This is just stuff I overheard, more or less, ion between visits to assisted living sites, $100 vet "yearly exams", 2.5 inches of rain, most of it seemingly falling directly on me during rush hour, and trying, for the last 48 hours, to figure out just what day it is:
• Indiana leads the nation in the number of potential terror targets, according to a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security, thereby answering once and for all the question, "Does the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security actually read those reports?"
• "Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels announces budget surplus" (crawl on local news cable channel). There's probably more to say about the latter fact in the near future, once smarter Hoosiers than myself have had at it. It was suggested months ago that the budget "balancing" (the hallmark of Tiny Dancer's campaign) was of an odd sort: if one granted it, one had also to grant that the previous (Democratic) administration's budgets (a bête noire created without the benefit of single-party legislative control) were also balanced, granting the same sort of expenditure-shifting being used to balance this one; alternately that Governor Munchkin's ledger comes up just as red as the last few did. The fiscal year ended June 30, and I haven't seen any in depth analysis of the Guv's claims, so we'll wait and see and try to disguise our shock if it turns out that All is Not As It's Claimed To Be.
No, rather, it's that "Republican Gov." bit. I think most Hoosiers know which party he represents by now. I don't recall seeing or hearing that particular construction lately. Certainly not when they were reporting his approval ratings. Not a big deal, and I have no particular objection to Republicans crowing about an achievement, assuming it's real. But why does a news organization undertake to do that for them?
• Similarly, I caught yet another mention of the Amazing Ticking Interest Clock which made its first appearance last week. It's a graphic illustration of how much money the state is earning on the $3.8 billion we got for selling off the Indiana Toll Road. Again, fair enough, but opponents never said we weren't getting $3.8 B, nor that it wouldn't earn interest. What I resented was the (apparent) idiocy of news hairdos reporting the thing as though they didn't understand the issue had two sides, especially when most Hoosiers opposed the deal.
• I barely had time to notice a minute of the mini wall-to-wall on that exploded NYC building Monday--just enough to hear speculation about a "suicide attempt". Tuesday afternoon I sit down with a cuppa and hear "bitter divorce/may have blwon building to bits so wife wouldn't get it."
So now here's the interesting thing: I realize there were rumors of a suicide note, but you can't kill yourself with natural gas. Okay, sure, you could die in an explosion, though at minimum that's something of a longshot, but natural gas ain't toxic. Coal gas, once commonly used in Britain, is, due to carbon monoxide. (I read mysteries. Sometimes you learn things.)
I didn't know any of the details, so when I heard this afternoon's story it was an immediate flashback to the "Reagan is having open-heart surgery" story after he was shot. Dollars to doughnuts you could trace the earlier story to one reporter who either heard the suicide note rumor or just decided that willful gas leak=suicide attempt.
• Last, but not least, the shocking silence of the Right Blogosphere over the Bush administration's apparent falsifying of the results of that North Korean missile test continues. Dunno if the Premature Ejaculation jokes still have 'em rolling in the aisles over there; maybe I'll get a chance to check later. That's a thirty.