TYRANT KING, THE IMPLAUSIBLE RISE OF PRESIDENT GILBERT NILE
TYRANT KING, THE IMPLAUSIBLE RISE OF PRESIDENT GILBERT NILE
Feb 14 2012, 03:14 PM
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TYRANT KING: THE IMPLAUSIBLE RISE OF PRESIDENT GILBERT NILE
A wise God covers with thick night the path of the future, and laughs at the man who alarms himself without reason.--Horace
I know that sooner or later I’m going to have to turn myself in.
I say this because, currently, it is forbidden by law to discuss the fact that Gilbert Nile, the 47th President of the United States, is possessed of an esoteric knowledge that, in the material sense, takes the form of a magic ring.
To do so: To discuss this crucial fact, would, of course, to be to give the game away.
But those influential men who hold this belief (and, though they are few, they are surprisingly numerous) also feel (quite aside from the prospect of going to prison) that it is not in good taste to discuss this fact in public, let alone appropriate to make the fact a part of public discourse.
Of course, there are some crazed conspiracy theorists (thankfully few) who claim that our current President isn't even human. That he is, in fact, some sort of alien sent from outer space to peacefully conquer the American imperium via techniques of guile and stealth perfected in centuries past by parties unknown.
WHERE IS THEIR PROOF? WHERE??
As “proof” of their foolish allegations, these tinfoil-hat lunatics and loners speak of Gilbert Nile's having run for the Presidential nomination at the advanced age of 73.
Of his seeming appearance from nowhere in the primaries to rise--almost as if by magic! --and rise--and he, a social liberal!--and rise, nearly to the top, to the summit, nay! to the very the apex of his party, the (then uncharacteristically fractious) Republican Party.
They speak of his nomination, at the convention, to the post of Vice President, virtually by acclamation.
They speak, too, of the general election and of his miraculous come-from-behind electoral victory against seemingly insurmountable odds.
They speak of the undue and perhaps improper influence exerted upon the President by his wealthy and somewhat shadowy friend, the multi-billonaire philanthropist and mogul Cromwell Jones. (Yes, friends, Cromwell Jones. Do you think I could make such a name up? Think again! I know it sounds like the name of a shuffling and bug-eyed Negro porter from a fifth-rate 1930s movie, but that is, in fact, his name.)
And they also speak, these wild-eyed conspiracy-mongers, of the sudden and tragic and somewhat mysterious death of President Wendell Middleton; and of Vice President Nile's sudden ascension to the seat of power.
How admirably Gilbert Nile conducted himself, during those days of national mourning! Did he not so very eloquently say, upon his swearing-in, “I would have given all in my power to have gained this office by my own merits, yet I would give all in my power to restore to life my untimely departed predecessor.” (Never mind the logical implausibilty of this statement--it was the sentiment that counted among the sincerely bereaved.)
These conspiracy mavens speak, too, of the supineness of his opponents, of the press, of the normally intransigent Russians and Chinese, and even of the Arabs.
(Say what you will, I believe that the Arabs are overawed by President Nile because they are, owing to their creed, still to some extent under the sway of magical thinking--recall, if you will, the story of Aladdin and his wonderful lamp.)
But, as a matter of fact, White House (p)resident Gilbert Nile is no alien, or extraterrestrial, or shape-shifter, or mysterious being from another planet. He is homo sapiens; man; and human; all too human, as his deeds and misdeeds, to be chronicled here, shall soon enough show.
I place myself at great risk by committing to paper the doings of this initially affable, but now brutally authoritarian, leader. I am writing this draft entirely by hand, and dare not show it to a soul, lest word get back to our seemingly omnipotent leader that some ink-stained wretch, a hated academician no less, has actually dared to write down what many suspect but absolutely nobody dares voice:
That the man who we call the President of the United States has a magic ring that can accomplish nearly everything.
ON WHAT DO I BASE THIS WILD SURMISE?
It is impossible to show proof, in the classic, scientific sense. The magic ring, if ring it even be, is invisible to the apprehension. Either the President keeps it close by, or such is the ring's power that he can wear it on his finger without it being visible to the naked eye.
Ergo, the ring's very absence is proof of not only its existence, but of its uncanny power.
This, of course, is a ridiculous argument, and, were I to pursue it, you would be convinced that I am a madman. I only wish, for the sake of our hitherto great and venerable republic, that such were the case. If only I were, indeed, a mere fool and a madman in a world of eminently sane and competent thinkers. Because it is truly horrible--a paranoid's worst nightmare, in fact--to be proven right about such a wild surmise, such an awful suspicion--an awful, awful suspicion!--especially in a case such as this. In fine, it is a truly hideous fate, to be the only sane person in a world in which the truth is plain--but people are determined to turn away from fact and heed only a poor, shadowy simulacra, in image of the truth, if you will; one which bears no relation to things as they are.
In fact, to dwell in such a world--is this not a fate worse than insanity, or even death?
To be sure, a rumor this powerful has, in fact, not been utterly ignored. On one occasion at least, it has been addressed in the public forum. One learned gent, a syndicated columnist who favors bow-ties and who also enjoys discussing baseball and football and other games he has never played himself, has stated, with all the prestige and power at his command, in a national newsweekly no less, the following. I quote, more or less verbatim:
Some kooks have begun some kind of cockamamie whispering campaign about how our President must have some sort of magic ring or something, because he's able to get so much done, despite a Democratic Congress and a wide-ranging and ambitious Presidential agenda. Sensible men will regard these rumors for what they are--a superstitious farrago of hogwash and poppycock; an olla podrida of stuff and nonsense; a foul rasher of half-baked metaphysics and undiluted balderdash. The fact of the matter is plain: The President does not have a magic ring. There is no such thing as magic, and certainly, a magic ring does not exist, or else we would have been made aware of its existence long before now.
But President Nile may well have some form of political magic in his arsenal, for, domestically, this is the best and most effective President we have had since Lyndon Johnson, and, internationally, the best since Nixon. He has been able to accomplish a great many things that other Presidents have not, and, as his reward, not the least of these has been the overthrow of the hated two-term proviso that his own party insisted upon implementing in the wake of FDR and has rued ever since Reagan, if not Ike.
Well, the preceding is just the sort of baby-scented bathwater this fellow has been ladling over Republican Presidents ever since he got out of short pants, so his awestruck tone is not in the least bit surprising. What is, however, a source of never-ending amazement to me is the near-unanimity in the Press about just how swell this guy is. It makes me wonder. Don't those fools realize that a free press is the last bulwark of a threatened democracy? If some goddamn famous politician or pundit didn't already say that, they should have, because it's true--now more than ever.
The chapters that shall follow will give the unadorned facts of this man and his rule. I have had to cull some of these materials from my own scattered notes, many of which have been gathered from obscure sources; in the interest of narrative flow, I will provide my endnotes and bibliography at the end of my account.
CHAPTER ONE: ON THE ANCESTRY OF GILBERT NILE
I don't know who are the best people to educate the young; but this I am certain, the parents are the very worst.--William Morris
Regarding the details of his early life, President Nile has been surprisingly circumspect. If this President were, indeed, any ordinary politician, this fact alone would be most surprising. For, if memory serves, nearly every President who has been called upon to reminisce about his boyhood has invariably spoken with great affection of his formative influences, of his favorite sports and hobbies, even of his childhood reading. However, of the early life of Gilbert Nile, we have scarcely a clue. If he had any influences other than his father, of whom he had an overly sanguine view, we know nothing of them. If he ever competed in any sporting competitions as a strapping lad, the annals of his accomplishments have not been recorded in the record books, or even in the most hagiographic campaign literature. If he ever had a hobby, other than perhaps insufflating airplane glue or paint thinner on dry Sundays when all the liquor stores were closed, we have yet to be made privy to that fact. And if the man has ever read anything other than a coloring book, no library in the land has ever recorded the deed.
The few things we do know about the man's childhood have come from the writings and public pronouncements of his childhood friend, Cromwell Jones. Jones has revealed, at various times, the following trivia about our 47th President:
That his favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla.
That he would rather be too cold than too hot.
That he thinks men who pierce their ears are unmanly.
That he considers tattoos for women to be vulgar.
That he considers motorcycles dangerous.
That he prefers dogs to cats, and a big dog to a small dog.
That he thinks after-shave should be used sparingly, if at all.
That women who wear too much make-up do not enhance their beauty.
That bottled water is a waste of money.
That politicians ought to practice what they preach.
That paying “big money” to park a car in a parking lot is an outrage.
That a sharpened Popsicle stick can be a pretty deadly weapon.
That a smart gambler can nearly always beat the odds.
That nothing soothes jangled nerves quite like a good hot bath.
That an eight-year old boy is old enough to own a Swiss army knife.
That an eight-year old boy is old enough to own a b-b gun. If he's careful.
That an eight-year old boy is old enough to own a dog. If he promises to take care of him.
That the Cadillac is the best car made.
That all women look unattractive in curlers. Except Mom.
That, unfortunately, some folks have more brains than sense.
That lion animal crackers taste better than the tigers or bears.
That Kitty Carlisle is pretty.
That a man's not a man unless he can tear a phone book in half.
That being a streetcar conductor is actually a pretty cushy job.
That spaghetti tastes even better when there's meatballs.
That it's fine to be thrifty, but that nobody likes a cheapskate.
That all car salesmen, even women, are merely flim-flam artists.
That dogs always knows who their friends are and can also tell if a man is up to no good.
That dresses look better on women than slacks, which are mannish.
That there's no such thing as working too hard.
That people should deny themselves small luxuries and save every penny they can.
That blondes have more fun.
That salads are little more than rabbit food.
That the International House of Pancakes is run by Communists.
That Pepto-Bismol tastes awful.
That if she winks she'll kiss and if she'll kiss she'll screw.
That it never hurts to get down on your prayer dukes and beg The Lord Almighty for help.
That crayons taste good.
That there's no such thing as work that's too demeaning.
That baboons are always funny.
That tacos are better than hamburgers.
That fresh strawberries smell as good as they taste.
That nothing tastes quite as good as an apple picked right off the tree.
That pie is better than cake.
That quiet people are deep.
That it's good to sweat.
That to treat people, even perfect strangers, with kindness is a sign that you have “class.”
That the old ways are the best ways.
That if you blow on a dandelion in seed and make a wish, the wish will come true.
That most “critters” are more scared of you than you are of them.
That what every man needs is a hobby to take his mind off his troubles.
That the policeman is your friend.
That most college professors are kind of goofy.
That nothing lasts forever.
That tomorrow really is another day.
Many of these attitudes seem to have been acquired at second hand, from Nile's father, Ferrier Gilbert Nile.
Biographical sources--such few as still exist--have indicated that the President's father, Ferrier Gilbert Nile, was an army air force pilot who retired from the service and later procured employment in the aerospace industry. Of his ancestors not a thing is known. Gilbert's mother, Carol Deegan Nile, nee Filmer, was a high-school educated housewife. Of the Filmer clan very little is known. It is said that they were distant relatives of the Fillmores, who gave the nation Millard Fillmore, our 13th President, but this may be more wishful thinking that historic fact.
Apparently, or, at least, according to legend, Ferrier Gilbert Nile, as befits the father of a leader in a democracy, was no plaster saint. Allegedly, he was a “daring” and a “somewhat reckless” test pilot, as well as a man who liked to hoist a drink…or three. Though companionable with his fellow workmen, he was cold and distant to his son. President Nile has stoutly maintained, in public speeches, that, “Daddy died a hero. He was a pilot at an air show, and when his jet malfunctioned, rather than endanger the crowd by bailing out, he rode the bird all the way to the ground and it exploded. I was there to witness it, and I never forgot his heroic sacrifice.”
However, the truth is a good deal more prosaic. During the initial stages of my research, while searching through some forgotten bound volumes of old newspapers, I discovered the following facts:
That the father of the 47th President of the United States, Ferrier Gilbert Nile, was born on June 1st, 1919.
That he was honorably discharged from the Army (not the Army Air Force) in 1941.
That, sometime in 1942, through some sort of political, military, or family connection, he obtained an apprentice mechanic's job at the Supreme Tool and Die Company, which specialized in servicing commercial aircraft. At no time was he ever a pilot.
That his son, Gilbert Nile Junior, was born on May 14th, 1947.
That Nile Senior was cashiered from the aerospace industry in January of 1948, not long after jet aircraft had been invented.
Apparently, in about August of 1949 he took a job driving a bread truck, but his drinking, rude temperament, and erratic job attendance got him fired after six months.
He then took a job as a “common laborer” in April of 1950. He was employed in the building trades, and for the next 14-odd years worked on and off “for the county.”
I also discovered that in November 1951, after neighbors called the police, he was arrested for a “domestic quarrel,” in which he was apparently accused of beating his wife, and was sentenced to three days in jail, six months probation, and a fine of 50 dollars.
That he died on October 30, 1964, at the age of 45. The cause of death was apparently acute cirrhosis. He was survived by his wife and his only son, Gilbert Junior, age 17. Gilbert's mother insisted that they could live on her modest pension and he could finish high school, but young Gilbert, in what was perhaps the one unselfish act of his remarkably selfish career, almost immediately joined the Army Air Force.
TWO: GILBERT NILE—EARLY CHILDHOOD If everybody remembered the past, nobody would ever forgive anybody.--Robert Lynd
But what, you may ask, of Gilbert Nile's early childhood? Alas, of that, very little is known. No doubt, some after his ascension to high office, he erased all historical records of his pre-political career with that magic ring of his.
Lest you think me some sort of befuddled oldster, think again. Now that I myself have taken a moment to think about it, would it really be that difficult for even a normal man, one with the vast resources of the Presidency at his command, to conveniently conceal certain pertinent facts regarding his upbringing? No? Then think of how much easier the task would be for a man with the immense resources of the invisible and intangible magic ring to deposit all documentation regarding his boyish misdeeds right down the old memory hole. One flush, and splish, splash! whoosh! It is gone! Even the Ti-D-Bowl man in his little boat couldn't recover it. Not even a practiced angler like Herbert Hoover could fish with any certified success this lost information from the frowsy depths.
Or so it would seem. Fortunately, I have been following the career of this man since well before his remarkable rise in politics, and have managed to retrieve and internalize and once more disgorge certain pertinent facts which may make up for the absence of any documented biographical writings regarding young Gilbert Nile. (Indeed, I shall have to--the man has covered his tracks unusually well.)
Young Gilbert, or “Gil”, a nickname he hated, grew up in a small town with the improbable name of Cousin. It was a small, isolated rural hamlet some 14 miles northeast of Chump Junction and 16 miles north-northeast of Gibsonia. He grew up next door to his best, and I suspect, only friend, Cromwell Jones, whose father owned the house that the Nile family rented. When Gilbert turned eight, in 1955, Cromwell's family moved to the nearby hamlet of Wireless, about a mile away, but the two boys continued to attend the same elementary school and remained fast friends for the rest of their lives.
Cromwell Jones' father, Oliver “Ollie” Jones, was descended from a long line of merchant bankers (though some have said there were also bootleggers and horse thieves in his ancestry as well, mostly on the distaff side). As such, he was a well-to-do member of the mercantile class, with pretensions to gentility, and he did everything he could to make certain that Cromwell would follow in his footsteps. It is not known whether he approved of his son's relationship with young Gilbert, but it is known that Oliver Jones had a pronounced dislike for other members of the Nile family; specifically, the boy's father, Ferrier G. Nile. As their landlord, he was forced to tolerate late payments from the father, and, worse, to endure from Nile Senior a type of over-familiarity so common to inebriates who, under the influence of the fumes of strong liquors, have a tendency to “forget their place.” By at least one report, it was not uncommon for the unfortunate Jones to be waylaid and buttonholed on his way to his adjacent home on the hill and be subjected to the following diatribe by the senior Nile:
“You think you're better'm me, dontcha? Think you're pretty smart. Well, you're--not--so--special--after--all, Buddy Boy. Your shit stinks jus' like ev-reebody else does, me fine Bucko. Lissen, l'il Chief. Lissen when I'm talking to yuh! Y-you're sm-o-o-oth, aren't cha? Smell so clean, pretty l'il wifey, does all the community chest and PTA crap, has a maid to do the cleanin', and my wife is on her knees 'n' scrubbin'. She should be wearin'…pearls! Pretty furs! Diamonds and…big rocks! You, drinkin' your giggly-water up in that high-fa-lootin' penthouse of yourn! Paid for with the blood of the workin' man. You Jews have got it pretty damn soft!”
Note: I must mention at this point that the Jones family was not, and have never been, to the best of my knowledge, even remotely Jewish. This ethnic slur was simply a typically horrid and deplorable example of Nile's vulgar so-called wit. (Has it not very truly been said that anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools? Anyhow, it should go without saying that the long-ago example of the Holocaust had shown, all too plainly, that the Jews were hardly in any position to rule the world, and that they were far from having it “soft.”)
Nile's vulgar tirade continued in a similar vein for a while, and Jones, strangely enough, just stood there with his fists clenched and a peculiar glazed shining in his pale blue eyes. Then Nile would begin insulting the man's son:
“That little milk-water son of yours has a face like a weasel. He throws like a girl, and I'll bet he mus' have the sap of egg-whites in his pretty little veins, from the looks of him. Whyn't cha dress him to look like a l'il girl with a tuss tuss, wouldn't har'ly know the differnce. Panty waist milk-sop mama's milk baby. Pretty little fat baby girl. Flouncy flouncy. Googy wa-wa.”
At this point, one would think that Jones' patience would be nearly at an end, but the diabolical Nile seemed to sense that there were still some buttons he hadn't yet mashed and would follow Jones at a short distance, continuing to abuse him with vulgar billingsgate:
“And you-u tell-l that tomboy daughter o' yourn t' quit, nnh, pesterin' my BOY. Little bastar't. She gave my boy the head lice. Don't tell me she didn'! Playin' in the filth with a nigger a-wigglin' his dingus at 'er. S'a wonder she ain't dropped a nappy-headed l'il pick on yore doorstop! Fucker! YOU OWE ME A LICE COMB!”
I should note here that at the time the Jones girl, Lara, was all of nine years old.
As Jones continued to walk away, ascending the wooden stairs that led to his home on the hill, Nile inexcusably continued his ranting.
“Yaah, yaah, too stuck-up to talk to honest workin' folk. Man got callus on his hands, ain't fit to do the social swirl with stuck-up ole Prick-o, here. Maan, you got another think comin'. I don't care about you, or 'bout any o' you. Hey! Hey, I know your wife! Hey! Guess WHAT! I seen her special NO-NO PLACE! Gaw haw haw ha! Yaah, dass rite--I'm outta line. So what! So what? Because….”
And then he bellowed.
Enduring such crass diatribes must have been especially unendurable to a man who prided himself with associating only with the cream of big city society. It was perhaps for this reason that the already-stressed Jones eventually moved himself and his family away from the bad influence of troublesome Nile family and, in particular, their tempestuous paterfamilias.
However, if he sought to protect his son from the Nile clan, it is perhaps unfortunate for Jones that he did not contrive to move far enough away.
Nile's response to the departure of the Jones clan was memorably succinct: “We don't keep up with the Jones, but at least we managed to drive th' sons o' bitches away.”
Gilbert's response to all of this was unrecorded. But I cannot imagine he was pleased.
THREE: GILBERT NILE--YOUNG MANHOOD A paradox arises when premature insight clashes with prevailing nonsense.--Karl Kraus
After joining the Army Air Force in 1965 and successfully completing basic training, Gilbert Junior served for fourteen months as a mechanic, not as a pilot, after which time he went into commercial aviation, for the firm of Halifax Airlines. He did, indeed, serve a short stint as a tester and mechanic for pilot simulators, but for the most part he was a simple nuts and bolts apprentice mechanic.
There is only one surviving account of how well he got along with his fellow workers. Only one man who knew him then, one who refused to speak for attribution, has told. And that, over the telephone. Here is his story:
“Yeah, Gilbert Nile Junior, I remember --we all teased 'im, called him Gilly--he didn't like that at all, you bet--but that fella was an OK guy--when he wasn't loaded. But he did like to take a nip at work, and don't think the boss, he didn't notice! But those were different times, and as long as Gilly kept it under control, everything was fine and dandy. But, problem was, he didn't keep it under control. He was rude and insulting to people who wudn't on the job as long as him. They hired a few Orientals to work on the line, and Gil, he got on his high horse about th' yellow monkeys taking a white man's job away. Like I said, just a mean character. Hey, maybe I'm just as bad, I didn't say anything. I hate to say it, but he could be a real bastid. Anyhoo, Gilly was involved in a few drunk driving scrapes, but far as I know, never went to jail or anything, y'know? Back then, y'know, they wasn't nearly so rough on drunk drivers, you see. But our boss got wind of it and finally told him to cut out the drinking, or else.”
Or else what? I asked.
“Or else get out, y'know. So for a while there he was extra careful. He played it ex-tra cool. He'd have a beer or two after work, and that was OK. But then he'd really cut loose on the weekends, and that's where he ran into trouble. Got into a couple of bar-room brawls. Kid stuff, y'know? Blowin' off steam. Ordinarily, the boss, he owned the plant, he might of overlooked it. Gilly was a solid, dependable guy, 'specially when he wasn't lushin'. But then he started calling in sick, every Monday, and the boss just got tired of it, I guess. Came down on him, and hard. Him and Gilly had some words. Boss cut him loose, I guess. I heard a little later that Gilly had a rough patch there for awhile. Finally, he got a job as an auto mechanic. Quite a comedown from working on planes. This was in 1967. Then his family just kind of dropped out of sight for a while. Never heard from them again until…until, well, you know. One day his son calls me up, out of the blue. From the White House! I thought it was a joke. But no, it was him all right. Asks me if I need anything! Imagine that! The President--asking me if I needed anything! Hell, I'm 84 years old, I don't need diddley. I told him, you know, well, Mr. President, I'm retired, got my pension, spend time with the great-grandkids, a little golf. I'm, I'm, uh, happy, y'know? Got everything I need. Then we have a little chat and he asks after the wife, she's still in good health, thank God, and he asks about the kids, and then he, he asks me again if I need anything, if there's anything he can do. I said, Hell, Gilly, uh, Mr. President, I'm fine. I'll, I'll write you a letter, y'know, if I ever need a favor. He says, well, that's fine. Then he says he's got some work to do, and he excuses himself. Me, I'm, well, I'm doing great. Never did send him any letter. I mean, what's the
point? He's a busy man. Weight of the world, y'know?”
Strangely enough, the man, who categorically refused to be a mentioned by name, grew steadily more agitated as he told this story, which leads me to suspect that somehow President Nile, or, more likely, one of his factotums, had somehow “gotten” to him. Although I pressed him for any further details he might be privy to regarding Gilbert Nile or his family, he demurred. Said he had already told me all he knew, and asked that I not contact him again. He didn't say anything as banal as “I've already told you too much,” but the timbre of his voice betrayed the aspect of a man undergoing enduring agitation.
The preceding interview was conducted relatively early in President Nile's reign, before he had managed to consolidate his great power. As we shall see, all uncomplimentary references to himself and to his father were later expunged from the public record.
FOUR: GILBERT NILE--THE “COLLEGE” YEARS
My proper Parrot, my littil pety foole;/With ladies I lerne, and go with them to scole. --John Skelton
In the late 1960s, Gilbert Nile “attended” college for a few semesters, though the circumstances regarding his educational credentials are ambiguous, as we shall see. His roommate?
None other than his boyhood friend Cromwell Jones.
Cromwell Jones's early life is not exactly an open book. We do know that he was born in the same year as Nile, 1947. We also know that he was a child of privilege and attended numerous boarding schools; in fact, he was kicked out of four. Finally, a military school named General Drummer took him in, but it is not quite fair to say the experience “straightened him out”. If anything, Jones became even more intransigent and rebellious, although this time he managed to graduate with a high-school diploma, albeit “by the skin of his teeth.” Then, miraculously he got into Ivy College. As a matter of fact, he was one of my students, in both Freshman English and History. And therein, as they say, lies a tale.
Because, for a time Cromwell Jones' college roommate was none other than his best friend, Gilbert Nile. Even though, as I have stated, Gilbert Nile was never so much as matriculated at Ivy.
Nile would sit in on a history class that I also taught. I had been enlisted as a stopgap measure; the department was looking for a qualified tenure-track successor to take the place of the department head, who had recently retired, and, as a then-Junior Professor, I was called upon to teach a course called 'American Civilization'. This was not as much of a stretch as one might imagine; my specialty was in American Literature, and I was well-known for my many articles dealing in great detail with the life and times of crucial American authors; notably, Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville. (There is of course, the nagging question as to whether America has truly ever had a civilization, but I leave that one for the cynics and smart-alecks to debate.)
Even at that relatively young and tender age, I believe that Nile (which is what all of his friends and even casual acquaintances, called him--he professed to loathe his given name, 'Gilbert') possessed certain charismatic qualities that drew people to him. Some might say he was born to be a politician.
As for Cromwell, I frequently had to scold him for sneaking his despicable comic books into class. Cromwell was older than most Freshmen--he was twenty, I believe, having taken two years off to travel the world and “find himself.” He would tell impressionable freshman and sophomore girls at nearby Elmhurst College all manner of ludicrous tales of how he had been shipwrecked on a desert island and had had to survive by hunting wild game with a home-made bow and arrow. It sickened me to see these sweet young girls sitting on his lap and drinking in his despicable lies. Had I tried to warn them, however, they most likely would have seen me as merely an old interfering busy-body and fuddy-duddy, so I kept my counsel.
Of course, in some ways, I was pretty “green” myself. My own upbringing hadn't exactly educated me regarding “The Way of the World”.
I recall at one faculty dinner for the Department, about one month after I accepted the position, October of 1961, how the department head advised me to leave a tip, “And make it twice what you would usually leave.” He then showed me the bill, and I panicked. It was for nearly 700 dollars! Twenty percent of that was 140 dollars, and my week's salary at the time was a paltry $180! Choking back my exasperation, I prepared to add $140 dollars to the pile, but the department head took my money and solemnly walked over to the other end of the table, in order, I thought, to do so on my behalf.
Let me tell you, I spent a rather sleepless night!
The following morning, at 10am sharp, the department head summoned me to his office and handed me back 130 dollars. “That was a most generous gesture you made last night, Holton,” he said to me. “But I don't think you intended to tip for the entire table. By my calculations, 700 divided by fifteen is roughly forty-six dollars. Twenty percent of that is nine dollars and twenty cents. A ten dollar tip was more than ample. And let me make another suggestion, if I will. Never carry your week's pay in your pocket. It is best for a young man like you to bank roughly twenty per cent of his weekly salary. If you like, I can draw up an automatic deduction plan for you with the personnel department.”
Well, I did as he suggested, and banked thirty-five dollars a week, and was never sorry about it, either!
Another amusing incident occurred about six months into my tenure. It was a cold February, and I was in the Card's Department store elevator, planning to go to the third floor to put a winter coat on what was then known as a “lay-away.” I got into the elevator on the first floor and a lady was already on the elevator. As the machine began its ascent, she said to me, in a peeved and concerned tone of voice, “Please turn your head and stop the elevator. I have something I need to adjust.” So I threw the emergency switch between the second and third floors, expecting her to finish her “adjustment” in a speedy fashion. But, five minutes later, she was still “adjusting” whatever it was that needed tending to, and I heard angry voices on the third floor muttering about the stopped elevator. Then, in a loud and aggressive voice, I heard a man bellow, “This is the fire marshal. There is a fifty dollar fine assessed for stopping any municipal elevator in a non-emergency situation.”
Well, I began sweating bullets! I immediately pressed “two” and re-started the elevator, and it descended and the door opened at the second floor and, I, with my hat covering my face (surely I was the very picture of guilt), contrived to hastily leave the elevator, and the store.
I never did buy a coat, that day or any other that season, and suffered for it by catching a dreadful cold not more than a week later.
I share these amusing anecdotes to show that even at that stage of my career, I didn't exactly possess the type of “savvy” needed to flawlessly maneuver that intensely competitive environment.
But Cromwell Jones certainly did, for he was as one “to the manner born.”
Indeed, young Mr. Jones apparently had quite a bit of clout with all the right people, because his roommate Gilbert suddenly found himself in the company of the sons and even the daughters of important and influential people. It must have been a heady experience for one who was, until very recently, a glorified grease monkey; a rich man's cat's paw; a poor man's Bus Riley.
But Gilbert had one significant advantage.
Gilbert had the ring.
He must have, by then. How else to account for his precipitate rise in both caste and estate?
Now, lest you accuse me of setting up Gilbert Nile for a scenario out of “An American Tragedy,” let me set you straight. By the age of 20, Nile was already a fair-to-middling golfer, an excruciatingly skillful poker player of an almost demonic talent, and a natural born politician who traded upon his mother's spurious family connections for all that they were dubitably worth and, in all likelihood, far, far more. A supposed family connection to Millard Fillmore was certainly not the most dazzling pedigree for a would-be prince of the realm, but it was far better than nothing at all, or, worse, than an utterly fabricated lineage that would have been absurdly simple to have seen through.
In Gilbert's case, whether his mother's distant, or even all but non-existent connection to the Filmer/Fillmore family meant anything or not, the important thing is that Gilbert believed that it did.
Plus, as I have mentioned, he had…the magic ring.
And so it was that Gilbert Nile, son of a recently deceased ne'er-do-well drunk and a long-suffering mother who took in boarders, managed somehow to invade the precincts of college society without ever matriculating at Ivy at all. Later on he would claim to have taken a few “extension” courses to “keep his hand in” but I know full well that such was not the case, for I was there.
As I may have already implied, I had already pegged Mr. Nile as a likely lad, and so it was that I watched with interest and no small amusement the way in which he contrived to discard one mate after another and slowly, inexorably work his way up the ladder to social glory.
He first selected a fine-haired, rather horsy faced redhead, daughter of a French-Canadian mining magnate, one Nelda Charbonneau. She was given to classical music and opera, two things about which young Gilbert knew nothing. He was, however, a quick study, and was soon pretentiously discoursing about La Traviata and “the sublime 'Eroica'.”
Unfortunately, Nile's incorrigible skirt-chasing was instrumental in driving this already neurotic lass over the edge, and she quit school toward the end of her Sophomore year and spent a good year recovering in the Arcadia Hospital and Home for the Mentally Insane, a world-famous clinic.
Next, Nile turned his sights on a sweet, if rather plain brunette named Brenda Stahl, a merit scholarship finalist who was one of my protégés in the English department.
While seeing Miss Stahl, Nile put down his Poe and Frost and Edgar Lee Masters and learned to gush--rather too volubly, the sure sign of an arriviste-- regarding the “sublime Edward Arlington Robinson” and “the crucially underrated Thomas Hardy,” and was even given to reciting “Richard Cory” and “On the Departure Platform” from memory.
She caught wise to his cheating ways almost immediately (yes, I did warn her), and quickly broke off their relationship, though (I later heard) she was always available to Nile whenever he needed a shoulder to cry on, or some eminently sound advice. She went on to teach at some Midwest college and made quite a splash about forty years ago with a volume of her selected verse, a small portion of which was written, I am proud to say, under my tutelage.
Next, Gilbert Nile zeroed in on a rather chubby blonde social climber named Bea (yes, that's correct, Beatrice) Lawless. He behaved in the most utterly shabby way to her, yet she was so smitten by his charms (and perhaps so hypnotized by his magic ring) that she introduced him to every mover and shaker on campus. Bea's father was a lawyer, and, consequently, a busy man, and in lieu of lavishing affection upon her, he gave her a blank check and told her to spend whatever she wished. He could always earn more. It is rumored that the law firm of Banks and Lawless of which Lawless was full partner had (not unironically) some rather shady clients with deep pockets.
It is in this relationship that perhaps Gilbert Nile proved his mettle. Fine suits, shoes and watches were soon his. No more dingy rayon shirts and thrift-store jackets for young Mr. Nile. I'm afraid that Miss Lawless, at best a mediocre student, spent much of her Sophomore year dreamily practicing writing the signature Beatrice Nile, Beatrice Lawless Nile, and Mrs. Gilbert Nile and covering the inside front cover of her English Composition notebook with these monikers with all the practiced dedication of a woman who had set her sights on a certain prize and meant to have it. Gilbert was also much taken with Miss Lawless; or, at least, with her daddy's wealth and influence. Unfortunately for Nile, Daddy didn't get to be a top Mob mouthpiece by betting on a losing hand. A mid-semester trip abroad for Miss Lawless and, it is rumored, a fifty-thousand dollar check for Mr. Nile soon put an end to that fledgling romance. The practical Nile deposited the check in a six-percent interest-bearing account and never drew upon the principal. This gave him a tax-free income of two-hundred and fifty dollars a month, at least equivalent to the starting salary of a clerical worker. This sum undoubtedly made life a good deal easier for him than it otherwise might have been. (Whether he intended to someday return the principal and elope with Miss Lawless is a question that will never be answered, for six months after she had decamped to England Miss Lawless married on the rebound an impecunious but undeniably fecund English Baron and over the course of five years bore him three lovely daughters and a son.)
In the third year of his harum-scarum “residency” at Ivy College, Nile decided to drop what he undoubtedly thought of as the stuck-up sub-debs and instead blazed through a succession of young ladies of a decidedly liberal and bohemian bent.
It was, however, Nile's fourth serious relationship, toward the end of that third year, that all but broke his heart, and it served him right.
The girl's name was Claudette Sayles. She was an exchange student from England and she found Gilbert Nile to be perfectly amusing but, as a lover or even a companion, utterly infra dig. “I can never,” she was reported to have said, “be persuaded to be seen with a boy I cannot respect.” On another occasion, fending off his proposal of marriage, she was rumored to have said, “I can't marry you, Nile. You're nothing more than a thug.”
Perhaps it was because she proved so resistant to his dubitable charms that Gilbert pursued her all the more strenuously. Perhaps he simply wanted to have the cachet of being the first to turn the head of this haughty raven-haired midenette, who was the talk of the campus, mainly because of her beauty and evident wealth. Whatever the reason, Nile embarked upon a strenuous campaign to win her over.
First, he made a very big stir among the campus radicals by starting a safe house and opening a soup kitchen for the many teenaged runaways who were at that time flocking to Knob Hill and other neighborhoods nearby in the aftermath of the so-called “Summer of Love.” He apparently did so out of no selfless love for his fellow man, but to show that he was possessed of a spirit of noblesse oblige. (I'll wager that having a magic ring certainly didn't hurt when it came to rounding up fresh produce and meat to fill the stew pot.)
Next, he spent as much time as he could at Claudette's usual haunts, the high-toned poetry and chamber recitals that were a part of civilized campus life even in the late 1960s. Being able talk knowingly about music and poetry certainly didn't hurt his cause with Claudette, who was known to deplore the level of culture available even at an elite College like Ivy.
Finally, he engaged in both of these occupations as though they were second nature to him. Such insouciance is a large part of impressing a lady fair, or so I have been given to understand.
They had a brief affair. It ended in June. She graduated and went back to England, and made it abundantly clear that she would prefer that they went their separate ways.
Gilbert Nile was devastated.
It was then that he embarked, accompanied by Cromwell Jones, upon a road trip, during the course of which he apparently found, both himself, and, his future destiny.
FIVE: GILBERT NILE AND CROMWELL JONES
Nothing is more like a wise man than a fool that holds his tongue.--St. Francis De Sales
Though spoken of not at all in the any of his campaign biographies or press releases, sometime in the early 1970s, Gilbert Nile took the quintessential beatnik-inspired “road trip” with his closest childhood friend, Cromwell Jones. At that time Jones was a bearded and rather dashing fellow, a blonde-haired blue-eyed scamp who in his younger days was said to physically resemble Errol Flynn. He certainly also had Flynn's knack with the ladies, if the numerous paternity suits drawn up against him were any indication.
Little regarding this road trip would be known had I not, when looking through my papers, stumbled across a long-forgotten manuscript that Jones had sent me nearly forty-five years ago; his attempt, I suspect, at putting into fictional form some of his early experiences.
In my recollection, Jones also appended a note (since lost) asking me to “look it over” and, “if it's any good,” to ask that maybe I could suggest some publishers “who might be interested.”
For the first time I shall reveal the contents of this manuscript; I am begging the (putative) reader to understand that, while reading the following choice excerpts, that the style is entirely that of Cromwell Jones.
Initially, I read no more than the first chapter. Mostly, my inanition stemmed from the fact that I felt my I.Q. lowering with every ill-formed paragraph. This “novel,” if you could even call it that, was a mish-mash of sententiousness, sensationalism, and self-righteous “radical” rhetoric, and it seemed as though it had been written by a person on drugs, and entirely spontaneously, with no planning aforethought or even proofreading.
The manuscript is titled “Down By the Roadside” and in it, Jones writes, in a rather overheated, juvenile (and highly derivative) fashion, of the cross-country trip taken by his hero, named, none too imaginatively, 'Lord Smith,” and his boon companion, named, with a similar paucity of wit, “John Amazon.” (I have taken the liberty of eliminating some of the more egregious misspellings and solecisms--old habits die hard!)
The opening paragraphs of the novel essentially set the tone for the entire work, and are worth quoting in their entirety (though I couldn't resist adding my own bracketed commentary):
The sun rose over the city. [As opposed to what? one might ask. The anti-sun?]
However, as the rosy-fingered rays of that star kissed the countryside and the city alike, there was at least one place in the Western Hemisphere that the warmth of that celestial body did not reach.
Was it Gibsonia? No, the sun shone brightly on all the rich white people.
Was it Trad College on 'The Hill'? No, the complacent college students and their bigheaded professors were still dozing in their warm warm beds, fat from beer and too much book-learning.
Was it the town of Scabee, where the miners worked sixteen hours a day even though a law had been passed prohibiting miners from working more than eight hours?
Or was it the village of The Dawnland, where ancestral oak trees the Indians viewed as holy were mown down by rapacious loggers with their blatant chain-saws?
Or was it the town of Bund, where fat Germans ate their sausages, worshipped Hitler, and goose-stepped in the town square?
Or was it the groovy commune in Moontown, where righteous brothers tried to make a new world free from all the old hang-ups, only to discover that the worst parts of the old world--lies, cowardice, and jealousy--still followed them there?
Or was it the far-out set-up in Akashic, where mystics and followers of the old-time faiths that were older than Christianity and the Bible came to get back in touch with the natural world, only to discover that even the power of the Old Gods could not protect them from the corruptions of the priests, who were and always will be everywhere the same?
Or was it between the high towers of Bigtown where the sun did not shine? No, there, the businessmen drank their wine and many still slept, fat as hogs, bloated from feasting off of their illegitimate wealth, sapped from the wallets of the working man.
True, terrible, terrible things took place on every floor of these towers of Babylon. War pigs busy snorting with glee over selling still more of their guns and weapons and other profit-making machines of death to kill the yellow man. Pig bankers with their greedy snouts sucking up the poor people's money. Greedy policemen looking with their pig's eyes at the pockets of the greedy politicians stuffed with money taken from greedy criminals. And evil priests with the faces of skulls dancing abound the bowed heads of the worshippers who prostrated themselves at the altars of mammon.
And yet, the sun shined brightly on all these pigs. But it never shined on Jimtown.
That's right--the one place where the sun refused to shine was in Jimtown. Jimtown. A slum area of four-story wooden tenements surrounded on all sides by the cruelly indifferent skyscrapers of capitalist pig Amerikkka, which ignorantly prevented the sun from shining on the Negroes.
Jimtown. And as the dawn failed to illuminate the cold garbage-strewn streets, a prostitute and a shoe-shine man plied their trades in the early-morning half-light of 6am. Watermelon vendors and fried-chicken merchants began to prepare for the day's traffic, and druggists arranged their displays of knives, razors, and dice in the windows of their shops, while liquor store owners yawned and set out the bottles of Sneaky Pete, Thunderbird and Ripple, which the Negroes loved. Negro families fed their children Aunt Jemima pancakes and Uncle Ben's rice for their poor breakfasts, and some children whose parents had no money went to school with no breakfast at all!
Heading toward the streets of Jimtown were two men. White men. Each with a different mission.
One was a decent, law-abiding and idealistic young man, six feet tall, handsome, strong, with long brown hair and snapping brown eyes; a man who came from a broken home, knew what it was like to be hungry, and who therefore sought to help his ghetto brothers by running a soup kitchen. Although he was a “Honky” he had “soul.” His name was John Amazon, and his heart was as broad as the river, though his mind was full of shallow platitudes about “self-respect” and “getting ahead” and “pulling yourself up by your own boot-straps.”
The other man was a lovable rogue and anti-establishment rebel, also six feet tall, with long blonde hair and a clean blonde beard, white teeth and shining blue eyes. His name was Lord Smith, and although he was not always on the right side of the law, he, too, was something of an idealist; decent, courageous, and stubborn in opposing all those who sought to keep the little people down.
Both were in their early twenties. And although the two young men knew each other, and had been fast friends and even house-mates, they had lately grown apart. On that day in Jimtown, where even the sun refused to shine, they were about to embark upon a collision course that would rock their worlds, and those of a good many other people besides.
The story I am about to tell here, about these two men, their travels down by the roadside, and what they learned there, is largely based on fact and utterly true; if not in the literal sense, then certainly as a chronicle of a certain time and a certain place. Sometimes, after all, there is a story that, though the details are partially invented and partially based on fact, can, eventually, be said to reveal a larger truth than a mere newspaper story.
This story takes place in 1970 and is torn from today's headlines.
After all, future historians will agree that the sixties were a one-time cosmic event, and though it is too soon to say, they may well conclude that the seventies were, in their way, even more sensational.
Throughout the remainder of chapter one, titled “Never Again!” John Amazon is a local “hip charity worker” who is coming off the “tail-end of a bummer trip” that had been “handed to him by a little lady he had grown to love.” Mr. Amazon is apparently well-intentioned, and even runs a “free soup kitchen” for the “down and out”, and all of it, “out of his own pocket,” [He must have rubber pockets!]. However, the narrator notes, with mild displeasure, that Amazon is on a “bummer messiah trip” and that he also has a “disturbing tendency” to “dictate orders” to “the Negro inhabitants of Jimtown,” a slum he is attempting to “rehabilitate,” in order to make it “fit for decent people to live in again.” During the course of one confrontation with a resident whom Amazon had seen dumping his trash in the street, the dashing Lord Smith suddenly appears and rebukes him for his cultural insensitivity:
“Lemme lay something down on you, Amazon. You have got to get with it and be down with these people before you go ahead and start barking orders at them. Let me put you wise: Most of these folks are poor and don't got two nickels to rub together.” [Just how such a fact justifies throwing trash on the street is mysteriously left unexplained.]
They then proceed to speak to the oldest inhabitant of the slum, an elderly Negro, unspeakably wise, who says, rather implausibly,
“You is got to let people make decisions for they own self and not be comin' down here and telling us what to do.”
Amazon has a (rather sudden) change of heart and asks what he can do to help.
The elderly Black man tells him (again rather implausibly) that racism is “systemic” and that one can't simply “go and wave no magic wand at the problem, hopin' it will go away.” The solution, says this remarkably wise old slum dweller, is “to create jobs for the people here who ain't got none, and to get them bloodsuckin' landlords off our backs.”
Amazon and Smith then “go downtown” to do just that, and are promptly overcome by a series of bureaucratic obstacles that are far too much for them to cope with.
So, instead, for some reason not further explained, they decide to buy “a beat up old car;” a “real no-go showboat” with “sleeping room in the back,” and “discover America.” The narrator devotes a good deal of the remainder of the chapter to the merits of the car, and its humorous peculiarities; for instance, the way it “likes to shear in a high wind” and “begins to rattle whenever there is rain.” Indeed, the car is “almost human” and seems to “almost slow down automatically whenever there are speed traps.”
It is eminently fair to say that the end of Chapter One sets the tone for the rest of the manuscript, which veers from implausibility to implausibility.
In Chapter Two, the duo visit the mining town of Scabee. There is something “in the air” that prevents John Amazon from being able to “think straight,” and so the two take a room in the town's sole hotel, only to become privy to nefarious doings being perpetrated by the “big boss man” of the town against the local residents, one of whom claims, “We're not low-down hillbillies--we're just honest country folk!” The two strangers somehow manage to inspire the hitherto utterly supine townspeople to revolt, and soon:
“The Big Boss Man and his cowardly minions were scattered to the four winds by the mineworkers united under the team of Smith and Amazon.”
The mineworkers then form a union and take over the working of the mine for themselves. [Nowhere is it explained why they were able to take over the boss's property in order to do so, but perhaps such mundane details are entirely beside the point.]
From there, the incidents get progressively more implausible and absurd, and the novel becomes progressively more ridiculous, though I must assume that the “adventures” related therein must have had at least some grounding in fact, if not reality.
In Chapter Three, our heroes save some noble Indians from an “evil religious cult leader” [is there any other kind?] who has “taken over” their “ancient community” of The Dawnland. Lord Smith runs into a former girlfriend, a “brunette bom[b]shell” who has apparently fallen under the sway of a nefarious buckskin-wearing motorcycle-riding “messiah.” In the bargain, we are also treated to a good deal of dubious and not only half-baked but completely baked rhetoric regarding the evils of the White Man's ways and the consequent travails of the once-heroic Red Man. At one point, an Indian says to Lord Smith, “Me no red communist--me red Indian.” [The story is filled with similar fabricated inanities of so-called 'Indian Lore': “Sky blue--except when black,” and “Even when the Puma is in love, the antelope is wise to run away.”]
Chapter Four finds our heroes still among the Indians. This time, Lord Smith has something of a falling-out with his companion John Amazon, who believes that if the Indians lost their ancestral groves to the depredations of the white man and his evil logging firms, it was all done fair and square and under due process of law. Jones begs to differ:
“The illiterate Indians were tricked out of their ancestral lands by cleverly worded contracts proffered by the white man, who got them drunk on fire water, and now these noble people have no more reason to strive to improve their condition.” [This statement, of course, begs the question of just how powerful this so-called firewater was, if its effects have lasted over the course of several generations.]
As a result of their dispute, Jones and Amazon actually split up for a time; Amazon goes into the deep woods to meditate, while Jones leads the Indians in various forms of civil disobedience that eventually bring the brawny boss logger and the logging firm's chickenhearted lawyer to come to terms more favorable to the tribe. [Exactly why they wouldn't simply call in the state troopers to dispose of the nuisance is never fully explained. Maddening implausibilities such as this are probably one reason why Cromwell Jones never managed to get the work published.] John Amazon comes back from his “vision quest” in the woods and concedes that Lord Smith was right, and the two resume their friendship and venture forth in their nearly-human car to their next adventure.
Chapter Five begins with a highway patrolman pulling over the two men for a non-existent “busted taillight.” He orders Amazon and Smith to follow him back to the station, which just happens to be in a little town called Bund. On the way into the town, Jones notes that many of the store signs are in German, but thinks little of it until he and his partner are thrown into separate jail cells and “kept incommunicado.” The narrator describes how John Amazon is strip searched and his clothing examined and how, in the lining of his coat, the police officer finds “one marijuana seed.” The following dialogue ensures:
“Do you not t'ink ve know vass is dis?”
“I don't know how it got in my jacket,” says Amazon. “I do remember that I bought the jacket at a thrift shop. Maybe it was left there by the previous owner.”
“Vel, dot iss too bad, for, here in Bund, the penalty for dealing drugs is--summary execution.”
The two of them are led into a small windowless room, and then are blindfolded. Things look pretty bad for out heroes, until Lord Smith displays a (hitherto undisclosed) facility in the German language and an uncanny knack for saying the right thing.
“I have noticed, Herr Kapitan,” says Smith to the patrolman, “That your squad car is in need of an overhaul. Perhaps a donation to the town in the sum of three thousand dollars would help to display our good intentions and our law-abiding nature.”
“I do not accept bribes, Gypsy pig.”
“There is no question of a bribe, Herr Kapitan. I shall make out a check payable to the town in the sum I have mentioned. I am the head of a charitable foundation that my father has established for just such benevolent works.”
The policemen leaves the two to ponder their fate and then goes to consult his superior.
When he returns, he says, “My superior officer has said to make it five thousand, and to pledge to never set foot in diss town again. You vill also sign an agreement pledging to hold the town harmless and denying there was any coercion involved in diss voluntary donation.”
“Fair enough,” says the (still-blindfolded) Smith.
When the transaction is completed, the two of them are held in the same cell for about an hour. They are then told that they are free to go.
After the two have set off in their car, Amazon says to Smith, “Charitable foundation?”
“You don't really think they were going to shoot us, do you?”
Smith replies, “I just wanted to get out of there before they had time to search the car. There's nearly half a kilo of top-grade hash hidden in a hollow space in the door assembly. I can sell it for twenty dollars a gram, easy, and make back all the money and more.”
“So you're not going to stop payment on the check?”
“Are you kidding? They've probably already cashed it. You really are naïve when it comes to business transactions, aren't you?”
In Chapter Six, the two find themselves once more “among the Negroes in Jimtown” and Smith is reunited with his former girlfriend, the “brown-eyed brunette bomshell,” who is toiling as a social worker among the destitute slum-dwellers. “Part of the problem,” she explains to John Amazon, “is that these people breed like rabbits. When I try to tell the women that they ought to use birth control, they look at me like I've dropped down from another planet. One of them even says to me, 'Kids is my whole life'. What can you do with people like that?” Smith, ever the devil's advocate, replies, “They have every right to have children. Children are the only future these people have.” John Amazon shows a rather priggishly conservative side to his nature and maintains that people shouldn't rely on others to raise their children, and the two men argue the issue back and forth in rather numbing detail. Amazon, however, is ultimately proved to be a hypocrite, for it turns out that in the past he himself had made frequent visits to the dusky prostitutes of Jimtown. When this fact becomes known, he and Smith decide to make themselves scarce, leaving behind Smith's girlfriend, who vows to continue to work to “enlighten the people” about the need for “planned parenthood.”
This post has been edited by dimenno: Feb 14 2012, 03:18 PM
Feb 14 2012, 03:35 PM
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TYRANT KING: THE IMPLAUSIBLE RISE OF PRESIDENT GILBERT NILE
CHAPTER FIVE, CONTINUED:
Chapter Seven is titled “Among the Feminists!' and describes a trip the two men take to the pseudonymous “Trad College” to take part in a “consciousness raising rap session.” There, in a packed auditorium, they, and a score of other men, are “harangued by an angry but very gorgeous” feminist who tells the men that women have been “traditionally held back” from “expressing their true divine nature” by “jealous men,” and that “such phenomena as pornography and seduction” are “essentialized forms of command rape” in which women are “deluded into merely performing for their oppressors.” The men are then shown a slide show depicting “demeaning representations of women across all media,” including comic books, television, motion pictures, and magazine advertisements--all of which “utterly undermine the true nature of women” and constitute “brainwashing in the mores of the dominant paradigm.” Even those media that show women in active, heroic roles are merely guilty of “engaging in tokenism of the most blatant type.” Lord Smith remains quiet through this presentation, but John Amazon actually has the nerve to question some of these assumptions when he stands up and says:
“You wish to live in first-world luxury while at the same time occupying the privileged status of a third-world oracle. You must come down on one side or the other, otherwise you'll learn all too soon that the internal contradictions of such an approach will tear your movement apart.”
At this point, both Amazon and Smith are hustled out of the room by two rather brawny female security guards.
Afterwards, in the car, Amazon says to Smith, “Did you believe one word that woman was saying?”
Smith replies, “I wasn't even listening to her, brother. I was too busy staring at her tits.”
At which point, “The two men both share a hearty laugh at the expense of the utterly humorless Feminists.”
In Chapter Eight, John Amazon and Lord Smith find themselves in the pleasant community of New Serenity, one which, however, as we might expect, hides a terrible secret.
It is a town populated entirely by fascistic politicians and businessmen-hucksters, and in order to render its population quiescent, at all times a low-level dose of a hallucinogenic gas called “Buzzfuzz” fills the air. The succeeding paranoid narrative of this chapter is essentially a fantasia delineating a madman's waking nightmare. In it, familiar political figures assume horrific aspects and people can literally be crippled or even murdered outright merely at the telepathic whim of an autistic child.
[I simply must say that I personally find this sort of narrative 'ruse' to be extremely distasteful, and here's why. I believe that it is the duty of the artist to depict things as they are, not jazz them up with all sorts of cheap 'magic realism' tricks and gew-gaws. It is a very poor artist indeed who cannot bring the vibrancy that exists in the quotidian to the printed page. Reliance on such ruses as 'The Supernatural' is the mark of an extremely lackluster artisan. Resorting to such tricks is far too easy, and has seldom been done properly, even by the most skilful hands. True, such passages as the first chapter of Dickens' 'Edwin Drood', and, to a lesser extent, Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan' and Stevenson's 'Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde' may well be the exceptions that prove the rule, but, nevertheless, I utterly detest most forms of 'fantasy' and 'fantastic' literature and fear I must reserve especial scorn for so-called 'SF' or “Science Fiction,” a barbarous neologism that, in 99 cases out of 100, is actually neither good science nor even adequate fiction. What is this 'science fiction,' after all, but a pulpy sub-genre rife with cardboard characterizations, consisting, in large part, of the adventures of brawny he-men and endangered heroines menaced by bug-eyed monsters, with technology slavishly paid the homage of either outright worship or horrified dystopic speculation? I say it is merely a form of children's literature, written for children by men whose minds are no more formed than that of the average bright eight-year-old boy.]
In Chapter Nine, the two heroes, forced to flee New Serenity, find that their car has broken down in the ominously-named community of Nixonland.
Chapter Ten finds the two men in Moontown, confronting the peddlers of (ho-hum) still another terrifying new hallucinogenic drug. Amazon learns at the end of the chapter that his younger brother (hitherto unmentioned!) is “hooked.” [I am of an older generation, and have been socialized to regard illicit drugs with utter abhorrence. However, as an educated man, I am also reasonably sure that very few hallucinogenic drugs are actually addictive. Now, I am no biologist, much less a medical doctor, but, if anything, my researches have indicated the mechanisms of the brain are such that repeated usage of these psychomimetics merely diminishes the intensity of the initial experience.]
At this point the narrative deteriorates even further (if such as possible). A simple précis will suffice:
Chapter Eleven. Smith's girlfriend gets the kid off “the stuff.”
Chapter Twelve. The two men befriend a Negro in Jimtown.
Chapter Thirteen. In Akashic, the two run into a messiah figure.
Chapter Fourteen. Smith antagonizes some fat-cats.
Chapter Fifteen. They blow Smith's house up.
Chapter Sixteen. They run Smith's girlfriend over with a car.
Chapter Seventeen. John Amazon finds himself surrounded by enemies.
Here the manuscript rather abruptly ends.
SIX: GILBERT NILE: THE RISE TO POWER
Man may aspire to virtue, but he cannot reasonably aspire to truth.--Nicolas de Chamfort
Throughout the remainder of the seventies I lost track of Gilbert Nile and Cromwell Jones. I learned from reading the gossip columns that Jones devoted himself to marrying and then divorcing a succession of emotionally fragile and singularly well-to-do socialites. Of Nile, I heard not a peep. I have no doubt that he devoted himself to an existence both hedonistic and narcissistic, which characterized both his own nature and that of his times.
In the eighties the two apparently devoted themselves to consolidating their gains and making their way in the world. Jones became something of a philanthropist, though his munificent gifts also always seemed to result in a great deal of favorable publicity for none other than Cromwell Jones. I have no doubt that he managed to gain far more for his reputation than he ever gave away in terms of charitable contributions.
Nile, curiously, became something of a political activist, advancing a strikingly liberal agenda from what seemed to be a somewhat conservative point of view. Lest this seem like an oxymoronic summary, I would beg the reader to recall that classic liberalism was, indeed, in many ways quite conservative. The passage of such initiatives as the child labor laws ultimately served what we would now recognize as a conservative agenda. After all, if the children are not toiling their lives away in a factory, they are toiling their lives away in a schoolroom, busily being educated as law-abiding and literate citizens capable of reading and following simple instructions for an increasingly white-collar workforce. I can now recognize that Nile was many years ahead of his time in at least one respect: he proposed laws that liberals liked but gave reasons for such laws that conservatives could accept, and, in some cases, even embrace. His crusade against nuclear power, for example, was carried on with a profoundly conservative rationale: the plants cost far too much to reinsure. His failed populist crusade in favor of auto insurance reform was also crudely set forth as a conservative initiative: enormous insurance settlements were making it too expensive for the well-off to drive the luxury vehicles they craved. Niles was what in the old days some would have referred to as a trimmer; he sought the right remedies for the wrong reasons. Has it not been said by Shakespeare that the devil can cite scripture for his own purposes?
So it was with Nile.
SEVEN: GOVERNOR GILBERT NILE
“This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.”--Al Capone
I cannot say for certain when Gilbert Nile first gained possession of the magic ring that could literally grant his every wish, but surely it must have occurred by the time of his 43rd birthday, in 1990. It was in that year when he assumed the Lieutenant Governorship in a fluke election rife with all manner of irregularities.
This election has been written about elsewhere (although the best single book on the topic, my own self-published monograph, Cruel and Unusual Politics, is long out of print). So I'll not elaborate on the machinations that elevated Nile, a hitherto obscure Republican state representative in a predominantly Democratic state, to this high office. Suffice it to say that he was selected by his patron, Governor Purson, a former police Chief, primarily on the basis of his access to the fundraising expertise (and large personal fortune) of none other than Cromwell Jones.
Nile's tenure as Lt. Governor was uneventful; it was essentially a ceremonial post, and Nile, with his less-than-stellar reputation as a mere glad-handing politico, managed somehow to fill it quite ably by becoming the hail-fellow-well-met celebrity greeter at every single political event of any size anywhere in the state. It was said that he would even attend the opening of an envelope.
Witness the surprise of all and sundry when, after three years, the hitherto healthy former Police Chief, Governor Purson, put a pistol in his mouth and scattered the contents of his not overly capacious brain-pan all over the rug of Governor's office, thus elevating Gilbert Nile to the post. Nile must be the luckiest man to ever enter politics, for there had been talk of dropping him from the ticket in the next election, and replacing him with a more reliably conservative 'Contract with America' sort of successor.
As Governor, Nile was undistinguished. He served Purson's unfinished term, and then was elected to several more terms. He was able to serve in this executive capacity for a number of years due to his uncanny knack to delegate responsibility and to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. It may seem like a cliché to trot out the stale trope of Machiavellian shrewdness, but if any man exhibited a divide-and-conquer strategy to governing, that man was Gilbert Nile.
This method was often wasteful. Access to Nile was closely guarded. People who came to see him on political matters had to be vetted by none other than Cromwell Jones, who, as far as I know, had never been elected to anything. Once ushered into the great man's presence, visitors were asked to state their requests and not waste time with pleasantries or small talk. Nile would then decide the matter immediately, occasionally with an imperial thumbs-up or thumbs-down, according to unconfirmed reports. He was not a man who was prone to make excuses for why he could not do what was requested. Before he knew it, the visitor who had had their favor turned down found himself ushered out of the presence of Nile. Those to whom a boon had been granted were dealt with in as nearly summary a fashion. The difference was that these visitors were requested to leave their business cards, on which Nile presumably wrote (or had his lackey write) the nature of the favor granted. (These cards or “chits,” as he allegedly called them, were to come in very handy when he made his preliminary run for the Presidency at the age of 73.)
EIGHT: GOVERNOR NILE: HIS ADVISORS
They fle from me, that sometyme did me seke
With naked fote stalking in my chambre.
I have sene theim gentill tame and meke
That now are wyld and do not remembre
That sometyme they put theimself in daunger
To take bred at my hand: and nowe the raunge
Besely seking with a continuell chaunge. -- Sir Thomas Wyatt
Shortly after Nile ascended to the Governorship (and before he had adopted some of his more imperious habits), I myself was semi-retired, teaching only a single graduate-level course in Political Philosophy at Ivy College. One fateful day, almost on a whim, I called upon the newly elected Governor. I was left to wait for roughly fifteen minutes, and when I was finally ushered into 'the presence,' Nile professed great pleasure at seeing me after over twenty years, and asked if there were anything he could do for me.
I told him that I was asking, not for a political favor per se, but simply a personal favor. To wit, I asked him to address the class that I was teaching. Intitially, Nile demurred. He modestly claimed to not know enough about politics to address such an exalted assemblage. I chaffed him for his modesty and gave him some idea of what I wanted--the nuts and bolts of running a campaign, rather than a running commentary on the history of our polity. He asked me to make him an outline of what he might discuss, and, when that was completed, asked me for a more detailed outline, and then, that task accomplished, at much expense of my personal time, he asked me to “fill in” what he characterized as “certain rhetorical flourishes.” In for a penny, in for a pound, I decided, and acceded to his request. Next, he asked me for a short-list of legislative accomplishments that might be considered desirable, “in a perfect word.” I gladly complied.
(Little did I know that he would use this list as a template and later would actually attempt to accomplish this utopian “wish list”!)
Well, he finally came in and gave the talk, and it was everything one could have wished--witty, thoughtful, even shrewd. I have no doubt whatsoever that he wrote not one word of it. In fact, it sounded a good deal like what I remember was the literary style of his childhood friend Cromwell Jones.
NINE: GOVERNOR NILE-- HIS FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES
Most people enjoy the inferiority of their best friends.--Lord Chesterfield
I cannot say for certain just who it was that first planted in the ear of Gilbert Nile the notion that he might aspire to the Presidency of the land. However, as is always the case when speaking of this man, all signs point to one source: Cromwell Jones. After all, was it not he who had, for whatever reason, very early on greased the path of his boyhood chum, making it possible for him to mingle among the elite at Ivy College; to earn a very respectable living in spite of a less-than-complete set of educational credentials; to become Lieutenant Governor, and, later, Governor of the state?
One must never underestimate the role of family and friends in assisting in one's ascent through life. Although there have, on rare occasions, been a few “loners” who, by constant self-promotion, have managed to land themselves in top positions without the sort of family connections that in other societies are practically de rigueur, I know of nobody who has been able to make it to the top without the benefit of either inherited wealth or the helping hand of a friend or mentor to smooth the way.
Here we must at long last address the question of just when Gilbert Nile first gained access to the magic ring. Was it when he was but a boy? Was it the ring that enabled him to influence Cromwell Jones?
Perhaps Nile chanced upon the ring during his teenage years. (This is my theory.) Was it then that his spectacular rise was abetted by its hypnotic ability to sway the minds of boys, girls, women, even men?
Or perhaps Nile gained access to the ring when he was in his early forties. How else to explain his precipitate rise to the Gubernatorial chair?
Another question arises: just what were the powers of the ring? Was Nile able to use it to fabricate solid objects? Could he have made himself an immensely wealthy man with but a whim? No, no, impossible. The more I think about it, the more I suspect that the true power of the ring was simply the ability to steal men's souls. Infernal politicians have, of course, abounded throughout our history. Was not the career of James Buchanan simply one long unbelievable episode of graft after another, in a long succession of misdeeds? Did not Silent Cal, though some miracle of luck, achieve the highest office in the land? Has it not been said of Huey Long that he must surely have sold his soul to some demon to gain his rhetorical gifts? Did not Joe McCarthy make a deal with the devil of some sort or other in order to better exert his all but unchallenged sway upon the Red-fearing masses? For that matter, how can we account for the career of LBJ, other than to posit the existence of a Mephistopheles in the woodpile?
I am, you see, all too aware that it is human nature to ascribe supernal (or demonic!) intervention in the case of an ascent that otherwise may seem all too implausible. But of course, no rational man pays attention to such supernatural hocus-pocus. When I say that with the power of the ring, Gilbert Nile was able to bend people to his will, I may or may not be speaking literally. Whatever form his hypnotic talisman took--and, for all I know, it could have even been a “hypno-coin” of the sort sold in comic books of the 1950s--this fact is not important.
That Nile was in possession of a secret ability to shape men's minds to his will is, however, demonstrable fact.
How else to account for his abortive Presidential run and his subsequent nomination as Vice-President?
In the year that Gilbert ran for the Presidency, the Republicans were in a bad way. This is recent history, and I need not trouble you with the details. It should suffice to simply mention that, once again, the Republicans were entering one of their cyclic electoral droughts.
I have a theory about these cyclical Republican setbacks; I cannot claim that I was the first to formulate it, though I flatter myself that such might be the case.
The theory is this: The Republican party is not a real party at all, but merely a parasite grafted onto the body politic in the wake of the Civil War, which brought it to ascendance.
The Democrats are and always have been the only real political party of the land, but occasionally radicals gain control of the party and swing it too far to an ideological extreme. It is then that the American people call for the black bottle. It is then that they summon up the Republicans.
However, the Republicans are under the illusion that they, too, are an actual political party and not merely a vigilante band of pompous fat-cats called in whenever the Americans tire of the daredevil antics of certain Merry-Andrews in the Democratic camp. The result is that the Republicans succumb to hubris and judder so far to the right that the American people have to slap them down and show them their place, which is essentially merely the party of the fire axe; the party of “In Case of Emergency Break Glass.”
On many occasions, Republican hubris has lead to a slap-down. Look at 1932. At 1964. At 1974. At 1992. At 2006. In each and every instance, certain Republican kooks had taken their inanition, incompetence and downright nuttiness just one step further than the American people could tolerate.
You need not argue with me. I know that I am correct.
So it was in the year that Nile ran for the Republican nomination. His record as Republican Governor was far too liberal for the red-meat Republicans; however, he was ultimately chosen for the number-two slot because the race against the incumbent, a maverick Democrat named Brannigan, looked to be razor-close.
For years the head thugs of the Republican “party” had ignored the pleas of the rank-and-file to become more “inclusive” and less “exclusive.” In the past, they had utterly ignored the demographic fact that, more and more, the party needed at least some of the votes of women and minorities that the Democrats took for granted; needed them if they were to even stand a chance. In this election, however, the head-men swallowed hard, put aside their resentment of blacks, Hispanics, and women who stubbornly refused to vote for them, and decided, for once, to heed the complaints of the rank-and-file.
And so it was that when Middleton had locked up the nomination, the men of 'The Committee' met and debated upon who would best serve as his running mate.
The name of Nile was first floated simply because he would serve to be the necessary “balancer” of the ticket, since his record was reliably “progressive,” particularly in contrast to that of Middleton, but “progressive” in all the right, “Republican” ways that were marginally acceptable to the cabal of businessmen, soldiers, attorneys and power-brokers who met to decide on the Vice-Presidential nominee.
TEN: GILBERT NILE: THE ROAD TO THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION
…Gaudy outside with gold chains made from the people's money and harlots' money twisted together; crawling, serpentine men, the lousy combings and born freedom-sellers of the earth.--Walt Whitman
Like some vast hellacious concourse of ghouls and devils of whom Milton might have spoken when limning his classic vision of pandaemonium, the Republican convention in the year of Gilbert Nile's nomination to the Vice-Presidency was by nearly any standard the damndest collection of scamps, dollar-a-year-men, raptors, playboys, playboy soldiers, ice-cream soldiers, armchair soldiers, shirkers, malingerers, draft-dodgers, and corporate Quislings and malefactors convicted, unconvicted, and without convictions of any kind; the greatest number of felons, nervy hypocrites, prescription pharmaceutical-cadgers, outwardly upright and inwardly corrupted outright hypes, date rapists, manure-slingers and bullshitters ever to be assembled beneath one roof. Had a bomb been planted, or, better still, dropped headfirst upon this sorry assemblage of pimps and cutpurses and bloated corsairs, the republic might yet have been saved. As it was, the plutocrats rubbed elbows with the kleptocrats; the abortion-clinic bombers glad-handed the automatic-rifle nuts, and fez-sporting Shriners clinked chipped jelly-jar glasses slopping over with cheap rotgut whiskey against goblets bearing two fingers of pricey cognac wielded by slick business executives in their wrinkle-resistant Armani power suits, while on the other side of the cavernous hall, cancer-eaten peddlers of murderous watered-down drugs and other so-called 'medications' which they peddled with great profit to the babies of starving third-world mothers exchanged feeble ho-ho-hos with hearty meat-eating khaki-wearing arms peddlers fresh off the cargo plane from selling their fragmentation bombs and other proscribed ordnance to any and all purported oil-soaked enemies of the state willing to ante up the asking price.
Can such things be? And yet, these all-too-familiar spectacles were merely the sorts of antic activities that took place in full view of the assembled and fully-credentialed spectators. In the saloons and conference rooms and V.I.P. rooms and fusty subterranean meeting paces and hidden drinking dens and cubby holes of the true power elite, evil bargains of an entirely new and horrid aspect were no doubt also grimly taking place.
Indeed, without a doubt, in the darkest and most sequestered back rooms, on 17 August of that year, in a room implausibly painted Mecca Orange, a baker's-dozen assortment of wheeler-dealers are carefully busy, meticulously thinking up all-new platforms from which to scourge the body public. It is among this group of thirteen that the ultimate matched set of nominees were to be chosen.
Knowing as I do the power in this land I can well imagine that among their group were the usual suspects:
Livermore, a grotesquely fat cartel-man with gin blossoms spreading inexorably from their home-base at the tip of his metastasized and juddering nose and from there marching in knobby lumps all across his knotty porcine cheeks and hound-slobbering jowls.
Herd, a big wheel in advertising, publishing, and public relations; a big-domed man with a doughy face, a sleek forehead, a ready sneer, steel balls, and the penetrating eyes and aspect of a sneak murderer.
Litz, an entertainment mogul, a willowy, dapper, toupee-wearing, simpering, and yet deeply-closeted morphodite with beady eyes and indescribably foul breath all but reeking of brimstone and blood.
Preston, head of the largest and most rapacious of the big pharmaceutical firms, a chicken-boned, mealy-mouthed Moloch in a sinfully lustrous black suit with the thinnest of pure white pin stripes, wearing a large gold ring on his right forefinger, and bearing on his shoulders a head that looked that looked like a squeaky red balloon with about half the air let out. His thin mustache, which extended all the way to the end of his thin and blood-orange colored lips, gave him the look of a conniving Ares or Mars.
Mendenhall, head of the largest and by far the most dominant agribusiness firm on the continent, a double-breasted jumbo-sized jug-eared bluffer with a fat forehead and a greedy large mouth.
Clarkston, a big name in insurance, if not the very biggest. Unlike most members of his tribe, he is a deeply cultured individual from a very good family indeed, and their long-accumulated wealth and social standing give him the confident mien, as well as the sheer brass, to display, on select occasions, his rapier wit. Although he was a rather heavy-set man of middle age with a thick gray-brown mustache and hair to match, somehow, in his bearing and his attitude, he managed to virtually ooze sinister charisma.
Childs, high lord and executioner of the prison-industrial complex; a man whose plausible smooth face and flaxen hair failed to wholly conceal his disconcerting, dim, perverted sadist's eyes and pox-scarred brows.
Sanford, head of the richest oil start-up in recent memory. True, in the past, certain jealous and vindictive “pundits” have said that his fourth-generation family connections were instrumental in placing this failed business school grad in his exalted position, but blood will always tell, as the old folks on the Committee well know, and this glad-handing and rangy Texan certainly has what it takes to sit at the table with the big boys. It surely doesn't hurt that his oil money is also fourth generation, or that his glad-handing, aw-shucks, jes'-folks demeanor conceals a shrewd and analytical mind always alert for the main chance. He is of average height and vaguely resembles a lean and rugged gas station attendant manning a one-man cactus flower whistle stop petroleum pump, but he still manages to convey the conviction that he is larger than life and a man who is always on the move.
Choate, Army General, a third-generation career military man, and an imposing figure, although not a personally attractive man, with his thin pointed face, his wide, sharklike mouth, and his bald dome kept eternally sequestered beneath his scrambled-egg uniform hat. But there is no doubting that he is not only personally powerful but extremely well-connected in every possible way.
Osgood, an attorney, at one time a union lawyer, later a lawyer for some for the most unscrupulous union-busters to ever come down the pike. He is a man who is wise to, and who works any and all sides of the street. Some claimed he is mobbed up to the hilt, in bed with every well-known wealthy racketeer, and on more than a simple last-name basis with a great many men who would be regarded, at best, as common hoodlums. But among the committee, if anything, such connections are a count in his favor. He was well known to, and in the past had worked many times with, such eminences as the cartel-man, the media mogul, the ad-man and the agribiz giant. Say what you will about his dark, slope-browed, clench-jawed Italianate features and his slouchy posture: He belongs.
Senator Fitch, career politician and some say, career scoundrel, a pusillanimous bloviator whose every bid for national attention has ended with him playing the part of also-ran and best-friend-in-waiting to a series of likely contenders. With his fat face and fat body and mouth turned down in a perpetual sneer, he is not exactly a media-friendly presence, but he knows where all the bodies are buried, as well as the location of a few bodies, still-living, who just don't know they're dead yet, nor that they are likely to be buried sometime soon. It is said that Fitch he can raise more money from a thrice-burned-over field than most pols can raise from their own untapped virgin precincts.
Engel, a slick-as-a-whistle Savile Row-suited banking mogul who sits on the board of two of the nation's largest credit card companies and who was personally responsible for bankrupting more impecunious debtors than any score of beaver-hatted widow-and-orphan-swindling mustache men. Yet he is plump and meek-looking and complacently sits completely still near the head of the long table as smugly as though he had just swallowed an entire bird cage, canary and all.
And at the head of that black marble table sat the most powerful and influential figure of them all, Richard Stolas, also known as The Man, The Big Man, El Jefe, the High Muck-a-Muck, the Grand Sachem, Super Chief, the Bossman, the Man With The Fuzzy Nuts, and any number of other dubiously literate encomia. The elderly Stolas has been, for nearly the past half-century, the secretive head of an enigmatic organization called the Citywide Improvement Association. As always, he wears an expensive custom-tailored suit and shirt, silken undergarments, and black tie decorated with small shrieking American eagles. His receding hairline and full beard are both brown, and both are flecked with but faint traces of white. Remarkably, save for the fact that he tips the scale at nearly 300 pounds, he could easily pass for 55. Stolas is said to have dabbled in hypnotism and other mind-control techniques, and it is further said that those who have the poor judgment to defy him tend to come to sorry ends.
Nearly all of them are aging, pale, and sickly, and all are white males, stewed in and swollen with privilege or, in two cases, that of Childs the prison mogul and Attorney Osgood, steamed and then pickled in more recently-stolen or accumulated wealth, and all were ready, and even eager, in their jaded and soul-dead fashion, to elevate to high office any fickle and unscrupulous politico pliant enough to bend over backwards to accommodate their twisted and wretched agenda.
And how I can well imagine their conversation at this moment of high drama, composed in equal parts of insinuating but utterly unenlightened self-interest, and the rawest brag, bluff, and bluster:
“What do I care,” says Stolas, “who becomes President, so long as I shall make the laws?”
“We do want a good manager in there,” says banker Engel.
“But also someone with presentation skills,” says entertainment mogul Litz, in his reedy voice.
“We need a guy who can make shit look just like cotton candy,” says Herd the ad-man, adopting a hectoring tone.
“Just so long as we keep the prisons full,” says the pompous warder Childs.
“No question of that,” says Sanford the oil man, with a puffed-up air of grave judiciousness.
“What the prisons don't take we can send to the perimeters,” says General Choate, with equal gravity.
“What's good for the banks and the insurance companies is good for the Party,” says the now nervously fidgeting media mogul Litz.
“I second that motion,” says cartel-man Livermore, with cold equanimity.
“Then we're agreed,” says Stolas, “and it's settled. So who's it going to be. Middleton and who else?”
“I was thinking Sax Richmond,” says his crony, Sanford the oil man.
“Richmond's a lush,” says Senator Fitch.
“How about Governor Aubrey,” says media mogul Litz.
“His wife is totally unsuitable. A bim he met in Jimtown,” says Attorney Osgood.
“There's always Senator Gilman,” says Childs the warder.
“Three-time loser. Good for him maybe; not good for the Party,” says Preston, the pharma giant.
“Why don't we pick somebody just slightly out of the loop?” says Stolas.
“Who did you have in mind?” says Herd the ad-man.
“Governor Gilbert Nile.”
“He's too old,” says Sanford.
“Not for the number two slot,” says Stolas. “Look, our boy's going to be around for a good long while. All we need is a warm body to fill the post. And besides, he's in terrific shape. Doesn't look a day over 45.”
“What's his secret?” says entertainment mogul Litz.
“Exercise and clean living. What else?” says Stolas, feigning a rueful frown (while perhaps knowing all too well about the magic ring).
“I don't know,” says General Choate. “Is he sound?”
“Sound as a dollar,” says Stolas.
Big haw-haw from insurance man Clarkston and Attorney Osgood. Banker Engel glares at them.
“Seems like the darkest of dark horses,” says ag biz giant Mendenhall, speaking for the first time.
“That can be a big plus,” says Litz.
“I should say so,” says Herd. “A new old face.”
“More like an old new face,” says witty Clarkston.
Hearty chuckles, low-key guffaws, coughs, throat-clearings, gurgles, ahems.
“Let's be serious. One question: Is he viable?” says Stolas, all business (as if he doesn't know).
“Very much so,” says lawyer Osgood, who has “connections” in the intelligence agencies.
“Clean and right?” says Mendenhall the ag-biz giant.
“A hundred per cent,” says Osgood.
“Then it's settled,” says Livermore.
“Not so fast,” says Stolas. “Shall we make it unanaimous? Any objections? Speak now.”
No, no, and ten more times no.
“One hold-out,” says Stolas.
It's the old pol, Senator Fitch.
Fitch says, “I've got no problem with Nile. But will our boy agree?”
“I suppose first we ought to clear it with him,” concedes Stolas.
The candidate, soon-to-be former Senator Wendell Middleton is called, and arrives within the hour. It is 1:30 AM, and he has just that very day finished fighting his way to the conclusion of a brutal nominating campaign, and he's just about “all in”. About one hour ago he has lain his head down on his hotel pillow and he has just started to drift off to sleep. He wants to get at least six hours in so as to ready himself for the formality of the nominating convention. He has left strict orders not to be disturbed. When his aide comes in anyway to wake him he is furious. But his face goes slack-jawed and his red temper turns to white terror when he realizes he is being summoned by The Committee. This can't be good, he thinks. I've come this far, oh please don't let it be taken away, God. (This is the first time he has thought of God in weeks. That's how bad it is. He is that scared.)
And so for this bunch, for The Committee, he not only gets out of bed in a big hurry, a fire fire the room's on fire hurry.
He also cleans himself up and even manages to get the hotel to press his suit in 15 minutes.
He arrives at 2:15 am.
They tell him who his running mate is going to be.
Blood rushes back into his face.
And he doesn't demur. Not in so many words. Not if that's all they want. He knows better. But he does say that it will of course, depend upon the background check. Himself, he's barely even heard of Gilbert Nile.
“Oh, of course,” says media mogul Litz, But he speaks too soon. “We--“
“He's clean,” says Attorney Osgood, interrupting.
“We've checked him out,” says Stolas.
“Well, that's final then,” says Senator Fitch, as one old pol to another.
“When should I announce?” says nominee-to-be Middleton.
“Why not throw it open to the convention?” says Stolas. “We'll do the rest.”
“Between now and midnight tomorrow?” says the candidate, incredulous.
“It's a done deal,” purrs Stolas. (How? How? Tell me, please--How does he know?)
But he does.
And it is.
ELEVEN: GILBERT NILE: ASCENSION TO THE PRESIDENCY
Let not thy will roar, when thy power can but whisper.--Dr. Thomas Fuller
The ascension of Gilbert Nile, bullshit artist, poor-boy-made good, and lackluster governor of a third-rate rust-belt state, to the highest office in the land, was made possible by one factor alone.
The sudden death of his predecessor, the former Republican Senate Minority Leader, President Wendell Middleton.
A word about Middleton and his short tenure of office--he served slightly less than a thousand days--and about his sudden, and some say mysterious death--is certainly in order.
The mishap occurred on a visit to Gibsonia on the evening of 30 October. Nile wanted to show the president his “old stomping grounds.”
Middleton allegedly died after a drunken session of midnight diving--in frosty late October?--off a steep cliff into Leechey Lake. The cause of death--suffocation by drowning.
There are many more unanswered questions that this scenario invites.
Why was he drunk? Middleton was not known to be an intemperate man. His colleagues in the Senate had never known him to ever exceed his strict two-drink limit, even at the longest and most tedious formal dinners.
What made him decide to dive? To be sure, Middleton, who at 6 feet two and 240 pounds, was not an avid jogger, and so swimming was his favorite recreation. Middleton was even known to sometimes use the White House pool twice in a single day. He claimed it helped him to relax.
But to dive into a nearly frozen lake in late October? Middleton was not known to be quite that avid a swimmer.
Where were the Secret Service? How had both Middleton and Nile been able to elude their scrutiny?
The scenario makes absolutely no sense at all.
Here we must speculate. Boldly.
There are several tantalizing possibilities.
1) Middleton recklessly, drunkenly dove into an icy lake, struck his head on a rock, knocked himself unconscious, and drowned.
2) Middleton got drunk and became suicidal and deliberately leaped to his death.
3) Middleton drunkenly tripped and fell down the steep slope of an embankment and accidently fell into the lake.
Of these three explanations, the third seems the most plausible, though Gilbert Nile has sworn under oath that this is precisely what did not happen. Nile claimed, continues to claim, and will no doubt always claim that Middleton had had only two drinks and that he “dived” (deplorable grammar!) into the lake in a show of tipsy bravado.
But this scenario leaves open even more unanswered questions.
What were they even doing at Leechey Lake, which is 26 miles as the crow flies from the town of Cousin, where Nile grew up, and a good hour's drive from that town, given that the much of the land surrounding it is privately owned?
There are no tourist attractions there, save one. The town of Mustang Ranch.
There are no Mustangs there.
But there are prostitutes.
And plenty of them.
Some have whispered of an elaborate cover-up custom-designed to conceal the details of a whoring expedition that went sour.
But I have my own questions.
First and foremost being, if the events truly transpired in the way that Nile has suggested, did Middleton jump--or was he pushed?
Of course, none of the conspiracy scenarios have taken into account the magic ring.
When I close my eyes and think very hard, I envision a scenario in which Nile kidnaps Middleton and uses his ring to evade the Secret Servicemen. Middleton is taken to a castle overlooking the shore of Leechey Lake and confronted with a series of demands and ultimata. When Middleton's response proves unsatisfactory, he is dispatched without further ado. His body is then flung into the brackish Lake.
Of course, the water found in his lungs was fresh water. But did anyone bother to compare its chemical composition with that of the water in Leechey Lake?
Too late now, of course. Middleton was cremated.
The true events of that evening at the Lake may never be known, although there is one person who is perhaps in a position to reveal the truth.
For the property around Leechey Lake, including the notorious ridge-top complex known as Wallis Castle, has been entirely owned for generations by the family of Richard Stolas.
TWELVE: GILBERT NILE: HIS PRESIDENCY: THE FIRST INAUGURAL
The dilemma of modern progressive politics is that you are always fighting on two fronts: The conservatives on the right, and the conservatives on the left.--Tony Blair
Though it began conventionally enough, Nile's inaugural Presidential speech, on the evening of 31 October, was one of the most bizarre presidential pronouncements on record. Here are Nile's comments, reproduced in full. (This is not, however, as it was reported, as I will explain later!)
This is a sad occasion for all people, everywhere, and if it were in my power, I would undo the tragic events that led to this tragic juncture. However, I am resolved to soldier through, and I ask the American people to do the same. With the help of the people, and the help of God, I will do all I can. I ask that you support the President and regard me as your friend in this hour of great sorrow and tribulation.
Our republic has come a long way since 1776.
Regarding this great experiment known as democracy I have this to say.
It is high time we faced facts.
This Government is in a permanent state of gridlock. Our founders more or less designed this government so that no one branch has it all over any of the others, but these are crucial times that our Republic faces, and we've not only the stewards for the North American continent but for the entire world, regardless of what the Russians or the Chinese, or, for that matter, the Indians or the Pakistanis or the Arabs or the Europeans might think.
Now, the Russians and the Chinese were the first to bring out the big guns, and we're not starting any fights, but we're not running away from any either, and it's high time we told those autocratic regimes to back off. If a fight is what they want, then a fight is what they're going to get, by jiminy. They started it, but we'll finish it. And don't worry, we'll give it to them--right in the kisser! The old zippo-bang!
Now, some wimps have been whining about how we need the approval of the United Nations, and that we don't amount to a hill of beans without it. Well, now, that's just plain wrong! As a matter of fact, if you'll pardon the expression, I've never heard such crap! We don't need nothin' from nobody, and we sure don't need no go-ahead from the likes of them bazoos. As a matter of fact, we've been getting along perfectly swell without them, and as long as the rest of the World has got to eat, we'll still be the bread-basket to the world.
But the United Nations, and NATO, and all them other organizations have always worked for us in the past, some people say.... Well, that's a load of crap, too! Them other countries have never stuck their neck out for us; if they stuck up for us in the past it's because they were only in it for the money. Time and time again Europe has gotten into some heap big scrapes, and time after time they have come bawling to us to save their bacon, but let's be frank--we done it, only not out of the goodness of our hearts, but because we were just looking out after our own turf. And they knew it. Other than the fact that the eagle screams, them other countries could care less about us.
So I say let's just scram the hell out of the U.N. and like that, and then we'll be quit of them other countries for keeps, and that's no lie!
Now some people say that the United States helped to found the United Nations, and that therefore we are responsible for keeping it viable. Well, as far as I'm concerned, the United Nations and the World Bank and all those other organizations have done a pretty bum job of looking out after us and our interests. What do you do with a dog that bites you when you're trying to feed it? I'll tell ya what--you put him down. That's the way they do it down on the farm.
Maybe we should start thinking back to the way the world used to be and do something to restore our republic to exemplify some of those time-honored ways.
Anyway, the United Nations ain't the boss of us. Nor are Russia or China or India or Pakistan or Arabia or even Europe. Let's face it, all them garlic-eaters and mackerel-snappers and castaways and such all come here to get away from the mugs that want to push them around.
Now I'm going to take a lot of flak, probably, for saying this, but let's face it, folks--we don't need them bums mucking around here no more. I said it once and I'll say it again--the stuff we got to sell would find a buyer anywhere, and we'd all be a whole lot better off if we just eliminated the middleman right here and now. If we get all tangled up with them phonies over in Europe and Asia and Africa and what-not, we're just asking for a whole world of trouble from all the people they've managed to tick off, and big time. These Europeans who might be our pals and maybe buddy up with us ain't gonna do it if we say we're playing ball with Russia and China. It's places like India and Indonesia we ought to be selling stuff to, and not messing around with them punks in Europe no more, because as long as we're on the same team as those bazoos, we're going to have to put up or shut up, and maybe even end up having to fight all their battles for them.
Europe's basically just a bunch of jerks, and the same goes for the rest of the world. I know I'm going to get in trouble for saying it, but here in the good old U.S. of A., the President can say any darn thing he likes. It says so in the constitution, or, if it doesn't, then it should.
Anyhoo, the rest of the world's been going at it like cats and dogs 24-7 since who knows when, and if we stick up for Europe all the time, let's face it--we're gonna go broke, because nobody else will buy our stuff. And all because we're letting Europe run our lives! All those crybabies that are saying we ought to patch things up with Europe are gonna be singin' a different tune if Europe manages to get into a scrape with Russia or China. And then those same crybabies are gonna wish they hadn't taken sides, but it's going to be too late. Do I have to spell it out for you? What part of U.S. out of the U.N. don't you understand? Those dashiki wearing jokers with their weird food and their ugly jabber are an ocean away from us. And we have a pretty sweet set-up here without them. You know, I've always felt that it's like someone Up There is looking out for our hides, and it's also really great that we got this way cool Hotel Americat here for all them people from somewhere else that nobody else gives a hoot about.
But that too has got to change. All them foreigners coming here to live, I mean. But first things first.
OK, let's talk turkey: the United Nations have been acting like Boss Hogg around here for too long. When I go to talk to the United Nations, here's the first thing I plan to tell them: Boys, let's face it--I hate to rain on your parades, but you have got to go....
OK, let me explain myself. This here country's too big, and too far away, and too complicated for all them Lord Snooties from all them other hick countries to try to run our lives. I say that if they can't lick us, then they sure as hell can't boss us around.
Sure, back in the day, it was OK to come running to the United Nations about every little thing, but now that we're all grown up it's kinda dumb.
If them countries can't even take of their own affairs--and let's face it, most of 'em can't--then why in hell should we let them tell us how to run the show? Why should some miserable mudhole country off in East Nowhere expect us to jump through hoops on their say-so?
OK--let's just suppose for just one minute that we patch things up with them other countries. Then what? Well, Jim, lemme tell ya this--in that case, it's a one-way ticket to Palookaville for us. Now, sit still for a minute and lemme tell you why.
The rest of the world is going to just keep jerking us around no matter what.
Even the best deal we're gonna cut with the G-8 ain't gonna be no good for long.
I'll tell yuh who we oughter be taking marching orders from. Buddy, it's God Almighty His own self. Nobody else.
Anyhow, I think that with His blessing we ought to run things ourselves, and the sooner we can get some peace and quiet around here, and set up some rules, rather than wait around for some big emergency, the better off we'll be. So all you creeps that are talking about let's kiss and make up with the UN and the G-8 and all them others, I'm saying to you--nix on that.
What I'm saying is we can no longer put up with those murderous sumbitches in the U.N. It's high time we give the U.N. the old heave-ho.
Anyway, I don't like to blather on. I've pretty much said what I've meant to say.
God bless you. And may God bless America.
Curiously (or perhaps not), press response to this de facto inaugural speech was subdued. Old-line conservative organs took mild issue with the President's language, but heartily applauded his sentiments. Moderates and liberals were inclined to decry the Presidents call for “a new isolationism,” but otherwise applauded his “populist spirit” and willingness to “speak plainly to the American people.” Predictably, the neo-conservative wing of the Republican party reacted with shock and outrage. “This is the end of the Empire,” groaned the learned solons from the great journals of opinion. Other, more down to earth television commentators, suggested that the President was “speaking for Buncombe” and “telling the people what they want to hear.”
In one sense, they were correct. In another, they were dead wrong. True, many Americans--not all of them rock-ribbed conservatives--had long wished for the United States to follow a policy of disengagement with the rest of the world, the better to tend to more pressing problems at home--namely, crumbling infrastructure, shaky consumer confidence, and high taxes.
But they little knew just how serious Nile was and just how far he would go to see his will carried out.
To say the media around the world were in a state of extreme anxiety regarding the intentions of the new President would be the understatement of the century. Russia and China immediately began calling up their reserves and strategically deploying their land forces. Japan's financial markets see-sawed, then crashed. World markets were immediately thrown into a state of turmoil.
Only the Germans and the French seemed to react to the news with calm forbearance.
England's Prime Minister immediately called for a “dialogue” with the President, but none was forthcoming, and the President made it clear to the PM's representatives that he had said all he had intended to say regarding the matter.
THIRTEEN: GILBERT NILE: HIS OPPOSITION
History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it.--Walter Bagehot
The men who had elevated Nile to power each reacted to his initiatives in different ways.
Livermore, the grotesquely fat cartel-man, said nothing, but quietly began raising money for a “dump Nile” movement that would derail his nomination for another term.
Herd, the big wheel in advertising, refused to do pro bono, or, for that matter, any public relations work for the White House.
Within days, Litz, the entertainment mogul, funded a webcast of a “hilarious satire” spoofing the President and his autocratic ways, but the website was just as quickly pulled.
Preston, head of the largest and most rapacious of the big pharmaceutical firms, printed intemperate and angry editorials in the nation's leading right-wing journals of opinion.
The pragmatic Mendenhall, head of the largest and by far the most dominant agribusiness firm, began downplaying the importance of his U.S. holdings and shifting his operations to Canada and Mexico.
Clarkston, the insurance man, decided to take on early retirement, even though he was, by all accounts, “only 55” and “still at the top of his game.”
Childs, high lord and executioner of the prison-industrial complex, decided to diversify his holdings and quickly sank a large amount of money in high-risk, short-term speculative ventures, from which he profited immensely.
Sanford, head of the richest oil start-up in recent memory, began “tinkering” with the oil supply coming from his wells, but was foiled when Venezuela began to unstopper its own reserves.
Choate, the Army General, said nothing, but began maneuvering the Pentagon bureaucracy in such a way as to bog down Nile's ambitious global initiatives.
Osgood, the attorney, held his tongue. Some say he even gave the White House legal advice, gratis.
Senator Fitch, career politician, thundered in the Senate regarding “the unprecedented usurpation of legislative functions.” But few paid much heed to what the corrupt old solon had to say.
In an extraordinarily rash move, Engel, the banking mogul, expressed his opposition by confiding to his closest associates his plans to “go public” with what he knew about “the death of President Middleton.”
Richard Stolas, in the fastness of his oak-paneled office, did nothing and made no public statements.
Perhaps because of his wily survivor's instinct, or perhaps because (as I've suspected all along) he knew…about the ring.
FOURTEEN: HIS CONGRESS
The best party is but a kind of conspiracy against the rest of the nation.--Lord Halifax
The long, ongoing wars waged by Nile against the Congress of the United States, for which the President entertained--one might even say relished--a peculiar contempt--will be covered in greater detail in those chapters covering his Presidential statements.
Although it is a peculiarity of the American political system that the executive branch is (supposedly) separate and distinct from the legislative, it is well known that, throughout the history of the Republic, not a few Presidents have been chosen from the ranks of the House and Senate. However, recent history has also seen a fair share of state Governors who ascended to the Presidency, from states as diverse as Texas, California, Georgia, and even Arkansas. In past years, it was held as an article of political faith that a President who could not work with Congress--even a President drawn from its ranks--is, by and large, a failed President. However, during his Presidency, Gilbert Nile stood that expectation on its head: he not only routinely defied Congress--one might almost say he defiled it. Not since Truman has there been a President who, in his public speeches, and, more significantly, in the administration of his office, so routinely dripped scorn upon that venerable body.
FIFTEEN: HIS COURTS
The holder of a monopoly is a sinner and offender.--Mohammed
After a single term, Nile managed to accomplish what FDR had never been able to accomplish during three full terms--he packed the highest court in the land full of his own spaniels well-trained to carry and fetch. A sorrier passel of kowtowing mummies and ninnies I have never seen in all my born days.
There is no need to go into any great detail regarding the nearly minimal qualifications for the highest court. Suffice it to say that Nile seemed to select his justices, not on the basis of competence or diligence or brilliance, but on the basis of their pliability, their inanition, and their mediocrity. It was a minion of Nixon's who once famously asseverated that “even mediocre people deserve some representation.” In Nile, this motto served, not as an apology, but as a rationale.
SIXTEEN: THE FATE OF HIS ENEMIES
Poverty is your treasure. Do not exchange it for an easy life.--Zen-Getsu
One by one, eight of the thirteen (admittedly) mostly elderly members of The Council met untimely ends. Math is not my strong suit, but the laws of probability would seem to dictate the chances of eight out of thirteen men dying within a six-month period are somewhere on the order of one in 873,473,221.
Very much noted in life; not long mourned nor remembered in death, these were their respective fates:
Livermore, the grotesquely fat cartel-man, slipped in the bathtub, struck his head, and lapsed into a coma. For four years, he remained on life support until it was finally determined that he was unlikely to recover.
Herd, the big wheel in advertising, suffered a fatal heart attack in a movie theatre while “laughing at a silly Hollywood comedy.”
Litz, the entertainment mogul, while driving his orange sports car, picked up a self-styled and tragically strong 'drifter,' apparently for an illicit assignation.
Preston, head of the largest and most rapacious of the big pharmaceutical firms, was crushed when a runaway crane being used to renovate his mansion collided with the house, sending tons of sand cascading down upon his head.
Mendenhall, head of the largest and by far the most dominant agribusiness firm, turned out, on a chance visit to an apiary, to be fatally allergic to bee stings.
Clarkston, a big name in insurance, died of cancer, aged 55.
Childs, high lord and executioner of the prison-industrial complex, is apparently in self-imposed exile; his current whereabouts are unknown. There is no guarantee he is still alive; however, his Swiss bank account allegedly shows recent activity.
Sanford, head of the richest oil start-up in recent memory, met his demise in a tragic chainsaw accident while “clearing away some brush on his ranch.”
General Choate nearly choked to death on a grape (seeded, jumbo) in the situation room of the Pentagon.
Osgood, the attorney, is alive and well. Incidentally, Nile knew his daughter back when she was attending Ivy College.
Senator Fitch, the career politician, suffered a non-fatal heart attack brought on by heat prostration while accepting an honorary Doctorate from Cross Country Community College.
Engel, the slick-as-a-whistle banking mogul? In a bizarre mishap, his dog, “Lucky,” yanked him into the rotor blades of a helicopter. (The dog was unharmed.)
Stolas, imperturbable as ever, managed to dodge the jinx, and even thrive.
As regards the others who opposed him: Nile managed to reduce them to the status of mere nay-sayers whose pronouncements bear but negligible impact upon the business of the state.
This post has been edited by dimenno: Feb 14 2012, 03:38 PM
Feb 14 2012, 04:02 PM
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SEVENTEEN: HIS GODDAMN POLICE STATE
It is subversive to set up inquisitions like this, state or national, into the thoughts and consciences of Americans. . . ..Americans dare not be free citizens! This is the destruction of democracy.--Florence Luscomb
The president has, of late, in spite of his wealthy and somewhat liberal friend Cromwell Jones, displayed a distressing propensity to downplay the role of the police and even of the army. Instead, he seems to favor the rule of local strongmen and vigilantes, “To do the jobs the police simply cannot do.” Are these simply the ravings of the most paranoid and reclusive president since Nixon? I think not. President Nile, as always, doesn't always say what he means, but he nearly always means what he says. Just as past Republican Presidents have sought to privatize governmental charitable foundations, and even social security, this president wishes to place, not only the policing of prisons, but the policing of the streets, in private hands. As with so many things that the President wishes to see done, no sooner does he make a public statement that the feat is all but accomplished, an ability which make even his admirers wonder at the efficacy of his will.
But what are these jobs? What villains or miscreants or sorcerers does the President forsee who are so uncanny and powerful that the republic's sworn peace officers cannot cope with them? If he knows,
President Nile is not saying. It is in just this way that our major cities have become virtual satrapies ruled by domineering and unscrupulous warlords with nearly unlimited powers.
We need only look to the fate of a select few of our major cities. Once proud Los Angeles has become a virtual third-world nation, with heavily-guarded gated communities surrounded on all sides by a belligerent and increasingly angry passel of ethnic owl hoots who, deprived of all job opportunities save the lowliest and most servile, have made it their mission to rob each other and loot the less protected enclaves of the middle class with a force and ferocity not seen since the New York draft riots of 1863.
Regarding New York, we need only point to the erection of the Manhattan wall to remind the reader of to what extent that once proud metropolis has, like Los Angeles, found herself surrounded on all sides by would-be interlopers and wreckers.
Atlanta, once known as “The City Too Busy to Hate,” has, increasingly, under the reign of Nile, found itself the City Too Broke to do Anything; its more prosperous residents having long ago fled to the white counties surrounding the urban belt, leaving the inner city to rot and fester amid the scents of peach and magnolia.
As Atlanta went, so too did countless cities with a proud heritage: from Philadelphia to Cincinnati, and from Chicago to St. Louis and from Kansas City to San Francisco, once grand conurbations have been abandoned and rendered into veritable howling wildernesses.
EIGHTEEN: HIS FOREIGN POLICY
“Tut, tut child,” said the Duchess. “Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it.”--Lewis Carroll
Once is, perhaps, hardly justified in defining the foreign policy of Gilbert Nile with a phrase which, in more peaceable times, might have been derided as an oxymoron, and yet, there is no escaping the grim conclusion that Nile has fostered what may well be the world's first neo-imperialist isolationist state. Once the Congress was brought into line and the United States forced, by his fiat, to withdraw from NAFTA and CAFTA and even the GATT, the U.S.A. either annexed or allied itself instead with some of the most brutal and thuggish nation states the world had ever seen, all to fatten the coffers of the arms suppliers and their proxies. A world in which the United States served as a destabilizing force was not a world in which free trade thrived; in fact, it was only a matter of time before there followed the sort of economic cataclysm not seen since the 1930s.
NINETEEN: HIS DOMESTIC POLICY
The pretense of not knowing what every idiot increasingly knows has increasingly come to define our national discourse….[As well as] the willingness to grant that a crisis exists even as our key players scramble to guarantee that every systemic cause of that crisis remains intact.--Garret Keizer
One would have thought that once the United States had acted in such a way as to essentially void its foreign debt, that its newly-swollen coffers would flow toward the direction of domestic policy, and the people made well-to-do.
This was far from the truth, and it seems that at no time was this outcome ever the intention of Gilbert Nile.
Instead, like some fabled miser of old, the United States built itself into a prison and surveillance state not seen since the reign of Tiberius, and possibly not even then, for the Roman empire of that tyrant's day was vast, and its communications comparatively poor; while, in the reign of Nile, the communications were superb and the range covered, though vast, was also neatly segmented into the aforementioned first world enclaves surrounded by veritable third-world satrapies. Monies were expended upon infrastructure only to the extent that they favored the wealthy. Among the lower and middling classes, many were the funerals and life sentences; few were the college degrees.
TWENTY: THE MEMORY HOLE
The eternal silence of those infinite spaces frightens me.--Pascal
One must indeed look long and hard for any mention--even in the foreign press!!--of the disaster the reign of Gilbert Nile has brought to those well-meaning democracies which, in the wake of United States hegemony, have become fewer and weaker with every passing day.
How can such things be? In the not-too-distant past, the world press had always been critical of the United States and its stance regarding its neighbors, even when that stance was relatively benign.
The answer is simple--the power of unanimity. When the stronger countries declare that black is white, the weaker countries only harbor the contrary view in their most sequestered councils.
TWENTY-ONE: HIS ABSOLUTISM
A man that does not use his reason is a tame beast; a man that abuses it is a wild one.--Lord Halifax
One is endlessly told, in writing classes of the lower sort, that one is better to show rather than to tell the reader what one intends to express. The public statements of Nile, which will be presented in a later chapter, will certainly serve to underline his authoritarian nature. But one feels impelled to say a word about the absolutist nature of Nile's philosophy.
Whence he could have gleaned such a philosophy I haven't the faintest idea. Perhaps in the barely digested and half-understood philosophies of the almost gratuitously odious Friedrich Nietzsche. Maybe Nile once read Ayn Rand at an impressionable age and took away only the most noxious strains of her hatefully gloating creed. But Nile was, in the words of Coogler, “never much one for literature.” I suspect that the absolutism which has come to characterize his reign is almost entirely due to certain, still-hidden aspects of his upbringing which I have done my best, in past chapters, to expose to the glaring light of day.
TWENTY-TWO: HIS WORLD-VIEW
A practical man is a man who practices the errors of his forefathers.--Benjamin Disraeli
Nile is Manichean to a fault. This is not to impute to him any undeserved erudition--I doubt he is even capable of spelling the word, much less of tracing its historical antecedence. Call him a lower-case manichean--a straight good-vs.-evil guy. This quality may well be an admirable quality in a manager of a hamburger establishment. It is a disastrous one in a once proud--and increasingly former--Republic.
Historically, the peculiar nature of this nation's polity is such, as I have mentioned earlier, that no one branch of government was designed to gain the upper hand over any of the other two. With his stubborn refusal to compromise with what he perceived to be the forces of darkness--or perhaps, light--Nile has single-handedly overturned hundreds of years of the sort of give and take which had led the nation, albeit oftentimes in a juddering fashion, toward a happy medium. But Nile's actions, since ascending to the Presidency, have been such as to make one wonder if perhaps he reaffirmed a daily oath to let no evil deed remain unseen. Or if perhaps he had fallen into the clutches of some particularly unscrupulous quasi-religious cult, one which had inculcated him with the sort of high nonsense that is bound to be the despair of rational men.
The proof? Circumstantial at best. But a brief summary of the broader points of his presidency may serve to enlighten the unconvinced.
Some politicians attempt to wait out situations known to be treacherous, in the hopes that in time, they might resolve themselves of their own accord. Nile actively sought out these very troublesome shoals.
Most politicians shun needless controversy. Nile courted it.
Many politicians court citizen-led interest groups as potential allies. Nile castigated them as though he thought they were diseased.
Nearly all politicians hesitate to use the word “unacceptable.” Nile used it more often than he said the word “God.” (Though references to the Deity were, indeed, a close second.)
All politicians shade the truth. Nile never did.
TWENTY -THREE: THE (MIS)EDUCATION OF GILBERT NILE
"It's the story of the negation of everything, eventually including the negation of self, a race toward the absolute which ends in a fury of nothingness."--Albert Camus, in his introduction to Chamfort's 'Pensees'
When speaking of the President's intelligence, and lack thereof--after all, just how smart do you have to be when you have a magic ring that can do your bidding?--I am reminded of a delightfully risque dialogue that allegedly took place between two Negro pimps named 'Iceberg' Slim and 'Pretty Pretty Glass Top':
Glass Top: Fucker, who the fuck is you?
Iceberg Slim: I'm a pimp.
Glass Top: You, a Pimp? You ain't even the pimple on a Pimp's ass!
And so it is with President Nile, who speaks of his reverence for education in the same breath as his love for humanity. To coin a phrase, Him, an Educated Man? He ain't even Special Ed!
The danger of elevating such uneducated men to high office is simply this: lacking the training to weigh and evaluate arguments, they fall prey to rhetoric and tend to operate in the realm of "gut" feelings, because they simply have not been educated in the art of systematic assessment.
To a certain extent I fear I must blame myself for the current state of affairs. I was most likely his only teacher when it came to matters of political theory. I fear I may have planted a great many strictly accurate but ultimately disastrous notions in Gilbert's unformed brain in regards to effecting political change.
My suspicion was, alas, confirmed, when, looking over my notes from that year, I believe it was 1969, I found a record of what I had to say regarding third-party movements in American politics.
"Throughout our history, pious demagogues have all too often used "original intent" as a tool with which to crush their opposition. But what if we were to somehow elect a President who somehow managed to be true to what the founders intended this republic to be? I should add that the founders never even anticipated the rise of sectarian political parties. They certainly didn't anticipate the eventual domination of a monolithic two-party system. It is my contention that if we ever expect long-lasting change, and a return to what made this republic a "shining city on a hill," then what we need to effect such change is simply this: we need is a viable third party. However, I should add that, in my opinion, an independent candidate elected or put in place without party support would be an unqualified disaster. Think Tyler. Think Andrew Johnson. It's a sad fact of American politics that the President can accomplish relatively little without the backing from some coalition of party stalwarts and independence-minded opposition party members. We should look to our past to see how lasting political changes are made in our polity. Lincoln and the Republican Party arose out of the failed Whig party. Between FDR and LBJ, the modern Democratic Party evolved from a party that catered to racists to a party that built its coalition out of a combination of liberals and minorities. In both cases, a literal or figurative "new" party had to arise out of the corrupt and ineffectual remnants of an old, failed one. However, I believe that the Democrats have so thoroughly compromised themselves in order to remain viable that if any party is going to "recast" itself, it will be the Republicans. And I don't see that happening for a very long time.
Therefore, a new party will need to arise--one that will appeal to the broadest possible fraction of the electorate. Anything less will cast this putative third party into the role of a 'spoiler' in the electoral arena.
The last viable third parties we had were in the teens and twenties. In 1912, TR's Progressives came in second with about 27% of the vote. In 1924, La Follette racked up an impressive total in terms of electoral votes and popular vote. But even these comparatively successful politicians were merely spoilers in the two-party race. Look to Thurmond and Wallace's 1948 run. Truman pulled it out in spite of two spoilers in the race, but if Dewey hadn't been such a stiff and if Truman's machine hadn't been able to mobilize urban blacks, Truman would have lost.
Look to Wallace's run last year, in 1968. He very nearly cost Nixon the election. What we need, I think, is a viable third party structure that will place third party candidates in Congress. That way, when a President from that party runs, he can't be cast as a 'mere' spoiler. And, when that President is elected, he or she will have a party infrastructure in place that will facilitate legislative accomplishments as well as the all-too-crucial fundraising."
I fear that Nile, not given to paying scrupulously close attention to many of my other pronouncements, must (unfortunately) have taken particularly good notes on that particular day.
To make matters worse, I fear he may have seized upon certain comments I made the following week.
My lecture that week proceeded based upon an offhand comment made by Richard Nixon, that he would have "made a pretty good Pope." I used that comment as a jumping-off point to imagine what steps a President with power unlimited by the legislature or the judiciary might take. And so it was I made the following remarks:
"We don't need a President. We need a Pope. Someone of irreproachable moral stature who could rule by fiat and make this country swallow some bitter medicine.
Hmm, let's see....
He or she would thereby be able to:
Eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction.
Cut radically back on Pentagon spending and the space program.
Restore 1960-era tax rates on the wealthy.
And use those savings to:
Forgive third world debt.
Nationalize health care.
Develop clean energy alternatives.
Develop alternatives to the internal combustion engine.
Work on the problem of factory emissions.
Build up the infrastructure with a WPA-like program that would employ the underclass (rather than using them for cannon fodder).
Build the price of auto insurance into the price of gasoline, so that the more you drive, the more you pay.
Perhaps this Godlike leader could also break the power of the Teacher's unions and get some more classroom instructors into those schools where they are most needed.
And then break through the tangled morass of special interest groups and announce that thenceforth those people who are working hardest to make this country healthy will be favored, and all others will be forced to wait their turn at the end of the line. So we bump environmentalist groups to the front and pressure groups all the way to the back of that line.
But who am I kidding? The American people have historically always rejected statism except for a brief period between 1933 and roughly 1938, during a national emergency so severe that even farmers were dumping their milk into the streams rather than sell it for less than what it had cost them to make.
I suspect that most Americans would rather wallow in their own shit than be compelled in any way to clean up their act.
Maybe if we could implement these reforms one state at a time there would be a chance, but there would always be some holdouts, and, yes, I do mean the Old Confederacy."
Of course, my radical so-called "solutions" were in direct response to what seemed, at the time, a retrograde administration.
Little did I realize to just what extent Nile would take me at my word!
Small wonder then that I had due cause to feel the sting of the old saw:
"Be careful what you wish for--you might just get it."
TWENTY-FOUR: HIS PRESS
“I have no time to read newspapers."--Henry David Thoreau
"I would say that during most of the last forty years, American journalism has been more amplification system than watchdog."--Todd Gitlin
"The more famous you are, the less of a journalist you are."--David Halberstam
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."--Thomas Jefferson
"There is another, even more damaging dynamic in evidence, one that intellectuals from Marxist-Leninist societies would instantly recognize. That is the psychological tendency of any group that is denied legitimacy and officially disdained by a powerful state to begin internalizing its sense of exclusion and isolation as a form of culpability, causing an almost autonomic urge to somehow seek out reinstatement."--Orville Schell
Even in the best of times, newspaper editors, who were, of course, beholden to their publishers, who themselves are, in their turn, all too often lapdogs for their corporate sponsors--these editors were an awful lot like prostitutes who have moved from working the streets (or "covering a beat", to use their own quaint parlance), to being kept by their lotharios in a penthouse with a white shag rug teeming with an excess of furry white pillows and leather upholstery. There is no reason on earth why they should ever have been expected to exchange their plush surroundings for a cold-water walk-up flat and the uncertain vicissitudes of walk-in trade. They had presumably paid their dues and shown time and again that they had enough class to whore themselves to the highest bidder.
But reporters are supposedly a different breed. At least they were, as I fondly remember them, once upon a time. Brash, cynical, hard-drinking, eight-martini-a-day men on a four-martini budget. No sob sisters or nervous Nellies populated their ranks for very long. The newsmen I knew when I was growing up were a tough breed of deadline-oriented tacticians who got the story in, no matter what. And if there were a story behind the story, they considered it a hot scoop, and fought each other tooth and nail for the privilege of being the first to phone it in and--glory!--possibly even steal a march on the competition.
OK, I can see why the even the newsboys gave FDR a pass--Christ, he was practically in bed with Walter Winchell, who had his lips firmly pressed against FDR's withered butt-cheeks but who also had an awful lot of influence back in those long-departed days, what with his gossip column and his ubiquitous radio show, and, furthermore, by the time the big bad Depression hit home, nobody with any sense at all was paying very much attention to what old man Hearst or that ax-grinding Tory H.L. Mencken had to say in the editorial pages.
JFK's charmed life among the News-hawks I can also sort of understand--he even considered a journalistic career for a while and went to the UN Convention in San Fran to cover it as a reporter. And Jackie was a bit of a newsie herself--before she married JFK she was an 'inquiring photographer' for some Washington Newspaper (was it the Star? I seem to recall that one of her questions was 'Old man's darling or young man's slave?' Kind of ironic in retrospect, given her initial post-JFK choice of consort. I hear Onassis was so vulgar, he used to boast of the whale-penis-skins on the barstools of his yacht! I wish I could cite the source, but I haven't any of my reference books with me at present. I think it was in some book about the Mafia, though.)
Reagan was a bit of a puzzle to me, in terms of the hands-off attitude the press took toward him for about the first six years. (There were times, I admit, when I wondered whether he didn't have a magic ring tucked away somewhere himself. Who knows--maybe Nile made him one and slipped it to him on the sly.)
Of course, Ronnie also had his in with the Press boys--he had been a reporter himself; more properly, a sportscaster.
No, I can understand, quite apart from Professional courtesy, why the press had something of a hands-off policy toward those three. First of all, they were genial fellows. Companionable. The kind of folks you can sit down and have a drink with.
In fact, all the recent Presidents have had their peculiar traits, and the Press was never slow in pointing most of them out. You know, looking back on the grand sweep of history, I like to remember leaders of yore through the lens of how the press portrayed them: stubborn old Truman's coke-bottle lenses, sleepy Eisenhower's shiny bald head, Kennedy's refusal to wear hats, LBJ's appendicitis scar, Nixon's resentful snarl, Ford's oafishness, Carter's fear of rabbits, Reagan's glistering gaze of incomprehension, Bush's querulous, reedy voice, Clinton's compulsive fucking, snacking, and smacking his lips, young Bush's nasty little smirk....
But Nile? Not Gilbert Nile, who swore off the sauce back when he was in his thirties. (Some say he was pretty heavy into the nose candy for a while. And he was a hypocrite about it, too. Wouldn't be seen going to see a movie starring Robert Mitchum--because he'd been busted for pot back in the 1940s!)
What I just don't get is how this corrupt old hypocrite has managed to get so chummy with the boys in he Press, who back in the good old days could smell a bullshit artist a mile off. Maybe it's just that they don't make news-hawks like they used to. No more shooting the breeze over a liquid lunch and pinging the sides of the cuspidor--the ladies might take offense. Women's lib may have given us a lot of good ideas in a lot of ways, though I'm not sure it was such a good idea when it comes to news reportage. Seems as though the news boys are ever so careful not to step on anybody's toes nowadays, and I say it has got to have something to do with the delicate feelings of the lady folk.
I could just go on and on about the news media and not manage to say anything that hasn't been said about any number of characters who have led charmed lives. But, you know, even Lady Diana and Mother Teresa had their detractors. Where are all these journalistic firebrands when it comes to confronting President Niles and his magic ring?
Guess they're afraid of getting zapped.
TWENTY-FIVE: HIS PRONOUNCEMENTS: THE FIRST SIX MONTHS
"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." -- H. L. Mencken
In Nile's first term, he spoke to the American people every day--fulfilling a promise he made as early as his second full day of office. His folksy turn of phrase endeared him to a great many people who had come to regard the Presidency as a somewhat lofty position, and appalled others who felt they lacked a certain gravitas. Space does not permit a full account here of all of the public speeches of President Gilbert Nile. What the reader will find in the following chapters is a mere selection of his public pronouncements during his months in office, albeit one carefully edited to omit not one of his more telling effusions.
"All of us, of course, are still in shock over the untimely death of President Middleton, and of course, my first step as President has been to appoint a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel to assess the timeline that lead up to the disastrous accident that caused his demise. I figure that the best thing I can do, as a President and also as a human being, is to stay out of their way and let them do the work to which I've appointed them. But I will say that if it is discovered I bear any culpability in the matter, I will face the consequences like a man, though, like I told you, it was an accident--virtually an act of God, if the truth be known. Human beings are unpredictable critters--that's what my Daddy used to say. Naturally, we all want to honor the memory of President Middleton by advancing his curtailed agenda and moving on without delay with the true business of this country. Now, President Middleton, in the very last day I saw him, told me that he had a number of initiatives in mind. He told me that he wanted to see breakthroughs in educating our children, than which I think we can all agree there is no more important item on the agenda, because the children is our future and the mind is a terrible thing to waste. I think one way we can do that is to give 'em the kind of role models that will ensure than when they grow up, they become productive citizens. Folks, let's face it--a lot of kids, when they grow up, they want to be Hollywood movie stars and play professional sports, little realizin' that the odds of making it in those particular endeavors is roughly about the same as becoming a billionaire by playin' Bingo down at the corner church. Which is not to say that Bingo ain't a lot of fun. My Maw, bless her soul, she would take me with her, and we would go and play it every single Tuesday night. Which might be one reason why I was a sleepy little guy on Wednesday morning when I had to get up to go to school! Well, never mind that. Anyway, why is it that kids don't want to be President no more? When I was growing up, our teachers used to say, 'Any boy can grow up to be President,' and of course, as you might of guessed, I took that particular little lesson to heart, or otherwise I might not be standin' here as your President today. Where was I? Oh yeah--education. Well, it appears to me that it's a big mistake not to spend more money on our public schools and like that, but it's an even bigger mistake to spend money that just gets spent on making the wrong people rich. So here's what I propose--that anybody who wants to send their kid to a private school or even start their own school, they ought to get a sizable tax break, and that we ought to decentralize education in this country so that it's not all in the hands of school boards and like that. Now, that's gonna take a whole lot of doin', but it seems to me that this here plan is every bit as important as seein' that a lot of people get even more money that they ain't gonna spend on the kids."--Nov 1
"Folks, I'm going to make a promise to you right now, and it's one I intend to keep. This will not be a White House where the President does not communicate to the people. I promise to communicate with you every day, even if it's only to say howdy."--Nov 2
"Say folks--why, did you know that the nuclear football ain't a football at all!"--Nov 3
"It seems that the high-and-mighty people among the lifted pinky and striped trouser set have taken issue with the way I talk, and how some of the expressions I use ain't exactly what you'd call grammatical, whatever that means. Well, all I can say to that is how they ought to be ashamed of themselves, going to their fancy rich man's schools and not knowing no better than to correct the way other people talk. Snobs like that just burn me up with the way they think that just because they talk like the dictionary, they're better than everybody else. Look--this is me, it's the way I talk, and I ain't about to change it--no way, no how. I ain't no fortunate son. I speak strictly from the heart, and off the cuff, which is more than I can say for those namby-pambies who seem to think they got the monopoly on how to speak good English. Well, I say that if they don't like it, they can lump it. I may not speak the King's English, but I speak flawless American, and anyone who don't cotton to my lingo can jolly well take a long walk off a short pier. I don't reckon I speak any worse English than President Abraham Lincoln, and to my mind he was just about the greatest man who ever lived."--Nov 4
"Folks, when I was a boy, my daddy said something to me that I'll never forget. He said, "Son--people as pays their money is got a right to dance." Now, my poor Dad may not have gone to no fancy prep school or no Oxford college or any of them others, but he had the right idea. Folks, this is your country, you pay your taxes, and it's high time you got to call the tune. It was Thomas Jefferson himself who said, "The voice of the people is the voice of God." And I agree. You can count on me to listen very carefully to every word you say. That there's a promise, that's my word, it's as good as gold, and you can take that to the bank."--Nov 5
"They say confession is good for the soul, and folks, I've got one doozy of a confession to make. Oh boy. I never really wanted this job and when I was pressed to become the Vice Presidential nominee, I never once suspected I would have to actually step up to the plate and actually do a job of work. So to say I was unprepared for the rigors of this here high office would be something of an understatement. Folks, quite frankly, these doin's in the ranks of power is got me all flummoxed. If there was some sort of book I could read about how to be a good president, I would study it every day, but guess what--there ain't no such book. So all I can do is to just do the very best I can with the brains God gave me. I am always willing to listen to advice, but it seems that most of the advice I've been getting from Middleton's boys on my staff have been to stand pat, hold the line, and don't roil the waters. But folks, I just can't help it--I'm a natural stirrer-upper. I just can't seem to shut my big bazoo when I see all the goin's-on around this place. It's enough to make a cat laugh. Why, just the other day, I was told about some appropriations bill or the other that I had to sign off on, otherwise a whole lot of pig farmers are gonna be as sore as the dickens. Pig farmers! Can you believe it! We got China breathing down our neck, the Middle East is in turmoil, Eastern Europe is goin' down the tubes, the Russians don't know whether to shit or go blind, South America is full of some very unhappy campers, and Lord only knows what all else, and I'm supposed to be worryin' about pig farmers? Lemme tellya something--I don't think the American people want me to be worrying about a bunch of fellas in bib overalls snoutin' at the trough and squealing like pigs because they're getting' knocked off the gravy train by yours truly. I think they expect more of their president than that. So I'm going to use my little veto pen and veto everything that crosses my desk that I consider a waste of my time and the taxpayer's dollars. The only language these people seem to understand is N O spells no. I plan to put the skids under these Bozos the only way I know how. Plus, I'm going to ask for the resignations of all the holdovers in my cabinet who can't seem to get with the program. It's high time we got some fellas in here who care about everyday Americans instead of truckling to fat-cat lobbyists and hog-nosed racketeers."--Nov 6
"Well, I sure do hate to mention it, I sure do, but there's still some people pickin' away at your President--busybodies, the lot of 'em, with no more sense than a goof who stuck his head through a knothole and can't for the life of him seem to pull it back out again. And can you believe what it is they want? Do they come up to me and say, "Oh Mr. President, we want world peace," or "Oh, Mr. President, what are you doing to protect the ecology?" No! Why, they're actually hollering for me to clean up my English and talk all proper. Next thing you know, maybe they'll be orderin' me to poke my snoot up in the air and walk around the White House like I maybe got something stuck up my keister. Well, I hate to break the news to these nebbynoses, but I'm afraid it's just too darn late for an old dog like me to learn new tricks. As a matter of fact, now that I think on it, nit-pickers like those people there kind of remind me of this old hound dog I used to have. Folks, I do declare, that hound must of slept twenty hours a day. But ever so often, y'see, he'd wake up, and whenever he'd see or even hear another dog in the neighborhood there, that there hound would bark and woof and go roo roo roo just like he was going nuts, but you know, most of the time, once the excitement died down, why, oh boy, he'd just go right back to sleep again. So to all you hound doggies out there, I'd like to give you a word of advice--the show's over, so why don't you just go right back to sleep? This country is got enough problems without you pickin' away at my God-given right to express myself in any way I see proper and fit. You ain't ever going to see me acting like a stuffed-shirt, and walking around like a smart-aleck, all pretentious like, but don't you worry--just because I don't think in Latin, it don't mean I don't know what a whole lot of nines are."--Nov 7
"Well, folks, I only now beginning to see what a de luxe set-up they have in this here White House, and the Bunker they have down below it and all. Hey, you know, that Bunker is actually pretty darn comfy. Air-conditioned and what not. A place where a man can take his shoes off and ease his barking pups, and roll up his shirt-sleeves and loosen his tie and maybe have a drink and relax. Do you know they have a big old television set down there? Gets 128 channels! Oh boy. I'm thinkin' of maybe movin' a La-z-boy and a popcorn machine down there!" -Nov 8
"Well, now Congress is fixing, they say, to look into the death of former President Middleton, even though I already told them that as God is my witness I done told everybody all I know. Well, if they're going to be ornery about it, maybe I'll just hunker down in my little den down there in the basement, that they call the bunker, and let them talk themselves out of any such numb skull plan. If swearing on the Bible ain't good enough to satisfy 'em, I don't know what is. Maybe they want me to swear on the Koran, or on the Book of Satan, but I'm telling you right now that I ain't a-gonna do it."--Nov 9
"Folks, it used to burn me up something awful back when I was in sales and would come to find out that the middleman would up and hog all the profit. I tell you this because they way this country is being run is a lot like the way the fat boys would run the district office--by sittin' on their keisters and lettin' the new kids do all the work. You know, there's about four or five layers that a message has to go through before it gets to me, and I say that it stinks. So I'll tell you what I've done. There's an awful lot of folks out there as needs a job where they can work at home, so what I've done is I've hired a bunch of these folks to go over my mail for me, and screen my calls, and told them to pass along all the stuff from my constituents that needs an answer. So you just write to me care of the White House--doesn't matter who you are--and I'll see that your letter gets an answer within a week. After all, you're not here for me--I'm here for you."--Nov 10
"I just got me a wool rug for my den down there in the bunker. Oh boy. You ought to see it. It's a very nice shade of green, with blue trim."--Nov 11
"Well, folks, I'm finally getting settled in here at the White House. Say, did you know that the President can order anything he wants to eat at any time of the day, and some fella in a uniform will bring it to 'im? Or anytime I have a yen for beef jerky or spicy boiled peanuts, I can have a fella run out and buy me some? I do declare, it's no wonder that Taft and some of them fellers got so darn fat! I'll tell ya something else--you know who has the best chicken noodle soup in town? The CIA cafeteria! Go figger, huh?"--Nov 12
"Jumpin' Jupiter! They charge sixty bucks for a haircut in this joint! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Actually, it's more like seventy bucks, with the tip! Oh well, I guess with the salary I'm pullin' down, I can afford it."--Nov 13
"Say, just wanted to let you folks know I'm having Tiny Sinestro Jr. in to give me a private concert in the East Room tonight. Tell you the truth, I'd a preferred his old man, only he died 30 years ago. Actually, Junior is getting long in the tooth and is lookin' a mite peaked his own self."--Nov 14
"I just want to put the government on a sound business footing by using a new plan and all the latest technology. Why does that make me a bad man?"--Nov 15
"Gosh, you know, I was thinkin' a lot of the furniture in this joint is kinda old and dusty. You know, sometimes I feel like I want to get rid of every piece of historical junk the other stupid Presidents have put there, but of course you know I can't. Now, I don't really care much for muh custom-made Gunlocke chair, though I'm sure it's a fine product, so I'm thinking of maybe going down to the store and just buyin' me a nice new chair, but the Secret Service, they say it ain't such a good idea. So I'm just gonna use my secretary's chair until my new swivel job comes in. Haw! They say they'll even assemble it for me, and they won't charge any extra like they usually do, which is good."--Nov 16
"Now folks, I had me a little ole press conference yesterday night, and as you might have heard, I didn't exactly cover myself with glory. But let me tell you this: Until the reporters learn to stop askin' so many smart-alecky questions, and respect the office of this here Presidency, I think I'm going to declare a little ole moratorium on press conferences. No, don't worry; I ain't goin' all high-hat on ya; 'moratorium' is what my Press Secretary told me to call it."--Nov 17
"Well, those boys in the press are still makin' hay over my so-called 'bad performance' the night before last. Well, I was tired. And I also had a bad case of the hiccoughs. And that's all I got to say on that particular topic." -Nov 18
"Say, folks, here's something I just noticed. Did you know they got snipers on the roof of the White House? Oh boy. Wish I'd knowed that before my latest press conference."--Nov 19
"My Press secretary has told me that maybe I hadn't ought to make jokes about shootin' members of the working press, so let me just say that if anyone took what I said seriously about the snipers, then they took it too seriously."--Nov 20
"Some of you folks might be wonderin' why I'm keepin' close to the White House lately. Oh boy. Well, I'll tell you. It's not on account of no emergency or nothin'. Did you realize that anytime I go someplace official, they have to call up like 30 cars to escort me? That gets to cost the taxpayers a pretty penny, all that overtime and like that. So I'd just as soon have people come to me."--Nov 21
"Geez, you know, they always have lobster and avocado salad at these state dinners, and you're supposed to wash it down with lots of wine, though I'd rather have a cold brew myself. Oh boy. No wonder I'm puttin' on the poundage!"--Nov 22
"You know folks, I just had a thought. Them fellers who run around with them gang tattoos and such? Wouldn't we all be a lot better off if the police just shot 'em on sight?"--Nov 23
"Well, once again my Press secretary has advised me to tell you all that I was just kiddin' about shootin' gang members. So if any of you private citizens are fixin' to go out and snipe a few, I'm telling you to lay off. Leave the police to do their job."--Nov 24
"Folks, of course what I meant yesterday about the gang members is that they have got to be arrested first, before you do something like go and shootin' them."--Nov 25
"Of course, gang members are innocent until proven guilty, so shootin' them after arrestin' them probably ain't a good idea either."--Nov 26
"Oh boy. Folks, there's a lot of talk about what I've been sayin' about gang members, and I just want to say that all previous statements are inoperative and just to forget I said anything. "--Nov 27
"Says on the news that I may definitely face some opposition in the coming primaries, and that one or even two Republicans are going to challenge me for the nomination! Well, let me say this--just let 'em try. I'll kick their asses for 'em. Over, under, sideways, and down, like the song says." --Nov 28
"Well, it's been about a whole month since Middleton, he took his swan dive, so I ought to say how I'm feelin' and like that, and how sorry I feel about the poor old boy, and I do. You know, oh boy, with all the pressure and everything, I sometimes think it's better if I keep my mouth shut. But don't worry, I ain't goin' back on my promise to keep the American people posted and up to the minute on everything that crosses my mind."--Nov 29
"Bunch of sick folks in wheelchairs came though the White House today, on a guided tour. All I can say, and I don't hold with no cussin' so this is from the bottom of my heart, is dear Lord, give me strength. Oh, and I'd like to say to the sick folks that I'm sorry that I didn't have no time to see 'em. Maybe next year. This go-round, I just had to take a rain check."--Nov 30
"Folks is got to learn that when the president says something, he means it, unless he don't. When I said I was sorry about all the cripples, I surely meant it. I've had a lot on my mind lately, in case they haven't noticed."--Dec 1
"I guess I stand for truth justice and the American way, even if I ain't Superman, who, come to think of it, bein' as how he was born on another planet, he couldn't be president nohow."--Dec 2
"I'm glad to see that Congress has finally got around to confirming my pick for Vice President, none other than the honorable Cromwell Jones, who, in addition to serving two terms in Congress, is also a noted philanthropist and philatelist as well as a man who I greatly admire and think I can work with. Now, I must admit, I'm not exactly thrilled with how long it took 'em to make up their mind, nor am I very happy about the Indian gauntlet they made him run, but that's the constitution for ya--I suppose it wouldn't be right if I just put any old gink in there, though I figure if I'm smart enough to be President I guess I'm also probably smart enough not to put someone in there with no common sense. Well, if there's one thing Jones has is good horse sense. That boy has heard the hooty owl and can tell you whether the cow et the petunias, and that's a fact. Now, that reminds me of an old saying: "A feller who knows he's a fool is at least right about something, and has made a good start." Don't remember who was supposed to have said that. It's just one of those sayin's. Also reminds me of another sayin'--better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Well, at this point, maybe I've said enough and had better quit while I'm still ahead!"--Dec 3
"My friends, what are we going to do with poor ole Senator Fitch? Like many New Englanders, he dislikes the Federal Government. Of course, like many New Englanders, he also dislikes the electorate as well. In fact, like many New Englanders, he also dislikes many New Englanders. I wish the little feller would go out and get one of them Swedish massages or something, and sweat the coffin varnish out of his pores, and then maybe he wouldn't need to be snappin' at that bottle so often." --Dec 4
"I'm just wonderin' whether there's really a compellin' need to meet with every little feller that comes in here from Asia or Africa and like that to shake my hand? Tell you the truth, I don't really speak their lingo, and anyway I'd much rather be shakin' hands with real people from America."--Dec 5
"Folks, I'm telling you that I'm getting mighty sick and tired of the Press jumpin' all over me every time I say 'Boo'. So just to get 'em to pipe down, let me just say that I didn't mean no harm by what I said yesterday about the foreign leader fellers from Asia and Europe who come in for a friendly visit and maybe a handshake, and that in the future when I say something that people don't like, they can go see my Press secretary and he'll give 'em the nitty-gritty-ditty and tell them what I really said and like that."--Dec 6
"Say, I've just been wonderin'. Oh boy. Just off the top of my head. Folks, shouldn't there maybe ought to be some sort of stricter Federal qualification in place in order for a person to run for Congress? I'm not saying, like, anything major, like having a lot of money or knowing all the right people. I mean, some kind of test where they can make sure that the person running for office ain't no nit-wit, or insane. I mean, look at the way matters stand now. If Delaware wants to elects a horse, or a blood-sucking lawyer, then who's going to stop 'em? Maybe if we had somebody in the Congress that got elected even though his Dad wasn't richer than God, then I think we just might stand a chance of seeing some changes in this country."--Dec 7
"I see some of them fellers in Congress and I have to laugh when they play the National Anthem and they try to put their hands over their hearts. That's a pretty slick trick. Because most of 'em ain't got no heart!"--Dec 8
"I just don't listen very carefully to my opposition, nor do I spread ugly rumors about them, like some folks I could mention."--Dec 9
"Oh boy. Folks, I hate to say it, but it sometimes seems to me like them boys in the Congress ain't happy unless they're knocking the crumbs what done them dirt and plugging the fat-cats who slip 'em hefty manila envelopes bustin' open with slush money."--Dec 10
"Well, I won't list all the manifold flaws of the obstructionists in Congress. I ain't got all day. But I'll sure 'nough mention that they sure do have 'em."--Dec 11
"Folks, it seems to me that the way you get ahead in the Senate is to look just as solemn as an owl and just as serious as death as you jaw about a bunch of nonsensical pet theories about how to run the country. It also helps if you make speeches usin' lots of big words you don't know the meaning of. Plus, you got to follow every blip in the polls, bureaucratize everything in sight, and listen attentively to your corporate masters. Well, that's they way they been doin' business in the past, but I'm hopin' you can kick some of them rascals out the next go 'round, and get some folks in there who will actually pay some attention to the people of this nation who built it up from practically nothin' and made it great."--Dec 12
"This here place never ceases to amaze me. They even got a feller that'll walk your dog for you! And get this--you know how many refrigerators they got? 16! And good ones, too, not some dinky little Ice Kings, but all of 'em full-sizers, with the icemaker in the door and everything!"--Dec 13
"Well, it's true. Senator Gilman says he's going to campaign for the nomination. I wish him all the luck. This'll be--what? The fourth time he's tried? Well, you know what they say--fourth time's the charm. No, wait a minute.… They don't say that. Otherwise, Harold Stassen would've made it to President. Heh. Harold Stassen!" --Dec 14
"Well, well. Now it seems as though Senator Sax Richmond has tossed his diaper into the ring. He's actually gonna take the plunge and run for the nomination. Well, he might reconsider after he sobers up, but, since that ain't likely to happen, I'd like to welcome him to the race. Like they say--the more's the merrier!" --Dec 15
"Well, if ole Senator Richmond is elected, you can bet that cheap liquor will be made available and sold 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in Laundromats, hair salons and bus terminals, just like in his great home state."--Dec 16
"Seein' as how Senator Richmond likes nothin' better than to hole up in sleazy hotel rooms with raccoon-haired prostitutes, I sure would like to follow him around for just one day--just to see where is it he meets all them foxy ladies!"--Dec 17
"I'd like to clarify some remarks I made yesterday. Unlike Senator Richmond, I do not hold myself exempt from any moral standard. But a feller can dream, can't he?"--Dec 18
"As President, you will never catch me licking whipped cream from the chests of two women with ample cleavage. Unlike certain Senators I could name, only for the sake of his wife I promised my informant that I would keep it a secret." --Dec 19
"The President should obey the sensible laws if he expects his people to obey the sensible President." --Dec 20
"As president, Senator Richmond would never sell his services to the highest bidder--he'd just give them away, for non-monetary favors, and to avoid creating a paper trail." --Dec 21
"Well, friends, speakin' of jokes, this is a sad day for our country. Get this: It seems I've been making it awful hot for some of the drunks and loafers in Congress, not to mention all the weirdos and sob sisters, and now there's some mighty loose talk going around about impeachment proceedings. Of course, I ain't losin' a wink of shut-eye regarding this cute little stunt. My lawyers tell me that they just ain't got a case. The constitution, as you all know, is very specific about the impeachment of a President. Treason and bribery, that's what it says, and like that. Now, wouldn't it be a shame if a few scatterbrains and disgruntled agitators manage to set up a drumhead court and gum up the works just because they don't like the cut of my jib? I wish that those of you who feel the same way would call your congressman and give 'em the what for. I think a few phone calls from you folks so the switchboards light up might maybe make some of these fellows think twice about trying to bull me along."--Dec 22
"I'm warnin' you right now--you vote for Richmond and if he becomes President, first thing he'll do is up and sell Hawaii to Japan, sell Alaska to back to Russia, and the Louisiana Purchase back to France or Spain or whoever's willing to pay for it. And I'm sorry, but that's just wrong."--Dec 23
"Richmond believes that if you drop the "A" and the "R" and add an "X", an American could be a Mexican."-- Dec 24
"It's Christmas. No speeches today. Just opening presents. And let me tell you that the best present you could give to me is to reaffirm all the hard work I've been doin' here by casting your vote for me."--Dec 25
"I got nothin' much to say today. Still sleepin' off that turkey. Whew! And maybe the American people are also sleepin' off turkeys--I mean to say, the turkeys that are opposin' me in the primaries. Haw!" --Dec 26
"Now the turkey is a noble bird, and let me make this clear: I mean no offense to old Tom Gobbler when I characterize my opponents by that name." --Dec 27
"Well, it's turkey sammich day at the White House. Waste not--want not! And I ain't got no dog."--Dec 28
"Been busy, still openin' the Christmas presents. None of them from are Congress."--Dec 29
"Well, looks like the Congress can't point to nothing I done that warrents impeachment. It's a Culture War, they're callin' it. Hmm. Kind of has a nice ring to it. I like the way that sounds. Especially if it means getting' rid of the culture that breeds moochers and loafers at the expense of honest workin' men. Anyhoo, it sure is a happy New Year for me!"--Dec 30
"Well, I shouldn't wish well to an old adversary, but I will say this much to General Chaote--if you've drunk too much the night before, my Daddy once told me that the best hangover remedy they is, is a raw egg."--Dec 31
"Hm, now they're sayin' that I have 'made the Presidency the object of mockery and ridicule.' Maybe they feel that way because I ain't busy grabbin' with both fists at every shady deal that comes down the pike, like they do. They must figure that any honest man in this town is got to be nuts. Well, boys, let me put you wise to somethin'--the gravy train is over, and when all this is blown over, I'm going to be kickin' ass and takin' names."--Jan 1
"Well, folks, you'll be happy to know that except for a few soreheads and die-hards, like drunken Representative Sax Richmond, and nutty Senator Fitch, and senile Senator Gilman, the impeachment move turned out to be a big fizzle. It 'came a cropper,' as my Daddy used to say, and it's all thanks to you. Your calls really did make a difference, and I would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for your support. Let's continue to make things hot for the rascals is my slogan, because the virtuous--well, I guess they can take care of themselves."--Jan 2
"Another one of our esteemed Senators, a former supporter of mine, has recently declared his intention to challenge me for the nomination. You know, I can't help thinking that it's a real shame for Senator Fitch that most of his former supporters either moved to Argentina or was executed at Nuremburg." --Jan 3
"I have been misquoted here as sayin' that Fitch is an ass-hungry cowboy who takes it up the brown barker, but that simply ain't true. I was simply reportin' the rumors. I never once said that I believe those ugly rumors. And I never said anything at all about there actually bein' anything wrong with what a man chooses to do with his privates in his private life. If chortlin' another fellers testicles is how he gets his jollies then so be it." --Jan 4
"'President Fitch'. Heh. The very idea makes me laugh out loud. I predict when that ass captain sits down to negotiate with the Chinese and the Russians, the first words out of his too-big mouth will be, 'Oh, Boo Hoo Hoo! I'm afraid of you big burly men.'"--Jan 5
"Well, I will say this--if Fitch becomes President, at least we'll know who to pin the blame on when the people of this great and charitable nation are forced to suffer the consequences of his rash and impulsive prejudices."--Jan 6
"You know, I have a feeling that Fitch don't really want to be President--he just wants to be profiled in Vanity Fair." --Jan 7
"Someone ought to remind old man Fitch that acting like a scoundrel is the first refuge of a scoundrel."--Jan 8
"Facts are boring and time-consuming. Let's see action."--Jan 9
"There's plenty of things that, strictly speaking, aren't strictly wrong if they're done for the greater good of this country."--Jan 10
"Now, don't get me wrong. I ain't sayin that Fitch is a crook. He is not a crook. Just that he's got some pretty foxy boys on his staff who know what a whole bunch of nines are."--Jan 11
"You got to watch out for that Fitch, he used to be a trial lawyer, and he's slick. I know him from way back, and even back when he was a snot-nose, he could talk a starvin' dog off a gut wagon. He'll promise to respect the rights of the minority, and then he'll just turn around and do what he darn well pleases."--Jan 12
"One good thing about Fitch--elect him, and he'll probably nationalize the Mafia and the Masons. God knows they'll both jump any way he tells 'em."--Jan 13
"Fitch. Now, here's an example of a man who operates on instinct. And his first instinct is to never get caught.--Jan 14
"Once again we hear from Senator Fitch, or, as I like to call him, 'Moses-in-reverse', because he may not lead you to the promised land, but he intends to get there himself by any means, fair or foul." --Jan 15
"Now it's Governor Aubrey who's finally made up his mind to jump into the race and toss his diaper in the ring. Governor Aubrey's a fine man and all--I just hope that trophy wife of his'n don't open her big yap and land him in hot water. That's one advantage I have over him, I s'pose."-- Jan 16
"Not that I pay much attention to all this nonsense, but I hear how Governor Aubrey is already out there on the stump, campaigning on his new ideas. That's funny--I always thought that many of the things he says only resemble ideas. Well, at least he's tryin'."--Jan 17
"I think Aubrey is a real laugh riot. It's funny how a man who can't even tell his own wife to pipe down thinks he can tell the Russians and the Chinese the what for."--Jan 18
"Aubrey is a prime example of disgrace under pressure."--Jan 19
"Aubrey has never met the highest bidder he wouldn't follow blindly to the ends of the earth." -Jan 20
"My name for Aubrey is 'Mr. Slick'. Oh, he'll talk you half to death--meanwhile, he's picking your pocket."--Jan 21
"You go ahead and elect that Aubrey as President. And 'll tell ya what. That snappish and weepy wife of his just won't be an albatross around our necks. She'll be a millstone."--Jan 21
"I apologize for my statement yesterday that Aubrey's wife is snappish and weepy. That was a slip of the tongue. I was actually talkin' about Aubrey his own self."--Jan 22
"I refuse to swim in political sewage. I'll wait until I get to New Hampshire and it freezes over, and then I'll walk on top of it."--Jan 23
"Folks, everybody knows I don't tote no law degree or nothin'. I'm beginning to think I dodged a bullet there. I was thumbin' through my Bible the other night, just as I always do before driftin' off to sleep, and what did I spy with my little eye? Luke 11:52! 'Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge!'"--Jan. 23
"We is got to change our bankruptcy laws back to the way they were in the old days, when a fella who made a mistake or two and found himself in a bind was given a second chance to make good. I mean, that there's the principle America was founded on. Most of those old tightwads up in the Senate, they have more money than they know what to do with, and yet there they are, trying to stick it to the little guy, right up the brown barker. Ain't that just the way? No hardworking American should have to work like a slave to pay off their debts. Wipe the slate clean, that's what I say. Look: I suggest the Congress put up or shut up on this matter. When they decide to contribute some of their bloated wealth to a sinking fund to help people who are drowning in a quicksand of debt, then maybe they can spout off about fiscal responsibility and other high-toned concepts that won't wash where the ordinary fella is concerned. And not a minute before. You know what I say? If they won't unhand the purse-strings, let's vote to throw the misers out. They think they're so smart!"--Jan. 24
"Well, now there's talk goin' around about a possible third party. Now, I don't know about you, but me--I just can't wait to learn about the party platform of the 'Throw Your Vote Away' party." -Jan 25
"Richmond will assure you that he cannot be bought. However, he can be rented."--Jan 26
"I believe the founding fathers were very wise. They knew that there's no such thing as a free lunch and that dead people don't worry about who's going to pick up the tab at the Ponderosa or whether to put extra jimmies on their ice cream at the soft-serve bar."--Jan 27
"Choate, Gilman, Richmond, Fitch and Aubrey. Sounds like a shyster law firm, and that probably ain't too far from the truth, neither. Let me tell you somethin'--I ain't egg-zackly lyin' awake at night worryin' about that crew. Heckfire, them fellers don't worry me one bit. I know 'em all from way back, and ain't one of 'em between 'em got enough horse sense to pound sand in a rat-hole." -Jan 28
"Governor Aubrey. Haw! Why, the man is the perfect composite Presidential candidate. He combines the raw intelligence of George W. Bush, the compassion of Pat Buchanan, the articulateness of Bob Dole, the even-tempered tranquility of John McCain, the animation of Al Gore, and the common touch of John Kerry!"--Jan 29
Feb 14 2012, 04:16 PM
Group: Members - Basic
Joined: July 20 04
From: sweet dimenno is in here
Member No.: 3,283
TWENTY-FIVE: HIS PRONOUNCEMENTS: THE FIRST SIX MONTHS (CONTINUED)
"Now, Choate, Gilman, Richmond, Fitch and Aubrey, they ain't so desperate to be your President that they'll promise anything just so's they can win. But just you make them an offer and they'll see what they can do."--Jan 30
"Choate, Gilman, Richmond, Fitch and Aubrey - it's like the old sayin'-- they'll treat you like mushrooms--they'll keep you in the dark and feed you a load of crap."--Jan 30
"From now on, I will not dignify my opponents by mentioning their names. Let them go and get their own P.R."--Jan 31
"Well, once again Congress is busy doin' nothin' and in order to disguise that fact they're callin' an 'emergency session, for what reason God only knows and maybe He ain't sure. Well, if they want to talk to me, they know the number where I can be reached. But just to be fair, I ought to remind them of one thing: If you stare at the sun you could go blind."--Feb 1
"Governor Aubrey ain't doin' so well in the primaries. And that just about breaks my heart. Heh. Well, I ain't one to gloat, but I will say this--that man is livin' proof that politics is sports for people who are too fat to run."--Feb 2
"The whole time I have been in this town, I have found Washington D.C. to be ugly, extravagant, corrupt, promiscuous, drunken, sycophantic, tyrannical and harebrained. Which is why I was so hesitant to go there. But for your sake, I have decided to master my revulsion with firm resolve, and I do believe I will somehow manage to thrive in this sordid atmosphere, albeit reluctantly."--Feb 3
"When people tell me that I stink and ought to get out of town, here is my reply: 'That's a very interesting idea that has never occurred to me, and I'd like to think about it for one minute before responding.'"--Feb 4
"Congress. Huh. All I got to say is, I know each and every one of 'em, and, and sure do hate to say it, but some of them vultures is so low-down they'd steal the cracklin's from their mammy's fat gourd."-Feb 5
"Say folks, did you know there's a black cat in the White House basement? Actually, they say it's a ghost. Ain't that just the beatenest thing you've ever heard?"--Feb 6
"Sometimes I think that I ought to just chuck this job, build me a cabin in the woods, and go off and retire somewhere peaceful like. Work on that ship in a bottle. But I guess that wouldn't be fair to the Vice President. I wouldn't wish this job on a dog, let alone my oldest friend."--Feb 7
"Well, folks, yesterday I was feelin' sorta punk and I kinda gave the impression that I was kind of thinking of quittin' this rat race, but, of course, my Daddy didn't raise no quitters and so I'd just like to reaffirm that I have pledged to stay the course, and, as God as my witness, I shall, come hell or water high."--Feb 8
"I will break the corrupt power of Washington, D.C. into a thousand pieces, even if I have to do it one day and one piece at a time. How'm I doin' so far?"--Feb 9
"I have spoken in the past of my intention to freeze all legal immigration. Of course, if they're Canadians, that won't be hard to do, because they're already half frozen."--Feb 10
"Well, folks, oh boy, I guess I won't be retirin' to Canada any time soon."--Feb 11
"Folks, I'd like to thank you for all the cards and letters and packages you've been sendin', but I do wish you would stop sendin' me all them hammers and gavels because I now have enough to last me for a hundred lifetimes, though I do appreciate the sentiment and thanks all the same."--Feb 12
"Sometimes it seems I have no enemies at all--except in the Center, and also on the Left and Right." --Feb 13
"This job--talkin' to the press is a lot like being stalked by a bunch of madmen on a merry-go-round."--Feb 14
"The press--always talkin' about 'I can't believe he says these things.' What I can't believe is that nobody has ever had the guts to say 'em before."--Feb 15
"They are all against me simply because I am a creature of the anti-establishment."--Feb 16
"Now, I didn't go to no fancy-Dan boardin' school where a fella had to wear a suit and tie and do his homework in Latin. Me, I am just an honest working man, not some kind of fly-by-night shyster who likes to go to parties where people get to swim in the nude. So maybe all them doubledomes in Foggy Bottom don't understand me. Or maybe they understand me all too well. Because I intend to get rid of those rascals, and I ain't gonna be shy about it, and you just watch me, because when I set in to start really doin' the job proper, I'm fixin' to start into doin' it with both hands."--Feb 17
"Some feller in the press, he says that I 'embody the voice of raw populism the elites in this country have good reason to dread.' Well, I wouldn't have used so many big words to say it, but he is right. I am for the working man and against the shirking man." --Feb 18
"I'm not trying to challenge the status quo--I'm trying to ignore it."--Feb 19
"You take down a list of my enemies and when you read that list you will find the entire Eastern Establishment."--Feb 20
"Now, yesterday I spoke of a list of my enemies, but as usual, my remarks were taken out of context, and so I would like to assure you folks that I do in very fact keep no such list. But if I did, here is who would be on it: Every crook, every embezzler, every gang member, every playboy, every smart aleck, every absent father, every mugger, every drug runner, every drunken mother, every crooked congressman, every Satan-worshipper, every slick ambulance-chasing shyster, every establishment phony, every person who hires undocumented aliens, every whoremonger, every biased newspaperman, and every traitor. Which means that there are very few members of the so-called Washington establishment who would NOT be on that list. Maybe one or two who are on my side. The rest, I don't care about, because they don't care about me, and they don't care about you, so we should not care about them, and the sooner they leave office the better off we'll all be."--Feb 21
"I have been asked to retract my remarks regarding a so-called secret list the blood-sucking spiders who are bleeding this country dry. I will say this. There is no such list, and there's nothing secret about it." -Feb 22
"That Sax Richmond is a riot. Not only does he have no real agenda, he has no real gender. The fat boy reminds me of the 'What-Is-It' at the old-time freak show."--Feb 23
"Gilman--he's a four-time loser and it looks like he's about to get his keister handed to him yet again. Why is he even runnin' for President? Well, I think it's because they never gave him no attention when he was a kid. But now that he's nothin' more than a joke and a five-time loser to boot, I guess now they'll have to pay some attention to him!"--Feb 24
"I'm telling you, Sax Richmond is a cynical man. He talks that mush from the corner of his mouth, but really, he'll do just about anything to win and he ain't got a charitable bone in his body. Maybe once he did, but he musta done broke it. Now, that's probably why he press boys have taken such a shine to him--he's so cynical he makes 'em all look like babes in the woods by comparison."--Feb 25
"Richmond's so low-down, why, I do believe he'd put a Smitty on a hearse."--Feb 26
"Richmond talks about hunger in America, which is a laugh, 'cause he don't look like a fella who misses too many meals. Well, listen up, Richmond: There ain't no hunger in America, but even if there was, so what? Most people eat too much anyway. Especially you."--Feb 27
"I never hit the panic button. Folks, tell you the truth, I don't even know where it is. Where is it?"--Feb 28
"Well, I finally made some room in my schedule and met with some African American leaders in honor of African American month. Oh boy. Good thing it's a leap year!"--Feb 29
"If you're like most Americans--and who isn't?--then you're probably just like everybody else."--Mar 1
"Sweet Jesu, even when there ain't no emergency, them there three hour-long meetings in the Situation Room are enough to plumb wear a fella out. But I ain't kickin'. It's what the taxpayers are payin' me to do."--Mar 2
"There's an old sayin'--let justice be done, though the heavens fall. Though me personally, I wouldn't wanna go that far."--Mar 3
"You know, there's been a lot of loose talk going around about how the President This, and the President That, yakkity yak, bla, bla, bla, zippity-doo-dah, yada, yada, and all the rest. Now, they can prattle on and on with their cranky Yankee shinola all the live-long day and see if I care, but let me tell you something--I'm not just only any old Joe who just fell off the dung-wagon. Oh boy. I know full well I got the same rights as anybody else."--Mar 4
"Let me assure all you folks in the Congress, just in case there was any doubt about the matter: I've got the power of the Chief Executive and I know how to use it. And let me also assure you that if I show up at your door with a subpoena in my pocket--oh boy--it won't mean I'm glad to see ya."--Mar 5
"Some of the folks in Congress seem to think that justice is an old-fashioned concept. I say that this is an old-fashioned administration, and that they'd better get with the program."--Mar 6
"If tax reform means I am becoming a party of one, then so be it."--Mar 7
"Some of them businessmen who are setting up a stink against my new tax program--well, maybe a few innocent people are going to get hurt, but a lot of rascals is finally going to pay their dues, and pay through the nose, just like they should have been all along."--Mar 8
"I don't believe in circumstances. But I do think there's something to be said for circumstantial evidence."--Mar 9
"They say you can't legislate morality. Well, I'm no legislator, and I sure as hell ain't no moralist, but my good old-fashioned common sense tells me that you can't have morality without some good old-fashioned legislation designed to catch all the sneaks, cheaters, loafers, scofflaws, buzzards, vultures, spiders, snakes, and con-men, and punish 'em good and hard."--Mar 10
"If I had to give just one piece of advice to a young man who wanted to enter politics, it would be this: Don't ever underestimate the middle class. Middle class values are American values."--Mar 11
"This is a free country with freedom of religion. That's the beginning the middle and the end of the matter. Amen."--Mar 12
"They say it's a free country. But it seems the only person who can't say exactly what's on his mind is the President himself!"--Mar 13
"My Daddy used to say that a rising tide lifts all boats. He also used to say that if you ain't got no boat, then you're just gosh-darned out of luck. My administration is going to see to it that everyone has that boat. Then we'll talk about what's fair."--Mar 14
"Lobbyists should have nothing to do with the laws but obey them."--Mar 15
"The wealthy have fame and fortune and seem to think that everybody else is got to be content with famine."--Mar 16
"These folks in the Congress--they may act like gentlemen. But they are not honorable men."--Mar 17
"I'm not here to judge the crimes of former generations. I'm here to punish the crimes of future generations before they happen."--Mar 18
"I have often been asked to give invocations, but I have always declined, for I do not wish for television cameras to record me in communion with my God."--Mar 19
"I was reading the Washington papers the other day--actually, whatever it is that people do with the Washington papers--I'm not sure you can call it 'reading'--but whatever it is you do with them, I was doing it. Oh boy. Where was I?"--Mar 20
"Don't worry about how power corrupts. My power is in the people and I can only be as corrupt as the men who love their country." --Mar 21
"It may be better that ten rascals escape punishment rather than one innocent man suffer. But I draw the line at eleven."--Mar 22
"Now, this business where the blabbering dumbos in Congress is deciding to over-ride my vetoes, well, let me just say this--they're names are on record and if they keep up with their cute little stunts they just might find out that the people of this country are going to get dog-tired of their skylarkin' and are gonna give 'em the old heave-ho come November, that is, if the cops, they don't catch up to them first for some of the phony crap they're trying to pull. If it were up to me, I'd clap the darbies on the lot of 'em--the rotten ones, I mean. Of course, I don't go in for putting the screws to an honest Congressman--if you can find one. Oh, I'll grant you that maybe there's one or two. But to my way of thinking, every one of them ought to be as clean as a hound's tooth, or else I say it's time to give 'em the old heave-ho. No more living in fancy penthouses at the people's expense--let 'em try earning their money the old fashioned way--honestly, and by the rules."--Mar 23
"Dealing with the House is easier than dealing with the Senate. And I'd rather be bitten by a spider than a rattlesnake. But if I had my druthers, I'd just as soon take a pass on either experience."--Mar 24
"I can understand why finally having the Presidency in the hands of an honest man makes the rascals nervous and upset. But why should the innocent be scared?"--Mar 25
"Congress tells me to compromise. But they fail to understand one thing. I know who I am and what I must do, and I cannot betray my principles. This is hard for them to understand, probably because not more than two or three of them has any principles they haven't bought and sold a thousand times." --Mar 26
"There are two sides to this budget dispute--my way, and shut up."--Mar 27
"Congress. The sad truth is, them there ain't no statesmen sittin' there--just creampuffs filled to the eyeballs with trembling ego and ranting blubber."--Mar 28
"My enemies seem to think that I'm too stupid to know what's impossible, which, coming from them, is no insult, but, rather, a badge of the highest honor."--Mar 29
"In America, we can all go as far as our God-given abilities can carry us. Even the Godless."--Mar 30
"Let me say this. The other party wants to return us to the Gold standard. Others want to return us to the God standard. I forget where I was going with this. Oh yeah: I say we restore the British Pound Sterling as our unit of currency, and make Puritanism our official national religion.
Haw! I'm pretendin' to be old General Choate! April Fool!"--Apr 1
"Choate thinks it's time we looked to the future. An ever-changing future in which the same old stogie-gumming politicians get to run this country right into the ground, Except that this time they're younger than the old crew, or, at least, their wives are."--Apr 2
"All these troubles remind me of an old sayin': 'No cross, no crown.' Of course, I ain't exactly fixin' to wear no crown, especially not no crown of thorns."--Apr. 3
"Some say a President who operates from outside the two-party system would be a disaster. But what we've got right now is a disaster. So what do we have to lose?"--Apr 4
"Maybe I've opened my big bazoo on one too many occasions, but my Daddy didn't raise me to avoid bein' a troublemaker. I just can't help it; that's the way I'm built."--Apr 5
"I can't afford to be a cynic. Why expose the lies of yesterday, only to replace them with the lies of tomorrow?"--Apr 6
"This is a lonely and a difficult job, and I don't have too many places to go for advice. I have advisors, but they ain't my friends. And I have friends, but they ain't my advisors."--Apr 7
"They say I hate Congress, and sometimes people ask me why. Well, I know the Congress too well to be perfectly precise about why I hate them."--Apr 8
"Sometimes, bein' President, I feel like the town drunk who just won the lottery. Because right now, the very same people who used to say I would come to a bad end are all moochin' around me for tips and favors."--Apr 9
"I want to destroy the power of corporations to control our destiny. But don't mistake me for one of them there radicals who hates big business." --Apr 10
"Sometimes I think I'd like to drop a couple of nukes on all the festering slums in this great land, but I know the Democrats won't let me, because then where would they get their votes?"--Apr 11
"I just want to reassure people living in the inner city on limited incomes that I have no intention of dropping any radioactive bombs on anybody, so let's get that settled right now."--Apr 12
"That stuff about the bomb--let's just drop it, OK?"--Apr. 13
"Yesterday I was misquoted in the press, and to avoid the risk of being further misquoted, let me just say that I don't want to talk about the bomb no more."--Apr 14
"Well, folks, I just paid my taxes today. Like a lot of you, I guess I just kept puttin' it off and puttin' it off right up until practically the very last minute. It's not exactly like I enjoy doin' it. All them forms and addin' and subtractin' and multiplyin' and dividin'. Well, I promise to do better next year. After all, I'm supposed to be settin' a good example here, or so say all the gossips and busybodies who I sometimes am convinced are as thick in Washington as gooseberries in a gooseberry pie. Now, the good news is--get this!--I actually didn't earn enough last year to even make it into the top bracket. The bad news is, oh boy, I sure am hoppin' mad about some of our politicians who somehow manage it so they don't pay no taxes at all! You know, that just ain't right. Maybe we should do something about it. Why don't you write me and let me know what you think?"--Apr 15
"Tradition? Listen, Mister--tradition is what gets in the way."--Apr. 16
"Some folks say I have no values. What they're really saying is that their so-called values are the exact opposite of mine."--Apr 17
"In my free time, what little I have, I've been reading this fella Karl Marx, and let me tell you, the man must be a genius, because I can't make head or tail of half the stuff he says. And also, just look at his hair! He can write a big old book about how rotten capitalism is, but he can't afford a haircut? Thanks but no thanks; I'll take vanilla."--Apr 18
"I can almost understand a man who says he don't believe in God; but any man who has worked with Congress and says he don't believe in the devil is a plum fool."--Apr 19
"I cannot change, singlehanded, the culture of corruption that reigns in Washington D.C. But at least I can try to learn as much as I can about it--from the inside."--Apr 20
"Congress is in recess, but I guess they'll be back soon enough to try to get away with a little more."--Apr 21
"They say the system ain't broke, so why bother fixin' it. I say it's so broken that nobody has even thought it was possible to fix it. Well, I'm here to see that there's a fresh start."--Apr. 22
"Those Congressmen who have sold their souls to the special interests--at least they once had souls. Some of them other rascals, I'm not so sure." --Apr 23
"Well, the Congress is taking what they call their spring recess, so now's the time when I can get some things done around here without them shooting off their big beezers. Maybe then we'll see just how efficient your government can really be without a passel of slack-jawed loafers tryin' all the time to shoot off their mouths. Because, you see folks, you may have elected those Senators and Congressmen and like that, but it seems as though a lot of 'em, why, they've been cashin' in at the public expense. Me, I'm beholden to no man. I have only the best interests of the American people at heart, and that's because I'm one of you. I don't go mountain-climbin' in the Swiss Alps and I don't go gamblin' with the people's money in Monte Carlo and I don't go visiting brothels in Thailand and I certainly don't go around takin' junkets every which where. No, for every place in the world you might want to visit, we got the same thing and better right here in the good old US of A. I mean, why go to Egypt to look at the desert when you can go to Arizona? Am I right? Heck, they even got the London Bridge! And I hear tell how they got the Eiffel Tower right there in Nevada. I say, why go climb Mount Everest when you got the Colorado Rockies right here, and you don't need to go hirin' no Sherpas and like that. And is there any place on earth as magical as Disney World? You know, my Daddy, he always told me, "Son--see America first." And I did it. I followed his advice to the very letter, and I'm glad I did. Daddy didn't hand me no bum steer--he gave me the genuine goods. Now, what with the passport difficulties and all that and the inconvenience of flyin' and like that, I'd like to ask the American people that for their next summer vacation, maybe they'd like to spend their money right here in the U.S.of A."--Apr. 24
"I remember the 1960s, when, listening to the radio late at night in October of 1962, you'd hear the public service announcement and think, "Oh Lordie--them Russkies are a-comin'! Katie Bar the Door!" Actually, that's probably what Elvis's dad Vernon Presley was saying. You were probably listening to the ball game. If you weren't some slack-jawed Rube with cow turds permanently lodged in your toenails. In which case, when you heard the PSAs you were probably thinking, "This is a test. This is only a test. Had this been an actual emergency, we would have all left town on the first thing smokin' and we wouldn't have stuck around long enough to tell you and you'd be as dead as a Mackerel, chum."--Apr 24
"The Cuban Missile Crisis.…Well, sir, all respect for duly constituted authority eroded shortly after this pivotal event, unless it was after JFK got nailed in a crossfire or after Johnson lied about Vietnam and everything else or after Nixon played his dirty tricks and used swear words in the Oval Office or after Ford got his tongue stuck on a frozen flagpole because Jerry Ter Horst "dared" him, or maybe the pivotal event was that Carter acted like a dolt and his brother looked kinda like my Uncle Rector but not as handsome. Or maybe the pivotal event was that Reagan wasn't the sharpest card in the deck or maybe it was that Bush ate bad sushi and puked on the Japanese Prime Minister or maybe the pivotal event was that Clinton got into a scandal and the ensuing scandal coverage gave us a full year's worth of someone else's sex habits. Yeah, maybe all respect for authority eroded because Slick Willie fiddled and diddled while Somalia, Kosovo, and East Timor burned."--Apr 25
"I may be a lowbrow. But I have a strong chin and a good digestion. Those are the only two things a man really needs to be President."--Apr 25
"I see a country in which the well-off care only for themselves, the middle-class are struggling to survive, and the lower class has given up all hope. Some say, 'T'was every thus.' I say, 'Bullfeathers.'"--Apr 26
"We really do owe everything we have to the 1960s. The music of the 1960s changed everything. Who can forget Chubby Checker? Or, for that matter, that fella who's been challengin' me for the nomination, Sax Richmond?" -Apr 26
"Whatever happened to governing in the common interest? I think that some people are convinced that even the very idea has gone the way of the buggy whip. Well, Sir, I mean to shoe that horse."--Apr. 27
"Sax Richmond? Why he's so dumb, he wouldn't holler 'Sooie' if the hawgs was eatin' him."--Apr 27
"When you support the President you support the common interest. It's as simple as thought. A person with the intelligence of a child can understand this. Why can't the Congress?"--Apr 28
"One thing I'll say about Richmond--he's always consistent--in the way he screws things up. Must of been the brown acid."--Apr 28
"From my opposition I have learned one great lesson: How tempting it is to argue from a point of view that you yourself know just ain't so."--Apr 29
"All I am saying is all men, and women too, should have to follow the same rules. How hard is that to understand?"--Apr 30
TWENTY-SIX: HIS PRONOUNCEMENTS: THE SECOND SIX MONTHS
Why waste your time reforming what is not worth reforming?--Yoshida Kenko
After surviving an impeachment attempt that quickly fizzled, and a smear campaign that went nowhere, President Nile faced a Republican Primary in which no less than five party eminentoes would be challenging him for the nomination: General Choate, running, somewhat implausibly, as a reform candidate, and Senators Gilman, Richmond, Fitch and Governor Aubrey from various wings of the Republican party. There seemed to be a strategy involved: Gilman was expected to dominate the primary states in the Northeast, Richmond in the Southeast and the Deep South, Fitch in the West and Midwest, and Aubrey on the West Coast. Choate's strategy was to pick up whatever votes he could in the early caucuses and effectively hijack the votes of delegates who might ordinarily be inclined to support Nile. By accumulating delegates and refusing to release them to Nile, the five challengers could effectively block his nomination by preventing him from attaining a majority of the delegates. But, as we all know, because, ultimately, Nile bolted the party and ran as an independent, it didn't quite work out that way….
"Hooray! Hooray! It's the first of May! And I think you all know how the rest of that goes…." --May 1
"Congressmen are always prepared to talk about the fact that they have ideas. They just don't care to discuss the ideas themselves. Because they don't really have none. As they have willfully demonstrated over the last several months."--May 1
"For your average congressman, Quality is Job Two. And Job One is mouthing meaningless hot air about quality without actually supplying any."--May 2
"I listen to political columnists with about the same degree of attention I pay to the trail of slime left by a dyin' snail on a muddy flagstone."--May 3
"Congressmen always want what works and what's fair--for fat cat lobbyists and the big money boys who're backin' them. I propose they start payin' attention to a new-old lobby--the interests of the people of the United States."--May 4
"Dunno why Sax Richmond won't drop out of the primaries. It's clear he won't win. Haw! Maybe he still feels guilty about how he dropped out of graduate school back in the 60s! Maybe it was th' brown acid." --May 5
"In a way, I kinda miss the Cold War. The good old Cuban Missile Crisis--that's what I'm talkin' about. THOSE were the days!"--May 5
"I can't tell you what's in store for this country. I am a president, not a prophet. But I do know that if we do nothing, nothing will happen. Nothing good, anyway."--May 6
"I have a great deal of respect for voters. A wise man once said, 'Voters are not fools, who can be deceived by transparent attempts to curry their favor by assiduous flattery.' By the way, accordin' to the boys on my staff, "assiduous" means "marked by careful, unremitting attention."--May 7
"My job? My job is to goose the body politic."-May 8
"Well, I see that Congress is back in session and maybe now that some of those loose cannon boys have had some time to mull things over, maybe we can come to an agreement and like that about certain things that have been buggin' me."--May 9
"Put the Congress in charge o' this country and here's what I see happenin'. Scene One: They give the country away to boodlers and grafters, Scene Two: Boom. Cut to mushroom cloud."--May 10
"What can I say? I like to argue. It's my only hobby. I know it sounds nutty, but sometimes I even argue with myself!"--May 11
"I'm starting to get a little better cooperation from the Congress, and that's all to the good. I guess some of those fellas aren't as dumb as they look. All I'm askin' for is for them to show me the same respect they show to the fat-cat oil men and high-priced lobbyists. It's high time that the representative of the people got some respect around these here parts."--May 12
"All I request of Congress is just a little absolute respect."--May 13
"This national debt thing is got to stop. It's a bona-fide disgrace. How can they expect good Americans to pay their taxes when Uncle Sugar just shovels the money down a rat-hole, not to buy stuff, mind, but just to pay the interest that them bankers are charging. In my mind, it's a national disaster."--May 14
"Well, folks, they say I shouldn't go public with this, but you know me, I just say what's on my mind, I just can't help myself. Now, the Secret Service says there has been a number of threats made against my life. I guess some fellas would like nothin' better than to lob a Guinea football at my feet and wait for the flash-bang. Now, don't get me wrong, those men in the Secret Service--they're my boys, and I'm going to do what I can to make them happy and not take any undue risks and like that, but otherwise, all I can say to that is, well, of course, you know I'm going to be more careful, but when your number's up, it's up, and I'm sure not going to hide in no mansion or bomb shelter or fortified penthouse or like that on account of some gunsel--not when there's the people's work to be done."--May 15
"You know, the Pentagon, God bless 'em, they've fallen right into line with some of my more ambitious plans for making our defenses strong, and let me say this--as long as they toe the line and do whatever it is they do to protect this country from foreign invaders, as far as I'm concerned, millions for defense and not one red cent for tribute. I'm completely happy with 'em. I mean, why were we giving foreign moochers and strays a free hand-out when our some of our own soldiers was living on food stamps? Oh boy. Now, that was back in the bad old days, and like the old song says, them days are gone forever. I'll say it again and again: God bless our military, and that means all the fighting soldiers."--May 16
"I'm happy to announce that we're fixing to re-open some forts and naval bases that were shut down during the last round of budget cuts. By golly, I just can't see the sense of letting the grass grow between the cracks in the concrete. What for? We got these perfectly good bases; they served us well for years; why not use 'em? Some people say they're not needed; well, Sir, I'm thinking, oh fooey on them, as my Maw used to say. Now, people talk about military waste. Oh boy. Maybe some of them pointy-headed peaceniks who say we ought to cut back on the bases ought to try earning an honest living themselves and maybe doing something for this country that has given them so much, like maybe donating some of their land to help defend this country instead of shouting from their high horse about the ecology and such. Sure, I'm all for saving the ecology and like that, but if we ain't got a strong defense--if we don't defend our shores from the wrongos who'd just love to see us take a tumble-- we ain't gonna have no ecology to save! Savvy?"--May 17
"Seems as though the playboys and the cookie-pushers in the State Department are taking exception to some of the stuff I've been sayin' about the military. I just want to know one thing--who's the one running the show, here--them or me?"--May 18
"Some say, 'It ain't right to tax the high and mighty.' Haw! That's what the spider said to the fly!"--May. 19
"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. But a lot of knowledge is even more dangerous, in the right hands."--May 20
"I'd like to remind the Congress that if they start lying about me, I'll start telling the truth about them. And it sure won't be pretty."--May 21
"Folks, I don't much hold with tellin' folks what to do and like that. But I would like for you to educate yourselves about one thing in particular. I would like to ask that you put aside fifteen minutes of every day and look into what your Senator and your Representative are up to, so you can figure out whether he's an honest crook or just a bumbler. Then, come election time, you cast your vote accordingly."--May 22
"Let us never negotiate out of fear. For that matter, let us never negotiate at all. After all, what's right is right."--May 23
"Well, you hear how a lot of the boys and girls of the Press? How they been makin' hay with the slander that I been tryin' to intimidate Congress? I wonder who put the firecracker up their ass? Folks, I'm just trying to make the Congress accountable to the people. It's called 'The Truth'. That's spelled T-R-U-T-H, for those members of the press who are new to this exotic concept. Those apes in the Press and them gorillas on Capitol Hill have been at their monkey business for so long, it seems as though they've forgotten what that is."--May 24
"Say--you know this stuff in the Constitution about how Congress gets to collect taxes--that is got to go. My God, those geezers spend more on a haircut than I spend on my whole wardrobe, and listen--back in the old days the girls, they use to say I was a bit of a snazzy dresser!"-- May 25
"The boys in the congress are rich, and some of them are smart, but somewhere along the way they've forgotten about honor. Now, I ain't no J.P. Morgan, and I may not know what a whole lot of nines are, and I can't read a backwards Chinese newspaper, but I would rather die than forfeit one solitary scrap of my hard-won honor, And when you're up against a guy who places honor above all, just be sure you kill him if you can't beat him, because if you don't, he will keep comin' after you until honor is satisfied."--May 26
"Folks, when I look back at our great Presidents, I see that all of 'em, every last one, had the same thing in common. Honor. There was Washington, and Jefferson (of course), and Andy Jackson, and Lincoln, and Wilson, and FDR, and Kennedy. Where would we be without these great men? I'll tell you--we'd be Uruguay. A perfectly nice country, only nobody seems to talk about 'em very much."--May 27
"Let me repeat that I got nothing against Uruguay, or Paraguay, or, for that matter, Chile or Antarctica. And that we got no plans at present to invade any of them countries. As a matter of fact, now that we're on the subject, let me say this: when things settle down a bit, I want to make the United States a country that mostly minds its own business. You know--like, 'No wire hangers!'"--May 28
"Hmm, now it's getting' interestin', what with General Choate winnin' the primary. Now, there's a man I would vote for in a heartbeat, if it wasn't for the fact that he's never done nothin' in the line of government work except throw up his liquor, bark orders at shavetails, and show up at fancy embassy balls with a chest full of medals, half of which he never earned. Doesn't much matter, I suppose. I'll just run for re-election on my own head of steam."--May 29
"One nice thing about bein' in the White House, here. Three days seems like three months. At this rate, just one more year will seem like a hundred! Never thought I'd live so long!"--May 30
"Now, there's some wreckers in the government who've been insinuatin' that I oughta be on some sort of medication, though my doctor is in charge of drugs I take and like that, and he hasn't said as much, and I trust and appreciate ol' Doc. I'll tell you the best medicine I could ask for would be an end to all the moochers and leeches on the public payroll, enrichin' themselves on the taxpayer's dime."--May 31
"My rival in the fall election, Gen'ral Choate, why, he was just given a fancy degree by some high muckety mucks off at some fancy-Dan college somewhere. You know what I say? It's the squeaky wheel gets degrees."--May 31
"There's no business like show business, and there's no fool like an old fool. Keep that in mind the next time you go to the voting booth."--June 1
"Liberty without the law is like a pencil without the lead."--June 2
"When you're an ornery alley cat, a songbird tastes just as good as an eatin' bird."--June 3
"Unlike all the stand-pat obstructionists, fat-cat lobbyists and full-time crooks, I have a vested interest in only one thing--change!"--June 4
"My opponent reminds me of a little fat boy who lets out a holler when he's told that from now on he's got to eat his carrots. Well, fat boy, guess what--you're gonna be eatin' some cauliflower too. And what's more, you're gonna like it."--June 5
"Me, I'm what you might call something of a homebody. At my age, I'm not interested in chasin' after wild women, and I don't get a major thrill out of calling big shots by their first names. And I certainly didn't sign up for this job for the money. I'm in it for the glory. I just want to go to bed at the end of the day with the country as good as I found it and be able to say to myself, 'Another day well spent.'"--June 6
"I sometimes have my doubts about whether there's a God who loves us, but I have no such doubts about the devil who hates us for I have dealt with the Congress and I have looked him in the face."--June 7
"All the committees that have ever met have never changed one thing. That takes one man, with the will to make something happen."--June 8
"'We're looking into it.'" That's what a politician says when he wants to change the subject. You notice that he never says, 'We're going to do something about it right now.' That's the difference between a politician and a true leader."--June 9
"It's nice to be perfect--only there's no fun in it."--June 10
"Many of my partisan opponents are decent men who manage to be decent even in their utter lack of scruples."--June 11
"Well, folks, them rascals in Congress is at it again. Telling me I can't re-open military bases without their say-so. Just because they want to hog all the credit and glory for getting these things up and running when it was actually my idea all along. Oh boy. Some of them birds had better watch out, or something will come upon them like a thief in the night. So they better beware. The voice of the people is the voice of God, and some of these boys have been playin' fast and loose with old man Satan for just a wee tad too long to suit the likes of a good God-fearin' gent like myself."--June 12
"I'd like to remind all good Americans that the United States is and always has been Citadel America, and can't nobody get to us when all of us are united as one. That means that each state going off and doing its own thing and passing crazy laws is a no-go, especially nowadays. Folks, never forget that these are dangerous times."--June 13
"I'm not bad. But sometimes I'm realistic."--June 14
"People say I got the common touch. Well, all I can say is, I got a lot of experience with people, good and bad, and I guess that's what makes me such a spring dandy."--June 15
"Say what you will about dogs--but at least you always know where you stand with a hound."--June 16
"I'm not so worried about making the world safe for democracy. I think there's still a lot of work to be done right here."--June 17
"Getting stuff done in a democracy is like pulling teeth. Maybe that's why there's so many people around here who look like they could benefit from a snootful of laughing gas."--June 18
"If anybody else out there wants this here job, I invite them to go ahead and try to take it off me. They'll find out soon enough that it sure as hell ain't no feather bed."--June 19
"Don't have much to say today. Oh boy. Except, Howdy. Nice day. Looks like it might rain, though."--June 20
"Seems as though I'm learning one valuable lesson from this race so far--the 11 o'clock news is not a democracy."--June 21
"I've been re-readin' the Constitution, you know, and I must admit I'm rather struck by one detail. Nowhere in the main body of the text is the Press even so much as mentioned. Why is that, I suppose? Maybe because the founders knew that we had to make our elected officials a part of the process, and not a bunch of call boys and laptop jockeys and cake-eaters and like that. Now, the first amendment says that Congress shall make no law bla bla bla restraining freedom of the press, but of course there's nothing there that says the President can't make a law. So maybe it's high time for all those jabberin' troublemakers and muckrakers to keep that in mind."--Jun 22
"Folks, I'm sorry, and I apologize in advance because I promised to stop talking about the Congress and sayin' mean things about them, but I just can't help myself. Here's why. Some scoundrelly rascal has been telling tales out of school and has started a whispering campaign about how half the things I say I'm saying because I must be under the influence of strong liquors. Now folks, I'm no plaster saint or goody goody two-shoes. Back in my salad days, I liked to hoist a few, or maybe more than a few. But you know, I up and decided around the age of 31 that the hangovers just weren't worth it, and I cut that stuff out. Now, if you doubt me, you can ask any one of my friends. Furthermore, ever since the time I was first elected Governor, I have limited my intake of alcoholic beverages to one small snifter of home-made elderberry wine, to be taken at bed-time. Doc says it's good for my heart, and he must be right, because the ticker is fine. 120 over 70, and as sound as a drum. Now, I don't want to be spreading tales about some of the major-league dipsomaniacs who ooze along the halls of Congress, holdin' up the walls, they're so drunk, because talk like that only gives aid and comfort to our enemies. Now, there's no excuse for a man with a serious drinkin' problem to be making all the major decisions that a lawmaker is got to make. Of course, each and every one of our drunken congressmen and Senators knows full well that there is a very nice sanitarium that will take on all comers, no questions asked, and will keep it nice and quiet, hush hush and on the q.t. and like that, and, of course, more than a few of 'em have taken full advantage of this here treatment, even though the taxpayer would probably have to make a co-payment of an arm or maybe even an arm and a leg for the same deluxe treatment. Anyway, I don't begrudge them some of the finest medical treatment available anywhere in the world. And I wouldn't judge them if they decided they needed some time to get the poisons out of their system and clear their brain fogs for the important work to be done ahead. So here's what I suggest: That if any of our fine legislators can't face the day without putting away a fifth of Old Overcoat, I say it's high time they stop snappin' at that bottle and start putting in to get the help they need. They won't be hardly be missed for the three to six weeks it takes for a rummy to get dried out. Half of these guys don't even have to be in the buildin'--their secretaries do all their work for 'em. Man, I'll tell you--them fellows have got it made. Just so long as they can stay out of the drunk tank. Senators, Congressmen--let me tell you something: I know from personal experience that facing the day with a clear mind does wonders for the disposition of a man. You ought to try it and see. And I'll say again--I refuse to judge any man who gets the help he so desperately needs. As I said before--I am a compassionate man!"--Jun 23
"You know, folks, some of them darned old buzzards in the Congress and their fancy gabble remind me of what my Daddy told me about the bums in the old-time hobo camp who was so lazy they wouldn't even beg--why, they'd just lunch on the scraps and the leavin's of the more ambitious tramps. Well, that's what a lot of this jaw-jaw amounts to. I mean about how the President ain't fitten to run this country bla bla bla--it's all just scraps and leavin's that any honest leather tramp would turn up his nose at."--Jun 24
"Folks, I'm going to take this occasion to share a little advice my Pappy gave me whenever the goin' got rough. He'd scrooch up to me and say "Boy--you have got to be like a fried egg and keep your sunny side up!"--Jun 25
"The way things is going, I swear that sometimes I feel like I ought to give a Presidential pardon to anyone who has ever laughed at one of my stories."--Jun 26
"I am a man of action. Only a pissant would call me pessimistic."--Jun 27
"Wow! Did you know that in the White House kitchen, they even have a pastry chef? I just gave him my Mamma's recipe for doughnuts. Boy, I just know I'm gonna get fat!"--Jun 28
"People in the Congress and even some in the Press, for what that's worth, which ain't much, have been getting upset with me for speaking my mind and saying what I really think. They seem to be under the mistaken impression that I'm out to get rid of the Congress, or something, which of course is crazy talk. I mean, it even says in the Constititution how each house runs their own business, and there has to be at least 50% plus one to make decisions, but for day to day stuff there can be less than that, and if they have to make a decision they can call the absent members in to vote, and all that. Now usually, they'll be off in some whorehouse, or getting likkered up in some fancy saloon, or off eating caviar and scallops wrapped in bacon off in some fancy restaurant where the waiters all jaw at cha in Froggy-talk, but that's their business and none of mine. But if they're going to try to intimidate me, and if they think they can make me to keep my mouth shut about their incompetence, they got another think coming. Maybe we ought to get rid of the whole lot of them passel of loafers and start fresh. Hey! I have an idea! Just for the fun of it, let's pretend like you really don't need a million dollars to run for office! Wouldn't that be really great?" -Jun 29
"I'm beginning to think that some of these coots in the House and Senate that are hell-bent on dictating terms actually belong in the laughing academy, cutting out paper dolls."--Jun 30
"Folks, I don't like to complain--I surely don't--but I'm beginning to see that this here job is a lot of hard work! Now, I'm no stranger to hard work. But I didn't expect to become its intimate friend!" --July 1
"I would rather be rational than ironic."--July 2
"I hate irony. Tell me what you know."--July 3
“Most people say 'Probably.' I say, 'Certainly!' That's not the only difference between them and me, but it'll do."--July 4
"Havin' a man like Choate in the White House? I say it's despotism, and I say to hell with it. Here's a fella, all he knows about is Army discipline, so when he starts that talk talk talkin' about 'freedom' and like that, I suggest you just give him a go-by." --July 5
"The difference between Choate and me, see, is simple. He likes to drop bombs as a first resort, and I only drop 'em as a last resort. Me, I'd rather jaw with the tyrant for a spell and let him know what's kosher and what ain't, rather than go off half-cocked and bust down his bunker." --July 6
"Watch out for Choate. Choate, he's likely to practice that there hand is quicker than the eye sorta diplomacy, and get us all into all sorts of hot water."--July 7
"I've had it up to here with fatsos and baldies telling me how to run for President. I've fired all them freeloaders, and from now on in, all the gloves is off."--July 8
"General Choate? Why not call him by his real name--'Mr. Armageddon.'"--July 9
"You know folks, in spite of what my politically-motivated opponents like to say, every now and then I get to thinkin', and when I do, then by golly, I can't help but think about what a crazy world it is we live in today. It's the threshold of a new age, and like that, and I guess we owe it all to the 1960s. Actually, I guess we owe it all to the French Revolution of 1789, and the Napoleonic wars and the Congress of Vienna and The Franco-Prussian War and World War One and World War Two and the Cold War and creepy jerks with greasy goatees stumming cheap out-of-tune guitars in church basements and everything else bad that followed--and to think that back in 1971 otherwise sensible people were havin' fits over gew-gaws like Earth Shoes and 8-cent stamps! Nowadays, like as not, it's all of us tryin' to figure out one thing--namely, whether crazy old General Choate controlled by robots or is he just naturally that way?--July 10
"Did you hear Choate's latest speech? Made about as much sense as 'Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz.'"--July 11
"You just go ahead and vote for Choate if you feel like it, but let me tell you this--first thing he'll do is replace the Bill of Rights with the Bill of Wrongs. I know how them monkeys work, and I practically guarantee it."--July 12
"General Choate ain't quite all there in the upstairs. Foreign folks is already beginning to call him the Global Village Idiot."--July 13
"Choate is studious, all right. He studiously ignores the counsels of the learned."--July 14
"Rich people are stinking up the congress with the smell of their money. I say that this has got to stop. They have got to start making laws to benefit honest people, and not to line the pockets of the fat-cat lobbyists who wave moolah in their faces. And I think the American people are with me on this one. You know, sometimes I wish I could take a good solid slippery-elm club to some of them rascals and say 'Get out! Get out!' and drive them money-changers from the temple, but I suppose that if I did that, people who hobnob with all the swells would bellyache about how The President ain't actin' Presidential. Well, dunno, maybe they're right, but I can't say that one of these days I might not just do that little thing."--July 15
"Now, you know, that thing I said yesterday about clobbering a few of the rascals and nuts in Congress with a good stout club? Well, I apologize for that. But most people with good sense know I wasn't completely serious. I was only kiddin' around when I said I'd go after the goofballs. Sure, I'd clobber the crooks, but I'd leave the loonies alone. After all, it ain't their fault they've got the inside meemees. It's their party's fault for nominatin' them in the first place."--July 16
"Well, they're still harpin' on it, like a stubborn old hound that won't spit out a starfish. I mean my so-called insensitivity to what they, and by 'they' I mean all the doubledomes who ain't got enough sense to bait a rat-trap, what 'they' say is my 'insensitivity to the plight of the hopelessly insane.' Folks, let me assure you that I have nothing but the deepest sympathy for these unfortunates, and, unlike some people, I personally don't favor putting them through the stressful ordeal of entering political life! Fact of the matter is, the only darn thing that worries me is that some of them poor afflicted souls are serving in Congress, and it seems as though they're doing everything they can to wear me out!"--July 17
"Well, none other than the American Medical Association, and some other group, the American Association for the Advancement of the Insane, or some such--why, it seems these learned doctors have called me to task to referrin' to the 'mentally challenged' as 'loonies' and like that. Well, all I can say is that if I've offended any of the mentally challenged people in Congress, I sincerely apologize. Though I somehow think they've got more important things to worry about than whether or not the President approves of them. Namely, stayin' out of the crazy bin long enough to draw their fat pension!"--July 18
"OK, so, as President, I'm supposed to set an example, so you won't be hearing me talk any more about all of the certifiable lunatics and members of the special people's club who prowl the halls of congress gibberin' and squeakin' like my old hound dawg passin' a peach pit. Now, in order to soothe the conscience of the AMA and others like 'em, I'm proposing a very generous psychiatric benefits package for members of Congress who are unfortunate enough to find themselves afflicted by the screamin' whim-whams. After all, we can't have folks with the Jimmy-Jammies makin' all our major decisions about taxes and welfare and our all-important military defense, now, can we, so I'm going to see to it that these people get the help they need. Now, I propose testing all the members of Congress for mental competency. Some of them won't like that, and will kick up a fuss, so of course they're the ones we'll go after first. Never let it be said that the President is not a compassionate man!"--July 19
"I've been looking into some of them gabby boys in the press who've been giving me a hard time lately, and I know this ain't exactly gonna go over gangbusters with that particular bunch, but it strikes me that a lot of those fellows are cedar chest sissies, crushed fruits and chorus boys. Well, they can swish around all they want and lisp and sip their pink tea and like that, but where I come from, a man's not a man unless he comes to terms with what he really is."--July 20
"Well, as you might have guessed, the news boys have been sending up quite a cackle and howl regarding my remarks about the light-in-the-loafers brigade. Folks, I never meant to imply that all the felt hat boys walk funny or live in Fudgepacker Hall. Just that some of them seem as though they just can't stand to see a President who acts like a he-man and who doesn't bend over to pick up the soap, if you get my drift You see, I ain't no weekend Billybob--I'm the real deal."--July 21
"OK, let me make one thing clear: I got no beef against oddballs or candy-asses or even city boys, except maybe when they whine and try to bust my chops over nothin'. I'd like to put the word out that maybe when you criticize the President, you're also criticizing the American people, and that's the kind of prattle we ought to be on the lookout for. Folks, if you're sick of this drumbeat of negative criticism from the media, why don't you give 'em a call and tell them about it? They're no dummies--they'll change their tune mighty fast if they find out they're playin' to an empty hall."--July 22
"Folks, if you elect me for a term in my own right, for starters, let me come right out and say that in the future, I don't intend to be dictated to by no Congress. It seems to me that the upper and lower houses, which are gangs of mostly rich guys who never did an honest day's work in their lives, shouldn't get to make the all laws for the ordinary working man. There's an old saying they have, you know, in China: 'There is no room on a mountaintop for two dragons.' I think they had best keep that little fact in mind the next time one of 'em decides to go spoutin' off."--July 23
"Well, seein' as how I've got to run against old General Choate, and he's supposed to be leadin' me in the polls, I'll say right now that these three phrases will be my slogan: 'Age before beauty. Men before monkeys. And the dirt before the broom.'"--July 24
"Just let me say this: I'll make my opponent run like a scalded dogs because I'm in the high cotton now, and I yam as strong as an acre of garlic." --July 25
"Well, it looks as though there's all sorts of goings on in the Middle East and like that and those are going to be occupying a good deal of my best attention for the foreseeable future, so you can count on me to be in the White House, doing the people's work, rather than traipsin' around on the campaign trail kissing babies or whatever it is that they do. I don't believe there is any need for me to wage a political campaign when it's my duty to keep the American people out of war, and, besides, I think the American people already know where I stand."--July 26
"I am not interested in defeatist talk. I'm interested in winnest talk."--July 27
"I would rather administer the ship of state with greatness rather than tremble every time a leaf falls."--July 28
"Here's my trouble: I'd rather be wise than cunning."--July 29
"I say to you now that cynicism is corrosive. Cynicism accomplishes nothing. But it sure is fun. And superstitious prejudices blind us to reality. But they're a whole lot easier to understand."--July 30
"I'd rather be a hack than a phony, but, unlike your average Congressman, I'm not particularly fond of either choice."--July 31
"There is only one thing I love more than my country, and that is the truth."--Aug 1
"Oops! I just found out they got the best hot wings at this place called the Wing House, down on 7th Street. There goes my diet again!"--Aug 2
"I guess you know me by now, folks, and so you also know that me, well, I'm not the kind of fella who will just go ahead and do what I darn well please and not trouble you by asking your advice. So why don't you drop me a line and let me know what you think I should do about all them jarheads in Congress who are busy obstructin' the nation's business?"--Aug 3
"Congress says that reform just ain't workin'. I don't know what they're moaning about. That sounds like just about par for the course."--Aug 4
"To those of you in Congress who oppose my agenda, here's a word of friendly advice: If I want any crap from you, I'll squeeze your head."--Aug 5
"Right now the big question in my budget fight with Congress is, 'Who's screwing who?' And the answer is that we the people are the screwees and they're the ones doing it. Pardon my French. And I regret that at this time I cannot be more specific."--Aug 6
"My understandin' is, the Congress does and is supposed to do very little, which is all to the good, because what they do try to do usually don't make a lick of sense."--Aug 7
"They say I'm crazy. Well--lemme say this--I ain't crazy--they're just stupid."--Aug 8
"You know, the Congress kind of reminds me of after a fraternity party, where the beer is gone, the women have fled and now they're asking us all to voluntarily chip in a little something to cover their overhead, only, of course, it ain't exactly voluntary. And yet people still ask me why I yam disgusted by them fools."--Aug 9
This post has been edited by dimenno: Feb 14 2012, 04:17 PM
Feb 14 2012, 04:27 PM
Group: Members - Basic
Joined: July 20 04
From: sweet dimenno is in here
Member No.: 3,283
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: HIS PRONOUNCEMENTS--YEAR ONE (CONTINUED)
Speech to the First National Convention of the New Independent Reform Party, August 10
"On a day like today I feel like a twenty-year old!
Somebody bring me one, will you?
I would like at this time to thank my Republican primary opponents who are responsible for the formation of our new party. They have made an ambitious effort in ruining me. By 'ambitious,' I mean a little bit brilliant and a little bit shabby. So even though, traditionally, the nominee is supposed to ask, at this juncture, for them to leave their party and join mine, I have decided that I will not, though I will gladly accept them if they decide to do so, no strings attached.
Look, it's like, what? two o'clock in the Gosh-darned morning--way past my beddy-time--and you all ain't here to listen to me gas. So I'm going to make this here little talk a short and sweet one.
Well, now, just to prove I'm religious and really do think Jesus is a great philosopher and I'm not just saying that he is so God will like me, I humbly implore you all--let us come to our maker in prayer--especially if, through some miracle, I lose this election.
Now, in running to be your president, my Republican opponent has made several promises too good to be true, and here they are.
His brand of mealy mouthed-compassionate fascism means he promises to warm up the death seat before burning condemned felons to a smoldering crisp. He will use hemp for the hangman's rope, just on the off-chance that the condemned prisoner is a hippie. And his brand of practical totalitarianism also means that he will make it illegal to shoot a fetus. He will throw money at the military, but first they will have to mow his lawn. He will clobber drug lords south of the border and let venal pharmaceutical nabobs run the FDA ragged. He will promise to paint all the black helicopters sky blue, and only fly them in the daytime. He will replace the gas-guzzling presidential limo with an electric tank.
I will suggest this: People who refuse to vote for me either lack compassion or are morally suspect. But in spite of my speechifyin' against the utter imbecility of everyone who refuses to vote for me, I hope you reconsider and vote for me anyway, because I try so hard to be genuinely likable.
Unlike my opponent, I will only make promises that I can keep.
This is what I will promise to America today:
I will never pick my dogs up by the ears, or make love to my secretary in my swimming pool, or show people my appendectomy scar, or wear ugly sweaters, or let my wife make goo-goo eyes at crooners, or permit her to wear ugly pearl necklaces. I will never bully my vice president, or use salty language, or threaten to castrate a music critic who insulted my daughter, or send my ugly wife into coal mines, or let my second wife run the country while I lay there in a paralytic coma, or grope my mistress in a White House closet, or let my attorney general char-broil members of a crazed religious cult and all their children, or wear Indian headdresses, or promise a chicken in every pot, or bomb the heck out of helpless peasants toiling in rice paddies. At least, not all at the same time.
Sure, my enemies have made allegations--that I'm arrogant, even downright crazed. But the truth of these allegations is irrelevant.
Why? Because I say so!
As Archilochus has said, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."
And the alligator, who has a PhD in Physical Education, still can't find a job in the public school system.
My point is that even though my enemies make allegations, I'm not concerned. Because my motto is, "Seeya later, allegations!"
God Bless you. And God bless America. Good night."
"Once again, the Congress manages to look frantically busy while accomplishing nothing. In other words, folks, oh boy, look out--it's business as usual down in good old Foggy Bottom."--Aug 11
"I hate to sound like a broken record here, but the problem with the Congress is simple: they have no respect for the people of this country. They call us "the vulgar mob". They think they're smarter than everybody who voted to put them in there. But they claim to represent you all the same. But what they really do is resent you. Well, I think it's time we let them cocksure vultures and high-priced hangers-on know that they've managed to earn a little resentment right back."--Aug 12
"I don't blame a man for wantin' to be a Congressman. Any more than a blame a rich man for wantin' to be a jet-settin' playboy. After all, it sure beats workin' for a livin'."--Aug 13
"Well, folks, I've got and have been getting' all your cards and letters and I must say the mail is running about 10 to 1 in favor of gettin' rid of the muleheaded Congress altogether, but we can't do that without an amendment, and that would take too darn long, so I guess we got to put up with the rascals for awhile, or at least until we can toss 'em out and get some good people in there who ain't just in it for the money but who actually want to help the President do his job. And I thank you."--Aug 14
"Now, let me clarify somethin' about the Congress. They ain't all bad. The average congressman never wanted to be a helpless pawn of corporate elites. Most of them intended to be helpful pawns."--Aug 15
"I am four-square on the side of the American people. You believe me, don't you?"--Aug 16
"Well, lately there's been a lot of shoutin' heads on the tube, claiming that the President is some kind of ding-blasted populist. Well, if populism means puttin' the pie and ice cream on the bottom shelf where the little feller can reach it, then I say why not?"--Aug 17
"All them screamin' heads there in the media, they're saying, "What's your plan? Show us your plan!" Well, here's my plan. I'll keep it nice and simple because they're little men and have a hard time wrappin' their heads around big ideas. Boys, here it is. I'll give myself just one full term to clean up the mess in Washington. And then I'll give myself another term, just to enjoy myself, and maybe plan for the future so we can get America moving again and on the go. Because I will deserve it!"--Aug 18
"Now, about these politicians here in Washington--I'm beginning to realize that they're more interested in playing hardball politics than in discussing the issues. Well, who can blame 'em? Politics is what they know. Issues is what gets swept under the rug the minute their corporation slavemasters give a whistle. Oh boy. Well, when I'm elected, that crap is gonna change. And zippity-do-dah."--Aug 19
"I say it's time to stop treatin' our major issues and our politics like some kind of circus act and start having some informed debate about the future of the republic. Let's stop sendin' in the clowns. Folks, the opera is over, the fat lady has sung, and the curtain is fallen down."--Aug 20
"Folks, I gotta say that I'm like a lot of people, and I don't really follow the editorial pages like maybe I should. Because I just can't focus on things that don't interest me. And listenin' to a bunch of high muck-a-mucks and bigoted stuffed shirts a-preachin' and pontificatin' about things they know nothin' about makes my skin crawl and my blood grow cold. I get the inside meemies. Why don't some of these loafers get an honest job? Or at least get wise to themselves and not say anythin' at all unless they can improve the silence?"--Aug 21
"Now, folks, maybe I haven't already made it abundantly clear that I'm here to serve the people and not some high-priced crew of fancy pants know it alls. I do not rely on the support of political consultants, mostly because none of would agree to advise me. Especially for what I'm offering to pay them, which is nothing. Which is exactly what they deserve. Oh boy. Now I'm in trouble!"--Aug 22
"I don't read the news. I make the news."--Aug 23
"I don't usually respond to attacks in the Press, mostly because I know that if'n you feed a barkin' hound dog a biscuit every time he barks, then every damn time he wants a biscuit, the derned barkin' starts right up all over again, and if you've ever owned a good huntin' dog then you know that the barkin' can start to get to you after a spell. Anyway, some folks in the press call me a rabble-rouser, which is pretty sweet, because by callin' me that they're not even botherin' to disguise their contempt for the American people."--Aug 24
"Folks, remember--nobody ever elected a reporter to anything. They're not paid to listen to your concerns--they're paid to preach. And their sermons are for sale to the highest bidder."--Aug 25
"Oh boy. Folks, sometimes when I'm feelin' punk I just get to thinkin' about these phonies in the press barkin' at me for interviews like a starvin' hound dog followin' a gut wagon, and it makes my blood boil. It sometimes seems as though they have no other agenda, other than to aggrandize themselves at the expense of every other human being on the face of the planet. There's important work to be done here in the Oval Office, and I'm puttin' them on notice right now that I ain't got no time to waste answerin' their triflin' questions about what I had for breakfast."--Aug 26
"I'll tell you what I really think about the press. They kiss your butt, the better to pee on your toes."--Aug 27
"I am not a moderate. I do nothing in moderation. Where I come from, if you're in the middle of the road, that means you're roadkill."--Aug 28
"The press, they're always agitatin' about this and that. Every week it's somethin' new and different. Now it's the homeless problem. Now, I think that the members of the press, they happen to care deeply about poor people. They just don't want to have to look at them. Which makes me laugh. The press wants to build more homeless shelters, but they don't want to let them live in their own shelters, their fancy gated communities with the guard towers and the cameras and what-not! Haw! The heartless want to help the homeless. It's almost enough to make a cat laugh."--Aug 29
"All I can say in my own defense is, I will always try to be polite. But that doesn't mean I'll always be nice."--Aug 30
"Kill 'em with kindness. Truer words was never spoke."--Aug 31
"Here's my foreign policy in a nutshell: if we are going to support any dictatorships overseas, let's just make darn sure they're pro-American dictatorships."--Sept 1
"As president, I promise to make all the tough decisions. As my good friend Colonel Sanders once told me, 'The cluck stops here.'"--Sept 2
"What's the real deal, anyway, with the State Governors appointing vacancies to the House of Representatives? Usually, it's just some unqualified partisan hack who loaned him a car when he was just starting out, or some guy who shovels out the best grub at those swanky fundraisers they like to give. I say this is something the President ought to be in charge of."--Sept. 3
"My keyword in this race is the security of rational change. If you want it, vote for me."-Sept 4
"Elect me if you're worried about crime. If I become president, I personally will be responsible for crime."--Sept 7
"Call me an outsider. Better yet, call me a far-out sider. But don't put me in the straitjacket of radical extremism. "--Sept 6
"I'm not a quitter. I'm a fighter. And I'll fight the first man who says different."--Sept 7
"In our political culture, to inform is to bore and to shock is to succeed."--Sept 8
"I don't see what all the fuss is about requiring the fingerprinting of registered voters. Only the guilty would disagree."--Sept 9
"I'd rather be a good nobody than an evil President-in-waiting. Folks, I say that you just can't trust any man who really stumps for the job."--Sept 10
"You may think I'm bad, but let me assure you--the other ones is far worse."--Sept 11
"I wouldn't say my opponent--I won't name him--is no better than the animals. Because you know--especially those of you who grew up on a farm--there's a lot of good animals."--Sept 12
"Am I intolerant? Sure! Intolerant of evil! Am I troubled? No. My way is clear because my conscience is clear."--Sept 13
"Like most Americans, I think the government has too much power. And, like most Americans, I think the government should do something about it."--Sept 14
"Well, so far ole General Choate is proving a fizzle. Even though he's run the dirtiest campaign in livin' memory. Why, he makes Dick Morris look like a priest. He makes Ed Rollins look like a pantywaist. He's managed to out-Hitler Pat Buchanan, and out-Sugar Bear sweet Billy Clinton. He makes Jesse Ventura look like a Jesuit. He makes Al Gore look like Plastic Man. He makes George W.Bush come off like a Braniac. So far in this race, he's made Alf Landon look hotter than a two-dollar firecracker. He's made Tom Dewey look like a real live wire and old Bob Taft look just like a party animal!--Sept 15
"Choate won't rest until the good old U.S. of A. is a banana republic. I guess that makes him a Banana Republican! Whoops, I made a funny!"--Sept 16
"Sometime preachin' to the choir is a chore, but in a democracy, it's gotta be done."--Sept 17
"I am the President of all the people. Not just the fortunate few, but the forgotten majority. That's the principle I chose to govern by, and not by what the moneybags say I should do."--Sept 18
"There ought to be a constitutional amendment that says to Congress that they should either shit or get off the pot. Am I allowed to say that? I'm sorry, folks--usually I don't hold for cussin', but lemme tell ya--I'm steamed."--Sept 19
"I'll say one thing about that chuckleberry General Choate--he never forces you to choose between idiocy and ideology--'cause he embraces both."--Sept 20
"You look at the sour puss on old Choate whenever he gives his stump speech and you get the distinct impression that campaignin' for him is just a time-consumin' distraction in his quest for supreme power and complete control."--Sept 21
"Well, now Choate, he's still a young man--he's only 68--why, I'll bet that if he goes belly-up in politics, as seems likely the case, at least later on he'll get to appear on talk shows, if only as a ranting, disembodied voice, 'cause quite frankly, I ain't much to look at myself, but old man Choate, haw! he's got a face that could frighten King Kong."--Sept 22
"If Choate becomes President, I suppose he'll try to bring back the Cold War. Hey, why not? Jousting with drunken Slavs will distract the American people from his own alcoholism and gross incompetence."--Sept 23
"Unlike my opponent, I am the candidate of the 21st Century--not the 19th. By the way, say--umm, what about that tariff? Kiddin'. I'm kiddin'." --Sept 24
"You know, there's an old saying: 'If the hogs don't come when you hollar "Sooie," then something ain't kosher.'--Sept 25
"I am not belly-aching about imaginary grievances here, unlike so many members of the so-called elite media. This country has lots of problems, and as long as one man has to go without food or shelter I will speak out about it and try to see about making it right and maybe even invite him in to tie on the old feed-bag--because I don't like to brag on myself, but I am a compassionate man!"-Sept 26
"Folks who speak agin me, I admit that a few of them may mean well, but they are just plain ignorant of some cold, hard facts. Sometimes I wish, instead of listenin' to them flap their jaws, I could give 'em all a right big dose of my grandma's famous poppy seed tea."--Sept 27
"One thing I just don't cotton to is a man who says he likes you even if he don't, just to curry favor. Seein' a grown man do that in plain sight gives me the pukey burps. Folks, when I don't like the cut of a fella's jib, I say so right up front, and I make no bones about it, and the day I do is by God the day I will leave office and go get a job raisin' petunias."--Sept 28
"It's not that I don't understand what's going on in the rest of the world--it's that I just don't care right now. Not when there's more pressing concerns right here at home."--Sept 29
"I don't see what's so darn hard about being President. It's a job, just like any other. Same old office politics. Only on a much larger scale."--Sept 30
"I've got to say, I deeply admire the ritualistic political shenanigans of my so-called opponent. But that don't mean I'm going to let him beat me like a red-headed stepchild. Haw!"--Oct 1
"Choate's motto: When in doubt, slur your words. And when really in doubt, slur your opponents."--Oct 2
"What we are faced with today is nebulous disgruntlement. Elect Choate as your president and I promise that your disgruntlement will be nebulous no longer."--Oct 3
"Choate: His dreams for America are as big as America itself. And they will probably disappear down an America-sized rathole."--Oct 4
"Choate may not be right. But what does it matter, as long as he's persuasive?" Actually, though, he is right--far right."--Oct 5
"Choate's motto appears to be 'Let's talk nonsense to the American people.'" --Oct 6
"This race is about money, politics, immorality and power--and my opponent loves them all."--Oct 7
"My distinguished opponent--here's a man both money-hungry and weak, even though he is neither a journalist nor a politician."--Oct 8
"My opponent would rather try to give an easy explanation for all of our problems than offer a single concrete solution for even one problem. Don't let him get away with it."--Oct 9
"In this election, I stand courageously and four-square against cradle-snatchers, ax-murderers, kidnappers, porno kings, corrupt union bosses, crooks, poor-folk haters, farmer murderers, shooters at widows and orphans, reservoir-poisoners, charity hospital bombers, spitters on our flag and our heroic baseball umpires, rich enemies of our public schools, private bankers, Mexican debt cancelers, unemployment makers, Communists, pacifists, war-mongers, depleted uranium munitions manufacturers, oil cartels, false friends of the people, and drunken skunks who blast through red lights late at night when they think nobody's watchin'."--Oct 10
"I may talk too slowly and look too old. I know that. But I can balance a biscuit on the end of my nose and swaller it in one bite. Not only that, but I can still eat a twelve-pack of hot dog buns soaked in Log Cabin syrup."--Oct 11
"I haven't laid into Choate for awhile, and I don't want him to feel lonesome, so I will say this. Gen'ral Choate thinks that 'Democracy' is a clumsy word, so he'd like to replace it with a phrase which rolls right off his tongue--something like "An all-powerful oligopoly,' run, incidentally, by him."--Oct 11
"Now, Choate, basically, his impulse will be to do it if he thinks he can get away with it. And if you're lucky, you'll get to read about it the next day in the newspapers. If you're lucky, there will still BE newspapers."--Oct 12
"Listen: There's nothing magic about what I have to say. No campaign rhetoric here. It's just good common sense is all." --Oct 13
"You know folks, in the good old days punks who made fake money were hanged from the yard-arm. I mean, they would really sock it to 'em. And I'm thinking we ought to do the same thing today. And that goes double for all them commodities brokers and slick-talking financial boys with all their fancy coffee drinks and their vegetarian pizzas and their phony inside trading deals. I say Congress ought to jump on this baby right away, because it's already gone on for way to long. I mean, look, I'm only one guy, so there's only so much I can do. You folks can lend me a hand by getting on the horn to your Representative and Senator. G'wan, do it. Don't bother sending me no Halloween goodies; that alone would be better than all the candy apples in the world!"--Oct. 14
"Teachers, God bless 'em, they do a valuable job, one which I would never want to do in a million years. But them teachers' unions--they is got to stop bludgeoning the taxpayers with their escalating demands for more and more money. What do they do with it? Come up with new crackpot notions and bludgeon our poor children into learning newfangled notions. It is got to stop."--Oct 15
"College Professors are screaming bloody murder about my recent comments. Of course, the day I listen to a college Professor about anything of a practical matter is the day I hang up my hat. And I don't even wear a hat!"--Oct 16
"Why can't our government offer its poorest citizens security from the cradle to the grave? Greedy doctors and greedy undertakers and greedy everybody in between, starting with politicians. I say, Medicare for all, and in my second term, I aim to get it."--Oct 17
"Washington D.C. is one of the most degraded places I have ever seen and I thought I had seen them all."--Oct 18
"What does it say about us as a nation when in our own nation's capitol homeless drunks roam the streets at will, and some of 'em ain't even congressmen!"--Oct 19
"When it comes to dealing with Congress, I don't believe in the old saying about honor among politicians. I personally know of garden-variety thieves and second-story men with a lot more honor than that sorry crew!"--Oct 20
"Some people say that Choate is a lazy, shiftless, no-good, slew-footed, happy-go-lucky, tap-dancing vagrant. T'aint so. He ain't never tap-danced a day in his life."--Oct 21
"Oh, that Choate--he says he's all in favor of the ordinary American--that's because he thinks we're all so easy for him to fool with his false promises."--Oct 22
"Ever been to a Choate rally? A bit of advice-- Ignore those jackbooted thugs with the high-powered rifles and snarling Rottweilers--them's just his bodyguards." --Oct 23
"Choate wants to be President, he sure does. He thinks he's qualified to be your Chief Executive, not because of the credentials he doesn't have but because of the opinions he can't back up with facts."--Oct 24
"Choate says to elect him, because he speaks for the resentful and the powerless. I guess he does, because basically, he's one of 'em himself."--Oct 25
"Choate would be a demagogue, except I think in order to get the job, you oughta maybe be able to spell it, first."--Oct 26
"I never thought I would ever hear myself say this, but here goes. If you're sick of conventional politics, vote for Choate. His campaign ain't conventional. His ambitions ain't conventional. Most of all, his behavior ain't conventional--or even sane." -Oct 28
"Elect General Choate, sure, and this is what will happen--as President, he won't put in no long hours memorizing the names of foreign capitals--he'll spend that time productively, in swingin' sweetheart deals for his masters in the State Department, and undermining the federal capital in Washington, D.C."--Oct 29
"Who do you want answerin' that big red telephone? Some drunk? Or a man who takes a medicinal nip maybe once in a blue moon? I don't know about you, but I'd rather follow a sober volunteer than a drunken lifer."--Oct 30
"When you stop to think about it, Halloween is the perfect holiday for the Congress. Just like Congress, greedy little babies come to your door in what they think is a foolproof disguise and ask people in the neighborhood for hand-outs. Me, I used to always hate it when I'd go trick-or-treatin', back when I was a tot, and, sure, they'd give me nickels and chocolate bars and salt-water taffy wrapped in wax paper, but then there were always a few old ladies who would give you this awful stuff called candy corn, which wasn't really candy and it certainly wasn't corn. It was this awful orange and yellow gunk that fell to the bottom of the bag and just stuck there. Well, that sort of reminds me of Congress. There's no limit to how low some of 'em will go, and a lot of them just stick there. Anyway, the next time one of these featherbedding politicians asks for your vote, you know what I say? I say, 'Give 'em candy corn!'"--Oct 31
TWENTY-SEVEN: HIS PRONOUNCEMENTS: YEAR TWO
I think I am better than the people who are trying to reform me.--E.W. Howe
"My opponent loves to campaign. I prefer to govern."--Nov 1
"Now, I hate to gloat, but it's just like I've been sayin' all along: Once a Commie, always a Commie, though the State Depatment boys didn't want to hear it. And now, with the recent events in the Middle East, it seems once again as though we are in the brink of a world war cataclysm. The media doesn't want to call it what it is--a war. Well, if it looks like a war and it smells like a war, then that's what it is. And I do not intend to walk quietly into that good night."--Nov 2
"I warn you, the people, right now that there is a plot afoot. Some one is out to steal this race. Don't ask me to cite specifics. Don't confuse me with your facts, and I won't confuse you with mine. My advice to you--don't let 'em"--Nov 3
"Because this is a democracy, in spite of anything General Choate would have you believe, in this race for President, I may lose. But I will have made an important statement--that, basically, I'm a fighter." --Nov 4
"I seem to provoke two reactions. Either people want to lynch me in case I win, or people want to lynch me on general principle."--Nov 5
"OK, now let's talk turkey. As you know, the race for the presidency has yet to be decided, due to widespread fraud on the part of my opponent, in one crucial state that I don't need to name, including but not limited to the following: Dispensing generic cigarettes to homeless schizophrenics; telling people they can't vote because the polls are closing early, or because we've run out of ballots, or because they registered wrong, or because they're likely to vote wrong, or because the fellows in the white sheets won't like it.
"But no matter what the ultimate outcome, I've got to face facts. I am a realist. As of right now, it looks like I have lost this race. Unless, through some kind of mind control or something, I persuade some of the other fellow's 270 electors to switch their votes to me. It pains me to have to admit this, but as of right this minute, I'm still the only president you've got. And I will not let this election be stolen out from under me." --Nov 6
"What's all this nonsense about me being trigger happy? I was in my own home, I shot my own TV, and when I did it, I could easily afford to buy me a new one, so what's the big controversy?"--Nov 7
"Not for me the sweeping generalization of the half-veiled insinuation. From now on, I'll tell it like it is. This…election…is…being…stolen. And we won't permit it." --Nov 8
"If, in fact, I have not lost [the election], I have actually won." -Nov 9
"Them tomfool lawyers in the Congress remind me of a red-headed foster child of the special interests. They have thoroughly neglected the business of this country and yet they are pathetically eager to do the bidding of all the leeches fat-cats and swells--international businessmen who ain't done a lick to make this country strong."--Nov 10
"We have liberty and diversity. Our enemies have unity and totalitarianism. Let is never be like our enemies. For the end result of a combination of a liberty like ours and a unity like theirs is always lunacy."--Nov 11
"I can't tell my neighbor's dog what to do, and usually, what my neighbor tells his dog to do ain't none of my business, but when I see my neighbor's dog has caught on fire, I make it my business."--Nov 12
"I have said this before, and I will say this again and again: The only system of welfare that makes sense to me is the one in the Bible that says 'Work or starve'. Everything else is just words."--Nov 13
"Let me assure you, my friends--and you are all my friends--that there is no secret plan to spy on Americans and how they voted. And even if there was, it wouldn't be very polite to talk about it."--Nov 14
"Poor ole Gen'ral Choate! Next election, he'll know better. Next election, he'll be traveling in a steel cage with a little air hole to scream his speeches out of."--Nov 15
"Seems to me that Choate is now reduced to bargaining for the Presidency like a homeless man in a beer garden begging for a snort of red-eye." --Nov 16
"Choate now seems to be fearful that somewhere, somehow there is someone who is not does not believe he won the Presidency. Which is too bad, because he didn't."--Nov 17
"Don't you worry about Choate losin' the race, my friends. He'll stay warm and keep out of trouble. For he has 60 years of hate to keep him warm, and trouble is all he knows."--Nov 18
"Choate's forlorn attempts to steal this here election remind me a lot of a song my ole daddy used to sing: 'Ain't got no money, can't buy no grub/ Backbone and navel doin' the belly-rub.' Haw!"--Nov 19
"I'm both a Democrat and a Republican."--Nov 20
"I guess what the press would like is for the President and everybody else in government to be a solemn ass. Well, an ass is still an ass, whether he likes to crack a joke or not. And I don't play in that league."--Nov 21
"Whether I win or lose, I predict that in the future, whoever is not with me is still welcome to support our country, right or wrong."--Nov 22
"Be on your guard. As your President, Choate will be sure to enact superficial reforms which will temporarily dull your appetite for violent revolution. Not me."--Nov 23
"In this ongoing dispute over the Presidency, I'm going to fight clean--because nobody expects me to. And to spite the media!"--Nov 24
"My opponents don't understand me, but I think the people understand me all too well."--Nov 25
"I am not a fool. Nor do I expect to play one on television!"--Nov 26
"Ain't it a bitch? Heh. Now that I finally mastered my fear of public speaking, everyone is sick of the sound of my voice."--Nov 27
"An important factor in this race is scruples. My opponent hasn't got 'em. And you can count his new ideas on the fingers of one angry fist."--Nov 28
"I wish that my opponent would cut the crap and get right into the promises he intends to break." --Nov 29
"Folks, it seems as though massive fraud has been uncovered in not one, but three states, and so I hereby declare the election results null and void, as of right this minute. Now, some will say that this violates the Constitution. I say that throughout the glorious history of this republic, pious demagogues have all too often used "original intent" as a tool with which to crush their opposition. But what if we were to somehow elect a President who somehow managed to be true to what the founders intended this republic to be? That's what the big money boys are afraid if. That is why I have taken this unprecedented step. We have no need of Congress in this dispute. The president must personify our system of law, and of checks and balances. May God help me in this endeavor, for I can do no other."--Nov 30
"You know, I've been thinking about this here election we just had, and I think, judging from the end result, all in all they went pretty swell. I would say that, again, judging from the results, the people have definitely spoken. But I think there is got to be something done about making sure there's enough polling places where people can get to so they can cast their vote. I mean, I'm sick to death of party big-wigs all the time trying to pull a fast one and designating some outhouse way out in the big stick country where nobody can get to as a polling place. I say, let all the people vote!"--Dec 1
"You know, a lot of these phonies and parasites and spongers in the Congress, they think I haven't been keeping my little eye on them, but I have. Oh boy. Now, unlike some of the folks in Washington, I've read the constitution from cover to cover, and I know full well that members of the Senate can be arrested for some of the stuff they're trying to pull, like treason, and betraying their country, and givin' aid and comfort to the enemy, and committing felonies and inciting riots and stuff like that. And don't think they won't answer for their crimes, because they certainly will. Also, a lot of them have been double-dipping, what with their accepting salaries from lobbyists and what-not, and oh boy, I know the names of every single one of them. So if they're fixing to accuse me of anything shady, they better watch out. They can be sure that their sins will find them out. You know, it's really too bad that most of those fellows don't even have the sense to pound sand in a rat-hole."--Dec 2
"Heh. You might say that I'm the boy who put the 'pain' in 'campaign.'"--Dec 3
"When people ask me what I stand for, I tell 'em, "It beats sittin'."--Dec 4
"To those who say the election still has to be decided in the electoral college, I say this: I would rather be a mile away from hell and heading out than 100 miles away and heading in."--Dec 5
"I am unwilling to settle for anything less than complete victory--though, like most politicians, I am willing to compromise."--Dec 6
"Alcoholics Anonymous has a fine slogan: 'Fake it 'til you make it.' I, of course, know nothing of this fine organization with members from over 156 countries, but that's the motto I live by."--Dec 7
"People said I have no hope of winning. But I specialize in coming back from the dead. Then again, so did another legendary figure. Frankenstein."--Dec 8
"There's a certain drunken Providence who looks out after fools."--Dec 9
"You know, years ago, a man like Choate wouldn't have even been allowed to run for President. But nowadays, people have a more sophisticated understanding. On the traditional issues, the traditional labels of Democrat and Republican no longer apply. And the traditional labels of sanity and insanity no longer apply either."--Dec 10
"Americans spend $300 million a year preparing for war--and some rascals still insist there's no such thing as progress!"--Dec 11
"Maybe the man I appoint as the new chairman of the Fed[eral Reserve Board] ought to be a stopped clock--because even a stopped clock is right twice a day."--Dec 12
"Now, I'm not worried about charisma or posterity. Shucks, I can't even spell 'em! Listen--I'm just trying to do the Lord's work in the Devil's city--and vice versa."--Dec 13
"I think I can be principled--when necessary."--Dec 14
"I want to fight people, not problems. What I mean to say is, fight the people who cause the problems."--Dec 15
"You know, the truth hurts. And let me assure you-- if I ever actually find some around here, I'll be the first to yell."--Dec 16
"You know, running for the Presidency is kinda like a drug, only I forget why."--Dec 17
"I believe in the right of any American to say whatever he likes...but don't quote me on that."--Dec 18
"If I am not great, I ain't nothin'." --Dec 19
"I am slow to anger. But it sure does make me mad when people say I'm temperamental."--Dec 20
"As President, I pledge to end vicious stereotypes--because all bigots are the same."--Dec 21
"I've decided to make nice with the Congress, for now, but I will say this: The Congress is empowered by its own corruption. Pretty convenient, huh? And that has got to stop. Don't ask me how, but it will. I have big plans."--Dec 22
"Do you ever read the papers? Me neither." --Dec 23
"I don't like to introduce religion into politics. But I will say this--I am FOR God." --Dec 24
"Today, as you may or may not know, is Christmas. And if I had one Christmas wish, I think I would wish that the government would disappear--but not before they gave us back all the money they have squandered."--Dec 25
"What's this country really about? Well, I'll yell yuh. It's about women hollering about gun control, and randy fellers willin' to look the other way."--Dec 26
"Blind, insensate and domineering political forces are NOT the wave of the future. Let's ALL of us be wide-awake and sensible." --Dec 27
"I will not tolerate nice distinctions. I prefer the nasty ones." --Dec 28
"I'm afraid my opposition would rather riot than be President."--Dec 29
"Say what you will. Say I'm a grinning liar. But notice I'm not smiling now."--Dec 30
"Someday I hope to see an America where all my ideas about individuality have been adopted."--Dec 31
TWENTY -EIGHT: THE REPUBLIC'S NEMESIS
A man who would expect to train lobsters to fly in a year is called a lunatic; but a man that thinks men can be turned to angels by an election is a reformer and remains at large.--Finley Peter Dunne
Following Nile's near-run election for a term in his own right, his rhetoric began to take an even more decidedly bizarre turn. (It appears as though Bob Dylan was prescient, many decades ago--the Vice President had, indeed, "gone mad.")
Such of his public statements prior to this time--those that had not simply disappeared down the "memory hole" mentioned earlier--were generally anodyne political pronouncements, many of them neither remarkable in any way nor deserving of further scrutiny. However, I have kept a close watch on this man throughout his political career, and, over the years, I have preserved some of his more bizarre flights of fancy. Strangely enough, although many of his speeches were televised during this era, few accounts of these crazed pronouncements ever saw print in any of the major newspapers. Nor will you find any of the following quotes in any of the standard compilations of presidential speeches.
What follows is a chronological summary. Although a word or two may be misquoted, I can vouch for the accuracy of these quotes, and would state my reputation as a scholar on their complete veracity.
"In my second term, I tell ya what I plan to do, I'm just gonna pull us out of the World Bank and the IMF--so that poor people can starve in peace, without no arrogant interference by us so-called American imperialists."--Jan 1
"I say everyone has the right to be heard--unless they start to bug me." --Jan 2
"When I hear about these people who say they want to smash the state, it makes my blood boil. We are all the state."--Jan 3
“Conformity to the wishes and demands of decent people is the highest liberty of all."--Jan 4
"I'd like to rid this country of insect pests--startin' with the Congress." --Jan 5
"Freedom is for the young. The old want order." --Jan 6
"Indians who don't pay taxes. This is crazy talk. What's up with that? Are they citizens of this country or ain't they? You can't have it both ways, you know."--Jan 7
"I say that for too long we have seen the family destroyed, religion mocked, education put on the back burner, media trash run rampant, the government run wild, and right and wrong ignored. And yet some people call this sorry state of affairs 'progress.' Well, if that's 'progress,' then give me vanilla. Cause I say it's broccoli, and I say to hell with it!"--Jan 8
"Politics is a dirty business. I can still remember when I lost my innocence about politics. My feet were still dirty from the rice field, and if you know what the Chinese use to fertilize rice, you'd be saying to yourself, "How appropriate!"--Jan 9
"Don't get me wrong. I still believe in the system of checks and balances. I just wish that some of them checks had come MY way."--Jan 10
"As President, no matter what way the wind is blowing, I am always in the eye of the hurricane."--Jan 11
"You may be asking yourself, is there no limit to the political blather that afflicts this great land of ours? The answer is simple: No, not really. Politics is just something to keep the politicians busy until election day. Basically, politics is sports for people who are too fat to run."--Jan 12
"People may complain that I am a controversial man, but in reality, my core beliefs are not so very different from that of the average man. I believe farms are important; that lakes are full of fish, that the future is tomorrow, and that you can't spell "freedom" without the freedom to use the word 'free.' Also, clocks and big, machines are heavy, and icebergs are a threat to the Merchant Marine."--Jan 13
"To my way of thinkin', too many bohunks fresh off the boat are stinking up this country with their curry and their green onions and their garlic and et cetera. I think that an immigrant to this here country ought to at least be able to speak English so's you can understand him and be able to support himself and his family and like that before he decides to settle here. I really don't think that's too much to ask. I ain't going to bother to take it to Congress, though--they'll just chew the rag until everybody else is sick to death of hearing about it. Maybe we should just enforce our existing laws, and I know just the folks to do it--the National Guard."--Jan 14
"I AM a non-violent hypocrite. You believe me--don't you? ...Or do you want some...trouble?"--Jan 15
"I am never discouraged, because I know that I sit in the light."--Jan 16
"I despise the Congress to just the extent that they themselves despise liberty and all he principles on which this country was founded."--Jan 17
"I would rather be in a cooking pot full of hot water surrounded by cannibals than have to deal with Congress for one more day."--Jan 18
"Ideology? I'm the President. And ideology is whatever I say it is."--Jan 19
Second Inaugural Address, January 20
"And now, let me say this--because this is my day in the sun and there's no way you're going to be given a speech written by somebody else.
Our common-sense pioneer legacy fills me with a unique and optimistic pride that I would like to share as I discuss the challenge of peace and the duties of liberty amid the strife and turmoil of courage and prosperity.
Our tough country is always ready to listen and learn its way to lasting reform and change--with the strength of its vision, our family of citizens believes in hard work and freedom, and they ave a passionate commitment to lead the children to preserve our precious liberties and provide for our future prosperity and empowerment.
Truly, this is the land of opportunity, of principle, of rights and duties, of building, of care, and help and good and success and choice and empowerment and of fair competition and confidence and candor and initiative and other stuff and so forth.
But we must be ever-vigilant against the forces of stagnation and decay that endanger us with failures and collapse.
Corrupt, selfish radicals threaten. Destructive, incompetent unionized bureaucracies seek to mandate a wasteful status quo ante and make us all cry uncle. They impose their self-serving ideological cynicism and ride roughshod over flag, family and children.
These pessimistic traitors, with their smart-aleck attitudes, with their shallow and intolerant greed, and their permissive beliefs and machine politics run by pathetic bosses disgrace us with their lies, betray us with their abuse of power, baffle us with their excuses and red tape, impose their bizarre schemes on our unwilling body politic, are political wolves in sheep's clothing, and I will say this: Someone will have to pay the piper.
This might be a good time to quote the mesmerizing words of our forefathers: "Oh say can you see by the Star-Spangled Banner."
I have spoke."
"A lot of people said that not only was my inaugural address too short, but that it didn't make no sense or have any new ideas. Well, sometimes I'd just like to say to all them fellas who want to put the knock on me, listen up you filthy monkeys: I'm holding the whip hand. I'm the man with the fuzzy nuts. You can make of that what you will" --Jan 21
"I don't really trust the House of Representatives with the power to impeach the President. Two times out of three, they make a botch of it. I don't really know who should really be put in charge of this sort of thing, but I am definitely in favor of forming a committee to study the matter."--Jan 22
"This whole thing with the two term limit? What's to stop me from makin' a quickie marriage and running my goofy wife for office? I'm thinking we ought to get rid of that amendment. It's a bad idea that punishes the good Presidents and lets the rascals get away with murder."--Jan 23
"As I mentioned last year, this here is Citadel America, and I'm thinking how wouldn't it be nice if Canadians and Mexicans and nobody else were also automatic citizens of the United States, and vice versa? Sure would save the immigration boys a whole lot of trouble. Plus, the Mescans could fan us off and the Canadians could put ice in our drinks. Haw!"--Jan 24
"As part of my plan to implement Citadel America, I am proposing a graduated timetable to withdraw all our troops from overseas. You see, I am developing and finally have reason to believe that we have a secret weapon that would protect this country in the event of an attack of any kind on our borders and those of our allies."--Jan 25
"This whole business about the mixing of church and state? I'm sorry, but it is got to stop. There's only room for one sovereign in this country, and that sovereign is the law. Has been from the git-go. And of course, the law is what the President says it is, and of course the Supreme Court and such."--Jan 26
"Listen--I got no beef against the Christian Right. Good guys, the lot of 'em. Only it seems to me that they're mightily convinced of a lot of things that just ain't so. Like who's really supposed to be governin' this country. Now, they helped get me in here, and I ain't no ingrate. But they have got to be told straight out who is the boss."--Jan 27
"I hate war. But I came up the hard way and I know full well that sometimes you have to fight. Now is that time."--Jan 28
"Listen: talking to them bohunks in the Congress is no picnic lunch with Bozo--with apologies to Bozo."--Jan 29
"Who will rid me of this turbulent Congress?"--Jan 30
"Well, being President, I don't have much time to waste on lookin' at television and such, even sports, but of course, like just about every other person in the country, I do enjoy watching the Super Bowl. Say, wasn't that half-time show a pipperoo? A real pipperooni, as my Daddy used to say."--Jan 31
"I'm the President, and if I decree that henceforth, January will have 32 days, then by God, it will."-- Jan 32
"Ah! Smell that fresh air! Ain't it grand to have no Congress!"--Feb 1
"I say you can dissent all you want--just don't be subversive about it."--Feb 2
"Democracy? Democracy is what I say it is."--Feb 3
""The only real happiness for anybody is to be found in obedience to loving authority.” ----Feb 4
[Nota bene: After this point, all public pronouncements of the President ceased, and, by executive order, all of his papers were to be sealed for a period of seventy-five years.]
If you go expressly to look at the moon, it becomes tinsel.--Ralph Waldo Emerson
A comic-book company has, as of late, made an interesting cottage industry of detailing the supposed "early exploits" of The President. Strangely enough, these stories do indeed portray him as the wielder of a "magic ring" of "great power." Many of these adventures depict him as a dashing test pilot who is granted the ring by a dying off-worlder, due to his status as the one man on earth who is "absolutely fearless." He is, in subsequent adventures, portrayed as wielding the ring to resolve great battles in outer space between dueling aliens, many of whom themselves wield great and sinister powers.
To say these tales are crude and melodramatic would be a gross understatement. They are, in fact, for the most part, appalling trash, plainly belonging to the sub-basement of pulp literature, despite their having been reissued in an expensive and attractive "prestige" format.
All the more curious, then, that the only place in all the world that the President's magic ring can be discussed is in these crude propaganda pamphlets, clearly aimed at small boys between the ages of six and twelve years old. There does not seem to be much in them to attract young girls, and I know whereof I speak, for I have made a careful study of them. There is a romantic interest for the hero in these tales, but it is perfunctory. In fact, his lover is also his employer, and her shrewish temperament barely conceals the utter misogyny which must lie in the black hearts of the hack writers who contrive these lackluster epics.
What is most interesting about these tales, at least to me, is the references to ancient esoteric knowledge, specifically in the forms of virtually immobile green-tinged vegetable guardians, or "watchers" of the universe.
Could it be that Gilbert Nile actually is in thrall of alien intelligences--be they merely off-world or, as is implied, actually divine?
THIRTY: THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS REIGN
"To have gathered from the air a live tradition/or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame/This is not vanity. Here error is all in the not done,/All in the diffidence that faltered..."--Ezra Pound, Canto LXXXI
Twelve years ago I abandoned the work on the preceding portions of this manuscript for reasons I'd rather not discuss.
It is now thirteen years into the autocratic reign of President Nile.
Following his re-election to a nearly-unprecedented fourth term, the consequences of his absolutist rule have become increasingly obvious to all but the most fearful and otiose of his most obtuse and cowardly acolytes.
I never thought I'd hear myself say this--me, a Roosevelt liberal who well remembers when the tax rate on incomes for the wealthy were in the stratospheric 90 per cent range--but I think the President is too hard on those to whom he refers with his borrowed rhetoric as "the malefactors of great wealth." Those men are now fleeing this country en masse for more hospitable climes, and although there are many wealthy men now coming up who are willing to "play by the rules," I still think that someday there will be a reckoning.
After all, President Nile can't live forever.
Or can he?
86 years old and he still looks like he's fifty. Maybe the magic ring slows down the aging process, and he will live another thirty years or even longer.
Nor have the middle class fared much better. In fact, some of Nile's initiatives were downright brutal.
Eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction certainly helped to eliminate the deficit, but many homeowners have had to tighten their belts, deprive themselves of small luxuries and work extra jobs in order to defray the loss of that yearly tax refund they had grown to expect. True, the simplifying of the tax code meant that even the well-off paid their fair share or were mercilessly hounded by the now hyper-vigilant IRS.
Although the world is at peace, and many Americans enjoy a nearly unprecedented prosperity, the consequences of his policies have been dire for what I will call "the forgotten men and women". I never thought the day would come when I would say such a thing--such a statement smacks of Moynihan's use of the term "benign neglect" when dealing with the Negro problem--but perhaps the forgotten man was better off back when he was forgotten. Nile's initiatives (and his magic ring!) have completely sapped the will-power of the working man.
Furthermore, a good many things that have been forgotten have been forgotten for a reason. And there's no reason to ever bring them back.
Plastic pink flamingoes that poor people put on their scraggly front lawns.
Nodding dogs on the back shelf of cars.
Green plastic pickle whistles.
Stumbo the friendly giant.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hats.
Metracal, the meal in a can.
Margarine sandwiches on Wonder Bread.
Bronzed baby shoes.
My Tom Corbett Space Cadet lunch box that today would be worth a small fortune.
Supermarket cantaloupes so big that they looked like they were from another planet.
Computers so enormous that they took up an entire large air-conditioned vault.
The movie soundtrack that would play this peculiar motif that went "Rada rada ra, ra ra ra ra, rada rada ra, ra ra, ting" whenever an Oriental person appeared.
Danny and the Juniors.
Feeling uneasy around nuns.
The Boogie Man.
The man who would drive around our neighborhood in a truck with a three-horse merry-go-round mounted on his flat-bed. It cost a nickel to ride. The man was a drunk, or so they parents said. They never gave me a nickel.
The song, "Donkey dear, the sun is on the mountain." We sang it in second grade.
Pressing all the buttons on the elevator.
Little girls being afraid that the bottom or top of the escalator might suck them in.
Not being allowed to have a turtle because "they spread disease."
People who always felt the need to say, "Looks like it might rain," even when it was perfectly obvious.
An Easter chick dyed pink that took a crap on my best friend's head.
People named Adolf.
So called "Sea monkeys" that were actually just frozen brine shrimp.
The card game "Spoons."
Readin', writin' and cipherin' to the rule of three (whatever that was).
The expression "Good Lord."
Mean, brawny, abusive gym coaches.
Raymond Burr and his ridiculously fat face.
Sending in boxtops to get "free" prizes.
A Chihuahua so small it could fit in a teacup.
Organ grinders with a monkey on a chain who would tip his little hat when you dropped a coin in his tin cup.
How people (usually your father) would say, "If you're bored then I'll give you something to do."
How that "something" to do always involved something you didn't want to do.
How people (usually your mother) would say "Listen to me."
How people (usually older people) would say, "Gone, and good riddance."
Gone, gone, all gone.
Will we ever again see any remnant whatsoever of the strange, wild America?
"Where the laws are not supreme, there demagogues spring up."--Aristotle
Oh, what does the deep sea say?
What does the deep sea say?
It moans, it groans, it splashes and it foams,
And it rolls on its weary way.--trad.
Twelve years ago, I was paid a visit by the man known as Richard Stolas. At least, I thought it was him. He must have been in his mid-80s, and I hardly recognized him. He had lost his paunch. In fact, he looked downright gaunt. And he was dressed entirely in white, also unlike him.
Stolas told me what really happened that fateful day in October, the day that Middleton died, and why it happened.
He then said something odd. He said, “Are you prepared to do your duty?”
I told him he was barking up the wrong tree. That I was too old.
“Then I guess it's up to me,” said Stolas, with a resigned sigh. “I'm the only other one who could ever get close to him.”
But...he never did.
And I never heard from him again.
And three days later, the men came to take me.
This post has been edited by dimenno: Feb 14 2012, 04:28 PM
Feb 14 2012, 04:29 PM
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CONCLUSION: WHY I AM WRITING THIS BOOK
Damn the age; I will write for antiquity.--Charles Lamb
What the people want is very simple. They want an America as good as its promise.--Barbara Jordan
I was born in 1926. I am now well over 100 years of age. What you would call an old, old man. My fingers are numb from arthritis, I have chronic back pains, I am on several different medications for maladies too numerous to count, and can hardly ever get a good night's sleep. I've now got aches and pains in places where I never even knew I had places. Do I breathe? Barely. It is more like drowning. Several quick whiffs of helium would put me out of my misery for all time; it is a strangely comforting thought.
What I mean to say is that there is not an awful lot "they" can do against me that nature hasn't already accomplished.
Were it not for the fact that I felt a compelling need to finish this book, it is entirely possible that I would already be dead.
I felt impelled to write this account because over the course of my long life as a Professor of English and as a dabbler in history, I have never seen a president like our 47th Chief Executive. As I have mentioned, at the age of 86, the man is as hale and hearty as any 50 year old, and believe me, having attained both of those ages a very long time ago, I know whereof I speak. There is something about the man that is simply unnatural, and a magic ring of some kind would certainly go a long way in explaining the apparent discrepancy between the man's chronological age and that of his apparent age.
Of course, some say it was because the man was always an avid physical fitness buff and took care of himself his entire life. I say "fiddlesticks." No man of 86 can perform that job. Not without a magic ring. Or supernatural assistance of some kind.
Of course, the notion that the President has somehow made a pact with the devil has been bruited about, mostly in jest. I refuse to even consider such superstitious hogwash as any sort of plausible explanation. I mean, who believes in Satan anymore, or in magic spells? Sure, maybe back in the late 60s and early 70s I sort of dabbled in black magic and witchcraft and all that, but so did nearly everyone. But come, as LBJ used to say, and let us reason together: even given the existence of some sort of omnipotent Mephistopheles (which, as a lapsed Christian, I rather doubt), what could Mr. Nile (I'm sorry, but I refuse to refer to him as the President) possibly have to offer the devil in return? His soul?
Pah! The man has no soul. He has never had a soul. And that is a fact.
Funny thing about how--famously!--there are no mirrors in the White House.
I know that at this point I'm beginning to sound almost as bitter as those plutocrats of the 1930s who adjudged themselves the sworn foes of yet another four-term President, Franklin Roosevelt. There is, however, a vast difference. In the late 1930s, I admit, in my callow youth, I was myself what you might call a Trotskyite. To me, there was no measure President Roosevelt could have taken that would have been radical enough. Of course, with the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939, I was quickly disabused of any romantic notions of the viability of communism in opposing fascist regimes. I was 13 at the time. Only 13.
But my eyes were opened.
Still, I adored Roosevelt. At 18, I signed up for the service. Served a very brief spell in the OSS. Back then, it truly was an Intelligence agency. A gentleman's club, if you will. Call it anything you like. One fact is plain. It had not yet become the Central Intelligence Agency.
The Agency--well, that was a whole 'nother kettle of fish.
As far as I'm concerned, it all started going downhill with Truman. What on earth possessed Roosevelt to put the world's mightiest armed forces in the hands of an ornery Missouri mule, I'll never know. A mere Army Captain, no less.
Forgive me. I write this in great haste. I would like to explain further my great distaste for that Senator from Prendergast, but my time is limited.
Ike was at least competent to handle foreign policy. And FDR had left things on the domestic front in pretty solid shape. But you know, Ike did create the interstate highway system, and he made it wide enough for the tanks to roll on it in the event of a nuclear war. This isn't mentioned much in the history books, if at all. It probably wasn't mentioned in the shoddy history textbook the young future chief executive Gilbert Nile dozed through as part of his so-called studies during his Junior year of high school, the last year he actually completed, in fact, as far as I have been able to learn. Maybe he got his G.E.D. from some obliging schoolmarm off in the great frozen North, and maybe he then he got his so-called college degree from some mail-order diploma mill, or, more likely, he simply forged his credentials from virtually the moment he got his hands on that magic ring of his.
Anyway, I deeply resent him, and his autocratic ways, and his completely false air of being privy to matters that ordinary people wouldn't understand, and his conviction that he knows what is best for the American people, and his chilling disregard for the very people he claims to have been put on earth to help, and his cocksure way of dismissing his critics without even so much as promising he'll take their views into consideration, and his small-minded, small-town prejudices which he unsuccessfully attempts to conceal beneath a mantle of faux-populism, and, perhaps most of all, for his mind-numbing obliviousness to anything even remotely cultural.
And I despise him even more for his forged credentials, and his mocking anti-intellectualism, and his absolute and utter scorn for learning and for learned men, and, I will admit, the feeling is personal.
Because I worked extremely hard for my own education. No "honorary" college degrees for me! I spent four years at Ivy on the G.I. Bill. Another two years were spent on my master's degree, and another four laboring to get my PhD in English and American Language and Literature. I landed a teaching position at age 30. Associate at 35. Tenure at 40. Not bad.
Especially in 1966, when those credentials actually meant something. Back then, there was no internet to give you all the answers. Back then, if you wanted to know something, you cracked open a book, or several, or, in my case, all too often, several hundred. And there was not very much in the way of so-called "post-modernism" either. Foucault was just getting his start. Bah! What foolishness! Back then, when we explicated a text, by God, it stayed explicated, until maybe somebody better came along and told us just how badly we might have goofed.
Kennedy was a bum, but a magnificent bum. A true idealist. And I speak as one idealist might of another. I guess most of you may already know that. LBJ was a lout, but a magnificent one. Few people appreciate him now, but way back when, his admirers were all perfectly well aware of the fact. Nixon was a crumb, Ford a blip, Carter a stooge and a rube, Reagan a dunce. Of the Georges One and Two, the less said the better. The fat saxophone playing twerp was a big disappointment, and I didn't much care for his wife, either.
But of all these mediocrities and wooly hats, President Nile was and is the worst by far.
In fact, he just happens to be the worst President ever. That's really saying something, when you consider how this means he outdoes prissy Pierce, obtuse whatshisname, Buchanan, the doughface--not to mention drunken Grant, doltish Harding, nutty Nixon, and the other sad clowns who polluted the White House back when being President still meant something and you didn't achieve that high office simply by waving around a magic ring.
I know this entire book goes utterly against the grain of all the sycophants, fellow-travelers, Crackerjack ring-worshippers, top hats, nutty-buddies, and propeller-beanie loonies who currently think that that cake-eater in the White House is the best thing to come down the pike since sliced bread. But I don't give a golly gosh darn.
Because as my dear mother always told me, tell the truth and shame the devil. And by God, that is just what I think I just did, and let the chips fall where they may.
In conclusion: You may dismiss the preceding as the work of a senile, deluded old crank, a querulous old coot with too much time on his hands, and all his friends long dead.
That is your privilege.
Unlike our so-called President, I do not seek to dictate the means by which you choose to ratiocinate.
But after you put this manuscript down--for reasons I have made abundantly plain, I doubt this work will ever be published in book form--why not ask yourself this one vitally important question:
What if everything I have put down here in such painstaking detail is absolutely true?
Remember, as Novalis has so wisely observed, that "All men have a reason, but not all men can give a reason."
I had my reason. And I have given my reason.
Make of it what you will.
The time passes by so slowly that you would think it stood still. –Ovid, in exile
Professor Newell Horton, PhD Arcadia January 32, Year 13
Unfortunately, because I have been deprived access to all but a couple of the precious precious books in my library, I have had to write a great deal of this chronicle solely from memory. For that reason, I cannot provide the sort of scholarly documentation that would ordinarily be de rigueur in such a biography.
Please bear with me; this will have to be a partial bibliography, since I must cite all but the works directly consulted--exactly two--exclusively from my notebooks, and, in some cases, solely from memory. I will therefore be somewhat shaky on the details of titles, authors and dates, and a scolarly citation of listing publishers, places of publication, and page numbers will, unfortunately, be out of the question.
American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd Edition.
Anger, Kenneth. Hollywood Babylon.
Boller, Paul. Presidential Amusements: What the Presidents Did for Fun. 2007(?).
Flesch, Rudolf. The Book of Unusual Quotations. New York: Harper & Brother, 1957.
Green, Boomer. A Town Is My Beat: An Atlas And Gazetteer Of Anytown, Gibsonia, And Its Environs Including The Cities And Towns Of The Counties Of Grundy And Felton.
Holton, Newell. Cruel and Unusual Politics: The Remarkable Rise of Governor Nile. Holton Press, 1999.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm.
Repetto, Thomas. American Mafia. 2000(?)
Slim, Iceberg. Pimp: The Story of My Life.
This novel is Copyright © Francis DiMenno 2012.
This post has been edited by dimenno: Feb 14 2012, 04:34 PM
Feb 16 2012, 01:15 PM
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This novel is Copyright © Tmaxx 2012.
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Bump. For election day.
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