Well, I'm back. And to tell the truth, I've missed being here to churn out something practically daily that nobody reads. Go figure.
Two items of note today, both of them gleaned from The Rachel Maddow Show. While I was watching tonight, I told my wife, "I like her." And indeed that's the case. I can picture having dinner with us, and wine. And I think conversation with this savvy lady would be fascinating. But there I go down fantasy lane. I was going to tell you about . . .
1. Good news from the Obama foreign trip. Evidently this guy was operating on fumes today after the flight that jet lags everybody else. He talked to the Russians, the Chinese, the Brits, the Queen . . . and some others. But apparently in conversation with Russian president, Medvedev (ok, I confess, I had to look it up), the two agreed to re-enliven actions to reduce nuclear weapons. What a concept! My understanding is that US and Russia each have about 10,000 warheads apiece. The two countries hold 96 percent of the world's nukes, which number about 23,000--enough to reduce this beautiful planet to a charred cinder. Apparently also, there's an increasing number of world leaders and indeed military brass who are raising questions about the utility of these weapons. Well, duh! What's driving this is the collective fear everybody with any sense has for a terrorist getting his hands on one of these weapons. Sane people won't use nukes; insane people will, and everybody who's sane knows it. So, good, let's get rid of every single goddamned nuclear weapon on the earth. The time has come. Today. Right now. If you want to do something positive yourself about this, go to Globalzero and sign the declaration.
2. Rachel interviewed Colin Powell tonight. He was expansive on all the subjects except one. She asked him about the high level meetings (which reportedly included Condi Rice, Rumsfeld, George Tennant, Powell, and a couple of others I can't remember) that discussed torture, or in the euphemism of the day "interrogation techniques." On that subject, Powell said nothing. What a surprise. He said he would have to await publication of the "complete record"--which he fully expected to come out. Before that he couldn't say anything. He also dragged out the "it's a legal question" defense. Rachel kept after him, but he wouldn't budge. Why? What complete record? The answer is easy to figure out: Look, he, along with all the others, sanctioned US use of torture. It was Bush administration policy. As I've mentioned before, Colin Powell back in 1968 was part of the command chain that covered up the Mai Lai massacre. Not a common factoid on the guy. But for some reason, Powell is regarded as some sort of demigod.