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Jewish World Review Jan. 24, 2001 / 29 Teves, 5761

James Lileks

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The new Executive Orders -- TOO BAD Ray struck a deal. Clinton needed a pardon. For the good of the country, we all need to heal - or, in Clinton terms, we need to put some ice on that. A pardon will help us move past these difficult years. The healing can begin. Love and forgiveness will wash over the land. Flowers will bloom in the nostrils of capital statuary. Maxine Waters and Jesse Helms will be found soul-kissing in the cloakroom under a pile of coats. Et cetera.

So said one camp. Others believed that a pardon is, itself, an indictment; it's one of those absolutions that applies as much mud as it removes. Well, conservatives might not be so hep to give the Big Creep a pass when they learn all the executive orders he's been signing. Herewith a sample that greeted Dub on day one:

Executive Order #01001: Replenish the nation's Strategic Intern Reserve. In the last two years, the good people of the Heartland have shown a marked disinclination to send their daughters off to Washington to serve as underpaid lapdancers for the executive branch and its defenders. An unusually harsh political climate this fall required the government to tap in to the Strategic Reserve, and unless it's refilled, future presidents may be forced to import interns for furtive, exploitive groping sessions.

Executive Order #01002: Everyone is hereby ordered to leave Alaska. You have 48 hours. Let's go. Move it out. Special bonuses will be given to the people who voluntarily feed their children to the caribou. In order to fully restore Alaska to its original pristine beauty, all oil removed from the state will be returned and forced back into the ground. Space-based lasers will reshape the coastline to conform to Bill Clinton's profile. Booya! Legacy!

EO #01003: "Yertylism," meaning "One who follows the teachings of Seuss' "Yertyl the Turtle," is a legitimate word for the purposes of Scrabble, thereby reversing the outcome of that game Clinton lost in college. The FBI is hereby ordered to find that guy who won the game, and tell him about this order. But take your time, boys. Flash your badges and request entry into his house. Have a helicopter going overhead, too.

EO #01004: Institute new OSHA regs that will require home offices to be subject to strict ergonomic standards, including straight-backed chairs with shoulder-clamps that discourage slumping. When Republicans complain, dig up some old racist GOPer who voted against civil rights and seat belts, and say there's a "troubling pattern" here.

Additional orders: CNN and Time are hereby required to run stories on Slumping as a national epidemic, complete with film of children slumping in school. Christy Todd'll have no choice but to get behind an anti-slumping epidemic. Bonus: some nutcase is guaranteed to shoot an inspector, and that's always good for a few more gun laws. The editorial cartoonists can be counted on to draw Charlton Heston making a baby slump at gunpoint. With a little work, government can do for "slump" what it did for "sprawl" - make it a word that automatically stigmatizes its opponents.

EO #01005: Executive Mansion carpenters are ordered to shave 1/16th inch off one leg of all White House chairs and tables, just to drive GW nuts and make him shim them up with matchbooks and magazines. Also, the staff is hereby requested to write "Property of George Bush Sr." on a bunch of my old Playboys, and stick Ćem in an Oval Office drawer where Shrub'll find them some day. Just for grins.

EO #01006: All White House staff must use air quotes when they say "Mr. President." He'll just hate that.

EO #01007: All town in America named "Jerusalem" will be partitioned, and will let the PLO have half the city council seats. Someone's going to be sorry they didn't let him solve this one, and if it's a buncha Rotarians in Jerusalem, Iowa, fine by him.

EO #01008: Sharon Stone can just come right over and set that sweet thing down in that there chair until this here list is finished. And that's not just an order, that's an executive order.

EO #01009: The writers of "West Wing" are hereby requested to write Martin Sheen out, and Bill Clinton in. You boys figure out the details, but let's get it done by the spring sweeps.

EO #01011: Barbra Streisand ordered to stay away from the White Hou - no, that's not punishment. Barbra Streisand hereby ordered to spend every night at the White House. Serves 'em both right.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


01/22/01: Hey, Dubya: Wanna save Ashcroft? Teach him to rap!
01/09/01: Bubba gets his last licks
01/05/01: The low-down on the coming recession (What those snooty economists won't tell you)
12/23/00: Memo to Dubya: Wanna show who is boss? Nuke 'em!
12/06/00: The Count of Carthage
At the Sore/Loserman Transition HQ
12/01/00: The Count of Carthage
11/28/00: Clinton knows history isn't written by the victors anymore
11/17/00: Chad's the word
11/08/00: The strangest political night
11/07/00: Get ready to return to the Dark Ages

© 2000, James Lileks