Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What I Want To Know

First question: Do you remember that there used to be a time when we kept the jobs of presidents and clowns strictly separated? Yes, I'm looking at you guys: Ahmadinejad, Blair and Bush (in alphabetical order). I've given dozens of examples of the inappropriate clowning of Bush on this blog, and some of Blair's shenanigans, too, but Ahmadinejad is so cleary stark nutters that I haven't found him as fertile a field of funmaking. But this is fun:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on U.S. President George W. Bush to participate in a "direct television debate with us," so Iran can voice its point of view on how to end problems in the world.

"But the condition is that there can be no censorship, especially for the American nation," he said Tuesday.

Must admit that he would have an edge in being able to speak English.

Second question: Do you, too, suddenly feel dizzy and out of breath when you start reading an article with the headline "Progress made in curbing Iraq disorder", and it starts like this:

Police found more than two dozen bodies across the capital Tuesday and the government said 73 people had died in fighting in the south as violence surged despite promising signs that a U.S. crackdown is curbing sectarian killings in Baghdad.

The U.S. military also said three American soldiers and one Marine were killed the day before — two in combat in Anbar province and two from non-hostile causes. A fourth soldier died on Tuesday in Baghdad. At least 13 American service members have died in Iraq since Sunday, according to the U.S. command.

Elsewhere, an oil pipeline exploded in southern Iraq, sparking a massive fire and killing at least 36 people and injuring 45, the Interior Ministry said.

The pipeline was located six miles south of Diwaniyah, the scene of fierce clashes between the Iraqi army and Shiite militia on Monday that left 73 people dead.

The reason for the explosion was not clear, but police Lt. Raid Jabir said several people had been siphoning fuel from the pipeline when the blast occurred. Iraqis have faced severe fuel shortages since Saddam Hussein's 2003 ouster. Insurgents also have frequently targeted pipelines and oil refineries.

The latest violence both inside and outside the capital occurred despite U.S. and Iraqi officials' claims that a new operation in the capital has lowered Sunni-Shiite killings there, which had risen in June and July.

Third question: Do you remember that there was a time when air traffic control was something to do with safety? Now safety is all about gel fillers in bras and water bottles, it seems:

The lone air traffic controller on duty the morning Comair Flight 5191 crashed cleared the jet for takeoff, then turned his back to do some "administrative duties" as the aircraft veered down the wrong runway, a federal investigator said Tuesday.

Separately, the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged violating its own policies when it assigned only one controller to the Lexington tower.

Is this something to do with the inheritance Ronald Reagan left us? Or is it just part and parcel of the incompetence and callousness of this administration?

There! I feel much better now that I got all that extra snark bubbling inside me on the screen. You, my sweet reader, might feel worse of course...