Shell games

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

News editor Dennis Myers sent me this transcript from an old TV interview. I don’t need to point out the … anything.

David Frost: So what in a sense you’re saying is that there are certain situations … where the President can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.

Richard Nixon: Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.

Frost: By definition.

Nixon: Exactly. If the President, for example, approves something, approves an action because of national security, or, in this case, because of a threat to internal peace and order, of significant magnitude, then the President’s decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they’re in an impossible position.

Richard M. Nixon was a schoolboy with a flyswatter in comparison to George W. Bush. And it seems few people care.

I sit here on the Friday before the publication of the last RN&R of 2005 contemplating little more than a game being played in Washington, D.C. This morning, it was announced that the PATRIOT Act has been extended until Feb. 3. I don’t know how much this has been reported, but as I understand it, there was one voter on the Senate floor to extend it. That voter was John W. Warner, R-Va. He presided over a four-minute session acting as both senator and presiding officer. Remember how the Terri Schiavo case was moved from state to federal court in the middle of the night by three senators? Same thing. It’s so a bunch of cowards don’t have to stand up and say what they stand for. One honest senator could have stopped the whole shell game.

2006 is going to take American politics to the lowest level it has ever seen. Those midterm elections are going to be a no-quarter-given bloodbath. It’s hard to care because we can’t trust any of those assholes. I guess I was just a little slow to the realization.