Saturday, May 17, 2003

Seen from ten feet away

Multnomah, Ore. planned to hire a part-time translator to communicate with those mental health patients who will only speak in Klingon. Media attention made them call off the job-search.

I was going to use the Net to add a comment on that in Klingon, but honestly, that just feels like way too much work, so let’s all just pretend I wrote something sarcastic but witty in Klingon.

A Brown professor says that the Saudi bombings were not Al Qaeda, but regular old anti-House of Saud types who want American mercenaries out of the country, as I said a couple of days ago. “Washington no longer seems able to entertain the thought that there might be revolutionary groups that have entirely local reasons for their actions. This tragic attack might well have taken place if the United States had not had a presence in Saudi Arabia. However, the existence of a quasi-military command force in the form of the Vinnell Corp. virtually guaranteed that Americans would be caught in the cross fire of what was arguably a local revolutionary action.”

I reported that the Rs’ insistence on holding their 2004 Convention in September meant they’d be choosing a nominee past the ballot deadlines in several states, including Calif. Well, the Democratic CA. secretary of state has decided to help them out and will sponsor a bill to change the deadline, saying he wouldn’t politicize his office, unlike some secretaries of state of southern states he could name. DNC chair Terry McAuliffe criticizes the decision.

France goes public with claims that the White House fed false rumors about it helping Iraq to the press. It will come as no surprise to my readers that The Bushies lie all the time, and that their specialty is little leaked stories that they know won’t stand up to scrutiny, but won’t get much scrutiny, and the correction won’t get much publicity, and the intended impression will remain in most people’s minds in a sort of vague way, without details. What France is complaining of is exactly what worked so well in convincing the American people that Saddam had something, they’re not sure quite what, to do with 9/11, but they use this technique for everything. I’m paying more attention than most and it didn’t occur to me to compare Bush’s most recent tax proposals to the promises about not touching the Social Security surplus in the 2000 election campaign (see the dailyhowler.com). Raymond Chandler had a great line, describing a woman: “From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away.” Bush’s tax policy, like his foreign policy, is designed to be seen from 30 feet away.

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