10 June, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Note to news personalities: Never underestimate the power of a lot of pissed-off people. Even Faux News occasionally feels the wrath and has to take action:

The “fist bump” heard round the world has sparked all kinds of media interest, but for sheer stupidity, it’s hard to top Fox News. “America’s Pulse” anchor E.D. Hill did a segment on the Obama gesture late last week, alerting viewers to the various ways in which the affectionate moment between the candidate his wife could be interpreted: “A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab?”

The fine folks at Media Matters launched a petition drive yesterday: “Tell Fox News this is appalling and unacceptable, and demand an apology from E.D. Hill.”

Today, it got results. Hill backed off her comments this afternoon.


...Hill told viewers, “Want to start the show by clarifying something I said on the show last Friday about an upcoming body-language segment. Now, I mention various ways in the Obamas’ fist-bump in St. Paul had been characterized in the media. I apologize because unfortunately some thought I, personally, had characterized it inappropriately. I regret that. It was not my intention. I certainly didn’t mean to associate the word terrorist in any way with Senator Obama and his wife.”

As apologies go, this is pretty weak tea. She didn’t “mean” to associate the Obamas with being terrorists, she was merely raising the possibility that their hand gesture might be seen as terrorist-like. How could anyone be offended?

Even better, if Hill wants to make ridiculous accusations about Democrats in the future, she’ll have to find a different venue — Fox News announced today that Hill’s show has been cancelled.

The timing on the cancellation might have been coincidental, or not, but the apology's certainly in response to a lot of outraged people. The fact that Faux News had to publically apologize regarding comments made about a Democrat just amuses me to no end.

Now maybe we can have some actual substantial reporting. That would be nice for once.

Let's see, now... it's a day ending in Y. Must be time for more news that the Bush regime is utterly corrupt, foul, and prone to denying funding to social programs that get actual results in favor of heaping largesse on programs that don't do jack fucking shit, but have those all-important Bush connections:

The good news is, Bush’s Justice Department offers grants to community programs to address juvenile crime nationwide. The bad news is, Bush’s Justice Department seems to award the grants based on political connections, not merit.

There’s a program in San Diego, for example, that was ranked #2 by the DoJ in its category of prevention and intervention. It didn’t get any funding. But the program that was ranked #47 won a generous grant — because it had connections. Murray Waas and ABC News have the story:

A senior Justice Department official says a $500,000 federal grant to the World Golf Foundation is an appropriate use of money designed to deal with juvenile crime in America.“We need something really attractive to engage the gangs and the street kids, golf is the hook,” said J. Robert Flores, the administrator of the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The Justice Department, in a decision by Flores, gave the money to the World Golf Foundation’s First Tee program, even though Justice Department staffers had rated the program 47th on a list of 104 applicants. The allegations were first reported earlier this year by the trade journal Youth Today.

Wouldn’t you know it, the honorary chairman of the First Tee program is former President George Bush.

Scott Peterson, who worked in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, said grants were awarded based more on politics than merit. “This is cronyism, this is waste, fraud and abuse,” Peterson told ABC News, adding, “It’s a lot of our taxpayer money that’s supposed to go for some of our most vulnerable children.”

Wait, it gets worse.

Current and former Justice Department employees allege that Flores ignored the staff rankings in favor of programs that had political, social or religious connections to the Bush White House.


His former employee, Scott Peterson, said Flores holds daily prayer sessions in the Justice Department office and frowns on giving grant money to organizations that provide sex education or condoms to teenagers.

Instead, said Peterson, Flores favors programs that promote sexual abstinence.

A Washington, D.C. program, Best Friends, that promotes abstinences was awarded $1.1 million by Flores even though it ranked 53rd on a list of 104 applicants.

Best Friends is run by Elayne Bennett, the wife of Bill Bennett, a former Republican cabinet member and now political commentator.

Oh, look, it's our old friend Abstinence Only, getting yet more money from our government even though it doesn't fucking work. I can't wait until this fucktard is out of office: I want my fucking country back, thank you so very much.

You know what? I'm with Dennis on this one: impeach the bastard:

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich defied his party leadership on Monday by calling for the impeachment of U.S. President George W. Bush for launching the Iraq war -- but his move was not expected to go anywhere.

The Ohio representative outlined his intention to propose more than two dozen charges against Bush on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kucinich, a former presidential candidate, accused Bush executing a "calculated and wide-ranging strategy" to deceive citizens and Congress into believing that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States.

All right, so Kucinich's move might have the same effect as a fart in a hurricane, but still. I'm glad some Dem had enough backbone to slap impeachment down on the table and demand accountability. Perhaps we should start a petition. Hey. Worked for E.D. Hill, right?

I can but dream...

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