Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tip toe, through the tulips . . .

Is that what you think I've been doing, these ten days that have come and gone without my insightful, perceptive bloggy blogs? Pushing up daisies? Becoming Ferdinand the Bull and just sitting and smelling the flowers?

You would be wrong, my friends. There are no flowers in Oak Park, Illinois in the winter. Errant buds, here and there, as the oddly warm January fools trees into thinking spring is coming sooner than expected. But no flowers, except those chemically smelly ones I pass each week at the grocery store. What's the point of
that? Flowers are not simply meant to be seen, lovely as they are. They need to be smelled. The olfactory factor is absolute for me, and I can't abide the notion of spending money on something so beautiful yet so sadly lacking in dimensionality.

But I digress. :-)

I have not been tip toeing, nor pushing, nor smelling. I've been bored and overwhelmed, all at once. Call it two parts winter lethargy/SAD, one part what the hell else can I say about George Bush, NSA, Iran, and Iraq that I (or someone far more articulate than me) have already said. I've been applying my light lamp, my depression-busting artificial rays of sunlight designed to perk me and my metabolism back up to normal levels, on a daily basis. And I've pulled back from reading news online (gasp). Just to see what would happen if I did.

It appears that the news, the happenings of the day, the truly meaningful events of our time, move as slow as molasses. In fact, reading all my old favorites today (that would be BBC, WaPo, LA Times, Kos, Pol Animal, and Talking Points), made me check and recheck my calendar. Little has changed since I last checked in. And I ask again, what's
that about?

Really, it's like watching a soap opera. Back in college, I got hooked on "General Hospital". I watched faithfully until I became a stay at home mom. Then I stopped because it seemed to me, Puritanly speaking, that I should use that time more constructively. Fourteen years later, I started working out at a health club, where I glued my eyeballs to a screen to overcome exercise boredom. That screen happened to have on it, yes, "General Hospital".

I had no trouble following the story lines. Only a few new characters. Why do people watch these shows? Nothing ever happens in them! How boring. Maybe that's just life, though. Our own personal dramas don't tend to move at lightning speed, either. Maybe we enjoy watching lives that are somehow intrinsically more interesting than our own just because they are televised. Or maybe we like watching beautiful people live boring lives.

I dunno. And I've digressed once again. The point was, Bush is still actually nervy enough to continue to insist that he's done nothing wrong in the whole eavesdropping on Americans fiasco. Even better, funnier, more amazingly moronic, he has attacked the media for publicizing it all (yes, I'm sure it was an absolute shocker to Al Queda to learn that the US was spying on them). The entire administration has come forth with all manner of dreck about why the need to spy was so pressing that Bush couldn't apply for an after the fact warrant, the latest disproven one that Bush had to bypass the warrant process because the spying was much more technologically advanced than anything the process had foreseen.

Not really, according to General Michael Hayden, the deputy director of national intelligence. Apparently it's just the standard stuff. Hmm. Gives us even less reason to buy the Bush line. Maybe this is all part of my non-writing phase. I'm writing this and becoming outraged once again. But where is the societal outrage? Why isn't this continuing to be big bold headlines? Why isn't it dominating the talk shows? We were way more interested in those poor guys who died in a mine shaft than we are in our own shafting process.

Will the last stuff on Katrina perhaps move us from our collective lethargy? Bush and Co. are refusing to cooperate in the investigation into how Katrina was handled, citing (of course), executive confidentiality and security. Me, me, me. It's all about Bush and protecting his bully pulpit. Josh Marshall says, "(T)hey have an ideological affinity -- perhaps even a compulsion -- for presidential assertions of extra-constitutional authority. Just on principle."

Or it could be that the White House has an affinity for using extra-constitutional authority assertions as avoidance for bad press. We already know that the White House had advance notice of just how bad Katrina would be. And what did they do? Not nearly enough. Perhaps Bush thinks that it's better to have bad press over his continued assertion of executive authority as opposed to his continued poor choices of administration officials that are unable to manage crisis situations.

And, as I noted early on in this return blog, that's not new news. That's darn old news. The more things change . . . .

Until tomorrow (probably),


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