Irony can be toxic, even pestilent. To the one, we might note that there are so many things wrong with Richard Cowan’s story for Reuters, though chiefly we might wonder what the hell the article is trying to tell us.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Thursday expressed his dissatisfaction with a chronically high jobless rate and complained of a “very sick idea” that the unemployed would “rather just sit around.”
The top House Republican said there were a “record number of Americans stuck” and that government had an “obligation to help provide tools for them to use to bring them into the mainstream of American society.”
The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in August, down from 10 percent in October 2009.
Boehner’s remarks were in response to a question following a speech he delivered to the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute in which he laid out broad ideas for improving the U.S. economy.
The question was about plans that have been offered by politicians ranging from Democratic President Barack Obama to Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to expand an earned-income tax credit for the poor.
And for Reuters’ part, the telling becomes even less articulate as we go. Then again, perhaps the problem lies with the Speaker; articulation has never been an emblem of his tenure.
Still, though, irony insists:
It’s official: The House is closing up shop until after the midterm elections.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office announced Thursday there will be no votes on Friday and said the four-day session originally scheduled to begin on Sept. 29 has been canceled, pending Senate approval of the continuing resolution that passed the House Wednesday.
That means lawmakers will be sprinting to the exits — and the quick trip to the airport — after the close of business Thursday.
Uh-huh. You see how that works, right?
Steve Benen colors inside the lines:
In this case, “close of business Thursday” means this afternoon.
And so, over the 14 weeks spanning the beginning of August and the middle of November, House members will work a grand total of eight days – out of a possible 103. And after today, they’ll be away from work for the next 54 days.
Right. Seemingly the worst … Congress … ever. And all thanks to Speaker Boehner.
Who, in turn, it turns out, finds it a very sick idea that people should be paid for not working. Or something like that. Ask Reuters. Maybe thet can clear up what Cowan, and his editor Lisa Shumaker, meant to tell us. Because as it is, they’ve managed to make Speaker Boehner look like a complete asshole. Then again, plenty already figured, or knew, or whatever. But it really would be unnecesary to smack the Annoying Orange from Ohio’s Eighth if it’s just a matter of Reuters not making any sense.
Cowan, Richard. “U.S. House Speaker Boehner bemoans notion ‘I don’t have to work'”. Reuters. 18 September 2014.
Eldridge, David. “After Today, House Is Done Through the Elections”. Roll Call. 18 September.
Benen, Steve. “Nice work if you can get it”. msnbc. 18 September, 2014.