September 30, 2004

And light it up forever and never go to sleep

* George Bush's top ten flip-flops. excerpt:

"Nation Building and the War in Iraq

"During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush argued against nation building and foreign military entanglements. In the second presidential debate, he said: "I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, 'This is the way it's got to be.'"

"The United States is currently involved in nation building in Iraq on a scale unseen since the years immediately following World War II.

"During the 2000 election, Mr. Bush called for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from the NATO peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. His administration now cites such missions as an example of how America must 'stay the course.'

"Iraq and the Sept. 11 Attacks

"In a press conference in September 2002, six months before the invasion of Iraq, President Bush said, 'you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror... they're both equally as bad, and equally as evil, and equally as destructive.'

"In September of 2004, Mr. Bush said: 'We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th.' Though he added that 'there's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties,' the statement seemingly belied earlier assertions that Saddam and al Qaeda were 'equally bad.'

"The Sept. 11 commission found there was no evidence Saddam was linked to the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people."

* Said Bush during the 2000 debates "I think people need to be held responsible for the actions they take in life. I think that — well, I think that's part of the need for a cultural change. We need to say we each need to be responsible for what we do. People in the highest office of the land must be responsible for decisions they make in life." [via tim thompson]

* John Cheever's short story The Swimmer. excerpt:

"It was one of those midsummer Sundays when everyone sits around saying, 'I drank too much last night.' You might have heard it whispered by the parishioners leaving church, heard it from the lips of the priest himself, struggling with his cassock in the vestiarium, heard it from the golf links and the tennis courts, heard it from the wildlife preserve where the leader of the Audubon group was suffering from a terrible hangover. 'I drank too much,' said Donald Westerhazy. 'We all drank too much,' said Lucinda Merrill. 'It must have been the wine,' said Helen Westerhazy. 'I drank too much of that claret.'

"This was at the edge of the Westerhazys' pool. The pool, fed by an artesian well with a high iron content, was a pale shade of green. It was a fine day. In the west there was a massive stand of cumulus cloud so like a city seen from a distance—from the bow of an approaching ship—that it might have had a name. Lisbon. Hackensack. The sun was hot. Neddy Merrill sat by the green water, one hand in it, one around a glass of gin. He was a slender man—he seemed to have the especial slenderness of youth—and while he was far from young he had slid down his banister that morning and given the bronze backside of Aphrodite on the hall table a smack, as he jogged toward the smell of coffee in his dining room. He might have been compared to a summer's day, particularly the last hours of one, and while he lacked a tennis racket or a sail bag the impression was definitely one of youth, sport, and clement weather. He had been swimming and now he was breathing deeply, stertorously as if he could gulp into his lungs the components of that moment, the heat of the sun, the intenseness of his pleasure. It all seemed to flow into his chest. His own house stood in Bullet Park, eight miles to the south, where his four beautiful daughters would have had their lunch and might be playing tennis. Then it occurred to him that by taking a dogleg to the southwest he could reach his home by water."

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