Jabber, I know what you mean. But while I can't resolve your frustration, I thought I'd toss this out. It is a reprint of a story that appeared on the front page of my newspaper this morning - the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.
I do get a kick out of silly the campaign hi-jinks. And in this case, a RIGHT -WINGED (yes, she only has one wing) hawk (yes, the bird of prey), who lives at the museum in Dubuque, Iowa, was asked to select the Republican candidate in a very unique manner - involving field mice...
Not-so-raucous 'Hawkus' caucus
The bird of prey takes nearly 50 minutes to pick its food -- and the GOP winner -- at the light-hearted river museum event.
BY ERIK HOGSTROM TH STAFF WRITER
Michele Bachmann can add "Hawkus" to her list of political victories, and she can thank a tasty dead mouse for the honor.
The red-tailed hawk at Dubuque's National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium took nearly 50 minutes to select the Minnesota congresswoman during a Tuesday event outside the William Woodward River Discovery Center.
The spectacle combined riveting political theater with finicky bird-of-prey dietary habits to select a Republican presidential frontrunner.
Here are the historic highlights:
10:31 a.m. -- Ginger Sakas, the museum's development director, explains the red-tailed hawk's qualifications: "She was born in the wild and has lived at the museum for six years. She was injured in the wild and would not survive on her own. She only has a right wing."
10:33 a.m. -- Becky Echtenkamp, handler of the hawk for five out of the seven days of the week, approaches the right-wing bird's enclosure. Once inside, she places on the ground photos of Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
Upon each of these photos, Echtenkamp places a dead mouse -- a red-tailed hawk delicacy henceforth linked with electoral decision-making.
10:35 a.m. -- The red-tailed hawk hops from her three-sided house onto a nearby tree limb. She warily studies a group of onlookers (six media members and seven museum staff members).
10:36 a.m. -- The hawk continues staring at the onlookers, oblivious to both the photos and dead mice.
10:37 a.m. -- The onlookers back up several steps.
10:39 a.m. -- Still completely uninterested in the photos or the mice, the red-tailed hawk hops back into her three-sided house.
10:42 a.m. -- Stakas: "She's weighing her options."
10:47 a.m. -- Dead mice + photos of GOP candidates + uninterested hawk = deadlocked Hawkus.
10:50 a.m. -- Still nothing from the hawk.
10:56 a.m. -- Echtenkamp makes whistling noises outside hawk's enclosure. The hawk's body language suggests an entirely apolitical outlook.
10:59 a.m. -- Echtenkamp theorizes that the faces of the GOP candidates have intimidated the hawk to the point of appetite loss.
"She is also not familiar with eating on the ground," Echtenkamp said.
11 a.m. -- Echtenkamp minimizes the effects of the GOP candidates' faces by folding each photo in half, and placing the dead mice on the ground next to each folded photograph. The hawk scoffs at her efforts.
11:05 a.m. -- Wind-chill reading dips to 26 degrees. Onlookers retreat inside nearby depot building, watching hawk while blowing on frozen fingers.
11:10 a.m. -- Hawk does nothing.
11:14 a.m. -- Hungry newspaper reporter considers ending deadlocked Hawkus by eating dead mouse himself.
11:18 a.m. -- Hawk surprises onlookers by emerging from house, hopping onto branch.
11:19 a.m. -- Hawk leaps off branch to consume dead mouse nearest to folded Bachmann photo, then eats mice next to folded photos of Paul and Gingrich.
11:20 a.m. -- Hawk c ocks head, peering quizzically at humans busily tweeting, photographing, videotaping and scribbling on notebooks.