JANUARY GOES poof, poof, and leaves 2012 even further behind. Our Third World president, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama, took his second oath of office privately—almost secretively—on January 20 in a very eerie setting with just the chief justice and a few family members standing alongside his ever-present Secret Service detail. A more public ceremony took place the next day, though the crowd was exiguous by comparison with the vast throng of meatheads that turned out in 2009, and it was subdued. The second ceremony was an occasion for still more threats to prosperous Americans and promises to mulct them still more in the years ahead. By month’s end President Obama was reaping the consequences of his economic fantasies. The unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent, and growth actually shrank in the final months of 2012 by 0.1 percent, signaling continued stagnation and quite possibly a return to recession.
• Happy days are here again for advocates of pastoral America and the Green Movement. The Social Security Administration rescinded its reprimand issued in December to an employee accused of excessive and inconsiderate flatulence. Initially he was accused of creating a “hostile environment” to coworkers, but now the unnamed 38-year-old is exonerated and free to break wind as never before. Possibly this is the beginning of another movement of aggrieved Americanos. Call them members of the Windbreakers Movement! Could it be a new demographic for Our President?
• The World Economic Forum got under way at Davos, Switzerland, without the presence of Mr. Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, for whom things have gone rather badly since his father, President Moammar Gadhafi, wandered into an open culvert in Libya unaccompanied by his bodyguards or even his pants. The younger Gadhafi made his first appearance in court in the bucolic village of Zintan, where he was charged with harming state security, attempting to escape, and insulting the nation’s new flag, which is now wholly composed of organic material. From his out-at-the-elbows appearance it looks as though Mr. Gadhafi is being held by local tribesmen in their livestock pens. His trial is being followed intensely by human rights organizations and several Swiss banks.
• While on the subject of trials for the suddenly detumescent, that of former Detroit, Michigan, mayor Mr. Kwame Kilpatrick continues in his former fiefdom, and things do not look auspicious. On January 10, Mr. Derrick Miller, a former aide, testified that he delivered $10,000 in bribes to the mayor while His Honor was in a public comfort station, an admission that got a lot of laughs in the courtroom, though none from Mr. Kilpatrick.
• Iranian state television announced that Tehran had put a monkey into space and even returned it. After the monkey landed safely, it reported immediately to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a debriefing and possibly prayers at a nearby mosque. Later Mr. Ahmadinejad offered himself as the second prominent Persian to go up in space, inspiring many tasteless jokes, among them one by Senator John McCain, who joshed that he thought the Persian potentate had gone skyward the week before.
• And there is more religious news from holy Islam. A Saudi cleric, the Rev. Abdullah Daoud, D.D., has prescribed that newborn females be immediately immured in baby burkas to ward off unwanted sexual attention. The Rev. Daoud cited numerous examples of sexual molestation in the Kingdom’s maternity wards, probably involving a change in diapers, in a fatwa that is not without its critics. For instance, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Jzlana, once a judge on the respected Saudi Board of Grievances, has told correspondents from the Islamic Al-Magid TV that the Rev. Daoud’s ruling besmirches Islam itself and causes the religion and Sharia to “look bad” to the outside world. Then from Egypt comes word that the country’s prime minister, Mr. Hisham Qandil, has claimed that the inability of rural women to clean their breasts is causing an epidemic of diarrhea in the countryside, and tourists are not willing to go there. Actually they are not going anywhere in Egypt, where demonstrations are spreading from Cairo to Alexandria, to Ismailia and to other locales. In Syria, President Bashar Assad was seen in public for the first time in seven months when he made a speech acknowledging unrest in his country, but denying requests that he negotiate with insurgents, even with his mother, who has reportedly left the country.
• Congratulations are in order for ex-president Bill Clinton, who was named Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Council, an organization with offices allegedly in the Cayman Islands. The council gave the award in 2007 to former senator John Edwards and is possibly contemplating giving it next year to former congressman Barney Frank or to Mrs. Hillary Clinton.
• Incidentally, that government-sponsored Accountability Review Board has issued its report on the Benghazi unpleasantness. It found “systemic failure” at the State Department despite the presence of the aggressive, albeit ill-tempered, outgoing secretary of state. She appeared after a month of delays before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a dreadful mood, alternately weeping, threatening senators with snide remarks, and pounding her fists upon the witness table. She is now being again mentioned by the Episodic Apologists in the media as a presidential possibility for the Democrats in 2016, if her health holds out and she can get her drinking under control.
• The remains of the body of England’s King Richard III were found discarded beneath a common parking lot in the British Midlands. In Elyria, Ohio, Miss Susan Warren, known locally as “The Cleaning Fairy,” was returned to police custody for wantonly shoveling driveways without permission. The energetic Miss Warren previously was sentenced to one year of probation for breaking into a home, cleaning it, and leaving a $75 bill on a napkin. And in Lindenhurst, New York, the famously convivial Doctor Robert Garelick was taken away in handcuffs after police were called to his office by a patient who accused him of boozing while performing a drilling procedure in her mouth. She smelled alcohol. Admittedly, a bottle of clear liquid that smelled of alcohol—possibly vodka—was nearby, but it was not as though the fun-loving dentist was singing and horsing around between toots. He is a respected oral surgeon, and in a nation that is contemplating legalization of marijuana, Dr. Garelick’s restrained behavior is totally commendable. Here is to you Doc, and next time I am in old Lindenhurst the drinks are on me.
• Finally, there is trouble again at Harvard State University, where 60 or more students were forced to withdraw from school at least temporarily for cheating on a final exam in the university’s famed Congress course. Possibly the young men and women thought that they were expected to cheat on the Congress exam in preparation for a life in politics. Possibly they were encouraged to cheat. After all, it was a take-home exam. Nevertheless, they have all been jugged, and the faculty can now go back to sleep. An African-American family is suing Disneyland, claiming that the actor who portrayed the White Rabbit character from Alice in Wonderland refused to hug or touch their children in any way. Yet, let us end the Crisis for January on a happy note. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has found the National Rifle Association more popular than the entertainment industry. Forty-one percent of the American people view the NRA positively. Only 24 percent view the entertainment industry positively, and of those 24 percent, probably the majority eat with their hands.
Photo courtesy of UPI.