Warehouse A
Missing The News
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Why Presidential Competition Two Years Before The Election?

By James Donahue

The rhetoric from the talking heads on our nightly news channels has been focused heavily on the looming contests among a rash of candidates in both Democratic and Republican parties, starting almost as soon as the 2006 elections for Congressional and Senate seats were over.

American viewers were tired of it then, and we really aren't that interested in it now. That the "heads" have already decided the party choices are probably going to be Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, and that an extreme right-wing group of hard-line evangelicals are threatening a third-party candidate to offset Giuliani, because Giuliani reportedly supports abortions, is all hazy verbosity without merit.

We are still weeks away from the first state primary election, and many months away from the party conventions.

Indeed, Americans are tired of the Bush war machine in Iraq, and we are anxious to get his term over so we can get new leadership at the helm who may pull us out of the many disasterous messes that administration created, the choosing of a new leader still should not be capturing an estimated 90 percent of our nightly news coverage.

And why are the news anchors devoting the rest of their time reporting on the stupid exploits of people like Britney Spears, the Ellen DeGeneres dog saga and the nightly babblings of right-wing radio commentator Rush Limbaugh?

There are too many other real news events.going on, not only on the war fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in Pakistan where exiled former president Benazir Bhutto is fighting to regain her old seat of power, and Myanmar, where there has been a civil uprising in an apparent attempt to overthrow a military-run government.

There have been power movements in both Russia and China in recent weeks, mostly linked to threats by Israel and the United States to attack Iran. And the Turkish government has approved a military movement against the Kurds in northern Iraq, which could lead to yet another war in that region.

All of this unrest has lead to a massive increase in the price of crude oil, which last week actually hit an all-time high of just over $90 a barrel. And that sent world stock exchanges into the basement. Red ink was literally dripping from the stock reports on Friday.

Then there has been the radical weather stories. A massive storm front marched across the United States this week, stretching from Florida north to Michigan, generating at least 50 tornados and causing extensive damage and several deaths. A storm like that is unprecedented, yet it happened.

Also odd about this front is that the heavy rains associated with the system somehow skipped over the Atlanta, Georgia area, where an extreme drought is threatening to dry up the city's only water supply. Those people would probably have appreciated the rain, even if they had to take it with damaging wind and hail.

With all this going on around us, why are the anchors devoting their nightly shows to the intricate movements and sayings of the various presidential candidates? We really can't explain it other than to suggest it reflect a kind of pre-extinction behavior among a lot of people who are not thinking clearly these days.

Oct. 20, 2007