Friday, August 29, 2003

Once a jolly swagman sat beside the billabong

MORE FREEDOM FRIES, M. CHIRAC? Bush’s chef was in Paris for a convention of chefs to heads of state. A French tv station sent a lookalike to Jacques Chirac’s wife, and hidden cameras, to try to hire him away from Bush. “M Chirac, she said, was sick of French food. He had once mentioned that he liked calves' head and he had been eating snouts and lips at official dinners ever since. What he longed for was some good American cooking, hamburgers and barbecue. Would Mr Scheib agree to leave Mr Bush and come to work at the Elysee?” He was still thinking about it when someone recognized the producer. A silly diplomatic incident ensued.

Haaretz says that the US has given Israel permission to go ahead with assassinations.

An old Arnie interview surfaces. Now will Republicans dislike more the fact that he participated in a “gang bang” (voluntary) or that the bangee was black?

From the LA Times: “Three members of the San Diego City Council were indicted Thursday for allegedly taking illegal campaign contributions from the owner of a nude-dancing establishment in exchange for their promise to help make it legal for nude dancers to touch patrons or sit on their laps.” That’s the result of a 3-year investigation by the FBI, which has a history of investigating this sort of thing very, very slowly. On the other hand, George W. Bush, who just changed EPA rules so that old industrial plants owned by his contributors can upgrade to increase their profitability without having to do anything about pollution, and can indeed increase their levels of pollution, is not being investigated by the Fibbies because, in the words of an FBI spokesman, “There ain’t no titties involved.” Incidentally, the 3 bribees didn’t even get the no-touch rule repealed. Also incidentally, the EPA rules are in blatant opposition to the intent of Congress re air pollution.

The most important news story in Australia: “John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister, urged his countrymen yesterday to defy a "ridiculous" ban on the singing of Waltzing Matilda at the Rugby World Cup.” Only the official anthem, which is boring as hell, which Waltzing M. isn’t. The question is who will try to tell a stadium full of drunken Aussies what they will or won’t sing. Something I didn’t know: there’s an actual paid product placement in the song.

Below is the hilarious fundraising letter the R’s are sending out, slightly edited, which paints Bush as a beleaguered underdog. A couple of days ago I mentioned that Bush plans to spend $170 million in his uncontested primary. Granted, it would cost at least that much to convince most of us that Shrub is better than no one, but it all has to do with the campaign finance laws, which he is planning to ignore for the primary race, but abide by during the presidential race in order to get federal matching funds. And you’ll remember that the R primary season is particularly long in 2004, so they can hold their convention in NYC around 9/11/04.

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