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Jewish World Review Jan. 29, 2001 / 6 Shevat, 5761

Paul Greenberg

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Consumer Reports

Found!:Dubya's to-do list -- One of the visitors in the nation's capital for the Inauguralreported finding a little spiral notebook skittering along Pennsylvania Avenue shortly after the presidential limousine had passed.

Inside there seemed to be some sort of list:

1. Make sure Cheney gets his regular checkups.

2. Have lunch with Alan Greenspan. Every week. Maybe every day.

3. Do what Laura says. She's been right about everything so far.

4. Pick out mom and dad's room in the White House.

5. Make sure Spot is comfortable. (If you want a friend in Washington, bring a dog.)

6. Make sure Cheney takes his vitamins.

7. Be nice, but don't be a sucker. Remember what happened to dad.

8. Fix American education. This week. Make it clear I'm poor kids' friend. It's the other guys who want to keep 'em in those awful schools. Drill and test those little rugrats till they can read writin' and write readin.' And do 'rithmetic, too. (If I got an MBA, anybody can.) Have I forgotten anything? Ask Miss Laura. Gosh, I wish somebody would invent compassionate liberalism.

9. Make sure Cheney gets his exercise.

10. Get some decent food around the place: Barbecue instead of salmon mousse. Beef barbecue. Drop the French wines in favor of longneck Lone Stars. (None for me, thanks. I'm driving.) No desserts for Cheney.

11. Fix Medicare. Appoint blue-ribbon commission to tell me how. To chair it, pick some Democrat still within reach of reason. Like John Breaux.

12. Fix Social Security. Get Steve Forbes to put together blue-ribbon commission to recommend changes. See if Pat Moynihan will chair it.

13. Appoint blue-ribbon commission to study education in poorest school districts. Find another Democrat to chair. See if Andrew Young's interested. He's for school choice.

14. Make sure Cheney gets his rest.

15. Tell Californians they won't get their electricity back by trying to fix the price. Tell 'em to follow Pennsylvania's example and really deregulate. Tell 'em the surest way to cause a shortage of anything is to do just what they did: cap the price. Take it from an MBA.

16. Cut taxes. Start with marriage tax, death tax and that telephone tax that goes back to the Spanish-American War.

17. Extend the North American Free Trade Act to South America. (I've never been great at geography, but this idea rates an A in economics.) Start with Chile.

18. Ask Gore if he wants to be ambassador to Chad.

19. Get a better tailor, one who can make my coats fit, instead of giving me that Howdy Doody look.

20. Margaritas, quesadillas and mariachi music at all White House functions. Out with Barbra Streisand, in with Larry Gatlin.

21. Put Cheney's phone number on laminated card in my wallet.

22. Suggest Clinton go on speaking tour. Tell him to grant plenty of interviews and keep talking, especially about those pardons. And how he's not guilty of anything. Give him plenty of rope.

23. Build antimissile defense shield. Soon. Saddam isn't getting any nicer.

24. Put picture of Reagan in more prominent place in White House. Ask Nancy to lunch. See if Ronnie's old speechwriters are available -- not for the White House staff but to write op-ed pieces. They do more good there. Remember to cross out any colorful phrases in my speeches. Not nostrums but normalcy, that's the ticket.

25. . Be nice. Especially to Democrats; it drives 'em crazy.

26. Be nice even to Republicans. Even to Tom DeLay. Even to John McCain. (I didn't realize how big this big tent was going to be.)

27. Reach out to opposition in both parties. When they don't reach back, kick butt.

28. Restore all dad's executive orders that Clinton revoked; revoke Clinton's.

29. Make sure Cheney takes his pills.

30. Keep speeches short. The country will love the novelty of it.

31. Stay on schedule. The country will love the novelty of it.

32. Stick with Ashcroft. If he's thrown to the mob, they'll smell blood.

33. Get something done every day of the first hundred days, but don't be caught using the phrase. Everybody else is.

34. Save the Electoral College. It's the least I can do. It saved me.

35. Be nice -- as long as I can. Smile, don't smirk. Learn the difference.

36. Brush up on my Spanish -- 2004 will be here before I know it, and I'll need it even more by then, comprende?

37. Give the White House a decent coat of paint. See if the guy who just painted the ranch house at Crawford is available.

38. Win over those who didn't vote for me. But don't forget those who did. If in doubt, dance with those who brung ya.

39.. Pray. A lot.

40. Do not lose this list. Let Cheney keep it.

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