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Rome is burning but hey, leave it to the U.S. Congress not to lose focus.

After blowing ten trillion dollars on bailouts, some of these jokers actually had the nerve to ask for a hall pass to go watch a football game.

Specifically, Florida GOP Rep. Cliff Stearns wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week requesting that several votes be rescheduled so the Florida and Oklahoma delegation can go see the Gators and the Sooners face off in the BCS Title Game in Miami on Thursday.

Here’s an excerpt from Stearns’ letter to Pelosi, courtesy of Sports Rubbish:

“As you may be aware, on Thursday January 8, the University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma will play for the national football championship. Members of the Florida and Oklahoma delegations have expressed interest in attending the game as the congressional schedule allows. However, votes are currently scheduled to continue into Thursday night and Friday afternoon. We ask that you move these votes to either Wednesday and/or Thursday morning to allow Members to attend this historic game.”

Hmmm … Cliff Stearns? Bear Stearns?

Ordinarily, we would say “Jesus Christ” at this glaring display of Nero-esque behavior, but Jesus is apparently down with Tebow’s struggle as well, so the deck is pretty much stacked against us.

In related news, Florida is being picked to win the game by users of Predicto – which is some online service we know nothing about except that the company employs a cute and witty PR agent up in New York that our founding editor was e-flirting with all day yesterday.

Hey LB, this Bud’s for you. We’ll be sending you our ad kit momentarily …

Of course, let’s be honest. No matter what 64% of Predicto fans say, calling this a “national championship game” after Utah’s 13-0 season and Texas’ defeat of the “Stairway Curse” is silly.

Seriously, they might as well declare the Shamecocks national champions. Because that would make about as much sense.

Update – You’re kidding us … somebody doesn’t get this headline? It’s Modern English, people.