Necessity is the mother of invention. Invention's father? Nobody knows. Necessity's a bit of a whore.
Let me start over.
Necessity is the mother of invention. LACK of necessity, though, births newsworthy nonsense. No less than three of today's front-page stories in the New York Times revolved around things less necessary than mackerel-sized biking shorts.
For starters, senators ranging from the once-respectable John McCain to the I-once-thought-reasonable Susan Collins continue to wax apoplectic over UN Ambassador Susan Rice's "gaffes" in the wake of the terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. The fact that these "gaffes," shared on several Sunday morning news programs, consisted of intelligence-approved talking points--talking points initially requested by a congressman, no less!--makes no difference to these watchdogs of American safety, who are convinced--convinced, I say!--that Rice's performance in this matter makes her an utterly unacceptable candidate for Secretary of State, which is why they have made clear that they are unlikely to support her for nomination to this position for which she has not, in fact, been nominated!
Well, pre-emptive nominee-bashing is never out of style. Let's see what else is in the news.
Ah, the University of Tennessee has fired its head football coach, Derek "Say-This-Name-With-a-Straight-Face" Dooley. Fair enough. The team has staggered to a disappointing 1-7 record, and the university has to fire the coach since it can't fire the players (but just wait 'til they see their P.E. grades!). Here's the thing, though: Dooley has a contract, so the university must pay him about $5 million for the privilege of being fired! Throw in money owed to his coaching staff, who will likely also be let go, and the total amount the school will shell out comes to about $18 million. In case you're wondering where the money will come from, well, don't worry: It's going to be taken from money earmarked for scholarships--academic scholarships, by the way, not athletic scholarships--'cause, you know, why would UT cut funding for the athletic department, what with its dysfunctional 1-7 football team bringing such pride to the university.
Meantime, in military news, the world's most advanced military jet, the F-35 joint strike fighter, under development seemingly for the last 400 years at a cost of billions upon billions of dollars, may fall victim to budget cutting by Congress. I don't believe it, though. Considering the United States can already pretty much overwhelm any competing military force the sheer unnecessariness of the F-35 makes it the perfect emblem of today's misplaced priorities. I'll take a dozen!