The economy crumbles and the Washington media are mesmerized by the pending arrival of a White House dog.
”It's like the best kept secret in Washington,” Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn told a national television audience recently when contemplating the ultimate choice for an Obama family pooch.
This columnist does not recall Richard M. Nixon's not one, not two, but three dogs being the subject of so much hype. Still, as somebody (Harry S Truman always gets the credit, but there's no proof he ever uttered the line) once suggested: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower took whomever's advice and befriended a Weimaraner who answered to Heidi. Lyndon B. Johnson actually allowed pictures to be taken of his beloved beagles, Him and Her, licking the egg yolk from his large Texas chin.
Mr. Nixon, as previously noted, chased after a trio of canines: a French poodle named Vicky, the Yorkshire terrier Pasha and an Irish setter christened King Timahoe. Gerald R. Ford tossed a stick for his golden retriever named Liberty. Ronald Reagan was always amused by his King Charles spaniel, Rex, and George H.W. Bush adored his springer spaniel Millie (who introduced puppies, including Spot, who later lived at the White House as President George W. Bush's dog).
Nobody, of course, deserved a buddy more than the embattled Bill Clinton. He even named his White House dog Buddy.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
”Are we allowed now to use the president's full name, Barack Hussein Obama? The rules keep changing. One day it's a hate crime, another day a source of pride for the president.”
- Chicago-born columnist, author and an “unapologetic capitalist” Joy Tiz, responding to what some are calling President Obama's “America Stinks” tour of Europe, during which he told an audience in Turkey that America is not a Christian nation
Former Georgia congressman and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr recalls Ronald Reagan reciting, in jest, the nine most frightening words in the English language: “I'm from the government and I'm here to help.”
Now Mr. Barr is calling attention to the 11 words spoken by President Obama when recently announcing that Uncle Sam would now be running General Motors and Chrysler: “Starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty.”
“Such a statement by a president of the United States,” Mr. Barr concludes in an op-ed, “might be considered comical, were it not for the gravely serious ramifications of what Obama is doing.”
HE HAS A POINT
We've written at length about egregious examples of pork-barrel spending contained in the federal budget. Now weighing in is Mark Russell, the Washington-based political satirist/pianist, who finds no problem with $650,000 going toward beaver management: “Oh sure, you scoff, but have you ever lived next door to an unmanaged beaver? I didn't think so.”
OK, then, what about $1.7 million for pig-odor research in Iowa?
“Again, easy to criticize - unless you have been to Iowa on a hot day,” he reasons.
But regarding the $207,000 in taxpayer money being spent on tattoo removals for the residents of Los Angeles, Mr. Russell admits “wondering if long-sleeved dresses wouldn't be an easier way to deal with the problem?”
Is the Catholic League hurling every imaginable insult at the state of Vermont, or what?
”Which state has less religious men and women than any other? Vermont.
“Which is the only state to have a socialist senator? Vermont.
“Which state has the second-lowest birthrate in the nation? Vermont.
“Which state has the second-highest proportion of whites? Vermont.
“Which state legislature was the first to legalize gay marriage? Vermont.”
Writes Susan A. Fani, director of communications for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights: “In other words, Vermont is a lily-white state populated by left-wingers who are anti-traditional marriage and anti-family. Exactly what we would expect of a population where more people believe in nothing than anywhere else in the nation.”