Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Hopeless Congress

The writer of this corner looks back over the last six or seven decades, then contemplates what he has learned from the history books and comes to the conclusion that this country is more poorly led now than at any time in its history with respect to the Congress. There have been times when the nation has been poorly led but with the justified excuse that the lawmakers at those times had nothing like the resources available (historically, technically) to the leaders of today to use in coping with the grave responsibilities of governance. It's a given, of course, that corruption always has its place, no matter the era.

The so-called financial crisis is the best current proof that this country's Congress is either collectively as dumb as a gourd, on the take constantly from lobbyists, etc., or simply doesn't give a fig about its constitutional mandates, which its members have sworn to obey in maintaining the welfare of the populace, instead of manipulating it for whatever purpose. It's been obvious for a number of years, as borne out in a plethora of congressional hearings, as well as recounted by experts in/or counseling the media, that the country has been headed toward this catastrophe; yet, despite its pompous and oft-repeated blabbering regarding the importance of its oversight responsibilities, Congress, after enacting it years ago (something for nothing concept), has allowed the current mess to happen.

This is from the New York Times of 11 September 2003: "The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago. Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry." President Bush early in his administration recognized the problem but was stiffed by his own dimwitted Congress in doing anything about it.

This is from the New York Times of 30 September 1999: "Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits. In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called sub-prime borrowers." In other words, a quasi-governmental agency was being virtually coerced to ultimately take over loans that would in time go into default, with the U.S taxpayer being the patsy.

Some of the most damning democratic demagoguing concerning the current Fannie Mae fiasco that has brought the financial markets to the brink occurred in a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in 2004, with the video available on the Internet. The democrats actually tried to lynch the regulator who was trying to move them toward a resolution of the problem eventuating in the current mess. New York Representative Gregory Meeks actually made a jackass of himself in the process, is still on the committee, and should be forced to watch that video ten times a day. Indeed, everyone should watch Meeks's histrionics at least once to understand that buffoons actually make it into Congress.

Committee member Maxine Waters – still on the committee – seemed determined in 2004 to convince everyone that Fannie Mae Chairman Franklin Raines was the greatest thing since both sliced bread and peanut butter. Raines was finally forced out of his job because of a $6.3 billion accounting scandal (cooking the books), but not until he had reamed the agency in less than seven years for a cool $91 million, a very golden parachute. Strangely, he's not in some federal prison. Instead, this tinhorn crook served as an Obama adviser during the campaign. Waters and Meeks, both African Americans, like Raines, turned the whole thing into a racial opportunity. To their credit, the republicans in this video tried to make some sense, but political correctness damned their efforts, as is the case today.

For his part in 2004, member Barney Frank could find nothing wrong. Now, as chairman of that same committee, he's blustering and bumbling all over the place and blaming republicans for not fixing something he helped destroy. He said unequivocally that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Fannie/Freddie. Ironically, Senator Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and also a recent presidential contender, reaped a windfall from Countrywide, the defunct mortgage monster. Over the terms of his sugar-stick loans, he could make $75,000. Now, he sits like a toad on a palm frond in a stinking pond, like Frank, holding hearings about problems he and Frank could have prevented.

The republicans ran both houses of Congress until 2007, so they're entirely complicit in the current mess. Many if not most of them still sit on their respective committees and share the blame equally, even though the regulators to whom they apparently turned a deaf ear operated in a republican administration. Indeed, three of the finalists in the recent campaigns – Obama, Biden, McCain – were all in the Senate while Freddy/Fannie hurtled toward the wreck, which eventuated in the destruction of everything.

Predictably, when the panic-mongers began wringing their hands lately about what to do, the Congress heaved heavily and delivered itself of an act giving $700 billion to the Secretary of the Treasury to just DO SOMETHING. So...he began buying the government into the banking systems, which used the money for their own purposes, not the least of which involved acquisitions and golden parachutes. Now, both the current and incoming administrations are again throwing out numbers in the billions (actually trillions) for the taxpayers to cough up to clean up the mess caused primarily by a Congress either fast asleep or as high as a kite on something. Actually, the numbers mean nothing because none of the above, including Obama and his gang, has the remotest idea of what to do, except to conduct massive giveaways...paid by somebody else, of course. Just print the money until the bottom busts.

This is so disgusting. Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff, said this recently: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." That about says it all. The Clintons – with Emanuel as part of that administration – could not achieve their socialistic goals because there wasn't an invaluable "serious crisis." What Emanuel means is simply that now, with the government taking over everything from banks to auto plants and handing out the peons' money to the peons, the time is ripe to supplant the free enterprise system with socialism. Both the administration and the Congress are in the hands of the democrats, will they bite the bullet and maintain the system that has made this country the envy of the world...or sink it into the cesspool of socialism...with everyone placed on the level of the lowest common denominator?

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ky. Modus Operandi - Corruption/Cronyism

Kentucky citizens can take heart in the fact that state government is operating as it always does, with corruption as its defining modus operandi and the taxpayers as the patsies supporting the MO main thrust – cronyism. The Lexington Herald-Leader, as it often does, has given some recent examples. Ralph Coldiron III: $100,000 per year (job advertised with maximum salary of about $80,000) for collecting some fees, probably a job that could be handled by a smart clerk. Coldiron quit his job, beating being furloughed from a restaurant operation, and needed a job. His restaurant colleague, Adam Edelen, is Beshear's chief of staff. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Same department: Commercial Mobile Radio Service Emergency Telecommunications Board. Aaron Horner: $70,000 per year as Coldiron's Deputy for External Affairs, whatever that is. He was a campaign worker and House aide on labor and transportation issues to U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth. Supposedly, this makes him an expert on emergency telecommunications stuff. Another job for a smart clerk…or deputy clerk! Chuck Geveden: $70,000 as chief administrative officer, making one wonder what Coldiron is supposed to do. Geveden was Beshear's driver during the campaign. Earlier, he had been school-resource officer for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, whatever in the world that is.

Same department: Paul “Will” Carle: $52,000 per year as staff adviser, apparently a job that involves what anyone says it does. Carle had been a fund-raiser for Attorney General Jack Conway's campaign, making him an expert at staff-advising, whatever that is. Oh well….Geveden later took another position at the public trough called the Transportation Department and Carle moved on to another spot in the trough in the governor's office.

And then there's the interesting case of Ron Bishop, director of the Lexington hoosegow. His salary: $111,793 per year. Slight catch: Bishop, though his job would seem to require a Lexington residency and on-site 24/7 responsibilities, lives in Louisville, meaning he commutes daily and presumably is never available at night. No problem: The local government provides him a car to make that commute and pays for the fuel to make it run – some $15,000 since 2004. The top jailer lives nearly a hundred miles from the jail, so who actually runs the operation? Talk about a sweetheart deal…but that's city government at its absolute worst.

And then there's the case of Michael Gobb, executive director of Lexington's Bluegrass Airport, the 117th largest in the nation. That's 117th! His salary is $219,450, up from $92,019 just ten years ago when he began his tenure – an increase of a whopping 138 percent but not quite as much as that of Joker Phillips, the offense coordinator of the UK football team. Imagine getting a raise of more then one-and-one-third-hundred percent in just ten years. The director of Louisville's Standiford Field makes less, even though his operation handles nearly four times the number of passengers as Bluegrass.

In a recent two-year period, Gobb ran up a travel/training expense account of $279,310, while the Louisville director managed for the comparable period getting by on $173,673, or 61% less. Gobb and four other Bluegrass officials managed to spend five or six days roughing it in Hawaii in January this year in attending a conference so extensive that a couple days just weren't enough. Gobb and his four directors are each furnished a car and a key to the airport gas pump. They had more than $23,000 in gas charges 2006-08. All of this...while passenger boardings were down by one percent 1999-2007. Nationally, they were up by 13%.

So...there it is, just a smattering of the rip-offs that occur in government bureaucracies. Is it any wonder that taxpayers desperately try to figure ways to cut down on the taxes when they see their hard-earned cash literally stolen by the people who do it...just because they can, also with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge from the apparatchiks who make it possible? From the governor right on down through the airport board there ought to be a massive apology. The breath is not to be held until that happens. The guv will just scream for casinos to help pay off even more of his gang, while the airport board wanders in the wilderness and scratches its head in figuring out why it didn't receive some of the gifts and liquor that Gobb charged at the Liquor Barn for a measly $6,500.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, November 20, 2008

O, A, M - The Three Stooges Redux

It's late at night in a cave just east of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (or just west…depending on where U.S. drones are dropping bombs). Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda head honcho, and his second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hereinafter referred to as O, A, and M, respectively.

~O: The American elections are finally over and…praise Allah…Hussein has won. As they sing in democrat circles, "Happy Days Are Here Again." (starts singing)

~M (perplexed): What is this strange song…not even the whine of a muezzin with the tonsillitis sounds so…

~A: Stop it, Osama…Allah be mortified…he’s been listening to the short-wave Voice of America again, Mahmoud. Ever since we lost our Dixie Chicks CD he's…

~O: The whine of a sick muezzin! Is that what you said, Mahmoud? (brandishes AK-47) Allah prepare to receive a…ah well…Barry has won and he makes the whole world sing…

~M: Put that down, Osama…I was making a joke…Allah have a sense of humor…your commanding, majestic voice is what inspires beheadings, bombers, suicide pilots, rapes in Sudan and most everywhere else…in short, you are second only to Mullah Omar in inspiring…

~O: Second to Omar…surely you jest, Mahmoud. I’m second to no one. (points AK-47) I’m the…

~A: Calm down, Osama. The Barry who won is not the Manilow that makes the whole world sing, like you think. He's the great Obamessiah. Mahmoud only means that Mullah Omar is the Commander of the Faithful, making him – even with that one eye and not much education like I, as a doctor, have – the most esteemed Muslim alive, even if less than 30% of the Afghanis who appointed him can read…Allah be embarrassed! Besides, he has refused to turn us over to the evil Great Satan Cheney, who shoots innocent bird-hunters, and Omar could deliver us most any time. Imagine being shot in the behind with bird-shot!

~O (lowering the gun): Ah…you're right, Ayman…sorry, Mahmoud…it's living in these bat-infested caves all these years that's made my life, besides being one of supreme sacrifice, so miserable.

~A: Oh woe, Mahmoud…Allah take notice of the sacrifice of your servants. If we venture out to a Pakistani village the drones fly overhead and take pictures and if we venture for a night or two to Kabul, the evil Karzai sets his henchmen out to get us. Even now, he is begging the Americans to let Mullah Omar have safe passage to his tribe, never mind the ten million dollars the U.S. has promised as reward for him.

~O: Bah! Only ten million for that one-eyed Taliban. I'm worth 25 million U.S. dollars…Allah take notice…another reason for never getting too close to anyone, even in Pakistan, where that crooked widower of Benazir is president now and would sell his entire family for the price of a dozen Texas longhorns…

~A: Speaking of which, Mahmoud, have you brought us any steaks? All we have here is goat bologna, overripe figs, a few mushrooms and MREs the American GIs trade to the Karzai army for the caviar the Russians send us as a bribe to keep al Qaeda from flying airliners into all those skyscrapers they showed off during the Olympics, which is then traded back to the Americans for cigarettes. Oh…ha…ha…Allah be glorified…as if we had any more such brave pilots to send to the virgins!

~M: U-m-m-m. I understand that the main reason is that the Chinese won't issue driver licenses to good Muslims so they can attend Chinese flying-schools, like the stupid Americans did when…who was he…Slick Willie…was president. As for steaks, Mullah Omar told me to tell you that you can eat cake.

~O: Ah…Slick Willie…whew…whew…WHEW…WHEW…all those interns without these awful burkas…without much of anything…who could blame him for…WHEW!!!

~A: Allah be ashamed for Osama! Stop that drooling, Osama…your beard is getting matted. But to the business at hand, Mahmoud! What does the election of this Barry Hussein Obama mean for us?

~M: It means that he and I will talk without preconditions, which is the same as saying without being in the same country. Hoo-hah ! Allah be thanked for my wisdom…I have already sent word to this Rahm Emanuel, his assistant who they say sends dead fish to his enemies…most everybody…ha…ha…that the preconditions will be set by me, not by him…and that he'd better not reveal that to the stupid American citizens or I will have Ayatollah Khomenei pronounce a fatwa on the Howard Dean, the savior of the democrats. I heard that this Emanuel put a horse's head in Dean's bed…must have been the ultimate compliment…with plenty of blood!

~A: a-a-r-r-h-h-g-g-A-A-R-R-H-H-G-G-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H…ON TO WISCONSIN…

~O (firing AK-47 at the ceiling): Shut up, Ayman…sheesh…look at these dead bats all over my prayer rug and mangy feathers in our hookah! Forgive him, Mahmoud…as you know, Ayman vents his frustrations and admirations by using the Dean scream…Allah be not deafened by this fool…not to mention us…and alerting the American Rangers who might be lurking anywhere these days!

~A: Allah be sanitized…you've upset our latrine ditch again, Osama, and now look at what's streaming under your prayer rug. Mahmoud, how long will it take to talk the Obamessiah into keeping troops in that accursed Iraq so they won't be sent here?

~M: Surely you jest, Ayman. I will talk the Obamessiah into taking all the Americans out of Iraq immediately so al-Maliki and the rest of us Shiites can take over Iraq and…

~A (brandishing AK-47): Stop right there, Mahmoud. (shoots AK-47 through the cave entrance, killing two bodyguards) What's this business about the Shiites taking over Iraq?

~M: Ayman, Ayman. The Shiites are 60% of the population…we're entitled…like that Father Pfleger said about Hillary while he was preaching and doing what the Americans call the bump-and-grind in that church that claims the Garden of Eden was in the Congo. Besides, Saddam and his Sunni gang ran the place for 25 years and killed 400,000 Shiites, give or take a few thousand…so it IS our turn.

~O: There is a certain weird logic to that, Mahmoud, but do you plan to talk the Obamessiah into taking all these UN troops, especially the Americans, out of Afghanistan, like you've promised.

~M: It's as good as done, Osama. Anyone who can thrill 200,000 in Berlin and make the leg of the American MSNBC guru Chris Matthews tingle can do anything. I'm making him a present of the state-of-the-art teleprompter – made in China – to let him know of my sincerity. And with the American economy going into the tank since the democrats have been taking over Congress since 2005, I plan to buy off the entire democrat caucus in both houses and talk the Obamessiah out of the White House, claiming no preconditions, and take over the government. It's all in that vision I had while speaking at the United Nations. What's in this hookah, anyway? (nods off)

~ A & O: a-a-r-r-g-g-h-h-a-a-r-r-g-g-h-h-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H!!!!!!!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DNC Memorandum #38

Office of Dr. Howard Dean, chair-whoopee (the new SCREAM©)

***My allusion to being virtually certain of keeping my job in Memo #37 was actually another campaign ploy. I had decided long ago that one term would be enough but I needed to scare the republican governors into a panic when they met recently and roughed it in that posh Miami establishment. My ruse worked, as proven by their collective incoherence regarding whom they might choose as their next big-time loser chairing the RNC, thus total chaos in the Republican Party, already thoroughly trashed by my magnificent leadership since 2005. Any notion of fear concerning my job and a possible power-play by Rahm Emanuel, is without credence, since Chief Obama (thanks for the Native-American vote) knows who was right all along and who has won both the Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008. Also, Emanuel has never mailed me a dead fish and has insisted he will not do it again.

***President Obama, in looking over the newspapers and in a phone conversation with Dan Rather, has recognized that the current recession has built up to the current mess during the nearly two years that the democrats have ruled the Congress, including while both he and the vice president have been in the Senate (okay, once in a while). He’s indicated, therefore, that he needs a red/yellow/black/white-paper (diversity as god) explaining that the fault lies with the republicans. He would like an emphasis on the Hoover administration in the 1920s-30s, if that fits and assuming anyone remembers it, but feels it imperative that the actual blame be placed on the Reagan years, when prosperity and self-confidence got out of hand, thus nullifying the normal gloom and doom that should be present in the United Sates at all times, especially as noted by the Europeans, who recognize evil/shame when they see it. Since neither the Senate nor the House provided oversight of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in 2007-08, the housing problem is not to be mentioned in the paper, no matter how apropos.

***President Obama in a conversation with a fifth-grader discovered contrary to his belief that Nancy Reagan did not have séances in the White House when she was first lady. He also discovered that former first lady Clinton was into séances, and this explains her recent conference with him, though the official leak was about the State Secretary job, which Governor Richardson is seeking, as well as Senator Kerry and lots of other people. The wag who suggested that this is mostly because of all the free trips around the world having meaningless conferences and eating exotic food makes the position attractive has been assigned to registering voters for 2010 in the Everglades, where two staffers disappeared without a trace last summer. Though President Obama has indicated no faith in séances, he has suggested – off the record, of course – that he might do well to channel Aaron Burr…just in case Ahmadinejad, when they meet without preconditions, should suggest a mano a mano settlement with respect to Iranian nuclear allowance. Beheading-swords rather than pistols are the weapons of choice in Iran, so I’ve suggested channeling al Zarqawi instead, al Qaeda’s best butcher in Iraq until he was caught in the wrong house at the right time in 2006.

***The rumor that William Ayers will become the Secretary of Homeland Security and anti-terrorism czar has no basis in fact and all staffers are directed to make this known. The staffer who posted the notice It Takes One To Know One by the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced snack-bar and body-mass-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, blue-state-map, and Bush-dart-board has been disciplined by having to listen to Ayers’ statement “We didn’t do enough” 576,000 times. He can be visited at Maryland Insane Asylum but only during the periods when he’s in his straitjacket.

***Work is progressing by the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah (sic ’em with the HIV) Wright and Father Pfleger on the new definition of the “typical white person.” Senator Leahy, acting as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, asked to participate in forming the definition but was turned down by the reverends because of his proclivity to leak to any media person who will treat him with respect, not that any are known (little joke there). Michael Moore has scrubbed his new movie project tentatively entitled "The Great Satan is Red and Caucasian" in favor of a newer movie tentatively entitled “Calypso Louie Discovers Messiah.” The background music will be reggae and Harry Bellafonte will appear to sing the Fig-newton Boat Song.

***Applications are being taken now for those wishing to participate in President (remember to always use this title) Obama’s transition team. Rumors that chief-of-staff Emanuel insists on arm-wrestling every applicant are untrue. (A word to the wise, however – be sure to lose, the rumor being taken seriously that those who win are turned over for reeducation to the ACORN enforcement arm, trained by Ayers, in Chicago). Two bodies found in Lake Michigan bore DNC tattoos and tongue-rings with the DNC emblem engraved thereon and another top staffer with a strong arm and weak mind woke up the other morning to find a horse’s head in his bed.

***Your chairperson has taken no vacations since January 2005 and thus will take the rest of the year off…with pay. You will be working for a new chairperson early next year, whose first act will probably be to fire you, so be thinking of catching on with the staff of a new Congressperson. Suggestion: don’t show up for an interview wearing a tank-top or mini-mini-skirt, the usual thing around here. Some of these new congresspersons are yahoos and don’t know what’s cool yet.

***You will note from the above (for recent college graduates) that I am adding a new SCREAM© to my repertoire as I prepare for the banquet and liberal-university speaker-circuit (megabucks galore). Instead of the “On to Wisconsin” motif, it will be a simple but hugely amplified WHOOPEE!!! It will be a sort of cross between a Tarzan yell and a diesel-locomotive-horn and is already copyrighted, so you may not use it without permission. I will introduce the new SCREAM© in a speech sponsored by the ACLU at Guantanamo. It will be billed as the “I Have a Scream II” speech but will be directed toward the ocean in order not to offend the prisoners unless the Greens nix this plan account of disturbing the whale mating-calls. Until we meet again – HAPPY HUNTING…but not with Cheney.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bailout...the Perfect Scam

The current bailout, if anything, proves that the American public is one huge "sucker," having been used by the powers-that-be in both the public and private sectors for whatever purposes serve their interests. The Freddie/Fannie debacle is at the bottom of the mess and this just about says it all since those agencies form a combine of public and private incest, with the illegitimate offspring being bankruptcy. The taxpayers – ordinary folks naively trusting both sectors – are hit with the loss, notwithstanding that hundreds of billions of bailout loot goes to the Chinese, the holders of immense proportions of American bad debt.

This, too, points to the problem. Why should the Chinese, who have experts of their own who should have knowledge of what’s been happening for years, especially since the democrats took over Congress in January 2007, get well at the expense of innocent Americans? If their experts let them down, then they should bite their own bullet – okay, they have, at least to an extent – and bail themselves out the best way they can. Last month, Treasury Secretary Paulson said, "We're not proud of all the mistakes that were made by many different people, different parties, failures of our regulatory system, failures of market discipline that got us here." Not proud? Egad!

The folks in the private sector function on the basis of profit and greed. The elected officials and bureaucrats in government are supposed to function as protectors of the public welfare. Former Fannie Mae CEOs Johnson and Raines are representative of both groups, especially with regard to greed. They milked their institution for tens of millions of dollars, cooking the books and using the government agency as a tool to feed their greed. That they can escape prison for their thievery seems impossible, but both men played significant roles in Obama's campaign until they were called out publicly, so the notion that the democrat "good ol' boy network," especially with a soon-to-be-democrat attorney general, will make them pay for their perfidy is just that – a notion.

Folks expect the private sector operatives to steal them blind whenever they get the chance or can make the chance, but they should be able to have confidence in their elected officials to keep those operatives as honest as possible, both management and labor. This is the worst part and involves both political parties. Either the elected representatives in both the Senate and the House are in on the deals (much proof of that lately)…or, they are collectively dumb as a gourd…or both.

The pointers to the current crisis have been evident for a long while and public pronouncements referencing it have been all over the place. This means that the solons should have seen the handwriting on the wall long ago and prevented the crisis from happening. Instead, despite testimonies in hearings and all the rest, they stuck their heads in the sand and let what they thought (or at least hoped) were the good times roll on. The simple truth that there's no such thing as a "free lunch" never seemed to register, so they let the smooth operators run the nation's business into the ground.

This has happened positively since the democrats took over both houses of Congress in January 2006. Perhaps it's instructive to ponder that the best way to turn a nation into socialism is to bankrupt it first. Obama has already made it plain that he intends to redistribute the wealth from the most responsible citizens to the most irresponsible. This amounts to punishing those who make the system work by taking what they can earn and giving it away. This is not a cold-hearted statement, just a fact.

As a result, the government now owns parts of banks, lending agencies, mortgage institutions, automobile manufacturing (courtesy of the average John Doe and the pensioners), and the list will go on as the operators see what they consider a good thing. The elected officials, who, along with Obama, clamor for a socialistic system are in the majority now and in a position to make the country the primary owner of everything. The fat cats don't think they have to worry about this approach because they are immunized through having plenty of everything, while the proletariat can eat cake.

The fat cats may err. The Olde Europe model is not likely to work in this country, not least because individualism is too strong a concept for the middle class, especially, to forfeit. This is ironic because Obama/Biden made their play to the middle class, with the notion clearly in mind to scam it just like the "shrewd" mortgage-makers didn't explain to their victims just how they could not actually afford the property they were letting them buy – and scamming the whole system in the process to feed their greed.

So…does Obama intend to keep printing money? Does he mean to extort the wealthy (whoever that is) or the high wage-earners, who can loophole the government to shreds, and reduce taxes on 95% of the population when 38% will pay no taxes in 2009 anyway? How does that work – monthly stimulus checks, perhaps? Perhaps he means to cream the top five percent and cut income taxes for the 62% who actually will pay taxes…minus that five percent, of course. That's wealth redistribution, but don't tell that to the 38%. They don't get a cut…they don't pay anyway, and they won't get a stimulus, either. Voodoo economics? Naw…socialism!

The founding fathers (even considering their own faults) would flip in their graves if they could see this pie-in-the-sky gang in operation. The stock market is in the tank and will stay there because Obama has made it plain that profit is bad and will soon indicate that the guilty will not pay.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, November 07, 2008

White House de Rigueur

Dear Barry,

I'm taking the liberty of making some suggestions relative to running the government and operating the White house. These thoughts have been crystallized through the hard knocks of experience, not gazing through a crystal ball or consulting the Oracle of Delphi, sometimes known more familiarly as Dick Cheney.

There's a small alcove to the left of the Oval Office, sometimes called the "crying room," although at least one president has used it for another purpose. It's good to repair there occasionally when events become a bit too much. I've spent time there since the election because it reminded me that I soon will have to buy my own plane and face the carbon taxes applied thereto. As a favor, would you ask Al Gore if there are any loopholes concerning this tax? Also, you may feel the need for this room when all the people who claim you promised them something for their vote (multiple votes, in Chicago) show up to collect. In your case, that line may reach to the Canadian border.

This room is stocked with super-strength Kleenex especially designed for protracted periods of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. I used up to three boxes at a time myself when the mainstream media constantly harped on my alleged mispronunciation of nucular. Because of its therapeutic nature, it's the only non-partisan room in the White House, so I welcomed Senator Kerry there to handle his disappointment at discovering that the medals/ribbons he threw over the fence in 1971 would not be accepted in the Smithsonian.

Down the hall is a room designated VPHP, these initials standing for Vice Presidential Holding Pattern. It's equipped with everything needed to control a vice president who becomes a problem, usually by thinking for himself or saying what he thinks – or both. About the only time Cheney spent much time there had nothing to do with thinking, however, but as a hideaway from the press after he shot that guy in Texas. In the case of your vice president, you may need to furnish the room as an actual apartment complex, since you will be wise to keep him there indefinitely. You can't banish him there without cause, of course, but he will probably provide that in approximately the first minute of his first press conference.

Vice President Gore spent so much time in that room that it was called "An Inconvenient Room" by the press corps. During the Carter administration, it was called the "Mondale Malaise Room." This room has such things as a shock-treatment machine to help make the veep more amenable to reality and a hypnotist to help him recognize it. This is important since Senator Biden often speaks without benefit of either prior or present thought, such as when he implied some months ago that you would be a learning-on-the-job president.

There are two presidential disposal cans, in your case a blue one for actual trash and the chartreuse can for presidential news-leaks. This method was introduced when it was discovered during the Nixon administration that reporters routinely went through the trashcans behind the house of State Secretary Kissinger for any tidbit of information (translated, scoop). There's a code, of course, and the handful of press people that you can trust (but never bet the farm on these guys) have to be informed. For instance, if someone is to be fired, the name is slipped into an Ex-Lax box, thus indicating a purge is in order. By printing or enunciating this leak, a reporter simply encourages the official to resign, thus probably foreclosing a messy scene and doing you a favor in return for the favor (translated, poop-scoop).

Between the VPHP and the OO is the COSA (Chief of Staff Asylum). Chiefs of Staff have a reputation for approaching loony-tunes mode at times since they spend so much time on the job and always have at least five phones ringing/beeping/clanging at one time. Also, they have the messy job of being the surrogate in-your-face-creature for the president vis-à-vis anyone the press secretary also can't insult, as well as publicly insulting people the president can't afford to offend but also can't stand.

A resident psychiatrist is assigned to this room and has full authority for treatment, even using straitjackets as temporary therapy. I have authorized two psychiatrists for your Chief, Rahm Emanuel, who is known for having frothed at the mouth when he snarled at a short-order cook for taking a full minute to prepare a hamburger. There also are doggie-bones in the COSA now for when Emanuel feels the need to gnaw on something besides his fingernails (that missing finger an over-gnawed nail?).

Finally, in the sub-sub-sub-sub-basement there is a lounge-like hall called the Orgy Room. This room – furnished with the proper libations, equipment and personnel – is used for conferences with key members of Congress, with a sort of understanding that "anything goes." While I certainly never imbibe, I know that deals can be more easily struck after the key members have – shall we say – become oblivious of reality. I never enter until the time is right, and a good chief of staff calls the shot on the timing, provided he has not joined the orgy. If he has (you will know about Emanuel if he bites someone), then just turn out the lights.

These are just a few items of interest. Call me if you need more information. Feel free at any time the crying room doesn't do the job to come on down to Crawford and we can chop wood together while taking turns swearing at the Congress and other miscreants, such as our most hated talking-heads.



And so it goes…Jim Clark.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

DNC Memorandum #37

From the office of Dr. Howard Dean, chair-leader (Hooray for our side!)

***First, a word of appreciation for all the hard work. Our man has won and the nation will never be the same. The rumor that DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel, soon to be Senator Obama's chief of staff, has challenged me to a duel is untrue. The fact that I was right in 2005 and have been ever since regarding the management of the party has been construed by NBC/ABC/CBS/MSNBC/CNN and Dan Rather as a slap in Emanuel's face, thus properly demanding a duel a la Aaron Burr-mode, is the cause of this rumor. Dueling is against the law, of course, but if goaded I will suggest marshmallows at 30 feet, and the Honorable Right Reverend Imam Dr. Louis Farrakhan will be my second, having earned that right by correctly identifying Obama as the Messiah. In line to be Emanuel's second is Michelle Obama, having earned that right by correctly identifying the nation as being mean, thus an ideal location for a duel. In any case, a possible duel will not be fought in Pennsylvania, since the citizens there might clutch their Bibles and handguns together and accidentally kill someone while flipping to Psalm 23.

***It's been reported that Senator Kerry is seeking to be the new Secretary of State, and this office has been requested to make every effort to find the medals and ribbons he threw over the fence in 1971. He has presented a number of versions of this patriotic act, which obviously qualifies him for the post and could be used in his Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, though the senator has no clear memory of which medals or what fence or exactly what day were involved but is certain that it didn't happen in Cambodia at Christmas-time in 1968. Metal detectors will be assigned to staffers who are willing to search. In the absence of success, the rumor is that a medical doctor who can perform electoral miracles would be next in line and especially useful in dealing with Kenya's health officials, Prime Minister Odinga (Obama's cousin), and terrorists, all groups perhaps being the same.

***Senator Clinton has posted a notice on the bulletin board by the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced snack-bar and body-mass-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, and blue-state-map that she is accepting contributions to help pay back her $12.5 million loan to herself during the primary race. Those who can't give cash are invited to mow her lawn, do her laundry, write hate-republican speeches for her and carry signs at the capitol generally espousing her ousting of Majority Leader Reid. Use your ingenuity in doing this. For instance: STOP THE WHINE; CLINTON IN 09. The senator (or somebody – little joke there) is writing a book of explanation tentatively entitled "It Takes a Majority to Raise Anything."

***Incoming Vice President Biden exuberantly PROMISED in a recent speech that someone would throw a world crisis at President Obama within six months of next January 20. The recently announced deployment of Russian missiles near Poland doesn't count (this crisis rightly belongs to Bush and Cheney), even if it's true (unlikely), and no other evidence of world crises is currently extant or even predicted. Biden has requested a small group of the brightest staffers to volunteer for an effort to foment a crisis somewhere outside the country (maybe Tijuana), but not too serious to demand anything more than just a slight payoff (maybe just a couple million for somewhere like Grand Cayman Island). Volunteers will be responsible for all expenses (including burial, especially eventuating from an overdose). This means, of course, that San Francisco is not eligible, even though it has tried to foment a military crisis for Bush and even though its city council does not consider the city part of the U.S. Biden has made it plain that he simply cannot break a promise, especially since the campaign blew up his plagiarism gaffe again.

***Incoming Vice President Biden explained last year and until he dropped out of the presidential race months ago, with one-half a delegate, that the presidency is not an on-the-job-training exercise, so incoming President Obama has requested a red/yellow/black/white (diversity-cool) paper describing his completed training for the job. The staffer who comes up with this document will naturally use Obama's Berlin victory as evidence of world-affairs erudition. Consequently she/he/it will be given a trip to Berlin as reward but will have to pay all expenses. I never said that working at the DNC would be a rose-garden, and I won't say it again.

***Former Deputy National Security Adviser in the Clinton administration James Steinberg is rumored to be in line as Obama's National Security Adviser. This being the case, staffers are required to never mention the 1993 WTC bombing, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, the 1998 embassy-bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2000 USS Cole bombing, or 9/11. The reason is obvious, of course, and the 9/11 episode is mentioned because it, too, was hatched in the Clinton administration and everybody knows this – even in Appalachia and Arkansas. Also – and this is extremely important – never mention that no terrorist attacks have been made in this country since 9/11…again, for obvious reasons.

***I am virtually certain of keeping my job but am requesting that all staffers keep a lookout for positions calling for a first-class political/medical/propaganda ace in the slight chance that Emanuel or Speaker-Grandma Pelosi will demand a pound of Vermont flesh…and I don't mean that of Senator "Leaky" (couldn't resist) Leahy.

***There have been inquiries as to why Senator Obama made his victory speech in Grant Park without any supporters, campaign staffers, fund-raisers of $607 million, girls-for-Obama, etc., appearing with him on the stage. This was due to the precedent set by the Honorable Reverend Dr. Louis Farrakhan at the 2005 "Millions More" affair in D.C., who alone (okay, his daughter, too) spoke from the main throne while all other speakers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Julianne Malveaux, were forced to speak from the secondary throne. The Grant Park enthroning indicated that Messiah is set apart, just as was the case with the Greek columns at the convention in Arizona, notwithstanding that the Apaches and not the Greeks "inhabited the land." Give no credence to the rumor that President Obama will nominate SCOTUS judges who will promise to rule that the term "president" in the Constitution can be legally interchanged with "Messiah" or what any president chooses to rule appropriate. This does not apply to the vice presidency since the term Vice Messiah is a hopeless oxymoron.

***President (word just came that the senator requires that title now instead of waiting for the inauguration) Obama no longer has any need for red/yellow/black/white papers describing a typical Pentecostal and typical Muslim, since the election is over and so who cares what either one is. The votes are in. President Obama is also reconsidering the definition of a typical white person, also now that the election is over. No staffer need worry about having to work on this. The rumor is that the services of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger have been engaged in constructing the new definition. When they have finished their work, Michael Moore will produce a movie on the subject tentatively entitled "The Great Satan is Red and Caucasian."

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Process - SICK!

Every four years the same hue-and-cry is heard, to wit, that something needs to be done about national elections resulting from campaigns that are far too long and are powered more by the money candidates can raise than by their resumes. This cycle has been the worst within memory reaching back to the 1940s, when the perpetrator of this corner took notice as an adult. Indeed, this cycle is marked more by its obscenity with respect to the garish commercialization of the office than by anything else.

The current trouble started back in the 1970s when the primaries came on line as the actual determinants with respect to the nominees. Concurrent with the rapidly increasing use of TV, candidates started early and made actual vocations of campaigning for months and even years at a time, notwithstanding that many if not most of them were already in elected offices and thus glaringly neglecting the duties which they had been elected to discharge and which they had sworn to carry out. Both Senator Obama and McCain have been AWOL in the Senate for so long that they might have trouble finding the restrooms, as has Senator Clinton, who’s actually been campaigning for the presidency since 2000, when she bought and paid for a New York Senate seat as a stepping-stone to the presidency after never having lived in that state.

Though popularity has long been a part of the process, the popularity contest this year has been obscene to the point of trivializing the election and the office…so obscene that the largest rally for any candidate was held in Berlin (not Ohio), Germany. The whole "world-affairs-education" trip made by Senator Obama (an admission of his almost total ignorance), in which he was fully prepared for the office, took a whole week to complete. It was a photo-op exercise, nothing more, nothing less.

Picking Sara Palin for his running mate was too transparent a gimmick on the part of Senator McCain, who must have felt that countering a black with a woman was the way to "back in." It was cynical, though it must be admitted that she has had far more actual experience at governing than any of the other three candidates, all of them senators who had never run any kind of operation, although McCain did take credit for "running" a U.S. Navy fighter squadron. While McCain and Biden at least had had decades of service in Congress, Obama, who took office in 2005, had pulled out of his Senate duties by 2006 to start campaigning and has done nothing else since then.

The parties need to get their acts together. The superficiality of the process was graphically shown this year when the democrat delegates of Michigan and Florida were not to be seated in the convention because the democrat pooh-bahs were miffed at their states' lunge toward the front of the pack with respect to holding their primaries. One remembers that famous TVed debate. Of course, when it became clear that Obama didn't have to worry – VOILA! – the rules were ignored. Disgusting!

Ironically, if a campaigner had to undergo a security check, Senator Obama probably couldn't pass it, mainly because of his close associations with well documented subversives, people like William Ayers and his partner-in-terrorism-crime-wife Bernardine Dorhn, Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Louis Farrakhan, and the honchos in ACORN, a subversive organization dedicated to milking governments on all levels for everything it can get, as well as perpetrating fraud in its well-documented registration efforts.

Solutions to this problem are not hard to recognize. If state primaries are to be held, they should all be held on the same day not more than four months before an election (July, first Tuesday). Campaigns should be legislatively sanctioned to begin eight months before the election (March). The conventions don't matter and could be held at any time. Vice presidents should be chosen in the primaries, not by the prez-candidate. Campaigning would then be prohibited before March of an election year, immeasurable relief for the public. There should be a cap on the amount any candidate can spend, no matter how much she/he raises. Actually, the intervals could be much shorter since both radio and TV make exposure so complete that everything a voter needs to know can be learned in a very short time.

Actually, the parties should like this approach. For one thing, campaigns wouldn't be started so early that changing world and national situations would necessitate constant changes in both philosophy and, more importantly, the spinning and speech-writing process. Case in point: the Iraq "Surge." This blind-sided Obama, who had already declared the Iraq effort a loss. Case in point: the Afghani/Taliban re-surge. This blind-sided McCain. The only wild-card thrown into the four months preceding the current election has been the economic mess, but even the run-up to that was perfectly obvious many months ago. The current Congress was totally asleep at the switch, led by Senator Harry "the Whiner" Reid and Speaker "the Grandma/Nanny" Pelosi, but McCain has had to take the hit since the democrats, playing upon a perceived ignorance on the part of the public, successfully laid it at the feet of Bush/McCain.

In any case, the constant theme sounded by the public for months has been along the lines of "Just get it over with!" This cycle has comprised irrefutable proof that the election process has been prostituted to the extent of being silly, superficial, dishonest and depraved. Enough already!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark