The Sun

Former Sen. John Edwards, left, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama during the Democratic presidential primary debate in Manchester, N.H., June 3, 2007.

I sort of watched last night’s debate, when the bloviation reached the painfully embarrassing level I would switch channels in favor of a program about the physics of the Sun, about which it may not be possible to bloviate.

Switching back and forth between those two particular shows created a kind of auditory strobe effect, in one moment the undeniable reality of the physical processes taking place on the Sun, in the next the equally undeniable bullshit taking place in a suburb of our solar system known as New Hampshire.

One self serving statement followed another, charges of timidity and lack of leadership leveled by Edwards against Clinton and Obama, charges of being 41/2 years late with leadership leveled against Edwards by Obama.

I had just returned from the Sun when those barbs were hurled and it struck me that it was possible that no one on the stage possessed the ability to lead a rifle squad down the street to buy a newspaper.

They all had their moments I suppose but during one orbit I heard Clinton say:

“The differences among us are minor, the differences between us and the Republicans are major. And I don’t want anybody in America to be confused.”

From “Democrats Focus on Iraq In Contentious Second Debate” by  Anne Kornblut and Dan Balz at The Washington Post

That was a bit of truth because, although I might have to hold my nose to vote for her and others on the stage last night, I am not capable of the kind of confusion that would lead me to vote Republican.

In her truthiness however, Ms Clinton neglected to mention the incredible similarities between the Democrats and the Republicans in their insatiable eagerness to sell out to the highest corporate bidder.

Iraq and health care seemed to take up most of the debate and I don’t remember hearing a word about campaign and ethics reform, no mention of the lizards of K Street and their influence in preventing the delivery of Health care and prescription drugs as well as their influence in going to war and prolonging it.

To be fair though, it may have come up while I was eight light minutes away.

Another bit of truth that I caught as I whizzed by on one orbit was Edwards declaring Bush’s global war on terror to be nothing but a bumper sticker slogan:

“That’s all it is, all it’s ever been — was intended to do was for George Bush to use it to justify everything he does: the ongoing war in Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, spying on Americans, torture,” Edwards said. “None of those things are okay. They are not the United States of America.”

From “Democrats Focus on Iraq In Contentious Second Debate” by Anne Kornblut and Dan Balz at The Washington Post

Now that is something that I have been saying for years, so it must be true.

Reports that I read this morning have Obama as “commanding and confidant” whatever that means and five of the candidates are left almost unmentioned, mere also-rans playing the role of a “Greek chorus:

“Reduced to the status of a Greek chorus, the five Democratic also-rans had a difficult time breaking through the clutter. Joe Biden did have a strong moment when he challenged the growing panic over the threat of Iran producing nuclear weapons. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said bluntly, “Understand how weak Iran is. They are not a year away or two years away. They are a decade away from being able to … put a nuclear weapon on top of a missile that can strike. They are far away from that.” But Biden also blustered in the same answer when he said defiantly, “At the end of the day, if they posed a missile, stuck it on a pad, I’d take it out.”

From “In New Hampshire, the Democrats play a little rougher” by Walter Shapiro at Salon

I don’t know who won, and I suppose I could surf from one blog to another, or one candidate’s web site to another all day and read arguments why each supposedly prevailed, but I think I’ll resist the urge.

At the end I gave a split decision to Edwards because he said that he was wrong to have voted to authorize the war. Maybe if he and the rest who voted for this insanity start writing notes of condolence to all who have suffered the pain and death of this war they can finish before the Sun cools and dies.

Did you know that photons emitted in fusion reactions at the center of the Sun can take hundreds of thousands of years to reach the surface and then travel to earth in just a few minutes?

I learned that during last night’s debate as well as learning the fact that the only thing in our solar system that may outlast the Sun will be this interminable campaign.

Bob Higgins

Worldwide Sawdust

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