Monday, July 17, 2006

Dithering, health & safety, Axis of Evil 2: Electric Boogaloo, speaking Swiss, does Bush wish he was big, why abortion is just like the Vietnam War

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service has decided after a full year of thinking about it not to bring manslaughter charges against the cops who shot dead the Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in London a couple of weeks after the 7/7/05 Underground bombings, but rather to use health and safety laws (that is, the police failed to exercise proper concern for the health and safety of de Menezes when they repeatedly shot him in the head).

Headline of the day, from the Guardian: “Lebanon: The World Dithers.” (Which some dithering editor subsequently altered to “Lebanon: The World Looks On.”)

Today’s obits: Robert Brooks, the chairman of the board of the “Hooters” chain, and Mickey Spillane. Coincidence, or a tangled web of intrigue, corruption, and long-buried secrets?

Olmert has adopted the unlovely phrase “axis of evil,” which according to him “stretches from Tehran to Damascus.” Of course if you look at a map... oh, never mind.

According to The Times, when Bush drove one of those golf cart things at the G-8 conference, he “imitat[ed] a screeching noise as he applied the brakes.” And he talks with his mouth full. And he picked on the only (?) girl at the G-8, Angela Merkel. My theory has always been that we’ve mistaken Bush for the wrong Tom Hanks character: not “Forrest Gump” but “Big.”

I guess “Cast Away” is too much to hope for.

By the way, even if he didn’t know the microphone was live, he knew there were tv cameras around. But there’s evidently some sort of weird code among news outlets that they’ll report what was said if they can actually overhear it, but they won’t have lip readers translate for us.

That article also says that Russian police arrested two Swiss journalists trying to cover protests, allegedly for swearing at them. Asked in court what language they had sworn it, the main witness said, “Swiss.”

Hillary Clinton says that all Americans stand behind Israel, which “is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones.” She doesn’t say what those values are. Which is probably just as well.

Bush admin pays (pdf) for anti-abortion centers to lie to pregnant women (Henry Waxman had staff call up all the centers that receive federal funding, posing as pregnant 17-year olds. 20 of the 23 reached by phone lied, saying there was a link between abortion and breast cancer (8 of the centers), would screw up breast milk, would cause infertility (7) (happens more often than the media tells you, one said), psychological harm possibly leading to suicide (13) (like Vietnam vets, one said).

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