Friday, January 02, 2004


When Ashcroft very belatedly recused himself from the Plame-gate inquiry, he was evidently scrambling to escape the blame for a decision that no actual crime was committed in releasing Valerie Plame’s name because Karl Rove or whomever didn’t know that she was an undercover operative, because that was classified. In other words Rove-or-whomever could escape because they were 1) stupid, 2) too lazy and/or careless and/or reckless of the consequences to check her out before they plastered her name all over Robert Novak’s column. Also, 3) the actual severity of the leak (the classified aspect) makes it less prosecutable by this theory.

The Israeli justice minister is investigating who in the government authorized a $1 million road to an illegal (even by Israeli standards) outpost in the West Bank, which features a seminary for followers of racist (even by Israeli standards [and American--the group is on the State Dept’s terrorist list]) Meir Kahane (remember him?).

Last month Sharon made a speech endorsing Bush’s “road map,” adding “based on President Bush's speech of June 2002.” Newspapers pretended it was a breakthrough. Thing is, the road map was in 2003. The June 2002 speech required nothing of Israel, but said that the Palestinians must forego terrorism “before the peace process can begin.”

The US keeps grounding other country’s planes. The Air France plane that started this, well, it was all a case of mistaken identity, of course. One of the suspected terrorists was 5 years old, another an elderly Chinese woman. How the latter’s name was mistaken for that of an Arab terrorist, they’re not saying.

Helen Thomas has the year in really stupid Bush administration quotes.

In 1953, Winston Churchill sent a frigate and marines in response to an invasion by Argentina of Deception Island, near the Falklands. When they got there, they found and swiftly routed the occupation force: one sergeant, and one corporal.

Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas, who neither you nor I have ever heard of, switches to the R’s. The reason he gave is that the R’s didn’t put pork for his district in a spending bill because he was (nominally) a D. It’s nice when politicians out and out admit that they have no principles and can be bought.

From the Indy: “In South Korea's society of lofty aspirations, mastery of the English language is so highly prized that ambitious parents are forcing their children to have painful tongue surgery in order to give them perfect pronunciation. The operation, which involves snipping the thin tissue under the tongue to make it longer and supposedly nimbler...” That’s called the frenulum by the way, and it’s your vocabulary word of the day. Worse, the surgery really doesn’t help (with that Asian thing with l’s and r’s, which is of course linguistic not biological)(which no doubt has something to do with why Chinese names sound like Arabic ones to the CIA). Evidently Koreans spend hours a day practicing English, and makes children’s lives hell, according to the weekly magazine Dong-A, which I quote only so that I can work that title in. Which was probably why the Indy quoted it, too.

Pat Robertson says God told him George Bush would win the 2004 elections in a “blowout.” Would God really use the word blowout? And does that prove He’s not Korean?

Australia enacted tough gun control laws in 1991. In the next 10 years, firearms deaths halved. Now Australians are forced to try to interest crocodiles in eating family members they want to get rid of.

The NYT did have a good op-ed piece about the take-over of Ag by beef and agribiz lobbyists, which almost takes away the foul taste from that WaPo thing, but why not an article in the actual news sections of the paper?

So what DID happen to all those Saddam doubles?

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