Saturday, March 19, 2005

Introducing the ANID Remedy List

I'm sure that all new parents develop tunnel vision. You only really focus on the baby and when the baby's happy, so are you. Well, we've been pretty darn happy throughout the past week. Maya's an adorable delight, and the occasional sleeping/fussing/eating cyclical abnormalities seem to fade from our memory quite quickly. We get out with the stroller, although the weather in SF has turned decidedly drippy so we'll be limited in that regard for the next handful of days. We take a ton of pics. We debate just what her unrelenting grunts and grimaces mean. We change tons of diapers, and the occasional mishap in that regard has us doing plenty of laundry. We watch basketball, read when we can, listen to all our cool new baby music, send thank-yous to well-wishers and work our way through the pile of meals Nanna left in our freezer. But every so often, I catch a wiff of the stench rising from this week's news. There's almost too many travesties to mention on a daily basis, so I've been doing exactly that for the better part of the last few weeks - just not mentioning them. This leads to a condition that I call "appalling news intestinal disorder" or ANID. Without purging some of that backup, my ANID becomes quite unbearable. So with that as a lead-in, I'm about to begin a new weekly feature - my ANID Remedy List - in the hopes of releasing the tension in a burst rather than a daily trickle. And sorry about the poorly veiled poop references. Hard to get by them with a dump machine like Maya in the background of my thoughts.

This Week's ANID Remedy List (take one shot and leave each story behind)
  • The battle over Terry Schiavo's feeding tube. I'm willing to bet that many of the same activists in Florida making it issue #1 of this Spring were doing the same for Elian Gonzalez a handful of years ago. Her father (the antagonist arguing that the tube stay) testified that he was disappointed by not getting money from Terry's insurance settlement. The U.S. House tried to supeona the braindead Schiavo to protect her from "physical harm." So this story is about greed and political opportunism. Period. Let the woman die, as she wishes to do. Then let the family charge admission at her funeral and let politicians put her image on the Florida State quarter. That way, everybody's happy.
  • Mark McGuire's embarrassing testimony before the embarrassment that is the House Gov't Reform Committee. And now Congress is readying anti-steroids legislation. Look, I never bought into the "McGuire's a naturally-large, well-intentioned human" arguments for canonization. I always thought he was just a big dumb 'roidhead. And so now people are outraged that he looks like a not-as-big but apparently-very-dumb 'roidhead? Puuul-leeeze. Give the guy a break. Put an asterisk by every record he has in the books. Make him sit with Pete Rose at any MLB events they might get invited to in the future. Make him shave his goatee. Whatever. Anything to take the focus off him and put it back on the truly shameful jerks in this saga - Bud Selig and Barry Bonds.
  • Scott Peterson's sentenced to Death Row. The live announcement of that non-story pre-empted the news that the Senate was playing cutesy with the Budget to insert a loophole to allow drilling to begin in ANWR. In the end, the only indignity left for Peterson is the inevitable Geraldo Death Row interview. We shouldn't have to see any more of him or his devious, vacant stare until then.
  • Paul Wolfowitz to invade the World Bank. Granted, I did already comment on this earlier this week when Dubya announced Wolfie's nomination at a press conference. But all the justifications and spin surrounding his choice have given me aching ANID. And now Wolfie's joking about "regime change" as if that's a term he should be reminding anyone of having a large part in crafting. While I doubt the Europeans will show any cajones and derail his nomination, I surely hope someone starts replaying his "spit comb" technique from "Fahrenheit 9/11." The only way to truly derail the Bushies may well be to accurately point to their nauseating personal habits.
  • Lil' Kim may be going to jail for perjury. Does anyone think this story would have gotten any play if less, um, well-dressed rappers like Kris Kross had been convicted?
  • And finally - Condi Rice is travelling. Novel choice for America's chief diplomat. Everywhere she's gone, the Bushies have tried to present some pre-packaged news pablum for the uninterested press. The only time she actually made an impact was when she "let slip" that elections in Afghanistan are being delayed for the third time because of "logistical problems." That same day in Kandahar, a bomb killed five and wounded dozens. Today she's in South Korea trying to stir up tensions with the North on the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. I imagine her next heading to Canada to say that hockey sucks and the NHL should stay on strike indefinitely. Building bridges by planting uncontrolled explosive charges - that's what the new, improved Condi does.
All's not ill in the World, however. Vermont upset Syracuse in a stunner last night to chalk up the school's first ever NCAA Tourney victory. A truly interesting team with a truly moronic shift in coaches taking place this upcoming off-season. But I hope all of Burlington enjoys the well-deserved spotlight being momentarily cast on them by the sports journalism establishment. I raise a glass to all our friends with an attachment to UVM. Unfortunately, the Gophers got unceremoniously booted in the first round on the same day. So I stand little chance of winning the ESPN Tourney Pool (I'm currently in 42,000th or so place in my best bracket). Didn't really want all that glory anyways.

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