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Hatch’s Humble Pie

Our Sen. Orrin Hatch, a songwriter of staid hymns and stinky soundtrack numbers, was all humble pie last week, especially considering that he had such a fine time rubbing Democratic noses in the dirt not so long ago.

You might remember our Senator’s glee over “memos” that had been unearthed documenting just how those nasty liberals conspire with others to somehow rig the judicial nomination process. Orrin even went out on a limb, castigating Democrats as just short of racist for opposing the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the Circuit Court of Appeals, Now, after the discovery that a member of his very own staff apparently hacked Senate Democratic computer files to get said “memos,” the Hatch man is all apologies. At least he understands something about means and ends.

& ull; Hatch is also, of course, about the most rabid defender of copyrighted material, staid hymns and stinky soundtrack numbers or no. Recall that Hatch seemed to take venomous delight in describing how the computers of file-sharing thieves might be blown up if they failed to see the error of their ways. And an August article in The New York Times about film producer Steven Soderbergh’s HBO series K Street noted that, during one episode shoot, the good senator gave one of the show’s lobbyists a free CD. You don’t want to get in the way of Hatch when he’s trying to make a pitch. “Mr. Hatch, who also had a cameo in Traffic, is never shy about promoting his second career as a songwriter,” the Times said. We know, we know. It wasn’t too long ago that Hatch was trying to ply his talent on Bono.

& ull; Brent Scowcroft tried to warn us out of invading Iraq in a now legendary Aug. 15, 2002 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. Now a little known excerpt from George Bush Sr.’s memoirs, A World Transformed, is making the e-mail and message-board rounds. Let us pick up at the end of the first Gulf War: “Trying to eliminate Saddam ... would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible—We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq ... there was no viable ‘exit strategy’ we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations’ mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.” At least that’s what the leader of the Free World said then. History, continually unfolding against and for its own influences, can be a real bitch.

& ull; And Americans can hardly schedule lunch: The Spanish Federation of Sexology Societies reported after a survey this summer that more than 70 percent of Spaniards make it a point to schedule a time of day for sex, while more than half schedule a particular day of the week for that activity.

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