Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ensuring fair treatment

An email from the Fred Thompson campaign begins a section, “Fred on the Issues” thusly: “Whoa now. Let’s hold our horses a minute and think about the calls for new tax increases to fix our infrastructure problems....” That’s just the sort of ersatz folksiness so sorely missing from this campaign. Can you imagine the drawl-off of an Edwards-Thompson debate?

Headline of the day: “Accused Says He Was Just Milking Goat.”

Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, who seems to have extensive powers to prevent carriages, if you will, of justice, let two of those convicted in the killing of Awad the Lame, Tyler Jackson and Jerry Shumate, go free 4 months early from their plea-bargained terms of 21 months. The release, according to a statement from the Marines, was to “ensure fair treatment.” To whom, they did not say. Mattis also granted clemency to another participant, Robert Pennington, who was given an 8-year sentence just 6 months ago. Mattis cited his age and lowly rank, failing to note that it is generally young people of low rank who are sent into combat. If 21 was below the age at which Pennington was expected to be responsible for his actions, maybe he shouldn’t have been given a gun and sent to Hamdaniya in the first place. Awad the Lame (whose 4 grandchildren are pretty young too, if anyone cares, which one might have cause to doubt given that Awad the Lame is referred to only as “an Iraqi man” in the NYT, San Diego Union-Tribune, and LAT articles I consulted) was killed 16 months ago, in April 2006. Of the 8 men tried in 2007, all of whom pleaded or were found guilty, only 1 is still in prison. And Mattis is still reviewing his sentence.

On Thursday’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart did a segment on Bush’s use of “in other words.” Stewart gets upwards of a million bucks a year, I get the satisfaction of a job well done. Life is just so completely entirely fair. The clip is on the Daily Show website, for however long those things stay up. He explains to Chimpy, “We understand what you’re saying. The look on our face isn’t confusion, it’s disbelief. In other words, we understand, we just don’t fucking get it.”

If I can serve as unpaid gag writer/researcher for the Daily Show, the least you people can do is complete one joke for me (I can’t seem to think of a punchline worthy of the set-up). Giuliani says that he misspoke when he claimed yesterday that in 2001 he was at Ground Zero “as often, if not more, than most of the workers.” So what did he really mean to say? I was at my cigar club as often, if not more... I was at my mistresses’ apartment as often, if not more... I was giving interviews to Fox News as often...

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