Sunday, August 18, 2002

Let the voters decide

Nigeria has to delay its next elections because termites ate the electoral register. Well, it’s original anyway.

Bush has finally responded to criticism of his Iraq obsession by saying that he’ll listen and calling it a “healthy debate” (unless it’s by a foreigner like the German chancellor, in which case they’ll send the ambassador to chew him out, in what some people might consider an attempt to influence the forthcoming German elections) (I mean, entire countries, many of them, have expressed opposition, but it wasn’t until Brent Scowcroft did so that Bush felt he had to respond publicly, which is an interesting set of priorities), and said “But America needs to know, I’ll be making up my mind based upon the latest intelligence and how best to protect our own country plus our friends and allies.” Try to diagram that sentence. So the real underlying message is that Bush might listen, but Bush, alone, will decide (to do exactly what he was going to do all along). Frank Rich, in a good column in the Saturday NY Times that y’all should read--
about Bush’s tendency to put on shows like the Waco summit (which someone on Washington Week said was an insult to dogs and ponies) to give the illusion of activity, says that Richard Perle gave the game away when he said that after all Bush’s bluster (not Perle’s term) on Iraq, their would be a collapse of confidence if he didn’t go ahead. Wasn’t that what Johnson and Nixon kept saying about Vietnam?

And the Sunday New York Times says that the US was providing Iraq battle-field satellite intelligence during the Reagan administration, when they knew it was using chemical weapons. The article makes clear that no one expressed any concern about this whatsoever.

A judge in a poor Ohio county tells prosecutors they can’t go after a death penalty because the cost to the county of paying for everything, including defense lawyers, would be too high.

Gee, and I thought there was no price too high to get in the way of our executing people, like the Mexican citizen just fried in Texas despite having been denied consular access (indeed, the US kept lying to Mexico that he wasn’t a citizen), seriously damaging President Vicente Fox, whose only selling point was that he was supposed to be close to the American government. But hey, if we wouldn’t not execute someone for the pope...

Katherine Harris has a sense of humor after all. Her Republican challenger is suing to have her thrown off the ballot, after she failed to resign as Florida’s secretary of state as required. Her response: “I say, let the voters decide." Now that’s funny!

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