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Enroute Abuja, Nigeria

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From "The Office":

Toby (HR director): Didn't you lose a lot of money on that other investment? The email?

Michael Scott (regional manager): You know what Toby, when the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly, asking for help, you help! His father ran the freaking country! Ok?

I am not going to Nigeria because I believed a spam e-mail telling me I'd won a lottery conducted by the National Bank of Nigeria. Nigeria is holding an election for President on Saturday and I am a member of the official international observer mission.

Because I am such an international travel specialist, I thought the capital of Nigeria was Lagos. It was … once, but it is now Abuja. Didn't even sound familiar when I read it.

Nevertheless, I will miss President Barack "Better-Late-Than-Never" Obama's speech on what he intends to do about the ever-expanding deficit. This, five days after he agreed to Speaker Boehner's budget proposal for the rest of this fiscal year, and about a week after his economic geniuses got to read and, one hopes, digest House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis) proposal to whack about $6 trillion off the debt over time.

Ryan's budget proposal has been bitterly criticized by the Left and by the Tea Party Right, so maybe it's headed in the right direction.

Paul Krugman who won a Nobel Prize for economics and is often to Bernie Sanders' (Socialist-NH) left, wrote this about Obama's negotiating style:

"[I]t looks from here as if the president's idea of how to bargain is to start by negotiating with himself, making pre-emptive concessions, then pursue a second round of negotiation with the G.O.P., leading to further concessions.

"Republicans ended up getting more than their opening bid."

And he's on the President's side!

This business of dithering has haunted Obama since the 2008 campaign when, in August, Russia invaded Georgia to intercede on behalf of a region which wanted to break away from the central Georgian government.

Obama, on vacation in his home state of Hawaii (don't hit the SEND key, I'm just messin' with ya) waited days to make any pronouncement while his opponent, John McCain jumped both on the Russians for invading, and on Obama for evading.

The most recent foreign policy issue is Libya where the French and the British are demanding more aggressive action by NATO because Gadhafi's troops are still blasting the rebels.

NATO commanders said they were doing a swell job within the framework of the UN mandate.

The UK Guardian wrote:

"The sharp exchanges came as Libyan government forces continued heavy shelling of Misrata, where thousands of civilians are trapped in desperate conditions."

Nowhere in the article are the words "Barack" or "Obama" mentioned.

I'm certain he's asking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton each and every day - maybe even calling her at 3 AM - for advice, but he hasn't said much publicly about what role, if any, the U.S should play if the NATO scheme continues on its present course.

Last thing.

The Lad who, because he has become a personality in his own right now has a name - Reed - had an essay published in Real Clear Politics titled "Why Generation X Should Thank Paul Ryan.

He's always been a better businessman than I. He favors his mom, so he's far better looking than I. And this is another indication that he's a better writer than I.

Yesterday was his 35th birthday, so he's just coming into the prime of his working career. It also means I'm … Oh, my they're calling my flight.

I don't want to pull an Obama and be late.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to "The Office," to the Krugman NYT column, to the Guardian look at the squabble among NATO members and to The Lad's piece in RCP.

No Mullfoto today because … I don't know why. But there is a Catchy Caption.

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