Up to a Point

Up to a Point: P.J. O’Rourke on Valentine’s Day and Oral Hygiene

Toothpaste bombs, wiretapped toothbrushes, tastebud disasters. Plus, four out of five dentists recommend regular visits to Washington’s sweet new catfish digs.

Michael Buckner/Getty

Valentine’s Day…

What to get your GOP sweetie? Just in time for holiday, from Millard Fillmore Mint, collectible commemorative bas-relief casting of Michelle Obama giving Barack the stinkeye at Nelson Mandela funeral. Suitable for display in office, den, or Fox News TV studio.

Sochi Winter Games…

First gold medal of the Olympics won by U.S. in the Sliding Down Hill Behind the Dorm on Cafeteria Tray event.

“Team Figure Skating?” Give them sticks and a puck and you might have a sport.

Surprise upset in curling match between… Oh, who cares?

Passenger attempted to hijack Kiev-to-Istanbul airline flight to Sochi. Pilot tricked passenger into thinking plane had actually flown to Sochi by removing door handles, shower heads, toilets, and running water from Istanbul airport. Trick worked, allowing Turkish police to arrest would-be hijacker, who decided he’d rather be in Istanbul anyway, where many jails have running water.

Two More Reasons for Vladimir Putin to Announce He’s Gay…

Opportunity to develop better fashion sense. Sorry, Vlad, but you do not rock a skinny suit. And what about that random mix-and-match motley-fool pattern of a Russian Olympic team jacket we saw you in at Sochi? Chosen from Juicy Couture “75% Off” discount rack?

2. More credible macho affect.

University of Missouri All-American defensive lineman and likely NFL draft pick Michael Sam is gay. Doesn’t play wimp Russian sports like ice dancing or chess. Plays American football. Could snap you in half like a twig.

More Sporting News…

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At Westminster Kennel Club, wire fox terrier Sky wins Best in Show. Sky scored well in evening wear and swimsuit competitions, but it was hers plea on behalf of the stray dogs in Sochi that swayed the judges.

Things That Would Have to Do With U.S. Foreign Policy If We Had One…

State Dept. Issues Study on Keystone XL Oil Pipeline…

State Department? Oil pipeline? Huh? It’s a big pipe. If something’s wrong with the pipes at your house, do you call Secretary of State John Kerry? He’d probably suggest kitchen sink garbage disposal was clogged with empty caviar tins.

After having rolled up his French cuffs to fix your plumbing, Secretary of State John Kerry went to Capitol Hill to address sewage disposal problems in Damascus.

Kerry cleverly navigating middle course on Assad debacle. In closed-door hearing with U.S. congressmen, Kerry said U.S. policy in Syria is failing. Then Kerry opened door into Capitol building hall, and shouted “Everything in Syria is fine!”

Shaun White blames State Department meddling in pipeline issues for Olympic medal loss in halfpipe.

News on Your Mouth…

Procter & Gamble introducing Crest toothpaste line with nontraditional flavors—chocolate, vanilla, lime. (Nontraditional flavors onion, garlic, and cigar did not test well.)

P&G announcement came shortly before warnings by Russian security forces about dangers of toothpaste bombs in Sochi. (Nontraditional flavors ammonium nitrate, C-4, and gelignite did not test well.)

In a story I hope has nothing to do with either of those items, because it would indicate secret cooperation between NSA tech geeks and Russian Security Forces, the Consumer Electronics Show featured an e-toothbrush that monitors when, where, and how often you brush your teeth.

Also Interesting…

At Iran’s celebration of 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, speeches mixed calls for death to America with admonishments to children about healthy teeth and gums.

Whatever NSA Has Been Up to With Secret Oral Hygiene Ops, Agency Remains Baffled by Other Technological Developments…

NSA formerly collected the bulk of U.S. phone communication data, but now is collecting only about 30 percent. Due to text message code-breaking difficulties?

“bbf sup abt2 by OMG manolos u2???”

As NSA said in a terse press release, “WTF.”

Meanwhile, latest info indicates Edward Snowden used cheap, readily available software to gain access to NSA top secrets.

And Is There a Certain Somebody in Moscow With Too Much Time on His Hands?…

Angry Birds site hacked.

Electronic Skullduggery in Ukraine, Too…

Situation there continues to suck. EU showing usual decisive firmness in crisis. Phone call between Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffry Pyatt leaked. Assistant Secretary Nuland heard to say, “Fuck the EU.” (Sentiment widely held, especially in EU, but I digress.) Russians suspected in phone trap. U.S. should hire my teen daughter to text messages between State Department and U.S. ambassadors. Russians would have no goddamn idea what was being said.

Teacher of the Year…

Instructor at Iraqi jihadist training camp accidentally uses live explosives during demonstration of suicide-bombing technique, killing self and 21 wanna-be suicide bombers. Urgent call for 1,584 virgins in Paradise.

Term for this among bomb squad experts is “self-criticizing exercise.”

Or, as We Journalists Call It, Domestic Political Policy…

House Votes in Favor of Obama Debt Limit Bill…

Congress and administration taking “Bush era-FEMA/Hurricane Katrina” approach to debt crisis. When you’re up to your neck in debt at home, answer is to raise the ceiling.

And Bipartisan Ag Bill Shows Dems and Reps CAN Work Together in Congress…

But before we get too enthusiastic about bipartisanship, let’s take a peek at a few details in the Ag Bill.

Gov’t is paying insurance companies $1.4 billion a year to sell farmers crop insurance policies that gov’t is paying 62 percent of premiums on. Like gov’t paying restaurant to serve you meal that gov’t is paying you to eat.

Not the only fishy thing in bill. Catfish inspection has been moved from the Food and Drug Administration into a new $20 million office at Department of Agriculture. A sop to lawmakers who represent congressional districts consisting entirely of catfish ponds. They claim FDA did not have proper resources to inspect imported catfish. Bad news is that foreign fishermen will have to bring each catfish to Washington for inspection. Good news is that $20 million DoA catfish office has comfy chairs and recent issues of catfish newsletters and magazines.

Ag Bill not all bad. Consumer groups win battle to have supermarket beef, lamb, pork, and poultry labeled by country of origin, countering slaughterhouse industry argument that this is too difficult because of the way that cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens just wander in off the street.

Another Obamacare Failure…

Nation’s largest provider of optical health insurance, VSP, has agreed that frames for Google Glass eyewear will be covered under its insurance plans. Now premiums will be paid out to nerds walking into walls at Starbucks while trying to find Starbucks on Google Maps.

Military Recruiting Fraud Alleged…

Prospective members of armed forces told “Weather is great in Afghanistan, people are friendly, food is delicious and… Wow!… The nightlife!”

Minimum Wage Debate…

Dems say raise will give new hope to the unemployed. People who did not have a job paying $7.25 per hour will now not have a job paying $10.10 an hour.

Not Very Ironically…

Potomac now home to ugly invasive voracious snakehead predator species. But foodies claim flesh is delicious. They suggest changing name of fish so restaurant demand will lessen numbers, as happened when “Patagonian toothfish” was given moniker “Chilean sea bass.” So far, proposals of “Senate flounder,” “House blowfish,” and “Hope and Change smelt” have met with little public acceptance.