Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sectors hiding toilet paper

Hugo Chavez threatens to nationalize Spanish banks operating in Venezuela unless the king of Spain apologizes for telling him to shut up. This follows his intemperate exchange of words with Uribe. Venezuela will hold a vote tomorrow for Chavez’s referendum for a raft of sweeping presidential powers and an end to presidential term limits (Chavez said yesterday “If God gives me life and help, I will be at the head of the government until 2050,” when he will be 95), with the term being extended to a not-very-democratic seven years. Also, the voting age would be dropped to 16. And the working day and week reduced. And lots of other things, all stuffed into a single yes or no vote. Bloomberg News says, though I haven’t seen it elsewhere, that Chavez is threatening to resign if the referendum fails.

The Chavez administration is accusing – and it wouldn’t surprise me – business leaders of creating the shortages of recent weeks to influence the vote. The finance minister says, “We know there are sectors hiding toilet paper.”

In contrast to George Bush’s speech on HIV/AIDS yesterday, Laura Bush’s piece in the WaPo does actually mention gay (and bisexual) men. So although it’s against the strict policy of this blog to give credit where credit is due, I will give her credit for that. Elsewhere in the paper, the WaPo notes that George “chose to emphasize only the role of about 20 percent of the contractors, which come from the religious community.”

Headline of the day, AP: “Maine Town Honoring Earmuff Inventor.”

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