No siesta for sequester

I guess we should all be wary of waking up tomorrow. But considering the alternative, I’ll take my changes on opening my eyes.

My hunch is that I won’t see Armageddon spitting me in the eye.

As expected, the Senate rejected rival bills aimed to prevent the looming sequester Thursday, meaning that $85 billion in automatic spending cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year will almost definitely kick in Friday.

Bills introduced by both Democrats and Republicans failed to receive the necessary 60 votes to pass.

With no Plan B, the cuts will now be phased in over the next seven months to ease the pain.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cuts could lead to the loss of 750,000 jobs this year.

Of course, there is no hiding from that pain.

If you’re planning on living for another decade, sequestration mandates $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years.

Granted, trimming the pork can be painful. Anybody who has dieted can attest to that.

But look on the bright side: Uncle Sam is going to be so lean and mean by then he may sport a thong.

Oscar was cast in the large shadow of Seth

The Academy Awards are not the most important event transpiring in the cosmos each year, even though the tsunami of Oscar buzz assaulting our celebrity-crazed culture would make one think so.

National holidays, religious holidays and Super Bowl Sunday rank just a tad higher in terms of pedigree.

But I will concede that the Oscars have it all over the Westminster Dog Show and my Aunt Myrtle’s annual backyard barbecue.

Seth MacFarlane is getting more heat than the folks in hell today over his Oscar hosting gig last night.

Of course the creator of “Family Guy” and “Ted” was sophomoric and at times jarringly inappropriate. What did you expect? Did you really think he was going to be stiffer than Queen Elizabeth?

MacFarlane was entertaining and irreverent … and, more importantly, funny.

Granted, the show ran too damn long because MacFarlane and some of the presenters were more self-indulgent than a Hollywood diva.

Meanwhile, the Oscar judges spread the gold as if it were lawn fertilizer.

Everybody, or so it seemed, won.

“Argo” won best picture as expected, along with two other prizes. It was a makeup call for snubbing director Ben Affleck.

“Life of Pi” – Oprah’s favorite flick — won the most awards with four, including a surprise win for director Ang Lee.

“Les Miserables” also won three Academy Awards while “Django Unchained” and “Skyfall” each took two.

Of course, “Ted” was not among them.

Marquee individual winners were best actor Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln,” best actress Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook,” supporting actress Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables,” and supporting actor Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained.”

The only drama happened when Lawrence hit the deck climbing the stage steps. But she quickly recovered her poise from the pratfall. Call it a case of literally being stage struck.

Michelle Obama, direct from the White House, made the best picture presentation –- once again fueling criticism that the Obamas are too celebrity conscious.

Then again, who among us is not?

Sequestration is a silly word that is not a synonym for apocalypse

Sequestration is a stupid word because nobody knows what it means.

Granted, we know we’re talking about $85 billion in budget cuts.

But what do those numbers really mean?

Is it a fail-safe mechanism too horrible to contemplate because it will shut down our government like a garbage disposal jammed with too many leftover hot dogs from an Oscars party?

Is it a scare tactic?

Is it much ado about nothing?

Is it just another ho-hum example of how Democrats and Republicans can’t see eye to eye even during their stare downs? I guess they call that glaucoma.

Is it a kinky sex act you somehow missed out on during your hedonistic younger days?

Personally, I think sequestration means nothing.

For instance, CNBC stock market hottie Maria Bartironomo said today that looming sequestration isn’t soiling the underwear of Wall Street investors.

OK, she didn’t exactly put it that way but she did note that the market is trading at levels higher than Timothy Leary experienced in the Sixties.

Her point was that $85 billion really is relative chump change and isn’t going to apply a Ronda Rousey armbar to the economy.

Stung by criticism, Obama capitulates and reaches out to Republican senators on immigration

Barack Obama prefers to be aloof and above the fray of Washington politics.

Which is just peachy if you’re a political science professor at the Colorado School of Mines.

But it’s as presidential as moonlighting as a men’s room attendant.

LBJ must be rolling over in his grave while tweeting his fellow former presidents.

Obama’s philosopher king approach, to rip off Joe Scarborough, frequently gums up the carburetor of the Capitol Hill political engine.

Danica Patrick never would have won the Daytona 500 pole with that kind of sticky engine.

The president had been receiving withering criticism for not reaching out to Republicans negotiating an immigration overhaul.

He must have grown weary of trying to walk on the lumps of shrapnel exploding all around him on his getaway golf weekend. Talk about playing in the rough.

So today Obama stretched out his alligator arms to the max and went against his DNA by placing phone calls to three GOP senators — Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and John McCain — involved in an eight-member Senate bipartisan group toiling on the immigration issue.

All three reportedly fainted from shock when they heard Obama’s voice. McCain, upon being revived, allegedly thought he was being pranked by Howard Stern.

Once they actually realized it actually Obama on the line, they shared their commitment to bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform.

What confounds pundits is why a guy with a winning personality one-on-one like Obama who can turn on the charm like yours truly whenever I’m entertaining a bevy of Victoria’s Secret models doesn’t regularly leverage that skill set to his advantage.

Didn’t Obama ever hear of Bill Clinton, who knew how to work a back room like Sinatra knew how to work a lyric?

The White House press corps gets the shaft in the Obama-Woods golf match

Barack Obama must have a backswing uglier than Joan Rivers. His drives must need a GPS to land within 100 yards of the fairway. He must putt like he creates jobs.

No wonder the White House press corps gets aced out of covering the president’s every swing.

Obama doesn’t want footage of his golf game making everybody in America nauseous, especially since we’re all sick to our stomach about the economy slowly swimming toward recovery in turtle soup.

This is a holiday weekend, what with President’s Day and all that. So Obama had a golfing weekend and hit the links with Tiger Woods.

The press corps is angrier than a rattlesnake with psoriasis because it didn’t get to give this golf outing the same breathless coverage CBS gives The Masters.

As we all know, the presidency and golf go together like pimento cheese sandwiches and Jack Daniels. The spike marks Ike left in the Oval Office floor are White House treasures.

Granted, the media has a point that they should have had some access to the Obama-Woods summit meeting on the links … just in case Tiger gave the prez some tips on recovering from economic disaster.

Woods, you might recall, lost a fortune in his divorce settlement and subsequent loss of billions in endorsements … not to mention the cost of squiring 174 mistresses around.

That being said, the White House press corps will just have to get over it. They, of all people, should know that a nasty rassle with the U.S. gubmint is futile.

The meteor strafing Siberia violates local zoning ordinances

Well, you sure as hell can’t say that things here on Mother Earth are as boring as watching body paint dry on Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl Kate Upton — whose photo shoot in Antarctica further melted the southern polar caps.

First of all, Mother Nature has been more berserk than an NRA official. All kinds of nasty weather have turned our planet into a screaming non-amusement ride.

Now we’re getting bombarded from outer space.

With a blinding flash and a booming shock wave, a meteor blazed across the western Siberian sky today and exploded with the force of 20 atomic bombs, injuring more than 1,000 people as it blasted out windows and spread panic in a city of 1 million.

While NASA estimated the meteor was only about the size of a bus and weighed an estimated 7,000 tons, the fireball it produced was dramatic. Video shot by startled residents of the Russian city of Chelyabinsk showed its streaming contrails as it arced toward the horizon just after sunrise, looking like something from a world-ending science fiction movie.

There hadn’t been such a scary space sight since Rick Moranis was playing Dark Helmet in Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs.

Granted, there are conspiracy theories suggesting the meteor was not a cosmic cocktail of destruction but either a movie prop from an upcoming Quentin Tarantino flick or a North Korean nuclear missile that was supposed to hit Los Angeles but missed more dramatically than Ryan Howard flailing at a breaking ball.

The luminous saga of Blade Runner turns ghastly

The news could not have been more shocking had you inserted a wet finger into an electrical outlet.

It was more startling than finding an eel in your bathtub.

The once-heartening tale of Paralympic superstar and Olympian marvel Oscar Pistorius — known as Blade Runner for his metal prosthetics –- jackknifed into disbelief when he was charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.

Police say Pistorius allegedly shot Reeva Steenkamp, a law school grad, model and reality TV star, four times in his Pretoria, South Africa home.

My God, guns, bullets and death — like oxygen — are everywhere. Itchy trigger fingers and trigger tempers are today’s Black Plague.

Last summer in London Pistorius could have been cast as the Prince of Heaven, a crippled mortal who could soar with angels.

Now some serious revisionist thinking is in order. We can’t anoint Pistorius the Prince of Hell, since Lucifer claimed that title centuries ago.

So we shall simply call him The Fallen Prince.

When polar realities collide with such a raucous blat of violence, it numbs minds and hearts with galatic force.

Obama and Rubio speak with parched lips

President Obama’s last significant State of the Union speech was a missed opportunity.

Monday night was a singular moment, but Obama failed to seize the brass ring.

Last night’s window already is closing. Free from facing the electorate ever again, riding the coattails of Moe Mentum in the wake of his reelection, and a year away from becoming a dreaded lame duck, he had the ideal time to rise above partisan bickering and distrust.

But it slipped through Obama’s hands like he was a Phillies’ corner outfielder.

It was a call for statesmanship but Obama never heeded the call.

Rather, he offered a laundry list oozing with shop-worn liberal ideas. Mired in the muck of an ongoing budget crisis, high unemployment and a tepid economic recovery, he kept rolling out expensive new proposals as if they were merely quarter-inch hex nuts.

And he was ham-handed in overplaying his hand on gun control as he enlisted a posse of victims and survivors of gun violence.

This was a State of the Union address, not a stump speech. I guess Obama never got the memo.

A State of the Union speech should inspire all of us so in the background we all hear Sinatra flying us to the moon.

Obama didn’t even get us off the ground.

As for the Republican response, Marco Rubio repeated the party line that big government is badder than the Big Bad Wolf but nobody will remember Rubio’s words because he took a moment to take a swig from his water bottle.

I assume Rubio also missed a memo, this one decreeing that our leaders die of thirst if need be.

Chip Kelly’s offense with a Vick-Foles QB tandem hardly the greatest pairing since Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid

I don’t know about you, but last year’s Eagles reminded me of cats: They lacked responsibility, defied authority, didn’t do anything useful, and were no fun to watch.

You didn’t need to know the metric system to count all their turnovers.

Now I know why guppies eat their young.

Granted, I was excited about Chip Kelly coming to Philly. A new coach, a new offense, a new direction, a new quarterback, a new era, a new set of sound bites livelier than Novocain.

Or so we thought.

Yesterday came news that was uglier than eating Brussels sprouts.

New meets old. How the hell did this twain meet?

Vick will be dueling with Nick Foles for the starting job.

Neither seems a fit for Kelly’s high-octane offense. Vick’s mind is too slow and Foles’ feet are too slow.

Kelly’s Oregon offense was all about speed. Speed kills. Speed chills. Speed thrills.

With Vick and/or Foles at the throttle, Kelly’s Eagle offense may be slower than dial-up. You may be able to time its tempo with a sundial.

I guess Kelly saw that the quarterback landscape is pathetic with a draft pool shallower than Snooki and a free agent class thinner than Kate Moss.

So 2013 is a transition year until Chip Kelly’s real quarterback joins the team in 2014.

Prison time passes faster.

Pope Benedict XVI too pooped to pope

Pope Benedict XVI is resigning Feb. 28 because he simply is too old and infirm to carry on. Plus, I’m pretty sure he will get to keep his health insurance.

After all, he is the Good Shepherd and 1.2 billion Catholics are a lot of sheep to keep an eye on and make sure they are keeping the Commandments and putting a nice slice of dough in each week’s collection envelope.

Benedict’s job would have worn out a 25-year-old who drains 5-hour energy drinks every 3 hours.

Benedict’s mission was to reawaken Christianity in a secularized Europe, to rekindle the faith in a world which seems to think it can do without God, and shoulder the monumental task of purging the Catholic world of a sex abuse scandal that festered under Pope John Paul II and exploded during his reign into the church’s biggest crisis in decades, if not centuries.

Man, I got exhausted just typing all that out. It might have been easier for Benedict to restore the Roman Empire.

That’s a mountain of work to pile on a pontiff who didn’t get the job until he was 78 years old in 2005. I guess the cardinals who white-smoked his papacy thought he would simply be a caretaker pope, a bridge to the next generation following the long reign of John Paul II.

But God had other plans and Benedict still is alive if not so well. So the 85-year-old pope too matters into his own hands today, becoming the first pontiff to resign since 1415.

Benedict always seemed the reluctant pope anyway, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary moments to the public glare and majesty of the Vatican pageantry.

As a practicing Catholic (and one of these days I’m praying that practice makes perfect so I don’t have to practice any longer), I’m praying that the next Catholic is young, dynamic, abolishes confession and makes Sunday Mass optional.

Right now if a Catholic misses Sunday Mass and then dies without confessing it, it’s a one-way ticket to hell.

Which means hell must be as crowded as hell these days and filled with a lot of Europeans.