Friday, January 07, 2005

Why Bush is the exact opposite of Batman

Naturally, the most important moments in the Gonzales hearings occurred after I posted my last. They fall into two categories: 1) the I-don’t-remember moments, when he was repeatedly asked about various details of the torture memo he was busily distancing himself from, but which he helped write. Specific methods of torture were discussed in meetings he was in, but he has no recollection of this. In other words, he claims that he was in a meeting in which whether mock executions are ok was discussed, but can’t remember the meeting, or what he might have said. I’d say that sort of disinterest, or forgetfulness, or treatment of torture as an issue so routine as to be forgettable, disqualifies someone from the attorney generalship. 2) He was repeatedly asked if a president may authorize people to break the law, specifically the Torture Act, and he repeatedly refused to answer, saying it was hypothetical, which is not a valid reason why he can’t answer it (this is well discussed in Slate). Incidentally, when they replaced the memo last week, I couldn’t understood how it was supposed to help Gonzales in the hearings, but now I realize that “that’s so last week” is actually considered a valid reason not to discuss something.

Working on his Bushite smirk, but not quite there yet.

The Iraqi interim puppet government has extended the state of emergency, with enhanced police powers including warrant-less arrests, and curfews, in order to allow “the peaceful participation of Iraqis in the political process.” On that day, the entire country will be locked down, with travel bans and curfews. Freedom, ain’t it grand?

Favorite correction from the newspaper of record:
An obituary of the innovative comic-page illustrator Will Eisner yesterday included an imprecise comparison in some copies between his character the Spirit and others, including Batman. Unlike Superman and some other heroes of the comics, Batman relied on intelligence and skill, not supernatural powers.
“The best ten” British websites, including The Ugliest Cars in Britain;
a site of pictures of “derelict London,” including galleries of pubs, buildings, graffiti, toilets, World War II bunkers, etc., and another for pictures of cafes serving bad English food.

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