Thursday, September 09, 1999

More pink laundry/bring out your dead/intervention

A British prisoner sues because his shirt turned pink in the wash.

The CBS/Viacom merger, beyond being inherently evil in itself, is another merger whose whole basis is that the government will get out of its way and waive any little anti-trust, media monopoly regulations standing in its way.

Dubya’s entry into the Texas Air National Guard was indeed eased by political intervention. Yeah, yeah, we all knew that, but it seems the intervention came from the (Democratic) speaker of the Texas Lege, who by the way got that job at 26 and was washed up by our age.

My favorite British politician died this week, and by favorite I mean most entertaining. Alan Clark’s obit in Wednesday’s London Times is the most entertaining article I’ve read in some time. The battle to replace him in the safe Tory seat of Kensington & Chelsea will be an interesting one, and possibly the beginning of the end for poor hapless William Jefferson Hague. Michael Portillo is expected to return to Parliament. I think I mentioned a couple of weeks back, or maybe I didn’t, that Blair’s attempt to make Peter Mandelson minister of defence was foundering on the Dark Prince’s homosexuality. Well, it seems that Portillo is now admitting to a few youthful indiscretions along those lines himself. Portillo was Major’s defence minister, when he (as recently as 1996) defended the ban on gays in the military. In 1997, Portillo lost his seat to a Labourite homosexual.

Janet Reno’s decision to appoint John Danforth to investigate Waco just shows that she doesn’t have cable tv, where last week was shown a docudrama of the Clarence Thomas hearings, reminding us of Danforth’s role in that. The scene of him and Thomas praying on a bathroom floor with the Battle Hymn of the Republic, or whatever it was, playing on a tape recorder, was taken from real life.

Why precisely do we need Indonesian permission to send UN troops into East Timor if their illegal occupation was never recognized in the first place?

More British news about pink laundry--evidently it’s just that sort of a news week. A dry cleaner is being sued for turning a tea stain on an expensive silk sheet into a pink tint. The suer is someone who in 1995 won 11 million pounds in the lottery.

Chicago-style politics, Indian-style: it is common practice in India to declare people dead so that you can “inherit” their land. Now the dead not only vote, they have organized a political party, and will oppose the prime minister in his seat at the next general election.

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