You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

West Liberty-Salem High School shooting victim is student, reports say

Moving past the pope and on to the budget talks


As long as we’re fixating on the new pope, we should talk about St. Malachy.

Malachy was a bishop in Ireland who allegedly had a vision in 1139 in which he saw a procession of 112 future pontiffs, each of whom he described with a single, frequently oblique, phrase. The recently retired Benedict XVI, for instance, got “the glory of the olive.” Who knew? Then, after the olive, came the final pope, “Peter the Roman,” whose flock would suffer “many tribulations” not the least of which was the end of the world.

So, in theory, we’re down to our last pope. True, the Malachy list seems to be a 16th-century forgery, whose remarkable spot-on accuracy comes to a screeching halt in 1590.

It behooves us to keep talking about the papal election for as long as possible. Once it’s over, we’re back to the federal budget deliberations, and I prefer a story in which nothing gets sequestered but the cardinals.

Or, ideally, we could go for a merger:

•••

WASHINGTON — White smoke poured from the Capitol today and crowds of onlookers broke into shouts of jubilation, crying: “We have a budget!”

Inside, where the nation’s legislators had been walled off in seclusion, the newly chosen tax-and-spending plan was garbed in the traditional brass staples for its first public appearance. Insiders said it planned to take the name of Budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

Some of the faithful feared this day would never come, citing the ancient prediction of The Last Budget. Legend has it that during his pneumonia-racked, monthlong presidency, William Henry Harrison fell into a trance and produced a list of 61 speakers of the House from the founding of the republic until the collapse of the Constitution, describing each with a characteristic word or phrase. The slot for Speaker Nancy Pelosi was listed, inexplicably, as “repair the microwave.”

The list predicts that after Pelosi comes a final speaker (“weepy kumquat”) who presides over an era in which Congress loses all remaining capacity to direct the nation’s economic affairs beyond sporadically agreeing, via text, to have the nation’s bureaucracy just keep doing whatever it was doing before.

Fearing the worst, a band of public-spirited citizens disguised as a touring scout troop stormed the Capitol, locked in the members of the House and Senate, and cut off their connections to the outside world. Deprived of their ability to Twitter, the lawmakers quickly came to an agreement.

•••

OK, this tactic would probably not produce the most progressive document in the history of the world.

How would you get the locked-in legislators to find a path to agreement? First, Paul Ryan would have to announce that somebody misplaced the real Republican budget proposal and that the thing he introduced last week was an old copy of his vice presidential campaign platform that he grabbed hold of on the way out the door.

Then President Barack Obama would promise all the Democratic senators who are up for re-election that he would go to their states and tell their voters that everything unpopular in the agreement was his fault.

Then everybody would work out a reasonable compromise that includes new revenues. Then Rand Paul would ascend into heaven via the Capitol dome. All of this has been predicted by a little-known saint in the 19th century. I have a copy.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Student injured, shooter in custody at Ohio high school, deputies say
Student injured, shooter in custody at Ohio high school, deputies say

A high student was injured and a person is in custody after authorities in Salem, Ohio, were called to a report of a school shooting early Friday, officials said. The student's condition was not immediately known and deputies with the Champaign County Sheriff's Office declined to say what hospital the student was taken to. Parents of West Liberty-Salem...
BREAKING: Student injured in West Liberty High School shooting
BREAKING: Student injured in West Liberty High School shooting

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed a student was injured in the shooting.  The student’s condition is unknown at this time.  The law enforcement agency had declined to disclose the hospital where the student is being treated. Parents of West Liberty-Salem students are being asked to pick up their children at the...
White House flip: How crews move one first family in, one out
White House flip: How crews move one first family in, one out

For anyone who has had to relocate for a job, it's no easy task, but it's nothing like the job at hand for the crews who have only hours to get one family out of the White House while moving a second family in.  As the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration of Donald Trump begins, the real work will start as staff at the White House have to...
DeGeneres pays tribute to Obama, first lady
DeGeneres pays tribute to Obama, first lady

To honor President Barack Obama’s final full day in office, Ellen DeGeneres took a moment out of Thursday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show to pay tribute to him and first lady Michelle Obama. "His courage and compassion created equality for everyone," she said. "He moved us forward and made more happen in the...
Inauguration weather forecast: Dreary, rainy and cold
Inauguration weather forecast: Dreary, rainy and cold

>>Complete coverage of Donald Trump's inauguration  The National Park Service decided to make a change to its "no umbrella policy," WJLA reported. "Totes" style umbrellas that collapse will be allowed on the parade and the Mall, but "long, non-collapsible" umbrellas will be prohibited, the National Park...
More Stories