Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jewels- yawn- what's up with Paris?

Headlines on CIA "Family Jewels" were so enticing I spent hours looking for fun in all the wrong places. Not much humor, or much news, in the Jewels, although some of the details are intriguing for people who were around in the 60's and early 70's and there's a nice photo of the young Darth Cheney, still only partially converted to the dark side. This story will erupt only when we learn that Cheney has the leading man role in redacted sections. The moral of the story is ancient history: fund and operate a resourceful agency in a way that immunizes it from scrutiny by both the media and the opposition party and sooner or later even the most law abiding President (Richard Nixon?) will be unable to resist using that agency as a short-cut means to any ends, legal or not, moral or not, that the President (or his deniability enabling staff) can't achieve openly. Media scrutiny possibly not the ideal way to go for a spy agency, Congressional oversight already improved, let's cross our fingers and move on to an alternative form of government.

Pope Benedict XVI switches papal election system to call for run-off between the two leading candidates if no candidate gets 2/3 majority by 13th day of conclave. Run-off definitely the way to go, leading candidates usually at least 70 and sometimes in frail health. Not sure if run- off is a sprint or more of a middle distance, but at least we will get a pope who can lace up his sneakers and go for it without collapsing at starting line. Ripple effect starts now, as leading papal contenders go into training and College of Cardinals looks to capture NCAA cross country crown.

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