Monday, June 4, 2007

The Bozo Bus, Rt. #1: Look out Marie Callender, Dollar Bill’s Frozen Dinners are heading up the competition!

This is a special subtopic of The P-patch that will be posted periodically, known as The Bozo Bus. The intention is to focus on a Bozo out there in the news, or even a Bozo walking around whose behavior is in need of comment… yes, we take no prisoners... we only kidnap them for awhile... and yes, it’s EXACTLY as you envision it: there’s literally a VW bus painted in swirling psychedelic 60s colors, packed to the hilt with clowns, speeding—braking hard—swerving erratically, who swing into the residence of the person in question to literally pick them up and take them on a ride. Think of clowns executing a brief kidnapping and forcing their victims to perform acts in the vein of the show Jackass. Sound the clown horns, we’re off to our next stop!!! **honk**honk**honk** Throw the bastard in the back.

So The Bozo Bus begins its maiden voyage with a stealthy Democratic Representative, if you can believe it. See? Even the lefties aren't immune to receiving a fun ride. On today’s bus route, we’re swinging by to pick up “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, who represents Louisiana’s 2nd District (essentially most of New Orleans). The man was recently indicted on charges of multiple accounts of, it appears, almost anything a congressman could theoretically do wrong to artfully abuse his power. It appears that this Bozo and his clown posse have been performing a major world tour with multiple encores---and obviously their circus is no philanthropy---they're definitely in in it for the money.

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia giving some background to the thing:

On June 4, 2007 Jefferson was indicted on 16-counts in a 94-page indictment that included charges of racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money-laundering, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If convicted, he faces a possible maximum sentence of 235 years.[35][36]

Jefferson was videotaped by the FBI receiving $100,000 worth of $100 bills in a leather briefcase at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington, Virginia.[8] Jefferson told an investor, Lori Mody, who was wearing a wire, that he would need to give Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar $500,000 "as a motivating factor" to make sure they obtained contracts for iGate and Mody's company in Nigeria.[9] A few days later, on 3 August 2005, FBI agents raided Jefferson's home in Northeast Washington and, as noted in an 83-page affidavit filed to support a subsequent raid on his Congressional office, "found $90,000 of the cash in the freezer, in $10,000 increments wrapped in aluminum foil and stuffed inside frozen-food containers." Serial numbers found on the currency in the freezer matched serial numbers of funds given by the FBI to their informant. Louisiana State Representative Karen Carter on December 9, 2006.

I’m curious about a few things here. First, why doesn't this guy resign? He's simply refused to, which is just bizarre to me. It's like crashing a party where nobody wants you, but you're so enraged with ego that you refuse to leave. He's no longer on the House Ways and Means Committee he served on, and that's because he was booted off---because he also refused to resign from that. Well Bill, you better keep your powerful footing in Congress while you still have it. Yuk it up, buddy.

...which, with further thought, begs an interesting question to all the Congress rulebook folks out there: Is it possible for a Congressman to serve part of a term while he's in prison? Considering that, he might actually be able to be more productive while behind bars with what he should be doing.

Second, performing all these acts seem like they would have taken lots of work, time, covering up, and lying. Seems like a HELL of a lot of work (and for not very much money). Better yet, what did his constituency think he was doing this whole time? "Oh, as your humble representative I'm off to Nigeria again, uh, to assess the African tribal mask market for the World Bank." Forget how they keep track of him, how does he keep track of it all with the covering up and lying? ...and while we're on the subject, who were the other Bozos who reelected this guy to a new term last fall while he was being investigated for these heinous acts? Believe me, I do understand innocent until proven guilty, and apparently appearances to that effect mean one's immune to being put under the spotlight during an election year... or maybe it's voter apathy again? (and again? and again? and... )

Third, it seems that there was money stashed away in the freezer for a protracted amount of time. So when dinner was being prepared on all those nights, did someone intending to reach for the chicken pot pie ever accidentally grab the Dollar Bill pie? Or perhaps a salad would have been more fitting—the Dollar Bill salad, as cash has a more leafy texture—but I guess that would involve thawing it out under running water with a head of lettuce. Sounds like a lot of fiber in the diet. Even sounds nastier than a Banquet frozen dinner, which has so many preservatives in it you're left feeling like you're literally glowing as if you walked out of Chernobyl on a bad day. I guess rule #1 is not to leave the money on the immediate premises, otherwise it may be accidentally consumed at dinner. Or maybe found in an FBI raid. Better yet, don’t be stupid enough to take it in the first place. That leads me to rule #2, which is if you are going to be involved in such acts, I'd be going after a hell of a lot more than $100K. That's pocket change compared to what he should have been going after, considering what he stood to lose and the jail time that hangs in the balance.

I'm dying to know what else Dollar Bill stashes in his freezer. I can only imagine, and the more I consider it the more terrified I am to ask and find out. That's almost as frightening as trying to figure out how to defend the Bozo if you're his attorney.

Finally, and this is the part that really honks off the clowns; according to a news report I heard, during the Katrina event the guy corralled a couple of National Guards to escort him to his house in New Orleans so he could allegedly collect his cash that was being stored there at the time. Unfortunately those were warm bodies that could have been helping to save lives during that horrific event.

So while the clowns should just throw this Bozo into the river, we figure we shouldn’t do that on our maiden voyage as it’s a test run of sorts. Plus that’s not any fun. So we threw a pint of scotch down his throat, painted him up in bad makeup, super glued frizzy rainbow hair to his noggin, and pulled his tighty-whities up to his shoulders. Now he’s an official Bozo; drunk and stinky with bad makeup on. The final step was to send him on the next one-way cargo ship to Nigeria with no passport. Now that was enough to get a cackle out of even the Joker... and it would probably be a blessing compared to the time this Bozo is looking at in the slammer.

We thought of leaving a clown fish with him as a souvenir, but decided he wasn’t worth it. Happy trails, Dollar Bill, you're the latest Bozo on The Bozo Bus. Applause, applause, for your wonderful performance! **honk**honk**honk** Good show!!! S

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