Jeanne Roberts

Founding Member (since June 2008)
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I write for The Panelist and Celsias. Accurate and timely news reporting is essential to the democratic process, as it allows citizens to stand for, or against, government and corporate projects or policies. An engaged citizenry is the core of democracy.

About Jeanne Help
Location: Minnesota, United States
Occupation: freelance writer , Hemlock Pages
Interests: environmentalism, social justice
Expertise: sustainable building
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Address: MN, US
Last Visit: Oct 11, 2008 - 2:30 PM PDT
Last Edit: Aug 3, 2008 - 3:36 PM PDT

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Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 14, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.8

A well-sourced blog which points out five alternatives to the now-failed bailout plan proposed by Paulson/Bush. The alternative plans themselves also fail to inspire, but the article hints at another solution - thinking before acting. Since this is not likely under the Bush administration, Americans will probably end up with a cobbled-together bailout somewhere down the road that features the worst of all proposals put forward.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 11, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.8

Good reporting on a seldom-discussed aspect of the current economic turmoil, namely the future affordability of natural gas. The story is sparked by a share sell-off by Chesapeake Energy's CEO, which followed close on the heels of an announcement of reduced 2009-2010 expenditures (and production). All of which leads to several disturbing questions on natural gas as a commodity. Will hedge fund managers short it? Will large buyers be able to pay for it when contracts come due? Most important, and not even discussed, will the pass-through costs remain affordable to consumers? Finally does the government need to nationalize the energy industry to protect it? Read it for yourself and decide.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 8, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.9

In this article, the New York Times has returned to its former stance as a politically unbiased media source dedicated to reporting actual facts, particularly the fact that after-attack assessments in Afghanistan were hampered by troops being forced to leave the village in question before they could obtain an accurate count of the dead and injured.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne posted this story - Oct 8, 2008
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 5, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.3

Excellent journalism by a recognized contributor on the failure of much of the U.S. adoption system to recognize the need for greater transparency in the process to avoid abuses like the one discussed. Adoption is no longer a "dirty secret" which needs to be closeted, but a process involving highly vulnerable young people, and greater transparency will insure these young receive decent homes rather than abusive, or possibly even deadly, ones. As a former foster parent, I agree wholeheartedly with Fisher's suggestion.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.6

Davies does a superb job not only explaining the crisis but proposing renegotiation of the social contract of banking, including a careful consideration of deposit protections, liquidity supports and capital requirements. A renegotiation in which he advises regulators and bankers to move carefully, lest one misplaced apple upset the whole cart. This reasoned approach to reform will appeal to those who understand and appreciate the complexity of the modern financial system.

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NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.0

I'm fond of the Monitor's even-handed approach to issues. and this article is no exception. What disappoints, however, is the sense that the editors merely compiled a series of statements explaining events surrounding the bailout from a lot of different sources, and then tacked on their own (though very accurate) conclusion; that Congress must express its mea culpa and remedy the situation. If only it were that simple. If only, in the real world, Congress functioned for the benefit of the people. If only ....

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NT Rating: 3.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.7

This is a spectacular article which unties all the liaisons members of government may have with the Wall Street firms proposed for rescue under Paulson's plan. If you wonder how your congressmen will vote on this plan, and why, this is a must read, and brings to mind the line about weaving tangled webs when trying to deceive. It might also be something to print and keep on hand for post-bailout review and future voting plans.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.2

Though providing little information about the causes leading up to the proposed $700-billion Wall Street rescue, and lacking sourcing (it is an op ed), Reich masterfully outlines the term(s) Congress should exact before approving such a deal in order to make it palatable to financially stressed Americans. His ideas are eminently fair and well thought-out, and make me wish he would run for office, because the current Congress we all know and love is likely to give Paulson carte blanche merely to protect its own financial interests.

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NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.9

The article is a reasoned approach to the financial crisis, describing both the Federal Reserve and the government in neutral if not glowing terms for their rescue of insurance giant AIG. Of course, it's William Greider, a veteran journalist, and - yes, Virginia - it is an op ed, so no sourcing. Nonetheless, I'm a little surprised by Greider's dispassionate objectivity toward a subject (bailouts) that has some frothing at the mouth. Greider, while calm, is not optimistic, and points out that others like AIG are waiting in the wings with equally suspect derivatives.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.8

A remarkably readable (and comprehensible) accounting of the troubles on Wall Street, from bailouts to hedge funds to money market funds and Treasury bonds. The most troubling assessment comes at the end, where the author(s) suggests that the problems will spread from their current phase to more traditional lending venues, which - though slowly accruing - could experience similar, large losses, likely followed by corporate defaults. The fun never ends.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.6

Great journalism about the cacophony generated by too much news, where individual pieces (even great pieces) get lost in the shuffle. The new style of news is bite-sized, fast-food, full of hyperbole and innuendo (salt and fat), but not very substantial in the long-term, and apparently that's the way most Americans, raised in an era of 10-minute television show segments and video game challenges, love it. When all voices are raised, nothing can be heard.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.5

Scarcely-veiled sarcasm reveals that our current economic crisis can be traced to former Republican senator (and McCain advisor) Phil Gramm, who is the author of the Commodity Future Modernization Act (2000) and co-author of the Financial Modernization Act (Gramm, Leach, Bliley, 1999), two deregulation measures that led to the meltdown (and both signed by former President Bill Clinton). A short but superbly acerbic look at modern finance and the pitfalls the MSM has avoided exploring until far too late.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.9

It's unfortunate that the link provided doesn't go first to the editorial, and then to the 18 other supporting documents, but the editorial itself (first link cited) is an accurate but scathing denunciation of a political campaign descending into scurrilousness, pettiness and hyperbole, which the writer suggests detracts from McCain's reputation for integrity. Integrity? Are we talking about the same man who rubber-stamped Bush's torture policy, or came out of the Keating scandal a little more tarred than other participants? The only thing McCain has done that resembles integrity is cross the aisle to sponsor bills, but that is called expediency, not integrity. I give the article an A for sourcing, the author nothing more than a ... More »

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NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.6

Krugman almost always does a superb job explaining financial cat's cradles like the current one, and I can't fault his summary (yikes!), which must resonate in the hearts of investors after today's 500+ point fall. However, I gave him less than a 10 for failing to explain that the very provisions that would have prevented this crash (the Glass Seagal Act, among others) were removed under the Clinton administration. And here we thought Bill was one of the good guys.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.8

President elect John McCain is convincingly portrayed as the one man who could, through the appointment of a lifelong seat (or seats) on the Supreme Court, put the court so far to the right that any social or environmental progress made since the 60s (Clean Air, Clean Water, Endangered Species, citizen access to federal courts, sex discrimination) will be abrogated. McCain's touted "strict construction and restraint" legal policies are in fact code for far-right judicial leanings, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade. For those seeking to understand where a McCain presidency would take jurisprudence, this is a superb diagnosis of the likely effects stated in no uncertain terms.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.0

While good journalism, it does not cover the events leading up to Troopergate, and essentially provides nothing more than a list of individuals to be subpoenaed for testimony. One has to love the Sen. Charles Huggins remark about "duck foot action under the water", which this writer suspects will be the sum and substance of any investigation.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.1

A well-sourced and eminently well written journal of the policies that got us into the financial mess we face today. I particularly liked the author's reference to Bush's setting aside his beliefs (in an unregulated free market economy) in favor of "economic and political pragmatism" (i.e., the bailouts). The author goes on to speculate that eventual economic recovery will not defray America's suspicion of unregulated markets, and I tend to agree. I simply hope we can recover.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
2.6

I stopped reading at the third paragraph, where the authors describe both candidates as "cautious". A cautious politician would not have asked Sarah Palin to be vice president without vetting her. John McCain is rarely cautious, either in his actions or his speech. Article FAIL.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 2.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.5

Superb journalism and exhaustive research on the subject of the gradual infringement of American civil liberties. Wellington is correct in her supposition that the hearings will lead to nothing more than "confabulation" behind closed doors. Meanwhile, the events in the Twin Cities during the Republican National Convention are a harsh reminder to citizens that the agencies in charge of maintaining national security see our young people as the threat and the Republicans who have devastated this nation as the ones to be protected.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.9

It's good journalism, and highly entertaining as well. The author's voice, tinged with sarcasm throughout, highlights the importance of media asking the relevant questions and foregoing the human interest slant. If Palin is offended by being in the harsh, political limelight, she should not have agreed to run as McCain's VP. The Lily Tomlin quote is a fitting conclusion as well. When it comes to political machinations, there is never enough cynicism to go around.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.3

This is terrible journalism, in which the author has confused the issues with the facts. Biden did indeed vote against Iraq I and II, under both Bushes. This does not mean Biden lacks the backbone to stand up to our foes, simply that he prefers alternative solutions (like economic sanctions and world opinion) first. Both Graham and PolitiFact's editors need to forgo Republican warmongering and try diplomacy. If it worked for Adlai Stevenson, it can work for us.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.6

Superb reading, and great information, but less than 10 on a journalistic scale because of organization. The deduction (that more neurons in the cortex and improved myelin sheathing are the reasons behind superior human intelligence) is thrown away in the fourth paragraph and also appears at the end, leading this reviewer to conclude that the writers did not collaborate fully.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.1

The article highlights the discrepancies in McCain's choice, as well as providing historical perspectives, and is extremely well written. As the writer points out, McCain's former requirements for a vice president (health and moderate youth in case he dies) have disappeared in the wake of Palin, whose qualifications (right-wing religious ideas and female gender) limit her usefulness as the second-most powerful person in government should McCain get elected. What can McCain be thinking? the writer's historical perspectives cite affirmative action, but in view of Palin's inexperience, that is hardly an explanation. I agree with the author; the Palin gambit makes former presidential hopeful Walter Mondale's choice of Geraldine ... More »

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.3

This is an interesting and well-written piece. It appeals in spite of the author's somewhat self-congratulatory mien, mostly because of the persistent repetition of the slogan, change is possible, which tugs at the hopestrings of an old cynic like me. The observations on politics and the MSM are also occasionally dead-on. All in all, a good read.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.8

Very good journalism about the antics reporters get up to when they've surrendered their scruples, abandoned the pursuit of truth and face a roomful of equally unengaged clones. Joe Scarborough is perhaps the worst, but clearly courtesy was given short shrift among journalists at the DNC yesterday. The other news, about media outlets running McCain's scurrilous ads for free (and Obama's scarcely at all) was definitely worth reading, if only because anger is a good incentive to improve.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
2.1

Though advertised as an article about the "Big Tent", a media and activist site just across from the DNC and the Denver Convention Center, the article reads more like a blurb from a society magazine column and devotes a single paragraph to the actual Tent happenings. Three thumbs down.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.3

Excellent journalism on the effects the 2007 lobbying and ethics reform bill is having on both Democratic and Republican lobbyists, who are so conflicted by varying interpretations of the legislation some have decided to forgo attending the conventions altogether. As a result, it might be a good year for real people to attend.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.8

A surprisingly relevant bit of reporting on an historical event and the political machinations, all good, leading up to it. I'm not sure what the writer is getting at, but I suspect a similar turnout for Obama somewhere along the way to the White House (?) may bring the political machine to its knees in a stunned realization that the people do have a voice, and part of it is black.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
2.9

Since the article left me wondering what Obama can learn from Ritter (other than Ritter's negative stance on abortion), and still ignorant regarding the Code of the West (learn how to knot a tie without a mirror?), I don't think it was either newsworthy or very good journalism.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 2.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
3.8

An unnecessarily long article that could simply have cut to the chase to describe Obama's economic policy as "Reaganomics on Democracy". Leonhardt is a good writer and a knowledgeable economist who, unfortunately, spends a lot of time demonstrating it. If Obama is elected, Leonhardt suggests, changes to market structure will come slowly based investor's reactions to those changes.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.6

Again, superb journalism from a writer who escapes mainstream mediocrity by telling it like it is, and what Resolution 362 is, is a violation of provisions of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which allows Iran and every other signatory to develop uranium for peaceful purposes. This, the IAEA confirms from repeated inspections, is precisely what Iran is doing. Congressional members supporting this resolution are, in fact, provoking war with Iran, to what end saner individuals can't imagine. Is it something in the Capitol's water?

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
5.0

There aren't enough superlatives in the English language to rate this article! Not only does Galbraith understand the complexities of commodity trading, but he presents them in language anyone can understand. This article is a must-read not only for traders struggling with market fluctuations, but for every American wondering why every gallon of gas and loaf of bread requires a trip to the ATM. As Galbraith points out, without regulation, the situation will only get worse.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.9

Again, a superb article, well written and well-sourced covering the personal and political aspects of each candidate and the divisive bitterness that consequently divides all supporters along party lines, dampening the possibility of bipartisan compromise. Except for length, and the fact that I disagree with the initial premise (McCain could be worse than Bush), I can find no fault.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.5

A superb story from the New York Times which lays out in detail the failure of Western companies to invest in exploration, the increasing nationalization of reserves, and the likelihood that nations ill-equipped to extract the resource even from proven fields will in future have one hand wrapped around the world's throat and the other in the consumer's pocket. Peak oil, if not real in terms of potential, will certainly be real in terms of actual development.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.3

A good report on a difficult political issue, which the Republicans will apparently try to make even more of an issue before the election. This is unfortunate for all, since scandalmongers get their fifteen minutes of fame at the cost of their reputations for fairness, and Obama's response - while intellectually accurate - fails to satisfy either side.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
2.5

This story lacks the essentials of good reporting. For example, who were the South Asian supporters (local businesspeople?)? How do 1,300 people raise $7.8 million dollars? Who were the three separate groups, and were they all present in the same room at the same speech? Lastly, if the most memorable comment Obama made highlighted the obvious foreignness of his own name, we're in trouble no matter how we vote.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.1

For a very short editorial, it says all that needs saying on the role of unconsolidated media in the preservation of democracy. Lifting the ban on cross-media ownership will guarantee a hundred Fox News networks and not one Seattle Times. People who are aware of this issue should be prodding their representatives to act against the FCC rule that would allow such consolidation, or some morning they will wake up to the same broadcast on every TV, radio and Internet news site in existence. Welcome to dystopia!

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.3

It is excellent journalism, showing Russia's perennial concern with territorial sovereignty and a newer concern; wealth (as evinced primarily by oil). Russia's leaders are - and have always been - reluctant to yield the first and are now equally intent on retaining the second, creating a situation as tenuous as lightning strikes in a dry forest. Hopefully, calmer heads than Medvedev's will prevail, but Georgia (and to a greater extent South Ossetia) is likely to be the loser in any agreement.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Jeanne reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Jeanne's Rating
4.3

This is very good journalism, and I would disagree with the reviewer who thinks red-lining for Russian diplomacy is an over-reaction. Russia's influence, both politically and economically, extends well beyond its borders, and appeasing Putin's hardliners while maintaining Georgia's autonomy will be a diplomatic feat par excellence, particularly where world oil supplies are involved.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
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565
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