Lobbygate Deja Vu

Scandal followed scandal. Gaffe piled on gaffe. The ruling party, utterly invincible in the last election, overnight became the symbol of incompetence and corruption. Carefully launched plans and programs fell flat. Legislators were caught taking bribes in brown envelopes. Meanwhile, the party leader hunkered down in his office, controlling all contacts with the media. Continue reading “Lobbygate Deja Vu”

Hollow Rhetoric on ‘Rule of Law’

Like democracy or freedom, “the rule of law” has become one of those things U.S. diplomats advocate so repetitively you’d think they could do it in their sleep. When the secretary of state speaks to the American Bar Association, she explicitly links “the advance of freedom and the success of democracy” to the rule of law. Continue reading “Hollow Rhetoric on ‘Rule of Law’”

It’s Not Whether You ‘Win’ or ‘Lose’…

In recent months it has become common practice to talk about what it will take to “win” — or what it would mean to “lose” — the war in Iraq. Recently the pace of that talk has accelerated. Just last week President Bush published a “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq,” presumably a follow-up to the speech in which he talked of “defeating the enemy.” Continue reading “It’s Not Whether You ‘Win’ or ‘Lose’…”

Silver Flu Bullets

Have you got Tamiflu? I haven’t, but a friend of mine has. He proudly told me he scored a prescription for his whole family. Another friend is also trying to wangle a prescription, even though there’s no guarantee that Tamiflu will work. “It saved 80 percent of the mice in the laboratory study,” he said. Continue reading “Silver Flu Bullets”

The Rumor Mill

Did you know that a monster crocodile was fished out of the New Orleans floodwaters? Had you realized that sharks were swimming through the submerged streets of the Lower Ninth Ward? Did you see the photographs of Katrina, the ones showing the hurricane menacing New Orleans like a Wizard of Oz cartoon twister? Continue reading “The Rumor Mill”