My friend and coworker Matt tipped me off to this piece in the New York Times this morning, about the new jacket-free, thermostat-cranked White House policy.

I don’t know that I care to get worked up about what the whole casual Friday thing has done for, or to, American style and/or what Obama’s jacket-free stance might do to further the uh, cause. Because really, what’s ridiculous here is that the capitol reportedly "flew into a bit of a tizzy" when the pres was photographed without his jacket on. Don’t we have other things to fly into tizzies about? What astonishes me is that our president is cranking the heat in the oval office. And here I’ve been doing my civic duty: giving our energy efficient multi-stage furnace, and the gas bill, some down time and wearing extra long johns and a wool cap around the house.

Mr. President: I’m officially annoyed.

And yes, it’s a leap but I can’t help but connect the dots to the recent news that Hartmarx, the Chicago-based retailer/tailor responsible for the Prez’s suits as well as his white-tie inauguration tux, filed Chapter 11. (side note: Hartmarx is also responsible for Sansabelt, — sound it out, see the visual aid above, and do the French translation on scrap paper if you need to — the line of late ‘60s-era pants that have to be at least as responsible for casual Fridays as 90s-era dot-commers are.) I can’t really tell if Hartmarx’s suits are actually made in America or not, but since Michelle Obama is carrying the American designer torch (and yeah, it’s equally difficult to discern whether or not Jason Wu et al actually have their lines fabricated here at home), shouldn’t Mr. Obama keep his jacket on in the name of American "luxury apparel for work and leisure" — if not, for Pete’s sake, the energy crisis??

(Image stolen from some dude’s Friendster page … man I love Google image search.)

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