President Barack Obama held a rare news conference on Wednesday to show that he was Daddy-In-Chief of the whole wide U.S. of A.
He was complaining about the fact that the Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner's deadline for increasing the debt limit on August 2nd is fast approaching. He compared the Republicans in Congress unfavorable to his two daughters saying:
"And, you know, Malia and Sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time. Malia is 13, Sasha is 10 … They don't wait until the night before. They're not pulling all-nighters. (Laughter.) They're 13 and 10. Congress can do the same thing. If you know you've got to do something, just do it."
Mark down Wednesday's date so you can remember when it was that Obama first brought his daughters into the national campaign. Someone will say something about them at some point in the next 17 months and Obama will quake with righteous indignation demanding his family be left alone.
It has been lost to recent history that we should have been through with this debt limit business. The Treasury Secretary had warned us last January that the world was going to end far in advance of the conclusion of the Mayan calendar when the U.S. hit the debt ceiling on March 31 of this year.
Had he shut up after that, the curtain on the Kabuki play we are witnessing would already come down, all the players would have taken their bows, and Official Washington would be sliding dreamingly downhill toward its long line of summer recesses.
Except Geithner couldn't keep his mouth shut and said he could juggle the books to keep paying on the $14 trillion --
Here's a good idea for a new law. Use of the word "trillion" by any federal official in writing or in speech shall carry with it a penalty of one year in Federal prison for each zero in a "trillion."
Fourteen trillion is a one, a four, and 12 zeroes. Write them down and see how far they stretch across the page.
That would help remind the geniuses at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue just how big a number 1,000,000,000,000 actually is.
-- $14,000,000,000,000 debt until August 2nd. So, like a bunch of college students hearing that the term paper that had been due before finals now didn't have to be submitted until August 2nd, the Congress and the President whoo-hoo'd it down to the fraternity house and opened a couple of kegs in celebration.
The president, after demanding that the Congress work harder to get a deal, left for Pennsylvania for a fund raiser. Former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton, with whom I was on CNN last night, noted that Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who had the temerity to mention this on the Senate floor, also left for a fund raiser.
I made the point that Cornyn's fundraiser was probably at the Monocle which is across the street from the Senate Office Buildings and didn't require the services of Air Force One and about 70 advance people.
Obama has lurched from complete disengagement to totally over-amping about the debt limit. I think he believes, that as Daddy-in-Chief, he gets to come home, lean back on the recliner, turn on the TEE-vee, call for someone to bring him a beer, and doze off until dinner is ready.
Except on Sundays when he takes the day off to play golf.
Someone else has to rake the leaves, clean the garage, do the laundry, shop for food, fill the limo with gasoline, make sure the girls have done their homework.
And balance the checkbook.
If that was ever true it hasn't been since the nation's June Cleavers told the Wards of the world to get off their dead butts and help out around the house.
I do believe it's time for the Daddy-in-Chief to climb down off his Naugahyde throne, take a share of the responsibility for dinner, and help set the national table.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to an analysis of the President's press conference and to a piece from last January on how Geithner said March 31 was the end of life as we know it. Also the final photo from Paris and the Catchy Caption of the Day which is the very best soldier photo since maybe ever.