Wednesday, July 07, 2004

A civics class for the whole country

Japan’s Defense Ministry will issue the annual defense white paper in manga form. I’m picturing exploding heads and little girls with really big eyes.

Iraqi PM “Kapowie” Allawi not only supports yesterday’s American airstrikes on Fallujah, but hell, he says, we provided the intelligence for the 83rd attempt to kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. And a new group sent a videotape to Al Arabiya, threatening to kill Zarqawi if he didn’t leave the country. Ah, a pro-government death squad: John Negroponte has definitely arrived.

I could have sworn that the US told Allawi he would not be allowed to declare martial law, but yesterday a law (possibly called the "Patriot Act") was passed giving him the power to do that, impose curfews (which will be enforced by the US military, resolving my question about whose military “martial” refers to), ban “seditious” groups and parties, arrest dissidents, seize mail...
(Later:) I was joking, sorta, about the Patriot Act thing, but the Iraqi--you should pardon the expression--minister of human rights made the same comparison, and not to condemn the law. He referred to the targets of those powers as "evil forces," which is perhaps not a phrase the minister of human rights should be using. I would also question whether "law" is the right word, since it was issued by the executive; decree is more like it, or ukase.

The DHS’s internal investigation whitewashes the former administrator of Medicare Thomas Scully for threatening the chief actuary if he told the Congress the truth about the cost of Bush’s drug plan (Scully is now a lobbyist for drug companies). It says the threat was not illegal, and that Scully had “the final authority to determine the flow of information to Congress.”

An article by Tom Parker, who told the Iraqis how to run this business we call show trial. A limited number of cases, because Allawi needs someone to run his secret police, in a limited period of time, the use of harsh Iraqi law rather than wimpy international law so that they can execute Saddam rather than see him “live out his days in a comfortable Dutch prison,” televised as a “civics class for the whole country” (the condescending jerk doesn’t mention whether the US military will continue to seize and censor the video before it’s aired, or whether the courts will only operate during the 23 minutes a day the power supply needed to run the tv’s will be on). Justice Jackson must be rolling over in his grave. Speaking of justice, Parker only uses the word once, and then in the sense of jurisprudence rather than something which is just.

The Senate confirms Leon “No shit, Sherlock” Holmes to District Court in Arkansas 51-46. Holmes is the guy who thinks wives should be subservient to their husbands and really really doesn’t like abortion. He thinks there needn’t be rape exceptions to bans on abortion, because raped women never get pregnant.

A few from Al Kamen’s contest for attack ads:

For Kerry:
• "Bring back complete sentences"
• "Elect a man who can pronounce 'nuclear'"
• "It's Skull and Bones, not Numbskull and Bones"
• "Let's make ketchup a vegetable again"

For Bush:
• "It's still my turn"
• "Standing behind a Bush -- Not using the John"
• "50 million Frenchmen can be wrong"
• "Vote Bush: To Forgive is Divine"

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