Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A grave and gathering storm-related program activity

Ted Koppel compared New Hampshire to the musical Brigadoon, evidently under the impression that NH doesn’t actually exist except every four years when ABC cameras go there.

Which for all I know is true.

John Kerry (aka Kaptain Ketchup) won something over 80,000 votes in NH, so he’s obviously the front-runner in a nation of, what, 300 million. He won because he is the tallest candidate, which is a great advantage in New Hampshire, because more of him was visible sticking out of the vast snow drift that is New Hampshire. Joe Lieberman’s campaign staff is still poking sticks into snow banks trying to locate him. Al Sharpton might have had a lock on the visibility thing, but he didn’t compete in the state, possibly believing it would be ungentlemanly to take advantage of the fact, and my god when will I stop digging myself deeper into this hole.

Brigadoon indeed.

As I write, Kerry is on Nightline, giving a really boring interview, just like his droning speech after Iowa. All that attention newly focused on him, and he throws away the opportunity. I think Dean really could lose to Bush by fewer votes than Kerry would. Oh dear christ, Koppel is asking him how he’d explain this process to Martians. He does not answer that he doesn’t speak Martian, or, indeed, answer in Martian, but then Kerry has no sense of humor.

The NYT notes that even voters opposed to the war went with Kerry over Dean (their poll says 70% of D voters there oppose the war, but half voted for Kerry, who voted for the war), which suggests a) voters are stupid, b) voters don’t care about foreigners, c) they don’t think a, what, $200 billion war will impact their lives, but d), and I’ve said this before, Bush won’t get much help from the war either, just like his father. Quick historical pop quiz: It’s the blank, stupid.

So anyway, did you know that Thomas Jefferson suggested in 1777 when he was revising Virginia’s laws, that “sodomitical” women be punished by halving half-inch holes cut through the cartilage in their noses?

SJ Merc article on the divisions among the Bushies over how to pretend to hand power over to Iraq. Cheney and Rumsfeld evidently want to do it even earlier, in April, to an expanded version of the appointed puppet council. Meanwhile, the UN has acquiesced with Bush’s plan to “study” the feasibility of direct elections until it is too late for direct elections to be feasible.

Meanwhile, the White House plans to hire an ad agency to sell the Iraqis on its hopeless plan for caucus-related program activities, because what the plan really needs is a “branding symbol.” Oddly enough, this contract would be open, so presumably even the French could bid on it.

Note to WashPost re article on Lieberman: if he only got 9%, maybe optimistic is not the word you’re looking for. Innumerate, pollyannaish, deluded....

In a war that is almost as overlooked as the Republican primaries (newsflash: Bush won in New Hampshire), the US is planning a spring offensive in Afghanistan, in which suicide bombings and roadside booby traps are increasing, showing that at least someone is learning something from Iraq.

Whitewash week continues, with David Kay, who can’t give the same story two days in a row, claiming that it was all the fault of the intelligence services that Bush is a lying sack of shit, a practitioner of lying-sack-of-shit-related program activities, and Lord Hutton doing the same for Blair.

The Hutton thing will be misquoted by the White House, who will count on American ignorance, which has always served them well in the past (like Bush repeatedly saying recently that Hussein refused to allow inspectors into Iraq). Hutton, wrongly, denies a BBC claim that the Blairites sexed up an intelligence dossier, but doesn’t address the fact that everything in the dossier was wrong in the first place. (Also, the government wasn’t required to provide Hutton with all relevant documents, which should be all you need to before completely dismissing anything he has to say).

Bush this week keeps using the phrase that Saddam Hussein was a “grave and gathering threat,” whatever that means (it’s intended to invoke the 1st volume of Churchill’s history of WW II, The Gathering Storm, and so continue the Hitlerization of Hussein). What threat? They couldn’t drop bioweapons on London in 45 minutes, the smoking gun was not going to be a mushroom cloud, so what gathering threat?

Amelia sent me this amusing link from a Republican site (go to the home page, too) attacking Kerry as anti-American for parodying the Iwo Jima statue and being against the Vietnam War.

And finally, for the best exploding whale story of the week.

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