There’s an awful lot of joking, jiving and just plain goof in this election.  Sarah Palin alone has attracted an avalanche of spoof…  Campaign ads on both sides are so over-the-top as to induce disbelief.  

One of the most serious elections in our lifetimes is playing out as entertainment television. But it’s not very entertaining if you’re watching in Afghanistan or Iraq, where despite claims of success, killing continues and the prospects of enduring peace – after years of intense fighting – are grim. .  A 100,000-strong Sunni militia remains loyal to the US so long as the monthly stipends keep on coming.  After that, who knows?  Discontent in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Yemen and even Saudi Arabia threatens to explode, there’s so much poverty and corruption. And  Israel and the Palestinians seem worlds away from achieving a meaningful peace.  Even within his own party, former Israeli prime minister Olmert’s call for Israel to relinquish East Jerusalem and the West Bank is likely to fall on deaf ears.

The only war we’ve been hearing about recently is the phoney one in Congress. The House and Senate have been said to be "battling it out" over the baiiout. That’s looking like it’ll end with a grand Kum-bay-yah for Wall St. But that doesn’t mean the real wars are over. The US invasion of Iraq’s cost  as much as the $700 billion bailout already, and there’s no end in sight.  

That’s nothing to laugh about.

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.