That's what they call it when you find traces of gold in a stream.
In the old days here in Alaska, the sourdoughs would pan the streams and rivers looking for that golden telltale, that glittering hint of treasure in the bottom of the pan. Color itself isn't worth much, just a thin thread of brightness among the mud and sand - but see, that color was a clue to greater things, a treasure map.
They'd follow the color upstream, through the twisting rivers and washes, to the source. The mother lode.
Color, that's what we're seeing now, we miners of political gold.
We're still far downstream from the mother lode of 2016, but already the mud in our pans is bordered in bright yellow.
And then there are the nuggets.
Things must change for our government. Look at it! It isn’t too big to fail. It’s too big to succeed! It's too big to succeed, so we can afford no retreads or nothing will change with the same people and same policies that got us into the status quo, another Latin word, status quo, and it stands for, “Man, the middle-class everyday Americans are really gettin’ taken for a ride!” That's status quo, and GOP leaders, by the way, y'know the man can only ride ya when your back is bent, so strengthen it, then the man can't ride ya, America won't be taken for a ride, because so much is at stake and we can't afford politicians playing games like nothing more is at stake than, oh, maybe just the next standing of theirs in the next election.
Jesus Jumping Christ! I was a Navy codebreaker, an intelligence officer, I've had professional training and decades of experience, and I can't parse that gibberish.
Yes, I know. It's been killing you. Hasn't it?
For the last week, my inbox has been choked with queries, wondering why I haven't said anything.
I haven't said anything because last week when Sarah Palin declared her "interest" in running for president in 2016, it was just political color. And you don’t get excited about color.
I was waiting for Iowa, that’s where you find the first real nuggets.
Speaking at the Iowa "Freedom" Summit, the Sourdough Shill didn't disappoint, did she? It's too big to succeed or fail with the retreads for changing Latino men riding other men because we won't be taken for a ride! America! She contemptuously dismissed the President as “a little boy” and then sneeringly declared liberals and democrats are racists and sexists. It’s the same tune she’s been singing since John McCain took her to the prom and got his ass beat by the star basketball player.
I've read that paragraph two dozen times now, it's pure buttery yellow Palin. It's ... beautiful.
I have no idea what it means, but it’s wonderful.
I'm a skilled writer, I'm even more skilled at mockery, and there is nothing I could have penned that would have come close to that golden horde of ... well, hell, you can't call it word salad, it's more like finely ground mulch. Compost.
Edit: No in retrospect, mulch and compost are the wrong words. "Word salad" is pitifully inadequate. It’s more like Word Coleslaw. Wordslaw!
Palin’s speech was so bizarre, so utterly incomprehensible, that the Democratic National Committee issued only a two word response via their communications director: “Thank you.”
See, apparently, Palin’s teleprompter froze.
And she had to speak off the cuff, and that gibberish above is what came out.
Her teleprompter froze. Teleprompter.
And it’s like the jokes just write themselves. Lame jokes. Old tired jokes that have been told a hundred time before, but nevertheless…
Sarah Palin is the Zsa Zsa Gabor of American politics.
She’s a diva. She got where she is on, well, to use her own words, her rack. It sure wasn’t her brains. She had a few bit parts and she’s got her fans. She plies the talk show circuit as the queen of glitter – along with the same old cast of characters – and nobody can understand a goddamned thing she says. She’s good for a few laughs on Late Night, but nowadays she’s mostly famous for being famous and ain’t nobody offering her a part in their movie.
She’s grifter, a political con artist. This is her MO. She sort of maybe hints she might be maybe interested in possibly maybe running. The chumps flood her PAC with their cigarette money. Then she tours the country in her Patriotic Juggernaut of Patriotic Flag Humping Freedom, signing books and giving speeches composed entirely of disjointed Tea Party sound bites and utterly devoid of any originality whatsoever.
She doesn’t have the chops to go all the way, or even part of the way.
At best she’s color, a little excitement in the pan as we plod upstream to the real treasure.