Monday, August 17, 2015

Hillary-for-POTUS@hotmail.com

Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal seems to be heating up again. With the transfer of her work-related messages to the State Department, she claimed to have met the spirit of the law.

As for the remaining e-mails, Mrs. Clinton classified them as personal and apparently deleted them. Critics claim that some of those messages should also have been retained for the historical record. The following brief selection from her deleted e-mails folder lets you be the judge:
March 15, 2009
TO:        All my peeps
FROM:  Hillary Rodham Clinton
Just a quick note to all my supporters about proper e-mail etiquette. I should be addressed as Madam Secretary, not as Madam President….at least for now. LOL
June 29, 2010
TO:        Bill
FROM:  Hillary
When it comes to my 2016 run, I don’t expect a lot. A ringing endorsement would be nice and don’t praise any other candidates. At the very least, I expect you to abide by the prime directive: Keep it in your pants.
October 10, 2011
TO:        Arturo’s Haute Couture Design
FROM:  The Secretary of State
Thanks but no thanks for the drawings with suggested new outfits for me. As usual, I want seven different colored pantsuits, one for each day of the week. And make them drip dry with easy care fabrics. I anticipate a lot of traveling over the next two years and even more after that.
January 12, 2012
TO:        Acme Novelties
FROM:  Secretary Clinton
I am returning your invoice and the 10,000 campaign buttons you screwed up. The order explicitly specified “Vote for Hillary in 2016”, not “Vote for the Hill-Billy team.”
July 5, 2012
TO:        The Office of Bill Clinton
FROM:  The Secretary of State
I’m going to ask you guys one last time; get the Big Dog to stop bugging me about being on the ticket in 2016. I know that the Constitution doesn’t prohibit it but if I get one more e-mail or text from Bill signed “Your future VP”, heads are going to roll!
September 22, 2012
TO:        My exploratory campaign team
FROM:  Hillary
Officially, I haven’t declared my candidacy for 2016 but, of course, it’s full steam ahead. However, what I want you to start organizing today is my 2020 campaign. It’s never too early to start planning for the future. Remember, don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.  J
October 2, 2012
TO:        Elizabeth Warren
FROM:  Hillary Clinton
It was nice to see you again at yesterday’s function. I trust I can count on your support if I should decide to run in 2016. Likewise, I’ll be glad to throw some love your way in 2024. But as for now, it’s my turn, bitch. Understand?
January 2, 2013
TO:        Jeb Bush
FROM:  H. R. Clinton
Glad to see you’re continuing to release your private e-mails even if it has been six years since you were governor. Just a word of advice: think carefully about running for President. My husband trounced your dad and if that clown Al Gore had run on Bill’s record, your brother would still be operating a baseball team in Texas. You can run if you want but I’ll crush you like a grape.
January 29, 2013
TO:        All my staff
FROM:  HRC

Thanks again for preparing my valedictory speech and particularly the kind words about Obama. Although we all know that I should have been President, it was the right thing to do. At least the jerk can’t run again.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Canada Post: We Deliver

As Canada Post continues to eliminate home delivery service by erecting even more community mailboxes, it’s unclear what its business will look like in the near future. Perhaps this recently leaked internal corporate memo will help answer that question.
MEMO
TO:       Big Shot Executive
FROM: Aspiring Big Shot Executive
     The latest transition from home delivery to community mailboxes is going fairly smoothly. Despite some local objections, we’ve managed to install lots of new mailboxes and by the end of next year we should have pretty much eliminated home delivery from coast to coast to coast.
     Needless to say, the savings from this initiative are huge and, when coupled with our regular increases in the cost of stamps, the bottom line is looking pretty sweet. Even if letter mail declines by 25% over the next couple of years, our profits should increase by double that.
     As discussed, the long term plan is still a little hazy. Hopefully, letter mail will level out over the next few years, at which point we can initiate our “Market Mail” plan. As you’ll recall, Market Mail is our focus-tested phrase to cover the privatization of letter mail.
     Once we’ve established a steady, reliable baseline volume of letter mail, we’ll put various routes out to tender to the private sector. Our studies show that there are numerous companies ready, willing and able to pay top dollar for exclusive delivery rights in every major Canadian center.
     Even the routes in mid-size cities should fetch attractive bids. We’re even hoping to make a few bucks on the selloffs of routes in smaller centers. As for remote rural routes, we may have to eat the bills on them for awhile although continued stamp price increases should make even those routes attractive.
     As for package delivery and courier services, it’s pretty clear that our private sector competitors can handle such things just as well, if not better, than us. That means all we need to do is get a bit of legislation passed and we’re in a great position to auction off those services to the highest bidders.
     The question then becomes what will our core business be? At some point, stamp selling will be totally handled by franchisees. That, of course, is another lucrative profit center.
     We’ve brainstormed this matter over the last few weeks and I think you’ll find we’ve come up with a very attractive option. By the next decade, we anticipate that Canada Post will have considerable cash reserves due to selloffs of our core businesses. Of course, we’ll also a large number of post offices and lots and lots of delivery vehicles.
     We propose using some of our windfall profits to convert our postal outlets to coffee shops. Given that we already have hundreds of outlets in great locations, we’re in an ideal position to immediately establish a coast to coast chain.
     Some are going to criticize this plan as a loser given that we will be competing with already well-established chains like Starbucks and Tim Hortons. What they don’t understand, however, is that we will have little in the way of overhead since we already own the outlets.
     Plus we’ll have billions in realized profits to pour into the upgrade of those outlets and a nationwide marketing campaign. And the final kicker is that we can use our extensive fleet of trucks to provide door to door “coffee and crullers” delivery service almost anywhere in Canada.
     If this plan rolls out as we envision it, Canada Post should soon become the nation’s premier coffee and donut chain with a home delivery service second to none. Our new ironic motto? That’s right: “We Deliver!” 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mrs. Duffy's Diary





  



It looks like Mike Duffy is not the only diarist in the family if the following entries from his wife Heather’s journal can be believed:
October 10, 2008
     Mikey came home very upset today. In fact, I can still hear him downstairs kicking the furniture and yelling at the dog. It’s really unfair what the media is saying about him. Just because he rebroadcast the “false starts” interview with Stéphane Dion and called Elizabeth May’s views “bizarre” and “off the wall”, they’re saying that he’s biased towards the Conservatives in the upcoming election.
     That’s just not right. Everybody knows that Mikey favors any party that can help him attain his lifelong dream of a Senate appointment. In the past, he might just as easily have favored the Liberals if they were in the lead. But that goofy Dion guy has about as much chance as a live lobster at a Cavendish church social so why should Mikey help him?
October 15, 2008
     What a great day! The Conservatives won the election last night and Mikey is on cloud nine which just happens to look a lot like him. They still can only form a minority government but Mikey says that’s good since they’ll need even more help to get a majority next time and that might mean a Senate seat for him.
December 22, 2008
     If there’s a big, fat, puffy cloud numbered ten, we’re on it today! Mikey has just been appointed a senator. He’s downstairs right now practicing his acceptance speech in front of our extra-wide full-length mirror. Mikey’s too much of a gentleman to say anything but I know he’d like to give a big fat raspberry to all his former colleagues who made fun of him as “Senator Mike”, “the Puffster” or “the Charlottetown Doughboy.” Who’s laughing now, media clowns?
June 30, 2009
     It’s been a great summer what with so many all-expenses-paid trips around the country talking to the Tory faithful. We even managed to fit in a quick visit to our “principal” residence in Cavendish, P.E.I. (“nudge, nudge, wink, wink” as Mikey always says). It sure is swell how all this can be charged to Mikey’s Senate expense account since it’s all about helping Canadians, albeit those Canadians who are Conservative.
December 6, 2012
     Mikey’s downstairs yelling at the furniture and kicking the dog. The Senate is investigating his housing and expense claims and saying that they were improper. What a bunch of hypocrites! It’s not as if half of them aren’t doing the very same thing.
     From day one, Mikey has been upfront and aboveboard about all this. He’s an Islander through and through and always has been. Heck, our house here in Ottawa has more lobster traps, Anne mementos and potato cookers than anyplace I know west of Summerside. If we don’t qualify as P.E.I.’ers, I don’t know who does.
February 13, 2013
     It looks like this whole misunderstanding is finally going to get sorted out. That nice Nigel Wright from the prime minister’s office cut Mikey a cheque for $90,172 to pay for his outstanding Senate expenses.
     I expressed concern that the media might get suspicious but Mikey said not to worry. From his experience, those media types aren’t too good with numbers and will likely round the amount down to an even $90,000 and won’t make the connection with his debt of $90,172. As Mikey says, $90,000 could be for anything like a new home in P.E.I. or for services rendered for all those Conservative fundraising dinners he attended on the rubber chicken circuit.
June 5, 2013
     Well the seaweed has hit the shore as they say in P.E.I. Mikey’s downstairs helping the dog kick the cat and muttering about some “double-crossing s.o.b.” He had to resign from the Conservative caucus and poor Nigel had to resign, too. What’s really frying Mikey’s taters though is that the prime minister is washing his hands of the whole thing. He says Harper won’t even reply to his texts anymore.
April 7, 2015

     You’d think that this would be a sad day what with the trial starting and all but I haven’t seen Mikey happier in months. He joked that he’s finally going to get his “year in court” and that if he goes down, he’s going to take the whole ship of fools down with him.   

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Brian Williams Story


Excerpts from “The Brian Williams Story”, a rumored biography that will now apparently never see print:


November 9, 1989
     “All I can say is that it was an honor and a thrill to be the only major American news anchor on site when the Berlin Wall fell. It was a combination of good luck and astute planning that put me there that night so that I could report this major event back home to our NBC viewing audience. Or maybe it was Tom Brokaw. The important thing is that we were there.”
December 1, 2000
     “So I turned to W and I said: ‘Hey, George, I think I know how you can solve this election mess. Just take it to the Supreme Court. As I see it, you’ve got at least five friends up there and, from what they’re telling me, they’re more than willing to do you a solid.’ Al Gore was furious with me for ‘sticking my nose in his business’ as he put it but he’s since forgiven me and I even secretly helped him get a better distribution deal on his documentary An Inconvenient Truth.”
February 6, 2003
     “Colin Powell was beside himself. ‘W, Rummy and Cheney all want me to make the case for going to war with Iraq,’ he said. ‘But I’m just not sure.’ I could have told him what he wanted to hear, that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and palled around with Osama bin Laden but it just wasn’t true and if there’s one thing a world class news anchor traffics in it’s the truth. So I gave him the straight goods based on my NBC News intelligence gathering. In the end, of course, he didn’t take my advice but, to this day, he often reminds me that it was the biggest mistake he ever made.”
February 6, 2007
     “Barack called me in a panic and said he didn’t know whether he should throw his hat into the ring. After I calmed him down, I said ‘Barry, look, I can see you’re nervous about taking on Hillary but I know for a fact that she’s vulnerable and can be beaten.’ He was ecstatic to get my advice and begged me to join his campaign team but, of course, I couldn’t. I already had the most important job in America and a responsibility to bring the news and YouTube videos to those over sixty.”
March 17, 2008
     “Everyone was throwing stones at Hillary and casting doubts on her recollection of her and Chelsea coming under sniper fire in a war zone in Bosnia in 1996. I called her up and commiserated and we compared notes about getting shot at. I told her to hang tough. ‘Memory is a funny thing,’ I said. ‘Sometimes what you remember actually happened and sometimes it didn’t but if it feels right to you, stick with your story.’”
February 1, 2015
     “Pete Carroll and I had been friends for years even going back to his days as coach of the New England Patriots. He struggled quite a bit back then so when he ultimately got the Seattle head coaching position, I vowed to help him out. Every week I passed along a dozen surefire offensive plays for the upcoming game and Pete couldn’t thank me enough. But then when he won the Super Bowl in 2014, he seemed to get a bit of a swelled head and started to ignore some of my advice. Sadly, he chose not to heed my single admonition for Super Bowl Sunday to never, ever throw an inside slant pass at the goal line. To his credit, he did call me after and apologize but sadly I don’t think our friendship will ever be the same.”

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Congressman







                        With last season’s debut of “Naked and Afraid”, it appears that the TV reality show well might be running dry. Having exploited everything from dating to cooking to home improvement, it looks like the reality genre has finally been exhausted.
            Luckily for TV producers, there is still one fertile field of TV reality endeavor that’s ripe for the plucking, namely politics as evidenced by these proposed reality shows soon to spring forth from the drawing board:
The Congressman
            It’s “The Bachelor” meets “Joe Millionaire” in this political romance show. One U.S. congressman is introduced to 25 lobbyists who compete to win his love and support. Each episode features “dates” and ends with a “check” ceremony where the lobbyists offer up envelopes to the congressman in hopes of buying his heart and vote. Unlike other reality dating shows, the congressman is not restricted to choosing just one lobbyist. If successful, look for the debut of “The Congresswoman” next season.
Big Brothers and Sisters
            Nine aging jurists are forced to work together in a courtroom from the first Monday in October until the end of June. Alternating between sittings and recesses, the three women and six men are faced with new dilemmas such as what color to paint the walls, what kind of lunch to order in or whether or not a corporation is a person. The courtmates publicly assert that their decisions are all strictly based on legal reasoning although after the lights go out, it’s clear that there’s more politics than law involved as evidenced by the plethora of 5-4 split decisions.
Block That Bill
            There are 435 contestants living in the House and 100 in the Senate in this bicameral reality show. One team, called the Democrats, is assigned the task of trying to get bills passed to become actual laws. The other team, called the Republicans, tries to block those bills by whatever means available. The Democrats rule the Senate except for the inconvenient fact that it takes 60% of the residents to get anything done. It doesn’t really matter anyway since almost nothing gets by the Republicans in the House. Sadly, the only real losers in this show are the American public.
This Old White House
            It’s an aging Palladian-style mansion located in the heart of Washington, D. C. The almost 200-year-old residence has been home to more than forty different men and all but one lived there for eight or fewer years. The show follows the day-to-day life of the current resident and his ongoing failed attempts at legislative renovation. Whether it’s immigration reform or socialized medicine, the house’s tenant just can’t seem to get any Washington contractors to cooperate to make the necessary changes.
Here Comes Johnny Boo-hoo

            This show follows the daily life of Speaker of the House John Boehner, America’s favorite keening congressman. When it comes to sentimentality, he’s the handiest man with a handkerchief. Whether it’s remembering his hardscrabble background, thinking about the disadvantaged or honoring Rosa Parks, Johnny Boo-hoo is the king of the Washington waterworks. Unfortunately, when it comes to actually voting to help any of these folks, it looks like John’s are the only dry eyes in the House. 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

The Republican Three-ring Circus

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome under the Republican big top and prepare to be entertained by the incredible performers of Boehner Brothers (formerly Hastert & Boehner), America’s premier political circus. 

Unlike other political circuses, we don’t just present one show at a time. We are a full, three-ring operation. That means no matter where you turn your head, there’s an amazing performance you just won’t be able to look away from.

Unfortunately, our regular ringmaster, Mr. John Boehner, could not be here as he is away on an extended ABO tour urging one and all to support “anyone but Obama.” However, as his political understudy, I, Kevin McCarthy, will host tonight’s festivities in the very same fashion with absolutely no added original thought or flourishes.

Now if you will turn your attention to the far ring on my right or what we have dubbed “The Congressional ring”, you will be wowed by several acrobatic feats. Watch as the amazing House Republicans introduce Obamacare defunding over and over again. Marvel as they repeatedly bring the nation to the brink of fiscal collapse. Be amazed and astounded at the mathematical magic of Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, who repeatedly turns forty per cent plus one into a majority.

To my left is “The Presidential wannabes ring” which doubles as the home of our circus’s clown contingent. Some of you are no doubt expecting to see our most famous presidential wannabes John McCain and Mitt Romney. Unfortunately, neither of these clowns is with the circus anymore but I can guarantee you that our current cast of jesters is capable of just as many wild antics as their famous predecessors.

You’ll see all your favorite clowns like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry. You may even be lucky enough to be entertained by the best of the best from recent years like Ted Cruz and Michelle Bachman.  

But that’s not all. Thanks to our world famous Republican clown college, there are always new graduates to entertain you. Keep your eyes open tonight for this season’s new prat-falling, seltzer-spraying buffoons like Jeb Bush and the “Amazin’ Pauls”: Paul Ryan and Rand Paul.

Finally, if you will look directly in front of me in the main circle, “The Republican donors ring”, you’ll be astounded by the taming abilities of our favorite bilious billionaires. Thanks to the assistance of five-ninths of the Supreme Court, you can now watch the likes of Sheldon Adelson and the Krazy Koch brothers tame the wildest presidential candidates making them eat right out of the palms of their hands.

We may not have dancing elephants or unicycle-riding bears but we have something even better: non-stop political shenanigans. If you thought politics was dull and unentertaining, you’re in for a delightful surprise as you’ll see astonishing things you’d never see anywhere outside Washington, D.C.

From sexual improprieties to overused filibusters, the Republican big top is sure to bring you ongoing, jaw-dropping entertainment unmatched in any jurisdiction west of Russia.

So, ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy our three-ring circus. No matter where you look, you’ll be surprised, amazed and amused by the common sense-defying actions and antics of our team of unique performers.

You are indeed a fortunate audience as there is no guarantee that our circus can continue much longer. With this many no-net high wire acts, we may not last until the end of the year or even the end of the month. So sit back, open your eyes and be prepared to be astounded.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Tory Three-ring Circus

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome under the Tory big top and prepare to be entertained by the incredible performers of Harper Brothers (formerly Harper & Flaherty), Canada’s premier political circus.

Unlike other political circuses, we don’t just present one show at a time. We are a full, three-ring operation. That means no matter where you turn your head, there’s an amazing performance you just won’t be able to look away from.

Unfortunately, our regular ringmaster, Mr. Stephen Harper, could not be here as he is away on an extended foreign tour bringing our unique style of political showmanship to foreign capitals from Jerusalem to Kyiv to Berlin. However, as his political understudy, I, Pierre “call me Pete” Polievre, will host tonight’s festivities in the very same fashion with absolutely no added original thought or flourishes.

Now if you will turn your attention to the far ring on my right or what we have dubbed “the Senate ring”, you will be wowed by several acrobatic feats. Watch as the seemingly immoveable Mike Duffy simultaneously lives in Ottawa and P.E.I. Marvel as the glamorous dragon lady Pamela Wallin resides in Toronto but claims official residence in Saskatchewan. Be amazed and astounded at the financial high wire act of our once-undefeated serial pugilist Patrick Brazeau.

To my left is the Prime Minister’s Office ring which doubles as the home of our circus’s clown contingent. Watch as PMO clowns engage in all manner of political high jinks from unauthorized personal loans to senators to questionable interference in riding association nomination processes. Supposedly under the command and control of the ringmaster, these Kanadian Keystone Kops will have you in stitches with their crazy unexpected actions.

Some of you are no doubt expecting to see our most famous PMO performers Nigel Wright and Dmitri Soudas. Unfortunately, neither of these clowns is with the circus anymore but I can guarantee you that our current cast of jesters is capable of just as many wild antics as their famous predecessors.

Finally, if you will look directly in front of me in the main ring, you will see our star attraction: the dangerous caged caucus. For years, these fierce House members have been tamed and controlled by Canada’s top MP tamer, our brave ringmaster himself, Mr. Harper.

But with Mr. Harper’s repeated absences and recent damaging events, the caucus animals have become restless and emboldened. As your ringmaster for tonight, I will share taming duties with our top whip, Mr. John Duncan. Together we hope to keep these bellicose backbenchers from breaking free and bringing down the entire Tory tent.

We may not have dancing elephants or unicycle-riding donkeys but we have something even better: non-stop political shenanigans. If you thought politics was dull and unentertaining, you’re in for a delightful surprise as you’ll see astonishing things you’d never see anywhere outside Washington, D.C.

From double-claimed expenses to overused omnibus bills to borderline criminal activity, the Tory three-ring circus is sure to bring you ongoing, jaw-dropping entertainment unmatched in any jurisdiction north of the American border.

So, ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy our three-ring circus. No matter where you look, you’ll be surprised, amazed and amused by the common sense-defying actions and antics of our team of unique performers.

You are indeed a fortunate audience as there is no guarantee that our circus can continue much longer. With this many no-net high wire acts, we may not last until the end of the year or even the end of the month. So sit back, open your eyes and be prepared to be astounded.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Bureaucrats' Trap

“[D]epartments are experimenting with regular ‘Dragons' Den’-type events with employees to find creative solutions to policy and operational challenges.”                                                          
-    Destination 2020 web site

“Good evening. I’m Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board, and I’d like to welcome you to the first episode of our brand new show called Bureaucrats’ Trap. It’s a chance for federal public servants to participate in our wonderful new action plan called Destination 2020 by pitching their ideas to improve government service to a panel of topnotch bureaucrats.”
“First up is Fred Warner, a file clerk from Vancouver who has what he describes as a ‘sure-fire method’ to eliminate red tape and improve file processing in any government office.”
“Thanks, Mr. Clement. I’m really excited to be here tonight to tell you about my plan to revolutionize file handling in the public service. What’s that? Do I have my proper ID with me? Well, no. I didn’t think I’d need it for this. Security clearance? Again, I wasn’t aware I’d need to document that for a simple presentation.”
“Sorry about that, Fred, but you’ll understand that rules are rules and we can’t just have anyone appearing before our panel of experts. But hopefully our next presenter, Cindy Lawson, from Halifax has the proper accreditation so the bureaucrats can consider her new idea.”
“Yes I do, Mr. Clement, plus I’ve got everything in triplicate with extra copies for all the panelists.”
“Excellent, Cindy. Now please go ahead with your presentation.”
“As you can see on the screen in front of you, my plan for efficient file handling is called “first in – first out” or FIFO for short. It’s a revolutionary new method whereby the first file received in an office receives priority to ensure that it is the first one processed and finalized.”
“Thanks, Cindy, but as the bureaucrats have noted, that’s just not going to work. Your plan has a superficial appeal but, in essence, is just too simplistic. What about files requiring immediate priority for the minister? Or what about folios from favored constituents? And then there are those dockets that need to be temporarily or even permanently shelved for any number of good reasons that typically need not be publicly revealed. It’s a nice thought, Cindy, but I’m afraid it’s just a bit naïve. Which brings us to our next presenter - Gord Burroughs from Ottawa. Gord, what have you got for us tonight?”
“Well, Tony. May I call you Tony? No? OK. Well, Mr. Clement, I’ve got a plan that I know is going to help revamp and revitalize the entire federal public service. It’s something I call ‘adequate compensation and directions’ or ACAD for short. ACAD would provide a mechanism whereby an individual employee’s position would be properly classified and salary and bonuses would be set in accordance with established industry metrics.”
“Gord, the bureaucrats love your creative use of acronyms and the can-do spirit behind your proposal but ultimately they feel that it’s a no-go simply because it is far too specific. They would have preferred that you come up with a couple of innocuous acronyms without any detailed action plan. After all, obfuscation and deferral are the two key watchwords in any new grand government initiative. So long as it sounds good and it’s vague enough so no one can actually assess results, it’s a winner. Better luck next time.”

“Well, that’s it for this week’s episode of Bureaucrat’s Trap. Join us next week when we welcome three more workers with their simplistic and obvious suggestions that will likely not meet the bureaucrats’ minimum standards for viable policy implementation. And stay tuned for our new quiz show entitled Remember These? in which  workers and mandarins participate as contestants and try to recall anything meaningful about previous long-forgotten government action plans like La Relève, PS2000, GE Conversion, UCS (Universal Classification System) and VASE (Vision and Strategies Exercise). The winner gets to keep his or her job.” 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Barry And The Boys


Barry and the boys were sitting around the Oval Office trying to come up with an answer to the Ukraine crisis:

"Mr. President, we have to do something about Ukraine. We can't keep saying that there will be consequences. People are calling you a wimp."
"Let's be clear; I am not a wimp. There will be consequences if Russia does not respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Mark my words."
"That's what's been happening, Mr. President. Everyone's been marking your words and there's not a whole lot there."
"Well, let me be perfectly clear. The United States will not accept nor will we condone any incursion by a foreign power into the sovereign territory of another nation based solely on trumped up allegations of non‑existent security threats."
"Uh, Mr. President, what about Iraq?"
"Oh, damn! Thanks a lot George W. Bush."
"Anything else, Mr. President?"
"Well, let's see. How about the United States does not concede that there is any doctrine that Russia can invoke to curtail foreign influence in any country within its immediate sphere of influence?"
"You mean like the Monroe Doctrine?"
"Damn again!"
"There must be something we can do, Mr. President."
"Wait, wait, I've got it. There can be no acceptance of a political situation where a foreign power decides to intervene in the affairs of another country simply because one political faction in that country has toppled the ruling party and seeks an alliance with the foreign power's foes."
"Our invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965?"
"Damn and double damn! Wait, I've got it. Our nation will not countenance a violation of international law whereby a nation invades another country simply to protect those of its own ethnicity."
"Ronald Reagan. Grenada. 1983. Had to rescue those American medical students. Remember?"
"Can't allow a foreign influence to take hold so close to our shores?"
"Cuba. Bay of Pigs. 1961."
"OK. What about a condemnation of a specious claim of manifest destiny to expand one's sovereignty to include contiguous territory?"
"Sounds like the Mexican War of 1845, Mr. President."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. So if you guys are so smart, what's the answer?"
"Let them have Crimea and call it a day. They'll live to regret it. Remember Afghanistan and Georgia?"
"OK, let's do it."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fuggedaboutit, eh?















Most political scandals in America have a Washington connection. Think Watergate, Abscam, Iran-Contra and Clinton-Lewinsky. In the case of the maelstrom surrounding Chris Christie, however, the Washington connection happens to be the George Washington Bridge spanning New Jersey and Manhattan.

For those who might have been out of the country or trapped in traffic on said bridge, Governor Christie is in hot water because his staffers arranged a traffic tie-up on the GWB last September in retaliation for the lack of a reelection endorsement from Fort Lee’s Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich. Although it appears that Mr. Christie had no direct involvement in or knowledge of those shenanigans, the fact that his people initiated this stunt suggests that he had created and encouraged an atmosphere of vindictive political payback.

Ordinarily, such an event would be a one-day wonder and would quickly disappear from the nation’s headlines. But in this case, the governor in question is the putative favorite to be the Republican Party’s nominee in the 2016 presidential election. Thus, this scandal has, if not legs, at least a couple of arms that could see it dragging itself along in full public view for the foreseeable future.

As a Canadian, I don’t know whether to be pleased or annoyed by America’s latest political scandal, what is sure to eventually be known as Bridgegate, Christiegate or Jerseygate. On the one hand, it finally takes the spotlight away from our foulmouthed, crack-smoking, lady-councillor-shoving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. On the other hand, it takes the spotlight away from Canada, a country that can use any publicity it can get whether good or bad.

On balance, I think this latest screw-up is a bad thing for us Canadians. After all, Mr. Ford has managed to give us more international media coverage in the last six months than we’ve otherwise garnered in 25 years. And since I don’t see anyone else on the northern horizon who’s capable of the antics necessary to get us noticed, I think Rob Ford’s the publicity horse we should keep on riding.

The question then becomes how do we squelch the interest in Governor Christie’s mess and get the news hounds back on the trail of Mr. Ford? I think the answer lies with Mr. Christie.

All it would take is a discreet call from the New Jersey Governor’s office to the Toronto Mayor’s office asking for one small favor. The fact remains that no matter what Rob Ford does, nothing seems to affect his popularity among Toronto voters. The crazier the stunt, the better his reelection chances. In fact, it’s apparent that when Mr. Ford is  behaving himself, his electability actually drops.

A savvy New Jersey pol should be able to pick up on this fact and suggest to Mr. Ford that a few more faux pas might be just what it takes to get him reelected to the Toronto mayoralty later this coming year. Maybe he could snort cocaine while speeding through downtown Toronto on a stolen motorcycle. Or what about dropping a couple of  water balloons from the CN Tower?

Let’s face it; it wouldn’t take much to return Mayor Ford to the front pages, the supper hour news shows and, most importantly, the lead story on The Daily Show. At that point, the George Washington Bridge scandal becomes yesterday’s news and Governor Christie can get back to doing what he does best: pimp for President.

So, hey Chris Christie, do yourself and us Canadians a big favor: call Rob Ford. As I see it, it’s a win-win situation. No need to thank me. As they say in Toronto: “fuggedaboutit, eh?”