June 15, 2004

If there's no new wave then there's no fun

* Krugman on John Ashcroft, the worst attorney general, ever. excerpt:

"No question: John Ashcroft is the worst attorney general in history."
We can't tell directly whether Mr. Ashcroft's post-9/11 policies are protecting the United States from terrorist attacks. But a number of pieces of evidence suggest otherwise.
"But most important is the memo. Last week Mr. Ashcroft, apparently in contempt of Congress, refused to release a memo on torture his department prepared for the White House almost two years ago. Fortunately, his stonewalling didn't work: The Washington Post has acquired a copy of the memo and put it on its Web site.

"Much of the memo is concerned with defining torture down: if the pain inflicted on a prisoner is less than the pain that accompanies "serious physical injury, such as organ failure," it's not torture. Anyway, the memo declares that the federal law against torture doesn't apply to interrogations of enemy combatants "pursuant to [the president's] commander-in-chief authority." In other words, the president is above the law.

"The memo came out late Sunday. Mr. Ashcroft called a press conference yesterday — to announce an indictment against a man accused of plotting to blow up a shopping mall in Ohio. The timing was, I'm sure, purely coincidental."

* Pretty much everything you need to know about Mike Watt.

* In DC: Photographs by Sally Mann, at the Corcoran; Bobby Bare Jr. at Iota June 28; John Vanderslice at the Black Cat June 17; and Mclusky, also at the Black Cat, June 19.


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