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Freshly recharged with a new battery pack, our bionic vice president had another encounter with CNN’s Larry King a day back and I finally caught up with it last night. I haven’t seen anything in a long time that summed up the term “arrogance of power” quite so chillingly. I started out wondering, back in the days of Cheney’s “death throes” remarks and his continuous assaults on the patriotism of critics—can Cheney actually be so stupid? Does he actually believe this? I believed then and still believe that the answer is “no.” Cheney has gotten Defense Department briefings and briefings from the intelligence service; he knows that these claims are lies. He pushes them sheerly for political effect, because there are roughly 24% of the American public who are gullible enough to actually believe him. And in this interview, you see some clear signs. When he dishes out the real whoppers, he invariably refuses to look the questioner in the eye, and stares at the floor. What one of my FBI friends calls “classic signs of evasion.” It’s not worth watching the whole thing, but here’s a four-minute clip that Josh Marshall has pulled together that offers the highlights. It’s a must view.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”