Politics in America 35: The Boots Incident 

The President’s boots started the whole thing. The President should have listened and not worn the darn things for the interview. He was just showing off, that he was a man of the people, when he wore them. He could have at least put on a nice new well-designed Sunday-go-to-meeting boot. No, he had to wear the boots he wore to the pig sty he set up on the back lawn of the White House for Bessie Mae Hogg and her cohorts. He sure loved that Bessie Mae.

The majority leader in the Senate, a DoEvie, stood up and made a speech. It wasn’t a speech about the boots but it might as well have been. “We are angry and we’ve been angry for a long time. And for way too long. We DoEvies have been getting the short end of the stick. It’s a power thing, you see. Give everybody some power and no one has any power. There’s only so much of the stuff to go around and we DoEvies are not going to share. Now that we run the world—I mean the Congress.”

The Great Man, the President of the United States, P F Sneaze had had enough of that rabble-rousing. For three long years, that’s all that came out of the mouth of Congress. Rabble-rousing. Since he was a DoNaughty, there wasn’t much he could do about it. After all, it was in the very nature of the DoNaughty Party not to do a thing. That had been what the party was elected on and it was way too long into the Great Man’s first term to change things. But maybe there was a way.

Being a pig farmer, he could sling mud with the best of them. How do you think he became mayor? He would think of something. In the meantime, when asked by the press what he thought about the Majority Leader’s speech, he said in a nonchalant way, “La te da. La te do.”

All the news analysts on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, CBS, PBS and Aljazeera went nuts, analyzing his La-te-da-La-te-da. As the Big News Guy said, “I’ve heard La-te-das before, but that was some La-te-da.”

The Great Man retreated into the Oval Office for some me-time. When the President sat alone in the Oval Office, the news organizations even commented on that. P F Sneaze didn’t just go into that Office for fifteen minutes of me-time. He stayed in there for days, having his meals sent in.

There was one particular episode when he called out for pizza. The pizza parlor thought he was a joker and harassed him big time for imitating The Great Man. He got so mad he jerked the Red Phone for Delivery Orders out of the wall. It took several hours to be replaced.

In the meantime, the Great Man’s stomach was growling. He was hungry. Finally the Phone was back in operation and the President called again. He said, “You bring me my pizza or I am sending in the Marines, you hear. And no anchovies either.” Then he hung up.

The poor fellow at the other end ’bout wet his pants. He had never tawked to a president and he was scared down to his little booties. Before you can say, “Get the hell out of Dodge,” the pizza was done and sped to the White House and the Oval Office.

It was good and hot when the President took his first bite. It burned the ever living crud out of his tongue and the top of his mouth. That was the last straw. The Great Man, P. F. Sneaze, was ready for the warpath. Do-Naughty or no Do-Naughty there was about to be trouble in River City. You can bet your sweet booties on that.

Next Week We got trouble right here in River City.

Politics in America 34: You Just Never Know 

Once upon a time America snoozed along, happy as a bear with his nose stuck in a jar of honey. The Goldilocks Plan of not too much and not too little but just right had lived up to its name.

Now the Do Naughties were living up to their name. They did naughty. It was like Charles the Second’s Cavaliers replacing the Cromwellian Puritans. And they made sure there was enough pork to go around. Good Ol’ American pork too. After all, you have a pig farmer in the White House, what else can you expect?

Like the several Supreme Court Justices that he’d nominated, The Great Man so far had no record. Oh, sure there was that Mississippi deal. And there was the Snow Pipeline. That was pulling in dough left and right. It brought jobs. It brought kickbacks. Most of all, it brought snow. But nothing had happened after that. And that was the way his party liked it. He should be a shoe-in for a second term. They believed it was a record any president could be proud of.

In fact, The Great Man was so popular there was talk of putting his face on a three-dollar bill. It was three years into his first term as President and there had been nary a screw-up yet. Even the plan to swap Florida and Ohio out. For the first time ever, Florida got snow for Christmas. The kids loved that. And Ohioans didn’t have to put up with those darn blizzards. Just the cost in snow ploughs was enough to kill the governor’s budget.

But the kids hated it. It meant no more snow days. There was almost a riot in Cleveland by the sixth graders there. Federal troops had to be sent in. After a lot of negotiating, the sixth graders were promised that Santa would lay off the naughty or nice. They would all be given nices.

The Great Man was ready to go on national television and do one of his fatherly Sooey talks. If nobody else liked them, Bessie Mae Hogg did and that was all that mattered.

Dr. Combover, the President’s Image Consultant was unhappy. “He can’t go on television with THOSE.” Of course, he was talking boots.

The Great Man wore boots, American boots, boots made in America. They were those boots-are-made-for-walking boots.

Next week There’s always something

Politics in America 33: Mississippi or Bust

“Mr. Prime Minister,” the President of the United States, known to one and all as The Great Man, said. “I have a proposition for you.”

The P M of Canada had been propositioned by the best. So this was easy peasy for him. At least, it wasn’t one of his three wives, wanting more money. His alimony had put the Canadian Federal Budget in the red for three years in a row. Unfortunately his last alimony cheques had done the old bounceroo and Parliament was not going to allow him to float the bonds to cover those cheques. He was in debt up to his hockey puck. So what else could he say but “Proposition away.”

“We’ve both got a cash flow problem,” the new President, The Great Man, P F Sneaze, said. Now I know you are wondering since when did the pig farmer get so smart about finance. Smart enough to say something like cash flow. As you will remember, he had taken over his dad’s pig farm and made it prosper. If there was anything The Great Man understood, it was cash flow.

“You betcha,” P M said.

“I have something I would like to sell,” The Great Man said.

“How is this going to help, eh?” You knew this was a P M of Canada. He said “eh” a lot, just like Southerners say “y’all” a lot.

“You get a nice juicy kickback from the sell.”

“But that’s against Canadian law.”

“And American law too. But don’t forget. We’re politicians. We know how to get away with this stuff and make it look like we’re frugal.” As you can see, P F Sneaze had already picked up some of the tricks of the trade and he had only been in office for fifteen minutes. Just think what he would know after sixty minutes. Oh, better say one hour. The White House don’t like that show. They’re pretty good at finding the do-do when a politician is knee deep in it.

“Well, let’s politic away. What do you have for sell?”

That’s when The Great Man gave the P M the old whamaroo. “Little Ol’ Mississippi.”



“Why would Canada buy Mississippi? If it was Florida, we might be interested.”

“I do agree that Florida would be nice. But they have a governor down there who would not be amenable. He has his own scam on the side.” Just how did The Great Man know about the Florida Scam? Same way the government knew about Bernie Madoff. Oh, that’s right. The government didn’t know until he was arrested. Well, just take my word for it. P F Sneaze knew things and those things knew things.

“I see what you mean,” the P M said. “Don’t you have anything else to offer?”

“It’s Mississippi, or it’s not. Just think. You’re getting riverfront property. It never snows down there. Well, hardly ever. It’s got a great football team.”

“We don’t play football up here. We play ice hockey. Men up here are born with ice skates on their feet. You find a Canadian and you’ll have a potential Gordie Howe or Bobbie Orr.” The P M was insulted by the American. Didn’t Americans know anything? Hockey was the sport for Canadians. Ice hockey and beer, eh.

“Now just calm down, P M. Didn’t mean to get your dander up. Don’t you know this would be a great way to evangelize what a great game hockey is.”

“Come to think of it we do have a lot of snowbirds and we don’t know where to send them. Florida hasn’t been amenable lately.”

“That’s what I mean,” the President was getting excited. He might just have a sucker—I mean a customer.

“Can we renovate?”

“The whole darn state.”

“Won’t the Mississippians be upset.”

“Course not. From time to time they put on their onery mask but it’s only playacting. Not like those Texans. They still think they’re a whole separate country.”

“I think I am beginning to like what I’m hearing,” the P M said, pleased as punch that finally a President of the United States was going to help out a Prime Minister of Canada. He was going to get a snow pipeline running down to New Orleans and some riverfront property for a new theme park he had always wanted.

“You can even change the name and call it Snowbird Park.”

“It’s a done deal. I’ll push it through Parliament tomorrow. Now just how much of a kickback am I getting?”

It was a good thing that The Great Man was not Richard Nixon. All this conversation would be on tape. We know how that turned out.

By the time The Great Man hung up, he was counting his chickens. They hadn’t even hatched but he was counting them anyway. He was going to sell Mississippi right under Congress’ nose and they couldn’t do anything about. He’d get the money from the sell. He’d get a kickback from all the renovations the Canadians wanted to do. And he’d get the money under the table the P M would give him for thinking up the darn thing in the first place. Before you knew it, he was going to be swimming in gravy.

After he hung up the phone, he picked up the Lust Red Phone and buzzed his wife. “Houston, we have a go,” he said. “You can start your decoratin’.”

Alone in the Oval Office, The Great Man felt he had done a year’s work in one hour. This Presidenting thing was hard.

Next Week Snoozing Along 

Politics in America 32: What to do? What to do?

As we learned last week, Betty Sue Pudding, First Lady Extraordinary, wanted to redecorate the White House. Give it that Weazel Sneaze look. When she went to the President and told The Great Man that she needed fifty million to do the do, he saw that as reasonable request. “We’ll take it out of petty cash.”

“No can do,” his Chief of Staff said. “We don’t have any money. And Congress isn’t giving us any either.”

As I said then, this was the horns of a dilemma. But The Great Man thought, “Nothing a president can’t solve.”

So he called in his Cabinet and asked for suggestions.

“There’s just one thing we can do. We’ll sell Mississippi,” the Secretary of the Interior declared. “It’s river front property and they’re not doing anything with it down there.”

“To whom?” Secretary of State asked. “I mean who should we sell it too?”

“We could sell it to China,” Defense interjected. He loved to interject, so he did it all the time. “They already have a lot of our money, making a lot of those thing-a-majigs.”

“The Big Guy tried that,” State informed everybody. “China doesn’t want it. They have their own Mississippi. In fact, they have about five Mississippis.”

“How about Russia?” Energy said. He hated to be left out. “I hear the Russian Premier has been looking for a summer home. Mississippi would be perfect for that.”

“Can you imagine a Russian Premier saying, ‘Y’allski’,” Defense again. “I don’t think so. Besides they don’t have the money. They can’t even afford that mess they did in Crimea.”

“Cry me a river?” The Great Man asked.

“No,” the Chief of Staff said. “Crimea Peninsula.”

“England? We could sell it to England,” Betty Sue chipped in all excited-like. “I love the English. All that fish and chips and rahther. Bowing before the Queen. And that Prince Charles. He’s just the handsomest. Don’t you think so?”

“Just what does a Prince do?” The Great Man wanted to know. After all, he should know. He was President and he should know things.

“Waiting for Mommy to die,” the Chief of Staff offered.

“But what’s his job?” The President asked again.

“That’s his job,” State liked questions like this. Easy ones. “Wait for Mommy to die. Let’s just say that he’s like the Vice President.”

“Oh,” the President said. “So what are we going to do about Mississippi?”

“We’ll rent it out to Canada” Betty Sue Pudding said. Amazing how many bright ideas she had. And all in one day.  “For all the snowbirds.”

The Cabinet was really impressed. Betty Sue Pudding was a bright lady. So any screw-up the pig farmer might do, she’d fix. They applauded, then rose from their seats and exited. They were glad to get out of there. The seats were hard as rocks. One Cabinet member always left saying, “My butt hurts.” Usually it was the new guy. Since most of them were newbies, there was a chorus of, “My butt hurts.”

This was the reason the Cabinet was in favor of the redecoratin’. They were hoping for some comfortable chairs.

The President picked up the Venetian Red Phone, then realized that was for the Italians. He set it back into its bed. Then went for Vermilion Red Phone. The Chief of Staff was amazed that the President knew exactly which Red Phone was the right one for Canada.

The Personal Secretary of the Prime Minister of Canada answered. He said, “Hold on, Mr. President sir.” His hands were shaking. It was the new President of the United States. The President of the United States never called the Prime Minister of Canada. It hadn’t been done in over…well, over a long time. Since that Iraq thing, at least. He put the President on hold and ran to get the Prime Minister.

The P.S. said to the P.M, “Sir, sir.” The P M ignored his P S. He did that a lot. After all, he had gotten tired of his P S running to him to tell him that it was snowing. It was Canada. It was always snowing.

“Sir, the President is on hold for you.”

“The President? Which President?”

“That President,” P S said, frantic-like.

“You put the President of the United States on hold? You idiot. This is bad. Really bad. We never put the President of the United States on hold. That’s like putting the Queen on hold. You know how she gets.”

Whatever he was doing, and being the Prime Minister of Canada, he may have been doing just about anything. At that particular moment, he had been peeking out the curtains, admiring the snow that was always coming down.

He quit that and ran to the phone. He picked it up and pressed the Un-hold button. “Mr. President,” his voice was out of breath. “I’ve been meaning to call you but I’ve been so busy. It’s the snow. It is always in need of watching.”

The Great Man just laughed. “I’ve never seen snow. Maybe I should come up and see your snow.”

“Please do,” the P M responded. “Canada has the most unique snow in the world. We should build a pipeline through the United States and ship it out to countries that don’t have snow.”

“We could do that,” the President negotiated. “It would be good for jobs.” The Great Man liked this guy. He could tell that Canada and the United States were going to get along just fine.

This Snow Pipeline would be a win-win for everybody. Jobs for Americans. Getting rid of some snow for Canada. And giving the snow-less countries snow. It would really make their Christmases. And kids who had never seen snow before was about to get to see snow. It could create a whole new industry. The Snow Ice Cream Industry. It was definitely a win-win-win.

Next Week Mississippi Or Bust

Politics in America 31: Betty Sue Pudding Goes to War

B S was now the First Lady, and she made up her mind to do the First Lady gig real big. She would do Jackie and Nancy and Martha and Dolley proud. She took one look at her new digs, the interior of the White House, and said, “This will never do. This joint needs a new do.”

All those fancy, dancy post-modern paintings, all that classic china, all that furniture that looked like it was designed by a machine, all that…well, you get my drift. It had to go. There was no way that a Pudding from Snort Holler was going to live in a place that looked like a museum. What the White House needed was some down-homyness. And it needed it quick. Just seeing the place like this was enough to make a Podunk County girl want to puke. And puke big time.

Nope, this would never do. If she was going to live in a place for four years, she wanted it comfortable. The White House definitely needed some redecoratin’ to get Betty Sue away from all the previous First Lady bad tastes.

First off she would get some spittoons so the folks could spittoon when they needed to spittoon. There’d have to be some rockin’ chairs for the front porch. And a velvet Elvis or two for the walls. At the front of the White House, there would be a nice welcome mat that said, “Y’all c’mon in, y’hear.” And that ugly Lincoln bed definitely had to go. A nice straw bed for there and for the Residence bedroom too.

For the Residence, a big wood stove would be nice. Some new wallpaper too. Something with bright colors like purple and green together. She and P F just loved them colors. And the piece de resistance would be the bean bag chairs.

Since The Great Man was just downstairs, Betty Sue Pudding decided that there was no time like the present to start her new do.

She went to The Great Man. “Hon,” she said, right there in the Oval Office.

In the past, P F Sneaze would have ignored Betty Sue Pudding, his darling wife. Now that she was the First Lady, he thought maybe that might not be a good idea, him being the President of all the people and she being one of the peeps.

“I want to redecorate the White House,” she said.

Well, P F Sneaze was not averse to redecoratin’. The place did need some Weazel Sneaze. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a hundred dollars and said, “Here, Puddin’, take this and redecorate to your heart’s content.”

Betty Sue did love it when her husband called her “Puddin'”. But she had to let him in on a little secret. When it comes to White House redecorating, a hundred dollars is not going to be enough money to do the do up right. If it only were, all those First Ladies of the past would have stayed out of trouble.

“This won’t do, Hon,” she said with the sweetest voice you ever wanted to hear. “They tell me that it’s going to take a lot more than this.”

Being a good husband, and realizing that Betty Sue was not going to go away until she got what she wanted, P F Sneaze pulled out some more money and handed it to her. “This ought to do,” he said.

“Hon,” Betty Sue batted her eyes flirtatiously. “This is not going to do either. This is the White House. We have to do it right.”

“Well, how much?” There was a bit of frustration in his voice.

“Now, Hon,” she said, not going to let her husband speak to her in that manner. After all, she was Betty Sue Pudding from Snort Holler. No man was allowed to speak to her that way. Not even a husband. She didn’t raise her voice. But P F Sneaze knew from her voice that she meant business. “Don’t speak to me in that manner,”it said, and it said it loud and clear.

There was nothing for him to do but say, “Yes, Ma’am.”

“That’s better,” then she went back to her sweetness. “I’m just going to need fifty million dollars to redecorate this place up right, Hon.”

“Is that Yankee money or Confederate bills?” P F had a stash of Confederate bills hid under the boards of his living room back home. His daddy kept hoping they would be legal tender one of these days. It was still not a foregone conclusion that the South had lost the War. The South could rise again. You just never knew.

“That’s Yankee money,” she said, batting her eyes again.

The Great Man called in his Chief of Staff and let him know how much Betty Sue needed for redecorating. “Just take it out of petty cash,” The President said.

“Mr. President, we don’t have that kind of money in petty cash. On top of that, we have no money in the bank and Congress is not going to give us any.”

As you can see, the President was on the horns of a dilemma.

“What happened to all the petty cash?”

“Inauguration expenses.”

Betty Sue Pudding, the First Lady, gave her husband, The Great Man, that look. You know the one. The one that says you’d better fix this problem or you are going to be in deep do-do. One thing was for sure. The President could think of a lot of better ways to spend his time than spend it in deep do-do. And that was industrial strength deep do-do too.

Next Week The Horns of a Dilemma