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
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
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
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.