Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

See? Told you I was coming back. The exigencies of two teenagers darting in and out of sight and mind all day long made blogging an impossibility in the summertime (and who wants to sit in front of a computer on a sunny July afternoon?). But they went back to school--including the homeschooled teenager, who's now in college--and I've come back to blogging.

I guess my coming back is the only surprise. Nothing much has changed during my news and views hiatus. Less focus on bird flu than there was a few months ago. But George Bush is still someone's president, which means very little else has changed.

What do I mean? Let's see. The rich keep getting richer. In the first six months of 2006, wages and salary accounted for the smallest amount of our national income since 1929. Yet corporate profit was at its largest share of the national income since 1950. Here's a nice number byte from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities "Wages and salaries have grown at a 2.0 percent average annual rate, after adjusting for inflation . . . (while) Corporate profits have grown at a 14.1 percent average annual rate, after adjustment for inflation."

This allows Bush to continue to tout our economic recovery while most of lower and middle class America continues to reach for their empty wallet. Nice. And what's with the Bush number rebound? Are we really so stupid as to actually believe that because gas prices are going down, invading Iraq was a good idea? Actually, Reuters suggests it's just Republicans who are that dumb.

On a related note, there was an interesting article in the Washington Post yesterday on making decisions with your head versus your heart. It cites a 1935 study in which an emotional approach to voters was shown to be a vastly superior method of persuasion compared to rationality. The author quotes a political psychologist (a political psychologist??) as saying that modern research confirms the importance of political ads tugging at heart strings to be effective.

So I'm ready. Market to me, baby. Come on, George. Make yourself look compassionate: champion Darfur and actually make the world accomplish something of substance there. Make yourself look caring: follow up on your promises post-Katrina and rehouse, reshore, and restore the dead zones. Make yourself look like you love the environment: do that rumored about-face , embrace the reality of global warming, and act to slow it down.

I don't care who does the right thing. I don't care how it's packaged or who sells it. I just want it done. Maybe the ends justify the means. Maybe God can use a Republican to save the world.

Maybe hell will freeze over soon.

Until then,


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