Mar 26, 2013

We don't want the smoking gun to be an entitlement mushroom cloud (Tom Tomorrow)

(Hat tip: Paul Krugman) 

(And here's a corresponding tidbit from --- no, not from the Green Eyes --- from our Freedom Fries novel, 1st Chapter:)

Samuel Fisher sits in one of his many Eames Aluminum Chairs at the big, empty conference table while Betty Bartholomeo is ushered into his splendid office. Crossing through the double crystal doors into this ulterior world, Betty smiles the smile of corporate worship, while Fisher reciprocates in kind.  He waves her lightly into the chair next to himself, turns his head, and points with his chin to a gargantuan screen on the opposite wall, where the famous Reverend Falwell is holding forth: 

“…we make God mad, I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians, who were actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, people for the American Life, all of them, who tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen’.” The Reverend lowered his jowls accordingly.

Betty’s anchor image reappears on the screen, while the real Betty is feeling markedly uncomfortable next to Fisher. It is never a good sign when the boss is asking you to come watch your own show, but her other self on the screen doesn’t know and continues apace: “Our theme tonight is History’s Justice, and George W. Bush understood that, next to others, Saddam Hussein also bore responsibility for NineEleven.”

Betty now shares a split screen with Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state. Dr. Rice had been the first female black cabinet secretary in history, which was a big thing, and possibly the biggest thing in her life. She is not a good listener, but Rice has to listen this time because she is trapped in the canned footage of an appearance on Lynx in 2002, six month before the war. Betty continues: “Saddam Hussein was a dictator who, for years, had been menacing the world with the threat of the possibility of the suspicion of nuclear warheads — Dr. Rice….”

Rice opens her mouth: “We know that he has the infrastructure, nuclear scientists to make a nuclear weapon. And we know that when the inspectors assessed this after the Gulf War, he was far, far closer to a crude nuclear device than anybody thought.”

The split ladies fade abruptly into darkness — which then explodes into a blinding fireball across the screen. Rice’s voice survives, however: “He was maybe six months from a crude nuclear device. The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Hussein can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

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