December 20, 2005

free and easy, we'll disappear completely

Frank Lobdell, Summer, 1962

* Jonathan Adler on Bush evesdropping. excerpt:

"No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had 'legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.' But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law. And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing 'all necessary force' in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not scrap the Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism."
"This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974.

"In the meantime, it is unlikely that Bush will echo President Kennedy in 1961. After JFK managed to tone down a New York Times story by Tad Szulc on the Bay of Pigs invasion, he confided to Times editor Turner Catledge that he wished the paper had printed the whole story because it might have spared him such a stunning defeat in Cuba.

"This time, the president knew publication would cause him great embarrassment and trouble for the rest of his presidency. It was for that reason—and less out of genuine concern about national security—that George W. Bush tried so hard to kill the New York Times story."

-- related: "There are no facts, only interpretations." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

* Cocaine to be legalized in Bolivia. excerpt:

"Evo Morales, of the Movement towards Socialism (MAS), won more than 50 per cent of the vote in Sunday’s election, far outstripping all predictions. In his unprecedented first-round victory he left his nearest rival for the presidency, the pro-US Jorge 'Tuto' Quiroga, more than 20 percentage points behind.

"He has also promised to ally Bolivia with other regional left-wing leaders such as Presidents Chávez of Venezuela and Castro of Cuba. Señor Chávez was one of the first to telephone to congratulate Señor Morales, whose victory continues Latin America’s shift to the Left. The outcome of the election will be closely watched in Peru, which is to vote for a new president in April. Ollanta Humala, a nationalistic former army officer, has made strong progress in opinion polls there by appealing to the country’s indigenous majority.

"Señor Morales, who used to lead a coca-growers’ union, has promised to legalise the cultivation of coca, the primary ingredient in cocaine — to the horror of the US, which has pursued a big coca eradication effort in Bolivia in recent years. Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of cocaine."

* from Harper's December 2005:

-- Percentage approval rating of Bill Clinton the day after impeachment and George W. Bush in November 2005, respectively: 73, 37

-- Tons of hurricane-related waste still waiting to be hauled away in Louisiana: 22,000,000

-- Tons of waste produced by New York City each year: 8,500,000

-- Number of product placements on U.S. network TV shows in prime time last year: 101,212

-- Percentage of free condoms distributed in India that are used for purposes other than sex: 75

-- Years since a White House office as senior as I. Lewis Libby had been indicted while in office: 130

* Tucker Carlson really is a dick:

"Last week, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, a well-known conservative pundit, let loose with a string of anti-Canada rants.

"'Anybody with any ambition at all, or intelligence, has left Canada and is now living in New York," he said.

"'Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada.'

"Carlson also said it's pointless to tell Canada to stop criticizing the United States.

"'It only eggs them on. Canada is essentially a stalker, stalking the United States, right? Canada has little pictures of us in its bedroom, right?'

"'It's unrequited love between Canada and the United States. We, meanwhile, don't even know Canada's name. We pay no attention at all,' he said.


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