A government in graft-ridden West Africa has taken a stand for cutting government waste: Senegal’s lower house of parliament and the president agreed to abolish the country’s senate, saving the government $15 million a year. More truthfully, the newly elected president, Macky Sall, is consolidating his power base, since the upper house is dominated by supporters of the other party. President Obama tends to like symbolic, ineffective, and politically advantageous stabs at government downsizing too; one hopes he doesn’t start getting any Senegalese ideas about the $1.2 billion cost of the Republican House.
Pity Pakistan’s Abdullah Ismail. On match day at the terrorist academy, all the other guys got assigned suicide bombing, IEDs, and bus massacres, while poor Abdullah was stuck with flag-burning duty. So at a recent demonstration in Lahore against cute-puppy videos — no, check that, it was against Innocence of Muslims — he trotted out his specialty and lit up the Stars and Stripes. But while the Supreme Court has ruled that flag burning may not be punished, its writ does not cover the forces of cosmic justice, and after a few minutes of barbecuing Old Glory, Ismail took ill from inhaling the smoke and was rushed to a hospital, where he died. Not exactly an immortal hero of jihad, perhaps; but his martyr’s death should qualify him for three or four virgins at least, and maybe a small room on the airshaft in paradise.