user Create your account

or

mail Sign in with email
×

News/Blog

Dave Barry has some "Strong Words" for the federal government

When it comes to the federal government, sometimes all you can do is laugh -- which is exactly what Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry does in his 2014 year-in-review.

Here are some of his best gibes at our elected leaders in Washington, D.C.:

January

The U.S. Senate confirms Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve after she assures senators that she will let them know if anybody ever figures out what the Federal Reserve actually does.

March

Abroad, the big story involves the Crimea, which until now many of us thought was a disease, as in “Bob has a bad case of the Crimea,” but which turns out to be a part of Ukraine that Russia wants to annex. As tension mounts in the region, the United States and the European Union issue Stern Warnings to Russia, such as “You better not annex the Crimea!” And: “Don’t make us turn this car around!” Nevertheless Russia goes ahead and annexes it, forcing the U.S. and Europe to escalate from Stern Warnings to Harsh Sanctions, including the suspension of Vladimir Putin’s Netflix account.

April

Russia, ignoring both the Stern Warnings and the Harsh Sanctions, continues its military intervention in Ukraine, leaving the United States with no choice but to deploy the ultimate weapon: Joe Biden, who is sent to Kiev to deliver a Strong Rebuke, followed by dinner.

On the domestic front, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw the rollout of Obamacare, resigns from the cabinet to take a position overseeing email storage for the Internal Revenue Service.

May

The United States and Europe, which are really starting to lose patience with Russia’s actions in Ukraine, announce that they intend to “seriously consider” taking steps that could ultimately result in the cancellation of Vladimir Putin’s American Express card.

In domestic news, the Department of Veterans Affairs is engulfed in scandal following revelations that some VA hospitals are just now getting around to treating veterans of the War of 1812. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki tells a Senate committee that he is “mad as hell” about this, but he ends up resigning after he is out-angered by President Obama, who according to a top aide is “madder than hell.” Numerous Republicans declare that they, too, are extremely mad. Basically everybody in Washington is hopping mad about this scandal, leaving little doubt that it is only a matter of time before some strongly worded reports are generated.

Also resigning from the government is White House press spokesperson Jay Carney, who plans to pursue a career as a Magic 8-Ball specializing in “Reply hazy try again.”

June

In Washington scandal news, the Internal Revenue Service, responding to a subpoena, tells congressional investigators that it cannot produce 28 months of Lois Lerner’s emails because the hard drive they were stored on failed, and the hard drive was thrown away, and the backup tapes were erased, and no printed copies were saved — contrary to the IRS’s own record-keeping policy, which was eaten by the IRS’s dog. “It was just one crazy thing after another,” states the IRS, “and it got us to thinking: All these years we’ve been subjecting taxpayers to everything short of rectal probes if they can’t produce EVERY SINGLE DOCUMENT WE WANT, and here we lose YEARS worth of official records! So from now on, if taxpayers tell us they lost something, or just plain forgot to make a tax payment, we’ll be like, ‘Hey, whatever! Stuff happens!’ Because who are we to judge?”

But all kidding aside, you can bet that before this thing is over there will be a strongly worded report.

July

The Ukrainian crisis intensifies when a Malaysia Airlines plane is shot down over Ukraine by a missile apparently fired by separatists backed by Russia. This is the last straw for the U.S. and Europe, which retaliate swiftly with a stern statement warning that any Russians planning to dine in U.S. or European restaurants in the future can expect to receive “very slow service.”

September

In government news, the troubled Secret Service once again comes under withering criticism when an intruder is able to jump the White House fence, enter the White House through the front door, overpower a Secret Service agent, run through the Central Hall, enter the East Room, deliver a nationwide radio address and appoint four federal judges before being overpowered. In a congressional hearing probing the incident, the Secret Service director promises to improve White House security but suggests that in the meantime the First Family should “consider adopting a larger dog.”

October

In government news, the troubled Secret Service once again comes under withering criticism when an intruder is able to jump the White House fence, enter the White House through the front door, overpower a Secret Service agent, run through the Central Hall, enter the East Room, deliver a nationwide radio address and appoint four federal judges before being overpowered. In a congressional hearing probing the incident, the Secret Service director promises to improve White House security but suggests that in the meantime the First Family should “consider adopting a larger dog.”

November

The Democrats get creamed in the midterm elections, which means the Republicans will control both houses of Congress as well as the road commissionership of Carwankle County, which R. Nordstrom Fleemer, despite being unopposed, loses badly, although his wife elects not to tell him. With the federal government now facing total gridlock, Republican and Democratic leaders realize that the only way they can attack the many serious problems facing the nation is to stop their endless cheap-shot partisan bickering and work together in the spirit of … Wow, this is some STRONG stuff I am smoking here.

In other political news, the debate over U.S. immigration policy intensifies when President Obama, in a move that infuriates Republicans, signs an executive order giving Texas back to Mexico. In a close vote, the U.S. Senate defeats the Keystone Pipeline, which would, at peak capacity, have delivered 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian tar sands to Leonardo DiCaprio’s yacht. 

December

President Obama, moving to fill the cabinet vacancy created by the resignation of Chuck Hagel, announces — in what is seen as a major shift in military policy — that his new Secretary of Defense will be Chuck Norris. The nomination is swiftly approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee after Norris, in lieu of making an opening statement at his confirmation hearing, reduces the witness table to kindling with his forehead.

But the biggest White House surprise comes later in the month, when the president announces he has reached an agreement under which Cuba will release two prisoners, in return for which the Castro brothers will receive $274 million worth of Viagra.

Click here to read more from Dave Berry and the Miami Herald.