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He entered Washington having lost the election by a decisive margin measured in popular vote, but with his fraudulent victory certified by his father’s friends on the Supreme Court. He proceeded to his oath taking with the smell of sulfur thick in the air. Protestors outnumbered those celebrating by five-to-one. He could not walk in his inaugural parade because the Secret Service deemed the crowd, then pelting his limousine with eggs, so hostile that security required him to be rushed to the Capitol for the ceremony. And none of this was broadcast on the evening news, giving Americans a sense of what was coming for the next eight years.
Now Bush departs, the reign of the witches ends, and democratic rule is restored in America. Here’s some music for the demission of Bush. From George Frederick Handel’s opera Rodelinda, the aria “Vivi, tiranno!” sung by Andreas Scholl. The story is a tale of political intrigue and love taken from the Gesta Langobardorum of the eighth century. The words are sung by the hero Bertarido, the legitimate ruler, to the tyrant-usurper Grimaldo. “You still live, tyrant!” he says. “I have spared your life, simply to prove that nature has bestowed upon me the nobler heart.” Like Grimaldo, Bush departs under a cloud of criminality, and the question remains whether he will pay the price for his tyrannical misdeeds. Scholl renders a bravura performance, and the charge he places at the feet of the departing tyrant is the same that the nation now raises against Bush. Today will not be the day for his accounting. But it still must come.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:
A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”