Wednesday, June 02, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: We're Going to Party Like It's Your Birthday.

The Magic of the Marketplace I notice that the fervent defenders of unfettered capitalism and the "free" market have been pretty quiet since California's experiment with energy deregulation has turned out to be a massive debacle. This week, CBS turned up with the icing on the cake: tapes of Enron employees bragging about illegally shutting down power generators to drive up prices. As if to prove they were, in fact, evil, the tape also contains moments where Enron employees celebrate a massive forest fire and say this about overcharging old ladies for energy: "Yeah, now she wants her fucking money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her asshole for fucking $250 a megawatt hour." Conclusive proof, were it needed, of the existence of Satan.

George Bush is a Bad Neighbor So far, praise the Lord, it has been a very bad spring for our boy king: his poll numbers are at an all-time low, there is no end in sight to the Iraq quagmire, no one believes his promises that the economy is getting better, and despite essentially not running a campaign, John Kerry is still polling ahead of him. Apparently, he is to be spared no indignity: Robert Campbell, the mayor of Bush's hometown of Crawford, Tex., has announced he's supporting Kerry. "I don't see where I'm better off than I was four years ago," Campbell said Tuesday. "I don't see where the city is any better off."

Turning the Corner, Light at the End of the Tunnel, Hearts and Minds, Etc. Etc. A new draft proposal hatched by the US and Britain has "coalition" troops leaving Iraq in 2006, after their "mandate" expires. Does anyone actually believe this will happen? If it does, what if there's a civil war in Iraq? What if a virulent Shi'ite theocracy seizes power and begins giving aid to Hezbollah against Israel? Well, at least Bush isn't claiming to have a "secret plan" to get us out of there, like Nixon did.

Two Down, 11 to Go Stephanie Herseth, a South Dakota Democrat, has narrowly beaten a popular Republican in a special election for the seat of GOP Congressman Bill Janklow, who had to vacate his seat after he killed a guy (true!). This is the second GOP seat in Congress that the Democrats have picked up in special elections this year. The Republicans were desperate to win this one, too, pouring in $2 million (or about $3 per South Dakota resident) and sending Dick Cheney to campaign on behalf of the Republican. Boy, it's nice when the good guys finally win.

At Last! We Have Our Own Alger Hiss to Crow About! What dark days these are for the Man of Cats. The FBI is now admitting that they are investigating Iraqi National Congress boss Ahmad Chalabi for espionage, based on the Bush administration's revelation that Chalabi told the Iranian intelligence service that the US had cracked its secret code. Incidentally, this was a story that "liberal" news outlets like the NY Times agreed not to run, based on an administration request that the revelation could jeopardize an important intelligence operation. However, the request was withdrawn after the allegation was brought out in print by Michael Ledeen and Christopher Hitchens, two neoconservative members of the Chalabi Lobby. So, in other words, we have a foreign national who is spying for a government hostile to the United States. A sensitive intelligence operation is jeopardized because partisan defenders of the foreign national recklessly make public information that the government wanted to remain private. It's time to go all McCarthy on these schmucks. Bring on the hearings!

-Consider Arms