The Note: Bet the Ranch

WASHINGTON, May 2

NEWS SUMMARY

In these times of changing economic conditions and (some) uncertainty, safe bets are hard to come by.

But/so if you are looking for the right place to make a wager, we have some ideas.

Due to production difficulties, we were unable to publish Saturday's and Sunday's editions of The Note.

Some readers think they can just check out during the weekends, and pick up anything they need to know on Mondays.

Some weekends, that might work. But this weekend, your guide to the political stars and the modern equivalent of cattle futures was on wide display.

Thus -- without further ado -- your safe bets:

1. It's a safe bet to say that, as boffo as First Lady Laura Bush was with her stand up routine at Saturday night's White House Correspondents Dinner, the Gang of 500 won't be able to come up with anything to explain its cosmic political implications better than that it will "soften and humanize" the President.

(That is silly analysis on so many levels, we won't even attempt to demolish it.)

But it is also a safe bet that Mrs. Bush left the podium after her star turn with even higher and more intense positive feelings among the Gang of 500 than when she took the podium, and that is saying something, because the buzz was at a pretty high level to begin with.

She already had a crowning moment on inauguration day, as she watched her husband take on a second term that she was instrumental in helping him win. Saturday, looking beautiful and with timing somewhere between a high school forensic champion and Chris Rock, the FLOTUS wrote another chapter in her surprise elevation to one of the most popular and media-savvy First Ladies in American history.

She also told what our weekend research suggests is the first public joke ever by a First Lady about the President of the United States engaged in intimate contact with a randy male horse.

2. It's also a safe bet that most Americans won't have considered the way in which the FLOTUS routine reflected the national (or: "Washington") pysche.

According to the Wilderom Web site (Don't act like you haven't looked at it before . . .), here's what Freud thought about Laura Bush's perf (or at least stuff like it):

"(I)n wit, a forbidden impulse comes out in a controlled manner. Freud saw wit as essentially a form of sublimation. An impulse that would be anxiety provoking or even harmful is vented in an enjoyable way. Wit is therefore the safe expression of evil according to Freud. Of course, the most common themes of wit are sex, violence and bodily elimination -- all Freud's favourites! The forbidden impulse is not just being expressed by the person telling the joke but by those who laugh at it. The purpose of wit or a joke is to allow a forbidden impulse to be released in such a way that anxiety can be avoided."

(We refer you back to the horse joke above.)

3. It's a safe bet to assume that there are more stories coming about John Bolton and more semi-prominent Republicans poised to publicly oppose him, and/but that the Administration still believes he will be confirmed without ever publicly confronting the facts of some of the more explosive (and media-friendly) accusations against him.

4. It's a safe bet that Democrats are not moving on Social Security anytime soon, despite the Washington Post and USA Today ed boards trying to shame them into it.

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