Wednesday, August 04, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Who's Afraid of North Korea? This Guy.

When Hell is Full, the Damned Will Publish Books John O'Neill, the phony veteran who has made a career out of smearing real Vietnam vets like John McCain, is planning to publish a book charging that John Kerry was, confusingly, not really active during the Vietnam War and an active war criminal. This is the sort of thing that made Dante envision a Hell where people chew on each other's necks for eternity.

Maybe Rumsfeld Had a Point Just how irrelevant has Europe become in world politics? This irrelevant: Spain and Britain are still fighting over Gibraltar, that godforsaken spit of land in the Mediterranean that Britain first occupied in 1704. As a snub to Spain for pulling troops out of the Iraq quagmire, Tony Blair allowed a British warship (the awesomely named HMS Tireless) to sail to Gibraltar and fire a salute, the first time in 54 years that a British ship has done so. Spain's prime minister called the insult "the lowest point" of his term in office so far. Hey, why don't you ladies take off the gloves and start slapping each other?

I'll Be Very Deep in the Cold, Cold Ground Before I Recognize Missourah The voters of Missouri have apparently overwhelmingly a proved a ban on same-sex marriage, with about 70 percent of them voting in favor of it. Although the state already has a law banning gay marriage, this amends the state constitution so that such bans are legal. One wonders if they will now pass a third law preventing state courts from ruling that the amendment is unconstitutional. The only thing notable about this, apart from the fact that there are some states where people really, really don't want gay marriage, is that Missouri is a key state in the presidential election. Does such a vote bode ill for Kerry's chances there?

Another Old-Fashioned Republican Let me tell you about James Hart, who looks like a lock to be the Republican nominee in the 8th congressional district in Tennessee (he's currently running against only a write-in candidate): He's 60 years old. He's a real estate developer. He campaigns door-to-door with a bulletproof vest and a gun and tells voters "I believe white children should have the same rights as anyone else." Most of his platform is based on eugenics, which he says has nothing to do with racism, and everything to do with "favored races" from Europe and "less-favored" races from Africa. I bet I know some of the issues his Democratic opponent is going to bring up during the campaign.

South of the Border I've been wondering lately what happened to Bush's wacky proposal to confer quasi-legal status on illegal immigrants (to make their exploitation by American business all the easier). That seemed like a pretty left-field proposal; was I the only one who remembered it? Apparently not: Thousands of diehard Republicans in key swing states like Arizona and Nevada (where Republicans tend to loathe all immigrants, legal or illegal) are planning to vote for a protest candidate, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo instead of Bush (I'll give you a moment to savor the irony of a guy named "Tancredo" making a name by opposing immigration). Even better, there's a question on Arizona's ballot this year that would deny state services to illegal immigrants (like emergency health care - yes, they're a bunch of mean-spirited crackers), a move supported by an overwhelming 74 percent of Arizonans. That sentiment could possibly tip Arizona away from Bush and into Kerry's camp. So, to my Mexican-hating Republican countrymen: Please, vote for Tancredo or Grebo or Groucho or whoever. I thank you, and your country thanks you.

-Consider Arms