The Watergate speedrun

As the Trump regime continues its attempt at a Watergate speedrun, here’s a timeless article found in the LA Times and other newspapers, circa 1973, written by Art Buchwald: WASHINGTON — These are difficult times for people who are defending the Nixon Administration. No matter where they go they are attacked by pseudo-liberals, McGovern lovers, heterosexual constitutionalists, and paranoid John Dean believers. As a public service, I am printing instant responses for loyal Nixonites when they are attacked at a party.

Quote of the week

The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties.” —former White House official Ann Lewis, Senior Advisor for Hillary Clinton for President. [Washington Post]

Beyond satire

Official White House proclamation: The Congress, by Public Law 85-529, as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as “Loyalty Day.” This Loyalty Day, and throughout the year, I ask all Americans to join me in reaffirming our allegiance to our Nation. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2007, as Loyalty Day. I call upon the people of the United States to participate in this national observance and to display the flag of the United States on Loyalty Day as a symbol of pride in our Nation.

Short shameful confession

For some time now, in place of the usual lorem ipsum text, I’ve been using the following text: Because the — all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There’s a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those — changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be — or closer delivered to what has been promised.

The half-full glass (just don’t try to drink from it)

Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Bush played the guitar while New Orleans drowned. And now this: The good news is—and it’s hard for some to see it now—that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott’s house—he’s lost his entire house— there’s going to be a fantastic house. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch.

Why America can’t handle an election

It’s US election day, and you don’t need to be The Amazing Kreskin to predict how things are going to go: badly. Barring a miracle, we’re going to end up with another statistical dead heat, with Kang and Kodos splitting the popular vote and electoral college vote almost 50/50. Unfortunately, there are a lot of black box voting machines in marginal areas—with no tamper-proof audit trail and no way to re-count the votes.

Political joke

One night George W. Bush is tossing restlessly in his White House bed. He awakens to see George Washington standing beside him. Bush looks up and asks, “George, what’s the best thing I can do to help the country?” ”Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did,” Washington advises, then fades away. The next night, Bush is astir again when he sees the ghost of Thomas Jefferson moving silently around the bedroom.

Was that a buck I saw whizz past?

Seymour Hersh is the journalist who broke the story of the My Lai massacre, a Pulitzer prize winner. He’s got a new book out. Expect to see it rubbished extensively on TV. Evidence of prisoner abuse and possible war crimes at Guantánamo Bay reached the highest levels of the Bush administration as early as autumn 2002, but Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, chose to do nothing about it, according to a new investigation published exclusively in the Guardian today.

Coincidence or conspiracy?

Take a copy of Microsoft Office 2003, fire up Word, set the font to Times New Roman and start typing. Enter the text of the document released by the White House to CBS News to prove that Bush didn’t shirk his National Guard duty. The result? Your new document appears identical to the original. Which is odd, because the genuine document was supposedly written in 1973, long before Word existed. Did the military routinely use proportional width typewriters with Times New Roman font and support for superscripts?

Medical ethics and US torture

This month’s edition of The Lancet features an extensively footnoted article by Dr Stephen Miles which describes some of the issues of medical ethics in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. A few lowlights: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) found that the medical system failed to maintain internment cards with medical information necessary to protect the detainees’ health as required by the Geneva Convention; this reportedly was due to a policy of not officially processing (ie, recording their presence in the prison) new detainees.