Sunday, May 22, 2005

Now, they’re after Tom DeLay and the free-market values he defends

The WaPo quotes a pro-Tom DeLay ad: “The media, the liberals, they’re in a frenzy. Last year, they went after President Bush... Now, they’re after Tom DeLay and the free-market values he defends.” It took me a couple of seconds to realize that “they went after President Bush” referred to the election campaign, when that arch-seditionist John Kerry dared to be mildly critical of the Emperor Chimpy, He Who Is Without Error. Also, I don’t know about “the media, the liberals,” but the problem I have with Tom DeLay is less his free market values than his free golfing vacations and all the other freebies he’s snagged from lobbyists.

From the Sunday Times:
Artist of the week

Staff at the British Museum failed to notice that an early cave painting, exhibited in one of the galleries, showed a man pushing a supermarket trolley. The 10in by 6in piece of rock, and slipped into the museum by a practical joker known as Banksy, was accompanied by a sign which explained: “Early man venturing towards the out-of-town hunting grounds. This finely preserved example of primitive art dates from the post-catatonic era”.

The same practical joker recently hung one of his own paintings in Tate Modern. Officials only noticed when it fell off the wall.
There’s some interesting maneuvering going on. The NYT story about the murder of prisoners at Bagram Air Base appeared just before a scheduled visit by Karzai to America, and there was the Koran-in-the-toilet thing. So Karzai has been forced to act all non-puppety and talk tough, demanding the transfer of Afghan prisoners from our torturers to his torturers and the end of raids by American troops unless they have a search warrant (!) and so on. In response, the Americans are leaking that Karzai isn’t doing enough about opium eradication. What the BBC story I hyperlinked doesn’t say is that Karzai still controls only a few blocks in downtown Kabul, so when he’s accused of not cooperating in poppy-producing areas in which has no actual, ya know, power, what is meant is that he’s resisting American demands to drop huge amounts of defoliants from the air willy nilly.

I was going to write “indiscriminately,” but I thought I’d see if I could get away with “willy nilly.” Sadly, I don’t think I can quite carry it off.

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