I think it’s clear now with the conviction of “Cheney’s Cheney” aka Scooter Libby that the Vice President’s Wizard-of-Oz-like pulling of levers behind curtains is the mind behind the Oval Office, and that fat balding head floating over us all is saying, “We have to make America the best place in the world to do business.” That is, Cheney’s business. Heh Heh Heh.
The barbarians are at the gates, and Washington, D.C. may never be the same. If American voters thought the war in Iraq was the most pressing issue of the day, Barbara Boxer may soon be disabusing them of that notion. Likely to be the next chair of the Senate Environment committee, Boxer is ecstatically planning her new campaign to save us from ourselves. Count on her to ramp up the volume on eco issues. DiFi, rarely raising her voice but a master of backroom deal making is rumored to be in line for Trent Lott’s seat at the Rules committee, and California rules are sure to look a lot different than Mississippi ruhls. Harry Reid may not be from California but the State of Las Vegas might as well be a territory of Los Angeles. In any case, my sense is that this will turn out to be a historic mid-term election but not for the currently pundited reasons. I think we’re finally seeing the end of the iron grip of The South on national politics and an end to the long reign of Dixiecrats in election politics. It has taken over 150 years for California, the economic powerhouse and cultural cutting edge of the country to get a few places at the table in Washington and it’s a harbinger of the changes in the national political landscape to come. No matter who sits in the Oval Office.
Talk about diversity…here in the golden state we’ve managed to reach new heights of mixedness, all-over-the-mapness, and plain ol’ voter confusion as the results of the Caulifornia mid-term and governatorious elections illuminate the collective mind of the Left Coasters. We voted for a Republican Hollywood muscleman who lifted himself out of the political toilet by hiring Democratic advisors and putting a “bread and circuses” bond initiative on the ballot. We voted for the bread, circuses and $50+ billion in bond indebitness while rejecting modest tax increases to pay for schools, health care, and road repair. We almost voted to tax ourselves hugely by demanding that the state pay for any land taken by eminent domain – but wised up at the last minute. We booted a Stetson-wearing environment-bashing Republican Rep, Pombo, and replaced him with an alternative energy geek Democrat, McNerney, but then turned around and rejected an alternative-energy research support bond and an environmental tax on Big Oil. We just barely rejected a requirement for young women to get parental permission for an abortion – while we become the first state to be represented by the first female Speaker of the House in US history. We are the first state to ban smoking in all public places but can’t bring ourselves to slap a health tax on the Tobacco Industry (could we have gotten it mixed up the “The Death Tax”?). Oh, and we rejected the most promising method of campaign reform ever – public campaign financing provided by a 2 cent tax on corporations. I guess we’d rather let the Indian Gaming Industry pay for elections….
we gotta love us.
Sittin’ in a friend’s Uptown shotgun listening to Bobby Lounge bang the ivories singing “do not pass on by” while the dog sleeps and the mockingbirds sing on a softly humid Monday morning. The friends are workin’, a blessing in this post-Katrina, trauma-tized, water-marked, limpin’ and hurtin’ New Orleans. “We Back” says the spray paint on the door but there’s a “for sale” sign on the porch. Uptown gardens are bloomin’, the ginger blossoms spilling over picket fences and “fleur de lis” flags fly from the house eaves in a show of hope from those who got lucky and still have an eave. But the gardens are an island in a sea of debris. Drive the boulevards – Jeff Davis, Broad, Gentilly – and mile after mile of blank, empty, forlorn houses sit waiting for a decision: rebuild, remove, repair. Noboby knows what to do until after the (mayoral) election, after hurricane season, after FEMA payments end, after the levees are repaired, the flood maps re-drawn. Though they weren’t wiped off the grid like the Lower Ninth, neighborhood after neighborhood sits deserted, one house here or there cleared of debris, gutted, and boarded up to wait. A grey water line smears across the city’s houses, and abandoned cars, a line of fate, a binding tie, a fading trail of memory back to old New Orleans.
“Mr. Rove said he had forgotten the call, one of hundreds he participates in each day.”
A repentant Karl Rove admitted yesterday to a grand jury investigator that he could not recall a conversation with a journalist in which he revealed the secret code to White House situation room “nuke” buttons. In a sixteen hour work day, Mr. Rove, commented, he makes a phone call at least every minute. “I have even forgotten that I talked to President Bush a minute ago,” he said, pressing speeddial.