Tuesday, November 08, 2005

At the pleasure of the president

My polling place had a new voting machine. When I put my ballot in, it made a metallic whirring noise just like a shredder...

At today’s Gaggle, someone asked whether Cheney would have to attend the ethics refresher courses. No. He also said something significant: asked about Bush first saying that anyone who leaked classified info would be fired and then changing that to anyone convicted in a court of law, Scotty actually moved the goal posts yet again, saying none of that matters because “everyone at the White House serves at the pleasure of the president.” Of course the president is easily pleased, so Rove’s job is secure as long as he has a bit of string or something shiny.

Chinese president Hu is visiting Britain. The last time this happened, in 1999, the police beat up protesters and tore down Tibetan flags (to make him feel at home, I wrote at the time). This was widely and strongly criticized, so it wasn’t likely to be repeated today, but there would be (and were) protesters. So the Chinese decided to orchestrate a staged counter-demonstration. In Britain. Chinese students studying in the UK, and other Chinese nationals all made their way to Buckingham Palace, entirely spontaneously of course, where Chinese officials handed them flags and banners to wave. I have been absolutely unable to find any pictures of them, so here’s Hu and the Queen in a rickshaw, with a large Tibetan flag easily visible, although not to Hu, who never looked in that direction.

In 1999, Prince Charles boycotted the state banquet. Today, he’s conveniently out of the country, visiting friends.

The Kansas state board of education has rewritten the state’s science curriculum to make it less sciencey.

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