America after Anna Nicole
After long study, Ive concluded that our leaders are not necessarily trying to be funny. But you are entitled to draw your own conclusions. All I really know is what I see on the cable news channels. This was my only contact with the outside world for several days recently, when my furnace was dead and I was forced to check into the Bates Motel (now under new management).
This weekend those channels gave thorough coverage to one of the great mysteries of our time: Who is the father of the late Anna Nicole Smiths baby? The issue may ultimately have to be settled by the Florida supreme court. (The child does not yet appear to have implants.)
But we cant rule out the possibility that the same man is the father of Mary Cheneys baby. Everything seems to point to Scooter Libby, unless hes being made the fall guy again. The vice president has called Libby one of the finest individuals I have ever known. Thats a fall guy, all right. Most people dont call their friends individuals. When the Cheneys need something done, they turn to Scooter.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama has made it official: Hes running for president. He made the announcement in Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln once kicked off his campaign, just before Lincolns birthday. Taking the bull by the horns, Obama proclaimed his faith in the basic decency of the American people. He offered no evidence to support this bizarre belief.
He also hopes to transform the nation and to have his face on the penny, an honor traditionally reserved for dead white males. He seems to forget that Lincoln didnt even want black people voting in Illinois. And really, why would they want to, anyway?
Obama is mounting a serious challenge to the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, who has a huge early lead in the polls and name recognition. Obama also enjoys high name recognition, except that many voters think he is the head of al-Qaeda, understandably confounding him with Obama Hussein bin Laden, the radical Islamist Holocaust-denying wife-beating terrorist.
Hillary has other problems. Liberals are suspicious of her for supporting the Iraq war. She has also voted for legislation to punish flag burning and against gay marriage; but she has taken full responsibility for these votes, explaining that she would have voted the other way if she had known then what she knows now.
In addition, she has ankles like a rogue elephant. Can she keep them concealed until the primaries? Those ankles may be the touchiest political secret since FDRs frail health in 1944. Her voice reminds you of an elephant too. A really angry one. If Obama is smart, he will challenge her to debate before a live audience in Bermuda shorts.
Perhaps only one candidate could have united the fractious Democrats this year: Al Gore, with his mainstream message of global warming. Unfortunately, Gore has just been buried by an avalanche in Buffalo. (Earlier reports that he had been mauled by a polar bear were erroneous.)
Not that the Republicans dont have their own problems, even apart from their presidential hopefuls. They are currently distressed by Irans meddling in Iraq. Apparently nobody in the party owns a map. As I say, these people may not be being funny on purpose. They just get sincerely annoyed when others meddle on our planet.
Most cartographers agree that Iran is situated right between Iraq and Afghanistan. When you invade countries on both sides of another, much bigger country, with regime changes all over the place, well, as the late Donald Rumsfeld used to say, stuff happens. Think of it as the birth pangs of a new Middle East.
The Republicans world is collapsing all around them. Imagine how they felt as they watched the Dixie Chicks triumph at the Grammy Awards. It may be their good fortune that we dont know and may never know how Anna Nicole felt about the troop surge.
All of which prompts the reflection that those of us who dont live in Florida are missing something. Within a fortnight it has given us the Super Bowl, the astronaut love triangle, and the Anna Nicole tragedy. Its almost more excitement than I can bear.
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