Wednesday, June 29, 2005

TODAY'S TOP NEWS: Have You Forgotten?

Bush Speech Draws Mixed Response We can already see the public relations strategy for the coming months: 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, oh, and by the way, 9/11. Bush mentioned the terrorist attacks of September 2001 five times in his 28-minute speech, which was ostensibly about the need to "stay the course" in Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

Israeli Army Clashes With Settlers Over Gaza Pullout It's going to be a long, hot summer, folks.

Scandal-related Damage Control, Philippines-Style President Gloria Arroyo, mired in scandal since admitting to rigging an election last year, has hit upon the kind of leadership tactic that Hillary Clinton can only dream of: She is sending her husband, reeling from his own racketeering scandal, into exile.

Shi'ite Cleric Orders End to Celebratory Shootings After 3 Deaths You know all that news footage of people in the Middle East celebrating some election victory or suicide bombing by shooting their guns in the air? Did you ever wonder what happens when the bullets come down? Apparently, they kill people, as they did in Lebanon after the recent elections, hence the fatwa. In a truly awesome move, the top Shi'ite cleric in Lebanon called such displays both "annoying" and "retarded."

Redesigned Freedom Tower Unveiled, Now With 20 Percent More Freedom The new design is slightly less ridiculous than the previous one, but take heart, fans of childish gestures: the new building will still be 1,776 feet tall. About 400 feet of that will be in the form of a spire, like in the old design, but get this: In the new Freedom Tower, "The spire will emit light, to serve as a 'beacon of freedom,' according to the plans."

Poll: Majority of Californians Starting to Come to Their Senses The poll numbers continue to be grim for Gov. Embarrassment (R-Austria): Only 39 percent of Californian voters say they're inclined to accept a second term for the star of "Jingle All The Way," while 57 percent say they are not so inclined. The election is 17 months away, so let's not uncork the champagne yet, but this is fine evidence that the business of governing is turning out to be harder than the business of pretending to be a murderous robot from the future.

Connecticut Democrats Kill GOP Plan to Limit Eminent Domain First the conservatives on the Surpeme Court make the right call on the eminent domain case, and now the Republicans are blocked in their effort to limit the damage done by the majority ruling. Up is down. Night is day.

"The Indians Are Bastards Anyway" Every year around this time, the federal government releases more declassified Nixon tapes and documents. One of my favorite summer activities is reading about the bizarre inner life of Dick Nixon. Starting last year, the tapes increasingly depict Nixon as Lear and Kissinger as his fool, and this year's batch is no exception. The highlight seems to be Nixon's characterization of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. "We really slobbered over the old witch," he told Kissinger, who replied, statesmanly, "The Indians are bastards anyway."

-Consider Arms