I could not sum this week up any better than this.
Department of Good News
By GAIL COLLINS
Published: April 27, 2011
Well, I just don’t see how things can get better than this when it comes to current affairs. Prince William is about to get married and President Obama has released his long-form birth certificate.
Earl Wilson/The New York Times
All we need now is for the House speaker, John Boehner, to follow through on his call for the oil companies to pay their fair share of taxes. Then, really, I think we could go into the weekend with a true feeling of closure.
Boehner, you may remember, told ABC News that big oil companies don’t need the oil depletion allowance and that Congress “certainly ought to take a look at” the tax breaks our energy mega-firms enjoy.
What a great guy John Boehner is! You may not remember, but there was a time when Democrats hatedhatedhated him. That was before the House Tea Party Republicans started giving him so much misery. Now you have Howard Dean calling him a “reasonable person” and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, offering to him “a bouquet.” Everyone loves a winner, except in Washington where losers are so much more attractive.
However, as soon as the Democrats started applauding the oil-company interview, a Boehner spokesman issued a clarification, which said that the House speaker “is opposed to raising taxes.” Obviously, when he said that we should look at things like the oil depletion allowance, he meant “look” in the same way that we are going to look at the royal wedding. It was not an invitation to join the buffet line.
Unlike the John Boehner Oil Tax Loophole Closing Bill, the wedding is definitely coming off, allowing the entire planet to bask in the aura of a fairy-tale moment before moving on to pregnancy rumors. And about time. The world cannot keep generating more than 100 million William/Kate-related blog postings a day for all that much longer.
I got that figure from Trendrr, which also reported that 40 percent of the English-language wedding Twitter messages originated in the United States as opposed to only 31 percent in the United Kingdom.
To which we can only respond: Well, there are a whole lot more of us. Also, as a nation, we pride ourselves on our Twittering. America intends to be the world leader in all things twit-related. Soon, there will be a ninth-grade proficiency test on it, and teachers whose classes perform badly will be fired.
Meanwhile, on behalf of all of us Yanks, let me say: Good luck, Kate and William!
Most of us have only been paying attention to you for a week or so, but, still, we have come to know you well. “Kate oozes refinement — her friends wear pearls while hunting,” Time magazine reported. That tidbit alone has kept me engrossed all day. Do you think Time meant fox hunting? A lot of bouncing around in fox hunting, and if the pearls broke I guarantee you that you would never, ever find them. Perhaps the Friends of Kate hunt ducks. Or squirrels. Nothing like a tasty squirrel stew, served to people sporting really expensive neckwear.
Estimates of the cost of the upcoming nuptials range from $34 million to more than $7 billion, depending on whether you factor in the bill for giving an entire nation a day off work. Either way, this is Kate’s special day and you cannot possibly put a price on that. Plus, there is nothing like a wedding to raise the national spirits. Who among us can ever forget the way the national psyche soared when Tricia Nixon tied the knot?
But I digress. In the other important, chapter-closing news of the moment, President Obama has released the long-form version of his birth certificate in an attempt to quell the unflaggable “birther” movement and get the news media to notice when he names a new secretary of defense.
Donald Trump immediately took credit. “Today I am very proud of myself,” he said. This is in contrast to normal days, when Trump is continually walking around in an existential funk, asking himself why he was ever born.
Our next question is how far the closure extends. Will the birthers who have been demanding to see that long-form certificate since 2008 now throw in the towel and move on to other important issues, such as whether the rapture will occur on May 21?
Emily Ramshaw of The Texas Tribune quickly tracked down the state representative who’s sponsoring the Texas version of the birther bill and found him — surprise! — unconvinced. Among other things, she reported, Representative Leo Berman wants to know why the hospital where the president was allegedly born doesn’t have a “plaque on the door” commemorating the event.
The more things close, the more they open