Up to a Point

Up to a Point: P.J. O’Rourke on SOTU, the Super Bowl and Nukes

The finger-wagger in chief decided on snap decisions, the NFL got ready for Super Bowl 420, and Putin put out a discreet Kremlin welcome to gay Olympians (say nothing).

01.31.14 10:45 AM ET

Democrats and Republicans ARE Working Together in Congress…

On new Farm Bill that will cost $956.4 billion. This is 53 times the GDP of Afghanistan. Nix a couple of soybean subsidies and we could have avoided war and just bought the damn country.

In other bipartisan news, President Obama fixes NSA snooping. Issues orders that whenever NSA overhears private phone conversations, agency has to cover its ears and shout, “La, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you!”

Yet Surely There’s More to Life Than Politics…

Watched Grammys with TV muted and real music on stereo in background. Katy Perry and Juicy J performed beautiful duet from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, for all I know.

Considered Same Approach for President’s State of The Union Address…

Would love to see Barack Obama lip-sync Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado.

      I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list

      Of society offenders who might well be underground,

      And who never would be missed

      – who never would be missed!

But, doing my civic duty, endured the (by my estimate) 11-hour speech with sound on. (Duty best done with duty-free. Make that a double.)

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Speech Was…

Sentence chosen at random tells all: ”Let’s pass a patent reform bill.”

President in usual finger-wagging mode and inserting long, needless pauses in middle of his sentences like the most boring professor in the faculty lounge.

Senators and representatives popped up and down a lot, apparently in accord with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! health initiative.

Was disappointed that Vice President Biden never quite fell asleep.

Nice prom-dress-blue satin necktie, Mr. President.  Xmas gift from the girls? Guess you had to wear it.

Big SOTU Domestic Policy Announcement…

“MyRA” (they must have been up all night at the White House naming that), an everyman’s IRA to be invested in U.S. savings bonds, which pay shit interest.

Big SOTU Foreign Policy Announcement…

“…a war that, after 12 long years, is finally coming to an end…” Someone tell the Taliban.

Stirring Populist Rhetoric…

“Give America a raise!”

Am self-employed, but will take president’s advice under consideration.

Main Takeaway From SOTU Address…

One man, with finger-wagging on his side, is a majority:

      “Whenever and wherever I can take steps without legislation… that’s what I’m going to do.”

      “I’ll use my authority…”

      “I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress…”

      “I will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour.”

$404 a week seems like a lot for Joe Biden. Does he do windows?

Ran Out of Booze Before Republican Response to SOTU…

Which I gather was “La, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you!”

Response was made by four different Republicans.  Typical Republicans, getting game of politics confused with golf foursome. 

Woke on Wednesday Morning Feeling Like…

Royal Caribbean cruise ship that returned to port in New Jersey after more than 600 aboard fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea. No truth to rumor that passengers failed to endorse Chris Christie for governor.

In Other News of Big Guys Who Play Rough in the Garden State…

Super Bowl XLVIII, event that taught two generations of Americans to read Roman numerals, will be played on II/II/MMXIV.  Quoting Dennis Miller—best football color commentator since Petronius would have been if Romans had NFL in 1st century A.D.—“They should just leave a yellow flag on the field at all times and pick it up periodically when there’s no infraction.”

If, However, All Super Bowl XLVIII Infractions Are “Delay of Game…”

Well-known that both teams are from states with legal marijuana. (Certainly looked like Patriots had been sampling local wares during Denver playoff game against Broncos.)

NFL denies Phish will make a surprise reunion appearance during Bruno Mars halftime show.

Big payday at stake—players expected to leave goof butts home. But in case Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson start tossing a Frisbee to each other during timeouts, don’t bet the over.

Hard to stop with Chris Christie or football-on-pot stuff. Must exercise more self-control. I’m on a flight that lands in Newark next week. Don’t want to get caught in “air traffic study” and leave widow with three kids to raise.


Suggested rule changes for future games at Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field and Broncos’, ahem, “Mile High” stadium:

      Holding Hugging

      Pass Interference Bogarting the Ball

      Offsides Far Out

They Play Rough in Chicago Too…   

Robert Gates’ memoir Duty contains scathing criticism of President Obama. Gates appears on book tour in neck brace. The result of a “fall.”

Secretary of Treasury Jack (Fredo) Lew says U.S. Treasury’s out of money next month. Whatsamatta you, Jack? Changing .05% vig on 30-day Treasury notes? Fugitabout it. U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing is down the block. Tell ‘em to do the right thing and print you more money.

Or, here’s a legit idea. Why not hold an auction at Sotheby’s to sell the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution? Nobody’s using it now that the Roberts Court weaseled out of an Article I, Section 8, ban on Obamacare. Koch Brothers or other fat cat Constitution nuts would pay big for a piece of history snipped out of the original over at the National Archives.

Another idea: You could fence the whole Constitution. President Obama is going to run country “with or without Congress.” President says, “I have a pen and I have a phone.” 

Just Wondering…

Is it a smartphone?

Anyway, proceeds of Constitution sale should carry us through until GOP wins veto-proof majority in both houses in midterm elections.

Which GOP Could Do…

If pigs had wings. Anonymous squealer at ham-handed Republican National Committee tells me party is scouring the nation for ranters, ravers, and cement heads with lunatic positions on social issues to run for contested seats in House and Senate.

Candidate financial scandals also deemed helpful in attracting support of rich GOP donors who want someone in office who “feels their pain.”

RNC insiders deeply regret that former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (and fashion plate wife Maureen) will be too busy going to jail to challenge incumbent Virginia senator, Democrat Mark Warner.

Florida Republican Congressman Trey Radel will also be missed. Had to resign after buying cocaine from federal narcotics agent. What a dummy. Everybody knows you don’t buy cocaine from federal narcotics agents. They’ve got crappy blow, 80 percent baking soda.    

Chinese New Year Today…

Year of the Snake ends, Year of the Horse begins. Better moo goo gai pan at local takeout? You make the call.

On the other hand, the new federal budget bill bans the Department of Agriculture from inspecting horse-meat processing plants, thereby costing jobs and slowing economic growth in the U.S. horse-meat industry. 

With a rare act of bridge-building between right and left, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) will introduce legislation to lift the ban, helping NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio fulfill campaign promise to make suitable arrangements for retired Central Park carriage horses.

Keeping-the-Cold-War-in-the-Closet Update…      

Vladimir Putin says gay Olympic athletes will be welcome in Russia, especially at small private door in Kremlin wall at the south end of Red Square near the river.

Speaking of Leftovers from the Cold War…

Thirty-four Air Force officers in charge of launching U.S. nuclear missiles caught cheating on monthly proficiency exam. Sample questions:

1. Nuclear missiles are placed in launch silos…

    A. Pointy end up.     

    B. Pointy end down.

    C. Depends on whether missiles are aimed at Russia or China.

2. Nuclear missiles should be launched…

    A. If the President asks.

    B. If the President asks using the magic word “please.”

    C. In months with an “r” in them.

1. What is the nuclear missile launch secret password?

    A. “Aunchlay Issilesmay”

    B. “secret password”

    C. “Oh, shit!”