Mood: vegas lucky
Topic: "Yankee Ingenuity"
As the broadcast media grew after World War II, the outrageousness of on-the-air escapades became legendary. "Disc Jockeys" and Comedy entertainers became famous for their telephone calls to unsuspecting people, and the resulting on-air byplay. Soon, newsmen initiated exposes' of scams and shady operators by bringing along a cameraman whenever they decided to drop in, unannounced, on a mechanic or a government contractor. Frodo never really understood why most of these became passe', but it probably had something to do with somebody who had graduated from a Law School who was not fast enough to catch an ambulance.
What did happen is that crooks got smarter. No longer do we see the guys from "60 Minutes" burst into the offices of some mail-order diploma mill in New Jersey. After trying that several dozen times, it finally dawned on the crooks to simply not say anything, or to avoid appearing on camera altogether.
This evening, "60 Minutes" tackled the "war profiteers" involved in the Pre-Emptive War in Iraq. The subject firm, which included an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the US House, had bid on and won multi-million dollar contracts even though they had no assets, and no experience in the field of endeavor. When the first contract was concluded, and deemed an "incompetent" performance by the agencies serviced, these guys turned around, bid on another contract, and got it. The upshot being that there was no facility established to properly monitor and evaluate these war-time procurements.
The President's proposed budget for the next fiscal year will cut $3.1 Billion in education programs, and more than $100 Million from energy conservation efforts. The budget will require some veterans to pay a fee for medical care. Overall, the Bush "Boner" will exceed revenue by more than $350 Billion, and bring the cumulative deficit to more than $9.3 Trillion (all payable in bearer bonds held by the People's Republic of China, and other expanding nations around the world).
As an aside, it is interesting to note that more than $7.5 Trillion of the total deficit accrued during the four years of "Bush I" and the 5 years of "Bush II."
This morning, David Gergen, who served four Presidents (including "Bush I"), stated that "Republicans are better at selling their message, and Democrats are much better at managing government." Frodo feels, non-partisaningly, that that is an understatement, at best.
Frodo really wishes that Steve Allen were still around. We can hear him now:
"Hello, is this the White House in Washington?"
"Wonderful. Well, I'd like to speak with someone about getting a government contract."
"Oh, it doesn't matter, just anything you need done, we can handle it."
"Yes, my company is 'Allen Enterprises.' Perhaps you've seen our advertising symbol on billboards? It is a big 'A'."
"Can you arrange an appointment for us to discuss this with, say, the Vice President?"
"Well, can you connect me with his office, and I'll see if I can just drag my big 'A' down there and swap lies with Dick."
Frodo vaguely recalls the clarification subsequently added to the words of the former Premier of the Soviet Union, S. Nikita Khruschev, who was quoted as saying "We Will Bury You." Actually, he is correctly quoted as saying such, but adding the word "Economically." Frodo wonders if he knew that George W. Bush was in the wings.