Wednesday, July 31, 2002

No more easy money? But I haven't had any yet, as Alice said to the Mad Hatter.

For the second time, a New York Times editor lets a reporter (I presume the same reporter) juxtapose a story about a Bush plan to screw the poor with how much money he was raising (I reported the last one Saturday). This time he wants to punish those on welfare still more, and raised $1 million, including from people who paid $10,000 to have their pictures taken with him. Bush is horrified at the notion that people on welfare might go to college instead of work--he calls it a loophole. “Now that’s not my view of helping people become independent. And it’s certainly not my view of understanding the importance of work and helping people achieve the dignity necessary so they can live a free life, free from government control.” But first, evidently, government has to squash their dreams, aspirations and chances of ever making more than $8 an hour, like a bug.

Yesterday a study came out that welfare reform is increasing the number of children living with neither parent.

Bush signed the corporate fraud bill that he refused to support earlier this month and seems already to be taking credit for. “No more easy money for corporate criminals, just hard time,” he said. What, they’ll be sentenced by the Supreme Court to serve as president or vice president? He also said that auditors will be audited, accountants will be held to account, and executives...

Guandong province, China, has increased the fines for having a second child to 8 times the couple’s annual income. Now, that’s welfare reform.

The State Department clears itself of any impropriety in its support for the failed coup in Venezuela.

The UN suppresses a report on the US air strike on that wedding, the very report that said that the US removed evidence from the scene. Amazingly, the report was submitted to the US and Afghan governments to release or not. UN investigations are beginning to have all the credibility of an Arthur Anderson account book. Also, Mary Robinson has finally openly accused the US of ordering her fired as head of the UN Human Rights Commission (which I said back in March).

So the Israeli government was going to send an exhibition about Albert Einstein to China. But China suggested they remove all references to Einstein being a Jew, so it’s going to Taiwan instead. The story on this mentioned an incident I hadn’t heard of before, but gave no date: pissed that an arms deal had fallen through, China served an Israeli delegation pork and shrimp. Anyone hear of this?

The US has declared victory in the Philippines and our troops are coming home. God knows what they’ve been doing, although they did rack up the highest death count of the year (helicopter crash). The group they went there to fight still possesses its leadership, the hostage rescue was badly fumbled, but by damn isn’t victory great!

The Congressional hearings on Iraq began today, and they were a poor meek thing indeed. Not a single opponent of war was asked to testify, and there seemed to be none in Congress. The thing is, since the Gulf War, containment has worked (not for the people of Iraq, of course, except for the Kurds, but nobody really cares about them, as the ongoing sanctions show). And you know there is no evidence whatsoever of Hussein having serious weapons capability left when they start talking about how easy it is to hide such programs--evidence, we don’ need no stinking evidence. In fact, the desire to bomb alleged underground labs and bunkers is behind the US’s plan to develop new “bunker-buster” nuclear weapons, and break the Test Ban Treaty in order to test them. I don’t want to see biological and nuclear weapons in the hands of the mustached-one either, but US hypocrisy on this begins to look like the laws they used to have in the South outlawing teaching slaves to read.

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