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The Earth is Flat Award

A celebration of the inane, insipid and asinine...

web posted January 28, 2001

No matter what you take away from the debate between Colin Powell and the rest of the Bush Administration, you can take it as a given that his four page internal memo arguing for POW status for the Taliban detainees at Camp X-Ray was leaked to the press deliberately.

Colin PowellThere is nothing wrong with a senior official in an administration disagreeing with the other senior officials. We at ESR doubt that there was ever an administration that unanimously agreed on how to proceed on every major issue. Colin Powell, however, has repeatedly disagreed with the Bush Administration in a public manner and on several major issues.

As Timothy Rollins points out, it may be time for Powell to exit stage left and resume his high-paying speaking tour. From his reticence to use force in Afghanistan to this latest tweak of Bush's noise, Powell is clearly not on the same page as people like Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice. Old habits die hard and it would appear that Powell's extreme caution, the one that saw him argue against an invasion of Iraq during the George H.W. Bush Administration, continues to hobble him during the George W. Bush Administration.

While we respectfully disagree with Tim's argument that Rudy Giuliani should be brought into the Bush Administration, as remarkable as the former mayor of New York is, he's merely another centre-left Republican, we are in firm agreement that Powell should leave at his earliest opportunity. It's one thing to disagree, it's another to all but fight your boss on every issue.

Hypocrisy doesn't come cheap. In Paul Krugman's case, it costs $50 000, though he will tell you that he doesn't consider that much money. In case you missed it, Krugman has been taking politicians -- especially the Bush Administration -- to task for taking money from Enron. They are, he's all but said, bought and paid for.

He would know. After repeated blasting by Andrew Sullivan, Krugman finally admitted last week that he accepted $50 000 from Enron to sit on a panel. In his defense, Krugman weakly stated that the purpose of the panel was to .ccdo nothing. Of course. Right about the same time as he accepted the money, Krugman also happened to be writing glowing testimonials about the company. It was only in the past few months that he's come to realize the shell game that Enron was.

Krugman isn't the only one to fail to announce that he'd accepted money from the company. William Kristol ($100 000), Peggy Noonan ($50 000), Larry Kudlow ($50 000) and Irwin Stelzer (unknown) have also belatedly acknowledged that they sat on the same committee as Krugman or had some ties to the company.

Most politicians from both sides of the political divide have given back their Enron donations or will do so. As of this writing, we at ESR are unaware that Krugman, Kristol, Noonan, Kudlow or Stelzer have given back anything. Hypocrisy isn't cheap.

The Vinegar in Freedom Award

There is an old Serbian proverb that says vinegar in freedom tastes better than honey in slavery. This award is meant for events and people Enter Stage Right considers to be positive.

No award for January.



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