Monday, June 14, 2004

F****** is F******. And it's going to stay F******

European Parliament elections today. In Britain: hammering, bloody noses, etc etc. There should be a prize of some sort for the first newspaper that says that the voters gave Tony a bitch-slapping. Actually, ruling parties just about everywhere are pounded, including in France and Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland, so it’s not just about Iraq. The Greens got 11% in Germany. Berlusconi violated electoral laws by ranting at reporters while voting was going on, outside a polling both yet, after having text-messaged everyone in Italy with a toy, I mean phone, capable of receiving text messages the day before.

In all those Eastern European countries having their first Euro-elections, turnout is under 30%.

Interestingly, Sinn Fein has won seats in the European Parliament representing both Britain and Ireland.

Britain also returned 12 members of the UK Independence Party, who plan a guerilla campaign against the Parl.

The torture story keeps moving forward, fleshing out what we already know and pushing it back further in time. Newsweek pushes torture discussions back to November 2001, when the CIA got more heavily involved. The NYT says that complaints about abuse of prisoners were made months earlier than the Pentagon has admitted.

TWO THUMBS UP: And Lynndie England isn’t going down without a fight. Her list of potential witnesses for her hearing reads like a blackmail threat: she plans to call Cheney, Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, whose 2002 pro-torture memo (warning: pdf, 2.9 mb) Marc Cooper notes will disqualify Gonzales from the Supreme Court)(I’ve only taken a quick look, but it looks even more like a smoking gun than the CIA memo), and a certain inmate whose photo we’ve already seen, for whom a witness box would be a step up. She could strip the Bush administration’s torture policy naked, put a leash on it and drag it around the courtroom, metaphorically speaking.

The West Midlands police have recruited the first ever one-legged policeman in Britain. I can’t be the only person to have read that and thought of this Peter Cook/Dudley Moore sketch.

Saw Afghan president-with-a-furry-hat Karzai on McNeil-Lehrer today, saying that elections would go forward in September. This would violate the electoral laws, since voter registration isn’t close to complete, but Margaret Warner didn’t know enough to ask him that question.

Waiting to see if the shit hits the fan over Bush trying to get the Vatican to campaign for him, and to do so by further attacks on gay marriage. The key Bush quote was “not all the American bishops are with me.” Considering he’s running against a Catholic, this is gross.

The Supreme Court refused to remove “under God” from the pledge of allegiance, by ruling that the little girl’s father may be her father, but he doesn’t “count” as her father. Fortunately Scalia had to recuse himself, or we’d probably have wound up with “one nation under our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Latest stupid unnecessary Hollywood remake: Bullitt.

In Russia, someone stole a porta-potty, loading it onto a tractor-trailer. And yes, there was someone using it at the time.

A former Congresscritter will file an ethics complaint against Tom DeLay, shattering the ethically-challenged “gentlemen’s agreement” not to file such charges. In response, Congressasshole John T. Doolittle says that he will file charges against some Democrat, but he doesn’t know who. He actually admits that this is pure retaliation--“you kill my dog, I'll kill your cat.” is how he charmingly puts it, presumably after spending too much time with Bill Frist. Link

From the Sunday Times:

Cheap laugh of the week.

The people of F******, Austria, have rejected plans to change the name of their village (pronounced Fooking and spelt with fewer asterisks). The population of 150 considered a new name to stop their road signs being stolen. "Everybody here knows what it means in English," said mayor Siegfried Hoeppl, "but for us F****** is F******. And it's going to stay F******." Similar votes have taken place in the Austrian villages of Vomitville and Windpassing.

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