Thursday, March 04, 2004

Some folks just let the clue phone ring

LA Observed reports a howler in LAT's 'anti-abortion' opera:
Here's why reporters want newspaper corrections to make clear that an editor is at fault for an error introduced to their copy. Last week, the L.A. Times' Mark Swed filed a review of the opera "Die Frau Ohne Schatten" at the Music Center. He wrote that the Richard Strauss epic is "an incomparably glorious and goofy pro-life paean..." But when it ran in the paper, pro-life had been changed to anti-abortion.

Swed was reportedly mortified, since the opera is not remotely about abortion. On Feb. 25, the Times ran this correction:
Opera review -- A review of Los Angeles Opera's "Die Frau Ohne Schatten" in Tuesday's Calendar section incorrectly characterized the work as "anti-abortion." In fact, there is no issue of abortion in the opera, which extols procreation.
Swed was again not amused, since his name was on the piece -- he had been made to look stupid to his readers and to the opera community. If they thought he had misread the work, it might affect how opera fans, players and producers regard him in the future.
There aren't too many opera (as opposed to Opry) fans around the store, but we like bathos as much as anyone. Pretty good story so far, right? But if you follow the link, you'll see that it gets even better.
To keep track of Lurch, you need a scorecard

And Michael Grunwald provides one in Slate - John Kerry's Waffles
If you don't like the Democratic nominee's views, just wait a week.

Last week, President Bush offered a wry critique of his Democratic challengers. "They're for tax cuts and against them. They're for NAFTA and against NAFTA. They're for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act. They're in favor of liberating Iraq, and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts." Now that John Kerry is the presumptive Democratic nominee, Republicans are sure to focus the spotlight on his history of flip-flops. Kerry did vote for the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the war in Iraq, even though he constantly trashes the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the war in Iraq. He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited marriage to a man and a woman, but he now says marriage should be limited to a man and a woman. (Although he also points out that he once attended a gay wedding.) And those are just the better-known issues on which Kerry has "evolved."
He's a "flexible" fellow, sho' nuff.
Here, then, since John Edwards was too polite to mention them (though President Bush won't be), is a guide to some of Kerry's other reversals on substantive issues.
You'll have to go to the article for the table, but there were a few things left out.
This list doesn't include quickly withdrawn gaffes, such as Kerry's recent suggestion (retracted after an uproar from Jewish groups) that he might make James Baker or Jimmy Carter his Middle East envoy. It doesn't include long-renounced youthful indiscretions, such as his proposal after returning from Vietnam to eliminate most of the CIA. It doesn't include less clear-cut sins of omission and opportunism, such as his stirring denunciations of companies caught in accounting frauds, even though he supported a 1995 law protecting those companies from liability. And it doesn't include the inevitable fund-raising hypocrisies that accompany all modern campaigns, such as his donations from some of the "Benedict Arnold" companies he routinely rips on the trail, or his bundling of contributions from special interests despite his high-minded rejection of PAC money. Even so, the list is long, and it isn't all-inclusive. Kerry's supporters cite his reversals as evidence of the senator's capacity for nuance and complexity, growth and change. His critics say they represent a fundamental lack of principles.
I just say he's pond scum.
Buh bye, punk

Yep, it's that whining little crapsack, Ted Rall, starring in a Rall rant (scroll down):
The New York Times has dropped political cartoonist Ted Rall, who traces the trouble back to his March 2002 cartoon of "terror widows," which depicted September 11 family survivors capitalizing on the attacks.

The image "became the target of a coordinated e-mail attack by right-wing 'warbloggers.' These pro-Bush bloggers, coasting on a wave of post-September 11 patriotism, sent out e-mails to their followers ... asking each other to deluge the Times and other papers with complaints that purported to come from their readers," Mr. Rall wrote on his Web site ( yesterday.
The Vast WarBlogger Conspiracy? VWBC for short, I guess. I hope Teddy has plenty of tin foil for making beanies.
"It seems that the warbloggers' consistent campaign of e-mail harassment has finally taken its toll over at Times Digital," Mr. Rall continued. "Because they're annoyed by receiving so many e-mail complaints about my work — all of them motivated by partisan politics — the Times has decided to drop my cartoons entirely."
Or maybe even the Times gets tired of delusional hacks.
Mr. Rall called the move "a dangerous precedent. ... They've sent the message that political pressure works."
He forgot "chilling effect". Where's my violin, I feel a big sad coming on!
Who loves ya, baby?

Well, if you're John Kerry, it's a bunch of furriners according to the pressititutes.

Pravda Online: The odious Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey opines
John Kerry has criticized the foreign policy of George W. Bush as being inept, reckless, arrogant and ideological, a view which sums up world public opinion admirably.
The Guardian: "The Hope of the World"

Toronto Star: "Kerry's success may be our gain"
In short, Kerry's views on the world mesh better with mainstream Canadian views. Americans will find it harder to deride "Soviet Canuckistan" when a presidential candidate and war hero is voicing similar ideas.
Silly Morning Hilmer: "Kerry free trade opportunist but no warmonger"

Deutsche Welle: "Kerry Promises a Kinder, Gentler Foreign Policy"
While Bush has had limited foreign travel experience -- when he was 21 he listed his only foreign travel as a vacation trip to Scotland -- Kerry attended a Swiss boarding school and when he receives envoys from Paris in Washington, he chats with them in fluent French. His wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, was born in Mozambique, studied in South Africa and Switzerland and is fluent in five languages herself.
Well Yeehaw! No word on finger bowls.
"Bush has managed to offend everybody," said Ruth Oldenziel, an American history professor at the University of Amsterdam, in an interview with Dutch radio. "Kerry is well travelled, he has been to Vietnam, he's very well read, he has a sense of belonging, and has a background in Europe, so I think to Europeans he's going to be a welcome change."
I hope these folks won't mind if I suggest they hump somebody else's leg.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, the big unwritten story of the "exciting" primary contest was that voter turnout was "sharply down".

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

It's all in the family, I guess...

Richard Johnson's Page Six column in the NY Post has this nugget:

March 3, 2004 -- JOHN Kerry's ex-girlfriend Emma Gilbey is now married to Bill Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times - and some wags are wondering whether Gilbey's romantic past will influence her husband's coverage of the candidate.

Kerry dated Gilbey, a British gin heiress, in the late 1980s before she dumped him for Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. This was prior to Kerry marrying ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz and Gilbey getting hitched to Keller. But the dishier details of the Gilbey-Kerry fling are just now leaking out.

In the new issue of the American Conservative, co-editor Taki Theodoracopulos, another former flame of Gilbey's, imparts a naughty new morsel about the Gilbey/Kerry romance:

"People do tend to tell each other secrets, and one of her's was that she was involved with JFK Mark II [Kerry], the man who is now running for president," Taki writes. "More details followed, and then it was time for a White House correspondents' dinner.

"I had had much too much to drink . . . and when John Kerry lumbered by I heard myself yelling, 'Senator, do you like to have sex in limousines?' Well, he didn't look best pleased, but then he's a politician and knows how to roll with the punches. He also knew that I knew and left it well enough alone."
Lurch, we didn't know you had it in you (so to speak)!

The original article in Taki's own discursive style is here for your enjoyment, but I liked this section:
I don’t know much about Kerry except that he depresses the hell out of me. He looks as gloomy as a rainy Sunday night in Belfast, Northern Ireland. But don’t be fooled. This guy is running for president but he’s in the wrong racket. He shoulda been a gigolo. His first wife, Julia Thorn, helped him go into politics. (Helped is a euphemism for total financing, including breakfast cereals.) It would be unfair for me to jump to conclusions, but once he separated from Julia Thorn—whose assets were not unlimited—the Gilbey millions may have looked very attractive, until he found out there were no millions. Teresa Heinz’s fortune also came the old fashioned way. Through marriage. I find it particularly amusing when the press refers to her as an heiress. An heiress inherits from her father or mother. Poor Senator Heinz must be turning over in his untimely grave.
Don't you just hate it when the gigolo finds out his hottie has no dough? But it reminded me of James Taranto's item in yesterday's Best of the Web:
Political Ghost Story

Here's a creepy coincidence. Remember Wallace Carter? He's the Massachusetts man who in 1991 received two letters, nine days apart, from Sen. John Kerry, one opposing the Gulf War and the other supporting it. The New Republic published excerpts from both two months later. It turns out that soon thereafter, one of Kerry's colleagues gave a speech in which he mocked the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam, for the Carter letters. Dennis Roddy, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, tells the story:
It happened at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner of the Allegheny County Republican Party, March 20, 1991, at the William Penn Hotel.

At the time the first George Bush was still flush with victory in the Persian Gulf, and dinnergoers chortled over a videotaped presentation of assorted senate Democrats backpedaling in the wake of a war they'd opposed. Ted Kennedy was shown. News clips were shown. But for Kerry, the speaker simply read the two letters, to everyone's amazement.

"It's like those before-and-after pictures they print in the papers," the speaker said. "If they didn't tell you so themselves, you'd think they were different people."

Kerry has to remember that one. The speaker was Sen. John Heinz. Two weeks later, he would die in a plane crash. Four years after that, Kerry would marry his widow.
If only the political parties were reversed, this would have the makings of a great Angry Left conspiracy theory.
What did Lurch know and when did he know it?
More fun with Lurch

(Via C&S) Kerry's Dirty Diplomacy:
To most sentient observers, Aristide is an obvious Marxist crook and thug. To John Kerry, he is "Father Aristide." That's what Kerry quaintly called the brutal strongman in a 1994 New York Times op-ed, even though Aristide had been sacked from the Salesian order several years earlier after the Vatican grew weary of his preaching in favor of Marxist violence.

In that 1994 op-ed, Kerry played the apologist for Aristide. "Father Aristide may not be perfect (what elected leader is?), but we have never discarded whole democracies because of an individual leader," Kerry wrote. "Moreover, he has already demonstrated his willingness to compromise, agreeing to share power with a broad-based coalition with safeguards for everyone's rights."

Here Kerry was trying to pass off a thug as a conciliatory priest. Aristide was a known inciter of "necklacing," the practice of throwing flaming tires around opponents' heads. He had compiled a voluminous record as an abuser of human rights. Kerry, nevertheless, had a weakness for the defrocked priest.
Ruh Oh! But he's not the only one:
Joseph Kennedy, another dissenting Catholic with a soft spot for liberation theologians, invited Aristide to his 1993 wedding in Massachusetts. Kerry was at the wedding too. Kennedy, then a Congressman, must also have regarded Aristide as still "Father Aristide," as he had the exiled thug deliver one of the wedding readings, according to the Boston Globe.
I always get the various Kennedys confused. Was this the one who was boffing the baby sitter?

Anyhow, more fun details by following the link. Of course, the punchline is that Lurch and his brainiac daughter wanted the US to secure this thug in the perks of the presidential palace. And now they're real cranky that he got the heave ho. As Lurch would say, too f------ bad.
What's Her Heinous Up To?

Hillary Endorses Kerry on Foreign TV
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton finally made her much-sought-after presidential endorsement on Tuesday for Sen. John Kerry. But she chose to make it in a venue where few if any Americans were watching.

Rather than appear side-by-side with the Democratic presidential front-runner, or ring up Dan Rather, Katie Couric or Larry King with the big news, she chose to deliver a lukewarm statement on, of all places, Japanese TV.
Speculation abounds.

C'mon Lurch! Let's see the records

Neal Boortz on Kerry's Medical Records
Bill Clinton always refused to release his medical records. Speculation? Lots of it. But to this day we have no clue just why Clinton feared public scrutiny of his records.
There's a body of opinion that Bubba had the occasional problem with Peruvian marching powder, but I always thought he didn't want the folks to know how many times he was treated for the clap.
George Bush? He recently made his medical records pertaining to that period of time during which he was serving in the Texas Air National Guard public. All of them.

John Kerry? Will he release his medical records for that period of time he served in Vietnam? Answer: No, he won't. And why not? We don't know ... but I have a hunch.

Kerry has been making a mega-huge deal out of his service in Vietnam, and his three Purple Hearts. If you are adept at crusing the Internet you will find no dearth of articles about Kerry's Vietnam service and those three wounds. Some call Kerry's commendations "Band-Aid Purple Hearts." The definition is clear. Get a slight scratch -- apply a Band-aid -- receive your purple heart.

Is it possible that Kerry is afraid for the public to find out that he was receiving Purple Hearts for wounds that most Vietnam GIs wouldn't have even reported to their superiors?
Knowing Lurch, that's highly likely. But it would be cool if there was a psych profile:
“[T]he fabled and distinguished chief of naval operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, told me — 30 years ago when he was still CNO —that during his own command of U.S. naval forces in Vietnam, just prior to his anointment as CNO, young Kerry had created great problems for him and the other top brass,by killing so many non-combatant civilians and going after other non-military targets.‘We had virtually to straitjacket him to keep him under control,’ the admiral said.
Since Lurch won't release the records, we'll just have to speculate.
Well Looky Here!

I generally ignore the antics of politicians' relatives and children unless they participate in politics. So Vanessa Kerry, welcome to the party!

Kerry's Daughter Campaigns on Long Island
Taking a page from her father's campaign playbook, a daughter of Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry on Monday criticized the Bush administration for its handling of the crisis in Haiti.

"I believe this administration just helped overthrow, basically overthrow, a democratically elected president," Vanessa Kerry, 27, said during a campaign stop at Stony Brook University. "We basically, in our silence, allowed him to be deposed."
"Basically", she wouldn't a know a thug if one beat her up. But it's a common trait as Rich Lowry describes in the The Left's favorite thug.
If there was one moment when recent U.S. Haitian policy went wrong, it might have been in 1993 when Bill Clinton was considering whether or not to restore the exiled former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide by force of American arms. Aristide had a well-earned reputation for thuggish tactics and emotional instability. Huddled with top aide George Stephanopoulos, Clinton briefly considered and then dismissed a CIA report that Aristide is a manic depressive. "You know," Clinton said, "you can make too much of normalcy."
Hmmm, that says a lot!
Well, as Aristide again heads into exile having left his country in shambles thanks to his erratic behavior and anti-democratic rule, it is time to value normalcy in Haitian leaders again. Clinton deployed troops to Haiti on Aristide's behalf because he was a darling of the American left, which he remains despite a disastrous interlude in power. President Bush is being assailed as a betrayer of democracy and Colin Powell as a betrayer of blacks ("an immoral traitor to his race," according to activist Randall Robinson) for giving Aristide a shove out the door.
I don't want to know what Randy thinks of Bobby Mugabe.
Aristide made his own mess. The Organization of American States pronounced his 2000 re-election fraudulent, a judgment accepted by nearly everyone. Aristide repeatedly refused to follow through on commitments to reform, working to consolidate his power instead. As the Haitian National Police dissolved under the pressure of its own corruption, Aristide began to rely on gangs to work his will. Hence, a seed of the current rebellion.
Sounds like old Vanessa has a "flexible" definition of democratically elected.
Former Aristide gangs, outraged that he allegedly ordered the assassination of one of their leaders, rose up against him. They were joined by right-wing gangs, as the country steadily slipped out of the unpopular Aristide's control. The democratic opposition got caught in the middle. The situation was intolerable so long as Aristide remained in power.

This wasn't a "unilateral" determination by the Bush administration. None of the important international players wanted to commit troops to Haiti with Aristide in office. "Everyone said we're not going to send a dollar or person to save this crumbling regime," says Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who has been active in Haitian diplomacy. It's no accident that a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing troops passed the same day Aristide left with a one-way ticket to the Central African Republic.
Unilateral versus multilateral was a bogus issue from the start.
Bush critics complain that Aristide wasn't given enough aid. By the end almost all assistance to Haiti was being funneled through nongovernmental groups, because no one trusted the government. The OAS and the European Union, especially the French, didn't want to hand aid over to a corrupt regime. The United States withheld certain aid, but didn't cut it off entirely ($71 million in bilateral aid last year), continuing a stream of assistance that has been generous by any standard.
Maybe Vanessa would like to help 'em handle the cash!

Nah, that can't be it. She's the daughter of Lurch and his first wife, Julia Thorne. Julia was the one worth only $300 million that Lurch dumped after she started suffering from depression. Even more depressing, Julia continued to support Lurch financially between their separation and divorce while he lived the "shagadelic" lifestyle (hard as it may be to imagine). Best line:
"There were times at dinner parties when John would be very pompous, unable to control his impulse to make a speech," one acquaintance told the writer. "It was all slightly laughable, and Julia was one of those who laughed. She'd say things like, 'What the f--k did you just say?'"
A common reaction. And their marriage was the one Lurch attempted to annul which would have left Vanessa a bastard.

But that's OK with Vanessa:
Vanessa Kerry grew up discussing politics and social injustice with her father, a lawmaker and Vietnam veteran.

“It was never any one lesson. We’d take what we saw in life and talk about it,” said Vanessa Kerry, the younger daughter of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. “Lessons were always coming up.”
Like the best brand of private jet?

But there is a downside to being the spawn of Lurch:
Vanessa Kerry, a blonde who bears some of her father’s distinctive features
describes the problem politely. That must be the reason for snaps like this. But she can't always keep her back to the camera. This one is good too.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

It's Big Boo Hoo Time!

When Bertie first took it on the lam out of Haiti, he was going the martyr route:
"In overthrowing me, they cut down the tree of peace," the exiled leader declared. "But it will grow again, because the roots are well-planted."
Having had time to contemplate the fate of one of his predecessors, he's now got a new story with a little help from his friends:
Jean-Bertrand Aristide said in a telephone interview Monday that he was "forced to leave" Haiti by U.S. military forces.

Aristide was put in contact with The Associated Press by the Rev. Jesse Jackson following a news conference, where the civil rights leader called on Congress to investigate Aristide's ouster.
Jesse! It's a reunion of all the usual suspects.
When asked if he left Haiti on his own, Aristide quickly answered: "No. I was forced to leave.

"They were telling me that if I don't leave they would start shooting, and be killing in a matter of time," Aristide said during the brief interview via speaker phone. He spoke with a thick Haitian accent, his voice obscured at times by a bad connection. It was unclear whether Aristide meant that rebels or U.S. agents would begin shooting.

When asked who the agents were, he responded: "White American, white military.

"They came at night. ... There were too many. I couldn't count them," he added.
Aristide on Monday said he was in his palace in Port-au-Prince when the military force arrived. He said he thought he was being taken to the Caribbean island of Antigua, but instead he has been exiled to the Central African Republic.

Aristide described the agents as "good, warm, nice," but added that he had no rights during his 20-hour flight to Africa.
What, no beverage service on the private jet?

Hmm, Bertie needs a little work on the details and it would be better if he had a few bruises from when he was dragged from the palace, but it sounds like he could hit the leftoid rubber chicken circuit for years with this one. In fact, it has already started:
Aristide's wife, Mildred, initiated Monday's telephone call, said Shelley Davis, a special assistant to Jackson. She said the reverend and the president's family have been close for about a decade.

Also Monday, two Democratic congressmen, California's Maxine Waters and New York's Charles Rangel, said they, too, had spoken to Aristide, and he had made similar claims.
Looking good, Bertie! And Jesse is getting ready to run with it:
Jackson said Congress should investigate whether the United States, specifically the CIA, had a role in the rebellion that led to Aristide's exile.

Jackson encouraged reporters to question where the rebels in Haiti got their guns and uniforms.

"Why would we immediately support an armed overthrow and not support a constitutionally elected government?" Jackson said.
Jesse apparently confused "fraudulently" with "constitutionally," but then he's a Democrat.

By the way, if you were wondering where Jesse has been lately, the answer is Libya. Leave no stone unturned!
Good news is busting out all over!

David Adesnik at Oxblog found some in the NY Times:
What is going on in Iraq? The NYT reports that oil production there is poised to surpass prewar levels. The NYT article on that subject is climibing the charts over at Memeorandum thanks to posts by Rob Tagorda, Greg Djerejian, Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Reynolds and Rantingprofs.
And part of the reason is the tapering off of attacks by the remains of the Saddamites:
Accordingly, the Coalition's casualty and fatality figures fell in February to a level considerably below even that of last summer. (NB: It's not just because February is a short month. The per-day figures fell dramatically as well.) Finally, if you look at the print version of this morning's NYT, you find an interesting sentence that has disappeared from the online version of its article:
American efforts to restore Iraqi oil have been led by the Army Corps of Engineers and its principal contractor, Halliburton.
Halli-who? You mean those guys who overcharged the government for gas? Are we really supposed to believe that they do anything right or good? Well, if the NYT says so, who am I to disagree?
Yikes, someone must be "off message" at the Times!

Then over at American RealPolitik they are having fun with economic numbers. Don't expect to see that on the evening news any time soon.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Zzzzzz ... I must have missed the Oscars

But Jim Treacher has a roundup including "Three huge boobs".
Bye bye Bertie!

After Bertie got the heck out of Dodge yesterday, he ended up in the Central African Republic - Aristide Arrives in Central Africa

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) - Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide arrived in the Central African Republic Monday, fleeing Haiti under an asylum offer negotiated by France and the United States, the government here said.

Aristide and a small entourage including his wife flew into this impoverished, Africa nation in the early morning.
He's a tad grumpy since it isn't exactly a vacation hotspot.
State radio said that Aristide would stay in the country for "a few days" and possibly head to South Africa afterward, although that could not be confirmed.

"He's here with his wife and we've granted them asylum for the beginning, and then we'll see what happens," Communications Minister Parfait Mbaye told The Associated Press.

"I don't know that yet," Mbaye said when asked where Aristide would go next. "But we will know it in the days to come."
Security guards at the airport in Bangui, the country's capital, said Aristide's plane arrived at 1:15 a.m. EST.
Aristide was taken from there to the presidential palace, in the bullet-pocked capital, Bangui.
Central African Republic - so cash-strapped that it has been unable to pay many civil servants' salary here for months - hoped that the international community would help pick up the tab of Aristide's stay here, the communications minister said.
Tell him not to call room service! There's speculation he's headed for South Africa which was sending him weapons last week and where the accomodations are undoubtedly better.

But aside from Bertie, it's instructive to see who else has their knickers in a twist. Hmm, how about Thugo Chavez who's feeling a bit nervous right now - Chavez Denounces Bush as Foes Fight Troops:
CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Bush an "---hole" on Sunday and told him not to meddle as his opponents battled troops ahead of a ruling on a recall vote against him.
"I have to say to those here who would try to apply the Haiti formula, that Venezuela is not Haiti and that Chavez is not Aristide," he said.
The Venezuelan leader's comments came as fresh violence broke out on the streets of the capital where National Guard troops clashed with opposition protesters pressing for a referendum to end his five-year rule.

Military helicopters roared in low runs overhead as soldiers fired tear gas and plastic bullets to repel hundreds of opposition demonstrators who threw stones and set up burning barricades in eastern Caracas.

A soldier and a cameraman were shot and injured during the clashes and an opposition protester was wounded in the head by gunmen firing from motorbikes, witnesses and officials said. It was unclear who opened fire during the confused battles.

One demonstrator carried a banner reading: "Bye bye Aristide, Chavez you're next," referring to Haiti's leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide who fled into exile on Sunday in the face of an armed rebellion.
From your lips to God's ears. Thugo had offered Bertie some of his troops, but I guess they were needed at home. It must be getting lonely in the leftoid wingnut despot club - first the Talibunnies, then Saddam, and now Bertie all had to let their memberships lapse.

I agree that only having Mugabe and Castro to tea could get rather old, but not for the usual suspects in the US Congress:
Many black political leaders blamed President Bush yesterday for failing to focus enough on the humanitarian problems boiling in Haiti, and said the administration's unwillingness to support the government of its now-exiled president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, set a dangerous precedent.
I get it, it's all the President's fault!
"Democracy has a black eye in Haiti this morning," said Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. "By the inaction of the United States government and our allies over the last several years, the democratically elected president of Haiti has been undermined and forced to leave his country. With the sudden departure of President Aristide, the Congressional Black Caucus is very concerned that violence does not overtake the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince."
Er, Earth to Elijah - that won't exactly be novel for Haiti. He must have missed Aristide's gangbangers brutalizing the populace over the past few years and that they're the ones currently rioting.
The frustration of black political officials in the United States, however, is clear. Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York, said the United States permitted Aristide's government to collapse by insisting on a political settlement before sending in troops to stabilize the situation.

"I don't know what's going on, but we are just as much a part of this coup d'etat as the rebels, as the looters or anyone else," Rangel said on ABC's "This Week." "All we had to do was to send 200, 300 troops over there and tell those people to put down the arms."
That sounds awfully unilateral, Chucky! Why do they love this thug so much? Something kinky no doubt.

And speaking of both kinky and unilateral, Limousine Liberal Lurch weighed in:
Kerry (D-Mass.) said he would have sent troops to Haiti even without international support to quell the revolt against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

"President Kerry would never have allowed that to get where it is," Kerry said, though he added he's not "a big Aristide fan."

But he insisted the White House "has empowered the insurgents, and they've done it quite purposely out of their dislike ... for Aristide."

A Kerry administration would have given the rebels a 48-hour ultimatum to come up with a peaceful agreement - "otherwise, we're coming in," he said.
Does he always refer to himself in the 3rd person?

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Maybe we can subcontract some of the "wet work" to the Russkies


MOSCOW, February 29, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - A source in the Qatar embassy to Russia has confirmed the detention of two Qatar residents in Moscow.

The arrestees are members of Qatar's Olympic wrestling team, which was transiting via Moscow to Serbia for the qualifying wrestling tournament ahead of the Athens Olympics.

The Qatar embassy was informed of the incident, noted a source.

The athletes were detained for the failure to declare a big sum of money they were carrying and improperly processed documents.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has denied to comment on the incident.

However, Russian and foreign experts already qualified the detention as Russia's retaliation to the February 19 arrest in Doha of two Russian security officers. The Qatar officials charged them with involvement in the assassination of ex-Chechen president Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. Experts predict that Russia will try to exchange the athletes for the Russian nationals, who remain in custody despite Moscow's strong protests.
They always have a card up their sleeve and never seem to worry about the whiners. Maybe it's because, in the bad old days, the whiners never cared about what the Commies did and the "new" Russia is still getting a pass.

So why not do a little outsourcing? In these days of the Kumbaya CIA, all of our people are busy working on their diversity quilts anyhow.
Foto Funnies!

Send that boy deep in the endzone! Er, maybe not.
Today's hoot!

The Union Leader has a little fun with the professional bureaucrats - Listening to the U.N.: Maybe someone does after all
CLARE SHORT, the former British cabinet minister who last week accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair of spying on U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, is said by members of her own party to have boasted long before the Iraq war that she would one day resign from the government and “bring (Blair) down with her.”

Last year she resigned from Parliament after accusing Blair of having planned the Iraq war in secret meetings that excluded her. Then last week she made her spying allegations. If true, they would prove one thing: There is at least one country that listens to the United Nations.

The U.N.’s reaction to Short’s charges is another example of why no one (save possibly Britain) listens to it. “We’re throwing down a red flag and saying that if this is true, please stop it,” Annan’s spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

“Please stop it”? How fitting. That’s the same reaction the U.N. had to Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Slobodan Milosevic, Kim Jong Il, and every other dictator who openly thumbed his nose at international law and basic human rights.

The only people who take the U.N. seriously are U.N. staffers and university faculty members. Everyone else knows that it is as effective at international diplomacy as thug-style rapper Eminem would be. (Come to think of it, Eminem might get better results.) That’s why the United States, Britain, Australia, Spain, Italy, Poland and other nations had to act “unilaterally” to bring justice to Saddam Hussein and the Taliban (not to mention Milosevic). If the U.N. carried enough credibility to make people other than spies listen to it, the world wouldn’t have to rely mostly on the United States military to right so many wrongs.
Spying on the UN is cool, but how about a little sabotage? First step, get the Food Workers Union to go on strike.
Bertie takes it on the lam!

Aristide Flees Haiti; Leadership Unclear
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled Haiti on Sunday, bowing to pressure from a rebellion at home and governments abroad, U.S. and Haitian officials said.
A senior U.S. official said Aristide flew from Haiti on a corporate jet that left at 6:45 a.m. He was accompanied by members of his security detail but his destination was unclear. An Associated Press reporter saw an unmarked white jet take off from Port-au-Prince's airport about that time Sunday morning.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he could provide no other details because Aristide had not yet arrived at his destination.

Aristide's Cabinet minister and close adviser Leslie Voltaire said Aristide was on board along with his palace security chief Frantz Gabriel.
Voltaire said Aristide was flying to the Dominican Republic and would seek asylum in Morocco, Taiwan or Panama.

In Morocco, a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official said Aristide is not heading for the North African kingdom.
I'll bet a fiver that wherever he ends up, he won't be standing on street corners with a sign that says "Will brutalize for food."
It was not clear where Aristide's wife, Mildred Trouillot Aristide, was. The couple had sent their two daughters to Trouillot's mother in New York City last week.
Aw, not the USA! Hey, maybe he could be the house guest of Rep. Corrine Brown! That would be enlightening for everyone.