Friday, May 19, 2006


Something odd happened to the headline of a WaPo story about Michael Hayden: the headline “CIA Nominee Has Ability To Deliver Bad News” (I tried to construct a joke about having to have a really strong back, cause there’ll be, you know, a lot of it, but decided it wasn’t up to my standards) changed between last night and this morning to “Nominee Has Ability To Bear Bad News.” Which is also good, because otherwise he’ll just be sitting in his office all day quietly weeping, but why the change, Post?

Pat Robertson: “if I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms.” So God... mumbles? Are you sure that wasn’t Dustin Hoffman? You’d think if God wanted to say something to you, you’d hear him.

By the way, if you’d heard that quote before and missed the point of it, Robertson is raising money from his viewers, ostensibly to relieve the victims of those storms.

The Senate has voted to make English both the “national language” and a “common and unifying language” (you’d have to ask Pat Robertson if English is the language God mumbles), which is evidently different from making it the official language in some way I don’t understand because I speak English rather than congress-speak. Thus the ironic AP headline, “Senate Sends Mixed Signals on English.” Sadly, no Democratic senator gave a speech against the measure in Spanish.

Speaking of problems with English, George Bush told NBC today (video here, but don’t bother) why his poll numbers are low:
BUSH: Because we are at war, and war unsettles people. Listen, we got a great economy. We’ve added 5.2 million jobs in the last two and a half years. People are unsettled.

GREGORY: But they’re not just unsettled sir. They disapprove of the job you’re doing.

BUSH: That’s unsettled.
He added that Iraq “colors everyone’s vision, it seems like.” Bush’s choice of the word unsettled suggests that for him, the normal, healthy, settled state of affairs is for his leadership to be unquestioned and fully supported. Any other condition is aberrant and temporary. His message that we’ve got a great economy, which I’m sure he sincerely believes because it is in fact a great economy if you’re Exxon-Mobil or the companies that get to build his high-tech border with Mexico, is a blatant appeal to self-interest: you’ve got a job, forget about the chaos in Iraq. But, evidently, it’s not the economy, stupid.

There was a mass suicide attempt at Guantanamo yesterday, with prisoners fighting the guards as they tried to save the four, who all survived. Gitmo’s spokesmodel claims to have no idea what “any intended message” might have been.

Speaking of Gitmo prisoners, could we stop describing them as “freed” when in fact they have just been sent to prison in another country?

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