• Trouble in Pakistan and on the Turkish border? That's un-possible!
If Nancy Pelosi is finished (for the moment) apologizing because a Democrat said something mean, maybe we could get around to investigating how we came to this point before this point is so far in the future we're rewriting it as a victory. We ignored the sort of international diplomacy even the most gun-totin' previous administration had heeded (to some extent, at least) in order to make in into Iraq by the timetable Bush's puppetmasters had set in 1999. By contrast we made a deal with Musharraf, a tin-horn dictator with a known conflict of interest (to put it nicely) and a track record of passing out nuclear weapons technology like trick-or-treat candy, despite the fact that a) we didn't need to, and b) we knew it wouldn't do us any good unless we got bin-Laden in the first place. Lord knows, the neos were (and still are) capable of imagining anything, and Lord knows they've got a soft spot for a man in uniform, but still.... And I don't care how blind you are, the refusal to take the time to get Turkey on board the Coalition Choo-Choo was a blunder obvious at the time, and not just because we had to reroute troop carriers and reformulate our well-vetted war plans. I mean, shit, this administration didn't know where the oil is? The Kurds seem to be the one cultural or religious sub-group we can be sure the President did know about before the invasion. We went to war for purely partisan political reasons, and on a timetime designed for maximum electoral effect, Madam Speaker. The real outrage is that hearing he enjoys it is the worst thing that'll happen to George W. Bush.
• With all due respect for people facing terrible hardships, I would rather hammer pencils up both auditory canals, pointy part first, than listen to any more wildfire coverage, which--in rather stark contrast to the equivalent period in Katrina coverage, which ran, as I recall it, "The Coloreds are stealin' TVs! The Coloreds are stealin' TVs!"--has amounted to a sort of enormous electronic group hug and complimentary unlimited salad bar. I actually heard someone last night saying that there hadn't been any looting (!), and I've heard at least a half-dozen times, without trying to, how quickly aid is arriving compared to Katrina, as though this proves American Has Learned Her Lesson. Bosh. It underlines the fact that the Katrina response lagged--as did any Press recognition of the human scale of the tragedy--because we weren't exactly 100% sure we cared. One of the wealthiest states in the Union is prepared for a seasonally-occurring natural disaster; the Gulf Coast--three of our six poorest states--wasn't prepared for one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to make landfall. And our news hairdos identify with people losing their homes, but wondered why New Orleans' flood victims didn't all jump in their swamp buggies and get the hell out. This is why I'm keeping all the pencils in the other room, and why I'm not visiting the Corner in the near future.
• I swear I ran into the article on my way to the Obituaries: Ellen DeGeneres, serial puppy abandoner. Who could have guessed?
And who could anticipate that the bandwagon of a celebrity in mid-public meltdown would prove to be missing a wheel?