Rich Galen
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  • We, in Your Nation’s Capital, are so very busy that we cannot waste our extremely valuable time speaking in whole words. For example we have been, for weeks, referring last night’s State of the Union address as the SOTU.

  • We call the Supreme Court of the United States – SCOTUS – which sounds uncomfortably like a word in a Bob Dole commercial for you-know-what.

  • We refer to the land on which we live, CONUS – the Continental United States – which more than likely irritates Canadians but we don’t care. It might also irritate Hawaiians, but they get to live in Hawaii so, those of us in CONUS think it’s a good deal for them.

  • We call the President POTUS – President of the United States; and the First Lady – FLOTUS which has the advantage of a softer leading phoneme. Huge sums of money are being expended on how we should refer to the spouse of POTUS if POTUS is a person of the female persuasion.

  • First Man? FMOTUS? Nah. I’m going for … Bill.

  • After Massachusetts Senators Kerry and Kennedy were (or should have been) embarrassed by being able to rally only 25 votes for a filibuster on Monday, the Senate voted 58-42 to confirm Sam Alito yesterday. In spite of his low poll numbers and his lack of “political capital,” President Bush was able, in his SOTU, to acknowledge the recent addition of two conservative jurists to SCOTUS.

  • During the President’s speech (which, by the way, was terrific) the first time the Members of the Supreme Court stood to applaud, Associate Justice Samuel Alito stood, looked to his right (imagine that) and clapped when he saw his new colleagues politely giving it up for whatever POTUS was saying at the time.

  • Members of the Cabinet, by tradition, stand up and clap even when POTUS takes a sip of water. They, remember, serve at POTUS’ pleasure

  • VPOTUS (Vice President of the United States) and the SOTH (Speaker of the House, but I made that up) looked like they both went to Men’s Wearhouse for the two-for-one sale on dark blue suits, white shirts, and red ties.

  • POTUS crossed them up and wore a blue tie.

  • So did John Kerry and his tie looked suspiciously like the one he was wearing in Davos when he was generally referred to as “Mr. Theresa.”

  • The speech, I was told in the afternoon, timed out at “38 minutes without applause.” A long-time national reporter, upon hearing that inside info said in late afternoon, “About 50 minutes, then.”

  • It actually ran about 51. Do you think we’re new at this?

  • Members of the House and Senate do not get advance copies of SOTUs because the staff of POTUS does not want the cameras watching 535-or-so people turning pages in unison, or 1,070 lips moving, as they read along.

  • Many members send out releases expressing total approval (members of POTUS’ party) or total distain (members of the opposition party) before they have a clue of what is in it. Local media dutifully report these pearls (called REE-acts) even though they know the sender is full of kudzu. Morning papers have deadlines, after all.

  • Associated Press national political reporter Ron Fourner proved that not only Members of Congress are quick on the REE-act:

      "He's learned that the election is over - and now he's free to acknowledge that course change doesn't necessarily mean a mistake," said Republican consultant Rich Galen.

  • The Democrats picked the new Governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, to give the obligatory response. If you needed even more evidence that illegal drugs do great damage, some dope in the Democratic hierarchy decided to have him deliver the speech standing in the living room of the Governor’s mansion.

  • For this I have one word: What were they thinking?

  • On a the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to a transcript of the SOTU; an approving Mullfoto; and a very strange Catchy Caption of the Day.
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    Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.