Thursday, April 15, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Beware The Dreaded Suicider.

Iran So Far Away (Apologies for the Flock of Seagulls Pun) Despite being one of the most evilest nations in the world, according to George Bush, Iran has agreed to try and help settle our standoff with chunky-but-spunky Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is currently holed up in Najaf, the holiest city for Shiites. It's a symbol of how loathe the US is to attack the city that the administration is willing to let the evildoers from Iran help us out, but you have to admit that it's an uncharacteristically sensible position.

Mmm...Turkey and Mustard Once again, we have the grotesque spectacle of the nation's media covering for our inept leader: Bush said during his press conference this week that Libya copped to having 50 tons of mustard gas hidden on a turkey farm. That figure, which Bush cited twice in his remarks, is actually more than double what was actually in Libya: In other words, a lie. But no one actually calls it a lie: Rather, the president "misspoke." "Bush Errs in Mustard Gas Claim," writes the AP, while Fox News, predictably, has the even-more sycophantic "Bush Mustard Gas Calculation Overstated." The funny thing is, during the conference Bush refused to admit making any mistakes in his administration. You just made one, dick!

Everything's Coming Up Milhouse! In the biggest shift left in 40 years, South Korean voters have handed an overwhelming legislative victory to the Uri Party, which is allied with the impeached president and advocates greater independence from the US. The election is largely a referendum on the impeachment of Roh Moon Hyun, which apparently wasn't so popular with the South Koreans. This also means bad news for the Bush administration, with the Uri Party being much less hot on Iraq than the vanquished Grand National Party. With the Socialist victory in Spain and the victory over the Islamists in Malaysia, things are really looking up worldwide: perhaps the long neoliberal winter is finally over. Watch out, though: The last time South Korean voters went overwhelmingly with a left wing party, there was a brutal military coup.

Close Shave for Koizumi Three Japanese hostages in Iraq were released today, bringing some respite for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who had been plunged into the biggest crisis of his term. It could be short-lived however: It looks like two more Japanese civilians have been taken hostage.

Deficits Rule OK The rules of the Bizarro World into which George W. Bush's presidency has plunged us include a strange stipulation: Republicans, who were against deficits for 60 years, are now wildly in favor of deficits, which they claim work to hold down spending (note: deficits are a product of not holding down spending). But are deficits really so totally awesome? The IMF thinks not. "The IMF released a new analysis that predicted if nothing is done to get control of the soaring U.S. deficits, it would shave global economic output by 4.2 percent by 2020 and reduce U.S. economic growth by 3.7 percent during the same period." Ah, but who cares about economic growth, right? I mean, we can handle having the stagnant economy of Soviet-era Czechoslovakia, right?

-Consider Arms