Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bait and Switch Grass

Normally, a President might be a tad peeved to find that the day after his State of the Union speech, rather than discussing the accomplishments of the past year and all the new high-minded proposals, everyone in the country was talking about underbrush. . . but that would assume there were any accomplishments or high-minded proposals to talk about.

No, what there is to say, vis-à-vis the last year, is all about the lack of achievements, the scandals, the failures, and the fuck-ups, and as for high-minded proposals, well, um, er. . . yeah.

So, how excited do you think the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were today when they discovered that just about every news organization had let up on the daily drumbeat of Iraq, Iran, Abramoff, domestic spying, Medicare drugs, and leaks investigations so as to spend time answering this musical question: “What the hell is ‘switch grass?’”

Yes, on Tuesday night, even I had no idea wtf was up with switch grass—but, lawdy, if I don’t know way too much about it today!

You probably do, too. Switch grass was proposed in the SOTU as a new bio-fuel alternative (along with wood chips and kitchen scraps. . . oh, no, not the kitchen scraps; those are still for the cows) in order to cure our “addiction” to oil. It turns out it’s just the keenest stuff! It grows like, uh, grass, eats CO2 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, doesn’t need petroleum fertilizer, and converts into enough gasohol to make it, acre for acre, the most valuable cash crop in the country.

Bet you didn’t know Dubya knew so much about grass. . . switch grass. Well, he didn’t, either. It turns out switch grass was an eleventh-hour addition to the speech. It seems Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, had a talk just last Friday with White House economic advisor Al Hubbard—about switch grass!

How do I know this? Well, speaking on NPR yesterday, David Barnsby, a professor of energy crops (yes, professor of energy crops) at Auburn University, discussed his study of the benefits of the grass—needless to say, he’s high on it—and he relayed a little game of telephone that went Barnsby-Sessions-Hubbard. . . Bush.

Oh, Auburn University, for those of you that don’t know, would be in Alabama. Uh huh.

So, in a week where members of Congress will continue to decry “earmarks” in their attempt to get out ahead of the Abramoff influence-peddling scandals, the President of the United States stands before both houses and gives a shout-out to one great big effin’ earmark!

But, no one noticed that because we just wanted to know what the heck it was he was talking about. And, for a day, at least, no one paid much attention to much else in the Bush “agenda” (if you can still call it that). And, no one talked much about Iraq, Iran, Abramoff, spying, or Medicare, either. And no one seemed to pay much heed to all the other shit that went down. . . .

For the Bush administration, any day you waste talking about grass is a good day.


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