The massacre last Thursday at Fort Hood has resulted in a more tamped-down xenophobic reaction from the Right than I expected. Oh sure, Fox News and talk radio have all weighed in with bitter grumblings about how political correctness prevented someone or other from sending this guy to Gitmo while we had the chance. Still, the the fact that Michelle Bachman hasn’t intorduced a Constitutional ammendment to have all Americans of Arab descent loaded into a space shuttle and shot into the sun may be the first sign that Obama deserved that peace prize.

Of course, it could also be because another shooting rampage took place the very next day in Orlando.

That shootin’ gallery turned out to be a less sexy story, since the gunman only killed one and wounded five; the piece probably appeared in your paper right below a coupon for Ragu. But it is a reminder to anyone who  thinks that Nidal Malik Hasan is a terrorist because he shouted “Allah Akbar!”*  during his spree instead of “Yippee kai yay, motherfuckers!” that workplace slaughter is as American as apple pie.

Or maybe the reason the Republicans have moderated their tone ever so slightly is the purported reason Hasan snapped: he didn’t want to go to Afghanistan. Who the fuck would?

And speaking of the residue of 9/11, last Monday the Navy unveiled a new assault ship built with steel salvaged from the World Trade Center. And while it is too bad that Ground Zero remains an undeveloped pit after so many years, it is good to know that the building that once stood there has been turned into such a nice weapon of war. Now if only our enemy had a navy…

* still unconfirmed