UNLESS I'm already too late on that.
• No, really, you do need to learn things after Kindergarten: I've mentioned before that my Poor Wife's classroom contains a set of the 1962 Collier's Encyclopedia, and that the casual examiner of roughly the same vintage and my shoe size may, nay, should be astonished at the level of Red baiting so clearly on display in an ostensible fact-reporting exercise. And it isn't like there's much that's happened in the intervening half-century to write it off as an aberration. As a result, neither the mass-market media nor the sort of "experts" it favors, are ever going to be able to yell loudly enough to convince me of anything similar. Not the threat of Kim Jong-il, not the moral outrage of Iranian elections stolen by a guy who, even prior to this, all Americans were presumably convinced would steal Their Baby's Medicine and use it to poison Jews. Never mind that his opponent isn't exactly the sort of friend we had in Ahmed Chalabi; never mind the Mullahs really run the country; never mind, as Glenn points out, that these are the exact same people whose large-scale incineration the Cheney administration and its elfin helpers contemplated on nearly every network Sunday gabfest for the previous six years. Is there some small but satisfying alteration in seratonin levels linked to going apeshit about these things, as opposed to just reporting the facts? Do you, in fact, know how to just report the facts?
Really, is it possible that our endless cycle of political fear-mongering--which, in the lifetime of those of us who've reached middle age, has gone from the possible thermonuclear destruction of the planet to the possible launch of a single radioactive missile with a 500-mile range and zero accuracy with absolutely no change whatsoever in tone--has some sort of biological imperative at its core? That the teleprompter readers and un-elected Fourth Branches of Government are, by their very self-absorbed roles, chemically induced to sound a warning to the rest of the herd? There's an idea for Conor Friedersdorf.
Greenwald, btw, links to Daniel Larison, who is also making sense, but whose rejection of the national impulse to morally condemn the human rights abuses of countries which refuse to play ball with us falls short, to the extent, at least, that we have no moral authority left.
• Speaking of the Cheney administration, it's bad enough the old bastid still commands air time; what exactly, Today Show, is in Lynne Cheney's expired portfolio? She's against heart attacks? That makes her a fucking pioneer or something? Maybe, just maybe, David Gregory could fucking think twice about being the second generation of Meet the Press host to foster incontinent Cheneyhood on the rest of us. Just sayin'. Not to mention the fact that the life Lynne Cheney is trying to save is that fucking prick of a husband of hers, perhaps in the hope that he can survive for a few more years of lying us into unnecessarily killing thousands more innocents.
And don't get me wrong; the more these two get the opportunity to encourage their Twenty Percenters, while reminding the reasonably conscious 60% they repulse exactly why, the better I like it.
• It may be too early to chalk another one up to the National Review Cover Curse, but the best cobbled-together plans of Budgetary Spork-Wielder Mitch "How's the Weather Down There?" Daniels gang aft agley on arrival at the Special Legislative Session he forced. (Late Breaking: the governor's CIB bailout scheme was killed by the House this morning. With luck the Senate won't be able to revive it, and the Board will go belly-up in October (the earliest, sunniest prediction), and the Colts and the NFL will try to field three months worth of games in the dark.) This is the way things work in these parts, which Daniels knows full well; the point is that he's never been able to stop grandstanding the process, which achieves nothing except a little face time, emphasis on the "little". Meanwhile, disgraced Mayor Gomer P. Ballard, USMC (ret), who got to dine on 'umbles last week in The Spork's pre-session photo-op, is now expressing doubts whether the necessary level of cuts can be achieved. This was your third plan, Pyle! At this point one cannot avoid the conclusion that his handlers Downtown have either abandoned any idea of a second term, or they're going for the the sympathy vote. Maybe a late reveal that the mayor Ain't Been Quite Right since his troops fragged him.
• Then again, there's evidence it Just Might get him re-elected: the sad news that a ten-year-old boy was killed last Thursday at 3 AM when struck by lightning at a popular commercial fishing hole on the city's far Southside (Motto: Gateway to Northern Alabama) turned into an episode of Maury yesterday when friends of the mother jumped the boy's paternal grandfather at the funeral, and the resulting melee sent three people to lockup and more to the hospital. Meanwhile, the Racist Star manages to find "experts" who say that the father's actions in exiting the tent where they'd first sought shelter for the safety of their vehicle was "exactly the right move".
Those experts, by the way, were a police department spokesman and a meteorologist. Which is pretty much like having a handwriting analyst and a polygraph operator say you made a good deal on your new car. Shoulda gone to the vehicle at the first sign of danger; shoulda known about the possibility of thunderstorms, which, in this instance, had actually been predicted. If you opted for the tent you should stay there unless there was a tree about to crush it. Crouch down, keeping on the ball of your toes to minimize ground contact. Better to be soaked than to be dead. And practice this stuff. When my Poor Wife and I were hiking either of us could yell "Lightning" at any time, and we had to respond properly, which included getting the sleeping pads off our packs to stand on. Yes, inside a car is safe; it's running for the car that's dangerous. And if you need "expert" advice on surviving in the woods, ask someone who actually does it.