Thanks to the good offices of United Airlines, Captain Anonymous, and my darling wife (who had the foresight to pay the extra $39 to buy me some extra leg room) I’m now safe and warm in Denver (thanks, Capt. Anonymous) and blissfully free of my usual post-flight sciatica (thanks, Sweetie!). 

Unfortunately, it looks like the Dow Jones Industrial Average took the wrong  flight this morning.  In precisely the amount of time it took me to fly from D.C. to Denver, the world’s net worth decreased by about a trillion dollars. I’d like to congratulate the Tea Party caucus of the House of Representatives for what now must be viewed as a total victory: not only did they succeed in extorting insane budget-cutting concessions out of the White House on the road to raising the debt ceiling — concessions made by Obama in an apparently sincere attempt to stave off economic armageddon — but they managed to do it in such a way that they achieved their fondly hoped-for economic armageddon anyway.  Of course, we can’t give them all the credit — one reason we hire a President in the first place is to see these things coming.  But I suspect Mr. Obama and his minders are too focused at the moment on their legacy (read: re-election 2012) to take much notice of the barbarians at the gate.  Much as I wish it wasn’t so, I fear the time has come to admit that the veil of faith which kept me believing in Mr. Obama until now has been pierced. So to all those Hillary Clinton supporters from three years ago who tell me I should have seen this coming, I offer my mea culpa. Maybe Obama is, after all, all the things you warned us he would be: too callow; too nice; too cerebral; too….weak.

Just like me, I should say; but then it’s a job I would never have aspired to. 

In any case the crazies have been let loose, and there doesn’t appear to be anyone who can stop them. They’ve been lighting the way for us on the Shining Path for a good year now; this afternoon the road to apocalypse is even better illuminated than it was when I boarded my plane this morning.  And somewhere, way off in the distance, where the road peters out in the overgrown Shrubbery of the 2012 election – I’m sure I can see the dim corona of an A-Bomb going off.  The “A” stands for “Assholes,” and people, I’m warning you, get ready: because when the bomb goes off, we’ll be neck deep in them.

But enough of all this: tonight is Dinner With Famous Booksellers* at the Saltgrass Steak House, and assholes will be the least of my worries. Rob Rulon-Miller will be there, and Jeff & Jennifer Marks; my pal Kevin Johnson, and who knows who else – in any case, not assholes, but fine people all. Maybe between us we can conspire a way to soak up a bit of whatever little disposable income lingers in the suburbs of Denver. And when the conversation turns to politics, as it inevitably will, I’ll just have another Makers Mark on the rocks. Because I don’t have opinions on these sorts of things. Because opinions are like assholes: everybody’s got one, and they just aren’t any good for business.

 *Photos to come, if I remember to take them.

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