CNN.com - House vote slaps news organizations - Jun 29, 2006 The House of Representatives (hereafter referred to as Bickering Partisan Assclowns) passed a resolution “condemning news organizations for revealing a covert government program to track terrorist financing”. Now, this got me thinking - what, exactly, is a “resolution”? Well, answers.com had a nice definition. Interesting to note is that there are two types of resolutions - those that pass laws, and those that more or less express the opinion of the legislative body, in this case the Bickering Partisan Assclowns, or BPA. This type of resolution is in response to a certain event, such as the Times writing about our secret and probably illegal searching techniques for terrorists. It is not intended to be permanent or enforceable.
In a certain respect, [resolutions of this type] resemble the opinions expressed by a newspaper on its editorial page, but they are nonetheless indicative of the ideas and values of elected representatives and, as such, commonly mirror the outlook of voters.
Oh, really? So, the Times prints an article. The BPA gets its panties in a bunch, and publishes an editorial. Except that because the BPA is a large and powerful organization, it passes a resolution instead of publishing an editorial. This, in effect, says to the Times, “our genitals are larger than yours”. So that’s fine, I guess. Sure, it’s a waste of time and taxpayer dollars, but I suppose a response is justified. But then we see that the vote on the resolution was pretty much straight down the party line, with the Republicans (Not surprisingly) in the pro column. The Democrats had a problem with some language in the resolution that defended the legality of the search techniques. Now, here’s where I have a real problem, and why I think our government is broken. There are two issues that need to be resolved here. First, did the Times break the law? Are they guilty, as complete nutjob Ann Coulter says, of treason? Well, either they are guilty of breaking some law, and they should be dealt with by the legal system, or they’re not, and their actions are protected by the free speech, or freedom of the press, or whatever. Second, are the methods they wrote about illegal? Are we violating our citizens' rights in the name of stopping terrorists? It seems likely that we are, but I can’t say for certain. Again, if these methods are illegal, then the legal system needs to deal with that, and if not, everything’s fine. So, what does the BPA do? It writes an opinion piece. It tackles none of the underlying issues, and simply drafts a non-binding opinion calling people names. Great.