Friday, July 6, 2007

Pete Domenici: Spitting Cobra Among Vipers

All viperids have a pair of relatively long solenoglyphous (hollow) fangs, that are used to inject venom from glands located towards the rear of the upper jaws. Each of the two fangs is at the front of the mouth on a short maxillary bone that can rotate back and forth. When not in use, the fangs fold back against the roof of the mouth and are enclosed in a membranous sheath. The left and right fangs can be rotated together or independently. During a strike, the mouth can open nearly 180° and the maxilla rotates forward, erecting the fang. The jaws close on impact and powerful muscles that surround the venom glands contract to inject the venom as the fangs penetrate. This action is lightning-fast and is more a stab than a bite. Viperids use this mechanism both to immobilize their prey and in self-defense.

Almost all vipers have keeled scales, a stocky build with a short tail, and, due to the location of the venom glands, a triangular-shaped head distinct from the neck. Their eyes have vertically elliptical, or slit-shaped, pupils that can open wide to cover most of the eye or close almost completely, which helps them to see in a wide range of light levels. Typically, vipers are nocturnal and ambush their prey.

Compared to many other snakes, vipers often appear rather sluggish. Most are ovoviviparous, giving birth to live young, but a few lay eggs.
-Wikipedia entry on vipers

Scales, fangs, sluggish egg laying snakes. Sounds like Congress to me. But Pete Domenici put himself in a special category today. Certainly the spitting cobra sounds like a horrifying enough belly crawler, making use of a venom delivery system I could only dream of having. But I'm not just picking on a random New Mexico Senator am I? Has my decorum reached such a nadir that I'm just lashing out at every old white man I can think of?

“I’m not calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq or a reduction in funding for our troops, but I am calling for a new strategy that will move our troops out of combat operations and on the path to continuing home.”

Gahhh! I'm blind! The sheer amount of nothing in that statement is burning my eyes and causing my central nervous system to shut down entirely. Perhaps before I die I can parse this statement and break down the nothingness if entails. Now, it may just be the poison slowly making its way up my spinal cord, but it seems like Senator Spitter wants to somehow challenge the President's war strategy. Not mind you, by starting a withdrawal from Iraq. Or for that matter cutting off funding for the war. But he does want to somehow bring the troops home and end their combat involvement.

Surely this can't just be completely empty. Could these 41 words possibly have no less substance than the ether? As my respiratory system shuts down, let me meditate my last few moments on this Earth wondering why a man who said absolutely nothing spat his poison in my eyes. That and why the hell did the New York Times help him by painting him as some kind of maverick that broke with the White House?

I got nothing.

Oh, I die Horatio!

1 comment:

genec said...

Dear Dave,

Your acute reaction from reading Domenici’s statement is due to your failure to take anti-venom. You must take the statement and inject it into a horse. Once the horse builds up antibodies to the statement you must remove the antibodies from the horse and inject them into your bloodstream. Only then will you feel better.

I have used my own self-developed patent maybe pending “Virtual Refrigerator Magnet Technique” © to counteract the statement. What you do is copy the statement to a word processing program, and then randomly move words around an equal number of times to the word count. Make sure you keep accurate count! I believe my efforts have completely counteracted the venomous content of the statement:

“troops out strategy troops am not for in Iraq the from funding calling reduction or for our, I for continuing a new that will I’m move our an and but combat on of withdrawal calling a path immediate to operations home.”

Uncle Gene, M.D.