The good old U.S. of A. had a pretty wild and crazy ride last week. Oil hit a hundred bucks, unemployment hit five percent, and the stock market had its worst three-day start to a new year evah, or at least since 1930. And that combination of ugly events caused the ugy word "recession" to crop up in the mouths of several ugly experts.
So when moderator Charlie Gibson, the famous ABC news anchor gets the Democratic candidates together for a debate, what does he say is the most serious threat facing the country? A nuclear attack against an American city by al-Qaida, of course! So that's what he asked the candidates to respond to.
Instead of debating responses to the combination of disasters already raining down on us, the Democrats were forced to discuss a hypothetical event that hasn't happened and may never happen.
Our first response is to wonder whether they send network anchorpeople to a special school to teach them how to be as stupid as Gibson was that night. But the people who run the corporate media are not stupid, they're devious. They don't want the candidates or the voters discussing real issues. That might empower us.
They assume we're idiots, and they work hard at keeping us that way. For more detail on this story see Tom Engelhardt's Tomdispatch.com
In a related item, Hillary Clinton today proposed a 70-billion dollar emergency spending plan to deal with foreclosure and unemployment, and I could see the shadow of Smart Bill working with his smart wife. Bill was always instinctively healthy enough to take the initiative, and Hillary knows the smart moves too. So they definitely got the jump on whatever Republicans are left in this thing, who no doubt stood around with their mouths open watching the Clintons take charge of the situation.
To the best of my knowledge, Hillary did NOT come up with a plan for heading off or otherwise dealing with a nuclear attack on an American city by al-Qaida.