It would be funny if we weren't paying for it. Now they want us to buy chaperones for our live-wire Secret Service guys.
Per year, we already spend $1.7 billion on the Secret Service, double what we spent annually before Mohamed Atta and his crew of inflamed sycophants sought to win perpetual ecstasy with some 72 heavenly hotties per martyr by turning jetliners and themselves into missiles.
The $1.7 billion price is what's on the books, but it's a good bet that plenty of additional tax dollars are clandestinely flowing through various cloak-and-dagger accounts that we can't be told about — for "security reasons."
In any case, with all this security money being tossed around, you’d think we would have some semblance of sanity in the operations.
Instead, we got poor Janet Napolitano, head of Homeland Security, assuring members of Congress that there is no evidence of past behavior similar to the Secret Service's prostitution scandal in Colombia. If Columbia was not an isolated case, she said, "that would be a surprise to me."
Just hours after Napolitano's testimony, the Secret Service reported it was investigating whether its agents had hired strippers and prostitutes in advance of President Obama's visit to El Salvador last year.
"The latest, by Seattle television station KIRO," reported the Christian Science Monitor, "quoted anonymous sources as saying that Secret Service employees received sexual favors from strippers at a club in San Salvador and took prostitutes to their hotel rooms ahead of Obama's visit to the city in March 2011."
The Washington Post, similarly, reported that "confidants" of the Secret Service officers being charged in the Colombia episode said that senior managers had tolerated similar behavior during official trips in the past, citing as an example the 2009 trip to Buenos Aires by President Clinton.
So now we have a quick fix for all this in the form of new Secret Service rules, four directives designed to end the all-nighters and improve the vigilance of agents the next morning when Air Force One touches down and the bulletproof limos arrive.
First, there is to be no excessive boozing, anytime, and zero alcohol consumption within 10 hours of the start of a work shift.
Second, off-limits to agents are all "non-reputable" establishments, which aren't defined. But there’s a loophole here, with no rule about non-reputable people in reputable establishments, or out on the street corners.
Third, the personal behavior of agents will be monitored by official chaperones, with America’s taxpayers picking up the tab.
Fourth, and this might be the most important, given the indigenous visitors to the hotel rooms in Columbia, there are to be no foreigners in the hotel rooms — except maids, non-amorous room service providers, and foreign cops.
Well, I just might have the perfect solution for this whole mess, a single step that satisfies all four of the aforementioned rules concurrently, a fix that that doesn't blow a hole in the deficit and doesn’t require a change in human nature.
It just so happened that the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, simultaneously with the breaking news of the Colombia scandal, announced that it was closing the last remaining Playboy Club in the United States.
And so, as with construction workers being idled coast-to-coast by unemployment, we now have a nationwide problem of jobless Bunnies, entire colonies being tossed aside by the closing of clubs in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, San Francisco, Phoenix, Kansas City, St. Louis, Atlanta and Chicago — and now Las Vegas.
That's it, obviously — hire the jobless Bunnies as chaperones — ears, tail and all — and Bingo!, domestic unemployment is cut, and it's early to bed for the agents, with no need to go out boozing all night at racy bars, no need to drag a foreign security risk back to the hotel room at 3 a.m.
Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics and the B. Kenneth Simon professor of free enterprise at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.