Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Power of Babble
These are frightening times in Washington. Despite his brave talk in the State of the Union, Obama and the Dems have been terrified into backing off their health care and other initiatives. No matter how much they concede to the Reps, they get only the back of John Boehner’s unnaturally bronzed mitt in reply. What’s the ominous threat that has them gasping in their Guccis?
Filibuster, that’s what! The scary spector of Republicans endlessly bullshitting on the floor of the Senate. Will they have to dam Capital Hill to protect against this torrent of verbal diarrhea? Will Harry Reid have to buy ear plugs? Will Jim Lehrer doze off ? Oh, the horror!
Let’s face it, our president had to surrender. Otherwise it would have meant Mitch McConnell droning through the Louisville phone book. If that doesn’t petrify you, how about James Imhofe babbling on about his grand kids?
It’s a turkey and egg question: Do our politicians feed us such preposterous nonsense because they’re contemptuous of us or stupid themselves?
Maybe it’s just that I was younger and more gullible, but I seem to recall that back in the day the solons fed us far more plausible lies. They scared us silly about Russia and China. But those were the two biggest countries on earth with real armies and nukes pointed our way. Now Washington gets our fear factor boiling by endlessly warning us of a few hundred medieval cave dwellers who gained their deadliest success at terrorism armed with no more than box cutters.
More stupid examples:
--The Pentagon says we have to spend billions to protect Iceland from a possible missile attack by Iran.
--The president says we’re taking all of our ‘combat’ troops out of Iraq by this summer. Since Blackwater, KBR and their ilk have profitably taken on just about all of the non-combat stuff in the military, what will our non-combat forces be doing?
--Obama also tells us we’re going to save zillions on health care and cut the deficit by making people buy insurance from financial companies whose only goal is to make more money this year than last year.
--The current and former treasury secretaries testify that it was necessary to save the system not by sending the banksters who wrecked it to jail but rather by making them richer than they were before.
Harry Truman warned us to never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Would that our present pile of politicians even come close to that sort of simple and honest advisory.


A Serious Moment--I just heard that Howard Zinn died in California at 87. He spent his life telling us the truth about ourselves. If you have yet to read A People's History of the United States, do it. If you have kids, make sure they read it. He was a writer and a fighter. We lost one of our best.