Saturday, April 07, 2007

Friday Music Blogging....Now on Saturday!

Eric Idle and Graham Chapman of Monty Python's Flying Circus, from the film Life of Brian

Saturday Semiotics

Getting through to a Republican is very hard, as we all know.

Mr. Doggity (who really should get a blog) e-mailed me the following:
Republican versus Democratic thinking on climate change science:

They both hear:
"Studies show that four out of five dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum."

The Democrat responds:
"Hmm, seems the evidence is overwhelming that sugar can rot your teeth, so maybe I should listen to the vast majority of experts and considering changing my gum choice to save my teeth, and protect my children's teeth."

The Republican responds:
"Obviously, if sugar were really bad for your teeth, that fifth dentist wouldn't be holding out. I refuse to even consider that maybe he wants people to rot their teeth because he needs the business, or maybe his boat payment comes from his C&H stock. I would rather believe the other four dentists have been paid off by George Soros."
Does that sum up Republican paranoia pretty well? It does for me.

Think about it: during the Clinton persecutions, Republicans were four-square, black and white, but the minute a President really fucks up, they're all "Oh. Well. He's a man in a difficult position making difficult decisions and why do you hate America so?"

And the minute they find a Democrat (or Democratic issue) taking centerstage, suddenly the sticks up their asses are only slightly stiffer than the one they accused Gore of having.

Does this make sense to anyone who deals in reality? Could these children be anymore immature?

(Hat tip to MissC for creating the cartoon for me)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday Kitten Blogging

Originally uploaded by actor212.
ThumbPer is being punished for being such a naughty kitten and blogging without my permission and knowledge this week, so I'm only posting one picture today.

He looks kind of smug in this one anyway...

Friday Fear Factor

Do you want a visual understanding of what's about to happen in this country?

OK, here:

When you're on the return leg of the coaster, note how high the coaster gets as you approach present day.

And then remember some of the dips you passed over.

Not for the faint of heart.

(hat tip Skippy)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Weekend Worrier

I am off for the holiday weekend.

I leave you in the capable hands of Katrina. Show her a little love. She works hard for little money, keeping me honest.

Au revoir! Happy Easter!

Life In The 1500s

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500's:

- Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

- Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water . The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water..

- Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying. It's raining cats and dogs.

- There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

- The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a thresh hold.

- In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old ..

- Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat..

- Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

- Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

- Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

- England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a ..dead ringer..

(*psst* Most of this is bullshit, but it makes for fun troll-baiting...)

The Smart Money

Often, I feel as John the Baptist did, doomed to wander the wilderness preaching the coming of a new world. So when I run across someone who sees things the way I do, I feel heartened and can take comfort that I'm not the only one who sees signs around him that point to terrible tragedy.

Understand, this does not mean I'm cashing out all my investments and squirreling money away in a mattress in some forgotten backwater of civilization....well, I mean, I have, but not all my investments...but it does mean that I take the danger warnings seriously enough to monitor them closely. And I look around me at the blithe way so many people make plans for their future, not realizing the present is in fact an illusion.

Comes a fund manager who, along with a few others, is starting to sit up and take notice of the gloom surrounding us and isn't ready to assume it's a fog ready to lift:
There are those who fret that current troubles in real estate will lead to an economic slowdown, maybe a recession. Then there's Peter Schiff. "Our standard of living is going to decline," the Connecticut stockbroker confidently declares. "There's no way around it, and it has just started."

Schiff owns Euro Pacific Capital, a smallish firm that specializes in moving clients' money into nondollar assets like foreign stocks and bonds. Over the past couple of years, he has become a regular, hectoring presence on cable-TV business shows--on CNBC they call him "Dr. Doom." Now he has a book out, ominously titled Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse.
I know it will be a best-seller, at least around the Actor212 household.

Now, the temptation is to say that, on the whole, the American economy has never had a collapse worse than the Great Depression and that we recovered fairly quickly from that, and boomed ahead.

True. But American history is not world history. And world history has a long line of examples of hubris punished.

And what goes up, must, eventually, come down. That's a fact of life. It only depends on your time frame.
"History didn't begin in the postwar period," he says. "History didn't begin 20 years ago." Living memory includes the Great Depression, begun in 1929 and stopped only by global war; stocks didn't fully recover until 1954. The scary scenarios painted by Panzner and his ilk are not outside the realm of historical experience. What's more, they're all grounded in the incontrovertible truth that much of our economic growth of the past 25 years--and almost all the growth of the past five--has been funded by debt.
Sound familiar? It should.

I realize in some eyes I'm wasting valuable blogging real estate talking about economic problems and hell, even my eyes glaze over when I get into some of the wonkier aspects of this, but let me tell you something: Iraq? Equal rights for everyone? Fair elections? Bush criminality? Even global warming? (well...maybe global warming...)

These are nothing compared to the magnitude of this impending crisis, and it's coming. Maybe it's tomorrow. Maybe next year. Maybe next generation. But at some point in your lifetime, you will be dealing with this devastation.

It may take a natural disaster for it to fester. It may take a war, or a terror attack, or it may simply slide down the economic mountain like an avalanche triggered by the loss of support in one small area.

But it will happen.
As of the end of 2005, the U.S. owed $2.7 trillion more to the rest of the world than the rest of the world owed to the U.S. (the 2006 numbers won't be out until summer; they'll be even worse). That's a record, and a dramatic increase since 1999, when the number was $766 billion. Consumer debt has exploded as well: in 2006, U.S. households owed $12.8 trillion in mortgage and consumer loans--135% of disposable income. At first glance, the government picture actually looks comparatively good--federal debt, expressed as a share of the economy, is down from a peak of 49.4% in 1993 to 37% today--but that's only if you don't count future commitments to Social Security and Medicare recipients worth tens of trillions of dollars.
It also doesn't include the monies budgeted to be spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, which remain off the Federal budget, and increase nearly geometrically each year. Another sleight of hand brought to you courtesy of the economic royalists of the Republican party and the Bush administration.

Debt is merely an advance against your anticipated future earnings. Right now, there is not enough projected revenue to ever repay these debts, consumer and governmental. Not now, not in the foreseeable future (usually expressed as the next ten years), and in my view, not in the next fifty to one hundred years.

Which is why I'm convinced we are headed towards an economic meltdown not seen since the fall of the Roman Empire.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pelosi In Burqa

Rush Limbaugh, the homosexually pedophilic limp-dicked "pundit" who spews daily from the Excellence In Broadcasting studios (a clear example of Newspeak if there ever was one), said today that Nancy Pelosi looked funny in a burqa.

As funny as this, Rush?

My only question: is it, um, normal for two men to go to bed in matching pajamas?

Hump Day Comedy Blogging

In honor of Holy Week and Our Lord - Life Of Brian - Monty Python's Flying Circus

A Gutsy Move

I like calculated risks, especially when they have ancillary benefits for us:
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday she gave Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a message from Israel that the Jewish state was ready for peace talks.

"(Our) meeting with the president enabled us to communicate a message from Prime Minister (Ehud) Olmert that Israel was ready to engage in peace talks as well," Pelosi told reporters in Damascus after talks with Assad.

"Peace in the Middle East is a high priority ... We were very pleased with the reassurances we received from the president that he was ready to resume the peace process. He was ready to engage in negotiations (for) peace with Israel," Pelosi added.

Syria's peace talks with Israel, centered on normal ties in return for the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, collapsed in 2000. An Arab summit last month revived a land-for-peace offer to Israel.
So in one fell swoop, Pelosi was able to accomplish something that Condoleeza Rice and President Bush have been unable to achieve in six years (really only three years of effort once they realized Iraq was not going to be a beacon of democracy for the Middle East, but who's counting?). She has commitments from two sides in the multipronged Arab-Israel debate over securing Israel's permanent status.

Not bad for being in office for three months.

Naturally, you might imagine this was not viewed with loving and adoring eyes on the part of the White House:
The White House said Pelosi's visit sent the wrong message to the Syrian leader.
Right. It says, "We think you have some part to play in helping make this a reality." Whether one agrees with this or not, one cannot deny that Syria is aiding the terrorist movement against Israel, via Lebanon and Hezbollah. To deny them a seat in the discussions would be pointless. Like it or not, they've earned it, and would do anything in their power to derail any such agreement negotiated without them.

It is, of course, a typical Republican corporatist ploy to exclude the very people affected in talks about the future. Just look at how workers in America are treated.

There is an ancillary benefit to these talks Pelosi is holding: they allow America to recapture some credibility with the world, and to show the rest of humanity that we are not all "Bushies", that cooler heads can prevail, and that eventually, we can wrest this country back from the magical children that run it now (and badly) and straighten our course out.

Or, to put it as diplomatically as Pelosi did:
Pelosi has shrugged off the White House's criticism of the trip, saying it was a good opportunity to gather facts and build confidence.
Too, Pelosi's visit also puts Syria on notice that, while Bush and his administration have low regard for them, we as a nation recognize that Syria is behind many if not most of the insurgent attacks in Iraq, and we can deal with those using either the carrot or the stick.

I think it was Abraham Maslow who said that when you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, which is a fairly low level of self-actualization for a human, and indicates stunted personal growth.

That works for nations, as well. The United States is oddly schizophrenic in many ways, making great strides forward in one moment, backsliding into childhood and adolescent fantasies the next. Pelosi's visit reminds us that we can do well in this world by doing sublime acts, and staying away from the ridiculous.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Ick Factor

LONDON (Reuters) - Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards said in an interview published on Tuesday that he once snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine.

Richards, 63, whose fondness for drugs has been openly acknowledged for decades, was quoted by British music magazine NME as saying his unusual experiment with paternally enhanced cocaine came after his father's death five years ago.

"The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated, and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow," Richards said in the interview, which was posted on NME's Web site.

"My dad wouldn't have cared," Richards said, adding, "It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."
And so now we know why he'll survive the nuclear holocaust along with the roaches...

Moron The Housing Crisis

Only a moron could say this with a straight face:
"The more people who own their home, the better off America is," President George W. Bush said in a 2004 speech. "See, we want more people owning something because when somebody owns something, they have a vital stake in the future of the country."
This is so pre-9/11 thinking. Actually, it's so pre-Reagan thinking.

The history of home ownership in this country is one which saw homes, actual buildings with one family in them, as a fairly recent development for the masses: specifically, post-World War II and the GI Bill with its Montgomery mortgages. Key word here is "mortgage." Bypassing the bank loan process almost entirely, Montgomery mortgages required no down payment and charged below-market interest rates.

This allowed families to move out of crowded cities into suburban areas, with space and land and autmobiles, and the concurrent boredom and depression from a lack of activity and stimulation (thus enters television, but that's a different post). Meeting this demand was the construction method employed most famously at Levittown, NY: cookie-cutter home construction. Building was cheap, because each house was nearly identical in structure, and fast. At its peak, Levittown opened 30 new houses a day.

It was also very white, but that's another digression.

Prior to World War II, however, the average American family lived in a multi-generational home or neighborhood or farm. Non-farming families usually lived in an apartment or several apartments in the same rental building. Grandma was either in the next bedroom or the next apartment. When children grew and married themselves, they would rent an apartment in the same building or the same block.

Key word here: "rent". No one had debt. No one could afford houses. People lived hand to mouth and if they could sock away a few dollars a month, then they were doing pretty well.

So the "American Dream" of owning your own home is a really modern concept. Our is perhaps the second or third generation to experience it, which in "America time" with its lack of a sense of history means it's a rock solid given:
After stagnating at about 65 percent for much of the 1960s, '70s and '80s, the U.S. homeownership rate has risen slowly in the past 15 years to nearly 69 percent -- a point of pride for Democrats and Republicans alike.

But with an estimated 1.5 million homeowners facing foreclosure this year, Congress is now looking at tighter lending standards to protect unwary Americans from taking on loans they cannot afford.[...]

Across the United States, racial minorities are more likely to get a high-cost, subprime mortgage when buying a home than whites, according to a study released last month by fair housing agencies. In six major U.S. cities, black borrowers were 3.8 times more likely than whites to receive a higher-cost home loan, it said.

But it is not just poor and minority Americans who are losing their homes -- many debt-ridden consumers simply were unwise in their loan choices. The suggestion that more regulation is needed to protect Americans from willing but risky lenders is controversial.
(I'll cover the racial aspect of this problem at another time, but I do want to acknowledge that this is not helping minorities and both parties are going to be hurt by this at the polls.)

Once the home buying market received its enormous boost in the arm from the returning veterans on the G I Bill, people who saw on TV shows like Donna Reed and Life With Father fell into a subtle marketing trap: human society has dictated all along that acquisition was useful, that you needed to keep up with the Jones': if your neighbor's farm had oxen instead of horses to pull a plow, well, suddenly, damn, those oxen made sense for you to have.

But look what happens: our neighbors were no longer the Jones', but the Days and the Stones, and the Petries with the lovely house in Scarsdale and the hair dying and the new cars and the pearl necklaces. Gotta have that!

So the second wave of home ownership started, as people who were too nervous about moving out to the "country" realized that tens of thousands of people made the drive or the train ride in each morning, waxing poetically about the first robin of Spring on the lawn (nevermind the mowing, the raking, the weeding of said lawn). Banks began lending money with an eye towards helping you get your house. After all, you'd be making them money eventually, as they took the money you deposited at 3% and made more mortgages at 5%, with a twenty percent down payment, and payments that included a little slice-o-equity in the house. Everyone made out on the deal.

And finally, that well dried up. And banks, having made enormous money off mortgages, started lowering their standards. Down payments went to ten percent, then five. Balloon mortgages, where you still put up a down payment but paid only interest for fifteen or thirty years then started making principal payments, became the vogue. More important, the banks themselves held these obligations on their books, so they had an incentive to help you work out of any hiccup or difficulty in repaying them. Your mortgage officer was on the hook, performancewise, for your bad debt. He (and soon, she) took a good long look before lending against your life's wages.

And then the predatory lenders filed in. And with them, the ability to slough off mortgages at a discount for cash and to lay off the responsibility of a bad loan. And that's where we are today.

Those early mortgages were made to people with means and incomes that were relatively secure: you didn't lose your job unless you deserved to (were fired). No corporation contracted their operations because the bottom line demanded it, unless they were in grave and serious jeopardy of filing bankruptcy (which for a business in the 60s and early 70s was tantamount to closing up shop). No major merger saw massive layoffs as administrative and back-office corpses were floated down the river.

And no technological advance could replace the human brain.

Now, with all the uncertainty in jobs, with the job hopping that people do (the longest I've held a job is ten years; The next generation up from mine would see that as a sin.), and with the availability of easy credit as mortgages can be sold off by lenders along with the concurrent risk of default, more debt is probably the worst thing a President, who himself has finally run up a national debt to rival and exceed the combined debt of each and every American, could encourage.

What a moron!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Pleez Help!

My daDddy doezn't kno that I'm typping here tonight. I wuz practiccing real gud thiss weekned, by wartching hime typoe.

I kno he writ befor I wuz adoppted abowt the catz at Hemingway Home.

Part of my planz wuz to be adoppted by a werld-famouz blogger so that I cud assk lotz of hummans for ur help. Pleez sign tha petition to help save my cuzzins at Hemingway Home tonite so u can stop Gorge W. Bussh's poleece frum puttting my cuzzins in cages like they wuz aminals!


Thnak u!

Welcome To The Party, Pal!

There's a certain amount of wanting to smack a person upside his head for seeing the light, two years too late:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chief strategist of George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign said he had lost faith in the U.S. president over Iraq and other issues, in a high-level rupture of Bush's famously loyal inner circle.

Matthew Dowd, a polling expert who switched parties to become a Republican and also served as a senior strategist in Bush's 2000 presidential campaign, told The New York Times in an interview on Sunday that Bush must face up to Americans' growing disillusionment with the war.
You gotta get a load of his reasoning...
"If the American public says they're done with something, our leaders have to understand what they want," Dowd said. "They're saying, 'Get out of Iraq.'"

He also cited the administration's bungled handling of the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Bush's refusal to meet Cindy Sheehan, who had lost a son in Iraq, while she was leading a protest outside Bush's Texas ranch.

"I had finally come to the conclusion that maybe all these things along do add up," Dowd said. "That it's not the same, it's not the person I thought."[...]

Dowd said he had been attracted to Bush by his ability as Texas governor to work across party lines but Bush had failed to do the same as president and had become isolated with his views hardening. The Times said Dowd was speaking out partly in an effort to get through to Bush.
"Um, Matt?," Actor212 says gently as he puts his arm around his shoulder and walks Dowd along the river's edge, "you might have realized that a Texas Democrat is about as close to the Democratic mainstream as a Connecticut Republican."


"Next time, don't walk along the riverside....guess you didn't see that shove coming, either!"

Now, you might want to ask what was the final, deciding factor in this change of heart...was it the bungling of global goodwill in the aftermath of September 11?


Was it the bungling from inception of the Iraq War?


Was it the mismanaged economy which has resulted in parlous times for the working and middle class of this country?

Yer kidding, right? Dowd could retire tomorrow and not worry about his next meal.

Oh, well, maybe it was Katrina?

That's so two years ago.

No, it was far more self-centered:
The Times said Dowd acknowledged that the expected deployment to Iraq of his oldest son, Daniel, an Army intelligence specialist, was a factor in his changed view of Bush.
Gee....a rich white guy's son is in peril and suddenly he becomes a liberal?

I think it was Elizabeth Warren who said "A Conservative who files bankruptcy suddenly becomes a Liberal." In other words, when the shit hits the fan, suddenly they want the fan turned off.

Welcome aboard, Matt. See that seat next to Arianna Huffington and David Brock and Andrew Sullivan? It's reserved just for you.

Siddown and shaddap.

, ,

Sunday, April 01, 2007

My Non-Announcement

My friends, I see a lot of challenges in the world today, some that we know, some that we don't know, and some that we don't know we don't know.

I have solutions for many of these, and can find solutions for the rest, if I'm not given the chance to sit in the Oval Office for four years by you, the people. I can do this, and help move this great country forward.

I am announcing today that I am not running and will not seek the nomination of either party for President of the United States. The President's job is vastly underpaid and while I have all these answers, I want more than a million and a half spread out over four years for them.

The challenges ahead are vast and profound, and I'd prefer someone else took the responsibility if my plans fail. For example, recent history tells us that our armed forces are in dire need of overhaul, to go from a mass fighting force that can level a nation to a grouping of smaller tactical deployments that can be dropped on a terror cell in an instant and then redeployed someplace before any witnesses can observe them.

So my first non-act as NotPresident would be to appoint a former head of the CIA as Defense Secretary, perhaps R. James Woolsey, who so admirably served this nation during the early Clinton administration and may have singlehandedly prevented more terror attacks on our shores than any man alive.

I would not task him to not change the military over from a large fighting horde to an emphasis on smaller strike teams with complete tactical support from roving home offices...I was tempted to say "satellite offices", but that had an uncomfortable connotation to me...on the sea, in the air and on the ground.

My second non-act as NotPresident would be to instruct the FCC to overturn the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and to insist that, as a gift back to the American people for making a huge sum of money off our free airwaves, the radio and TV networks would now gladly donate an hour of prime time television every night from September to November (thus skirting two "sweeps") to either in-depth analysis of issues by the news department, or debating infomercials from responsible spokespeople on all sides of an issue.

Which do you think they'd opt for?

My third non-act as NotPresident would be to order most of the American troops out of Iraq. As I outlined not last week, I would leave a small force, say 40,000, in the Kurdish north to repay a debt to the Kurds that Bush the Elder reneged on, to the detriment and genocide of the Kurdish people. The Kurds seem to be getting their act together and we ought to be protecting that small ember that might one day become a large bonfire of freedom. Hand-in-hand with this act, I would accept a million Iraqi refugees, and barracks them in PNAC headquarters, the Excellence In Broadcasting studios, and Ann Coulter's apartments in New York City and Palm Beach. And fuck the Third Amendment, they aren't troops. Get over it.

My fourth non-act would be lunch that January 20. I figure this would carry me to 1:30 or so. I would have a light Caesar salad with poached salmon (fresh from the Pacific Northwest). At which point I would turn my massive manly brain to the environment.

Secretary of Energy Al Gore and I would not create a sustainable growth plan for development of alternative energy programs that would encourage cross-border participation by Mexico and Canada, including biodiesel, particularly ethanol, as well as developing finally solar and wind economies as feasible. We would also add to the mix current-powered turbines for river- and seaside communities. We would not bring the not grid to a more diversified and localized energy production capacity, which would not not avoid the terrible blackouts entire regions of this country have suffered since the '60s.

I figure at this point, it might be tea time. Note to all you fancy pants, plus-four wearing lobbyists out there. I spelled that "T-E-A." There will be no golf outings where you can try to rip off the American taxpayers any longer. Golf is a silly game that ruins a man's day and makes him addicted to his balls and shaft.

You want to talk shop? Learn a real man's sport, learn to scuba dive and try talking to me while 75 feet down.

That ought to also open up some positions on K Street.

OK, back to tea...Earl Grey, hot, two sugars. Oh, and I'd introduce America to a wonderful Finnish delicacy, pulla (you folks in the UP, stop your emails. I know you know about it already.) Its at this time I would not not read the PDB from the CIA.

My next non-act would be to place a call to Pakistani president Musharaff, and give him an ultimatum: either I have Osama bin Laden in custody on American soil by that Saturday, or I will go after the people truly responsible for 9/11: the Pakistani ISI and the Saudi Wahhabists (remember, Al Gore and I already came up with an energy policy to wean our oil dependence. For all I care, KSA can melt away in a sandstorm...oh, except for my kindergarten pal, Mohammad...he and his family are welcome to stay at Blair House).

The American people would be behind me on this, I have no doubt.

My final non-act in my first day as President would be to submit a budget to Congress in which I would fix the tax code to be fairer to working Americans, while tearing new assholes into anyone who thinks their lifestyle is predicated on the hard work of other Americans.

I figure this first day would give me enough momentum to get to day number two.

My first non-act that day would be to sign the Kyoto Accords, and then to place calls to Hu Jintao and President Dr. Kalam of India, and tell them if they don't sign off on Kyoto, they're going to be hard pressed to find the American-made technology they so desperately need for their coal-powered plants as well as their nuclear reactors. I would also not not offer the services of Secretary Gore, as well as Interior Secretary Robert Redford to help them come up with an environmentally sensitive alternative energy program, and help them find the funding to do it in the form of low cost loans and greater access to American markets that matter.

I'll say one thing: I'd have the goddamned handsomest administration in the history of the world.

Next, I'd not place a call to Vladimir Putin and invite him to lunch, say, Friday. I'd want to look into his eyes and see what bamboozled Bush the Immature. Then I'd tell Vladi I'd leave him alone on Chechnya, but he has to agree to let Iran come under my sole jurisdiction.

Yes, I know China is going to be upset with that, but remember their energy plan? Guess what that includes.

Then I'd take a vacation for two years. Presnidenting is hard work!

I'd probably invade Bonaire and claim it for America, so I could create the Bonairean White House and take my vacation.

Bet I'd have the happiest press corps in the world!

Over the coming weeks, I'll not be expanding on this, including opening up a not-website, making several not-speeches, and not hiring a not-staff to assist me. In the meantime....

Come not visit my campaign store to pick up your valuable piece of non-history! Just click on the image below, or click here.

Oh....happy April Fool's Day.