December 17, 2008

Tis the season for more political junk.

Though the Blago saga has focused enough white hot media frenzy on our region to melt the polar ice caps, another little plumb was today's announcement that Obama is to appoint former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture.

This is yet another appointment that bodes ill for any sort of "change" in our government policies, as Vilsack is a typical midwest proponent of ethanol, and the enormous government subsidies that support it.

This is an issue key to both the important issues of food security and vital to our country's future energy policies.

Evidence suggests that ethanol uses almost as much energy to produce as it provides, and isn't a viable scheme as it would eat up far too much land to produce the corn needed and take away from land otherwise devoted to production of corn used in the production of food.

It's not a good sign for those concerned with the environment, our alternative energy future, or food production. I only hope Vilsack does a 180 and is at least something less than a shill for the ethanol lobby, which has exerted WAY WAY WAY more power in D.C. than it's size due to the fact that nearly every swing state is an agricultural corn producing state. McCain, to his credit, was the only candidate honest enough to not come out in support of ethanol subsidies, and as a consequence forfeited any chance of winning Iowa. Every other candidate of both parties knew that you have to support ethanol or your chances of getting anywhere are very slim.

And we were given a video clip for the ages when Bush dodged a speeding shoe or two.

Pundit opinion on this seemed to always be prefaced, before they admitted how hilarious it was, by saying that "everyone" felt a little angry about it, after all, he IS our president.

Is that so?

I didn't feel a bit of anger. Not one teeny-tiny bit. I thought it was hilarious on one level, but found it entirely justified and appropriate on the other.

I also have to give Boy George props for having the reflexes of a boxer. It's as if he had gone in EXPECTING some shoes to come his way and was just waiting for it.

Secondly, the reporter who threw the footwear has an incredible arm!! The first shoe was going right at W's nose, and at a very high velocity. It makes you wonder if he'd just come off a productive spring training where he flung shoes at an old tire hanging from a tree limb for hours each day.

Incredible aim, and equally incredibly quick reflexes from our beloved leader.

If it would have been McCain, there would have been at least a bloody nose.

I'm glad that now we have an image, a video clip, that pretty much will stand for the ages as a visual comment on Bush's efforts in the Mid-East.

As Bush's Magical Re-inventing History Tour rolls on, he's caught baldly lying by saying, "I never said the Taliban was eliminated", when he's on tape saying exactly that about 4 different ways, including saying, "We've eliminated the Taliban."

And Good Old Dick gave an interview where he both admitted that they would have invaded Iraq even if they knew they didn't have any "WMDs", thus admitting that all the garbage they fed us about how they knew he had nuclear capabilities and we couldn't risk the smoking gun being a mushroom cloud, etc. were, and are, utter lies.

He also admitted that he was personally involved in authorizing illegal torture of detainees, thereby admitting to having committed a clear and unambiguous war crime.

But as both Bush and Cheney have famously reponded when confronted with facts that reveal them as utterly unconcerned over anyone else's opinion, least of all the people they were elected to represent, or that they obviously lied about their reasons to lead the country into war, and the idea that the rule of law applied to them "So?"

"What are you going to do about it, huh?", is the unspoken follow on to their arrogant answer, knowing that absolutely nothing will be done to hold them accountable, and thus sending the clear message that any future leaders are essentially immune from the rule of law.

They'll walk away scott free. In light of the horror and terror they've both been directly responsible for, dodging a couple shoes seems a tragically minor consequence.

And then there's the interesting story out of New York that has all the elements the press eats up like candy, celebrity, political history, and conlict between two political dynasties of the same party.

Of course I'm referring to the speculation, then news, that Caroline Kennedy, the only surviving member of JFK's immediate family, is interested in being appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's senate seat, presumably to run for election in 2010.

This has caused a somewhat ugly erruption from a group getting known for somewhat ugly erruptions, namely strong supporters of Hillary Clinton.

Some Rep. from Brooklyn dissed Caroline as having never milked a cow, a skill he considers essential for any candidate, though I'd wager most guys from Brooklyn have never even SEEN a cow, much less tried to milk one.

Some other erstwhile liberal Dem from N.Y. dismissed Kennedy as having nothing to offer but name-recognition, comparing her to J-Lo, of all people.

Some pundits consider Kennedy a mortal lock to win if she wins, other's aren't so convinced.

We shall see. First she has to get N.Y. Governor David Patterson to appoint her, which is far from a sure thing.

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