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Yarbrough: Where have all my reliable targets gone?

POSTED: April 12, 2008 5:00 a.m.

I am getting concerned. A lot of my most reliable targets have dried up and gone away. Kind of like the drought, except annexing Tennessee won't help me any.

Our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney has disappeared into the cesspool of the free world, Berkeley, Calif. I had high hopes that she might run for president on the Green Party ticket, or maybe even chairwoman of the Intergalactic Moonbeam Council. But, alas, it is not to be. That's a half-dozen columns down the tubes right there.

Before you ask, there is no way that Ralph Nader can make up the loss. He is about as interesting as a bowl of stewed prunes (which he resembles, by the way).

I was anxiously anticipating the early release from federal prison of my good buddy and All-Pro race-baiter Bill Campbell, who is serving 30 months for tax evasion and a potty mouth. Media reports of Campbell's return to civilization before the end of his sentence in October were incorrect. That means it will be seven months before I can have access to his rants and raves.

Campbell was such an easy target that it was like shooting fish in a barrel, but I had to be careful what I said. I once told the Washington Post that Campbell could make a racial issue out of a lima bean and was threatened with a libel suit. It seems lima bean growers didn't like having their name associated with Mayor Bill.

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when I could incite a goodly number of the state's population by bringing up the old state flag and all those who stood firmly in the 19th century in support of it. When Sonny Perdue defeated incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes in 2002, my mailbox was full of bluster from flaggers, who claimed credit for Barnes' loss. One even took me to lunch and placed a stuffed crow on the table as we dined. That was a remarkable gesture in that it was the only example of humor I have ever witnessed from a flagger.

State flaggers are a ragtag bunch these days. I still get a few obscene comments now and then, plus occasional braggadocio (note to flaggers: look it up) about their plans to return the old state flag to its days of former glory, but you can tell their hearts are not in it. Their boy Sonny sandbagged them on his promise of a referendum on the old state flag and showed just how naive and politically impotent they really are. Maybe they should eat the crow they tried to feed me.

President Peanut has been ominously quiet, and that is a little scary. What would this column be without expert analysis of his self-serving comments about the evil Israelis or how George Bush is responsible for the spread of crabgrass? Maybe he wants to spend more time writing bad poetry, or, perhaps he is finally coming to the conclusion that nobody gives a rat's rump about his opinions.

Even Georgia Tech is off-limits for the time being. The Woman Who Shares My Name loves her four grandboys passionately, but she has loved Zack Wansley the longest, since he is the oldest. Her beloved Zack is a junior at Georgia Tech - I don't tell a lot of people that - and she has ordered me to quit picking on Tech and embarrassing Zack or she will stuff broccoli into parts of my body that I didn't know existed. She scares me when she talks like that.

Fortunately, all is not lost. I have an old hippie in Athens I can send into orbit whenever I please, plus a gaggle of liberal weenies who hyperventilate with the publication of each column. The legislature rarely disappoints me in its search for goofiness, like contemplating a law to weigh all the fat kids in school. And then there is the ACLU, the Socialist Republic of Vermont and people who talk on cell phones in the checkout line at the grocery store.

Good targets, one and all, but somehow it is hard to beat the old reliables.

Come back, Ambassador to Outer Space, wherever you are.

Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can reach him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; Web site, www.dickyarbrough.com. First published March 15, 2008.



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