Thursday, April 18, 2002

Declaring victory and going home

Bush is actually saying that Powell made progress, although most newspapers seem to be using the words “humiliating” and “defeat” in close proximity. But then Bush is the guy whose proclamation of Jewish Heritage Week used the phrase “in the Year of Our Lord 2002,” so his engagement with these things may not entirely be trusted.

Some unnamed government leaker said that Powell was getting along well with Sharon, that they had a “general thing going” (meaning that they were both former generals, not that the “thing” was non-specific). I assume this means that they can reminisce over the times they both ordered people buried alive by bulldozers, Powell in the Gulf War and Sharon at any number of times between 1953 and this week. Ah, memories.

Israel is opening a concentration camp in the Negev desert. Oh, and it’s taking as hostages the mothers and wives of the Palestinians who took sanctuary in the Church of the Nativity.

Bush the Elder famously considered the Bill of Rights to be very much a work in progress, supporting I once counted something like 7 or 8 constitutional amendments: school prayer, abortion, flag burning, balanced budget, I can’t remember what all else. Junior not so much, but he did just come out in favor of a “Victims Rights” amendment, which wasn’t important enough for the NY Times or Wash Post to mention, but I was reading the LA Times yesterday while waiting for the idiots in the microfilm room to figure out how I could read one reel without having to resort to a mirror.

Virtual child porn is upheld by a Supreme Court in which Clarence “Long Dong” Thomas was surprisingly quiet. Various aspects passed by 6-3 or 7-2. What’s wrong with the right wing of the court was demonstrated by the dissent in the 6-3 part allowing people to use computers to stick a child head on an adult body; they said that it would allow the pornographers to pretend that real child porn was photo-shopped. That’s surely an enforcement problem which has no place in a decision on constitutionality.

See the piece in Slate on Scalia’s advocacy of the torture of prisoners.

The Bushies can’t make up their mind about what they said to the
Venezuelan coup plotters and when they said it, taking back the early statement that they spoke with the leader on the very day he took power. Now they’re claiming that in their many secret talks with these people, they advised against a coup. Yeah, that’s believable. And Otto Reich is evidently giving secret briefings to Congress claiming that Cubans were involved in shooting demonstrators, which is possible I suppose but no one
else has even suggested it.

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