect for Chan’s privacy, we can’t give more detailed information, but we hope and assume that you’ll respect her privacy during this time as well.
There will be information about refunds available imminently, and the tour will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
Chan is a good friend and a dear member of the Matador family, and when we have news about future performances, we’ll be certain to share it with you here. [via Brooklynvegan]

Busta Cap in Greenpoint

[From Daily News] A Busta Rhymes video shoot ended with a hail of gunfire that killed the rapper’s bodyguard in Brooklyn early yesterday, feet from some of the biggest names in hip hop – including 50 Cent, DMX and Mary J. Blige, police sources said.
At least a dozen bullets flew after burly bodyguard Israel Ramirez got into a scuffle during the shoot in a Greenpoint film studio that also drew Missy Elliott and Lloyd Banks, a member of 50 Cent’s G-Unit. Cops were investigating whether anyone involved in the bloodshed – and the dispute that sparked it – was a member of any of the big-name rappers’ entourages, sources said last night.
Shortly before the gunfire erupted at 12:25 a.m., video crew members tried to keep the noise level under control as they shooed extras and hangers-on out of the building. That spurred one enraged self-proclaimed ex-con to shout, “Who the f–k are you to tell me to be quiet? I’m on .parole, mother—–r!
“You don’t tell me to shut up,” added the man, who sported a G-Unit jacket, witnesses said.
Moments later, as people were pouring outside, Ramirez got into a fight – sparking a barrage of bullets. [read the rest]