Your fearless blogger, being a University employee, was of course home today. And channel-surfing. And, as fate would have it, I hit C-SPAN at high noon, right when Al Gore was about to speak at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. ("So let me get this straight. They don't let Marian Anderson sing, but do let Al Gore speak. What's up with that?")

A Tiny Voice then whispered in my ear: "A diligent, respectable blogger who even pretends to be interested in political issues would watch this and blog about it."

So I did. Damn that Tiny Voice. Transcipt here.

Ex-congressman Bob Barr was supposed to introduce Gore, but after a long delay it was clear that the video tomfoolery that they had set up to make this possible just wasn't going to work. So the desired air of non-partisanship was dispelled somewhat.

Gore decried what he termed Dubya's "wholesale invasions of privacy." Nobody stood up to ask him if he knew or remembered anything about Echelon. Make no mistake: he has no problems with us shooting terrorists or blowing up al-Qaeda members; he just doesn't think we should tap their phones if they happen to be talking to someone in the USA. That's impermissible.

Gore said "It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored." Also pretty amusing for those of us who remember the phrase "no controlling legal authority".

Oh, and Congress has really gone downhill since he was in it, due to the icky Republicans. And you shouldn't confirm an icky Republican Supreme Court Justice that believes (as far as anyone knows) in a strong Executive branch, as long as the icky Republicans run it. And a bunch of stuff that was pretty much more of the same. This kind of dissipated that whole non-partisan make-believe into thin air.

Thanks much, Tiny Voice. That's an hour of my life I won't be getting back. Maybe I'm not cut out for this kind of blogging …