WE USED TO BE FRIENDS. "They crush them with their vehicles and kill them just on suspicion," according to Iraq's new Prime Minister, "This is completely unacceptable." The crushing and killing just on suspicion are, he says, being done by the American military. And based on recent reports, there's obviously some truth to this perspective. Dare one suggest that the love affair between the Bush administration and Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is destined to turn bitter at some point in the near future?
IF I WERE A TERRORIST� I'm a former New Yorker (and one who watched the first tower collapse in person, not on TV) and a present Washingtonian. So I ought to be as lathered up as the next guy about this terror-funding thing.
But what if DHS is...right? I have sometimes thought, �If I were a terrorist, where would I strike next? What would really mess with the psyches of my hated Great Satanic foes?� And I�m not sure I�d hit New York or Washington. Too obvious. Been done. Besides, both probably are reasonably well fortified.
BUT HOW MANY TOILETS ARE THERE? New York City most certainly does contain monuments and icons -- especially if, as I'm given to understand, Jacksonville's Alltel Stadium counts as one -- but it may suffer from a more serious threat: toilets. Your fact of the day, courtesy ofJohn Mueller is this: "Outside of 2001, fewer people have died in America from international terrorism than have drowned in toilets."
TAXES ARE HARD. Some attention has already been paid to this hackish op-ed expounding on the conservative virtues of the Alternative Minimum Tax. It is, the author writes, the quickest way of taking the country to a flat tax, which should be the preferred conservative solution. How weird then that conservatives are all clamoring for its repeal! What gives?
EVEN LIEBERMAN WAS HINKY ON HENKE. Here's Tracy Henke's official bio, with a picture that should live in infamy. Her recess appointment to DHS was controversial and opposed by Joe Lieberman, who sits on the Senate's Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and issued this statement on January 5, 2006:
OUR TWILIGHT ZONE GOVERNMENT.Via Atrios, I see that ABC News is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security's explanation for cutting anti-terrorism funds to New York is that "New York has no national monuments or icons." Really? You can see the DHS form that asserts this here (PDF). Says ABC:
That was a key factor used to determine that New York City should have its anti-terror funds slashed by 40 percent--from $207.5 million in 2005 to $124.4 million in 2006.