Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Will He or Won't He? The Annual Ritual of Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil is today's man. The entire world will be watching his prediction of whether or not he sees his shadow. Seeing his shadow indicates 6 more weeks of winter. If he basks in the afterglow of a zillion cameras and sticks around, spring is just around the corner. ( to learn more about Phil and his cast of human characters, click on,
Ironicly he upstages our President's State of the Union speech tonight. How fitting.

Like Phil, some of the White House staff has predictable powers as well. His speech writers will make Shrub sound very knowledgeable while the cameras pan the House chambers and the balcony for invited guests reactions. There will be numerous moments of applause, some standing ovations, and others protesting to the point of not standing after some quotable phrase he will utter. Just like Phil, he will be playing for the cameras.

He will praise Sunday's vote in Iraq and the courage of the Iraqi people. Those who voted do deserve recognition. They were gusty and valued the opportunity to vote in a free election, something we should admire, since only a fraction of us ever get off our butts to vote. But hey, they vote on a weekend day, while we are stuck with this Tuesday crap.

He will also talk about his proposal for revamping the Social Security system. We all know from what our parents receive, that it isn't enough money to matter much. We know that we have to think about our financial future by squirreling away some hard earned dollars every paycheck, hoping it will be enough to get us through our "golden years". The individual accounts, are the answer, according to the White House spin masters, because the financial markets will determine the overall return. Yea, they forget about the stock market adjustments in the 1980's and the market's gyrations in the 90's. It seems like a money grubbing scheme by Wall Street to cash in on trillions of dollars, automatically flowing into their accounts. Just hope these money managers don't find another Enron to invest in.

So today is a day of prediction. Will the groundhog see his shadow? Will the State of the Union speech be interrupted at least 50 times? We'll find out soon enough. But will any of this really matter in the broad scheme of things? I really doubt it. But after all, there's always next year.

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