Thursday, April 29, 2004

If we had something to hide, we would not have met with them in the first place

Something called Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns 8 ABCs (and 60 other tv stations) and is evidently run by partisan Republicans, has decided not to run the Nightline Friday, which will consist solely of Ted Koppel reading the names of dead soldiers. Sinclair claims the program promotes a political agenda. I repeat, it’s just the names of dead soldiers. Evidently, acknowledging that people are dying is something only Democrats do, or something. Sinclair points out that Koppel’s not reading the names of people killed in terrorist attacks, now is he? Huh, what do you say to that, Mr. Liberal Media Guy, huh, huh?

Gosh, did I say “at least they’ve picked a new flag” for Iraq? Well, two words: New Coke. It’ll be replaced soon.

The state of Nebraska hired a convicted thief to run its anti-smoking program. He was actually serving his sentence at the time, and was paid $55,200 a year, which is more than the warden gets. Insert obvious joke here about him being paid in cigarettes. Oh, and he did illegal stuff at this job too.

Turns out there won’t be a Ronald Reagan University after all, which relieves me of the duty of making a lot of tedious jokes about it.

If you haven’t seen those pictures of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and whatnot, here they are. They’re POWs, guys, not posable action figures. Does anyone know what word was written on that POW’s chest?

Oh, this is good: “One of the six, Sergeant Chip Frederick, who plans to plead innocent, asserted on CBS that he and his colleagues had had no proper guidance from commanders on how to treat the prisoners.” But you figured the human pyramid thing was just about what they had in mind? I’m guessing “Chip”’s previous job was stacking cans in a supermarket. More seriously, the Chipster reports that they were never told about the Geneva Convention. More seriously still, private “contractors” were put in charge of interrogations. And to cap it off, they were using an old Saddam prison known for torture. Incidentally, those “rape rooms” Bush likes to talk about--one (male, mid-teens) prisoner was indeed raped. By one of the mercenaries, so he hasn’t been charged with anything, ‘cause he’s not under military jurisdiction--his punishment, if any, will be left up to his company.

THE CHARLIE McCARTHY HEARINGS: Bush finally met the 9/11 Commission, saying, “If we had something to hide, we would not have met with them in the first place.” OK, “in the first place”? This was about the 23rd place, after months and months of stonewalling. Also: behind closed doors, with no recording made, and nobody present allowed to talk about it. No, nothing to hide. (Personally, I think they didn’t even bother asking him any questions, they just all sat around for an hour and got drunk. Under the circumstances, what would have been the point of doing anything else?) On showing up with Cheney: “I think it was important for them to see our body language, as well, how we work together.” Yeah, that was the important thing.

Follow-up: The Utah woman who refused her doctors’ orders to have a C-section is sentenced to probation, including 100 hours community service (what does that have to do with anything?), is expelled from the state, and, although the surviving baby was given up for adoption and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have any other children, is ordered to take parenting classes, which just seems cruel.

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