Remember when SARS was gonna kill us all?
As you quite rightly suspect, it can’t be a coincidence that the Shrub’s big "Ooooh, bird flu gonna come ‘n’ kill us all, you betcha!" speech was conveniently scheduled right around the same time that:
1. Cheney’s chief advisor, Scooter "Bear Baiter" Libby, gets indicted for knowingly blowing the cover of a covert CIA operative, which is called treason in a real patriot’s book.
2. Karl Rove, the guy without whom the Shrub can’t successfully wipe his own butt, is confirmed to be the "Official A" in the above indictment, the primary source of the classified info.
3. Bill "I adopted kittens from animal shelters in med school so I could vivisect them for practice" Frist is in the middle of exactly the same kind of insider trading that got Martha Stewart sent to jail.
4. Tom "total rat" DeLay is getting measured for his own orange jumpsuit, not least because of his many and varied associations with well-connected GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a dude who — by the way — is now involved up to his neck in a gangland slaying related to a casino purchase.
5. Another buddy of Abramoff, a fellow GOP lobbyist named Jack Scanlon, made the mistake of letting the GOP’s real feelings for the people who vote for them be known, in an email to a Louisiana Indian tribe setting up a casino: "The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees. Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them." (And people think I’m cynical?)
6. 2000+ and counting…
7. …oh, and by the way: they knew they were using false evidence and outright lies when they were making the case for WMDs, because they knew that the Shrub’s Daddy Issues weren’t going to be enough to get people to sign on for the war that he was so het up for.
So, what with all of that and more, what better to do than to try to Change The Subject? Since Harriet Miers, the last Changing Of The Subject, ended up being a fiasco, they decided to go with "Look out! We’re all gonna die!"
Could another 1918-style pandemic happen? You bet. It probably WILL happen in our lifetimes, if not this year. But freaking out about it because the government and the media want to distract you won’t do anybody any good.
Wash your hands. Drink a lot of orange juice. Get a flu shot, so you don’t have to worry about the everyday flu strains out there this year. Eat well and often. Think twice about that vacation to Thailand in January. Basically, don’t do anything stupid. Which is good advice no matter what’s in the news.