Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Prez

"The Prez"
by Richard Cheney

Wherein the advisor to the family Bush instructs its members in the gaining, regaining and exercise of power. Written in the year 2000 but not yet published.

Chapter I How Many Kinds Of Prezs There Are And By What Means They Are Acquired
All states that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities and are ruled by prezs. A prez may be elected democratically or, more easily, can win victory through hereditary means. Where a prez has achieved hereditary power, his tenure is more likely to be lengthy.

Chapter II Concerning The Acquisition Of Power Through Other Than Democratic Means
Moral principles must yield to every circumstance. Do anything to acquire and maintain power. It is possible to acquire power through democratic means but it is difficult and not entirely satisfactory. Where a contender is from a family that has previously ruled, it is easier to circumvent the democratic process. Ensure that family friends are highly placed throughout the judiciary. Then any voting disputes or irregularities can be kept out of the hands of the electorate and instead be entrusted to the courts.

Chapter III Concerning The Retention Of Power In The Face Of Popular Unrest
Whenever the democratic process dictates a second election, a sitting prez must ensure that the reputation of any opponent be severely undermined. After a term of four years, the people will not be happy with the incumbent. However, it is a simple matter to tar the reputation of any pretender with the twin brushes of cowardice and indecision. The sitting prez must not be involved in such exercises but instead should leave them to friends and veterans. At all times, be sure to disregard the connection between ethics and politics.

Chapter IV How A Prez Should Conduct Himself As To Gain Renown
It is important to obtain a popular reputation among the people without actually doing anything for them. The wealthy must be rewarded with large tax cuts but the general populace can be won over simply by pretending to be one of them. Promise only undefined concepts such as freedom and compassionate conservatism.

Chapter V Concerning The Way In Which Prezs Should Keep Faith
A wise prez should not be hated. It is best to be feared and loved although if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared. Make efforts to appear religious to sway the populace. Proclaim faith, friendship and humanity while acting in direct opposition to those qualities. One who claims to be born again will gain popular support without needing to fulfill any promises. People see what you appear to be; few really know what you are.

Chapter VI That Which Concerns A Prez On The Subject Of The Art Of War
A prez ought to have no other aim or thought than war and its rules and discipline. And his highest aim is to complete the unfinished wars fought by his ancestors. When an opportunity arises to complete that work, a sitting prez will connect that opportunity in some manner, no matter how fleeting or tenuous, to the unfinished goal. He must find an excuse to invade and, if necessary, invoke the doctrine of the unilateral, preemptive strike. To be seen as decisive, it is better to be impetuous than cautious.

Chapter VII Concerning The Secretaries Of Prezs
The choice of servants is of no little importance to a prez. A prudent prez should have a select group of wise counsellors to advise him truthfully on matters even when he does not inquire of them. Of utmost importance is to choose a vice prez wisely for this is a position that is neither executive nor legislative. I urge you to name me as your servant to effect a search for someone to fill that post and trust that I will choose the best available candidate. At that point, it will be an easy matter to select the various secretaries needed from among my friends.

Chapter VIII How To Avoid Defeat
He who causes another to become powerful ruins himself. Thus, be wary of devolving power to others. Except, of course, in the case of your humble servant who you can trust implicitly.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Conrad's Friends

Conrad Black has been found guilty and now faces the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. Not surprisingly, he has apparently been asking his friends for help and advice as evidenced by the following recent e-mails:

TO: Lord Black of Crossharbour
FROM: Paris Hilton

How nice of you to write. I’ve never heard of you but my daddy says you’re one of us so I’m glad to answer your questions. Since I was only in the "slammer" for three weeks, I’m not sure what to tell you about adjusting to prison life. In my experience, so long as you have access to a phone and the media, the time passes pretty quickly. And a word to the wise: if you bat your eyes and shake your booty, you’ll probably get a few extra perks. At least that’s how it worked in my prison.

TO: Conrad
FROM: Scooter
Hey, tough break. I know what you’re going through what with the jail term, the fine and the public humiliation. But listen, if you’ve got any dirt on Bush or Cheney, there’s a "Get Out of Jail Free" card waiting for you at The White House. Even if you don’t know any secrets, just pretend that you do. They’re so scared now that they’re handing out pardons and commutations like they’re candy.

TO: Blackie
Sorry to hear about that guilty verdict, Blackie. Sure thought you were going to beat the rap. I guess it’s a lot tougher than when I was screwing around with my SEC filings for Harken Energy. In case you didn’t know, the statute of limitations has run out on that one. So nice try, Blackie, but it looks like you’ll be doing time. See you when you get out.

TO: Mr. Black
FROM: Henry Kissinger

Thanks again for the Hollinger directorship. It was great fun doing nothing for all those fees. However, I’m afraid I can’t help you out. But if you’re even half as clever as I am, I’m sure you’ll find a solution. After all, I managed to get the Nobel Peace Prize while secretly bombing Cambodia. Surely you can beat a simple fraud charge.

TO: Lord Black
FROM: Martha Stewart

It is indeed an honor to hear from you even if you never deigned to write to me while I was in prison. But never mind. Us cons have to stick together, n’est-ce pas? Now as for your request for advice, the following tips might come in handy:
1. Don’t use fancy words.
2. Nobody likes a know-it-all.
3. Everybody loves a jailhouse lawyer.
4. Black accessories go with orange.
5. Bring your own truffles.
6. A toothbrush can be made into a decorative festive shiv.

TO: Mr. Conrad Black
FROM: Random House

Thank you for your recent book proposal. After careful consideration, we regret that we must pass on your suggested autobiography. Given the surfeit of white collar criminal autobiographies, we don’t feel that there is room in next year’s catalogue for another one. If you should succeed on appeal or if you are accused of murder, please try us again.

TO: Barbara Amiel
FROM: Your husband

[Message undeliverable. No known recipient at this address.]

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Paris's Bible

While in jail, Paris Hilton apparently found God. She was recently spotted carrying a copy of the Bible and now says that her prison experience has changed her and made her "much more spiritual."
However, it appears that Ms. Hilton’s Bible is not the King James Version or the New International Version. Rather, it seems that she is reading from her own personal version of the scriptures as evidenced by the following passages:

Oprah 3:15
"Be not constrained by the bars of prison but go forth and announce your state to the world. Whomever you choose to call, do so with grace, modesty and a guaranteed 15% audience share."

Barbara 5:13
"Let not thy View be impaired by the darkness of your cell. For there is another cell called a phone which shall be thy lifeline to the throngs who long for news of your stay. Call when the spirit moves you and fear not that ye shall wake me for the good news is on a 24-hour cycle."

Phil 4:23
"And the child did lamp unto the feet of the healer and cried out: ‘Why have you forsaken me, Dr. Phil?’ But lo, I have not forsaken you my child but instead I have reserved a fortnight’s worth of episodes to bring you back into the fold."

2 FOX 6:12
"Know ye that wherever you go, God is with you as is FOX and all of her many channels. Praise the cable universe and the certain wealth that shall be rained down upon you at our most generous rates."

Numbers 2:23
"Yea though ye serve your full sentence, know that the numbers will continue to rise. Based on the findings of the ones called Neilsen and Gallup and Pew, surely you will be seen by more of the people than you could previously have imagined. Do the time and you will earn the abundance of the Lord."

Revelations 8:12
"And the people looked heavenward and cried as one: ‘Give us more news of the one they call Paris for we must know whereof she speaks!’ And the one called Paris looked down upon the masses and smiled for she knew that her penance would profit her for all time."

2 ET 4:26
"The picture taker will live with the gossip monger, the broadsheet will lie down with the tabloid, the news and the entertainment and the trivia together; and an overgrown child shall lead them."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New York, New York, New York

It looks like the 2008 Presidential race is going to be dominated by New Yorkers. First we have New York Senator Hillary Clinton vying for the Democratic nomination. Then there’s former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who’s running for the Republican nod. And now it looks like New York’s current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, may make a run for the Presidency as an independent.

But that’s apparently not where it ends. The door is now wide open for even more New Yorkers to jump on the 2008 Presidential bandwagon as evidenced by these recently overheard statements of intent:

Ed Koch
"I can’t believe all these New York City mayors are running for President. What do they know? These guys are amateurs compared to me. If you want a guy with style and pizzaz, I’m your man. I’d run the country like I ran New York. Before you know it, there’d be a Broadway in every town in America and people would be calling this country U.S., U.S. - the nation so nice they named it twice."

Eliot Spitzer
"OK, I admit it. Sure I’d like to be President. Why the hell else do you think I took this two-bit governor’s job? Every New York governor from Pataki to Cuomo to Rockefeller to FDR wanted to be President. Do you think anybody seriously wants to end his career in Albany? Yeah I was going to wait until 2012 but since New York is the flavor of the day, I’m throwing my hat in the ring now."

George Steinbrenner
"Let’s do it. Get rid of the current guy. What’s his name? Bush? Didn’t he run the Texas Rangers for awhile? Well you can see he’s about as good at running a country as he was at running a baseball team. If you want a real leader, you need me. I’m the guy who owns the New York Yankees, the best baseball team in the universe. Now it’s time for me to do for the country what I did for the Yankees. Vote for me and we’ll all be world champions again."

Donald Trump
"Sure, I’d consider running for President next year. Of course, it would be a bit of a demotion for me. But if that’s what the people want, I’m willing to make the sacrifice. Believe me, if I get in, there’s gonna be a lot of changes. First of all, I’d tear down The White House and build a big, fancy new high rise with a good residential-commercial split. Something all Americans could be proud of, a Washington Trump Tower if you will. It would be huge. And then I’d clean house. A lotta folks would get fired and then I’d bring in some of my pals to run things and turn a profit. Trust me, it would be fabulous."

Rosie O’Donnell
"Yeah, why not? Those broads on ‘The View’ are a real pain in the ass and since Bob Barker doesn’t want me to take over from him on ‘The Price Is Right’, I’ve got lots of free time on my hands. I gotta lotta opinions and I can yell real loud. So count me in, especially if that idiot Trump is running. Boy, I’d like to get my hands on that poor excuse for a hairpiece. Whatta chump."

Woody Allen
"Rosie’s running? OK, maybe I should run, too. What could it hurt? It’s not like anyone else is doing such a great job. Maybe I could be Vice President. It comes with a pension, right? So long as they make Manhattan the national capital, I wouldn’t mind at all. After all, it’s not like those movie residuals last forever, you know."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

You Beg My Pardon

President Bush has commuted part of the sentence given to Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, eliminating his prison term. Hard on the heels of this Solomon-like decision, the president has decided to issue the following pardons:

Paris Hilton
"I think it is tragic that Paris Hilton had to spend any time in jail. Just because she had a small problem related to drinking and driving is no reason to throw the book at her. Heck, if we took such a harsh stance in every such case, it’s no telling who might have ended up in jail. And while we’re at it, I want to pardon Ms. Hilton for her first CD. I think we’ve all suffered enough."

Barry Bonds
"It’s tough playing baseball day in and day out. I know. I used to watch these guys when I ran the Texas Rangers ball club. So if Barry needed a shot or two of something to keep going, I don’t think he should be punished for that. Plus, just like my win in 2000, there’s no need to put an asterisk after Barry’s name when he finally beats Hank Aaron’s home run record."

Britney Spears
"That nice young lady also deserves a pardon. Everybody seems to be picking on her for going a little wild after her divorce. These things happen. But if we imprisoned every young woman who did crazy things, Laura and I would be posting bail for Jenna and Barbara every other weekend."

Dick Cheney
"People are saying he did a lot of bad things like shooting a guy in the face, invading Iraq and making me appoint Roberts and Alito to the Supreme Court. I’m not sure about any of those. Plus I’m kind of scared of him. So I think it’s just best to pardon Dick and hope that he’ll leave me alone."

My Dad
"Yeah, he screwed up and should have finished the job in Iraq when he had the chance back in 1991. And while I’m at it, I’m pardoning him for any role he might have had in Iran-Contra just in case the statute of limitations hasn’t run out on that one. Hey, we all did some crazy stuff back in the 80s but that doesn’t mean we should have to pay for it forever."

John Kerry
"Those Swift Boat Veterans say you lied about your wartime heroics in Vietnam. Heck, I don’t know who to believe but at least you went to Vietnam. I don’t think you should be punished just because you weren’t smart enough to get a cushy spot in the Texas Air National Guard."

The American Voter
"You are hereby pardoned for not giving me a majority of the popular vote in 2000. It turned out that I didn’t need it after all. Plus you redeemed yourself by giving me that majority in 2004 even after all the crazy things I did."

"I don’t make mistakes. That’s just the kind of guy I am. But other folks do screw up and in case they decide to come after me, I hereby pardon myself for everything and anything I may have done in the last six and a half years. Heck, make it a full eight just in case they try to nail me for future stuff, too."

"While I’m at it, I’d also like to pardon some other people including all those folks who gave me bad intelligence about Iraq. No real harm was done so I don’t think they should be punished. I’d also like to pardon all those comedians who kept making fun of the way I talk. Rest inured, I will not persecute them to the full extent of the law. A quick pardon, too, for that movie ‘Battlefield Earth’ and anything starring Sylvester Stallone or Madonna. As for the Dixie Chicks, I’m afraid they’ll have to wait for the next president. After all, I do have my limits."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Losing the Faith

"[Matthew Dowd] switched parties, joined Mr. Bush’s political brain trust and dedicated the next six years to getting him to the Oval Office and keeping him there....Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced."
- N. Y. Times - April 1, 2007

Although a number of top Republicans have recently expressed doubts about George W. Bush’s leadership, Matthew Dowd is the first from the President’s inner circle to publicly break ranks. But apparently he will not be the last if the following leaked memoranda are to be believed:

FROM: Karl Rove
Mr. President, I know that things have not been going your way of late. What with Katrina, the Iraq War and that district attorney business, I can see why some folks are getting upset with your style of leadership. But, as Margaret Thatcher once said to your dad: “Don’t go wobbly on me, George.”
I sense that you are beginning to think that diplomacy and compromise may be the answer to the problems facing you. If so, I fear that I cannot remain as your trusted advisor.
We have built your presidency on the firm basis of stonewalling and never admitting mistakes. To waver from that position now could endanger the entire house of cards we have built.
A house built of very rich cards if I do say so myself.
Just to let you know. If you decide to cut Al Gonzales loose, I’ll have to go public with my criticism. After all, if Al walks the plank, I figure I won’t be far behind.

FROM: Vice W
What’s going on here, junior? We’ve got less than two years to go. Don’t wimp out on me now like your old man did. There are still some tax cuts we haven’t made yet and Halliburton is asking for some more Iraq “reconstruction” contracts.
Don’t let those Democratic majorities in Congress get you down. You’ve got something they don’t: a veto. Just because you\ve only used it once in over six years is no reason to be afraid of using it now. I figure we can ride that sucker all the way to January of 2009. And after that, who the hell cares? The Democrats are welcome to clean up the mess as far as I’m concerned. But if you start caving on any of these issues now, I’m going to have to take you quail hunting, if you get my drift. Just a word to the wise.

TO: Dad
FROM: Jenna and Barbara
Dad, please stop doing whatever you’re doing. We don’t know what specifically you’re up to but it sure is putting a crimp in our social life. Wherever we go, people are saying “Your dad’s not cool” and “Why is your dad screwing up so much?”
Just the other night, they wouldn’t even let us into the Pink Elephant Club in Manhattan. And I’ve given up counting the number of times guys ask us why we’re not serving in Iraq. Daddy, it’s really, really embarrassing. It’s not like anyone ever calls you on your soft service during the Vietnam War.
Anyway, just to let you know that we’re not going to take this much longer. Start doing things people like or we’re going to diss you. Sorry dad.

TO: George
FROM: Your mother
Well this is a fine mess you’ve gotten us into. I always knew you’d screw up. I told your dad eight years ago that he better make sure Jeb got the nomination, not you. But, no, he didn’t listen to me. He said you’d have to learn from your mistakes, that you couldn’t beat Gore anyway and blah, blah, blah.
I’m not going to say another word. But if you don’t straighten things out soon, I’m going to have to do an interview with Barbara Walters or maybe even that Oprah lady. Remember what happened when you didn’t clean up your room? Well you better get ready for both ears to get boxed this time, mister.