Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not an add-on or an afterthought

Yesterday I said that I awaited Hillary Clinton’s condemnation of the new law relegating Afghan women to the condition of chattel. Well, at the International Conference on Afghanistan today, an Afghan reporter asked her about the conditions for women, though unfortunately not specifically about the law, allowing Clinton to respond entirely in meaningless generalities. Since I asked what her response would be, it seems only fair to reproduce her comments in full:
Well, there’s a continuing commitment to women and girls, to their well-being, to their education, their healthcare, to their full integration into society that I am very committed to, as is President Obama. So this is an area of absolute concern on the part of the United States. We’re looking for ways that can produce even more opportunities for women and girls in Afghanistan.

I’ve briefly met with some of the women parliamentarians who are here at the conference. And my message is very clear: Women’s rights are a central part of American foreign policy in the Obama Administration; they are not marginal; they are not an add-on or an afterthought.

I believe, as does President Obama, that the roles and rights of women in any society is a key indicator as to the stability and potential for peace, prosperity, and democracy of that society. So I would be committed to women’s roles and rights because of my lifelong concern about women. But as Secretary of State, I am equally committed because it’s absolutely the smart strategy for the United States and other nations to pursue.

You cannot expect a country to develop if half its population are underfed, undereducated, under cared for, oppressed, and left on the sidelines. And we believe strongly that that’s not in the interests of Afghanistan or any country, and it certainly is not part of our foreign policy or our strategic review. So we will continue to work very hard on behalf of women and girls in Afghanistan and around the world.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Evidence that Guantanamo is still part of the universe

Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, visited Guantanamo Bay last week (along with Miss USA), and blogged it (not a perm. URL) (Update: in fact, the Miss Universe people have made her take down the post): “we had a wonderful time, this truly was a memorable trip! ... it was a loooot of fun! ... We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting.” The two Misses didn’t actually meet any of the prisoners, who were thus deprived of another opportunity to recreate themselves, possibly in the shower.

In other prisoner news, the Israeli government has decided to punish all Hamas prisoners in retaliation for the continued captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, stripping them of access to newspapers, education, family visits, etc etc. That’ll teach Hamas not to capture and mistreat prisoners in order to get their demands met.

A new Afghan law signed by Karzai, though not made public yet, will (probably) ban wives leaving their homes without their husband’s permission, including for medical treatment. Oh, and they can’t refuse sex. And only men get custody of children. And child marriage will be allowed. Freedom, ain’t it grand? Condemnation from Hillary Clinton should come any.... minute.... now....

An Army sergeant is convicted by a court-martial of executing four disarmed and handcuffed Iraqi prisoners and dumping the bodies into a canal in Baghdad in 2007. Joseph Mayo offered the excuse that the murders were “in the best interests of my soldiers,” who would have been in danger had he released the prisoners. He didn’t mean immediate danger but rather that given the lack of evidence that the prisoners were up to anything, they’d have been released in a few days. Mayo himself could be released in 10 years.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama’s new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan

Today Obama spoke about his “new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan,” which looks an awful lot like the old strategy, just with the war in Pakistan more openly acknowledged.

The justification for the war(s) isn’t exactly daisy fresh (poppy fresh?) either: “So let me be clear: Al Qaeda and its allies -- the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks -- are in Pakistan and Afghanistan. ... Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the United States homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan.” He didn’t say that they hate us for our freedoms, but you could hear the Bushian echo in the air.

Sometimes not even an echo, but a direct quote: “Al Qaeda’s offers the people of Pakistan nothing but destruction. We stand for something different.”

“So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan...” (Also discombobulate, defenestrate and dehumidify it) “...and to prevent their return to either country in the future.” He added, “That is a cause that could not be more just.” Although curing cancer would also be a pretty good cause. Oo, and stopping global warming.

Pakistan will be thrilled to hear that Obama repeatedly lumped it in with Afghanistan, blurring the two countries together (indeed, he mentioned Richard Holbrooke’s new job is “Special Representative” for both countries) (to both countries one would have thought but Obama said “Special Representative for both countries” – a slip of the imperialist tongue?). “For the American people, this border region has become the most dangerous place in the world.” “[W]e must recognize the fundamental connection between the future of Afghanistan and Pakistan”. That future? Filled with rubble, the wails of survivors and calls for revenge.

He did reassure Pakistan: “The United States has great respect for the Pakistani people.” Predator drones being the highest form of respect.

“To avoid the mistakes of the past, we must make clear that our relationship with Pakistan is grounded in support for Pakistan’s democratic institutions and the Pakistani people.” Assuming, of course, that those democratic institutions and those people do exactly what we tell them to do: “Pakistan must demonstrate its commitment to rooting out al Qaeda and the violent extremists within its borders. And we will insist that action be taken -- one way or another -- when we have intelligence about high-level terrorist targets.”

He also expressed respect for Afghanistan: “We are not in Afghanistan to control that country or to dictate its future.” Scolding, however...: “Afghanistan has an elected government, but it is undermined by corruption and has difficulty delivering basic services to its people. ... We cannot turn a blind eye to the corruption that causes Afghans to lose faith in their own leaders.” It’s especially hard to turn a blind eye to corruption when you’re the one who bribed them and put them in power in the first place. He talks as an occupation lasting if more than seven years has nothing to do with the current condition of the Afghan polity.

He promised “clear metrics” for Afghanistan, although he did not say what they will be. He did not say anything about American troops returning with honor; indeed, he did not say anything about American troops returning, ever.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Barack Obama just likes nurses (but not marijuana)

Today Obama held an “internet town hall” in the lovely old town hall building in Internet, Pennsylvania, whose residents are evidently very interested in marijuana.

He claimed that he wanted to get to universal health care, but then gave a remarkably dumb reason for opposing single-payer:
The problem is, is that we have what’s called a legacy, a set of institutions that aren’t that easily transformed. ... And so what evolved in America was an employer-based system. It may not be the best system if we were designing it from scratch. But that’s what everybody is accustomed to. That’s what everybody is used to. It works for a lot of Americans. And so I don’t think the best way to fix our health care system is to suddenly completely scrap what everybody is accustomed to and the vast majority of people already have. Rather, what I think we should do is to build on the system that we have and fill some of these gaps.

So we should add more jerry-rigging onto the existing jerry-rigged insurance system because “that’s what everybody is used to.” Right.

IT’S A CRAZY IDEA BUT IT JUST MIGHT WORK: “I think you’re not going to see a situation where the U.S. automakers are gaining the kind of share that they had back in the 1950s. I mean, we just didn’t have any competition when -- back then, Japan was in rubble, Europe was in rubble -- we were the only players around. And that’s not going to be true.” But if Japan and Europe were... somehow... in rubble again, hmmm....

MICHELLE IS TOTALLY PUTTING ON THAT “NAUGHTY NURSE” COSTUME TONIGHT: Asked a question by a nurse, he said, “I’m biased toward nurses, I just like nurses.”

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, no, he doesn’t support legalizing marijuana.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Of death saints and insatiable demands

Mexico is cracking down on the drug cartels by aggressively going after and destroying... some statues of a “death saint” (Santisima Muerte) which all the cool drug lords like.

Speaking of death saints, Hillary Clinton, who is in Mexico for spring break (woo hoo!), admitted the blindingly obvious: “I feel very strongly we have a co-responsibility... Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade.”

But what would Hillary know about co-dependence with someone with insatiable demands for things that aren’t good for them?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Obama press conference: I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak


One of Obama’s themes tonight was not to expect anything to get better very quickly. Oh good. “There are no quick fixes, and there are no silver bullets.” (For fuck’s sake, don’t say that! The werewolves might be listening.) “I’m a big believer in persistence.” “you look back four years from now, I think, hopefully, people will judge that body of work and say, ‘This is a big ocean liner. It’s not a speedboat. It doesn’t turn around immediately.’” And the stewards are all werewolves. Or something. I really wasn’t paying that close attention.

WHAT HE’S AS ANGRY AS ANYBODY ABOUT (BUT WITH A REALLY CALM VOICE FOR SOMEONE WHO’S SO, YOU KNOW, ANGRY): “I’m as angry as anybody about those bonuses that went to some of the very same individuals who brought our financial system to its knees, partly because it’s yet another symptom of the culture that led us to this point.” Two questions: 1) Is the president supposed to be admitting that the financial system has been brought to its knees? 2) If Clinton had said that, how long would it have taken until the giggling stopped?

However, he added after expressing his alleged anger, “the rest of us can’t afford to demonize every investor or entrepreneur who seeks to make a profit.” Why can’t we afford it, do they charge a demonization fee?

Some ninny (Chuck Todd) asked if he shouldn’t be asking the public to sacrifice something to help the economy. Presumably something beside their homes, their jobs, their retirement funds, their hopes, their dreams... Obama: “I think folks are sacrificing left and right.”

The line for which this presser will be remembered, assisted by Ed Henry’s silly why-did-it-take-you-two-days-to-express-outrage-about-the-AIG-bonuses question: “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.” This was the day for comebacks, with Ben Bernanke responding to Rep. Donald Manzullo’s “Not one of you three can give me a yes or no?” with “That’s because it’s a poorly posed question.”

UNLESS IT HAS MY PICTURE ON IT: “I don’t believe that there’s a need for a global currency.”

WHAT PART OF THE CHANGE IN ATTITUDES HE WANTS TO SEE IN WASHINGTON AND ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY IS: “Part of the change in attitudes that I want to see here in Washington and all across the country is a belief that it is not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.”

So how’s the being black and a president thing going? “I think that the last 64 days has been dominated by me trying to figure out how we’re going to fix the economy, and that affects black, brown and white.” It just occurred to me that since it pretty much stopped being acceptable to refer to Asians as yellow, they’re left out of formulations like this.

Asked by a Washington Times reporter about stem cell research: “I think those issues are all critical, and I’ve said so before. I wrestle with it on stem cell”. Now he’s wrestling stem cells. That’s just wrong. So very wrong.

WHAT THE HEADLINES ALL LOOK LIKE: “I think, when it comes to the banking system, you know, it was just a few days ago or weeks ago where people were certain that Secretary Geithner couldn’t deliver a plan. Today, the headlines all look like, ‘Well, all right, there’s a plan.’”

Everything you need to know about the economy you can tell by the expression on Treasury Secretary Geithner’s Vulcan-like face

So much for bipartisanship

John McCain twitters: “Yesterday President Obama said GOP’ers have decided to just ‘be against whatever the other side is for.’ So much for bipartisanship!” Boy, that Obama guy, he just wrecks everything.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The exit strategy

Obama said in the 60 Minutes interview that we need an exit strategy from Afghanistan and “The Afghan Army and police are that exit strategy.” You know, there must be some middle ground between Bush’s messianic claims to be spreading freedom and democracy, and Obama’s disregard at best, cynicism at worst. After initially planning to force Karzai out, only to realize that there was no one else remotely capable of maintaining even the pretense of running a central government, the Obamaites are now leaking that they plan to make him a figurehead, with a “technocrat” prime minister or chief of staff of our choosing installed to really run the show. But the inevitable military coup will no doubt do just as well. I don’t see what could possibly go wrong with that scenario.

By the way, when are people going to start describing our military activities in Pakistan as a war and maybe, I don’t know, discussing whether it’s a good idea?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Practice what?

Headline of the Day (Daily Telegraph): “Doctor Who Strapped Ecstasy Pills to Scrotum Allowed to Resume Practice.”

The Sci-Fi, excuse me, SyFy, Channel has a message for you regarding the conclusion of Battlestar Galactica: All this has happened before, and all this will happen again – but until then, please watch “Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering.”

Friday, March 20, 2009

Caption contest, papal version

The pope is on his “no condoms for you” tour of Africa. Here he is in Cameroon or possibly Angola (the BBC website is a little confused). Please practice safe captioning.

Power corrupts, a jacket with a seal and your name on it corrupts absolutely

JAY LENO: Let me ask you some personal things. Now, how cool is it to fly in Air Force One?

OBAMA: Now, let me tell you, I personally think it’s pretty cool. Especially because they give you, you know, the jacket with the seal on it.

Here we go again.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You know, us dogs aren't really so much of the dogs that we think we are

Name of the Day, from the obituary of actor Betsy Blair: her daughter Kerry, when she was married to Gene Kelly. Kerry Kelly.

Betsy Blair was best known for her role in the movie Marty, where she played a girl dating Marty, whose loser friends considered her too homely to be dating Ernest Borgnine, but in the end he decided that he liked her anyway. The irony is that Blair was more mousy than homely, but Hollywood wouldn’t give the role to the more homely, but more talented, Nancy Marchand (Tony Soprano’s mother, Lou Grant’s publisher Mrs Pynchon), who had played the role in the earlier television version (which I remember as quite good), Hollywood’s idea of homely or plain people being Ingrid Bergman with glasses or Michelle Pfeiffer without makeup.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

He deserves my silence

Bush, giving a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, said “I’m not going to spend my time criticizing [Obama]. ... He deserves my silence.” Don’t we all, don’t we all (except the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, evidently).

Of course he did go on to criticize Obama, though not by name, warning of moves to “replace free markets with government.”

OR POSSIBLY A UNIVERSAL REMOTE: “I believe freedom is a gift from a universal god.”

WE CAN LAUGH ABOUT IT NOW: He talked about Aaron Burr’s duel with Alexander Hamilton, saying “At least when my vice president shot somebody, it was by accident.”

BUT NOT SO FUN TO READ IT: He said that he plans to write a book about the 12 toughest decisions he had to make, and that he thinks it will be “fun” to write the book. I suspect after a few minutes of writing, he will think it less fun and the 12 toughest decisions will all be about spelling and grammar. And of course, all decided wrongily. He said, “I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened.”

Maybe a little authoritarian silence is in order now, George?

Monday, March 16, 2009

How do they justify this outrage?

Yes, the AIG bonuses are obnoxious – “retention payments” AIG prefers to call them, when the only appropriate means of retention for many AIG employees would be a pair of handcuffs – but I find myself unable to muster that much outrage. In the larger scheme of things, it’s the need to prop up this criminally-run company with $170 billion of taxpayer money that’s the real scandal. Compared to that, $165 million in bonuses is kind of a sideshow, the insult to injury ratio here being 1:1,000.

Barack Obama, however, can muster, or can at least fake, some populist outrage, asking, “I mean, how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?”

That’s a good question. Let’s help them out with some suggestions. CONTEST: how can they justify this outrage?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not so Modern Times

Hindu nationalists have stopped a plan to build a 67-foot statue of Charlie Chaplin in India, objecting that the Little Tramp was a Christian. 

CONTEST: What might make a 67-foot statue of Charlie Chaplin more acceptable to Hindu nationalists?

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Iraq has sentenced shoe-throwing journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi to three years in prison, and Afghanistan’s supreme court has upheld (in a ruling issued secretly) the sentence of 20 years given to journalism student Pervez Kambaksh after a 4-minute trial for the crime of downloading material about the role of women in Muslim societies from the Internet. Like the original court, the supreme court didn’t bother hearing from the defense. Freedom, ain’t it grand?

Chinese premier Wen demands reassurance that China’s investment in US bonds will be safe. “Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets.” Our assets. Oh good.

Speaking of Chinese “assets,” Wen also spoke about Tibet, on the 50th anniversary of the, oh what do they call it, “the abolition of slavery after a failed uprising by its feudalistic upper class.” Anyway, he said of the captive nation, currently locked off from the outside world as troops go house to house and monks are being re-educated, “Tibet’s peace and stability and Tibet’s continuous progress have proven the policies we have adopted are right.” Quod erat demonstrandum.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It doesn’t take a front seat or a back seat or a middle seat

Today Hillary Clinton met with the Chinese foreign minister and answered some questions, including the inevitable one about human rights. Here were her hard-hitting words: “Well, human rights is part of our comprehensive dialogue. It doesn’t take a front seat or a back seat or a middle seat...” And certainly not a window seat. A baby seat, perhaps? “...it is part of the broad range of issues that we are discussing. But it is important to try to create a platform for actually seeing results from our human rights engagement.”

I think we can all agree that it is ever so important to try to create a platform for actually seeing results from our human rights engagement. Whatever that means.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Obama’s education speech: This is no picnic for me either, buster

Today Obama gave a speech about education or, as he so eloquently put it, “how we will reward quality and incentivize excellence, and make a down payment on the success of the next generation,” to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

He addressed the Republican “distraction” meme, saying he can do more than one thing at a time just like Lincoln built the transcontinental railroad single-handed while fighting the civil war, and Roosevelt fought both the depression and the Japs, and Clinton... oh, I can’t be bothered making a Monica joke, I really can’t.

He started by making the surprising claim that education is actually important. “In a 21st-century world where jobs can be shipped wherever there’s an Internet connection, where a child born in Dallas is now competing with a child in New Delhi, where your best job qualification is not what you do, but what you know”. In comments, what does a child in Dallas know that one in New Delhi does not?

STOP CONFUSING US WITH NUMBERS, BARACK, WE WENT TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS: “In 8th grade math, we’ve fallen to 9th place. Singapore’s middle-schoolers outperform ours three to one.”

He blamed lack of reform in education on politics and ideology. “I think you’d all agree that the time for finger-pointing is over,” he said, in what sounds like an exercise in finger-pointing if ever I heard one.

YEAH, BUT HE’S BACK IN CRAWFORD NOW: “We’ve accepted failure for far too long.”

WILL THIS BE ON THE TEST? Other nations are doing a better job educating their children because “They’re spending less time teaching things that don’t matter, and more time teaching things that do.” I’d like a list of things being taught that don’t matter.

Diagraming sentences, I’m guessing.

Do they still teach diagraming sentences?

“From the moment students enter a school, the most important factor in their success is not the color of their skin or the income of their parents, it’s the person standing at the front of the classroom.” I think he means the teacher. Of course in this country whether the teacher sucks or not might be just a little bit related to the color of skin and income of the students.

OBAMA KNOWS WHAT YOU’RE THINKING – SO WATCH IT! “To any student who’s watching, I say this: Don’t even think about dropping out of school. Don’t even think about it.”

And there were some other things about charter schools (he wants more) and pay for teachers (he wants more for good ones, but didn’t say where it would come from), a longer school year and/or day, etc etc. Also, when he was growing up in Indonesia, his mother would wake him up at 4:30 a.m. to force him to study, saying, “This is no picnic for me either, buster.”

Monday, March 09, 2009

Another day, another distraction

Obama, signing his executive order for stem-cell research, gave a rather dumb reason for it: “The majority of Americans – from across the political spectrum, and of all backgrounds and beliefs – have come to a consensus that we should pursue this research.” The majority of Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can’t correctly define the term “stem cell.”

Eric Cantor says this is all a big “distraction”: “Why are we going and distracting ourselves from the economy?” Get used to the R’s calling any item on the D agenda, or anything D’s want to talk about a distraction. Obama’s executive order was simply fulfilling a campaign promise. The Republican platform, as I recall, read, “1. Oh look, something shiny! 2. Oo, something else shiny!! 3. Shiny shiny shiny!!!” etc. I’m pretty sure Obama can do more than one thing at a time without being terribly distracted.

McCain’s #1 earmark of the day: $935,000 for Pasteurization of Shell Eggs, MI. Because a little salmonella never did anyone any harm.

More serious

Follow-up: remember that 9-year-old, 80-pound Brazilian girl, pregnant with twins, who had an abortion after being raped by her stepfather? The Catholic Church has excommunicated her mother and her doctors but not, of course, the stepfather because, according to the archbishop, abortion is “more serious” than raping a little girl for three years. Priorities, people. President Lula has publicly disagreed with the Church on this. By the way, how does the Church even know the names of these people?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Because you can’t say twitter without witter

Today McCain twittered yet more projects he doesn’t like and/or understand. #1: $75,000 for the Totally Teen Zone in Albany, Georgia. I guess because it sounds like a lame ‘70s thing. Or because McCain thinks you don’t need after-school gang-prevention programs for at-risk teenagers when you can just yell at them to get off your lawn.

Wasteful spending

McCain has continued to twitter alleged pork: science projects, the arts, anything with the word “museum” in it. Yesterday, for example, he complained about “$143,000 for the Dayton Society of Natural History in Dayton, OH.” Now if it were the Dayton, Tennessee Society of Natural History...

(The site of the Scopes Monkey Trial. Keep up, people!)

And in an email today, McCain says, “I’m asking you to join me today in supporting the effort to stop this wasteful spending. I’m urging you to make an immediate donation of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500 or whatever you can give to my re-election campaign for the U.S. Senate to continue the fight to bring an end to wasteful spending.” So send him some money, you know you’d only waste it on beaver management and natural history museums.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Of political sideshows, legitimate governments, and the fine art of Karzai-confronting

Another, late contender for Name of the Day: Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, running for election to the South African Parliament.

John Boehner pens an op-ed piece for the Post accusing the Obamahoovians of a “carefully calculated campaign” to distract people from their nefarious budget with all this talk about Rush Limbaugh. A budget that “increases taxes on every American”. “Something is wrong,” he says, “when the discourse in Washington is more focused on a political sideshow than, say, the fact that Congress is attempting to terminate a school choice program that serves thousands of needy children in the District of Columbia...” Oh, he does hate him some sideshows, does John Boehner.

Hillary Clinton stood next to Mahmoud Abbas today, saying that his regime was the “only legitimate government” of the Palestinian people. Abbas’s term of office expired eight weeks ago.

She described the Israeli government’s plans to demolish scores of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem as... those of you with delicate sensibilities may wish to skip to the next paragraph... “unhelpful.”

During her trip, she said that “The two-state solution is the inevitable, inescapable outcome of any effort” but she also said that the US would support any Israeli government. So what she’s saying is that it’s okay to give unflinching support to Netanyahu while he works against the outcome she claims to be working towards, because that outcome is inevitable and inescapable. So that’s okay then.

Speaking of legitimate governments, there’s an article in the WaPo on Karzai and the debate, largely between Karzai and the Obamatonians over the timing of presidential elections in Afghanistan (Obama clearly wants Karzai out, but it’s very unclear, at least to me, what sort of government he wants in Afghanistan and who it would be run by. Gosh, isn’t it nice that he’s learned so much from Bush’s mistakes like, for instance, not having an exit strategy in Iraq?). The WaPo author, Pamela Constable, says Karzai, while “once perceived as a charming leader and famous for wowing tribal elders and international conferences, has grown increasingly unpopular and remote as his government becomes tarred as weak and corrupt.” It’s not “tarred” as weak and corrupt, it actually is weak and corrupt. Some of that has to do with all the “wowing” of tribal leaders, many of whom are strong and corrupt.

She writes that Obama “finally confronted Karzai in a phone call about his frequent complaints over civilian casualties at the hands of coalition forces and air raids.” Which tells you something less than pleasant about Obama: he not only “confronted” Karzai over his oh so unreasonable objections to the killing of innocent Afghan civilians, but evidently leaked the fact to the press, thinking that standing tall for America’s right to bomb civilians made him look manly and presidential (or should I say preznidenshul?). I’d give a lot to see the transcript of that conversation.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Children in the news

A Brazilian girl 9 years old, pregnant with twins, no less, after being raped by her stepfather, has had an abortion. The Catholic Church says she shouldn’t have.

NYT: “Seven police officers here [Chicago] will be disciplined for failing to detect a 14-year-old boy’s impersonation of a police officer for five hours, including driving a patrol car and pulling a suspect’s arm behind his back so officers could handcuff him.”

Bogollagama v. Butts. Two names enter, one name leaves.

Name of the Day: White House deputy counsel Cassandra Q. Butts.

It’s the Q that really makes it work, really ties the whole name together.

No, I don’t know what it stands for.

Pakistan has sprung into action in response to the terrorist attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team, creating a task force to figure out how to blame India. It also offered a reward of $125,000, which some would say is rather low for an attack which wounded 6 team members, killed 6 cops and 1 (or 2) civilians, damaged the reputation of Pakistan and threatened to make something about cricket interesting. But it’s nice to know that the US dollar is still the currency of choice for bounties.

Oh dear, that story has brought up a second Name of the Day: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama.

But there can be only one, so