Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Krait Is LOL* Funny Today

The senior woman on the NY Fishwrap's Op-Ed page is Maureen Dowd who was nicknamed "The Cobra" by the frat-boy POTUS 43. In this blog, Gail Collins, a more recent columnist on the Op-Ed page, is "The Krait." Equal time for poisonous serpents. The Krait deserves musical accompanyment today:

[x YouTube/EmiMusic Channel]
"Don't Worry, Be Happy" (1988)
By Bobby McFerrin

Copyright © 1988 Bobby McFerrin

With apologies to the Marx Brothers, Bobby McFerrin's little ditty is the anthem for our times. As Mr. Orange, House Speaker John Boner, said: "We're not going to be perfect every day." If this is a (fair & balanced) rationale for underachievement, so be it.

PS: The font-size in this blog's entries has been shaded toward the senior readers. Translation: The print is larger.


[x NY Fishwrap]
Don’t Worry. Be Happy.
By Gail Collins

Tag Cloud of the following article

created at

In troubled times it’s important to pace yourself. There’s only so much you can worry about at once, and we’ve already got Egypt, the weird weather, rising food prices and unemployment. Plus, the secretary of homeland security says the terror threat is really high. It would be at least reddish-orange if we hadn’t gotten rid of the color code.

Good grief, maybe we shouldn’t have gotten rid of the color code.

At moments like this, I find it soothing to make lists of things that we don’t have to worry about at all. Such as:

Outrageous bills proposed by state legislators

In South Dakota, we recently learned that Representative Hal Wick, a Republican of Sioux Falls, dropped a bill into the hopper that would require every adult in the state to own a gun. In Georgia, Representative Bobby Franklin, a Republican of Marietta, introduced legislation that would eliminate the requirement that Georgia drivers have licenses, arguing that he was tired of “agents of the state demanding your papers.”

And, people, you do not need to worry about it! These bills are not going to pass. Besides, if we worried about every nutsy idea tossed around in state legislatures, we would never have adequate time to devote to work, family and the fate of the Broadway musical “Spider-Man.”

About 10 percent of a state legislature is composed of people who are totally loony. This is in a good state. It’s possible that in yours, the proportion is much, much higher. That is probably something to worry about, but not today.

The point is, they only introduce these bills to get your attention. Resist. Although Representative Franklin is not making it easy, having also proposed that suburbanites be permitted to keep cows and other farm animals in their yards and that the state be required to pay all of its debts in gold or silver.

Glenn Beck’s declining ratings

Honest. They’re down.

Who will win the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll

The conservative activists are meeting in Washington at a gathering that will culminate in a much-anticipated straw poll. It is, in theory, our civic duty to follow their activities and determine if they will provide a boost for one of the Republican presidential candidates. Even though the poll has, in the past, proved to be about as good at predicting the future as Punxsutawney Phil.

Former Senator Rick Santorum made news this week when he said Sarah Palin was ducking the conference because she prefers events where somebody is paying her. One of the few joys of following presidential politics two years in advance of the election is that it gives you a chance to ponder hopefuls like Santorum, who prepared for this quest by losing his U.S. Senate seat by 18 percentage points.

But don’t worry about Sarah Palin running for president. Even Sarah Palin doesn’t know if she’s running for president. Mull instead the news that Bristol is now said to be writing a memoir.

The fact that Congress isn’t doing anything

Ever since the Senate reached a bipartisan agreement to speed up the legislative process, there has been not a single filibuster in the upper chamber. This may be partly because there have generally been no senators in the upper chamber.

Really, every once in a while they drop by to talk about a bill on the Federal Aviation Administration. And then they go home again.

Meanwhile, in the House, the powerful new Republican majority has continued its laserlike focus on jobs by arguing about abortion and failing to pass the bills it votes on.

“We’re not going to be perfect every day,” said Speaker John Boehner.

On Wednesday, the House argued about whether it should make the government repossess $179 million from our account at the United Nations despite the State Department’s plan to have the United Nations use it to improve security in New York City.

This is supposed to be part of the G.O.P. budget-balancing initiative, and on that count it is somewhat like planning to lose 50 pounds by reducing your intake of kale. Mainly, it was an opportunity for Republicans to spend an enjoyable day complaining about international organizations dedicated to world peace.

“It’s a disgrace that we continue to fund an organization like the U.N.,” said Representative Connie Mack of Florida. Did you know his real name is Cornelius Harvey McGillicuddy IV? Also, he is married to Representative Mary Bono of California, who has now been the wife of two members of Congress, only one of whom once had a singing act with Cher.

But I digress. Despite the Republicans’ rancor about international organizations, the leaders failed to muster the necessary two-thirds majority to get the bill through. It’ll probably pass later, and would then be preserved in amber until sometime in the next millennium when the senators get around to it.

Works for me. Ω

[Gail Collins joined the New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board and later as an op-ed columnist. In 2001 she became the first woman ever appointed editor of the Times editorial page. At the beginning of 2007, she stepped down and began a leave in order to finish a sequel to her book, America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines. Collins returned to The Times as a columnist in July 2007. Besides America's Women, which was published in 2003, Ms. Collins is the author of Scorpion Tongues: Gossip, Celebrity and American Politics, and The Millennium Book, which she co-authored with her husband, Dan Collins. Her new book is about American women since 1960. Collins has an undergraduate degree in journalism from Marquette University and an M.A. in government from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.]

Copyright © 2011 The New York Times Company

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