Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Still with us

Gov. Schwarzenegger has vetoed, among other worthwhile bills, a requirement that health plans cover the vaccine against cervical cancer, a requirement that police interrogations be recorded, a bill to set standard guidelines for eyewitness identifications, and one to require corroboration of testimony by jailhouse informants.

Another of Bush’s bad actors: Susan Orr, acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, who is against contraception, which she considers part of “the culture of death.”

Condi Rice visited Bethlehem today. She said the trip was “personally for me a reminder the Prince of Peace is still with us, and still with me and still with all of us”. No word on how many heavily armed security personnel were also still with her on the visit.

The Dalai Lama is also still with us, and Bush gave his little speech at the Congressional ceremony today honoring him with the medal thingy. Bush said “In so doing, America raises its voice in the call for religious liberty and basic human rights.” But mostly religious liberty, because Bush is willing to decry religious repression (although it occurs to me he didn’t actually name the religion being repressed in Tibet), but not the systematic suppression of Tibetan culture and self-determination. Indeed, in a 7-minute speech, he only used the word Tibet four times, one of those a verbal stumble.

He’s vagued down his message, and that of the Dalai Lama, to the lowest common denominator, and he makes only one demand on China: “I will continue to urge the leaders of China to welcome the Dalai Lama to China. They will find this good man to be a man of peace and reconciliation.” Makes it sound like he thinks the hostility of the Chinese government towards the Dalai Lama is just a big misunderstanding, and if they just met him...

If they just met him in China, by the way. Bush didn’t go so far as to suggest that the D.L. be allowed into Tibet.

Must-read: Dahlia Lithwick at Slate, starting with secret evidence at Guantanamo, and moving outwards to all the secret evidence the government is illegally collecting.

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