Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Nuclear issues are not polite dinner conversation

The Indy on Iraqi Kurdistan, trying not to get fucked over again.

Tom Burka gets Bush’s duplicity on the intelligence bill exactly right: “I am very disappointed that I stopped the intelligence bill from making its way of out committee and I vow to work harder to see that that bill goes farther before I once again make sure that it never becomes law.” More.

One story about the Istook Clause (allowing Congressional committee chairs and their designees full access to income tax records without privacy protections) is that the IRS itself wanted it. That’s just one cow pat in the storm of bullshit, but if it’s true, there might be a reason: every few years the R’s in Congress have hearings into abuses of power by the IRS, which is one of the reason they now only audit poor people who can’t fight back. In those hearings people testify about how they were victimized, and some of those people are major tax shirkers trying to pressure the IRS to drop their cases, and the IRS can’t fight back with the truth, because those records are private. So that’s why the IRS might want this.

But Josh Marshall has the larger question right: “What does it say about the majority’s management of the legislative process in Congress at present that it’s been two and half days since this line item was discovered and no one has been able to determine who wrote it or who put it in the bill?”

What if the whole Iraqi resistance is just a fiendish conspiracy by Iraqi cabbies to drive up the price for a trip to Baghdad airport, reported as now costing more than $5,000.

At the international conference on Iraq, Colin Powell accidentally wound up seated at dinner next to the Iranian foreign minister, suggesting that Egyptian caterers are as sneaky as Iraqi cabbies. Sample dialog:
“Would you pass the salt?”

“We possess salt for peaceful purposes and will never give it in to the demands of arrogant imperialists that we give it up!”
We are told that they did not discuss nukes because, says a State dept flak, quoting Martha Stewart: “nuclear issues [are not] polite dinner conversation.”

Meanwhile, Bush, who was not at dinner at the time, did talk about Iranian nukes, working the word verify or verification into every single sentence. That “word of the day” calendar is really paying off for him. Now if he could just verify the actual pronunciation of nuclear...

Then Bush went to Colombia, protected by 15,000 troops, more than were involved in the invasion of Fallujah, and said that Colombia now had much less murder and kidnapping than it used to. He promise to continue giving the country lots of money in order to combat drug traffickers, or possibly terrorists (he pretends not to know the difference, or that right-wing groups also traffic in drugs).

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