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April 07, 2006

people who are wrong

I don't usually use this space to pounce on statements I disagree with, but lately I've been saving a list:

1. Robert D. Novak: "There is no sign of extravagant living on [Rep.] DeLay's part -- only bad judgment. DeLay told me last year that he accepted lobbyist-arranged golf abroad because that was his only chance ever to play a game he dearly loved." Of course he took the trip because he enjoyed playing golf. That's hardly an excuse; it's like saying that a politician accepted a yacht from a lobbyist because he dearly loved to sail. If DeLay was short of time rather than money, then he should have played in Bethesda or Texas instead of going all the way to Scotland. The Scottish golf junket was an item of value (especially because DeLay loves the game), and that's what was wrong with accepting it.

2. "'I say let the prisoners pick the fruits,' said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, one of more than a dozen Republicans who took turns condemning a Senate bill that offers an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants an opportunity for citizenship." I have another idea--why not actually pay fair US market wages for farm labor? Then people in leg-irons wouldn't have to pick our strawberries, overseen by guys with shotguns--as Rep. Rohrbacher envisions. Maybe instead of merely naming schools and streets after César E. Chávez, we could actually accomplish what he struggled for.

3. I know this was talk radio, but still: Don Imus executive producer Bernard McGuirk said of the released American reporter Jill Carroll: "Did you hear her comments yesterday? She's wearing the terrorist headgear. And everything points to that." Let's see ... There are are about 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. About half are female. About two-thirds of those are old enough to wear hijab. (That ratio is based on 2006 data for the Middle East, and I realize not all Muslims live there.) Ninety-six percent of the world's Muslims live in Asia and Africa, where they are relatively likely to wear headscarfs or other coverings for religious reasons. Thus I calculate that about 380,000,000 people don the kind of headgear that Jill Carroll wore when released. That's a lot of women for Mr. McGuirk to call "terrorists."

Posted by peterlevine at April 7, 2006 11:28 AM


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