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Saturday, September 21, 2002
The FEC has imposed a record set of fines in connection with the campaign finance scandals of the Clinton Gore 1996 campaign.

The Clinton Gore campaign itself agreed to pay $115,000 and to fork over an additional $128K in illegal contributions which it had not previously returned to the donors. Remember the Buddhist monks who were suddenly flush with enough cash to make a contribution of 100 large to the campaign when Gore appeared at the temple?

I guess this means the Iced Tea Defense didn't work.
Friday, September 20, 2002
There is a campaign afoot in Canada to suggest to the National Post that they hire James Lileks (or at least take his column on a syndicated basis). I agree that Lileks is a terrific writer. There are none better in the blogosphere, in my opinion. The problem is that any editor or publisher who doesn't already know that he should be running Lileks and paying him major bucks is probably beyond help and would not profit from the suggestion.

In the past if you wished for fish, you spent half the day getting it. Now it’s not only netted for you, it’s gutted, chopped, formed into a pleasing portion, coated with one of several dozen sauces or breadings, frozen, shipped across the continent to a location six blocks from your home, and offered in a variety of quantities that fit your particular needs.

And half it ends up on the floor, eaten by the Dog.

One of my mother's favorite stories about me is the reaction she used to get when the family went out to dinner when I was one or two. She would order two hot dogs for me. When the waitress stared questioningly, my mother would politely explain that one hot dog was to drop and the other was to eat.

That was in the mid fifties. Plus ça change .....
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
My plan for world domination continues apace. CognoCentric is NUMBER ONE on Google for the following words:

opinion on invasion of Iraq

Umm, not really. But it is number one on Google for opinon on invasion of Iraq. Even typographical errors fit neatly into my evil plan. BWA HA HA HA HA.

What's that? You say you want proof? Here's proof.
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Rope-a-dope goes mainstream.

Congratulations to Stephen Green of VodkaPundit. He was the first (as far as I know) to characterize Bush's actions (and inaction) as a rope-a-dope strategy. Now the Bush administration itself has picked up the term:

"He has a history of playing 'rope-a-dope' with the world -- all the while he develops a more powerful punch," Fleischer said.
It was there all along, staring me in the face. Naturally, Den Beste saw it and I did not.

To this end, the Government of the Republic of Iraq is ready to discuss the practical arrangements necessary for the immediate resumption of inspections.

How nice of them. They are ready to sit down at a table to discuss the practical arrangements necessary, etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. Of course, first, we must decide on the shape of the table (and perhaps the color of the carpet). Having gotten that issue out of the way, we can then discuss how many inspectors there will be, what their nationality will be, what equipment they will have, who will accompany them on their journeys, where they will be able to go, etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.
Monday, September 16, 2002
Iraq's letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

Dear Secretary-General,

I have the honor to refer to the series of discussions held between Your Excellency and the Government of the Republic of Iraq on the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions on the question of Iraq which took place in New York on 7 March and 2 May and in Vienna on 4 July 2002, as well as the talks which were held in your office in New York on 14 and 15 September 2002, with the participation of the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.

I am pleased to inform you of the decision of the Government of the Republic of Iraq to allow the return of the United Nations weapons inspectors to Iraq without conditions.

If he had ended the letter there, I would say, okay, now we have inspections. But he didn't end the letter there. He continues:

The Government of the Republic of Iraq has responded, by this decision, to your appeal, to the appeal of the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, as well as those of Arab, Islamic and other friendly countries.

The Government of the Republic of Iraq has based its decision concerning the return of inspectors on its desire to complete the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and to remove any doubts that Iraq still possesses weapons of mass destruction. This decision is also based on your statement to the General Assembly on 12 September 2002 that the decision by the Government of the Republic of Iraq is the indispensable first step towards an assurance that Iraq no longer possesses weapons of mass destruction and, equally importantly, towards a comprehensive solution that includes the lifting of sanctions imposed in Iraq and the timely implementation of other provisions of the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 687(1991). T this end, the Government of the Republic of Iraq is ready to discuss the practical arrangements necessary for the immediate resumption of inspections.

No problem yet.

In this context, the Government of the Republic of Iraq reiterates the importance of the commitment of all Member States of the Security Council and the United Nations to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Iraq, as stipulated in the relevant Security Council resolutions and article (II) of the Charter of the United Nations.

Oops. What commitment to Iraq's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence would that be? Did the US make a commitment to respect Iraq's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence? Weren't any such commitments waived when Iraq executed the various commitments it undertook to end the Gulf War? What does respect for Iraq's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence have to do with weapons inspection? Nothing whatsoever. But the fact is that this was the basis Saddam used to throw the inspectors out in 1998: They were supposedly violating Iraq's sovereignty.

I would be grateful if you would bring this letter to the attention of the Security Council members.

Please accept, Mr. Secretary-General the assurances of my highest consideration.

Dr. Naji Sabri
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Iraq

So the Arab League went to Saddam and told him in no uncertain terms that Bush meant what he said and there would be an invasion unless the inspectors were let back into Iraq without precondition. I have absolutely no doubt that, if ever the inspectors show up, there will be the same dog and pony show that we witnessed for the six or so years between the end of the war and the time the inspectors were tossed out of the country. Does this mean, as Steven Den Beste (capital D, I have been told) says that Saddam thinks he is within a few months of making his bomb? I hope not.

Bush has established to my satisfaction that he is no bumpkin. He is not flying by the seat of his pants. This has been planned out with all of the foreseeable permutations accounted for. Certainly this is one of the foreseeable permutations. So now we sit back and watch how Bush responds.
Damian Penny has some insight into the effect of separating twins at birth.
The hit counter is whirling dervishly. I stand both Instapunditted and corrected. I am (reliably?) informed, twice, no less, that Jesus most likely spoke Aramaic, the common language of the day and region. Okay. I am also informed that the Civil War Amendments were Thirteen through Fifteen, not Twelve through Fourteen. That one I should have known (or at least looked up). Thanks to all who wrote.
Note to Dawn: If you say you had a dream about Glenn, he will link to you. No need to complain.
Oh, sorry. I forgot to say that I got that Jesse Jackson speech via Drudge.
Jesse Jackson speaks.
Surgeons called to remove foot from mouth.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson yesterday told about 600 Michigan State University students that America's democracy was 37 years old, not 200-plus, and that "democracy as we know it did not begin in Philadelphia, where a bunch of white men wrote the laws."

These men's wives were not allowed [to vote], these laws were made at a time when only white men had the right to vote," Mr. Jackson said, noting that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the commencement of "true democracy."

Shall I point out that we've never had a true democracy in the United States? It's a republic, doofus. And which of those dead white mens' laws do you object to? The one that says "All men are created equal"? Or maybe the one about not restricting speech, which allows you to pass off your verbal vomitus as somehow profound or well thought out? Or maybe the Civil War Amendments (Twelve through Fourteen) that those dead white men adopted after our bloodiest war led by a white man, fought almost entirely by white men? Or did history really begin only after more white men lived up to to those earlier pronouncements by passing the Civil Rights Act (which was signed into law by a TEXAN, also a white man)? The fact that white men passed the laws means that they must be bad, so which ones are bad, Jesse? Tell me, please. I want to know.

Speaking at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, Mr. Jackson also used his platform at what organizers called a "Rally for Peace" to continue his criticism of Republican leaders, focusing on President Bush.

Courtesy of VodkaPundit, may I recommend Masturbate for Peace? Their motto (as proposed by Brian in VodkaMan's comments and applied to Jackson): It's sex with someone you love.

Any military action in Iraq, [Jackson] said, at this point would violate U.N. and international law.

Oh, you mean that "law" that no one except the US is supposed to pay any attention to?

But Mr. Bush says, 'All right, I'll go to the U.N.,' then he tells them that unless you follow me, I'll call off trade with your country," said Mr. Jackson, a frequent critic of the administration.

No, he said "Stand up and do what you said you'd do when you passed those sixteen resolutions, and if you don't, the US will, because the alternative (doing nothing) is too dangerous."

America is a great nation," Mr. Jackson continued.

Well, that's progress, of a sort.

But we only represent 6 percent of the world.

What percentage of the world's population lives in Iraq? I know there's a point in here somewhere. I'm sure I'll find it eventually. Looking ... looking... Well maybe later.

English is a great language but it is a minority language. Jesus didn't speak it.

That's right! He got one right! Way to go Jesse. Jesus spoke Hebrew (I assume) or Latin (unlikely). Does that mean that any idea initially expressed by someone using something other than Hebrew or Latin is automatically a bad idea? Hmmm. Jackson's speech was in (wait for it) English! Well, sort of. Jackson has been challenged by English for some time now. God knows, I find it difficult to understand his words. Maybe he means that the ideas of anyone who doesn't speak Jacksonian English are bad. Is Jacksonian English like Hebrew?

We are a great nation, but we have to be of service, we do not have to be superior.

Come again? We are a great nation. So far, so good. I'm with you, Jesse.

From great

Very large in size. No, he can't mean this one. After all, 6% isn't too large.

Larger in size than others of the same kind. See above.

Large in quantity or number. See above.

Extensive in time or distance. Maybe this one makes sense in Jacksonspeak, but not in English. Oops, I forgot, English = bad.

Remarkable or outstanding in magnitude, degree, or extent. This is it!

Of outstanding significance or importance. Or maybe this.

Chief or principal: the great house on the estate. Jackson can't mean we are the nation among all nations. This one's out.

Superior in quality or character; noble. Another good candidate. Oh, I forgot. We are great, but we can't be superior. Sorry.

Powerful; influential. And another.

Eminent; distinguished. And yet another.

Grand; aristocratic. I don't think this is what he meant.

Did anyone see "serve" or "service" in there? Did I miss something? Did anyone see anything in any of those definitions that might possibly be applicable that did not include the concept of superiority?

Most people on this globe are yellow, black or brown, non-Christian, female, young, poor and don't speak English."

That, of course, means that the opinions of anyone who is not yellow, black, brown, non-Christian, female, young, and poor or who speaks English are not worthy of consideration. This is supposed to be from a man opposed to racism and sexism? The quality of one's thoughts are derived directly from the color of your skin, your native language or your sex chromosomes? If he didn't mean that, what did he mean? He's not leaving much wiggle room.

Mr. Jackson made the stop here as he returned home to Chicago from a Friday rally in Washington to protest the Bush administration's policy of investigating and detaining people. He accused Mr. Bush of wanting to "rule the world."

As opposed to Jesse, who merely wants to rule American businesses, and then only to the extent of causing them to pony up some bucks to avoid a very public charge of racism followed months later by a very private withdrawal of the charge. Thanks, I'll stick with Dubya. At least I can vote him out of office if I need to.

The event here was poorly attended after student organizers predicted a crowd of 6,000. The group provided 2,000 free tickets to students and booked the arena area of the center, which has a capacity of 15,000.

Hey, maybe there is hope, after all.

Mr. Jackson was also targeted by a group of protesters, who said that Mr. Jackson is not the person on whom to spend university funds. About a half-dozen students stood outside the Breslin Center under a hand-carried sign that read "Jesse Jackson Protest Squad."

"To bring Jesse Jackson, a left-wing extremist, to this campus to talk about peace, is not what we need," said Craig Burgers, who chairs the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom. "He represents political corruption at its finest."

He noted that Mr. Jackson's speech was supposed to be about peace.

I don't know much about YAF. I'll have to check them out later, since this post is too long already. For the time being, I'll take what solace I can in the fact that the speech was poorly attended despite the availability of 2000 free tickets.

Mr. Jackson holds an honorary doctorate from the university, where he spoke at graduation commencement in 1988.

I wonder if MSU has ever regretted that award over the last 14 or 15 years.

In his hourlong speech yesterday, Mr. Jackson also noted that the United States has a history of supporting political despots.

"We supported the shah of Iran, and we drove the Islamic revolution into being," Mr. Jackson said. "They saw us as allies of oppression. We supported the Taliban we gave $6 million to the Taliban.

Six mill? Wow. Mostly food aid, I would imagine. I wonder how that compares to what we've given to to Afghanistan since the Taliban got the boot.

The Taliban was our ally until September 11."

Hardly. And in any event, what is your conclusion, Jesse? That 9/11 was our fault? Of course. We deserved it, since we are white and speak English. And don't forget that Kosovo and Kuwait both begin with "K." You know what that means. We only supported the muslims there because their countries had the same initials as the KKK.

Mr. Jackson also disparaged the nation's economic order, using the university's labor force as an example.

Would that be the same economic order that has provided Jackson with a fine living for the past 40 years based entirely on his relatively short term association with a man (Martin Luther King) for whom I have a great deal of respect?

You see them out there every day, planting flowers, keeping the place clean," he said. "But they are the working poor. And the cost of a loaf of bread is the same for them as it is for anyone else."

To each according to his needs, from each according to his means, eh Jesse? Sorry, I thought the economic implosion of the USSR established pretty conclusively that this particular economic model doesn't work. Oh, and if they really are the working poor and have food stamps, Jesse, the cost of a loaf of bread is lower for them than is it for me.

If you feel so bad for them, why not go outside and give them a hand? As much as I dislike Jimmy Carter, at least he does that. Or better yet, go outside and tell them you've got them covered and they should take the day off. Or even better than that, stay away from MSU and avoid making a mess for them to clean up in the first place.

Then they can lose those awful jobs.
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