Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Watercooler Wednesday: The Honeymoon is over or The Obama Admin Spied on Fox Reporter
It's here! And a day early at that. I wanted to go ahead and get it out. Starting next week, Watercooler Wednesday will actually be on Wednesday. Andy and Brian are two characters I've constructed out of personalities from my past and the present of people I've met in person and online. They will develop more as weeks go by. Also, these conversations have been edited from emails and messages I've had with real people. I've done my best to edit them to fit the characters of Andy and Brian. I will have profiles on Andy and Brian a little later when I actually decide what to do with them in this series. For now, just know they are two guys at work talking at the watercooler.
Andy: Brian, what up my man? *laughs* Did you read the "chilling" report on twitchy? I read about it on that right-wing nutjob blog Wintery Knight. Why are right-wingers so upset about it? Scanning emails is a form of safety. I'm not that angry with what happened, although, I have to admit I was a little surprised by it.
Brian: The only surprising thing here is that this got out. Anyone who hasn't seen - nearly from the day he took office - that Eric Holder is the very definition of government corruption is blind as a bat. The dude is evil, and I don't use that term lightly. Cover-ups everywhere, and they all lead back to him. He, of course, not only doesn't remember anything - a la Hillary in the Whitewater investigation - but he actively lashes out at anyone who dares question him. This is a guy who is committed to fundamentally restructuring our government in very radical ways and using all means, legal and illegal, to get it done. In some ways, I think he's more of a villain than Obama.
All that said, Obama knew what he was getting with Holder. He got exactly what he wanted and has backed Holder to the hilt. If the fecal matter ever contacts the air circulation device - and it looks like maybe it has - Holder becomes a martyr to protect Obama. Actually, I think Holder would relish that role, politically dying for the cause of statism. Some of Obama's picks - like Hillary - were concessions to the political establishment, but Holder and Emanuel were clearly the picks of the young, Alinski-trained revolutionary Obama. The one I can't decide on is Sebelius. She didn't strike me as that radical, more of your average, run-of-the-mill liberal, when she was nominated. Not a lot of radicals can get elected governor of a pretty conservative state like Kansas, but HHS has been one of the more aggressive agencies in promoting statism in this administration. Is she just a willing tool or does she actively seek to radically increase the size and scope of government? I can't decide.
I think it's interesting to examine this Rosen story in light of what else was going on around that time... the "war on Fox News". People forget that the administration was trying to de-legitimize FNC as a news organization at that time. Was that to weaken or remove Rosen's press protections? Was it simply another tactic to silence a critical voice? Was there another motive that isn't yet clear? The fact that all the other news orgs would play along was sure to help. Not only is Fox the only conservative news network out there, they also tend to spank the others in the ratings. All that allowed the war on Fox to continue with almost no protest in the MSM. Only now, when the parallels between Obama and Nixon, the press's favorite Republican whipping boy (and with good reason), are too obvious to ignore, does all this get the play it deserves.
I only worry that the issues involved are too arcane to resonate with the public at large. "We were just trying to keep you safe" is something people understand and buy into. "We need the right to publish classified information in order to keep the government honest" is a harder case to make to the average Joe.
Andy: You know I think this issue might be too arcane for the very reason you mentioned. I like safety. A lot. If the government can be there and protect me then I'm all for it, especially if it looks like a bad guy is the recipient of justice. Some say I do not realize the huge amount of freedom Americans lose for "protection" like that. For example my friend Julia particularly likes to point out that I like government safety, that I talk highly of the FDA, foodstamps, and Homeland Security (police state stuff) but then I also hate when some of my freedoms are taken away, e.g. taxes being too high or religious freedoms. She tries to explain to me that is the result of having a large federal government and police state. She also tries to explain those programs are how "it" (government) gets so large. It's hard for me to see that and after she points it out, sometimes (depending on my mood) I'll relent and say, "Well, I do like the safety those programs bring." I really like the idea of our budget getting balanced, getting out of debt, and I am a big fan of political and religious freedom, but I also really like safety at a higher level. As some wise guy once said, "Safety first!"
Brian: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
I think a lot of folks have the mindset that, if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't fear government monitoring of your activities. I myself have subscribed to that notion in the past, and I'm still a little conflicted on the idea of a "right to privacy". It isn't explicitly in the Constitution - it's derived from the Fourth Amendment, I think - and the courts have convoluted this implied right to defend everything from abortion to same-sex marriage. On the other hand, it gets a little dicier with the press, since their job is to report the facts, however they came by them.
As to your friend's point about how "it" gets so large, it's because bureaucracy naturally seeks to perpetuate and expand itself. Consider the Census, for example. The Census was mandated to take a count of how many people live in a particular place to determine congressional apportionment. That's it. Have you seen a Census form? Should be about the size of a pack of gum or a business card at most: "How many folks, counting you, live at your house? OK, thanks. U.S. Census Bureau" Instead, it asks a lot of personal questions about income, race, your job, etc. And that's the "short form". I've not seen a "long form". Now they send people to your house to interview you about all this personal stuff. It costs a fortune! (Remember when Obama was touting the job growth that resulted from hiring a bunch of temporary census workers?) And then they do all these estimates and stuff in between years. Why? They have one job. Find out how many people live in a place every 10 years! But no, they had to expand to do all this other "useful" stuff. Like we don't have polling agencies and whatnot for that. And don't give me that crap about getting unbiased data. We've seen just how "unbiased" the federal government is in the last couple of weeks, haven't we?
What about the National Weather Service? Like we don't have the Weather Channel and umpteen local stations with Doppler radars! But no, now we've got the NWS inventing global warming to perpetuate its own existence, make a case for more funding, etc. The postal service? The only reason UPS and FedEx don't do the same job cheaper is because the federal government outlawed them from competing with the USPS and its bloated union contracts!
Listen, on some things, I think Ron Paul is a straight up nutjob, but give him or someone like Tom Coburn about a week to hack out the stupid crap that the federal government either isn't explicitly authorized to do or shouldn't be doing, and the national deficit is gonna sink like the friggin' Titanic.
Andy: Humph.You righties are so dumb.
*Andy takes a long drink then goes back to his office*
Brian: Sigh. That is some good water.
*Brian whistles back to his office*