breaking news

Have you read the papers? It looks as though our nations in great danger. Yes, weve just uncovered a pile of 45-year old documents that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that those sneaky, old Russians are planning to build a secret missile base in Cuba!

OK, maybe its not quite the same thing, but I do kind of have to agree with Paul Krugman that yesterdays raising of the terrorist threat level seems more than just a little convenient for the Republicans. especially as the actionable evidence on which this heightened alert is based is over three years old.

I dont doubt that al-Queda is a threat, and I dont doubt that they would like nothing better than to see New Yorks financial district transformed into a giant, glowing charcoal briquette, but I think its amazing the extent to which the administration is suggesting that these three year old computer files containing evidence of building surveillance in New York somehow mean that we need to be more fearful today than we were yesterday thereby effectively stopping the Kerry juggernaut of optimism that kicked off last week in Boston.

I need to go back and look through my archives, but didnt the last major Homeland Security announcement follow directly on the heals of Bushs biggest dip in approval ratings? In that case, I believe, Ridge was talking about the bullet wed dodged as a nation by nabbing the man they dubbed the Mall Bomber.

Nothing says, Be afraid, America, more than the phrase Mall Bomber. (And, as we saw in that case, you dont even have to bomb a mall in order to sell it to the press.)

On a different note, do any of you remember when, right in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, all our members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats alike, stood on the steps of the Capital and sang, America the Beautiful? Someone should send them all a videotape and remind them. Our nations fight against those would like to see us dead is not something that should be used for political advantage. And, as seductive as it might be, fear, isnt something that should be used to win votes.

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