Politics

02.21.14

Up to a Point: PJ on Sochi Stray Dog Stew and 1-800-F*CKYOU

It was a week of surprises: the other secret stash Assad is keeping, a really unlikely place to get help with Obamacare, and the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ winner who’s now running Italy.

Sochi Olympics Sending Mixed Message on Gay Issues…

Transgender ex-Italian MP Vladimir “Vladi” Luxuria was detained by security guards for waving a rainbow banner bearing the slogan “It’s OK to be Gay.” And Vladimir “Vladi” Putin was fascinated by the two-man bobsled event.

Good News From Sochi…

Stray-dog problem under control and plentiful servings of stew available at Olympic hotel restaurants.

In Other Foreign Conflicts…

Syrian Peace Talk Negotiators Setting Example for Everyone in Syria…

Opposing sides refuse to even come near each other.

Assad Regime Dawdling on Chemical Weapons…

Only about 10 percent of stockpile has been delivered for UN-sanctioned waste disposal. Assad’s wife, British-born cutie Asma, reassures world powers,  “Oh, that’s just my Bashar. You can’t get him to toss out anything. He still has a pair of MC Hammer parachute pants hanging in his closet.”

Secretary of State John Kerry Urges Senior Chinese Officials to “Use Every Tool at Their Disposal” to Make Kim Jong-un Abandon His Nuclear Program…

Senior Chinese officials promise to try “noogie” and, if that doesn’t work, “Dutch rub” or “Indian rope burn.”

Secretary of State John Kerry Then Jets to Jakarta…

To warn Indonesians that climate change makes them “one of the most vulnerable countries on earth.” Said Kerry, “Climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction.” No word yet as to whether U.S. will use weapons of mass destruction as grounds for invasion of Indonesia.

Ukraine Seems to Be Becoming a Fully European Nation…

Circa 1939.

Fortunately, Secretary of State John Kerry, Fresh From Shining the Light of His Diplomatic Brilliance on Syrian Civil War, North Korea Standoff, Indonesian Climate Threat, Israeli-Palestinian Discord, and Iranian Nuclear Program…

Hasn’t offered to help Ukraine.

Looking at Secretary of State John Kerry, You Might Think…

Striped pants cookie-pushers in our diplomatic corps do nothing at American embassies but give cocktail parties. Authorities in riot-torn Venezuela think they mix a mean Molotov. Three U.S. diplomats have been expelled. “We are determined to defend our country,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as he wiped cookie crumbs from his mustache and asked for extra olives in his martini.

Memo to Florida juries: The name of the law is “Stand Your Ground,” not “Can’t Stand Your Sound.”

Much Ironic Comment About American Religious Fundamentalist Jamie Coots, Who Practiced Snake-Handling and Was Killed By a Snake Bite…

But if Iranian religious fundamentalist Ali Khamenei had tried it, the snake would have died.

Politics in India Proceed as Usual…

Citing the failure of his anticorruption initiative, Chief Minister of Delhi’s city government, Arvind Kejriwal, stepped down after only 49 days in office. I’m not saying he was bribed to resign.

1995 Dayton Accords Aren’t Working Out for Bosnia…

No surprise there. Take a look at Dayton.

New Prime Minister of Italy Is Matteo Renzi…

His previous experience includes being the winner on the Italian version of Wheel of Fortune. Try to avoid the “Bonus Round” next time, Matteo. One of the Bonus Wheel prizes is “New Prime Minister of Italy.”

Crew Member Hijacks Own Plane…

Co-pilot on Ethiopian Airlines waited until pilot went to the bathroom and locked him out of the cockpit.  TSA reacts swiftly, establishes security checkpoints between bathrooms and cockpits on all U.S. flights.

In Other Domestic News…

Obama Administration Postpones Requirement for Midsize Employers to Give Heath Insurance to Employees…

And allows larger employers more flexibility in how they provide coverage. Latest in a series of extensions, modifications, and changes as Obamacare does to itself what Republicans wanted to do to it.

Meanwhile, What Kind of Hanky-Panky Is Going on Over at the Department of Health and Human Services?… 

Take your phone keypad and punch in 1-800 FUCK YOU. You’ll be instructed to press “1” if you’re seeking something called “Intimate Connections” or press “2” if you want the number for the Obamacare Helpline. Depends on whether you prefer the active or passive role in this kind of thing.

Monday Was Presidents Day…

Being the lazy journalist I am, I spent it celebrating William Henry Harrison, whose 30 days in office produced a news cycle so historically insignificant that even the dumbest pundit could expound upon it.  Next year I’ll be drinking to Jimmy Carter. Saving Obama for 2016.

President Obama’s 2nd Term Legislative Accomplishments Will Appear in the Space Below…

 

 

 

 

If you, or President Obama, have a magic wand.

In New York City, Immigrant Community Says, “Thanks a Bunch…”

Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to issue municipal ID cards to undocumented illegal aliens. Now they won’t be undocumented illegal aliens. They’ll be carrying a document that proves they’re illegal.

New York City Officials Seem to Have Been Dozing During the “Demand Curve” Lecture in Econ 101…

Heroin overdose deaths sad, but big-city life is stressful. Price for a pack of cigarettes in New York, $10.50. Price for a bag of heroin, $7.

Donald Trump Declines to Run for Governor of New York…

Impending indictment for felony comb-over rumored to have played a part in the decision.

Which Wouldn’t Be a Problem in Illinois, Where Anything Is Possible…

GOP gubernatorial primary candidate Bruce Rauner allegedly running for political office without any known scandal in his background.

Is Influence of NRA Running Amok in Florida?…

First Trayvon Martin case, then Florida jury can’t decide if Michael Dunn committed first-degree murder when he killed unarmed 17-year-old Jordan Davis by firing 10 shots into Davis’s car because of obnoxious music being played on the stereo. (Memo to Florida juries: The name of the law is “Stand Your Ground,” not “Can’t Stand Your Sound.”) 

Now proposed Florida law would bar school districts from suspending students for biting “a partially consumed pastry or other food item” into the shape of a gun. Seriously.

Gun-control lobbyists protest. 

Childhood obesity lobbyists too.

Business Matters That Are Mattering…

Largest Cable Television Provider, Comcast, Buying Second Largest, Time Warner…

Deal expected to greatly benefit both companies because now you’ll get two cable bills every month.

The Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury Issue Marijuana Banking Guidelines…

Justice Department orders prosecutors not to press charges against banks doing business with legitimate vendors in states where marijuana is legal for medical and/or recreational purposes. Treasury Department orders pizza for its 115,897 employees.

Increasing Number of Complaints That IRS Provides Poor Customer Service…

And what a delight it is to type that. Like grousing about a lousy mugging in Detroit. “Guy couldn’t figure out my iPhone, wanted a clamshell. Missed the $20 I had in my shirt pocket. Was out of bullets…”

Chicagoan Kenneth C. Griffin, Founder of Citadel Hedge Fund, Gives $150 Million to Harvard…

Largest bequest in school’s history. Seems like bad manners to ask if Mr. Griffin has any children approaching college age. But I’m making a guess they won’t be attending Northern Illinois at DeKalb.