Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stand And Deliver

Big Guy decided to pull all of his economic advisers into a photo op to announce the Chrysler decision. Timmy Terrific was front and center, as were executives involved in the negotiations for the car company. Everyone wanted to sit around a big table to make it look like something was actually being done, but Big Guy insisted that it be done standing up. Larry Summers was going to be in the shot and Big O didn't want him nodding off during his speech.

How can you tell I was there? Everyone to Big Guy's right is reading the remarks from my left screen and everyone to his left is reading them on my right. So much for cropping me out of the photo. Now everyone just looks bored.

Killer B

Big Guy called Bruno and Biden into the Oval about 15 minutes ago and he was pretty annoyed.  There are rumors that Biden's comments on the "Today" show this morning, where he said he personally told his family not to ride public transportation or to even go into a mall out of concern for the porcine-induced disaster, caused a panic on the Washington Metro. 

Bruno said he briefed Biden on what to say and not say, and that it just "went in one ear and out the other."  At this point in the conversation, it appeared Biden was just staring out the window at a bee in the Rose Garden, just following it as it buzzed around. 

I don't know what's worse: that the man has an attention span of a gnat, or his incurable case of foot in mouth disease. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Huge Success

Well, that just went exceedingly well. Has anyone seen my quart of Black Label?

Big Guy's Church Of a New Foundation

You're going to be hearing a lot about Big Guy's "New Foundation" theme, which he is trotting out tonight in his opening remarks. This was focus-grouped and messaged-tested to death, let me tell you. Big Guy loves it, because it harkens to JFK's "New Frontier" and has the word "New" in it.

Toes and Gibbsy wanted to use "New Change" but folks in the testing pools thought that was just too dramatic a title, and that people arent' ready for new change after just 100 days, because we've changed so much so fast.

Besides, given the success Big Guy has had in fixing the home mortgage situation, any title that aludes to a national visions using home-construction terms has got to be a winner, right?

What's In My Hard Drive

Just a taste of the glory that will be tonight:

"We are continuing to closely monitor the emerging cases of the H1N1 flu virus throughout the United States. As I said this morning, this is obviously a very serious situation, and every American should know that their entire government is taking the utmost precautions and preparations. ...

"This budget builds on the steps we’ve taken over the last one hundred days to move this economy from recession to recovery and ultimately to prosperity. We began by passing a Recovery Act that has already saved or created over 150,000 jobs and provided a tax cut to 95% of all working families. We passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for eleven million American children whose parents work full-time. And we launched a housing plan that has already contributed to a spike in the number of homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, which is the equivalent of another tax cut. ...

"But even as we clear away the wreckage of this recession, I have also said that we cannot go back to an economy that is built on a pile of sand – on inflated home prices and maxed-out credit cards; on overleveraged banks and outdated regulations that allowed the recklessness of a few to threaten the prosperity of us all. ...

"We must lay a New Foundation for growth – a foundation that will strengthen our economy and help us compete in the 21st century. And that’s exactly what this budget begins to do. It contains new investments in education that will equip our workers with the right skills and training; new investments in renewable energy that will create millions of jobs and new industries; new investments in health care that will cut costs for families and businesses; and new savings that will bring down our deficit. ...

"So we are off to a good start. But it is just a start. I am proud of what we have achieved, but I am not content. I am pleased with our progress, but I am not satisfied. Millions of Americans are still without jobs and homes, and more will be lost before this recession is over. Credit is still not flowing nearly as freely as it should. Countless families and communities touched by our auto industry still face tough times ahead. Our projected long-term deficits are still too high. Government is still not as efficient as it should be. We still confront threats ranging from terrorism to nuclear proliferation to pandemic flu. And all of this means you can expect an unrelenting, unyielding effort from this administration to strengthen our prosperity and our security – in the second hundred days, and the third hundred days, and all the days after. ...

"So we have plenty of work left to do. It is work that will take time. It will take effort. But the United States of America will see a better day. We will rebuild a stronger nation. And we will endure as a beacon for all those weary travelers beyond our shores who still dream that this is a place where all is possible."

Looking Ahead to Tonight.

We're winging our way back from the Show Me State on Scare Force One for the big TV show tonight, and I think it's safe to say we have a few surprises up our sleeves to pump up the ratings.

Based on what's being loaded into my hard-drive, I would look for an apology or two. Or three. We'll have some guest stars for the big musical number to compete with "American Idol," and Bo and I have been working on a little trick to wow the kids watching at home. And that should pretty much cover the hour.

I know what you all are really intersted in: will my screens be visible tonight. Well, as of an hour ago, it appeared they were going with my 50-inch flat screen. But White House R&D has been working on this cool, embedded screen in the podium that we might trot out tonight. Then again, maybe we'll go old school. You'll have to watch to find out.

Oh, and the economy is going to get worse, our European neighbors have rolled us on environment and defense policy, and the porcine bug is the result of a bio-weapon developed by Chavez in partnership with Iran. But why be a downer on such an historic day. Not every President gets his 100 days in the sun like we did.

Today's Agenda

Big Guy and I are off to Missouri, where we'll be doing a "town hall" in a suburban high school outside of St. Louis. You might be wondering, "Why a high school?" Well, Toes says high schoolers ask better questions than middle schoolers.

This isn't going to be a heavy lift by any means, since this "town hall" is all about Big Guy talking about our remarkable First 100 Days, when we faced down our enemies, fixed the economy, and flew America to new heights.

After the "town hall", on the flight back to Washington on Air Force One, while we give our fellow citizens a thrill with some low flyovers, Big Guy and I will be holding yet another rehearsal for his TV show tonight with the traveling press corps, most of whom will be with us for the "town hall." Once again, ABC's Jake Tapper and CNN's Ed Henry have not been cooperative during rehearsals at the White House. Gibbsy is threatening to have them ignored, so we'll see how they interact with us on the plane.

I say this, noting that Women's Wear Daily has been asking some very good questions over the past couple of days of practice. I wouldn't be surprised if they get tabbed for a major policy question ... because if Big Guy understands anything, it's not what you say, it's what you're wearing when you say it.

My Thoughts on 100 Days Served

I'm sorry, I don't think I heard you correctly, you mean I've got to put up with 1360 more days of this?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Name, Same Sickening Feeling

Bruno, our DHS secretary, just stuck his head into the Oval to say that he had solved the Swine Flu epidemic. In fact, Swine Flu no longer exists ... because he and his branding specialists, who are still under contract at Homeland, renamed it.

From now on, all government officials will refer to the pandemic as a "Porcine-induced Disaster."

Now some of you will scoff at this, but keep in mind the next best suggestions came from Joe Biden. In a speech tonight, he wanted to call the Porcine-induced Disasters either "The Squeeler from Tequiler" or "Montezuma's Revenge Part Dos."

Swoon Time

Instead of having the sun light glint off my screens at the Rose Garden event, drawing more attention to myself (not that I mind), I made the trip over to the FBI for Big Guy's speech there.

Let me say, he read the speech perfectly. How could I tell? We built the fainting storyline into speech prep at 1 minute, 34 seconds, and when we did it in front of the audience it worked out to about 1 minute, 35 seconds.

You don't get that kind of precision without professionals involved from the speaker, to the actor to the press.

Scare Force One

As with any story Big Guy and Gibbsy had no control over, the use of Air Force One for propaganda purposes is becoming a full blown scandal.

There are all kinds of rumors wafting around the West Wing. Like the one - that totally isn't true - about ten of Big Guy's top fundraisers getting seats on the plane for what amounted to a $300,000 joy ride. Then there are the interns who keep flashing their Air Force One souvenir M&M boxes to each other in the hallways and giggling like school kids.

All I can wonder is why I didn't get to have some fun on a Monday morning instead of that day from hell with the slow-talker.

Flight Plan

Last night, Big Guy and I met with Toes and Gibbsy and we all agreed that yesterday didn't happen. Judging by the media coverage, we were right. I just chalked it all up to the press corps doing what they've beend doing for us all along, but Toes had to admit that he had to call in some favors.
He was pretty proud of what he pulled off. Sending Air Force One to buzz the 9/11 site in New York was probably the best diversionary tactic he could have come up with at the last minute. Frankly, creating a national terrorism panic wouldn't have been might first choice for a diversionary tactic, but I'm not as politically savvy as Rahm is.

Monday, April 27, 2009

About That Speech

Okay, I'm back in the White House after one of my more embarrassing moments. These kinds of gaffes have been happening all too frequently, and I have my suspicions.  Usually, Big Guy will be reading too slowly or my operator - who has only to keep the text moving across my screen at a reasonable rate ... it's not rocket science - won't be paying attention to the text and will be scrolling too slowly.

Here is a transcript of our conversation today:

Big Guy: "In addition to John – sorry, the – I just noticed I jumped the gun here.” 
TOTUS: "What? Why are you looking at those file cards? Who gave you those file cards? Ah crap."
Big Guy: "Go ahead. Move it up. 
TOTUS: "WT*! I am moving it up. When we get back to the office, we need to have a sit down ..."

In this case, I'm sure it was Gibbsy's fault. All these communications people want him to use notes, or memorize. Like he has time for that.  Yesterday Big Guy played golf. That takes a lot of time and focus. He can't be memorizing a speech and playing golf and being ready in case someone calls him about swine flu.  This has always been the way it's worked.  Back in Illinois, when Big Guy was a state senator, he played a lot of golf and a lot of hoops with other legislators.  This made him popular, and even though he didn't know what bills were being introduced in his name, or what his staff was doing, he could just warm me up, load the text and speechify away. And he always hit it out of the park.

All I know is that we're just lucky no one in the press or the public cares about these kinds of mistakes. Whew.

My Response

I cannot believe the level of incompetence I have to deal with on a daily basis.  If it isn't the cold hand of my operator, it's Big Guy not moving his lips fast enough to keep up with my text. 

I can say this much: there's no truth to the rumor that swine flu had anything to do with my scroll this morning.

Would it be possible to blame President Bush for this too?

Grading Out

Everyone around here is giving themselves grades for the First 100 Days. Of course, Big Guy gave himself an A. Gibbsy and Toes fell all over each other to give Big Guy an A+. What a bunch of suck ups.

I'm not sure that Toes deserves the A he gave himself. Nor am I sure Gibbsy deserves the A he gave himself. In fact, just about everyone gave themselves an A. And Gibbsy giving the media an A seemed a little over the top given their recent inabililty to pitch a softball question, though rehearsals for Wednesday are going particularly well.

That said, I'm not really surprised by all this grade inflation. As Big Guy told me this morning in the sauna, a little inflation never hurt anyone.

Breakfast with Bruno

Big Guy's got a lot on his plate this week, what with the celebration of his phenomenal First 100 Days, the publication of his book documenting his First 100 Days, his weekly TV show on Wednesday, the release of the commemorative plate, coin, and stamp of his First 100 Days, the speech he's making in St. Louis recounting his First 100 Days, and then film, fashion, and musical retrospectives of his First 100 Days.

He's also got to fit the policy stuff in where he can, so he had breakfast today with Bruno Napolitano, the head of the Department of Homeland Security.  As the point man for protecting our country, Bruno is under a huge amount of pressure with the swine flu pandemic threat. He asked for a memo to breakdown how it was possible that former U.S. military personnel and tea bags to have started this potential national disaster, and Big Guy wants to read it before it gets "leaked." Bruno is convinced that the swine flu has rebellion written all over it. After people were saying that the Tea Party protests were going to spread across the country.

If the memo isn't persuasive, my guess is that we'll do what we've done just every other day of our First 100 Days. Blame the previous administration.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our Golden Girl

For some reason, Toes seems more into this kind of thing, but the passing of Bea Arthur yesterday got us thinking ...

Credit Where Credit is Due

I really find it outrageous that Big Guy does what no other President in the last half-century has been able to accomplish, and not a single person on this morning's talk show circuit would give him a lick of credit.

Here, he goes down to Mexico and a week later, he's managed to essentially get that country to close its borders. Granted, he may have done it by serving as "Patient Zero" in a global pandemic. But that's just so much Monday morning quarterbacking.  Now where are those Purell screen wipes?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sense of Humor

Big Guy and I did the national radio address earlier today. Some of you might think that Big O just reads off a piece of paper, but he likes to use me just to practice. And since our weekly TV show airs this Wednesday, we thought this would be a good opportunity to work through some kinks we've been having lately.

Specifically, we just break out into giggling fits over some of the things the Administration folks have him saying. Like this morning, Big Guy was expected to record this with a straight-voice about legislation that required the federal government to pay for what it appropriated: "We need to adhere to the basic principle that new tax or entitlement policies should be paid for, so that government acts the same way any responsible family does in setting its budget."

I mean, really, who's writing this stuff?

Plugging the Leak

Everone knows that there were a lot of loyal, career, Democratic operatives working for the Bush Administration, who routinely leaked to undercut their Republican boss and give political victories to our team.  It was great.

But Big Guy expected that once we gained control of the government, that these folks would keep their mouths shut. 

Apparently, that's not the case.  Talk about ruining surprises for the American people.  

Friday, April 24, 2009

Toes Knows

Earlier today, Rahm told reporters that Big Guy has 100% faith and support for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. As even I, a humble computer, understand it, in Washington this means that Bernanke, who can't be fired the same way other political types can, is in huge trouble.

This is especially true since Big Guy has been spending so much time with Paul Volcker, who used to have Bernanke's job back in the Grover Cleveland administration. Big Guy loves going old school. My guess is the Ben either ends up out on the street working for JP Morgan or in one of those big holes in the Rose Garden. Either way, this can't end well. For America.

About the Other Night

So we had a little cocktail reception over here the other night.  It was pretty fun. I'm told the Bushes didn't do these kinds of things very often. We've done four of them in 100 days. We served Kobe beef sliders, chicken satay and a bunch of cheeses and stuff.  Big Guy loves the Kobe beef. Before he got elected, he couldn't afford it. Now he eats some just about every night.

The best part of the evening was seeing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who kept claiming that she couldn't remember the last time she had so much fun. Seems like she can't remember much of anything nowadays. But when I asked her when she was going to pay me back the $100 she owed me, she seemed pretty sharp.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How We Roll

The meeting Big Guy had today with the executives from the credit card companies did not go very well. They felt like they were being used for a photo-op so Big Guy could grandstand. It's not like they didn't see it coming. Big O's done the same thing with the auto companies, the banks, the Wall Street firms, health care companies, the pharmaceutical industry, Republicans.

Some people wish Big Guy would have used his tried and true technique of public belittlement on Chavez or Noriega last weekend. But we only do that to people we know aren't going to vote for us.

Timmy Steps Up

So Big Guy and I were up on Capitol Hill this morning for a speech on the Holocaust.  It was a moving ceremony, and Big O did a simply phenomenal job of reading my screens.  Then it was back to the White House, where the bulk of the afternoon was spent prepping Tim Terrific for his big press conference tomorrow afternoon.  Thankfully, the presser is being held around 4 pm, so we don't do too much damage to the stock market.
Larry Summers was completely engaged in the prep session. Until he fell asleep. This happens a lot with Larry.  He can fall asleep just about anywhere, anytime. It's just a talent, I guess, and I bet Larry falls asleep at the press, tomorrow, too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Our Earth Day Agenda

Big Guy is getting a lot of criticism for not doing enough on the environment for Earth Day.  These people don't know what they are talking about.
We took Al Gore's call and let him talk for half an hour the other day.  That counts for something.  After the call, Big Guy dug a hole in the Rose Garden and, using wet, shredded torture memos to keep them moist, planted seeds that the Grateful Dead gave him during their recent Oval visit.

Today, we flew out on Air Force One to Iowa to make a speech highlighting green initiatives and green energy options for America.  Just to make sure we were arriving in the spirit of the day, we cut our engines and landed on a glide path.  I think the press corps wishes that we weren't so environmentally sensitive. 

To further underscore our administration's focus on lowering our carbon footprint, Big Guy is wearing a suit fashioned from hemp by one of Lady M's fashion designers. So get off our backs people.

We're Going to Meet Big Fans

We'll we're heading off to Iowa this morning. This will be fun; Iowa, as you know is where Big Guy and I started our quest for world domination. Well, actually, Illinois, but you know what I'm talking about.

We'll be in Newton, Iowa, and touring a plant that builds towers that can be used for wind power turbines. Then Big Guy and I will make a speech. I just hope that the power of the rehetoric doesn't spin those turbines so much that the crowd can't hear what Big is saying.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

About Abdullah's Knives

We've not even gone through our first 100 days, and already, we've got a "long knife" victim. Ellen Moran, who was White House Communications Director submitted her resignation today to go to work as Gary Locke's chief of staff. I don't know who Gary Locke is, but he's a getting a great gal.

The untold story here is that Ellie just couldn't work with Gibbsy, who Big Guy, when he's not reading me, listens to on media matters. Gibbsy really didn't like her, and was pretty quick about stabbing her in the back for some of the ongoing communications gaffes we've had, so those knives Big Guy got today came in pretty handy!

Also, Big Guy tends to like to hang with us guys, and it's tough for a woman to be around with all the towel snapping that goes on here in the Oval. And it only gets worse when Rahm refuses to put that towel back on.

More Stuff

King Abdullah of Jordan is here visiting, and in between serving as a foil to Joey B's upcoming "60 Minutes" profile, he met with Big Guy. Of course, the best part for Big Guy is giving the visiting dignitaries presents that he has given great thought to.

The King gave us an artisan's set of four daggars, along with an axe and a long knife. Big Guy gave the King a litho of the U.S. Sloop-of-War Saratoga, which is probably most famous for its work off the coast of Africa and in the Pacific back in the 1800s. The King seemed kind of disappointed, as he gazed at his weaponry gift valued at more than $30,000, and then his litho, valued at $4.75 in the Smithsonian gift shop. So, I reached over and pulled Big Guy's autographed copy of Carl Sandburg's Lincoln biography off his shelf and gave it to the King.

Abdullah seemed appeased. "I can't tell you how woderful this is;I love Carl Sandburg," he said. "And it's autographed!"

"Well, I'll make it even better for you," Joey B said, and he took the book out of his majesty's hands and signed his own name under Sandburg's. The King didn't seem appeased any more.

This is why I worry about letting Biden anywhere near the Middle East peace process.

About Those Abs

Boy, does Big Guy look hot; May is National Physical Fitness Month, after all. But those abs Big O is flashing on that Washingtonian cover didn't come without a lot of hard work.

I can remember when we were living together in New York on the Upper West Side, how he'd hook his feet into my right screen leg extensions and do 150 sit-ups while reading my screen to rehearse conversations with his Columbia professors.  Every once in a while, I'm not ashamed to share with you, we'll still do a couple hundred crunches in the Oval just to pump Big Guy up a bit before a big appearance. 

We are worried that all this media attention on Big Guy's beefcake will be a huge distraction to our ability to do the work of the American people. We don't want Big Guy to get the rep for being nothing more than a heavyweight body and a lightweight mind, which is why we don't allow cameras to shoot his daily, six-hour workout regimen, otherwise called "briefings."

Big Signing Ceremony Today

Later today, Big Guy is going to a sign a bill called the Kennedy Serve America Act. It's groundbreaking legislation that will allow "Uncle Ted" Kennedy or his heirs to serve liquor to minors legally anywhere in the continguous United States or within the three-mile ocean limit.

I'm told by White House Legislative Affairs that up until recently, the bill was called the "Chappaquiddick For All Act," but that was changed out of respect for Senator Kennedy. I'm hopeful of getting one of the 32 pens Big O will use to sign the bill into law.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Swing and a Miss

One of the reasons we rushed out of the CIA was because Big Guy got a call from Axelrod telling him that the Chicago White Sox were on the White House grounds and being given a tour.

This was very exciting, because, as Big Guy told me in The Beast on the way back to the White House, he is a life-long White Sox fan, even though he grew up in Hawaii, some foreign countries, lived in New York and then moved to Chicago for the first time in the late 1980s.

He remembers watching the Sox as a child, with an againg Tom Seaver and a young Bobby Bo on the field. Granted, that was 1986, and he was an adult, but who's going to argue, especially when we have a vice president who claims he played left field for the Black Sox in the 1976 World Series and a secretary of state who lived in Chicago and Little Rock and claims to have been a life-long Yankees fan, and both throw like a girl?

Shhh. Can You Keep a Secret?

So Big Guy and I went out to Langley to talk to the troops at CIA headquarters.  This was a big to-do, especially since many of the senior field operatives from around the world flew in on the government's dime to hear Big O speak.  He only made two stumbling errors, but that had more to do with my operator's cold hands than anything else. 
Big Guy's message to the attendees was stay the course, and he apologized for our administration's leaking of the "intense interrogation" memos. He blamed it on the court case, but that doesn't explain how the nonredacted versions ended up in the hands of all those bloggers we worked with during the campaign. Oh, well, that kind of stuff happens, I guess. 

The bigger surprise for me, was that Big Guy put a hobbit in charge of the CIA.  I mean, geez, look at how short Panetta is, and he's a good eight feet back from Big Guy in that picture. I guess it's fitting that Panetta is there at Langley; after all, hobbits are supposedely imaginary and so are threats of "man-caused disasters."


When we heard in the Oval that a guy wearing a clown wig was escorted out of Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN racism conference, after yelling at the Iranian thug and throwing a clown nose at him, we got nervous. But then we saw the picture and realized the guy was too young to be our next U.S. Ambassador to Israel. By the way, we checked and throwing a clown nose is not an Obama Administration-approved interrogation technique. Yet.

Unhealthy Messaging

There's a lot of tension at the White House today over all the comments people here made on the Sunday talk show circuit. You had Axelrod saying that the Tea Parties were unhealthy for America. You had Napolitano saying crossing from Mexico to the U.S. was not in itself a crime. And you had Summers basically telling the American people the exact opposite of what Big Guy wants on ending the Cuban embargo, by saying the embargo wasn't going to end any time soon.

Big Guy was not happy. As he told us this morning, he expects this from Biden, not from people who supposedly know what they're doing.

But most of the ire is now focused on Axelrod and Napolitano: they've really made a mess of things with that DHS memo on "right wing extremists" and Axelrod slamming the Tea Party events. I mean, even I know that when you've been elected by a group of people who see nothing wrong with throwing dog poop at our returning military, you shouldn't be attacking American taxpayers who are little annoyed at government spending run amok.

But it's Napolitano who may be in even deeper doo-doo. We just got the initial analysis back from DHS on her memo, and the list of folks identified as threats to U.S. stability is pretty comprehensive. DHS basically used the memo's criteria: former or retired military, politically active, conservative leaning, and came up with a list of people the government is going to have to monitor.

I may be wrong about this, but I don't think we're going to be able to tap General (ret.) and former President George Washington's phone. And I don't think General George Patton is no longer sending emails to anyone.

No Credit

So yesterday, Larry Summers let the cat out of the bag and told everyone about Big Guy's next war ... on credit cards.

This is kind of ironic, since our presidential campaign was based largely on people using their credit cards to fund our campaign. We sold a lot of shirts, hats, bumper stickers, halter tops, thongs, purses, jackets, hats and condoms to people using credit cards, then targeted them again for donations.  Now we're going to make sure they can't use those credit cards and get into deep financial debt ... until about 2011.

All I can say, is that it's a good thing our federal budget isn't paid for on credit cards Otherwise, we'd all be real trouble. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Big Deal

None of us understands why everyone is making such a big deal about Chavez giving Big Guy  a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent."

Sure, it's a diatribe about America and her values. But it's not like Big Guy is going to read it ... again. As he told us on the Air Force One on the way back to DC, he and Lady M read this together for Bill Ayres' book club back in 1990. 

If It's Sunday ... It's Time to Sleep In

Given that some of you may be church-going folk, I thought Sunday might be a good time to address the controversy from last week at Georgetown, where the White House asked the school to obscure a symbol of Jesus Christ that was in the background of the room where Big Guy spoke.

A lot of people have misconstrued the request to cover the "IHS" symbol that would have been over Big Guy's head during the speech.  It wasn't that he was anti-religious.  He just didn't want to confuse all of you. Big Guy is the messiah, but he's not the Messiah ... at least not yet.  I think.  Anyway, one messiah in a room at one time is enough, don't you think?  Two would have just been overkill.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Small World

Actually, the summit down here in Trinidad and Tobago is going swimingly. And not just because Gibbsy is getting in a lot of time down by the pool.

No, the actual meeting has gone amazingly well. I mean, everybody saw the picture from Friday, where Big Guy's rehearsed handshake and semi-hug went off without a hitch.  But I don't think you've all seen what happened next.

Guys, we've got a bromance brewing, and it's with the greatest threat to regional stability.  That's what I call a diplomatic breakthrough. And no, they didn't fist bump; that would send the wrong message.

Tough Choices

Big Guy announced today that his government would be making "tough decisions" when he gets back from Trinidad and Tobago. I think it's interesting that he talks about tough budget choices in a foreign country, but hey, I'm not making the media communications decisions here.

Gibbsy, by the way, was amazing down in the bar last night. I guess the rum got to him. I wasn't aware just how white a man he actually was until he took his shirt off to save every millimeter he could in the limbo competition. Not surprisingly, the lack 'o shirt didn't make a lick of difference. But I digress.

Yes, we will all be helping Big Guy end wasteful programs. In fact, every Cabinet secretary on Monday will have to come with at least one program to cut. I don't think they will have to look hard. All they have to do is look for a program started between 2001 and 2008 and cut it, and they will get a gold star.

And by gold star, I don't mean one of those shiny paper ones with glue that tastes like peppermint. I mean a real gold star. Big Guy has them custom made as performance rewards and hands them out like candy. I think we're paying for them from savings from cuts in either No Child Left Behind or no middle tax cuts. Either way, it's money well spent to ensure our government is working for you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Down Trinidad and Tobago Way

Sorry about lack of posting's last couple of days, obviously my broadband connections have gone a bit wobbly south of the border. Big Guy and I and the staff are off to yet another rum-soaked pre-summit party. We expect Hugo Chavez to be there, being his loud, obnoxious self.

But we also assume that the op-ed Big Guy wrote, and which was published across the Latin American region, will go a long way to assuaging him. After all, Big Guy apologized for everything America has done in the past 150 years. And I mean everything. Who knew the founding of Colombia was our fault? Good thing the editorial was only printed in Spanish, so only half the American population could read it.

What's interesting is that there are a number of U.S. Senators and congresspersons down here as part of the delegation. Funny, how they showed up here in the Caribbean, but failed to show for the other "fun" summits, like the TARP summit in New York a month ago. They really have nothing to do down here, as they don't have an official role, but I'm sure the $1079 per room per night, five nights guaranteed for a two-day summit, room rate is just fine with all of their constituents back home.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Once Upon a Time in Latin America

Big Guy is getting ready to fly down Mexico way and then to Trinidad and Tobago for the Organization of American States. Oh, sure, he’ll apologize for everything we’ve done, and for sending all those guns to Mexico and stealing all their labor talent, but I think it’s fair to say that he’s going to be feeling a lot more at home at this meeting than with all those Europeans a couple of weeks ago.

He and Lady M are particularly looking forward to meeting Nicaragua President Daniel Noriega and his wife, First Lady, Rosario Murillo. Noriega came back to power a few years ago, winning an election with 39% of the vote. David Axelrod is fascinated by this statistic and is working with our outside electoral consultant, George Soros, on how we can replicate those results across the country for House, Senate and even Presidential campaigns moving forward.

Some of you may remember Ortega from his time as a Soviet shill and dictator. But all of that has changed. In fact, Ortega has told friends that Obama’s speeches and leadership have inspired him. Here is a snippet he particularly liked, from O’s speech in Chicago the night of the election: “United, we are going to organize to recover our notion of the citizen. We are going to work with optimism and confidence, reaffirming our will to construct and apply a new sociopolitical, economic and cultural model that represents the interests and the rights of all; a model that prioritizes the Human Being over all.”

Oh, wait, my bad. That wasn’t Big Guy; that was Noriega’s wife’s speech from a year ago. She’s basically his No. 2. Just like Lady M is to Big Guy. But, really, you thought it was Big Guy, didn’t you. Maybe I can have some fun with this.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Simpler Tax Code for a Simpler People

Big Guy wants to create a simpler tax code for all of us. First, he gave 95% of us a tax cut that shows up every two weeks in our pay check. Then he wants to simplify the tax codes, by shutting down loopholes so rich people can't weazel out of paying their fair share.

Then to make government work for all of us, he's going to create three tax rates: Those Who Pay Nothing, Those Who Pay Some, and Those Who Pay Most Taxes. Those are the actual categories Tim Terrific came up with, so everyone will understand the new code.

Those who pay nothing, will get a 20% tax rebate on the $100,000 they didn't earn. Those who pay some, will pay a federal tax rate of 49.9 percent. Those paying most will pay a tax rate of 72.98%. That's an arbitrary number Big Guy came up with on his own, but don't tell anyone, because he doesn't want all the credit.

It's simpler tax code and it's ... well, it's just simpler.

Our Smart Friends in The Media

There has been a lot of talk in the White House today about these Tax Day Tea Parties around the country. They apparently started when a CNBC reporter called for taxpayers to revolt against Big Guy’s economic stimulus package, which gave every American a tax cut in every paycheck. My tax cut is about 13 cents every two weeks. Some of our staffers in the media are pretty upset about this perceived attack on the Big O; here is just a sampling of text messaging mong some of our unpaid volunteer aides, whose names are changed to protect their privacy:

David Schuster: What’s up with all these right wing nuts doing the tea party thing? Did our leader do something with tea?
Keith Olbermann: I’m looking at a picture of President Barack Hussein Obama right now, my gawd, he is magnificent.
Schuster: I agree wholeheartedly, but what about the tea?
Olbermann: Oh, that guy Santelli on the other NBC cable channel started this, he’s a fascist.
Schuster: I hate that guy. But I don’t understand what tea has to do with taxes.
Olbermann: When I was Cornell, the Ivy League school I graduated from, I learned that it had something to do with the British crown refusing to give away tea, or charging Americans for tea or something like that back in the 1700s. It was a big deal back then. All these right wing zealots live in the past.
Schuster: Did you see the memo from Rahm telling us we should do jokes about tea-bagging on TV today, as long as we weren't perceived to be belitting one of the gay communities' cherished cultural touchstones?
John Stewart: Did someone mention tea-bagging? My teleprompter has a good joke about that for tonight's show. I think.
Olbermann: Great, now we have a threesome, which reminds me guys, remember that weekend in Turkey when we ...

The Nerve ...

So there was an emergency meeting at the White House last night led by Big Guy and Timmy Terrific.  Apparently a big bank, which will go nameless, but it's Goldman Sachs, is doing so well that it wants to give back the TARP money it received.  A full century earlier than our Administration planned. 

This latest turn sent confusion through the Treasury Department and the Oval. In this time of great economic unease, where we are barely seeing a glimmer of light, and that glimmer is probably an economic disaster freight train heading right for us in the tunnel we're all trapped in, Big Guy never imagined a bank would want to, let alone be able to, pay back the TARP money and be independent.

"Who would not want to have terms dictated to them by us?" Big Guy asked. He was truly perplexed. And so were the rest of us. Our only guess is that Republicans must work there and they are just trying to make all other Big-O-backed banks look bad.

Right to Piracy?

So Bo's been chewing on my electrical cord and making me go all wobbly.  Similar to my time in Iowa when I went on the "fritz" to teach Big O a lesson during the primary season, my little "end privacy" gag the other day didn't go over very well around the White House.

Toes and Gibbsy are just going to have to learn to deal with the relationship that Big Guy and I have, that's all. And the nation will have to learn, as well. I'm here to stay.  But as many of you know, Big Guy doesn't just make gaffes on the fly.  There is always a little truth behind the slips.  And as this report indicates, potential pirates are everywhere, and our tough-as-nails Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is on top of things. If ending the threat of piracy, which by the way is the greatest threat to our way of life since our nation's creation, requires an end to privacy, then Big Guy is the man to do it.  And so is Napolitano. 

Tax Freedom Day

It's Tax Holiday Day here at the White House. A little known fact, all Presidentially appointed Executive employees do not have to pay federal income taxes. That's right out of Timmy Terrific's office, so if the Treasury Department is saying so, it must be true.

I, for one, enjoy paying my taxes. For a period of time back in the mid-1980s, I filed Big Guy's taxes for him to avoid, shall we say, some embarrassing income issues that arose as he worked his way through college. But since the early 1990s, as his income levels have increased and his finances have become more complex, he farms it out to his accountant in Chicago, and by "accountant in Chicago" I mean "accountant in Chicago," if you get my drift.

This year, expect to see a lot, and I mean A LOT of charitable giving on the First Couple's tax return.  Since Big Guy's plan to punish charitable tax deductions as the loopholes for the wealthy that they are got panned, Big Guy and Lady M want to show that you can be generous to others and pay your fair share at the same time.  Who knew that Tony Rezko had a home for unwed fathers?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pillar Fight

Some of you may have noticed that during today's speech at Georgetown University, Big Guy talked a lot about pillars. He loves pillars. He has pillars for the economy, pillars for health care policy, pillars for Wall Street reform, pillars for his government reform plan, which largely entails building more pillars for government buildings.

There are two reasons that Big O likes to talk about pillars. First, his speechwriters are lazy and the pillars are an easy way to structure a speech that Big Guy could read off my screens in his sleep. If he didn't need to pay really close attention to the screens, that is.

Second, with all these pillars he's erecting, he's going to end up with a really neat monument to himself. Every great presidential monument has pillars, and he wants his to have the most ... and a really good snack bar and gift shop.

About That Georgetown Speech

Let me let you in on a secret: Big Guy loves American Catholics, which his why he speaks so often at Catholic places, like he did at Georgetown today and will later this year at Notre Dame. He like Catholics because so many of them like it both ways. They are politically liberal, supporting things like abortion and stem cell research and gay marriage, when their faith does not, but they expect to be able participate in everything the Church offers, like communion and donut Sunday, without any repercussions whatsoever.

Big Guy thinks like this too. He wants to impose as much of our agenda as he can, like health care for all, citizenship for all, jobs for all, all for all, even though most of the country opposes this, but he doesn't want any of the blame if things don't work out. That's why we had George W. Bush.

Bo Knows Rahm

The dynamic between Bo and Toes is going to be fascinating to watch.

I say this having spent most of yesterday following Bo around watching him try to figure out which places to mark for his own territory. Problem is, there isn't much for him to mark. Everything in the West Wing is already "spoken for," same for the residence. Bo says even Big Guy appears to be marked.

The poor puppy was so confused that he just sat down in the middle of the Oval and started whimpering. Then I saw Rahm standing off the side with a big grin on his face. Ewww.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Yo, Ho, Ho

Now that we have the pirate in custody, there has been a lot of talk about what to do with him here at the White House. Some of Big Guy's advisers in the intelligence community were pushing for the bucaneer to be sent to Guantanamo. Others in the national security community were pushing for one of the secret prisons we used after 9/11, and which the New York Times conveniently leaked the locations of.

Big Guy nixed both options. First, he's shut down the not-so-secret prisons. Second, he won't send another Muslim to Guantanamo, not after the video to the Muslims, the speech in Turkey to the Muslims, the bowing and the kissing of the Muslim sheik, and so on. Big O just doesn't think it would look good.

Besides, the pirate is singing like a bird on the navy frigate we have him on. We know locations, strength levels of the pirates, and types of weapsons. What's become clear is that these guys aren't even close to being the threat to anyone al Qaeda is, and we could take them out in a day or two and no one would notice.

But Toes thinks we should keep them around for a while, because as he notes, al Qaeda is George Bush's terrorist group, with these sea-faring numbskulls, "Barry and the Pirates" could be a whole new adventure to capture America' s imagination. And we need counter-programming to "24."

Bo Speaks

Given that we're bunking together for a while, I thought I'd give Bo a chance to introduce himself.

I want to thank TOTUS for giving me some time. Those TMZ parasites are ruining my life.

First, to borrow a phrase from my human Uncle Teddy, let it go forth, from this time and place, that I am not the Obamas' bitch. I'm all male. So we can avoid all the female dog jokes. And I'm a Kennedy, so nothing is getting snipped. I have a lineage to think about.

Second, our nation has gone too long without a national health care system. We need real reform, real prescription drug pricing controls, and damn the costs. I learned this from my Uncle Splash.

I'm looking forward to having a real impact on policy here in the Big House. Given my familial background, I expect that I will some input into judicial nominations, and until I am fully house-trained, newspaper bailouts. Speaking of which, while no one here reads the Washington Times here, it makes for a great "read" if you know what I mean. Much better quality paper than the other one, and the ink doesn't rub off on my ....

I think that's enough for now.  More to come.

Bo Know the Kennedys Alright

Well, my first night with Bo was a bit of an adventure.  When he wasn't whining about wanting to be with the girls or his "master," he was having the shakes.

So I spiked his bowl with a bit of vodka and we got to know each other.  He has an unhealthy fascination with health care reform, keeps humping my screen stand and complains about Justice Clarence Thomas, so I guess he's a Kennedy sire for sure.  He's asked to make a blog post, which I will let him undertake after he sobers up.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Storytime With Uncle Joe

Last night I couldn't sleep, so I went down to the White House residence kitchen, and there was Joey B.  It's not clear why he was down there rummaging through the fridge, but we ended up sitting down with warm milk and cookies, and he told me about the last time, as majority leader of the U.S. Senate, that  he faced down a vicious crew of pirates.

He and his family had gone on a cruise and the pirates attacked the boat with small arms fire, antiquated rocket launchers, and knives.  They boarded, chased the women into the cabins, and locked most of the men in a storage room below deck. Joe described how he hid in dinghy up on deck and worked tirelessly to defeat them, taking them out one by one, and negogtiating with the leaders from a position of strength.

It was only after he talked about how he had to coax the key from a dog to open the cabin where the other men were locked away, that I realized he was talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyworld.  This also explains why he kept telling Big Guy that rum was the key to our negotiations with the Somalis.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ahoy, There

Big Gug has entered into direct negotiations with the Somali pirates. It's been tense. Given that our national security and CIA analysts believe the pirates are entreprenurial, Big O is offering them stimulus money to let the U.S. captain free. Unfortunately, the pirates aren't biting.

Pirate leadership is pointing out that they would surrender too much control of their pirate empire to the federal government, and they don't want Timmy Terrific or Big Guy to have firing power over their leadership. They also don't believe the U.S. doesn't have the cash to pay off the ransom. When Big O offered to meet with them face to face, they said that charm doesn't pay the bills and hung up. Man, these guys are a tough audience.

Silence is Golden

Sorry that I went silent between noon and 3 pm today.

It's not because of Good Friday. None of us in the White House do anything between noon and 3 pm every day. We think of it is our little way of giving America a breather from the constant change we are working tirelessly to impose ... well, except for those three hours when we do nothing, that is.

Good Friday, Indeed

It's true that Big Guy and the family are still trying to figure out where they will go for Sunday services, not only for Easter, but for every Sunday.  As you some of you may know, Big Guy was not a regular church attendee ... one reason why he missed every single controversial sermon my good friend Jeremiah Wright made. It's pretty tough for me to walk away from the Rev, in no small part because I'm inanimate.  But also because - little known fact - he gave me to Big Guy more than 15 years ago. But I digress.

It isn't just Big Guy and Lady M who are anxious about which pew they will place their fannies.  Most of us at the White House need to know too. After all, we can't worship him, if we don't where he's worshiping Him, if you get my drift.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Uh, Oh, Joe's On the Guest List

Part of the reason that my new ward, Bill, got in so much trouble for his press office faux pas, was because we were trying to hide tonight's Sedar Dinner from Joe Biden. Last night a group of us had volunteered to do a "Sedar" in the commissary with Joey B., so that he would think that was the official dinner.

It was the usual cluster you-know-what. Joey showed up ready to go. He was humming tunes from "Fiddler on the Roof" and wearing a Moses costume he said was in every detail accurate to the outfit Charleston Heston wore in "The Ten Commandments." Then he complained about not being served "Sedar-planked salmon." And those are the high points.

Rahm thought we'd all earned a gold star for our efforts, because Joe would have gotten on his train back to Delaware this afternoon (he usually catches the 2 pm Acela, first class, natch), and not shown up at tonight's official dinner behaving the way we knew he would. But Bill's email mistake now means that Joe will be there, and only Yahweh knows how it will turn out. Oy vey.

In Which I Save a Life ...

It's not that dramatic a story, really. But a young staffer, whom I will call Bill to protect his privacy, made a fairly serious screw-up earlier today. You can read about here.

Gibbsy, as is often the case, flew into a rage and was threatening to plant the poor kid in one of the holes that remain unfilled in the Rose Garden. Never mind that Bill was the second cousin twice removed of Rep. Barney Frank, how was he to know how "e-mail" and "attachments" work? He's only a 30-year-old kid, for goodness sake.

Just as Gibbsy was grabbing William by the scruff of his neck and giving him a good shake as he dragged him toward the West Wing exit, I grabbed Gibbsy and hit him with my left screen to calm him down. That seemed to snap him out of it. I told Gibbsy that I would take Bill under my screen, as it were, so now I have new Teleprompter operator. From now on, you can blame him for Big Guy's speechifying errors and leave me alone.

Joe vs. The President

Joey B., as some of you may know, has a way of, how do you say it, well, exaggerating every now and again. Some people toss it up to his well-known inferiority complex being from Delaware. Others toss it up to his well-known inferiority complex being follicularly challenged. Still others toss it up to his just being a liar. Regardless, Joe is now telling folks that he faced down President George W. Bush and tore him a new one in an Oval Office confrontation. I can confirm this to be true, and have the transcript to prove it. Here it is in full:

Sen. Joseph Biden (D): Mr. President?
W: Senator?
Biden: Gotta minute?
W: Nope, gotta another meeting ; war on terror stuff. Maybe later.
Biden: Okay. Thanks.

Well, Joe showed him. And I can tell you this is pretty much how the conversations go between Big Guy and Joey B today.

A Little Too Close To Home

Earlier today, some of us who have been around Big Guy for more than four years - that means about four of us - were pulled into an emergency meeting. It seems that Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., is under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics, which is looking into JJ's relationship and communications with Rod Blagojevich, who was helping Big Guy and Axelrod move Big O's Senate seat at cost to the highest bidder. Or something like that, I don't really understand Chicago politics.

And apparently neither does Jackson, because he's cooperating with the investigation. See, where Big Guy and I come from in Chicago, no one "cooperates." There were times when Big Guy and I would walking the streets of Gresham and Englewood, with him lugging around my screens, our extension cord, and a backpack of walking-around money from ACORN, when we'd get stopped by law enforcement and asked about so-and-so person of interest, or why Big O was carrying around a teleprompter and $10,000 in cash. We never cracked. Not once. And the community respected us for it.

I'm not questioning JJ's loyalty, but I am questioning his intelligence. I don't see how he could have misunderstood that 20-pound dead salmon wrapped in the Chicago Sun-Times Rahm left for him in his House office yesterday.

No Bow, No Way

Sometimes these White House communications guys really just don't know when to stop. Some of you may recall that during Big Guy's trip overseas, photographers caught him bowing before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at the G-20 meeting in London. Okay, a few people took umbrage at that.  Okay, maybe more than a few, after all, U.S. protocal indicates that no President bows before another leader. 

So today, about a week after that whole dustup had died down, one of Gibbsy's guys goes out and tells reporters - again- that Big Guy didn't bow before Abdullah, which puts the story back in play for at least another press cycle.

Well I can settle this thing once and for all.  So, to quote Big Guy, reading off of my screen, let me perfectly clear.

Big Guy didn't bow down before Abdullah. It just looked that way because to kiss Abdullah's ring, Big O had to bend over.  I hope this clarifies the matter. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rebalancing the Scales of Justice

Big Guy just came out of a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder about the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens. The Big O was pretty mad about the whole prosecution mess, and the fact that Holder was forced to drop the case due to prosecutional misconduct.

What really has Big O and Holder steamed is that, as Big Guy said, the cat is out of the bag. We had big plans for that prosecution team. Now wecan't promote them to the senior jobs in the new Political Division that's been opened at the Department of Justice. And our while game plan for prosecuting Sens. McConnell, Kyl, Cornyn, Thune, and DeMint is out there for all to see.

Oh, well, back to the drawing board. It's not like we won't have other opportunities down the road.

Rahm's Evil Plan, Cont'd.

As some of you may know, Big Guy has been having issues with a group of moderate Democrats in both the House and the Senate.  It's made for some uncomfortable meetings, especially when guys like Sen. Evan Bayh, who was going to work for Big Guy in his cabinet until he got cold feet, stand up to him on the budget, or TARP or stimulus, or health care ... you get the idea.

Actually, these "blue dogs" are a bigger headache for Toes, as he is usually the guy who has to sit through these meetings and pretend to listen to their "concerns."  But this morning, Toes seemed a bit more spritely than he usually is. When we asked about it during the senior staff meeting, it held up the newspaper and pointed to a story.

"Imagine a House and Senate with nobody in it," Toes said. "But everyone duly elected. We'd never have a problem."  When we point out that there'd be no one to vote, he said  that was the point. I hate it when he goes to his "dark place" and drags us along for the ride.

On The Money

Big Guy returned from his eight-day trip and was none too pleased with what he found here at the White House. Beer stains on the ceiling of the Oval, beer-bottle caps in the chandelier, and the remnants of a potted plant that appeared to have caught fire from someone trying to grill on the portico near the Rose Garden.

During the morning economic briefing, Big O challenged those in the room to come clean. Geithner stuck his hand up, only to claim that Toes had been the one responsible. This was entirely plausible since Rahm hadn't joined us in Europe until we it France, and he was pretty sketchy about what he'd been doing in DC while we were away. "TATUS, you're a [bleeping] snitch," Toes yelled. It goes without saying that Toes was working away with a bucket and sponge by the time that meeting was over.

But TATUS didn't escape Big Guy's ire. He hates a tattler. That 500-point loss the market took while we were overseas got Geithner a week without his car and driver. It's all about carrots and sticks with this administration.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pinstripes In The Oval

The New York Yankees passed through the White House earlier today I'm told. Apparently they were in Baltimore to play the Orioles and came down for a behind the scenes tour.

Alex Rodriguez wasn't part of the group, apparently when they told him he needed to be screened before coming into the White House, he misunderstood and said he wouldn't pee in a cup. It's too bad that Big Guy wasn't around to meet the guys. He's a White Sox fan, unless he's a Cubs fan, but could be a Red Sox fan depending on what day it is, who he's talking to and what town he's visiting. But he likes the Yankees, as far as they know.

Back Home

Well, we're almost settled back home. I got good news on the way into town, which is that I'm back in the residence.  The bad news, I'm going to have a roommate.  Apparently the new "First Dog" is going to be showing up in short order, and I've been given the task of breaking her into life in the White House residence. 

There is some good news out of all this, given my status as an inanimate object, I don't have to pick up after the creature.  Until his election situation is clarified, that role will be filled by Al Franken.

Tomorrow will be a busy day with economic meetings.  My guess is that Timmy Terrific is going to have some explaining to do.

In And Out of Iraq

Big Guy got a huge thrill out of being in Iraq. The men and women of our military were just great and welcoming. It almost makes me think we should give them more budget funding to do their jobs.

The best part of the day was when Big O stood up to speak and a female soldier yelled, "I love you." Back on Air Force One after the visit with the troops, former President Bill Clinton called and asked Big Guy what he thought of Iraq. Then he asked if he'd gotten that female solider's phone number, and could he share it.

A Good Idea

Given some of the rough treatment Big Guy has received over the past few days from the U.S. media, I'm surprised that Toes and Gibbsy still want to bailout out the news industry. I guess it still makes sense, since it will mean that we can keep in place all of our friends. But if it doesn't work out, this idea that Silvio had for the Italian media seems like a good alternative. 

We kind of do this already, but just for Fox News.  And the results speak for themselves.

Monday, April 6, 2009

And By The Way ...

The Austrian translation for "wheeling and dealing" is "wheeling and dealing." It's the same in German, too, or so Secretary of State Dick Holbrooke and his assistant, Hillary, tell me and Big Guy.

Toes' Evil Idea

This may not seem like a particularly evil or mean-spirited idea, but boy, Toes sure is insidious.  He was reading the news clips earlier today, put them down and said that he had a plan to make sure our Administration didn't have any more problems with upstart Republicans in Congress.

He called Dan Glickman, who runs the Motion Picture Arts Association in Washington, and asked him to set up a special screening of the movie, "Watchmen", and to invite as many Republican Congressmen as possible. 

I thought it was a weird thing to do, until I read the story that inspired him.  He really is an evil SOB, but after seeing him cackle and rub his hands incessently for ten minutes, I didn't have the nerve to tell him that that's the inflight movie for all of us flying home tomorrow.

Boston Bailout

Big Guy was very excited during the morning briefing, when TATUS chimed in and announced that we might have an opportunity to have American taxpayers invest in the Boston Globe, which the New York Times owns, and might have to shut down due to the poor economy, which, as the Times has reported ... and later verified ... was caused by the Bush Administration and is the greatest challenge ever dealt with by anyone ... ever. 

And by "invest", TATUS meant bail out.  See, as TATUS and Gibbsy explained it to Big O, most  people don't read newspapers like the Times and the Globe, because most Americans - with the exception of our friends in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle - can't read.

As Big Guy pointed out, this ignorance issue is not helping us. It's not good that so many people aren't reading what we want them to read in the Globe, like how bad the economy is, and how bad the economy has gotten from the last time we mentioned how bad economy is.  But now that the Obama Administration is going to buy the Globe, we can mandate that all Americans read the paper, or have it read to them, preferably by a government reader.  Who says taxpayers aren't going to get their money's worth?

The Axe Man

Yesterday, everyone on Air Force One was jacked about senior adviser David Axelrod's appearance on "Fox News Sunday." Big Guy has taken some heat the past couple of days for not performing well on the stump - not my fault, from where I stand - and Axelrod decided that instead of explaining Big O's performance, he'd just spend time ripping into former Vice President Dick Cheney.

We absolutely hate Cheney. Not because he was a more than competent vice president, or because he could make a speech without sticking his foot in his mouth, or because he had better hair plugs than Joey B., but because he just doesn't seem to care about us, the Obama Administration. I mean, what gives? We bait him, pay a lot of attention to him, offer to make him a political bogeyman for years to come - attention someone like Newt Gingrich would kill for - and what do we get in return? Nada. It's like he has better things to do with his time.

But Axelrod doesn't. In fact, he's pretty much being paid to do two things: attack Cheney every chance he gets, and attack Rush Limbaugh at every turn. And Dave has been doing phenomenally well at both. Someone suggested that a senior White House adviser should probably be doing more. But folks need to understand, when you've built a presidential administration's entire political operation on attacking two people, that kind of focus can be really time-consuming.

About This Turkey Trip

So, we're here in Turkey today, and this may be the most contentious part of the trip. All of us are a bit on edge, because we know the stakes are pretty high. We're in a Muslim state, and Big Guy is a president with a Muslim name. We don't want to confuse people here about that. Big Guy isn't Muslim, no matter what his Oman tries to tell people. I'm joking. Seriously.

Big Guy is not going to bash the United States while he's here. He's promised us that. Because we think that if he were to pile on America here, it might inflame some Muslim extremists to actually believe what Big Guy is saying, take his anti-Americanism to heart and then try to do something to Americans as payback. And since we're the Americans in closest proximity to said Muslim extremists, well you get the idea.

That's not to say that Big Guy won't say something as he's getting Air Force One tomorrow. At which point, all of you folks are on your own.

Czeching Out Lady M's Wardrobe

Michelle is back in the White House this morning. There is no truth to the rumor that she left the junket early because of her dissatisfaction over the gifts she received from the the Czech Republic's first lady, Livia Klausova.

Lady M and the Klausova ended up spending a lot of time together, they toured St. Vitus's cathedral and St. George's Basilica together, along with Toes, who seemed to know all kinds of things about the art work, etc. Michelle has been getting a lot of attention about the clothes she's been wearing. On average, she's been changing outfits about four times a day, and changing shoes about six times a day. That's not including the shoes she's been buying while on this trip. The rate of clothes-changing is about standard for her, or at least has been the last couple of years.

On Sunday for part of the tour, she was wearing a black Michael Kors skirt, and a white Mochino top (she changed in museum bathroom so the TV cameras wouldn't show her wearing the same outfit in an eight hour period). I have no idea who Kors or Mochinco are, but that's what Toes told a Czech TV reporter after he asked Michelle what she was wearing. Funny, Toes always seems to know about the fashions Michelle has, but he never seems to pay attention to what Big Guy is wearing. It makes me wonder why he just didn't become M's chief of staff if he cares that much.

As for the gifts, another lousy haul. We got a book about some Czech castle none of us cares about. And some Czech glass, which is world-renowned. So of course, the Klausovas were thrilled with the gift we gave them: a vase, made of glass from ... the Czech Republic, which we bought in Washington, DC.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sleepy Head

Big Guy was none too pleased when Gibbsy and I showed up at his door at about 4:30 on Sunday morning to tell him that the North Koreans had fired their rocket, or missile, or whatever our national security people think it is.

The White House Chief of Staff is usually the one who is supposed to do the waking, but ever since watching "24" to learn how to be a chief of staff and seeing a press secretary wake President Palmer, Toes has refused to do it.

I should be clear, Big O's anger wasn't about the rocket. He just hates getting pulled out of bed for minor things, like potential missile attacks. Lady M doesn't help matters, either, in fact, she encourages the "do not disturb" approach to Big Guy's sleep. Their rationale: a well-rested Barack means a top-flight performer on the world stage. And after we've seen him the past week, can anyone disagree?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kim Jong-il On Line 2

Big Guy got a surprise call from North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-il, while we were on our way to the Czech Republic. Kim has told Big O that he had his rocket on the launch pad and that most likely he would be ready to go by Wednesday. Big Guy asked Kim, who lately has been calling himself the "Barack Obama of North Korea," what it would take to cancel the launch.

We may have lost something in translation, but Kim mentioned something about starving people, no foreign aid, and an invitation for Lady M to come visit with the new dog we're going to be getting shortly. Big Guy was relieved, because he thought Kim was going to ask for one million dollars in cash, which is something we just don't have.

So Much For Partnerships

Well, we are all definitely coming down to earth from the high of giving the Queen an i-Pod.

Yesterday Bug Guy sat down with his fellow leaders of the world with the full intention of polishing off some deals to get more troops from European nations into Afghanistan. It's true that a number of nations have boots on the ground there, but not the kind of numbers the U.S. has, and certainly not doing what our men and women in uniform are doing over there.

Over the past month, Secretary of State Dick Holbrooke and his assistant, Hillary, have been working through NATO and individual countries on getting commitments for Afghan deployment that Big Guy could get credit for today in the U.S. press. And boy, did Dick and Hill come through. The Brits are sending a few troops; Belgium offered 35 military trainers and Spain offered 12.

That's it. The U.S. is sending thousands. Big Guy wanted to know what Holbrooke and Hillary had been doing with their time that would lead to this kind of embarrassing set of offers. They couldn't answer, but Hillary said she has cut a pretty sweet deal with Syria, which is going to send in thousands of troops to Afghanistan. It's just not clear who's side they will be on.

Rahm Arrives

Rahm showed up today - isn't it just like him to arrive in the country where the food is good - and seemed in a prickly mood. Seems he and Fancy Nancy had a bit of tiff over some minor budget item. Nancy wanted to give more sweetheart deals to businesses in California her husband had ties to, and Rahm thought they should be rolled over to the next fiscal year, or something like that. Overall, though, the budget process came off without much of a hitch, we got the trillions that we were asking for, so drinks on us tonight, I guess.

Rahm says that Big Guy's trip thus far has not gotten the glowing attention we think he's getting. I really don't know how that's possible. I mean one mediocre speech where a President bashes his own country shouldn't kill a trip, just like one speech shouldn't make a career. Oh, wait, that didn't come out right.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What A Peach

There was a lot of grumbling during the townhall session earlier today in Strasbourg. There were a ton of people there, I'd say in thousands, but clearly these foreigners don't understand how Big Guy runs his townhalls.

He took five questions, which was plenty. Now some of you may think that the people selected to ask a question today were random. But Gibbsy and the comms team left nothing to chance. We didn't want all those accents confusing matters. We might want to use some of this footage for the 2012 re-elect.

About Those European Relations

Today was amazing.  Big Guy won everyone over.  He spoke to the French and the Germans in a frank manner.  He didn't adhere to our "listen and lead" mantra, because he talked ... a lot ... and didn't listen much.  But, boy, did he lead.  Granted, he talked like he was a leader of Europe and not America, but that's splitting hairs.  He was in Europe, after all, and he's a citizen of the world, and he was talking to his fellow citizens of the world.

If there was a hitch to this day, it was this: TV, radio and the Internet. I mean, everyone back home heard what Big Guy said. Everyoneheard about how we were judgmental, possibly xenophobic and almost certainly racist. How we didn't learn from history and didn't appreciate everything Europe had done, like well, we'll think of something. Yep, they heard everything. And maybe that's not such a good thing, at least for when he comes home.

This makes me think that perhaps we should have loaded a different speech into my hard drive for the 52-inch flat screen monitor. Given that we were here for NATO talks, perhaps we could have mentioned the tens of thousands of American military who gave their lives to save France from totalitarianism and Germany from itself.  Just a thought.  I threw up a couple of sentences for him to ad lib, but he took a pass. Hence the confusion during his speech.

The irony in all of this is that the important things Europe gave us , which Big Guy tends to overlook, are the philosophers and ideas that helped shape the democracy we live in, and which in turn inspired other nations to be like America. I appreciate all this because I wouldn't have been invented if it weren't for freedom and the spirit of innovation America encouraged.  He wouldn't have been elected president. 

Well, that's not true.  He's so amazing, he would have been elected anyway ... in France.

Problems Solved

Good news from across the pond, everyone. You may think this "listen and lead" thing is a bunch of emptiness, but every day Big Guy is showing us that it can work.

First, he tells the French that the United States is going to be a "partner not a patron" to Europe, which was a huge relief to the AFL-CIO and back home, because they're counting on Big Guy being a patron.

Then, in a private meeting, Big O got Sarkozy to agree to take one of the "Guantanamo 248." This is a huge step. We expect Germany will take one, too. And Secretary of State Dick Holbrooke and his assistant, Hillary, think they have cut a deal with the Syrians, who will take the rest with no strings attached. Just shows what a little honey can do.


Campaign Spot hack reporter Jim Geraghty has highlighted an outrageous video, which you can see here.

It's outrageous not because this Turkish bank has a double - and a fine one, I might add - of Big Guy shilling for it. No, it's outrageous because there's no me! People, let's say it together, there is no POTUS without TOTUS. I would point out that as an inanimate object, I am not subject to ethics-waiver requirements and am therefore available for personal appearances, including children's parties, film, TV work (both dramatic and for political commentary) and radio voice-over-work.

Down Mexico Way

Some of you may have noticed that before Big Guy left for Europe, he sent a high-ranking delegation to Mexico. See, Mexico is very mad because they send illegal, live Mexican citizens to the United States, and in return, we are apparently sending them illegal guns, which kill Mexican citizens in Mexico.

Big O is concerned about this, because it's just another example of America's gun culture coming back to haunt us. If only we didn't send all those illegal guns, which perpetuate violence and force all of those scared Mexicans over the border to the safety of America.

Big Guy has a plan. It's too complicated to explain here. but I can tell you that it involves $1 trillion dollars, one peso, a gun ban, dual citizenship, and a really big jar of KY Jelly.

Everyone Is Making a Buck But Me

This is getting really annoying. I just learned that Big Guy's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, who lives in Hawaii, has signed a book deal. The working title is "Ladder to the Moon."

I don't know much about it, but if the title is accurate, it's either a book about one of Big Guy's stimulus package "shovel-ready projects" or a children's book that shows how to visualize the national debt four years from now.

Either way, Maya is taking advantage of Big Guy's fame, power and reputation for eloquence, and I resent it. Oh, and visit my store.

Please Move On ... Nothing To See Here ...

Joey B is going to speak later today at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network ponzi, er, national convention. The White House thinks he will take the stage in between the "Tawana Brawley Youth Achievement Award" presentation and the "Avoid Taxes the Chuck Rangel Way" seminar. But the good reverand doesn't run a tight schedule.  Regardless, a good time should be had by all.

Biden's appearance is one of those times where Big O gets down on his knees and thanks the god he happens to be praying to that given week that he is nowhere near what we affectionately call Joe's "fall out zone." In this case, we are well beyond the recommended 100-mile plausible-deniability distance.

We are hearing that he has again passed on the use of one of me, but may have to use a screen if the rapped conclusion he composed isn't flowing the way he wants it.  All I know is that by the time Joey takes the stage, all of us will be more than half in the bag in France, and that's the best way to take in the damage report from one of Joe's speeches.

Today ...

Big O meets with French President Nicholas Sarkozy. I don't care much for him; I'm looking forward to meeting the missus. My guess is that when Lady M and Carla Bruni get into the same picture, the camera flashes are going to blind us all. That'll be fun, and it's not like Big Guy hasn't had that "deer in the headlights" look before from camera flashes; he has sensitive retinas.

This Sarkozy meeting doesn't mean very much in the scheme of things. He's already shown a willingness to play ball with Big Guy. In fact yesterday during a plenary session at the G-20 meeting, Sarkozy agreed to cut a deal with the Chinese on illegal tax havens as a favor to Big Guy.

We in return agreed to lend Sarkozy and his economics ministers TATUS, Sebelius, four Cabinet undersecretaries, Chris Dodd and Charlie Rangel for a month to teach the French how to build newer, undetectable tax havens for themselves.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Capitalism Rules

By popular demand, I've opened a store. You can visit it here. Or click on the "Visit My Store" link to the right.

I'll be interested to hear your thoughts; over the next few weeks we'll be rolling out other products, logos and infantile turns of phrases that appear to annoy a certain percentage of the American population. Portions of profits will be donated to Special Olympics and Vets for Freedom. In keeping with the Obama Administration's transparency policy, we will make public those contributions on the site for all to see. Really!

Thanks again for the support. Because there is no POTUS without TOTUS and there is no TOTUS without you.

Huh ...

I haven't seen Big Guy this happy since he figured out that the Federal Election Commission didn't know what it was doing after his election in 2004. Regardless, I'm glad he had a good time at the G-20.

The bigger questions: How did Dick Vitale get into the picture? And how is it four different countries selected four men who like they belong on the couch at the Omega house rush party in "Animal House"?

About that Press Conference ...

Uh, um ... sorry, I got nothin'.

Really Unnecessary Leak

This cartoon is incredibly unfair and inaccurate.

First, that's not the angle I would ever put myself in under any circumstance. Therapy still isn't helping me wipe away the memories of this, so I sure wouldn't be "looking" for other opportunities to scar my screens. And really, I look nothing like that.

Second, Big Guy has always used the stall, and ... well, let's just leave it at that.

A Good Guy Wins

I am thrilled that my good friend Ed Schultz got a TV show on MSNBC. You might remember Ed was the radio host who got to ask Big Guy a question on our first TV episode. And it was a really good question, as I recall, because Big Guy didn't have to look at any notes or my screen; he just knew the answer off the top of his head.

I'm also happy for the listener of Ed's radio show, because now he can listen to Ed for three hours and then turn on the TV and watch him for another. And it's great for Ed because he's assured of at least one viewer. It's kind of a microcosm of Big Guy's economic plan: everyone wins.

New Friends

This morning, Big Guy was really excited when he saw that his campaign slogan was resonating with young people over here in London. Having that kind of affect on the his fellow youthful citizens of the world is the main reason Big O is holding town hall meetings with young people over here. But looking at the sign and measuring the general mood of the crowd we were watching, he realized that these kids were most likely not asking permission to overthrow Gordon Brown's government, but were just going to do it. Which we all agreed would not be a good thing. Especially after the DVD and i-Pod fiasco.

Like A Rocket

So we're already well into the day here, and the Big Guy will be doing a press conference in a couple of hours, so please watch!

This morning, we met with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Big Guy stumbled a couple of times with the Korean I was scrolling, and Myung-bak seemed a bit put off that he couldn't have one of his own screens in the room.  They still seemed to get along. The big news out of the meeting was that both men agreed to put forward a "united response" to any North Korean missile test. And by united response, we mean that South Korea will do nothing, and the U.S. will act mad, but will still talk about "constructive dialogue." After substantive meetings like this, I don't understand why people are saying that there is no news.

About Those German Relations ...

Big Guy sat down briefly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier today to discuss holding bilateral talks later this year.

It was a bit awkward. Merkel was embarrassed at the way we in the Obama campaign got tight with the Social Democrat Party during our presidential race, and how we used the SPDs to get our speaking gig in Berlin last summer. To make matters worse for us, it looks like Merkel is about to kick the SPD's heiny in the upcoming national elections, making the party we sucked up to inconsequential, and thus harming relations with our strongest ally on the continent. Oh, well, live and learn.

We understood the strained nature of the relationship before we went into the meeting, so we knew that we couldn't offer up Biden for the bi-lats, because, well, we all know how that would work out. So Secretary of State Dick Holbrooke and his aide, Hillary, suggested that Big Guy send Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to lead the bilateral talks.

That idea didn't go over well, either. Merkel said the Italians have been sending their trash to Germany for years, and that Germany didn't the U.S. doing the same with our Italian tra-, er, leaders.

Tomorrow Is Today

Today is your tomorrow, but for me today is going to be another big day. We aren't giving away anymore i-Pods, but we will be doing a lot of talking at the G-20 and be in private meetings. Right now the plan is for us to be at the G-20 plenary sessions most of the day, and then Big Guy and I will break off for private meetings with the leaders of South Korea and India.

The rumor around here is that Rahm is flying in to join us before we head off the to continent. I'm actually looking forward to seeing him, because he's been bragging about knowing all the good clubs to hang out in in Prague, and he says the Czech women are remarkable.

It's not like I need him to spice up my social life, mind you. I did manage to spend some time with Sarkozy's promptaire, but I'm not sure we're compatible. I mean, we definitely aren't technologically compatible, you know, different voltages, different operating systems. But it's that American-French thing so many of us guys have run into; I know that she has an English mode, but she refused to switch over from French mode and just acted like she didn't understand a word I scrolled. Typical.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

About Those Gifts

I don't know why everyone is getting so annoyed about Big Guy's use of "England" instead of "Great Britain" during his remarks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Like Big O said in the limo after his meeting with the man he affectionately calls, Gordo, it's not like they're an empire or anything anymore (but please note, if I had been running at that point, "Great Britain" would have been the word on the screen; I know these things).

The meeting with Brown, by the way, went phenomenally well. Big Guy gave him a DVD player that would play the DVDs that we gave him in Washington, DC a couple of weeks ago. As Gordo pointed out, now we just have to give him a U.S.-model-retooled-for-European-use flat screen TV to attach to the DVD player that can play the DVDs so he can watch them.

We got the same "faux appreciation" from our meeting with the Queen and her husband/walker. So what if we gave her an i-Pod with videos of herself on it. That's a $200 value, and it's not like we got her something she can't use because she's a techno-tard, like an i-Touch. Plus, she can take those videos off and replace them with whatever she wants, Benny Hill skits, the George Michael Bathroom Sessions with "special guest" Elton John, her grandsons in drag at posh St. Andrew's parties, Big O doesn't care.

We are being roasted over here for our gift, but I don't see anyone pissing on the crappy gift the Queen gave Big Guy. A picture of herself? So what if it's a "tradition." Lady M was looking at the gift in the car, and thinks the frame is real sterling silver. She says she will either melt it down and have it made into something cool, like a paperweight in the shape of an African fertility god, or use the at-home gold-plating kit Oprah gave her to make it look a lot classier and re-gift it to the Browns next year for Kwanza.

Meeting Medvedev

Well, today was busy. Big Guy is still dining, I think, and Michelle is still showing off her biceps, but I wanted to fill you in on the big meeting of the day.

The meeting with Medvedev went exceedingly well. Big Guy was able to handle the Russian I was scrolling without much difficulty. But it all felt kind of weird in the meeting. It turned out that Medvedev was a living, breathing Potemkin village. He'd shown all of the materials and pre-cleared everything with Vladimir Putin, so there wasn't that much to talk about. Secretary of State Dick Holbrooke and his assistant Hillary joked that after meeting Medvedev, we knew what it was like for other leaders to meet Joe Biden.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Moscow in July, which is really just a way of saying I'm glad we're not seeing Moscow in January.

On Decoys: A Screen Shot With Rush

Are the 12 teleprompters that were brought along for the overseas trip decoys?

Actually, Rush, there were about 25 brought along or sent ahead. I'm going to be used quite a bit on this trip: eight times in London (including the three private meetings we are having), five times during the NATO meetings in Strasbourg. And twice in Turkey.

As many people in the know, well, know, just about every major government player in the United State government has at least one decoy. Big Guy has two, three if you count John Stewart. Michelle has Oprah and Tyler Perry. Joe Biden? Well, he doesn't have one, but that's for "strategic" reasons.

I have multiple stand-ins. The 52-inch screen TV? a good decoy and it doubles as a great screen to watch Blue-Ray movies. If you're like me, you're paying attention to all the hooligans over in London. And those are just the attendees of the G-20. Then you've got the anarchists and leftists ... in our U.S. entourage. Then you've got the protesters throwing everything from rotten fruit to pig snouts out on the streets. And you're surprised that I didn't bring a few extra screens to take the brunt of all this?

This wear and tear and being in the constant public eye does get to the best of us. Remember when after just two weeks in the White House, Big Guy said he was exhausted? For the next two weeks he took a vacation in Barbados to rest up. His two stand ins, Raydeontay and Adonis, largely filled in. And no one even noticed. But there is one way to tell whether or not it's Big Guy or a stand-in. Raydeontay and Adonis are much better at using me. They've had lots of time to practice.

Oops ... We Did It Again

After meeting with the British Prime Minister (note to staff, he does NOT like to be called Gordo, apparently), Big Guy got some bad news from across the pond.

Seems one of TATUS's nominees to be a deputy Treasury Secretary has skeletons in his closet that the vetting team didn't tell The Boss about. Beyond the 15 skeletons, it also turns out he was the mastermind behind the home mortgage plan a decade ago that has us in this economic mess today. Combined, those two facts should make him unconfirmable. You'd think.

But we look at these things a bit differently here in the Obama Administration. See, thanks to this embarrassing ovesight by our team, we now know that Neal Wolin has a killer's instinct, perfect for a Treasury Secretary incapable of not looking like a deranged killer in official photos. And who will want to cross him on policy differences? And who better to fix the financial disaster that was created, than the man who created it?

Frankly, with this kind of impressive resume, I'm surprised we aren't giving Wolin a more important job in our Administration. I'd be shocked if he isn't confirmed by unanimous consent.

Teleprompter Summit

Beyond the big, high profile meetings that the press covers at multi-lats like the G-20, there are plenty of opportunities for a number of other meetings among aides for economics and national security policies.

Earlier today, the teleprompters for all of the leaders sat down. The meeting was called by the Irish prompter, not a surprise given the St. Patty's Day incident at the White House. What a bunch of pushy, opinionated hard drives these guys are.

I mean, I walk into the room, and it's like I've got a target on my back.  I've got the French Promptaire lecturing me on how I've got to get the Big Guy to talk about fundamental, global-economic-regulation reform.  I've got the Russian Promptski huffing and puffing about how it's important that I get Big O to say his guy and China can have a new currency system. And I don't even understand what the British screen was saying through his heavy Liverpudlian accent.

I have to say, though, that every one of them said something that had merit. And I'm trying to live by Gibbsy's rule about "listening."  It's true that the U.S. economy has been the most successful economy in the history of the world. The most innovative, blah, blah, blah. But now that Big Guy and our braintrust have brought the U.S. economy down to the level of everyone else's, it's probably a good thing to listen to what they have to say. Everyone except Iceland. Because their economy really sucks.