Wednesday, February 04, 2004

This post answers the question, is chess the work of the devil?

Britain’s home secretary, David Blunkett, wants to imprison suspected terrorists without trial. Oddly enough, he chose to announce this in Amritsar, India, where in 1919 400 people protesting a similar law were shot dead.

Bush orders an investigation of what Bush knew and when he knew it, at least according to Bush, who said this to the press: “What we don't know yet is what we thought and what the Iraqi Survey Group has found, and we want to look at that.” This is a strategy to blame the CIA for “intelligence failures,” although the biggest intel failure was obviously in Georgie’s surprisingly chimp-like head. Hint to the media: you can’t call it an “independent” investigation if Bush names all of its members; see also, “Iraqi governing council.” It will report after the election, natch. The NYT quotes an R aide to the effect that the Bushies will use the investigation to blame D’s for short-changing the intelligence budget in year’s past, therefore it was Clinton and Ted Kennedy’s fault that Bush lied to us.

Speaking of independent investigations, a headline from the Independent: “Federal Investigation Is Ordered into Janet Jackson's Boob at Super Bowl.”

The NYT tries to get to the bottom of the huge gap in cost projections for Bush’s Medicare program, and fails, really. Pete Stark says the admin refused to give information to Congress (so why did Congress vote without knowing the cost of the program), Tommy Thompson says it did; how hard could this be to prove one way or the other? To some extent the Bushies are getting a bum rap, in that some of the difference in projections is that Congress based its figures on 88% signing up for the drug benefit, Bush 94%. Given how crappy the program really is, I doubt it will hit even the lower figure. So because it’s a bad deal, it won’t be as expensive as the $534b figure we’re now hearing. I’ll leave it up to you whether that’s a good or a bad thing.

The Russian Orthodox Church has ruled that chess is not the work of the devil.

Ariel Sharon announces that he will dismantle settlements in Gaza (no one knows whether to believe him this time), with a goal “that in the future there will be no Jews in Gaza”. That’s Sharon for you: he announces a basically good thing in such a way that you’re not sure whether to think apartheid or “free-fire zone.”

The man who invented Ctr+Alt+Delete retired last week.

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