Welcome Alice…just follow the white rabbit

In Minnesota, after two months and a long, protracted recount complicated by numerous legal challenges, a winner is finally declared in the Senate race.

But the loser may challenge that decision in court.

Once again, the courts may trump Democracy.

In Washington, a Senator in waiting legally appointed by the governor of Illinois tries to take his place in Congress but is rebuffed by the Secretary of State in his state, Senate leaders, his party and even the President-elect whose vacant seat he was appointed to fill.

Once again, politics overrules law which may or may not have overruled Democracy.

Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.

 In two weeks, President-elect Barack Obama will place one hand on the Bible and raise the other to take the oath of office. He promises to "hit the ground running."

He may be running for cover. The President-elect is walking into the biggest mess of any President of modern times.

Obama arrived in Washington this week with trouble ahead, trouble behind and trouble in his lap. His pick for Commerce Secretary quit amid a growing scandal in New Mexico. His pick for Director of the CIA is already running into trouble not from Republicans but from the leaders of his own party and the man picked to replace him in the Senate can’t even get the time of day from Congressional leaders.

And those are the minor problems. There’s still the plummeting economy, the growing crisis in Gaza and those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When, in the course of human events, has one man committed to change faced so much that needed changing?

Congress is already putting the brakes on his ambitious economic stimulus plan.  Republicans threaten to pull out the usual tactics of stall while Democrats appear more cautious than the President-elect would prefer.

Forget the challenge of change: Barack Obama is about to run head-on into that brick wall called "business as usual in Washington."

At a time when the focus should be on facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the Senate is preoccupied on whether or not to seat Roland Burris as the junior Senator from Illinois because he was appointed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a public official tarred by scandal but not yet indicted or convicted of a single crime. Blagojevich is suspected of trying to sell the Senate seat appointment but, in the absence of little technicalities like an indictment, proof or a conviction, he remains the governor with the legal authority to appoint a replacement for Obama.

But Senate leaders see seating Burris as a political problem and why should they use their time for more useful pursuit when they can waste it by playing politics?

Over in the House, Democratic leaders say the economic stimulus plan will need more study and more consideration and nothing may happen before Congress convenes, meets for a short time and then goes home for the first of many recesses of the year.

Business as usual. Politics as usual. Talk instead of action. Posturing instead of productivity. Inaction instead of action.

This highway leads to the shadowy tip of reality: you’re on a through route to the land of the different, the bizarre, the unexplainable…Go as far as you like on this road. Its limits are only those of mind itself. Ladies and Gentlemen, you’re entering the wondrous dimension of imagination. Next stop….The Twilight Zone.


  1. almandine

    Clicking on “blogs” only reloads the home page, using both my home and work computers. The same thing happens when I click on “more” at the bottom of the “blogs” and “news articles” column on the home page. I can get past content from any of the CHB principals and the other content areas (FUBAR, politics, etc.). That has led to me believe that past blogs are no longer available.

  2. Doug Thompson

    No content is "missing" nor has any been removed. Past blogs are available by clicking on the "Blogs" link in the masthead. Past news stories are available under their topics (White House, Congress, FUBAR, etc.). All past columns are available by clicking on the columnist’s names.

  3. almandine

    I have become exasperated with the inability to follow any blog – except those of CHB prinicipals – beyond what’s on the home page. Often… the topics in those are equivalent, if not superior, to CHB’s chosen fare. At the moment I wrote that last comment, none of the front page blog entries – or the “news” stories for that matter – was available for comment. (I chose this particular topic to post my comment because that was the only way short of email that I could send you my complaint.) Your longstanding protests aside that this is not a blog site but rather a news site, I find the comments to contain the “meat” of what’s available here. After all, “hot news flashes from DC” have looked much the same for decades now… the names are changed to reflect the currently guilty. Thus,while I understand your past missives that chide those who misbehave one way or another, the current lockdown of intellectual bandwidth does significant damage to what has in the past been a refreshingly open forum to cuss and discuss news, politics, personalities, etc. I vote to bring it all back and let your readers help show the way.

    I see on the home page you have moved to restore some of the missing content. Hopefully the rest will follow. Thanks.

  4. Doug Thompson

    Sorry to see you go but, out of curiosity, how have we "become useless."  Isn’t the fact that you were able to post your concern for discussion an indication that we are an open forum for "those of us who like to think and discuss?"  A few more specifics might help me respond to your concerns.

  5. almandine

    Well Doug—————

    You’ve become useless to those of us who like to think and discuss.


  6. adb8917


    We think remarkably alike in a number of areas. Savage used to manufacture what you’ve described, and in other configurations. I’ve owned several when you could buy them for $50 to $125. They were discontinued sometime back and if you find any at gunshows the asking price starts at $400. ‘Nuff to make a grown man weep.

    But enough of this. You’re right. We wandered afield. No mas. Apologies, Doug. Next topic?


  7. Carl Nemo

    Hi adb,

    I was going to refer you to my blog which had an article dedicated to survival, but for some reason blogs aren’t showing up on the CHB. Possibly Doug curtailed blogging permanently and I missed his communique concerning the issue. The reason I wished to change to my blog is so that we don’t get too far off topic concerning Doug’s original focus of our seemingly elusive system of government.

    I don’t recommend gold ingots of any type due to clipping shaving etc. My recommendations were for 1/10 ounce bullion coins of a known weight that can be verified on a gram scale with 100th ounce accuracy and even calipered and micrometered for the original proper mint thickness and diameter. If they weigh correctly and have the correct thickness and diameter, then the chance of the coin being debased is remote. I’m still not enthused with silver, but if you feel comfortable with having bags of pre 1964 junk silver dimes, quarters and halves then go for it. The trick will be finding someone that’s starving or in need of whatever life-sustaining commodity to even be interested in fungible money of any type.

    I’ve never been a fan of the .22WMR due to the lack of it being a widely distributed cartridge such as the .22LR. The .22 long rifle round comes is available from subsonic 60 grain loads up to 38 grain hot varieties that almost rival the .22WMR in kinetic energy upon impact sans a relatively few grains in projectile weight. The ammunition is cheaper and the .22 rifle is probably one of the most prolific calibers ever distributed throughout this nation since the late 19th century. The .22rimfire round was even used during the civil war for close range combat. In fact many rounds of various calibers were of the rimfire rather than centerfire variety in the latter part of that century.

    The .410 shotshell is a little on the light side, but is more than adequate for small game at fairly reasonable distances. If I recall Savage Arms makes a combination firearm with either .22 over .410 or .22WMR over .410.

    If a household can afford a variety of weapons, then the first choice would be a Winchester Model 1200 12 gauge pump shotgun preferably the stainless steel marine model which resists corrosion and has been the onboard weapon fo choice for many yachtsmen as well as the US Navy. Secondly the Ruger Mini-14 in .223 caliber or the Mini-30 chambered for the Russian short (AK47 round) would be advised for serious homestead protection. Of course having a bolt or pump action .22 caliber rifle would be appropriate and lastly a couple of handguns, one semi-auto champered for the ubiquitous 9mm round and/or the .38 special round in a trusty fairly maintenance free, but dependable revolver configuration.

    People must remember that these arms recommendations are not done so to encourage a ‘cubby fantasy’ that one is to seek out confrontation during bad times. In fact, hopefully it would be the last thing on earth that any sane person would want to endure. Terminating another human life is serious business and not to be taken lightly. It’s not for the faint of heart or those that have aspirations to become Rambo redux. More than likely the uninitiated into the use of small arms for deadly force purposes will become the victims of the aggressor rather than they prevailing in a showdown. : |

    Thanks again for your thoughtful input and feedback.

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. adb8917


    Nice riposte, and thoughtful answers. I would argue, though, that while silver is close to being an ‘industrial metal,’ it is more fungible than gold. Unless you’re a dealer or jeweler, a consumer will have difficulty discriminating between 24k and something with a nickel or copper amalgam.

    I don’t dispute that your ‘warchest’ should have gold, but pre-sandwich metal American coinage comes with a certain cachet that the ordinary citizen can recognize. Even people who don’t remember when silver was in circulation will still recognize a Mercury dime, or a Standling Liberty half-dollar.

    One further point. ‘Pure’ gold in even 1/10th oz. ingots is likely to be clipped after it has circulated, leading to a debasing of its value. It’s a toss-up between mint stamped ingots and official issue gold coins. You probably should have some of both, and obviously be skilled in the use of firearms.

    Oh, and while we’re on the subject of white rabbits, what do you favor — .22 WMR or .410? ;-/#


  9. woody188

    You forgot the one thing Congress did manage to accomplish. They made sure not to block their own pay raises. Real government waste is paying these fools a single dime.

    It’s clear the fix for our current woes will not be coming from our elected officials. We’ll need to do it ourselves, and hopefully leave these bureaucratic vampires to fight over our scraps.