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Sore Loser

July 28, 2006 Posted by | Decision '06 | Leave a comment

I Almost Forgot World Leaders are Usually Smart.

I watched the joint press conference of English PM Tony Blair and our President George Bush and was completely struck by one thing over all others. While both Bush and Blair touted the same losing strategy in the Middle East I felt, for the first time, that I understood where these crazies are coming from. Why? Because Blair was there to articulate sentences that communicated thoughts. Oh how I miss such qualities in our leader. I still think the strategy of blindly staying the course is poorly conceived but at least I came away from the conference with an understanding of their “plan” (if you can call it that).

On more than one occasion, Blair answered on behalf of Bush who couldn’t form a sentence without three or more grammatical errors. Not only is he completely dumb but it took him standing next to a Brit for me to realize just how rude he is. We can’t forget, of course, how he talked to Blair at the G8, chewing with his mouth open, not looking him in the eye, using expletives. And I will never forget the back-rub he bestowed on the German Chancellor. But whenever Blair referred to Bush he said something like “The President and I agree” or “President Bush and I had a long conversation about” but with Bush its more like “Tony and I had a long chat” and “that’s why Tony and I think Condi Rice should stay up there”.

Its all so embarrassing.

July 28, 2006 Posted by | Armed Conflict, Irony and Hypocrisy, National Defence | Leave a comment

Midday News Roundup

Nebraska High Court Approves Electric Chair
“Nebraska … now is alone in the United States, actually in the whole world, in still requiring electrocution,” Carey Dean Moore’s lawyer, Alan Peterson, argued to the court. “Nebraska is the last holdout for this universally rejected and condemned sole means of capital punishment.”

Arab Opinion Shifts in Favor of Hezbollah
Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah—which has featured prolonged and deadly strikes against civilian targets in Lebanon—has boosted the militant group’s popularity among governments and groups that earlier opposed it, according to Middle East analysts, with Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt now taking pains to distance themselves from American policy. Meanwhile, there is no timetable for Condoleezza Rice to return to the region for further peace talks.

White House Times Bolton Fight to Mobilize Conservatives
As the partisan battle resumes over U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton—who currently owes his job to a presidential appointment, rather than congressional approval—some observers think the White House has timed his re-submission to mobilize conservatives who share Bolton’s contempt for the UN and multilateral diplomacy as a whole. Democrats say they oppose Bolton as much for his incompetence as for his boorishness; as Sen. Christopher Dodd said, “My objection is not that he is a bully, but that he is an ineffective bully.”

White House Seeks Protection from War Crimes Act
The Bush administration, through Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, is pushing GOP lawmakers to draft specific “protections” to shield American soldiers from prosecution under the 1996 War Crimes Act. The Act, which was pushed through at the time by the Republican-controlled Congress, criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions, and holds out the possibility of the death penalty for any soldier who causes the death of a detainee in U.S. custody.

July 28, 2006 Posted by | In The News | Leave a comment

Bolton: Rude and Ineffective

Ambassador to the United Nation, John Bolton appeared before the senate foreign relations committee for his nominating hearing yesterday and, as only he can, showed complete and udder disregard for the process. He was despicably rude and short with the Democrats who tried desperately to maintain that “My concerns continue to relate to substance and not style, Mr. Ambassador.” by claiming “My objection is not that he is a bully, but that he is an ineffective bully,”. All the while Mr. Bolton could be seen doodling, fiddling with his pencil, leaning back in his chair, raping his fingers on the desk, rifling through papers, groaning, rolling his eyes or shaking his head. The contempt he held for the Democrats in positions of respect and power was the likes of which I have never seen before on the public stage. And this is the man we are sending to represent us to a world already unhappy with the rude and ambivalent nature of US foreign policy?

He was chosen by the Bush administration to offend the mores and upset the structure of the institution he once described as a rightful lapdog of the United States — “The United States makes the U.N. work when it wants to work.” He once famously said the U.N.’s New York headquarters could lose 10 floors without disruption. More than 30 of Bolton’s fellow ambassadors recently complained to the New York Times about his confrontational tactics and his flouting of diplomatic conventions. They did not criticize his policies as much as the arrogance of his ways. “He’s lost me as an ally now,” confided one ambassador, who was identified as having close ties to the Bush administration.

Bolton                                                                  The Sweedish Chef from The Muppets

July 28, 2006 Posted by | Business and Economy | Leave a comment