There are worse things than being the world’s biggest celebrity

During last autumn’s presidential campaign, John McCain ran ads calling Barack Obama the “biggest celebrity in the world” and meant it as an insult – which coming from a senator who’d hosted “Saturday Night Live” and from a ticket that eventually included Sarah Palin, was a bit hypocritical.

But largely accurate. Already Obama seems to have appeared on “Entertainment Tonight” more than Bush 43 ever did; we care about the present Obama’s wife bought and the outfits his daughters wore, even how his daughter reacted when she met other celebrities. We didn’t know FDR was crippled, but we know Obama drives to the left to get to the basket.

Secret Service agents with orders to shoot-to-kill are the only thing keeping paparazzi away.

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You can learn a lot by watching C-SPAN

If you have a basic cable package, you probably have C-SPAN and C-SPAN2. And you probably watch them about as much as if you didn’t own TV. But you should watch them more (and by that I mean “some”) because when you complain that “nothing is on,” C-SPAN is, and you can learn a lot.

For example, you learn that government is mind-numbingly boring, stupid and inarticulate. Otto von Bismarck once said, “Laws are like sausage; it’s better not to see them made.” To some extent, C-SPAN is a window into that sausage factory. You can’t see everything, but what you do see makes your stomach turn. Congressman Mark Pryor of Arkansas has pointed out you don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate, and he was being honest. Sit down for just a few minutes to watch the nation’s most professional and powerful legislature and its proceedings, and wonder how some of these people were ever elected. Then wonder just how much you want these people’s decisions affecting your daily life.

It’s possible C-SPAN is actually the propaganda wing of the Libertarian party.

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