Tuesday, April 27, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Antonin Scalia Tries to Work in Homoeroticism to a Public Complaint Over School Prayer at VMI.

Holy War, Batman! My father thinks Bush's goal is ultimately to launch a worldwide Christians vs. Muslims holy war. Crazy, you say? Well, yesterday we destroyed a mosque in Fallujah and announced our new policy of destroying Muslim places of worship if they're harboring "enemy combatants." That should certainly sit well with the world's 1 billion Muslims. Also in the holy war category: The asssault on Najaf, the holiest city in Shi'a Islam, which began today.

Welcome Back, Talibuddies! Hamid Karzai, the quasi-president of Afghanistan, is reaching out to for help in running the country to some familiar chaps: the Taliban. Yes, that's right: Less than 2 years after being swept to power by American military might, Karzai is in such dire straits that he is inviting the Taliban to participate in elections and join the government. But, even assuming the Taliban would ever accept this offer, isn't it dangerous to bring your sworn enemies on board? Don't worry! Karzai says there are only about 150 Taliban leaders intent on destroying his government; the thousands of other members are "moderates." So it turns out that Karzai, not content with being the new Ngo Den Diem, is also trying to be the new Franz von Papen.

48 Percent of Americans Believe "Birds Is Magic" A new Pew Research Poll finds that Bush's approval rating has risen 5 points since the beginning of April to a still-low 48 percent, prompting me to wonder what it is that happened in the last 27 days that people approved of. More dead American soldiers? The continued slumping economy? The revelation that Bush cut a deal with Saudi Arabian monarchs to cut oil prices before November? Another interesting poll finding: 52 percent of Americans believe that Iraq will turn out well, although 56 percent say they don't think Bush has a plan. Question: How is it going to "turn out well" if there isn't a plan? Note to con men: There is money to be made in Middle America still.

Three Cheers for the Establishment In an unprecedented move, 52 former senior members of the British foreign service have signed a letter calling on Tony Blair to end his slavish devotion to the "doomed" US policy in the Middle East. Blair, obviously concerned more with Washington than Britain, will clearly not take the advice, but it does offer a wonderful opportunity to read about people named Sir Crispin Tickell saying things like "It is the worst mess diplomatically in my lifetime with the possible exception of Suez." The sun never sets.

Osama Bin Laden, NARAL Diehard If you missed White House attack dog Karen Hughes' appearance on the Wolf Blitzer show Sunday, you missed a great chance to see the president's re-election strategy in action: Tie every issue, no matter how unrelated, into the "war on terrorism." Hughes teed off on the big pro-choice march in D.C. Sunday by comparing its marchers to terrorists and insinuating that somehow if pro-choice laws are upheld, the terrorists will win. Let's go to the tape: "Well, Wolf, [abortion is] always an issue," she said. "And I frankly think it's changing somewhat. I think after September 11th the American people are valuing life more and realizing that we need policies to value the dignity and worth of every life. . . And I think those are the kind of policies that the American people can support, particularly at a time when we're facing an enemy, and really the fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life." Osama Bin Laden could not be reached for comment, as he was attending an Emily's List fund-raiser along with Gloria Steinem and "Judging Amy" star Amy Brenneman.

-Consider Arms