Friday, February 27, 2004

Why are you here?

Does anyone have an opinion on Prop 56? I don’t know if the provision reducing the anti-democratic 2/3 majority to pass a budget to a somewhat less anti-democratic 55% is worth voting for a prop. with that ridiculous provision of not paying legislators’ and the governor’s salaries if the budget is late, ensuring that only rich legislators had the luxury of voting their consciences.

Interesting story (well, I thought it was interesting) in the NYT about walk buttons. It seems that in NYC, 3/4 of those buttons do absolutely nothing, while most of the remaining buttons have to be pushed or you don’t get a walk signal. Reminds me (but not the NYT reporter) of a story a couple of years ago that many of the fire hydrants in NYC are also non-operative, but they keep them for the parking ticket revenue.

Didn’t watch last night’s debate (I think I’ve suffered enough already), but understand that Larry King’s first question to Kucinich was “Why are you here?” Larry King, mind you. Larry Fucking King.

Reporters should try that out on Scott McClellan, Bush’s hilariously inept spokesmodel, who said today the reason Bush won’t spend more than an hour with the 9/11 Commission, or with more than two members of it, well, it has something to do with separation of powers. Cuz Georgie is all about the checks and balances.

In Britain, says the Indy, “A couple who were forced to sell their house at a loss after learning it might contain body parts of a girl murdered by her father have lost their fight for compensation.”

An even more uplifting British story yesterday was of a 64-year old man who was mugged in a hospital, where he was visiting his sick wife. So he wasn’t there when she died, because he was being treated for his injuries.

Evidently in 1982 Reagan got the CIA to sabotage the Soviet Union’s natural gas pipeline through rigged software, creating a huge explosion.

The House passes (but the Senate won’t, so it’s academic) that bill making harming a fetus a separate crime. The anti-abortion side which passed this piece of excrement said it has nothing to do with abortion, but voted down an alternative that would have accomplished the same thing but without the symbolism by increasing penalties for injury to a pregnant woman resulting in the loss of the fetus. If this sort of symbolism wasn’t important to the social conservatives, they wouldn’t be bitching so much about the sodomites usurping the sacred institution of marriage when they could settle for civil unions.

Blair’s buds are still attacking Clare Short. While Blair refused to confirm or deny that GCHQ spied on Kofi Annan, Home Secretary David Blunkett said that his security clearance was higher than hers and he hadn’t seen... [excuse me while I go look that up] hadn’t “been shown” any transcripts. Ok, that pause was me realizing as I typed that Blunkett, who is blind, might have been playing rather unclever word games. Now I’m not sure. I might not have been thinking along those lines but for the Phillip Knightley piece in the Indy today on how Britain and the US can each say that GCHQ/NSA don’t spy on their own citizens because each side spies on each other’s citizens for them.

The Pentagon is creating a “news” “service” in “Iraq” and “Afghanistan”--sorry I mean Iraq and Afghanistan, providing text and photos of the uplifting side of military occupation, because they don’t like the negativity of the civilian press, which focus too much on car bombs and the deaths of soldiers. First, c’mon, soldiers’ deaths barely make the papers these days. Second, THE MILITARY is complaining that attention is being paid when members of THE MILITARY die.

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