drugs

A John Looking for Something to Kiss

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio responds to reporters about hte impasse over passing the Homeland Security budget because of Republican efforts to block President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House voted last month to end Homeland Security funding on Saturday unless Obama reverses his order to protect millions of immigrants from possible deportation. After Democratic filibusters blocked the bill in the Senate, the chaber's Republican leaders agreed this week to offer a "clean" funding measure, with no immigration strings attached. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Question #1: What is the Speaker of the House on?

Question #2: Where can I get some?

We had occasion, yesterday, to review the Speaker’s odd behavior during a press briefing on Wednesday, but apparently Mr. Boehner’s message didn’t come across well enough; the pesky press had the audacity to ask him questions on Thursday. Walter Einenkel picks it up from there:

The easy joke is that it is kinda gross and strange and weird. It’s a bad attempt at lightening the mood by Boehner. The real grotesque quality is not that Boehner did something awkward and condescending, it’s the fact that he is being asked a very serious question, about the single issue he is there to discuss, with real information at his fingertips. His response and that of some of the press is that this is a game where no one asks or expects real answers as there is no reason for anyone to say anything with integrity or honesty or import.

The question being asked is not how John Boehner makes kissy faces to nieces and nephews when they leave after the holidays. It’s about thousands of people’s salaries. Government employees charged with protecting every American citizen living on American soil. It’s a serious question.

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Your War on Drugs: Tennessee Anal Probes

Sure, it’s clickbait, we know. But it’s also a real issue. Radley Balko explains the thing about the Oak Ridge anal probes:

Last year we learned of three incidents in New Mexico in which motorists pulled over for moving violations were subjected to forced anal cavity searches, x-rays and even colonoscopies because police suspected they were hiding drugs in their bodies. I pointed out in January that the practice has also been used in Texas, Illinois, Florida and Kansas.

It looks like Oak Ridge, Tenn., has been doing it, too.

Right. Anyway, Balko continues:

The Watch: 'More drug war anal probes, this time in Oak Ridge ... (Radley Balko/Washington Post)This is actually the second time a forcible anal probe has been challenged in a Tennessee courtroom. In 2011, the same doctor and the same police department performed a similar procedure on a man, also after a traffic stop.

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Part of the Problem

The most popular items on Huffington Post, ca. 2 September 2014.To the one, it is very easy to pick on the Huffington Post; to the other, well, yeah, never mind. The question is what the historians and anthropologists will write about this period of human communication. Naturally, we jest; the real question is whether or not the journal article can be published in under sixty characters.

What? Really? Show of hands: Who thinks Twitter will last that long?

Alright, then. Follow-up: How long before 140 is too long?

Uh-huh. See how that works?

Still, the great testament of Huffington Post and other online news sites will be the consumerist outlook; news and information, once considered vital to civic function, are now merely mass-produced trinkets, the inconvenient content one must necessarily tease consumers with in order to facilitate the commercial transactions that are a news organization’s real reasons for existing.

True, it sounds grim. But look at what people are reading.