Border crisis update: White House is renovating its bowling alley

You can’t spend all of your time as president of the most powerful country in the world golfing, drinking beer, and shooting pool. Some days, you’ve gotta bowl.

Frankly, given how bad he is at bowling, he could use the practice.

According to a federal contractor posting, the General Services Administration is seeking to modernize the 1940s-era lanes, which were first located in the West Wing near what is now the Situation Room. The two-lane Harry S. Truman Bowling Alley was moved to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in 1955 for the use of White House staffers…

“It could use [the renovations],” one recent bowler told TIME on the condition his name not be used. “It’s quaint and feels old. There’s no electric scoreboard, so you have to score by hand—which is just debilitating when you’re focused on bowling a 300 like I am.”…

It is not clear how much the new bowling lanes will cost. A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

I’m going to assume, safely, that this is being done at some underling’s request and not The One’s. But that’s the thing about half-assing your lame-duck term: It’s not just the man at the top who gets extra R&R. Matt Continetti was ahead of the curve on all of this last month. The Obama post-presidency, he said, has effectively already begun:

According to Politico, Obama’s Italian dinner party illustrates the paradox of his second term. “Stymied at home and abroad, Obama recognizes that he is less in control of the Washington agenda than ever in his presidency,” write Budoff Brown and Epstein. “Yet his newfound realism has also given him a palpable sense of liberation.” I find nothing paradoxical about Obama’s recent pattern of behavior, nothing mysterious about the golfing, partying, traveling. It is quite obvious: Obama has given up…

He has decided to relax. He has decided to fill his remaining days getting the most out of his presidential experience. The free travel and lodgings and security escort, the access to good tee times, the ability to get a reservation wherever and whenever he wants, the chance to meet VIPs who will flatter and ingratiate themselves to him—he is enjoying these perks and privileges to the utmost. His motto is not YOLO. It is YOPO: You’re only president once. Why not savor it?

Why not? I wouldn’t say that he’s “given up” on his policy agenda, though. He’s given up on getting his agenda through Congress, knowing he’s doomed to having Republicans hold the House for the rest of his term, but O’s turn towards more aggressive execution action puts him in an unusual position for a president in his sixth year. He’s a lame duck in theory but in practice, thanks to congressional Democrats’ acquiescence and congressional Republicans’ understandable fear of a political backlash from impeaching him, he’s not “lame” at all. He’s on the verge of ordering, unilaterally, a de facto amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, knowing that the politics of rescinding that order will be so dicey for a Republican successor that O’s precedent will end up operating as federal legislation. Shooting pool while even MSNBC is wringing its hands about the border crisis and “optics” thus isn’t the act of a man who’s powerless, it’s the act of a man with lots of power and not much accountability anymore. The only thing holding him in check on amnesty is his uncertainty about what midterm voters will do if he goes really big. He doesn’t want to instigate a backlash that’s so nasty, it ends up in a GOP landslide and screws the Democrats in the Senate for years to come. In the meantime, though, what does he care if there are 300,000 more illegals on the way? What are you going to do, impeach him? Please.

Once the new lanes are finished, he should invite a few illegals to bowl with him in the executive building. YOPO.