The Color of His Boots

LONDON (AP) — In January, freelance video journalist Jason Parkinson returned home from vacation to find a brown paper envelope in his mailbox. He opened it to find nine years of his life laid out in shocking detail.

Twelve pages of police intelligence logs noted which protests he covered, who he spoke to and what he wore – all the way down to the color of his boots. It was, he said, proof of something he’d long suspected: The police were watching him.

“Finally,” he thought as he leafed through documents over a strong black coffee, “we’ve got them.”

Parkinson’s documents, obtained through a public records request, are the basis of a lawsuit being filed by the National Union of Journalists against London’s Metropolitan Police and Britain’s Home Office. The lawsuit, announced late Thursday, along with a recent series of revelations about the seizure of reporters’ phone records, is pulling back the curtain on how British police have spent years tracking the movements of the country’s news media.

This sadly falls under the I’m shocked, shocked to find that government spying is going on in here news category; it barely rates a raised eyebrow.

Which is in itself sad and worrisome for democracy, both in the UK and here at home. 1

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  1. Though I don’t suppose the reporters at the Star have anything to worry about – they haven’t covered anything of significance in years, much less done anything investigative.

Jonathan Gruber

The only other  time I remember Jonathan Gruber popping up from behind my political blind spot was back when he called Romney a liar.

However so many people have called Romney a liar (and president Obama, for that matter) that using Gruber’s utterance as a time marker is insufficient to pin down the exact date of the non-news event; I’ll go out on a limb and say it was around the time SCOTUS granted certiorari to the original ACA challenges.

What Romney had said that irritated Gruber was that Obamacare was nothing like the Massachusetts health care bill Cash Money enacted while governor. Gruber responded –in essence– that Romney was a lying liar.

So when American Commitment posted a video clip of a 2013 conference at the University of Pennsylvania with Gruber saying “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” and that “the stupidity of the American voter . . . was really critical for the [ACA] to pass”, it wasn’t a total surprise – the man obviously speaks his mind.

It was, however, yet another needless example of incredibly stupid partisanship, the sort of eye candy Faux News loves to endlessly loop. Major faux pas, Jonathan.

But I can’t get too worked up about it.

While the GOP and the religious right scream and holler about the White House’s disingenuousness in said strategy, the lack of respect the Dems apparently showed the American public in willfully pulling the wool over their eyes, the fact that Obamacare was also going to destroy America…I just look at it and shrug my shoulders.

To my mind it’s the exact same thing Shrub and The Dark Lord did with Iraq.

Except instead of killing over a million people and wasting over a trillion dollars, Obama and the Dems gave us health care.

Enigma Machine