From Here, Kansas, my alter ego, Honorary Mayor Wm. Jennings Bryan Oleander has some thoughts at the end of Feburary:
Folks, these grey days at the end of a grey month are deceptive. If you go out in your garden, you’ll see little hints of green, ready to thrust themselves skyward when they feel the change in the air that announces spring. Even we old Hereins, gathered at the Co-op, may have grey hair and grey beards, but we’re ready for a change.
Seems like the country might be, too. Everywhere I look, folks are waking up. We had a caucus at the Neither Here nor There Consolidated School. All eighty-seven Democrats showed up. The older the Democrat, the more likely to stand for Hillary—that was seventeen of them in their nineties. The younger folks, Hereins and Thereins in their sixties, seventies and eighties, stood for Obama. There County went about like the rest of the state. We are ready for a change.
Of course what people want and what they get can be different. Take the coal-fired plants near Holcomb, Kansas, that will pollute not only our state, but the entire region. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment wanted to go green, so they said no to the expansion. At first, a poll said that the majority of Kansans agreed with this green decision. But our legislature, in its grey-haired wisdom, is working toward not only approving the expansion, but without any caps on the pollution it will spew. They don’t see why the state should have a higher standard than the federal government does. Of course it turns out the federal government has no standard at all. If they get a veto-proof vote, our green governor will lose in her opposition, will have to accept grey skies in Kansas.
When California, another green place, decided to limit carbon emissions, the federal government took them to court. So green governors meet the grey of local legislatures and the Bush administration, which will keep skies as grey as February until next January, depending on the general election.
Folks, from where I sit in the Here, Kansas, Co-op, it looks like the Republicans might well nominate John McCain as their candidate for President. If so, he’ll be the oldest candidate–as grey as the last day of February in a leap year–ever to run for the office. He has had a long and distinguished career in the United States Senate, and I wish him well. But his mind is overcast with the hunched brow of militarism. He will be clouded by his, “Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb Iran.” He will wander through the mist of Republican fiscal policy that has created what some are ready to call a recession. In this election year, it will be: Iraq, stupid. Health care, stupid. And, of course, the economy, stupid. I don’t know who the Democrats will nominate. But after eight years of George W. Bush, their policies will try for the new, for the green.
Folks, I have a suggestion. Instead of Red States and Blue States, why doesn’t the media do Green States and Grey States? At no time that I can remember is the future more important. I’m looking for the green among the grey, in my garden and in this country. This year, I’m hoping Kansas, with the example of its green Governor, will be a green state. Happy Spring!
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