Somewhere, over the rainbow, a blog is born. A blog for Kansas. A blog for America. A blog by a reporter with a difficult-to-pronounce last name. But most importantly, a blog that is AMERICA'S ONLY PLACE dedicated to the vital intersection of politics and Sunflowers. The Heartland gods nod in wise approval.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Recess? What recess?

Washington gets its knocks outside the Beltway for taking August off -- but have you tried living here that month? It's like a sauna, with baking sun and sultry, heavy air that wakes you up in the middle of the night in a pool of your own sweat, wondering where, oh where, were those weapons of mass destruction, and could I use them on household appliances? (OK, my air conditioner went weird yesterday -- I had time to think of this last night.) But at least we have the August recess -- an age-old tradition of respite that I've used for Kansas travel the last three years.

Not this year.

The Summer With No Vacation is coming to a close, with a flurry of attention to Pat Roberts' intel reform plan, which encountered the expected stiff resistance. The CIA didn't take kindly to its own proposed extinction, and the White House stayed wary -- doesn't mean the plan ain't worth a good hard look, the NY Times writes. Roberts, who the Times terms "an angry Republican," is in some weird alliances with this one, with resistance from usual-ally Sen. John Warner and tentative support from Sen. John Kerry. And what would summer be without fireworks?

The Swift Boat vets, including Kansan Larry Thurlow, are pushing on with their anti-Kerry attack ads despite an appeal from President Bush to stop them, an appeal the Kerry folks called too tepid. Kabuki theater? Been seen before. This space does not believe in a vast right-wing-conspiracy, but anyone who doesn't think that 527s -- for both sides -- don't get wink-wink nudge-nudge treatment, there's a primary election on Venus you might want to run in. Regardless, we're already ugly, and it ain't even Labor Day -- although we've already established that the calendar doesn't mean much this year.

Sorry if the tone's gone negative here -- it's matching the campaign. My foot hurts, darn it, after a painful setback in some ongoing physical therapy, and I'm grumpy. (It's my own fault -- just haaaadd to dance barefoot at that Dead show a couple weekends ago, didn't I?) But we sally forth, confident that September will, indeed, arrive, and that Intelligence -- including, sometimes, our own -- will eventually undergo necessary reforms.