So I’m out of pocket for one whole day, and what happens? The stock market makes a new all-time high, despite—or perhaps because of?—the sequester. Yesterday it was reported late in the day that Obama was picking up the phone and calling Republican leaders seeking some kind of deal to end the sequester. Sounds like someone just blinked, as John notes was a distinct possibility in his post yesterday.
As many people have mentioned, the White House was clearly going to attempt the old “Washington monument” strategy of implementing the sequester, i.e., by closing down the most popular and essential government services to make the GOP and taxpayers cry uncle. I’m wondering how this phone conversation went:
Obama: “Okay, time to close up the Washington monument. That’ll show ‘em!”
Aide: “Um. . . Mr. President. . . The Washington monument is already closed. Has been since August of 2011, after the earthquake. Everyone’s adjusted. We’ll have to close something else.”
Obama throws his Blackberry across the room.
Obama: “Okay, then let’s shut down White House tours! Or close the office that manages the Guantanamo shut down; Republicans won’t like the specter of Gitmo terrorists being placed in their districts without due process!”
Aide: “Um . . . Mr. President . . . The Gitmo transition office was already shut down. Last year.”
Aide: “I know, we could shut down the Y2K crisis management office!”
Actually, I think maybe I need to do a complete “Hitler Learns About the Failure of the Sequester Strategy” video.
Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez has croaked. I’ve installed earplugs, because I’m sure Sean Penn’s primal scream will reach my abode any second now. Please keep your eyes out, Power Line readers, for Penn’s inevitable unedited eulogy to Chavez in the Puffington Host. I’m sure it will deserve another dramatic reading.
In my email box this morning: A subject line from The Nation magazine that reads—“Fight Climate Change With Your Electric Bill.” What—am I supposed to wad it up and swat at the air to ward off climate change? Has the climate campaign really come to this kind of absurd gesture? Apparently so.