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TITLE: Your Attorney Will Now be Required to Turn You In. You'll Be Billed Later.
DATE: 2/25/2003 07:08:00 AM
IsThatLegal?, a weblog that comments on a variety of things -- mostly the American Internment of Japanese during WW II, but really, other stuff too -- that the Patriot Act requires lawyers at real estate closings to
first check a federal database to ascertain whether either seller or buyer is a "Specially Designated National"--that is, a person or entity on a "terrorist list" compiled by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department. And here's the kicker: if seller or buyer is on the list, then the lawyer must (a) report the fact to the federal government, (b) delay the closing, and (c) not tell the client(s) that the lawyer has done (a) and (b). He goes on to note that:
Two things jump out at me here. First, this is a spot where the reach of the USA PATRIOT Act is just enormous. It affects every single real estate transaction in the nation. From an administration that purports to be concerned about protecting state and local power from the reach of the federal government, this is an extraordinary foray into what has always been understood to be a core matter of state and local concern--transactions in real property. What else is hiding in the Patriot Act? Who put this in? Was there a lobby (the Background Check Association of America maybe?) that got this slipped in?
TITLE: Bush Use of U.N. Makes Head Spin Like Exorcist Chick
DATE: 2/25/2003 06:37:00 AM
President Bush today said that because he had already decided to invade Iraq, the U.N. better vote to do it, already. "We asked for your approval as an international body making rulings of binding law rubberstamping our previously-formulated policies and decisions," Bush said. He complained that the U.N. "seemed to kind of misunderstand the whole point" of going through them. "They're not like, the law, or anything. They're just, like, this bunch of guys hanging out in some horseshoe kind of thing."
Ari Fleisher explained that Bush was applying his understanding of golf to the United Nations. "The President thinks that the object of golf is for the golf course to shift itself until the President's ball is directly over the hole."
TITLE: A Very Special Sneak Peak at the Upcoming Saddam Hussein/ George W. Bush Debate
DATE: 2/25/2003 12:04:00 AM
CBS News reports that Saddam Hussein refuses to destroy those missiles of his and instead wants a one-on-one "dialogue" or debate with George W. Bush. Although I have thought the whole deal would best be resolved by single combat (kinda like that scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), I think a debate is the perfect antidote to the whole Iraq/U.S. mess -- not to mention that it solves another enormous problem -- it gives people something to watch now that "Joe Millionaire" is over.
That debate would be something like this:
President Bush: We know what a disarmed country looks like and, uh . . . Iraq doesn't look like that.
Saddam Hussein: [long muttering in Arabic]
Interpreter: You have big stupid ears that stick out strangely from your ugly American face.
President Bush: I didn't come all the way here just to stand up and be insulted.
Saddam Hussein: [quick, deft rattling off of Arabic]
Interpreter: That's fine. You can sit down in this comfortable chair over here and I'll start over.
Powell: Boys, boys. . . .
Hours later, after a tense, behind closed-doors meeting, Bush and Saddam will come out of the room awkwardly touching and friendly.
President Bush: (sheepishly) We realize that we actually have a lot in common. . . . He has weapons of mass destruction, I have weapons of mass destruction . . . He tried to kill my Daddy, my Daddy tried to kill him. The world is really such a small place. We've said some things to each other maybe we shouldn't of and we've used some harsh words. Things got a little outta hand. And maybe we were both kinda having trouble backing down. And then I was reminded of Isaiah . . .
Journalist: The bible passage?
President Bush: No, just this guy we both know. Anyway (blushes, shifts weight uncomfortably), let's see if we can just put this whole mess behind us and start again. Life is too short. (to Saddam) I'm sorry I called you a big fat evil insane powerhungry dictator guy.
Saddam: I'm very soggy.
[They shake hands, awkwardly pat each other on the shoulder. ]
Saddam rattles something off in Arabic.
Interpreter: We're touching but that doesn't mean we're like, gay.
Bush laughs, winks, points finger.
Jacques Chirac: (tearfully smiling and hugging everyone) I am SO happy!