|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Tuesday, March 1st, 2005
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|The Bush administration is having trouble coming up with a name for its Social Security plan that is both palatable and descriptive. “Privatization” was dropped early on, deemed too scary for popular consumption. “Personal accounts” is the phrase du jour, even though, blandly neutral, it doesn’t have much impact. The President, who prides himself on plain speaking, has decided to take matters into his own hands. From now on, there is to be no more pussy-footing when it comes to administration policies. Spades will be called spades, and pots will call kettles whatever they darn well please.
Mr. Bush and his ideological soul-mates have as their ultimate, if unstated, goal not reform but eradication of the Social Security System. Administration allies have smeared the American Association of Retired Persons, which is leading opposition to the administration plan, as a gay-marriage-supporting, anti-military gang of subversives bent on leading the nation to perdition one wheelchair at a time. This strategy is proving too moderate for some, and the next step is a re-branding of the Social Security Administration itself. Henceforth it will be known as Only the Rich Die Good.
In the same spirit of plain speaking, other administration programs whose true natures have been hiding behind ambiguous, bureaucratic-sounding names will now come out into the open. Star Wars, which all reputable scientists say will never work, whose expensive tests have produced one embarrassing failure after another, is now being deployed despite those failures, thus flying in the face of the laws of physics and of common sense. The price tag is rising into the hundreds of billions range, a bonanza for dozens of Pentagon arms suppliers. Star Wars’ official name is no longer the Strategic Defense Initiative. The new name: Strategic Social Security (for Defense Contractors).
The great achievement of the Bush administration’s first term was passage of the No Child Left Behind Act. Ostensibly a public education reform program, NCLB was carefully designed to undermine the public school system. The goal: spurring a vast expansion of the charter and home school movements, thereby encouraging the teaching of faith-based, as opposed to reality-based, curricula. Future generations of students will eschew the dangerous teachings of Darwin, Newton, and Einstein in favor of the stork, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and Adam and Eve. The boldness and scope of this program doesn’t begin to be captured by the wimpy No Child Left Behind, which from now on will be known as It Takes a Potemkin Village.
President Bush is always thinking ahead. And contrary to popular belief, the President is a reader, especially of presidential biographies and autobiographies. His current reading list, for example, includes Joseph Ellis’ superb biography of George Washington, His Excellency. The President is also familiar with the autobiographical efforts of his recent predecessors, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. But their titles, My Life and Keeping Faith respectively, will not do for Mr. Bush. The President, planning his memoirs for when he leaves office, is now torn between two far more honest, manly, and forthright titles for his own magnum opus: The Complete Idiot’s Presidency or Presidency for Dummies. Vote for your preference at www.whitehouse.gov.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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