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Friday Music News Wrapup

| Fri Jul. 20, 2007 4:43 PM PDT

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  • James Hetfield of Metallica says the whole airport-security beard fiasco never happened. The blogosphere responds: "Oops." (Rolling Stone)

  • UK singer MIA has received her US entry visa on the eve of a New York performance. She had been forced to cancel US appearances after being denied entry; many suspected her outspoken lyrics were to blame, but she says no. (NME)
  • Where's your head at, indeed: Basement Jaxx are teaming up with Yoko Ono for their new album. (Yahoo! Music)
  • mojo-photo-neworder.jpgNew Order will continue without Peter Hook. Bassist Hook announced the band was splitting up last month, but fellow members Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris released a statement this week saying, basically, "er, guess that means you're not coming to practice." (NME)
  • Annie Lennox has recruited basically every single female singer in the universe for an AIDS charity single: Fergie? Check. Maddy? Check. Dido? Check. Bonnie, Celine, Melissa, Gladys? Check, check, check, check. (Billboard)
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    Researchers Develop Inexpensive Solar Panels

    | Fri Jul. 20, 2007 4:37 PM PDT

    Researchers have developed an inexpensive solar cell that can be painted or printed on flexible plastic sheets. Someday homeowners will be able to print sheets of these solar cells with inexpensive home-based inkjet printers, say the inventors from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Consumers can then slap the finished product on a wall, roof or billboard to create their own power stations. "Imagine some day driving in your hybrid car with a solar panel painted on the roof, which is producing electricity to drive the engine," says author Somenath Mitra of NJIT. . . Bring it on. There are millions of us waiting. JULIA WHITTY

    Intel Committee Chair: What Does the Executive Order Mean?

    | Fri Jul. 20, 2007 4:07 PM PDT

    Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, reacts to the news posted by Jonathan Stein below, that Bush has signed an executive order governing CIA interrogation techniques that supposedly bans cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment.

    Rockefeller:

    I just received the news this morning from General Hayden. We now need to determine what the Executive Order really means and how it will translate into actual conduct by the CIA. The only way to do that is to have the CIA come before the Committee and explain in detail how it intends to apply the Executive Order. It is also absolutely essential that the Department of Justice provide the Committee with its full legal analysis.
    The stakes are too high and the issue too important to provide any comment until the Committee has been given the opportunity to fully evaluate the President's action.

    Rockefeller's skepticism is fully warranted, says former Justice Department official Marty Lederman: "It is, in a word, worthless. ... As I've explained in several posts, however ... non-criminal does not equal legal." Lederman's post is worth a close read.

    The Evil Thomas Edison

    | Fri Jul. 20, 2007 3:47 PM PDT

    Still paying for his evilheart in so many ways. JULIA WHITTY

    BREAKING: Bush Administration to No Longer Break Domestic and International Law

    | Fri Jul. 20, 2007 3:26 PM PDT

    WHOA! Talk about a Friday afternoon news dump! Caught this in the Post right before I left the office.

    President Bush today signed an executive order governing the interrogation of terrorism suspects by the CIA and barring torture, degrading treatment and serious acts of violence, the White House announced.

    Friday afternoon announcements are reserved for things the administration wants to hide; I love that they want to hide the fact that they are now following the law.

    Only one explanation here: Bush had to take drastic action so Cheney didn't torture like a million dudes when Bush goes under the knife tomorrow.

    Get to Know an Emmy Nominee

    | Fri Jul. 20, 2007 12:23 PM PDT

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    Emmy nominees were announced on Thursday, and in addition to the usual "Sopranos" worship, someone I know is actually listed on the official Emmys website! Granted, the category is "Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking," but still, that counts, right? She's Lois Vossen, series producer for ITVS's Independent Lens, which got the nod for "A Lion in the House." I e-mailed her to see if it really was an honor just being nominated.

    So did someone call and wake you up with the news? That's what happens with all the big stars. And you have to go "It was such a surprise!!"

    Yes, the filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar called my office at 7AM local time to tell me we were nominated. I was at the gym doing my Thursday morning spin class so they left a very funny message.

    Being a TV star, how do you stay so down-to-earth?

    I am not a TV star. I am a farm girl from Minnesota who loves independent filmmakers. I love bringing their work to public television.

    mojo-photo-lion.jpgWhat's your show called again?

    Ah, Independent Lens. You know...seeing life through your own "independent" "lens." Nick Frazier from the BBC hates the title of our series ("It's so expected") but we tease him that since his series is called "Storyville," in America that means it's about a young Superman.

    Right. Anyway, oh my God, what are you going to wear?!!

    At first I thought we were part of the September 16 Emmy ceremony (there are actually three different ceremonies. Two in L.A. a week apart and one in NYC a week later). And I wasn't going to be able to attend because I'm getting married on September 15th. But it turns out we're on the September 8th Emmy ceremony so I can attend. I'm going to wear something.

    ---

    She's so coy. Showtimes for "Independent Lens" vary on PBS stations, because, you know, God forbid they actually make it easy. Check your local listings or their website for schedules.

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    Chief Justice Gets Reinstated, Victory for Democratic Forces in Pakistan

    | Fri Jul. 20, 2007 11:51 AM PDT

    Last month, the New York Times asked if Pakistan "can mix well with democracy." U.S. officials, often conflating the small number of Islamic radicals with the entire Pakistani population, fear that fair, free, and democratic elections in Pakistan might put the Islamic radicals in power. Would it not be ridiculous if we sought to dismantle democracy in America for fear that the powerful Christian fundamentalist movement might influence the elections? The media seems to confuse the two, case in point, the recent heavy coverage of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) event and its ensuing violence: ubiquitious coverage of the actions, messages, and movements of a small fraction of Pakistan's population gives the impression that Pakistan is full of crazed mullahs, self detonating martyrs, and anti-democracy elements.

    But to answer the question, can Pakistan mix well with democracy, I would say yes. In fact, democratic forces had a resounding victory today: Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has been reinstated by Pakistan's Supreme Court after months of political turmoil. With a 10-3 vote, Judge Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday declared Musharraf's suspension of the Chief Justice as illegal. Chaudhry was suspended, many think, so that the president could put in place someone more likely to bend to Musharraf's authority. This victory marks the first serious challenge to Musharraf's power during his reign. But the judicial victory did not come without cost. Amidst numerous and vigorous protests by lawyers, activists, and ordinary Pakistani citizens, when the Chief Justice was initially suspended in May, more than 40 people were killed in Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan. This prompted opposition senators to demand that Musharraf step down.

    Chief Justice Chaudhry, the judges, the lawyers, opposition members, activists, journalists, and civil society groups should be applauded for their courage. In addition, this is definitely a victory for the democratic movement in the country and raises the question as to whether Musharraf can continue his rule, but democracy in Pakistan still has a long way to go. Although the same can be said for us as well these days.

    —Neha Inamdar

    King for a Day

    | Fri Jul. 20, 2007 11:03 AM PDT

    Bush to name Cheney president while he undergoes a medical procedure Saturday. Atrios' thoughts: pray. Everybody else, guard your copy of the Constitution.

    Romney Not Even President Yet, Already Abusing Power

    | Fri Jul. 20, 2007 10:31 AM PDT

    It's a slow news day today, with the exception of the White House's unsurprising-if-you-know-this-crowd assertion that the Justice Department will never take up contempt charges filed by Congress against members of the White House unwilling to testify before Congress.

    So let's go with this, shall we:

    In an apparent violation of the law, a controversial aide to ex-Gov. Mitt Romney created phony law enforcement badges that he and other staffers used on the campaign trail to strong-arm reporters, avoid paying tolls and trick security guards into giving them immediate access to campaign venues, sources told the Herald.
    The bogus badges were part of the bizarre security tactics allegedly employed by Jay Garrity, the director of operations for Romney who is under investigation for impersonating a law enforcement officer in two states. Garrity is on a leave of absence from the campaign while the probe is ongoing....
    "They (the aides) knew the badges were fake and probably illegal," said a presidential campaign source...

    Spotted on The Plank.

    All the King's Horses and All the King's Men

    | Fri Jul. 20, 2007 9:38 AM PDT

    Can Defense Secretary Gates bring his undersecretary of defense for policy Eric Edelman to heel?

    Update: Go read Slate's Fred Kaplan's take.

    Here's Gate's reaction, via David Kurtz.