Tuesday, January 20, 2004

A known bad-guy site

The NY City Dept of Transportation has turned down the request of the Brooklyn borough president for a sign on the Williamsburg Bridge reading, “Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!” An earlier request for a sign on the the Verazzano Narrows Bridge reading “Leaving Brooklyn: Fuhgeddaboudit!” was also turned down, for “a lack of directional information.” Which reminds me of the NY joke ending “Can you tell me how to get to City Hall, or should I just go fuck myself?”

A US bombing run in Afghanistan kills 11 civilians including children, which the US denies. A US military spokesman, a lt. colonel yet, says “They were running away from a known bad-guy site.” That’s a US military spokesman, no doubt chosen for his command of the English language.

Assuming that Iowa (a known doughy white-guy site) means anything (and when has it ever?), some pundits are saying that Dean’s “anger” against the war is now a dead issue. If so, doesn’t that mean that the war is also a dead issue as far as helping Bush?

Fortunately for Dean, Bush expected him to win Iowa, and so scheduled the State of the Union address to undercut news coverage of his victory. Instead, it will undercut coverage of his defeat. Oops.

The Indy has a good Harper’s-Index-type state of the American union. Figures include:
58 million: Number of acres of public lands Bush has opened to road building, logging and drilling

29,000: Number of American troops - which is close to the total of a whole army division - to have either been killed, wounded, injured or become so ill as to require evacuation from Iraq, according to the Pentagon

88%: Percentage of American citizens who will save less than $100 on their 2006 federal taxes as a result of 2003 cut in capital gains and dividends taxes

$42,000: Average savings members of Bush's cabinet are expected to enjoy this year as a result in the cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes

$42,228: Median household income in the US in 2001

$116,000: Amount Vice-President Cheney is expected to save each year in taxes

And this one:
0: Number of American combat deaths in Germany after the Nazi surrender to the Allies in May 1945

With Conrad Black’s little financial embarrassment, the Daily Telegraph may cease to be a crappy right-wing newspaper, but will it still have stories like this one?: “A Finnish taxman dropped dead at his desk - and nobody noticed for two days. The newspaper Ilta-Sanomat reported that none of the 30 people who were in the same department as the 60-year-old auditor realised that he was not just silently poring over papers in the Helsinki office.”

The Supreme Court will hear the case about secrecy and Cheney’s Energy Commission. So last week Cheney and Antonin “Fat Tony” Scalia went duck hunting. Scalia, asked whether this might not be a conflict of interest, said, “I do not think my impartiality could reasonably be questioned.”

Challenging that for most asinine quote of the week is one from Cheney himself, to the LA Times. On whether Iraq had WMDs, he says “the jury’s still out.” If so, that’s only because the jury was shackled, blindfolded, and flown to Guantanamo, never to be seen again.

Another State of the Union drinking game. My favorite bit: if Bush says “don’t mess with Texas,” Locate the nearest Texan; mess with him/her; then drink

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