I welcome this debate and I think it’s healthy for our Democracy. I think it’s a sign of maturity because probably five years ago, six years ago, we might not have been having this debate. I think it’s interesting that there are some folks on the left, but also some folks on the right who are now worried about it who weren’t very worried about it when it was a Republican president.
Of course, despite yesterday’s warming rhetoric, the NSA’s widespread data collection was a highly and tightly kept state secret, which rather undermines the idea that this is a debate the White House welcomes.
JM: This deserves reiteration. This President kept the extent of the surveillance secret, precisely because he didn’t want any debate over it. He will likely try to prosecute whoever leaked it, precisely because he didn’t want any debate over it. And yet he tells us he welcomes the debate?
He says that the debate is healthy for our Democracy, but he’s been keeping it a secret, which, by his newly-announced logic, was unhealthy.
And then he has the audacity to suggest that it’s a sign of maturity—impliedly attributable to the “change” he’s brought—that we’re having this debate at all … even though his side of the debate is the status quo he hasn’t changed at all. That is: even though he (and he alone) is the reason this information was kept from the public, he wants to claim credit for any good that comes of the discussion that takes place about it.
And his whole defense—this “change” candidate’s defense—is that he thinks it is hypocritical that some of those outraged by his policies were not as outraged when those same policies belonged to Bush. That is—this man who promised change is crying that his critics are hypocrites? Has there ever been a more apt pot/kettle analogy?
I’ve tried to swear off hyperbole, but this really strikes me as one of the most remarkably awful statements by a President in my lifetime.
The administration has now lost all credibility.
And number two, drug dealers have families to feed,” he said. “If they can’t sell marijuana, they’ll sell something else. And the something else is gonna be worse. And, the push to legalize this is just wrongheaded.
Now I finally get why Bloomberg wants to ban big sodas and salt. It’s because drug-dealers have families to feed. We need to criminalize generally innocuous stuff so that the criminally-minded can traffic in the only mildly harmful. If we could just ban cotton candy, our worst streets would be awash in puffy (albeit expensive) wonderfulness. Can we ban cute puppies?
After I embedded the David Foster Wallace “this is water” video on my Tumblr, it was reblogged 8,621 times. It’s reasonable to assume that most of those who reblogged the video were more likely to buy David Foster Wallace’s works as a result of having seen it. So it’s too bad that the David Foster Wallace Literary Trust forced Youtube to take it down.
There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.
Associated Press President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt • In a letter, sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, denouncing the Justice Department’s decision to acquire the phone records of AP journalists as well as a number of the wire service’s offices over a two-month period. The move came as a result of a 2012 AP story which leaked the news of a foiled attack on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. The move, which followed the Obama administration’s general policy of trying to shut down leaks, nonetheless was disowned by the White House. “We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.” The move has been condemned by many journalists. (via shortformblog)
JM: When you implement policies and procedures antithetical to the values of your party and your partisans, eventually they bubble up to the point at which they can no longer be ignored. The seeds for the news of this week were planted in 2009. Now they are sprouting. I don’t think they are going to get smaller. There’s a lesson in all of this, but no one will learn it. Not with any permanence, anyway.
This is the secret to life.
Reese Witherspoon Arrest DASH CAM VIDEO (by TMZ)
This video will get a lot of play today. Sadly, I doubt it will prompt discussion of the propensity of law enforcement to leap to arrest for obstruction. If Reese’s actions actually made it more difficult for the officer to apprehend her husband, then maybe they would be arrest worthy. But that wasn’t what happened. She was bratty and confrontational with a police officer. People shouldn’t act that way, but there are lots of things people shouldn’t do that aren’t actual crimes.
There are professional and historical reasons why Reese now has to be gracious, concede error, and beg forgiveness. She can’t argue on her behalf here. That doesn’t mean some of the rest of us can’t.
The Mr. Ding-A-Ling truck hadn’t been rolling through the streets here for more than a week before Joshua Malatino made his message clear: There ain’t enough Fudgsicles in this city for the both of us. Malatino, who owns the homegrown Sno Cone Joe franchise, had threatened rival ice cream trucks before, but police said he went too far earlier this month. It began with threats and taunts. “You don’t have a chance!” Malatino yelled to the 53-year-old Mr. Ding-a-Ling driver on one of his first days in Gloversville, according to court documents. “This is my town!