The DC Morning: 1/27/10

Mike Riggs Contributor
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1.) Dems: We’ll pass health care as soon as we finish watching this show — Dems said yesterday that “they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them,” the NYT reports. As Sen. Harry Reid pointed out to the paper, “there is no rush;” both health care and the swaying tower of empty takeout boxes in Reid’s office will still be there when Congressional Dems finish covering their rears on the jobs front. Reid says that he is working with Rep. Nancy Pelosi toward a procedural workaround for the long-lost bill, as well as schematics for a time-travel device, tentatively titled the Massachusetts Way-Back Machine. Other Dems sound even more hopeless about everything in the entire world, like Steny H. Hoyer, who told the NYT that he doubts Pres. Barack Obama will say “specifically exactly how he hopes to get health care done.”

2.) Obama unveils highly anticipated meaningless gesture — In order to appeal to absolutely no one’s image of Washington’s elites as slightly less-charming Jimmy Stewarts, Pres. Barack Obama has pledged to freeze the salaries of his top aides, some of whom pull in more than $100,000 a year. But lest Americans actually start to believe that there’s an element of self-sacrifice in the decision, a nameless official told the AP that the “real impact of the pay freeze would be minimal and was a symbolic gesture to the public.” While some have said that government workers are genuinely heroic because they could be making, like, way more money in the private sector, others have said, “Prove it.”

3.) Joe Wilson promises to be very good boy at SOTU — Cross his heart and hope to die, Joe Wilson promises that he will not act out at tonight’s State of the Union address before Congress. Famous for shouting “You lie!” during a speech Pres. Obama made some months ago, Wilson inspired a cottage industry of political bloggers whose sole job is to wait for the South Carolina representative to make another random outburst. According to the AP, Wilson has said that “his natural inclination is to be on his best behavior,” even if the president does, in fact, lie his head off.

4.) Airport scanners violate child porn laws — According to the Guardian, “the rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children.” The proposed machines do in fact reveal what’s under one’s clothes, a fact that privacy advocates and couch potatoes find equally alarming. A trial run of the machines, which revealed genitalia and breast enhancements, was only allowed to proceed after minors were exempted. American parents, overly concerned with whether that handsome young TSA screener will notice their calf implants, have yet to raise similar concerns.

5.) British scientists may have exaggerated global warming findings — Professor John Beddington, the chief science adviser to the British government, told the Daily Mail that climate scientists did in fact exaggerate their findings, and they need to be more straightforward “about how difficult it is to predict” climate change. “When you get into large-scale climate modeling,” Beddington told reporters, “there are quite substantial uncertainties. On the rate of change and the local effects, there are uncertainties both in terms of empirical evidence and the climate models themselves.” He added that “there is a danger that people can manipulate the data, but the benefits from being open far outweigh that danger.” A very small group of fanatics who believe in the archaic-sounding “scientific method” meekly applauded Beddington’s half-hearted endorsement of their kooky belief system.

6.) Havana conference is a joke, say Cuban exiles — “It doesn’t have any importance whatsoever,” Cuban American National Foundation President Francisco Hernández told the Miami Herald regarding a three-day bread-and-water-included conference in Havana. Sponsored by the Cuban government, the conference will be attended by the remaining expatriates who support the Castro regime–all 450 of them.