Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Oh, and a Roma was elected to the European Parliament for the first time, for Hungary.

As Paul Krugman notes in a column on Ashcroft (channeling the Comic Store Guy, he called him the general..ever), such is the man’s credibility that when he held a news conference Monday to announce the foiling of a dastardly plot to blow up a shopping mall, less than a day after the release of a DOJ memo justifying torture, and following his usual practice of doing this sort of thing as a distraction (the announcement came 7 months after the arrest), no one treated it seriously. If his own paper, the NYT, believed that there had been a real terrorist plot to blow up a mall, it would have placed the story on the front page, not on the bottom of page 14.

Yeah, I knew it, there’s another Confederate widow out there.

The Israeli attorney general has decided not to prosecute Ariel Sharon or his incredibly slimy son for taking bribes. Which has to piss off the guy who will still be prosecuted for bribing them. They’re essentially saying that not only did he bribe Sharon, but did it so incompetently that Sharon didn’t even know he was being bribed. Sharon, who gets to keep his job, presumably won’t mind being labeled too stupid to realize that the people giving his son all that money expected something in return.

I know it would be too much to expect this administration to actually stop terrorist acts, but now it can’t even count them? And took credit for reducing terrorism.

Article on the Pentagon’s new ability to spy secretly on Americans.

The 9/11 Commission, you will have heard, said today that there was no link between 9/11 and Iraq, despite what Bush said yesterday and Cheney a day before. Hopefully somebody will conduct a poll to determine how many Americans are still ignorant of this; the results will no doubt be depressing, but at least such a poll couldn’t be kept secret, like the one Bremer conducted of Iraqis which was suppressed when it revealed that they would feel safer if US troops would just get the hell out.

What you may have missed, given the press coverage, is the finding that 9/11 was implemented in reaction to Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount in September 2000, and was originally planned to take place during a Sharon visit to the US.

An Italian senator in Berlusconi’s party is nearing the end of his trial for Mafia associations (his 3rd trial, after convictions for accounting fraud and extortion). So Berlusconi has made the man a delegate to the Council of Europe, which gives him immunity--right in the middle of the trial!

The first virus for mobile phones has been created. Heh heh heh.

Correction: Chris Bell, who is filing the corruption charges against DeLay, is not an ex-Congresscritter but a lame-duck Congresscritter, thanks to DeLay’s gerrymandering of Texas congressional districts.

Bush in support of his stem-cell research ban: "Life is a creation of God, not a commodity to be exploited by man." I’m assuming Bush is now a vegetarian.

(Insert clever segue here): the US army will charge a captain who shot a wounded Iraqi. “Military officials told NBC's Jim Miklaszewski that the soldier was apparently acting in good faith, shooting the badly wounded driver to "put him out of misery."

Time magazine discloses Cheney’s undisclosed location, and the White House is so pissed off: “One White House officials fumed Monday night: "TIME magazine would have revealed the secret location of Anne Frank, if they knew it."” This is the only known instance of Dick Cheney being compared to Anne Frank.

During the Cold War, those guys who sat in underground bunkers in Montana were prevented from launching missiles by a sophisticated 8-digit code. Unfortunately, according to one of those very guys, the military didn’t really like being slowed down and set the code to 00000000.

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