Saturday, December 31, 2005

Strong progress


The Czech Republic is still illegally sterilizing Romany women.

It’s an odd day over at the Washington Post, which fills the void of the slow news week with an in-depth, take-no-prisoners exposé of Bush’s brush-clearing activities, alongside an actual important, why-the-hell-did-they-run-it-on-a-Saturday-and-the-last-day-of-the-year, piece on Tom DeLay’s dubious relationship to the “U.S. Family Network,” Jack Abramoff, and Russian and corporate money. If you are the last person in America who thinks that DeLay is not corrupt, this won’t change your mind because you are simply too medicated.

Speaking of medicated, George Bush ends the year with a radio address that suggests that he remembers 2005, which isn’t even over yet, with the sort of idealized, soft-focus memory usually reserved for 80-year olds remembering that one glorious summer when they were 5 and the world was fresh and new: “2005 has been a year of strong progress toward a freer, more peaceful world and a more prosperous America.” Of course it has. Still, the claim that made even my jaded jaw drop open (can a jaw be jaded? wouldn’t that make it hard to chew?) was this: “Last February, I submitted to Congress the most disciplined budget proposal since Ronald Reagan was President.” Yes, Ronald Reagan, master of fiscal discipline.

Speaking of fiscal discipline, Achmad Chalabi has been made acting oil minister. Even as we speak, he is swimming in a vat of crude oil (Chalabi is the only person who can emerge from a vat of crude oil less oily than when he went in), shouting, “Mine, all mine!” Chalabi proves, like former Attorney General John “Lost to a Dead Guy” Ashcroft and indeed George W. Bush himself, that... oh, write your own clever segue, I just wanted another crack at Ashcroft.

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