14 July, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

My goodness, everyone's a terrorist:

WASHINGTON, DC - The nation's terrorist watch list has hit one million names, according to a tally maintained by the American Civil Liberties Union based upon the government's own reported numbers for the size of the list.

"Members of Congress, nuns, war heroes and other 'suspicious characters,' with names like Robert Johnson and Gary Smith, have become trapped in the Kafkaesque clutches of this list, with little hope of escape," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "Congress needs to fix it, the Terrorist Screening Center needs to fix
it, or the next president needs to fix it, but it has to be done soon."

Fredrickson and Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program, spoke today along with two victims of the watch list: Jim Robinson, former assistant attorney general for the Civil Division who flies frequently and is often delayed for hours despite possessing a governmental security clearance and Akif Rahman, an American citizen who has
been detained and interrogated extensively at the U.S.-Canada border when traveling for business.

"America's new million record watch list is a perfect symbol for what's wrong with this administration's approach to security: it's unfair, out-of-control, a waste of resources, treats the rights of the innocent as an afterthought, and is a very real impediment in the lives of
millions of travelers in this country," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU Technology and Liberty Program. "It must be fixed without delay."

"Fixed without delay," however, is a phrase sadly missing from our current government's lexicon, which seems to delight in living up to phrases such as "unfair," "out-of-control," "waste of resources," and "treat the rights of the innocent as an afterthought." But remember: it's all about keeping America safe from those awful icky terrorists, including the two-year old who ended up on that list a few years ago.

In other news, you may recall that Bush paid some lip service to Congress' role in governing when he decided that, much as he'd like to overturn the ban on coastal drilling, he'd like to see Congress overturn their ban first. Congress didn't. You all know what's coming, right?

Oddly enough, on June 18, Bush demanded that Congress lift the ban on coastal drilling. The president could have just overturned the executive order on the policy, but “he said he wouldn’t do that because he wanted Congress to act first.”

Today, Bush changed his mind.

Putting pressure on congressional Democrats to back more exploration for oil, President Bush Monday called on Congress to join him in lifting a ban on offshore drilling that has stood since his father was president.

There are two prohibitions on offshore drilling, one imposed by Congress and another by executive order signed by the first President Bush in 1990. The current president, trying to ease market tensions and boost supply, called last month for Congress to lift its prohibition before he did so himself.

“The only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress,” Bush said in a statement in the Rose Garden. “Now the ball is squarely in Congress’ court.”

Bush added that “Americans are paying at the pump” because Congress hasn’t approved the White House’s drilling plan. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) added, “Now the only thing standing between consumers at the pump and the increased American energy they are demanding is the Democrat leadership in Congress.”

No, you fuckwit, you are the root cause. It's your disasterous policies, your debacle of a war, and your general stupidity that have contributed the most to stratospheric rises in gas prices. Not to mention, "vast oil resources" is a bit of a stretch. Drilling offshore won't have any immediate impact. And it does absolutely nothing to solve the root problem, which is that we need an alternative to oil because, no matter where we drill, the oil's gonna run out.

Fucking moron.

And speaking of fucking morons, the sudden dramatic downturn in the AP's quality and sanity is now explained:

Regular readers know that I’ve been highlighting some of the unusually bad coverage of the presidential campaign from the Associated Press. It’s been striking, in part because it’s unexpected — the AP has not exactly earned a reputation of being the Fox News of wire services. For the AP to do so many poor reports in such a short time made it seem as if the outlet had undergone some kind of deliberate shift.

As it happens, it has.

Ron Fournier says he regards Sandy Johnson, his predecessor as head of The Associated Press’s Washington bureau, as “a mentor.”

Johnson, though, regards Fournier, who replaced her in a hard-feelings shake-up in May, as a threat to one of the most influential institutions in American journalism.

“I loved the Washington bureau,” said Johnson, who left the AP after losing the prestigious position. “I just hope he doesn’t destroy it.”

There’s more to her vinegary remark than just the aftertaste of a sour parting. Fournier is a main engine in a high-stakes experiment at the 162-year old wire to move from its signature neutral and detached tone to an aggressive, plain-spoken style of writing that Fournier often describes as “cutting through the clutter.”

Shorter Ron Fournier: "Let's throw journalism out the window and engage in some of that awesome Faux News tabloid-style lying, eh?"

This probably explains the demand that bloggers pay by the word for the honor of quoting them, too. What a fucking nitwit.

He's an excellent match for the clown in office and the clown who's running for it.


Craig Pennington said...

Seen this?

Karl Rove exchanged e-mails about Pat Tillman with Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier, under the subject line "H-E-R-O." In response to Mr. Fournier's e-mail, Mr. Rove asked, "How does our country continue to produce men and women like this," to which Mr. Fournier replied, "The Lord creates men and women like this all over the world. But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight."

Woozle said...

I once started to write a letter to President Bush asking, among other things, to please have my name added to the terrorist watch list -- but I had to stop writing because I couldn't find anything specific about it (what to call it, who was saying it existed, etc).

Maybe it's time to finish that letter...

Cujo359 said...

Calling the deliberate shilling for one political party "cutting through the clutter" doesn't sound like "plain-spoken style" language to me. It sounds like BS.

After a while, you learn to tell the difference. Perhaps someday Ron Fournier will acquire that skill.

Anonymous said...

I meant to leave this comment here, rather than the post above.

"How To turn in your neighbors".

A 'satire' about Homeland Security selling products on television.