Diary of a Mad County

Wednesday, June 1
Representative ChristopherCox,who, over the years, has been trying to get out of representing south Orange County with all the élan of ScottPeterson,finally, finally, FINALLY! gets sprung by GeorgeW.Bush,who announces that Cox will extricate himself from the hellhole that is the BalboaPenninsulaby becoming Bush's nominee to head the SecuritiesandExchangeCommission.Cox's parole was a long time coming, following countless mentions for other government positions, ranging from vice president to head of the CIAto the guy who covers the titson the Capitol statues. Cox gets the position at the SEC, the agency that regulates business and protects investors' rights, after departing SEC head WilliamDonaldsonran afoul of the Bush administration for his insane desire to regulatebusiness and protectinvestors' rights. There will be no such problem under Cox, who isn't so much a free market devotee as a devotee of a market free of regulations, laws, taxes, rules or anyone who won't get out of the way of his limoin the fast lane. The reaction of the business community, as you'd expect, is guarded. "It's spectacular," says Stan Oftelie, chief executive of the Orange County Business Council, puffing on a cigarand cracking open a soft-boiled dodoegg.After Cox's expected confirmation, experts expect not only a full pardon for KenLaybut also a big push for the elimination of the estate tax, property tax, BrooksBrotherstax and soft-boiled dodo egg tax.


Thursday, June 2
Weeklycontributor and New Orleans resident PaulBrennane-mailed his thoughts about the Cox appointment: "So let me see if I've got this right: On the same day that millionsofdollarsof value vanish in OC (as the earthly receptacles of said value toboggan down a canyon in Laguna Beach), President Bush announces OC's Christopher Cox as his choice to head the SEC? Despite living where the BibleBeltcomes undone so Voodooand Hoodoopriests can flash their John the Conqueror root, I wish to remain rational and see neither a sign nor portent in this—though the sudden and unexpected movement of severaltonsof earth is hard to ignore. Unfortunately, of course, although they have been officially rational since 1949, the Chinesestill love a good sign and/or portent. That would be the Chinese upon whose continued largesse the health of the U.S. economy depends. That would be the Chinese whom Cox has made a career of baitingto score cheap and easy Birch points. Swell.Still, I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. After all, while Cox may seem minimally competentat best, I'm sure President Bush knows what he's doing. Remember, he's the first president to hold an MBA.And better still, he had plenty of real world experience in business, and all his companies . . . uh . . . ended up just like those houses in Laguna, come to think of it. Crap.If you need me, I'll be converting all my readycashinto cannedgoodsand survivalistmagazines.No sense in waiting till the lastminute."


Friday, June 3
Not that there's been a lot going on—Cox rising,Lagunafalling;there's a TonyKushnerplay in there somewhere—but we haven't even talked about DeepThroat,who, it turns out, is some former FBI official named MarkFelt,when I always assumed it was LindaLovelace.Anyway, Felt snitched on the president and now, 30 years later, people are talking about whether it was a good thing—yes, yesit was—and what was Felt's motivation for squawking? Some believe he acted as a patriot,others as a traitor,while others believe he was simply pissed off about being passed over to head the FBI after years of having to work under malevolent mummy J.EdgarHoover.And who could blame him for the latter? Hoover was an evil, bitter shell of a human being, plus Felt probably got sick of having to tell J. Edgar he didn't look fat in the sundress.So everybody has their opinion. Curiously, the Nixon Library and Birthplace website (www.rosecoloredglasses.fib) lists just three stories regarding Deep Throat: one, the news story on Felt's admission, one on whether Nixon suspected Felt, and one about Nixon aides CharlesColson—who did time for Watergate—and PatBuchanan—whose time passed more than a decade ago—very critical of Felt. This is curious, since the Library has finally gained access to Nixon's papers by agreeing to the National Archives' demand that it give a more balanced view of the Watergatescandal. Yet there are no stories sympathetic to Felt. What you get is Pat Buchanan saying that Felt was not only responsible for the fall of Nixon, but also Vietnamand PolPot'skilling fields. No, really. Listen: "People forget that six months after Watergate, Nixon was at 69 percent (approval rating), he had won 49 states, the POWs were coming home, every provincial capital was in South Vietnamese hands. Two years later, after he was destroyed, you had a holocaust of a million people dead in Cambodia." Yes, I think when we think of Richard Nixon, the first thing that comes to mind is a manofpeacewho wouldn't let anything—not the Paris peace talks he sabotaged prior to the 1968 election, not the rules against secret bombing of other nations—get in the way of his abiding love of peace and the Cambodian people. Look for more of Buchanan's cogent arguments in his upcoming CrazyCrapICookUpinMyMindtoHelpMeSleepatNight,soon to be published by Regan Books.

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