Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Speken of Shaft bene I

Update: that Afghan editor sentenced to 2 years for “blasphemy,” well, the prosecutor wanted the death penalty.

As various Republican Senators come out to demand access to the White House papers Harriet Miers worked on, a fun way to pass the time is to try to figure out which ones are actually attempting to perform their advise and consent function and which ones have been tasked by the White House to do so in order to give Bush a face-saving way of withdrawing the nomination. I thought this idea was just an amusing theory when I first heard it, but I’ve become convinced, not least by the ham-handed intercession by Bush yesterday, when in response to a question nobody had asked, he insisted that acceding to such demands “would make it impossible for me and other presidents to be able to make sound decisions.” He did not give any examples of sound decisions he has made. Unless he meant which songs to put on his iPod (sound decisions, geddit?)

The Bush quiz.

The NYT, perhaps being sarcastic, noted that Turkmenistan’s “usually compliant Parliament” refused one of President Niyazov’s requests. He wanted them to set elections for 2009, but they said, unanimously, no, we made you president-for-life, and that’s it.

Anbar province (the Fallujah region) voted 96.9% against the Iraqi constitution, while 12 Shiite and/or Kurdish provinces voted over 90% in favor, up to 99.36%. You can’t build a successful national polity on that basis, you just can’t.

Wha be tha blake prevy lawe
That bene wantoun too alle tha feres?
Ya damne righte! ...

Alle clepe tha carl ane badde mooder-
Speken of Shaft bene I.

Those are the lyrics to “Shaft” translated into Chaucerian English. Can ye dig it?

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