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News Briefs

September 19th, 2003

The press seems to have finally started realizing, just a little, that Bush is a scumbag. After many low-level news stories and countless rehashes on the Internet, the press is finally realizing things like, hey, maybe if the vice-president is the former CEO and current stockholder in Halliburton, then maybe it’s a tad suspicious that his company is now getting all these juicy contracts in Iraq, many non-competitive, high-paying gigs. Will they awaken to the strong Bush-bin Laden ties? To the fact that Bush was AWOL in the Texas National Guard where he was draft-dodging Vietnam? To the proven fact that Bush lied under oath as governor of Texas, and violated SEC laws at least three, maybe four times while his father was president? That he lied all over the place about Iraq, about his tax cuts, about just about everything?

Well, maybe for the moment, we should settle for a little light on Halliburton.

There has been much ado recently over the fact that 55 senators, including a dozen or so Republicans, voted to overturn the FCC’s decision to further deregulate news media ownership rules. I don’t know why people think it’s such great news; Bush has promised to veto the bill, and 67 senators would be needed to overturn the veto. The thing that amazes me is that only 55 senators went for this. I would have presumed more would vote for it, as Democrats and Republicans both worry that the “other side” will at some point take full control over the media–even the NRA and other far-right institutions are against it. I can only assume that media lobbying must be applying pressure we don’t hear about. Next year is, after all, a big election year, and all a lobbyist would have to do is say, “remember what we did to Al Gore?” and votes would come their way.

Who, me, cynical? Nah.

The San Francisco Giants have clinched a playoffs berth. I’m a long-time Giants fan, low-key, but I am not too excited. This has happened too many times before: the Giants get in the playoffs and/or the World series, then find a way to blow it all. Okay, so I’m more fair-weather than faithful. But it comes from practice.

Two more soldiers dead in Iraq, many more wounded every day. The U.N. is holding back, obviously unhappy that Bush wants them to share the burden but leave all the decisions, power and benefits to the U.S. alone. Even now, Bush is making it harder for our troops in Iraq to catch a break. Had this been an international effort from the start, more of our men and women would have been coming home. What a mess. Naturally, everyone wants it to clear up as soon as possible. But so many also want to make sure that Bush pays the price for what he’s done. Let’s hope we get both.

And finally, here in Japan, a secret fish conspiracy has come to fruition, as a school of tropical fish in a tank at a residence in Tokyo are blamed for setting fire to the house. Hmmm. Must have seen the family watching the “Finding Nemo” DVD from their tank and gotten ideas.

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