The Continuing Crisis | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Continuing Crisis
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The first March of the Age of Obama has passed, and with it another Obama innovation in government is confirmed. The federal government is now using the congressional confirmation process, rather than the Internal Revenue Service, to catch tax cheats, and in March the confirmation process caught another one. She is Mrs. Kathleen Sebelius, Democratic governor of Kansas and the Prophet Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services. In preparing to appear before Congress, Gov. Sebelius discovered that she owed $7,000 in back taxes. That makes her the fifth Obama nominee to be exposed as a tax cheat by the confirmation process (and the second Health and Human Services nominee, ex-senator Tom Daschle was $240,000 in arrears!) and possibly the sixth. Sec retary of Labor Hilda Solis’s husband was revealed to have tax problems during her confirmation hearings. Otherwise March was a very good month for our 44th president, though toward the end of the month, as he prepared to go to London for the G-20 meetings, there was a scare at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. What if the president does not have a passport? Well, it turns out he does have a passport, and in fact it is in excellent condition, having hardly ever been used. So as the Prophet practiced hoops and visited neigh borhood schools and ate ethnic foods, Mrs. Michelle Obama packed his bags, and off our novice president did go to London and then to continental Europe, and he was carrying an iPod for the Queen— an iPod!

March brought good news for Madonna and for those of her fans with front-row seats at her concerts. Japanese space scientists have developed underpants that can be worn for at least five days without giving off offensive odors, and possibly for an entire month. The odor-free underwear has actually been worn in space by Japanese astronaut Mr. Takao Doi, and will be available for Madonna later in the year. The garment kills bacteria, so it might also be valuable in fighting yeast infection. As Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi approached her 69th birthday speculation spread throughout Washington that she may submit her face for yet another session with her plastic surgeon, which would be unwise. She already looks like a fried fish. Another session with the cosmeticians and she will have completely lost the ability to smile or even to wink. An international cricket competition was canceled after the Sri Lankan team came under gunfire in Pakistan’s Punjab province. None of the cricketers was hurt, though six policemen were killed, and experts in Islamic terrorism fear that badminton could be next. A Saudi court sentenced a 75-year-old widow to 40 lashes for meeting with two 24-year-old men, not for what you might think. They were making a bread delivery, five loaves. Unfortunately, neither of the men are her immediate relatives, thus making the bread delivery haraam according to Koranic law. The woman, Mrs. Khamisa Sawadi, told the court that she thought the meeting was okay because she had breastfed one of the men when he was a babe. That would make the meeting permissible and perhaps even nostalgic by Koranic law. Possibly she and her lawyer hoped to remind the court of a learned mullah’s recent judgment that unrelated men and women can work together in offices if the women breastfeed their male colleagues and presumably the men do not become sexually aroused or at least loud. The case is being appealed.

The month brought auspicious news to American feminists, who have become increasingly appre hensive that their grumpy movement may be going the way of the Shakers. Since Miss Betty Friedan reached room temperature there has been a noticeable decline in quality among the movement’s leaders, but now there is hope and it comes from rural China. There, the Straits News reports, a 42-year-old woman known only as Miss Hong has been howling like a wolf for 26 years. “My howls are like sneezes or yawns, they can’t be controlled,” warned a minatory Miss Hong. When interviewed by an alarmed Straits reporter, Miss Hong screamed that she experiences “a release of gas,” before her howls, which can last for as much as 20 minutes, day or night. According to a neighbor, Mr. Zhang Yimu, “Sometimes it’s also like an air alarm. Early in the morning or late at night the whole village can hear the howls.” Hesto presto, the National Organization for Women may have its first Chinese-born president, and her “gas” will not even be noticeable. The gay rights movement may be spreading to bird sanctuaries in the United Kingdom and not all for the good. At the West Sussex bird sanctuary, keepers have been unable to increase their population of rare blue ducks because the two males brought in to mate with their only female have fallen in love with each other. According to a birder who has watched the male ducks closely, “They stay together all the time, parading up and down their enclosure and whistling to each other as a male might do with a female he wants to mate.” But the gay ducks, despite being very amorous, cannot mate, so there will be no offspring. Even if homosexual marriage were licit in the West Sussex bird sanctuary there would be no offspring, just confusion. In other bird-watching news, the state of North Carolina is continuing its senseless crackdown on birders. Seventy Randolph County birders were actually arrested in three chicken houses, where Sheriff Maynard Reid Jr. claimed they were participating in a $40,000 cockfighting tournament. Get a life, Sheriff!

Secretary of State hillary Clinton visited Mexico where, perhaps with her brother-in-law Roger’s drug conviction in mind, she decried America’s “insatiable demand for illegal drugs” that “fuel the drug trade.” She also took a swipe at what she considers America’s lax gun laws, though from Bosnia comes news that that country’s gun laws are even more relaxed than ours. In Doboj, Bosnia, Mr. Miroslav Miljici, a local sportsman, was arrested for attacking his mother-in-law twice, first with an anti-tank missile launcher, then with a machine gun. He missed both times but was sentenced, nevertheless, to six years for attempted murder—more target practice for you, Miroslav. Secretary of State Clinton made still more news late in the month when journalists, hoping to interview her at the G-20 summit, discovered that the telephone number given them by the White House was the number of a sex line. Told they would be given an “on-the-record briefing call with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Nation al Security Adviser Jim Jones,” the journalists dialed up and got the following from a sexy female voice: “Feel like getting nasty?” Possibly chief of staff Rahm Emanuel still has the Rolodex of the last president he served.

Those foul odors wafting from Mr. Bob Dylan’s Malibu estate have been explained. At first there was speculation that the famed 1960s troubadour was developing a line of men’s toiletries. But now his neighbors have established that the effluvia come from a Porta Potty that he maintains for his domestic employees and security detail, who apparently are not allowed access to the facilities within the legendary humanitarian’s mansion. Observes Mrs. Cindy Emminger, a neighbor who objects to the stench: “It’s a scandal—Mr. Civil Rights is killing our civil rights.” She and her husband have placed five industrial-sized fans downwind from Dylan’s Porta Potty but without effect. Finally, one of our Canadian neighbors has been taught a lesson in good manners. When stopped on the border at Blaine, Washington, and asked by a U.S. border inspector to turn off his automobile’s engine, Mr. Desiderio Fortunato, 54, asked that the guard say please. Whammo, the guard blasted Mr. Fortunato in the face with pepper spray. The Crisis continues.  

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
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R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief ofThe American Spectator. He is the author of The Death of Liberalism, published by Thomas Nelson Inc. His previous books include the New York Times bestseller Boy Clinton: The Political Biography; The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton; The Liberal Crack-Up; The Conservative Crack-Up; Public Nuisances; The Future that Doesn’t Work: Social Democracy’s Failure in Britain; Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House; The Clinton Crack-Up; and After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery. He makes frequent appearances on national television and is a nationally syndicated columnist, whose articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Washington Times, National Review, Harper’s, Commentary, The (London) Spectator, Le Figaro (Paris), and elsewhere. He is also a contributing editor to the New York Sun.
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