“No one knows what history will make of the present — least of all journalists, who can at best write history’s sloppy first draft. But if I were to place an incautious bet on which political event will prove the most significant of February 2010, I wouldn’t choose the kabuki health care summit that generated all the ink and 24/7 cable chatter in Washington. I’d put my money instead on the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the tax protester who flew a plane into an office building housing Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin, Tex., on Feb. 18. It was a flare with the dark afterlife of an omen.

“What made that kamikaze mission eventful was less the deranged act itself than the curious reaction of politicians on the right who gave it a pass — or, worse, flirted with condoning it. Stack was a lone madman, and it would be both glib and inaccurate to call him a card-carrying Tea Partier or a ‘Tea Party terrorist.’ But he did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner. That rant inspired like-minded Americans to create instant Facebook shrines to his martyrdom. Soon enough, some cowed politicians, including the newly minted Tea Party hero Scott Brown, were publicly empathizing with Stack’s credo — rather than risk crossing the most unforgiving brigade in their base…

“It is not glib or inaccurate to invoke Oklahoma City in this context, because the acrid stench of 1995 is back in the air.”

***
“A seven-month-old baby girl survived three days alone with a bullet in her chest beside the bodies of her parents and toddler brother.

“Argentines Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, shot their children before killing themselves after making an apparent suicide pact over fears about global warming…

“Her parents said they feared the effects of global warming in a suicide note discovered by police.”

***
“After a year’s worth of unhinged lefties blaming conservative bloggers, pundits, and activists for every crime spree on the planet, it would be just desserts to blame Al Gore for the alleged global warming-inspired murders reported in the UK Daily Mail today. But count me out of that game

“Al Gore is responsible for enough fraud and misery without overreaching and laying this strange case at his feet.

“Leave the hysterical smear-mongering to Frank Rich, Andrew Sullivan, Paul Krugman, and Keith Olbermann.”