There must have been some mighty long faces in the CNN newsroom when the missing Malaysian airplane story petered out. Now what were they going to obsess about 24/7? Maybe…serious news? Like the midterm elections? Ha! Who are we kidding?

Well, praise the good Lord for creating the little wiggly bugs and the germs, because now CNN has ebola. Is ebola a serious topic? Yes, but not when CNN is covering it. First, there was the endless dissection of what the nurses at Texas Presbyterian Hospital might or might not have been wearing when they treated Thomas Eric Duncan. It’s one thing to report that there were significant lapses in hospital protocol. It’s another to spend many hours speculating about what these lapses might have been because you’re trying to kill time before the next CDC conference. Then, when the nurses were being moved to other hospitals, CNN treated us to live coverage of the vehicles transporting the nurses, including ominous shots of the airplanes which were going to fly them to their destinations. Why did we need to see that? Were there infectious bodily fluids condensing on the wings? This provides more evidence for my personal theory that CNN + airplanes = pure ridiculousness.

So thank you, CNN, for showing us yet again that you are capable of taking any news story and riding it straight into carnival barker territory.

Ah, but there was also something missing for me in the coverage…some elusive element…I mean, besides substance. I wasn’t sure what it was, but then I remembered Don Lemon playing with his toy plane, and it all came back to me. The news anchors need a prop! And I know just the thing–the plushie version of the ebola germ, brought to us by Giant Microbes. You can take your plague reporting to a whole new level of dramatic when you’re waving an actual germ around in the studio. Hope you listen to my advice, CNN! You can’t make things much sillier than you already have, you know.

It’s been difficult enough to wave my Democratic pom-poms lately, but now my feelings are even more divided than before–this time, about my local vote for governor.

John Kitzhaber, the Democratic candidate running for re-election as governor of Oregon, has found himself in the midst of exploding scandal over the past few days. It has to do with his fiance, Cylvia Hayes, and various revelations about her–that she was paid $5,000 for a “green card” marriage to a young Ethiopian immigrant, and about her one-time plans to run a pot farm. I don’t care about either of those very much. These are the actions of the fiance, not Kitzhaber himself. What does bother me is that she was employed as a consultant to the governor and landed some plum contracts as a result, possibly in breach of state ethics. When it comes to Kitzhaber, I also can’t forget that CoverOregon–our state version of the Obamacare exchange–was bungled as badly as it was. Kentucky did a better job on its website. I’m a big supporter of the ACA, but the CoverOregon site didn’t work for months and cost the state millions of dollars.

I want to vote for the Democrats. I’m glad that Oregon is a blue state. But I get the sense that the Democrats who have been running the state for so long have gotten a little too comfortable. They know that people are going to vote for them, almost no matter what. (I’m pretty sure Kitzhaber is going to win his fourth term this year.) They have become a ruling clique. We need fresh liberal blood in this state.

But with that being said, I’m not excited about voting for Kitzhaber’s Republican opponent, Dennis Richardson, either. His values don’t match mine. We’re talking someone who opposes both Obamacare and marriage equality.

So what do I do now? Is there some Green Party/Socialist Party candidate I can throw my vote away on? (The only third party candidate I see in my voter guide is the Constitution Party guy, which…ugh.) Should I just abstain from voting? Seriously, somebody advise me. I’m no longer a voter divided at this point–I’m a voter torn to shreds.

Time to gather around for storytime, children….

Next week, the Secretary of State of our country is going to be at a Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo, at which wealthy nations are going to give money to rebuild homes and businesses in Gaza which were destroyed during their war with Israel. We don’t know yet how much America will donate, but Washington is expected to promise a “meaningful and appropriate” amount.

But wait…the American government also gives lots of money in military aid to Israel…hundreds of millions of dollars.

So, yes. Like in some twisted fairy tale–we are paying for Israeli missiles–which they are going to use to bomb the Gaza strip–which we are then going to pay to help rebuild–so that it can be bombed again.

And this, American boys and girls, is why we can’t have nice things.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the study showing just how much Americans booze it up. The strongest reaction by far has been to the top 10% of drinkers who put away a whopping 74 drinks a week. There has been shock and disbelief over that figure.

But I’m not surprised by those people. Mind you, I wouldn’t be able to survive what they do–my body isn’t that strong and my liver is already unhappy. But I can understand what drives them and where they’re coming from.

What is shocking to me is that 60% of the population either doesn’t drink at all or only drinks less than one drink a week. Really? What is their secret? Or maybe, what is their problem? How do they get through their day without feeling that hurting or at least, that restless itch which makes you want to have a drink so you can drown it out? Is it that they’ve found other ways to pacify themselves, like too much food or too much TV? Are they that emotionally strong? Or are they already numb?

The sober people are a fucking mystery to me. I’m going to need a shot of brandy to wrap my mind around that one.

Well, the election is just a few weeks away and my mind is in pieces. Politically speaking, I’m stuck in a no-man’s-land between disappointment and anxiety. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way right now.

I’m disappointed by the airstrikes in Syria. Disappointed that no matter which party is in power, we keep doing our perpetual war thing. Our addiction to constant military conflict seems to be a train which has jumped the tracks and cannot be stopped by anyone. I just hope it doesn’t end with our country’s demise.

But I’m anxious that if the Republican side gains too much strength, they could do even more damage. Their openly stated goal from the beginning has been to block and get in the way of anything the President proposes. I can complain about the Middle East, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act, my mother has health insurance for the first time in years. Repealing the ACA would have a real effect on my life and my family. Also, I’m in no mood to see the guys in Congress try to force more socially conservative stuff down our throats.

Having Obama in office hasn’t made as much difference as I had hoped it would. But having more Republicans in the House and Senate could make a bigger difference than we think it will.

So the disappointed side of me will continue to shake a fist at all the pictures of pretty, pretty missile explosions which my TV box keeps showing me. But the anxious side of me will vote for and is signing up to volunteer for the local Democrats in our state.

The rest of me remains in no-man’s-land.

So, we’re making war in the Middle East again, eh?

I know that people complain about Obama spending too much time playing golf, but right about now, I wouldn’t mind if he went back to golfing instead of this. After all, one of the naive reasons for my vote for him was that he would be pulling us out of military entanglements.

Hell, with how useful our politicians have been lately, go ahead and put them all on the golf course. They’ll accomplish more there. The Republicans love shutting the government down and don’t want to do a damn thing, so it’s the perfect place for them. It’ll make me happy if I can turn on my TV one fine Sunday morning and see them all doing what they do best, putting around on the green. I won’t spend any time watching them, though–golf bores the living shit out of me.

Yes, but if that happens, who will do the real job of governing? Simple–leave big business and the military industry in charge. We already know they’re the ones running the country.

Funny how the politics business works these days. President Obama’s tenure isn’t even over yet, but there’s already a committee planning the Obama presidential library, with places such as Chicago, New York and Hawaii competing to be the location for it. And, as with anything else involving this President, there’s already controversy. Political leaders in Chicago were proposing to offer a $100 million down payment to lure the library foundation to their city, but other locals are asking why tax money should be contributed to this project.

Here’s a simple idea for saving tax and donation money. There’s already a George W. Bush presidential library in Texas. Why not just blend the two together into a state-of-the-art Bushbama Republicrat Library & Museum? Imagine: on the soothing green of the library grounds, we could gaze at a monument to the glorious military-industrial complex, including a sculpture honoring the Unknown Job Creators. Inside, we could attend educational exhibits on topics such as the importance of continuing to be embroiled in the Middle East (and of keeping Guantanamo open), why health care services are better when there is a profit motive involved, and of course a water feature displaying the delicate process by which stock market gains will one day trickle down to the rest of us. (That one takes a little patience.)

Doesn’t that sound delightful? And hell, why wait? Let’s tack on a Hillary Clinton wing right now.

See? Even a progressive like me can come up with good budget-cutting ideas.

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