Fortuna's Favor Rites

...when you have once put your neck beneath the yoke of Fortune, you must with steadfast heart bear whatever comes to pass within her realm... Ah! dull-witted mortal, if Fortune begin to stay still, she is no longer Fortune.

Serving irreverent virgins and margarita tea since 2002.
Or was that virgin tea and irreverent margaritas?

Always a bit more tart than sweet.


Jul 7

Saturdays On the Radio With George

The point, Fortuna, the point!
I talked to my good friend George Bush today. We talk every Saturday morning via radio. Me 'n Condi 'n Harriet 'n Karen have been best friends with GW simply forever, and Karl sets us up with this radio link thing every Saturday so we can just hash the week over with him. I warn you though - I give him what-for sometimes, and even Harriet can't get me to be more diplomatic despite all her whispered "hush, Fortuna!"'s. She's a little star-struck, our Harriet. Karen just turns all red and looks away when I get going, but I swear I've seen a little Mona Lisa smile peeking out of the corner of Condi's mouth recently. I think she's starting to wonder if she has enough of those generic suits (a different one for every day of the year,) to last her in her old age. I could have sworn I heard her mention ClubMediCare the other day too, but I could be mistaken.

This week, we received more good news showing that our economy is strong and growing. The Department of Labor reports that our economy has now created jobs for 46 consecutive months. America added 132,000 jobs in June, and that means our economy has added more than 8.2 million new jobs since August of 2003. Unemployment is low, consumer confidence is high, incomes are rising, and opportunity is growing across America.

Oh really? That's great! Why is it do you suppose that I have 200 applications for every job opening I advertise though? Gosh, could it be that maybe more than 132,000 jobs have also been lost over the same period? Let's talk net gains here, Mr. President, not only the credit side of the balance sheet. Credits. Yes, those are pluses. Debits are minuses. Right - you've got it now. You put the pluses on the one side, and the minuses on the other.

Our Nation's strong economy is no accident. It is the result of the hard work of the American people and pro-growth policies in Washington. Starting in 2001, my Administration delivered the largest tax relief since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Our tax relief has left $1.1 trillion in the hands of citizens like you to save, and spend, and invest as you see fit.

War on Terror, recession, stock market downturn, corporate corruption scandals, and you still returned $1.1 trillion? Damn, you are good! Hey! Where's my share of that $1.1 trillion though? Was I in the bathroom when you were passing those out? Come to think of it, I didn't get the one under Ronny, either. Who would I speak to about that? You, or Nancy?

This week, we received more good news showing that our economy is strong and growing. The Department of Labor reports that our economy has now created jobs for 46 consecutive months. America added 132,000 jobs in June, and that means our economy has added more than 8.2 million new jobs since August of 2003. Unemployment is low, consumer confidence is high, incomes are rising, and opportunity is growing across America.

Yeah, you said that in paragraph 1. Cue cards out of order, are they, hon? Just put 'em in order again. Good - that's right - 3, 4, and then 5. You've got it now! I'm still wondering about that rising income part, and trying to figure out why I paid more money in taxes last year than ever. Can I send my accountant over to you for a few pointers? I know he'll be grateful to learn from the master blaster. Good thing we've had enough jobs for nearly all of those 12 million illegal aliens, isn't it? I'm so proud of us!

Over the past three years, we have also held the growth of annual domestic spending close to one percent -- well below the rate of inflation. The result is a thriving and resilient economy that is the envy of the world. Over the past six years, our economy has overcome serious challenges: a stock market decline, recession, corporate scandals, an attack on our homeland, and the demands of an ongoing war on terror. Despite these obstacles, our economy recovered and tax revenues soared, and America is now in a position to balance the Federal budget. To achieve this goal, I sent Congress a budget plan this February that would keep taxes low, restrain Federal spending, and put us in surplus by 2012.

That old "domestic spending" bugaboo. Nasty of us to want to spend money on ourselves, for stuff like education, housing, homeland security, eliminating poverty, environmental issues, etc. I can say selfish, can you? I'm so disappointed in us. Why, we have wars to mount! Regimes to topple! Countries to occupy! (BTW, see me later about that black hole that cropped between us and Iraq back in 2001. I know the "unaccounted-for" billions in cash aren't your fault. Halliburton *needed* to get that no-bid contract, and the boys just got a little sloppy is all.) Damn George, a budget surplus (again) within 5 years? I'm impressed! Tell me - that does include all of your defense expenditures, right? Right? George? The ones for both Iraq and Afghanistan?

Next week, my Administration will release a report called the Mid-Session Review, which will provide you with an update on our Nation's progress in meeting the goal of a balanced budget. We know from experience that when we pursue policies of low taxes and spending restraint, the economy grows, tax revenues go up, and the deficit goes down.

It's simply magic the way that works, isn't it? I tell you three times: the economy grows, the economy grows, the economy grows. Now click your heels together, and hold out your hand for your share of the $1.1 trillion. Hey! Just once through the line, Dick. I don't care if you are special, you don't get to go through twice by claiming to be both an Executive and a Legislator.

Democratic leaders in Congress want to take our country down a different track. They are working to bring back the failed tax-and-spend policies of the past. The Democrats' budget plan proposes $205 billion in additional domestic spending over the next five years and includes the largest tax increase in history. No nation has ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity. And I have made it clear that I will veto any attempt to take America down this road.

I'll bet you wish they all had access to your snap crackle pop economics mind, don't you sir? Well, we can't all be Rice Crispies. Some of us have to be Fruit Loops and Cap'n Crunch's too. Besides, how many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a fiscal conservative?

Democrats in Congress are also behind schedule passing the individual spending bills needed to keep the Federal government running. At their current pace, I will not see a single one of the 12 must-pass bills before Congress leaves Washington for the month-long August recess. The fiscal year ends September 30th. By failing to do the work necessary to pass these important bills by the end of the fiscal year, Democrats are failing in their responsibility to make tough decisions and spend the people's money wisely.

Those dirty rats. They just don't understand the concept of hard work, do they, sir? How's about you take the lot of them out to your place in Crawford, and whip those boys into shape? Make 'em really work hard for their suppers? (You could have Laura give deportment lessons to the Democratic ladies in Congress while yer out clearing bush - I mean brush - on the back 40. I hear her "101 Ways to Look Smart in a Pantsuit" is a real hit on the lecture circuit these days.) I'll bet if they really buckle down, you could get them through that 12-step program... er, I mean through those 12 must-pass bills by the time you're ready to come back to Washington in September. August is the usual month you take off too, isn't it? Oh - that reminds me. How do I convince my employer to give me a month off in August every year? (Oh, hush up, Harriet, it does not sound French! That kind of vacation schedule is quite normal in lots of places!) That sounds like a really superfine schedule, and I'd be interested in exploring the possibilities with you. Do you suppose if I apply for one of those 135,000 new jobs, I could get a sweet deal like that?

This moment is a test. Under our Constitution, Congress holds the power of the purse. Democratic leaders are in control of Congress. They set the schedule for when bills are considered. They determine when votes are held. Democrats have a chance to prove they are for open and transparent government by working to complete each spending bill independently and on time. I urge Democrats in Congress to step forward now and pass these bills one at a time.

Hey, I've got an idea. Since you're the Commander Guy, why don't you just command them to turn over the purse strings to you? You're already handling the new legislation thing with your signing statments, findings, and executive orders, and the judicial thing with that commutation/pardon thing you've got going, and Dick's got the Legislecutive Office going now - I'm sure they'd be happy to oblige with the national purse strings too, so they can take May, June and July recesses too! After all, who wants to do all that pesky bill-paying? Maybe a trade? You be transparent with them, and I'll bet they'll be transparent with you! It's win-win all the way around. (music cues) You've got to. give a little, take a little. all go on the take a little! That's the story of. that's the story of Rove. (end music)

As they do, I will insist they restrain spending so we can keep our government running -- while sustaining our growing economy and getting our budget into balance. And to help achieve these goals, I call on the Senate to act on my nomination of Jim Nussle as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Jim is a former Chairman of the House Budget Committee, and he will be a strong advocate for protecting your tax dollars here in Washington.

I don't know how they're gonna act if you go restraining them, George. That's a little like torture, right? They get so pissy when they think they aren't gonna be able to tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend! I'm thinking we need to call that guy on TV for an intervention. I think they're shopaholics, is what I think. That's kinda like being a doper, I've heard. All that domestic spending going on... it's unseemly! Do you think that Jim will be able to hold them back? ("She's spiraling out of control, Jim! I don't know if I can hold it together for much longer!") If so, bring him on! I'm all for protecting my tax dollars. What do you say we get him to look into that Halliburton-Iraq-Cash-Hole thing, eh wot? I know I'll be grateful when the Iraqi's stop their nonsense, and pay us back, won't you?

By setting clear budget priorities and maintaining strong fiscal discipline, we can promote economic growth and bring our budget into balance. Our Nation has the most innovative, industrious, and talented people on the face of the Earth. And when we unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our country, there is no limit to what the American people can achieve, or the hope and opportunity we can pass on to future generations.

God Bless America, George, and God Bless You! (It's ok if I say that, right? I mean, being an atheistic agnotic and all, I know it's hard to believe that I mean that, but we are, after all a Christian Nation Under God, and I'm hoping you can swing some of those faith-based dollars my way? I swear to you I'll find a worthy initiative to spend it on.)

Thank you for listening.

No, Mr. President, thank you... for providing me with 60 minutes of entertainment on this sunny Saturday afternoon. I don't know what I'd do without you.

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Serving irreverent virgins and margarita tea since 2002.
Or was that virgin tea and irreverent margaritas?

Always a bit more tart than sweet.


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