Thursday, 10 November 2011

By Order of the President

It was a tough day.  We were reading through the newest Presidential executive order, and wondering how things would fit or occur.

First, the President says there's to be some kind of review by every government agency over the vehicle fleet they have.  The reality is that we have probably twice as many government vehicles as we did back in 1990.  Just about anyone connected to Homeland Security in DC....who claims they are "essential" and of sufficient grade....ends up with a government vehicle to drive to work each day.  Some are leased....some are bought.  The bulk of the 600k vehicles....probably aren't needed.  Once you get past the US military, the National Park and Forestry Service, and could probably cut fifty percent of what remains.

Second, the President says there's too much SWAG.  I had to look this up.....then immediately knew what the heck it was.  SWAG is the free gifts that you tend to hand out to coffee cups, cuff-links, label pins, key-chains, pens, etc.  It's stuff that you pull out and hand to folks at conferences.  I never noticed SWAG while in the military....but in DC, it's always brought up.  I'm guessing the government is finally admitting that SWAG is pretty stupid to spend on government employees.

Third, the President kind of hinted that conferences have gotten out of control.  These trips to Orlando, Vegas, Phoenix, and Washington?  He wants these vastly curtailed.  He didn't really say how this would happen, but I'm guessing some bosses are in a state of fear over that March conference scheduled in Vegas or that April conference that folks were planning in Tampa Bay.  My advice to the President on this is pretty simple....if you forced all conferences to be held in downtown Memphis and had to run from 6PM to midnight....most folks would start to rethink the need or safety of making such a conference.  We could do the same thing in Milwaukee or southeast DC.  Conference planning would dry up in one year and folks would go back fixing their issues instead of worrying about conference topics.

Finally, I came to my favorite off the whole list.....printed paper cuts.  Yep, he wanted folks to realize the real arrival of the digital age.  We all kept talking in 1996 on how we'd cut back on printed paper.  Yet for some odd reason, our organizations still order a pallet of paper every five months.  I'm curious how the President will force this paper cut.  Microsoft is probably working on this automatic printing counter that will limit each employee in the company to "x" number of prints per month.  You can imagine your boss grinning at you....when he tells you that you've got fifty pages max for the whole month.  You grin back because you only print five sheets a month and intend to trade your remaining 45 spares over to another guy in the office for three cups of coffee.  Eventually, you notice guys sneaking a ream of paper into the office and having to pay for everything they print.

Maybe these will work....but you have to wonder just how committed folks will be.


Somewhere between the lines today, Senator John McCain came out and noted that the super-committee, which is supposed to come up with the 'dream-budget-deal' now locked into a stalemate.  Senator McCain is now suggesting that the Republicans need to start planning an escape situation...a plan "B".  To say this on the last day of the week in DC.....means that he's going to be invited to various chat shows this Sunday.

In a way, it's a comical conclusion to the super-committee.  No one really expected much out of the group except time to pass, and some miracle would occur.  My recommendation would be to lock the twelve folks into a room with food, water and bunks....and dump a hundred pounds of fresh horse manure into the corner every seven days.  It might take three weeks....but I think the twelve folks would eventually see the light (or smell the manure).  Obviously, that would be rough treatment for these gifted individuals.

This is what you should gaze ahead for....massive across the US over the automatic kick-in, and hyped political battles for January.  But here's the deal....this automatic only carries you to 30 September of 2012.  So the boys have to meet yet again by August of next year, in the midst of a political election period, and whip up the same type of super-committee game again.  Obviously....if it failed the first time around.....what idiot would agree to this the second time around?

You have to believe that it's all some WWE-wrestling-like environment.  Bad guys versus the good guys.  Managers versus retired wrestlers.  I'm even ready to name the 2012 group.....the "super-super-committee".  Maybe we could even make it a reality show and air it nightly on BRAVO.

Just the Obvious

This 'Coach Joe' Paterno thing just doesn't make much sense.  You get info that some guy in your inner circle is messing around with boys in a shower.  The best you can do is alert the college officials...not the cops....and then continue to allow the guy to hang out in your inner circle (for years).  Then 'Coach Joe' figures that after this whole thing comes out....he can coach through the end of the season and this won't have any affect on his team as they face other teams.  This is one of the top ten most stupid sports episodes that I've seen in my life.

From my home state, Jefferson County did finally declare bankruptcy.  Just over four billion dollars involved.  This entire mess, from start to finish, took over twenty years.  Most folks don't even remember that this all started with some lawyer who sued the county over it dumping sludge and waste into the local river.  The EPA got involved, and by the end....the only way to get out of the mess was to agree to this three billion dollar waste plant that was twice the necessary size.  The agreement was all wrapped up and a judge signed as final.  The minute the deal concluded.....the county was screwed.  Where is the EPA today?  Nowhere to be seen.  The judge?  Folks don't even remember the guy's name.

Somewhere in the midst of things over the past week.....Bill Clinton came out and suggested that Presidents should have the ability to run as many times as they desired.  It was a bit comical and almost sounded like something that Jimmy Carter would suggest.  I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't have suggested that if George Bush was in office and had a chance to run for a third term.  Or Eisenhower.  Sometimes you can get retired Presidents to say some pretty amusing things if you ask enough stupid questions.