Monday, July 26, 2004


At Last, a Politician We Can All Support The residents of Florissant, Colorado have overwhelmingly re-elected incumbent mayor Paco Bell, a donkey. Bell, whose age is not given in the story, triumphed over a white donkey named Birdie and someone whose trailer broke down, disqualifying him from the election. While people might be tempted to poke fun, I actually think this is in a long, buried American tradition of healthy disrespect for the invariably crooked electoral process. After all, how much better than a donkey is the current "President"?

Good Vs. Evil: The Shopping Version While it's no surprise that Wal-Mart, force for all that is unholy in retail, is heavily invested in the Bush campaign (it gives more money to the Republican Party than any other company), it's a pleasant surprise to find that CostCo, Wal-Mart's virtuous rival, is headed by a Democrat who opposed the Iraq War and tax cuts. CEO Jim Sinegal is the only executive of a Fortune 500 company to donate money to independent groups seeking the ouster of Bush. Before you scoff, consider this: CostCo encourages union membership at its stores, pays for comprehensive health care for all 78,000 full-timers, starts employees at $10 an hour, and gives preference to products manufactured in the United States.

Thank You for Being a Friend One of the "stunning revelations" being played up in the 9/11 commission report is that Iran had more contacts with Al Qaeda than Iraq. Ignored so far by the US press is this: the report notes that Pakistan had far more extensive contacts with Al Qaeda than either Iran or Iraq, and the Times of India reports today that those contacts continue. According to the Times report, a leaked Pakistani ISI document shows that the country's intelligence service knew about 9/11 in advance, and that Osama Bin Laden is currently being treated at a Pakistani army hospital. Another note: Whereas Iran is alleged to be trying to develop nuclear weapons, Pakistan has successfully tested such weapons, and has threatened to use them in a war against India. So, let's recap: (1)ties to Al Qaeda (2)knowledge of 9/11 attacks in advance (3)possession of weapons of mass destruction. Keep this in mind in the next few days, when the Iran Invasion Deathwatch kicks into high gear.

Kerry: If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say... John Kerry's team is apparently forcing Democrat speakers at the convention this week to keep the Bush-bashing to a minimum. Before we gripe about how pussified this edict is, let's consider the Kerry team's points. First, they're worried about the conservative US media painting them as a bunch of wild-eyed fanatics; they don't want this to turn into a nasty disaster, a la the Republicans' crazy 1992 rantfest. On the other hand, isn't attacking your opponent something you're supposed to do at political conventions?

Iran Invasion Deathwatch: Day Four Reuters carries news of something called "The Iran Freedom and Support Act of 2004," a bill proposed by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania (you remember: the guy who was worried about dog-fucking). The act, which has not passed the senate yet, would allocate $10 million a year to fund "regime change" in Iran, modeled on a similar bill passed during the Clinton administration that provided part of the legal fig-leaf for the illegal invasion of that country last year. The wheels are turning...

-Consider Arms