Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Are These People Doing?

On Friday, President Barack Obama shuffled into the Rose Garden and read a statement on immigration policy. Then he left without taking questions, despite the disgusting spectacle of a journalist actually daring to directly address Him with an unauthorized question (without even prostrating himself, no less). The statement was broadcast, and the White House Press Office released a transcript of the remarks.

Why do reporters go to these things? They get no information that they couldn't get by sitting in their offices and reading the statement on the White House website or by watching the thing on CNN. What is the point of their presence? What are they doing?

And if they don't ask any questions, in what sense are they engaged in "reporting," and in what sense are they "reporters," and couldn't the news media just save resources by pooling their cash and hiring a single clerk-typist to transcribe the television feed, just in case the press office fails to spoonfeed the official transcript in a timely fashion?

Reporters: do they?

It does not appear that they do.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Self-Awareness: It Can Help

A post at ThinkProgress features video of a campaign ad in which a Republican congressional candidate blasts a bound copy of the Affordable Care Act with a shotgun. In response, a commenter wonders this: "What is it with the Republican's obsession with violent metaphors? Are they sociopaths or psychopaths?"

His profile photo? You'll never guess (click to enlarge):

That dude knows for a fact that only psychopaths mix political discourse with references to violence.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Incompetence or Indifference

Gov't Punts on BC Appeal

The United States of America is, like, real busy and stuff.

On May 4, Boston College filed an opening brief in its weak, half-hearted appeal of the district court's decision regarding the second set of Belfast Project subpoenas. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston owes a reply brief on June 7. On June 5, presumably wearing a beanie with a propeller on top and sucking its sugared thumb, the government filed a request for a 30-day extension. Two days before his brief is due, the AUSA handling the thing informs the court that he "has not been able to begin work on the government’s response in this case."

Has not been able to begin, he says.

The bizarre thing is that, first, BC's appeal is one of two appeals in the same case, since the Belfast Project researchers broke off from the university and filed their own appeal that got to court before this one. And second, the government stumbled into ongoing disaster when it argued that other related appeal before the same court. So they're already on bad footing, and the obvious next step if they cared about the matter at hand was to come blazing back with their best work in the next outing. Instead, they've signaled to the court that the thing they handled poorly last time is now their last priority, and man, judge dude, we totally know we had a deadline thing on this appeal thing, but we were totally busy with our calculus homework, man, can you cut me a break just this one time?

Even the Department of Justice knows it has a dog on its hands.
Govt Punts
UPDATE: The court has granted the request for an extension. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston has until July 6 to file its reply brief. It's a murder investigation! Feel the urgency!