Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bush debates imaginary people (still loses)

The Israelis held up Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyev (Hamas) for several hours at the Egypt-Palestine border, ostensibly because he was carrying $35 million (they’d closed the entire border in order to prevent the money coming into Gaza, which they are trying to strangle to death), but possibly, or at least foreseeably, also because the delay would give Fatah gunmen time to arrange an assassination attempt. Which they did, though they succeeded only in killing his bodyguard.

And the Israeli Supreme Court unanimously ruled that assassination is legal.

Yesterday I quoted Bush saying, “I’ve heard some ideas that would lead to defeat, and I reject those ideas -- ideas such as leaving before the job is done; ideas such as not helping this government take the necessary and hard steps to be able to do its job.” Linguist Geoffrey Pullum comments that it’s rather unlikely anyone ever told Bush, “Mr President, I think leaving before the job is done would be the best course,” so that what Bush is doing, putting “claims in imaginary people’s mouths before rebutting them... is not just a figure of speech. It’s lying.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo “Honest” Abe admits that he rigged “town hall” meetings. He will forfeit his pay for three months.

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