Kristof: Cheney Must Explain

Ueber-wimp Kristof takes back his asinine comments about Fitzgerald, but continues to wear blinders when it comes to the broader implications of Plamegate. He’s spot-on, however, in insisting that Prince of Darkness Cheney start offering some answers.

“If Mr. Cheney can’t address the questions about his conduct, if he can’t be forthcoming about the activities in his office that gave rise to the investigation, then he should resign. And if he won’t resign, Mr. Bush should demand his resignation.”

So I’ll give this column a “B”; after reading Frank Rich, it becomes even more obvious that Kristof has no right to an op-ed column.

Time for the Vice President to Explain Himself
Published: October 30, 2005

I owe Patrick Fitzgerald an apology.

Over the last year, I’ve referred to him nastily a couple of times as “Inspector Javert,” after the merciless and inflexible character in Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables.” In my last column, I fretted aloud that he might pursue overzealous or technical indictments.
But Mr. Fitzgerald didn’t do that. The indictments of Lewis Libby are



New Chinese magazine seeks submissions


From Donxi magazine’s press release:

Dongxi is a China-wide magazine gratuitously publishing words, thoughts, ideas, lists, letters, reviews, poems, translations, short stories, images, photos and artwork.

Submissions must be sent by e-mail to….

Subscribing is easy. E-mail us a postal address (and preferably a submission) and all future issues will be sent upon publication….

Dongxi strives to represent the widest range of of voices and opinions in China today, but contributions racist, sexist, homophobic or overwhelmingly political in nature will be subject to critical consideration by the editorial board.

While this is still in its infancy, it sounds promising. The creators describe themselves as “three non-Chinese nationals spread between Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou with ten combined years of living and working in China.” They tell me they are willing to pay for good contributions. Please consider sending them a submission.


It’s been a long time

Just so all of us remember who we Americans decided to make king of the world….


To be posted every three months or so, lest we ever forget.


Maureen Dowd: “Who’s on First”

Scooter’s Scandal is the topic of MoDo’s biting new column. Read it and then argue that this is only about Libby and an insignificant lie to a grand jury.

Who’s on First?
Published: October 29, 2005

It was bracing to see the son of a New York doorman open the door on the mendacious Washington lair of the Lord of the Underground.

But this Irish priest of the law, Patrick Fitzgerald, neither Democrat nor Republican, was very strict, very precise. He wasn’t totally gratifying in clearing up the murkiness of the case, yet strangely comforting in his quaint black-and-white notions of truth and honor (except when his wacky baseball metaphor seemed to veer



Taiwan, open the door for Chinese tourism. Please?

This sounds like a positive step in something that’s long overdue.

A senior Chinese tourism official began a key visit to Taiwan Friday that could help revive the island’s beleaguered tourism sector and ease tensions between the longtime rivals.

Shao Qiwei, director of China’s State Administration of Tourism, was to inspect Taiwanese tourist facilities at the head of a 66-member delegation on a 10-day visit, in what is widely seen as a prelude to including the island on a list of approved tourist destinations for mainland Chinese.

But for any decision to take effect, Taiwan’s government will have to agree to opening its doors to the visitors.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. While there were more than one million Taiwanese visits to the mainland in 2004, visits by Chinese to Taiwan have been severely limited, ostensibly because of Taiwanese concerns over potential spies or saboteurs.

Earlier this year, China dusted off a proposal to expand the number of its tourists visiting Taiwan to 360,000 a year — more than 10 times the current level.

At the time Taiwan spurned the offer, saying it needed further study.

Since then, however, the government has come under heavy pressure from Taiwan’s beleaguered tourism industry, which views the Chinese market as a key element in its future growth.

With only three million arrivals in 2004, the island lags far behind Asian neighbors like Thailand and Malaysia in drawing foreign visitors.

Taiwan really has to get its act together in becoming more tourism friendly, and in recognizing the importance of Chinese tourists. Malaysia, Singapore, HK and Thailand (and China) are practically obsessed with building up tourism, and rightly so, as it’s a relatively easy way to boost businesses and growth. Unlike these other countries, Taiwan borders on being tourist-hostile, with a lot of important signage in the airport in Chinese only and precious little promotion of its attractions.

Chinese tourists have been a goldmine for Hong Kong, no matter how much the Honkies hate the Mainlanders. In every way, the current cold-shoulder policy Taiwan has shown to Chinese tourism is self-defeating and dumb. It’s time to grow up. And it’s also time to have regular, affordable flights between the ROC and the PRC. If I take one of the very few direct flights from here to Shanghai, a three-hour or so flight, it’s an obscene $800 USD! If I go via Hong Kong, it’s less than $425 but it takes me all day. Please, do everyone a favor and enter the modern age.


“Only Libby”

As usual, the Powerline wankers are leading the spin with this typically asinine headline: “Indictment Paints Grim Picture, But Only for Libby.”

As if Libby were in a vacuum. As if Cheney and the others had no idea, and had no say. As if yesterday’s indictment of Libby is the end of the whole episode and absolutely no one else is in the prosecutor’s sites. (If so, why not say so and wrap it all up; Fitzgerald is very straightforward..) Are Assrocket’s readers so dumb that they can actually believe such nonsense? Haven’t they noticed the investigation is open, and Libby’s trial could catapult all sorts of embarrassing information into the public eye?

The sub-spin is, well yes, perjury is very, very naughty, but it’s not really that bad and the fact that no one was indicted for outing Plame is proof the administration did nothing wrong until Libby lied to the grand jury.

All I can say is, not so fast. The show hasn’t even started; we’re still listening to the overture and the fat lady hasn’t begun to sing. The VP’s chief of staff indicted: it is simply unprecedented, and the ripple effect will shake DC to its roots. And as for Rove, he’s as much in the woods today as he was last week. I suspect we’ll be hearing very little from Turd Blossom in the days ahead, as he’s going to be very, very preoccupied.


The betrayal of Hong Kong and the myth of One China, Two Systems

That’s according to Apple Daily reporter Kin-ming Liu in a rather startling op-ed piece in the WaPo.

But perhaps nothing better illustrates the myth of “one country, two systems” than the way Beijing halted democratization in Hong Kong. According to the Basic Law — Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, drafted by Beijing — the “ultimate aim” is to elect both the chief executive and the entire legislature by “universal suffrage”; the earliest possible times for this would be 2007 and 2008, respectively.

But now Beijing has played its trump card — its power to interpret the Basic Law — by proclaiming that the relevant clauses didn’t mean what they said. The Tsang administration released an election proposal last week that suggested only a few meaningless gestures that amount to a slow inching forward. I have come to believe that I will not see true democracy established in my home town during my lifetime.

This should come as no surprise to those who can see through the tremendous social changes of the past two decades to discern the true nature of the Chinese regime: It remains a dictatorship, intolerant of democracy. Beijing issued a white paper last week reiterating its Orwellian definition of democracy: “China’s democracy is a democracy guaranteed by the people’s democratic dictatorship.”

It’s not Tsang’s fault that Hong Kong is not yet joining President Bush’s global community of democracies. I think he does his best to defend Hong Kong’s interests. But he faces one daunting obstacle: He cannot go beyond the point at which Beijing says no.

When Bush visits China to see President Hu Jintao next month, he could do a great service to Hong Kong by reminding Hu of the promises made in that Joint Declaration two decades ago, and by urging him to give more freedom to Donald Tsang to run Hong Kong.

Eight years after the Hong Kong handover, I miss the British. Oddly enough, I didn’t like them when when they ruled Hong Kong as a colony. But when I look back, I recall life as seeming more promising in those days than what we are facing today. And we are still a colony.

Emphasis added, but just about every line could be emphasized.

About his suggestions for Bush – don’t expect Bush to do any such thing. Shrub leaves it to Bad Cop Rummy to rattle the saber, while Bush, always carrying water for big business, continues to kiss Hu’s butt.

Via CTD.


KFC in Shanghai substitutes veggies for potatoes, juice for Pepsi

A dawn of a new era as KFC goes from grease and sugar to fiber and Vitamin C.

What’s the fun of eating at KFC if you can’t feel your arteries hardening with every bite?


The word on the street…

Libby gets indicted for lying to the grand jury and Rove “walks” – but not really. Fitz is apparently expanding his investigation and Rove is in no way safe or exonarated (though no doubt a lot of GOP spin doctors will make it seem that he is). In a sense, this is the worst thing for Bush, as it means the angst and questions and rumors will continue while the government operates under an ugly cloud.


China to Japan: “Stop hurting our feelings”

No, I’m not joking or exaggerating. That is exactly what they are saying, although bizarrely, there is no context, no explanation of why the official is saying these things of where he said them or to whom.

China urged Japan to take action to fulfil its promise on reviewing invasion war, and never do anything more to hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, said a Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday.

“The Japanese side should fully realize the seriousness of this matter,” said Kong Quan, adding that Japan should earnestly win trust from the Asian neighbors and international community.

When commenting on Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s plea on his current visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, Kong said the responsibility for the current difficult relations between China and Japan does not lie in China.

A right-wing force in Japan has always beautified the invasion war launched by the Japanese militarism, and refused to admit the crimes of aggression, Kong said.

“Their acts severely hurt the feeling of the people of all Asian victimized countries, and violate the principles in the three political documents between China and Japan,” he said.

Will the foreign minister hold his breath until he turns blue if the Japanese don’t stop hurting his feelings? I can’t help but be reminded of this image.

What are they thinking when they put out idiotic articles like this? All it consists of is an official repeating the tired clichees of how mean Japan is. I’m not saying Japan is or isn’t mean, just that this story isn’t news.