Thursday, April 22, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Who Else Hates That New Beyonce Song?

Let's Play the Double Standard Game One of the key Republican spin points has been the "irrational hatred" that people on the left have for George Bush. Why, conservative commentators can't BELIEVE how much people hate the president! It's totally unprecedented! So: A Florida state legislator tells a "joke" that urges the assassination of Hillary Clinton. Outrage? Calls for her resignation? Investigation by the Secret Service? No. In fact, the legislator defends her remark, and is mad that some Florida newspapers are asking about it. "Everybody knows it's a joke," her aide says. "It's kind of an inconvenience for her now."

Hey, 50 Percent Are the Same Odds You Get in Roullette In the wake of the recent violence in Iraq, 40 percent of the recruits in the new Iraqi security force walked off the job, while 10 percent actuall switched over to the anti-American side. At this rate, American troops will be leaving Iraq approximately never.

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Enemy Taiwan is getting ready to draft a new constitution but is not planning to declare independence (which, let's face it, would be purely a formality), or so says President Chen Shui-bian. So, who's pissed about this? Well, Communist China, of course, which still maintains that Taiwan is a "renegade province," and also the US. An American diplomat says that the US opposes Taiwan's attempt to change the status quo "as we define it." That's pretty much why we're so beloved in every corner of the globe.

A Spanner in the Works Ariel Sharon, the fat and evil leader of Israel, is trying out a bait-and-switch plan wherein he swaps the worthless Gaza strip for a whole bunch of land in the West Bank that is currently Palestinian. Inexplicably, George Bush becomes the first US president to support the takeover of West Bank land. So, clear sailing for the Corpulent Menace, right? No, actually. Support for the plan continues to plunge in Israel, to the point where it's split about 50-50. This puts Sharon's plan to submit the proposal to a vote by the Likud Party, which seems likely to reject it. Don't worry, though, fans of autocracy: Sharon has announced in advance that if the results go his way, he will simply ignore the vote altogether. This is pretty much why Ariel Sharon is so beloved in every corner of the globe.

From Our "Vaguely Sinister" Department This web site is the work of a man (or woman; the creator goes by the nom de guerre "Winter") whose goal is to visit every Starbucks in the world. So far he has visited more than 3,800 in the U.S., more than 100 in Britain, and about 40 in Japan. I don't know what's more unsettling: The fact that, as the URL implies, Starbucks really is everywhere, or the fact that this guy has digital photos of every single one, including the three in my hometown and the one right down the street from my job that was only completed a couple of months ago (or, even more unsettling: learning that my hometown has three Starbucks stores. When did that happen?).

-Consider Arms