Saturday, September 27, 2003

I want to make clear I said plucked

Joe Lieberman in the most recent debate: “In the Bush administration, the foxes are guarding the foxes, and the middle-class hens are getting plucked. I want to make clear I said plucked.” So the cultural conservative is the one who alluded to an obscenity in a presidential debate broadcast in the daytime.

The Arnold has run negative ads against McClintock, despite his promise to run a positive campaign. His excuse: it was a clerical error. Oh sure they filmed a negative ad, and oh sure they sent it to tv stations, but only as a “contingency”; they never ever meant them to air.

Spending in this oh-so-populist recall election has passed the $50 million mark.

The Pentagon clears soldiers of yet another massacre, that of the 8 Iraqi policemen, without an investigation.

In honor of Rosh Hashanah, Colin Powell gives us an example of chutzpah in the model of the one about the guy who asks for leniency for killing his parents because he’s an orphan: we can’t turn over the occupation of Iraq to the UN, why it’s even reducing its staff in Iraq because of the terrible security situation there.

And Sharon says he considers himself free of his promise to Bush not to harm Arafat.

I’ve talked often enough about brides in India being murdered in disputes over dowries. Here’s the other side: families of girls may not be able to afford a huge dowry, but they can afford to have some likely bachelor kidnapped and beaten until he agrees to the marriage.

Found this week: tapes of Colin Powell in February 2001 saying that Iraq had no WMDs; and Wesley Clark in March, I think, 2001, saying how wonderful the Bush cabinet was. I asked just when Clark became a D. I’ve thus far heard no date earlier than March of 2003.

Mussolini tried to get the pope to excommunicate Hitler in 1938.

The gov tries to hide the fact that 1-point-something million people have dropped below the poverty line, releasing the information late, on a Friday, and not at the Census Bureau’s central office.

In the biggest fuck-you to teachers since the last one, Florida’s teacher pension fund has just spent $174 million in buying up Edison, Chris Whittle’s company, and taking it private.

For months I’ve been seeing stories in British papers about how fat Brits are becoming. This week, they get their first Krispy Kreme store. Good luck, guys.

The US may have no exit strategy in Iraq, but Putin has one for Chechnya. First, pick someone to be elected president, one week from now. There were other candidates, but they were all bribed into dropping out and leaving the republic. Then, destroy refugee camps, forcing people back over the border. Seal off, then forget.

North Korea calls Rumsfeld a psychopath and a stupid man. Yes, and your point is? I mean, this is Rummy: he puts those things on his resumé.

The Sunday Times has a story about a 17-year old Iraqi who has killed his mother and her lover (her step-son) and oh yes his 4-year old sister in an “honor” killing (because he thought the father of the 4-year old was actually the step-son). He says, “Under Saddam I was too scared to take revenge. The biggest problem was trying to buy a gun off the streets. I was afraid of getting arrested before I could kill them. But since the Americans came, buying a gun is no problem. I found a Kalashnikov for $35 (£21) with a full magazine of 30 bullets.” Honor killings have gone way up since Saddam fell. The killer, who is very proud of himself, is expected to get maybe a year in prison, max. It was an honor killing, after all.

Pakistan is also being Talibanized. In the North West Frontier province, male doctors & technicians have been banned from carrying out ultrasound and EKG examinations of women. The province has precisely one female technician trained in the latter and precisely none for the former. The government is afraid that the medical men would receive sexual stimulation, and that women would “lure men under the pretext of ECG or ultrasound.” Also banned since the Islamists won in the October 2002 elections: kite-flying and public dancing.

I know this will come as a surprise to everyone, but the NYT says the government is using the Patriot Act for things that have nothing to do with terrorism.

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