Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Fighting anti-terrorism

Bustamante releases his economic program. He calls it “Tough Love for California,” after having considered and rejected “Rough Sex for California” and “This hurts me more than it hurts you, but not really.” He does get points for the politically suicidal notion of revising Prop 13 (for commercial property only).

I’m sure The Arnold’s commercial is online. It’s completely bland and non-specific, as his campaign has been. Not tough love for California so much as Luv ya, California.

Continuing to profile the very other candidates, the LA Times mentions one Kevin Richter, who says “My primary experience is 29 years of breathing. I'm also known for my frugality.” The latter sentence highlights a flaw in the economic thinking of most of these people. They all claim to be really good with budgets, and they all just wasted $3,500 entering this race. Father Guido Sarducci, not in the running, planned to solve both prison overcrowding and immigration in a program he called Three Strikes and You’re a Border Guard.

In Davis’s semi-apology yesterday, he put the recall (correctly) in the context of R attempts to steal/reverse elections they couldn’t win. Interestingly, he names Florida in 2000, which may make him the highest elected official to say that Bush didn’t win the last election.

Schwarzenegger repeatedly says that he decided to become an R in 1968 after hearing the Nixon-Humphry presidential debates. Which, of course, there were none of. I think if Arnie wants to become governor, we have a right to ask him to drop his dual citizenship with Austria.

Good article on the PR selling of the war in Iraq.

With the US’s enthusiastic approval, Colombia will resume shooting down planes it thinks might be smuggling drugs, which someone from Human Rights Watch correctly calls extra-judicial execution. Once again they’ll be doing it based on information provided by a private American contractor for the US government, so the next missionaries killed (or tourists, fishermen, etc) will also be on our heads.

The Justice Dept has a website on how wonderful the Patriot Act is, www.lifeandliberty.gov. Note, that’s .gov. The .com is a conservative columnist I’ve never heard of. The .org is an evangelical group. Wonder if Ashcroft checked that first. In the site’s page entitled “Dispelling the Myths,” every section begins “The ACLU claims...”, and then responds that of course they’d never use their awesome powers against ordinary people such as you, just against the bad ones. Also, the Act gives tools to government to “fight anti-terrorism.”

As I write, I’m listening to the Schwarzenegger press conference. On the budget, he says that he tells his children never to spend more than they have. And he only gives his kids an allowance of a million dollars a month. He says he would arrive in Sacramento without any baggage. Um, just like he always arrives at the start of a Terminator movie? He keeps saying he will clean house. My mother asks if he does windows (my reaction to the same remark was an Augean Stables reference, but then I’m over-educated). God, look at him, what’s he using for makeup--wax?

Texas state senator Bill Ratliff, who was acting Lt. Gov after Bush stopped being governor, was called up by Tom DeLay in 2001 to ask if he would suspend the 2/3 rule in order to redistrict. In other words, this is a long-term plan and it did originate in Washington.

China is going to relax its marriage laws, getting rid of some dictatorial horrors I didn’t even know about, but should have. From the Daily Telegraph: “From Oct 1, applications for marriage will no longer have to be approved by the bride and groom's work units, while the health examinations currently forced on both will also cease to be compulsory. Aids sufferers and others with infectious diseases will no longer be banned from marrying.” Divorce will also no longer require permission from the work unit. The mentally ill will still be banned from marrying, but not the assholes who make these rules.

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