Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Maybe some will run office, say, Vote for me -- I look forward to blowing up America

Favorite Reuters headline of the day: “Zambia: Investigators Seize Ex-President’s Shoes.” 100 pairs of them. Also 300 shirts and 150 suits. It has something to do with a corruption investigation. Says Chiluba: “What they have done is to bring my underpants out to the general public.”

Speaking of bringing his underpants out to the general public, Bush has appointed Paul Wolfowitz to be president of the World Bank. While his thrift in regard to hair care products is well known, even legendary, I see nothing in his resumé that hints at a qualification. (Later: ok, at the press conference GeeDubya explains it: “He helped manage a large organization. The World Bank’s a large organization; the Pentagon’s a large organization.” Sure, practically the same thing.) This continues the Bush fad of appointing fierce unilateralists to multinational organizations, because you can never start celebrating April Fools Day too early. Bush described Wolfy as a “compassionate, decent man,” so possibly he just mistook him for someone else.

On Social Security: “First of all, Dave, let me, if I might, correct you -- be so bold as to correct you. I have not laid out a plan yet -- intentionally.”
Q But, sir, but Democrats have made it pretty clear that they’re not interested in that. They want you to lay it out.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well -- (chuckles) -- I’m sure they do!
Don’t you love how he makes it sound like a sneaky ploy by the D’s, but he was just too clever for them?

On “extraordinary rendition,” the first time he’s been asked this if I’m not mistaken, he just said that we receive promises from Syria, Jordan, Morocco and the like that no one will be tortured. Also, “This country does not believe in torture. We do believe in protecting ourselves. We don’t believe in torture,” adding, “Or is it elves we don’t believe in? I always get those two confused.”

On the march of democracy in Lebanon:
I like the idea of people running for office -- a positive effect when you run for office, you know? Maybe some will run office, say, Vote for me -- I look forward to blowing up America -- I don’t know. I don’t know if that’ll be their platform or not. But it’s -- I don’t think so. I think people generally run for office say, Vote for me -- I’m looking forward to fixing your potholes or making sure you’ve got bread on the table.
On the march of democracy in Iraq:
First of all, obviously there will be a government formed, but I think it is interesting and to watch the process of people negotiating... It’s a wholesome process, and it’s being done in a transparent way.
Transparent? Six weeks of closed-door negotiations? Also, Juan Cole pointed out that we still haven’t seen a list of the elected representatives.

On the march of democracy in Iran: “I believe Iran should adopt democracy, that’s what I believe.” But not in elves.

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