Friday, January 23, 2004

Very fundamental

The Globe’s followup on R spinning of SenateJudiciaryCommitteeGate (what, not snappy enough?) notes that Rs are claiming nothing illegal was done and that people who use government computers have no expectation of privacy. Gee, that claim couldn’t come back to haunt the most secretive administration in American history, could it?

David Kay resigns as head of the search for Iraqi WMDs, excuse me, WMD-RPAs, saying there aren’t any and he no longer has the staff to look for them in the places they aren’t. His successor has already pre-given up, telling McNeil-Lehrer just 2 week ago, “The prospect of finding chemical weapons, biological weapons is close to nil at this point.” Not exactly the Saint Crispin Day’s speech, is it?

Dick Cheney, of course, just told NPR that Iraq had WMDs, citing the same mobile labs that were discredited decisively 7 months ago.

In one of the slimiest moments of the slimy history of immigration policy in Australia, it intercepted Afghan refugees’ boats and bribed the nation of Nauru to take them. After a couple of years, 45 or so began a hunger strike, severely stretching the capabilities of the island’s one hospital. The strike was called off after a team of Aussie medical specialists announced plans to inspect conditions there. Then Nauru, very clearly under threat from Australia, denied the team entry visas.

Wesley Clark keeps thinking that he has better Vietnam credentials than John Kerry because he was a general while Kerry was a lieutenant. He is of course wrong.

Somebody actually did a word count of yesterday’s debate. Peter Jennings spoke more (1,870 words) than some of the candidates (Clark 1619, Kucinich 1550, etc). And some of what he said was so stupid. Will the media be all over Jennings to prove that Bush did not go AWOL? Don’t think so.

In the battle of colossuses, Mike Rowe, 17-year old Canadian, has surrendered to Bill Gates, giving up the website name They’re giving him an Xbox.

Secretary of Commerce Don Evans, at the Davos international economic conference: “The fundamentals of our economy look very fundamental.” That’s the guy who they kept out of the State of the Union address so he could run the country if the Capitol was blown up. And Trent Lott to keep the Senate going. See, it could be worse. You all thought it couldn’t possibly get worse, didn’t you?

The Guardian carefully explains the US plan for re-establishing “sovereignty” in Iraq, which Bremer says is pretty much like the direct elections the Iraqis are calling for: “Bremer wants his Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to appoint the members of 18 regional organising committees. These will then choose delegates to form 18 selection caucuses. These will then select representatives to a transitional national assembly. The assembly will have an internal vote to select an executive and ministers, who will form the new government. Got that? Iraqi sovereignty will be established by appointees appointing appointees to select appointees to select appointees. Add the fact that Bremer was appointed to his post by President Bush and Bush to his by the US Supreme Court, and you have the glorious new democratic tradition of the appointocracy: rule by an appointee's appointee's appointees' appointees' appointees' selectees.” The author suggests that what the Bushies want is for the 18-month transition period from when we “turn over power” until general elections to be the time when a fake Iraqi government ratifies what the US wants for the long term: long-term military occupation and the sell-off of national assets to foreign corporations. “Only after these key decisions have been made will Iraqis be invited to have their say. The White House calls this "self-rule". It is, in fact, the very definition of outside-rule, occupation through outsourcing.”

Bush is opening 9m. acres of Alaska, next to the National Wildlife Refuge, to oil exploration. Hopefully, it will be blocked.

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