Saturday, April 10, 2004

Our will is being tested

Here’s what happens when industry captures the agency that’s supposed to be regulating it: that agency sets not just minimum standards, but maximum ones. Case in point: a beef producer wants to test all its cattle for mad cow disease, which would allow it to resume exports to Japan. The Dept of Ag refused to permit it, saying it would have “implied a consumer safety aspect that is not scientifically warranted.”

A story about federal pork on an impressive scale: 2 bridges in Alaska snuck into the highway bill last week. “One, here in Ketchikan, would be among the biggest in the United States: a mile long, with a top clearance of 200 feet from the water — 80 feet higher than the Brooklyn Bridge and just 20 feet short of the Golden Gate Bridge. It would connect this economically depressed, rain-soaked town of 7,845 people to an island that has about 50 residents and the area's airport, which offers six flights a day (a few more in summer). It could cost about $200 million. The other bridge would span an inlet for nearly two miles to tie Anchorage to a port that has a single regular tenant and almost no homes or businesses. It would cost up to $2 billion.”

The US bombed that mosque in Fallujah again, this time hitting a minaret. Also, it broadcast threats of an imminent attack on the town and suggested that women and children leave. It will not let “military-age” men leave the town, which is incredibly scary and creepy, and historically (Bosnia, say) has been the sort of activity that led to mass graves. There was what was supposed to be a 5-day pause in the attack (which Fisk points out was called a "unilateral suspension of offensive operations," precisely the phrase used by Israel when it was besieging Beirut in 1982), which the US broke after 90 minutes. It was supposed to be so that the dead could be gathered up and buried. Currently, according to the Indy reporter, they are being eaten by wild dogs. Hard to win their hearts and minds when dogs are eating their livers.

And remember, all this was triggered by Bremer shutting down a small weekly newspaper for inciting violence by making false claims. Just like Shrub.

Cheney tells US soldiers that “our will is being tested in Iraq.” Which presumably means that they should really make out theirs being shipped out.

BASS-HOLE: Just as Bush’s spokesmodel was making snippy comments about Kerry going skiing, Bush himself was being filmed fishing by the Blood Sports Channel.

So it turns out that the name of the briefing--“Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside United States”--whose revelation was the ta-da moment of the commission this week, was actually printed in the Washington Post nearly 2 years ago, in the fist sentence of a story on page 1 of a Sunday issue, by-lined by Bob Woodward, but no one noticed.

And the Post today, on what Bush was doing the day after he got that briefing.

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