Greed City: A post-election fantasy

By Maralyn Lois Polak

I have this persistent fantasy – being trapped in an elevator with House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas.

And soon, too, before he retires. I know you shouldn’t hurry up fantasies, because they can become Zen curses, but here goes …

If I were trapped in an elevator with House Majority Leader Dick Armey, I’d suppress my first impulse to kick him in the shins, instead reading him the Riot Act for being so insensitive, then I’d turn my boombox up to blast his own stupid, self-serving words right back at him in his face.

Here we are, the U.S. of A., currently gripped by unprecedented corporate financial scandals bespeaking the failure of crony capitalism, plus the National Debt and Balance of Trade deficit both swelling like the nether body parts of novice visitors to a whorehouse, and what does he want?

M-O-R-E M-O-N-E-Y.

Yep, this pillar of rectitude was stumping for the fourth congressional pay raise in as many years, which would jack up the annual salary of your congressperson by about $5,000, to $155,000 per head.

His rationale: Lawmakers work hard and deserve more money.

Listen to him shooting his mouth off on “Meet the Press”: “I don’t know why anybody in America would say, ‘Mr. Big Shot, get yourself elected to Congress and then be stupid enough to deny yourself the pay and benefits that your job warrants.’ It’s bizarre people would have that kind of an unrealistic expectation of hardworking people.'”

Hardworking people.

This ludicrous plea somehow came, if memory serves me, during the same legislative calendar he and his ilk tightened the noose around quirky solon James Traficant’s neck for merely doing what seems to come naturally to this venal bunch … craving various emoluments, enriching themselves at the public trough.

While in my book the Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans, to be fair, one lone lawmaker attacked the proposed pay raise, and it wasn’t Cindy McKinney. Let’s hear it for Rep. James Matheson, D-Utah, who complained that with the country “swimming in red ink,” the projected increases were inappropriate.


Meanwhile, what was the deal with Traficant? Another human sacrifice? They gave the funniest man in Congress the shaft when he’s no worse than, well, Cheney or Bush.

Back off!

I took Traficant’s case before AOL’s version of The People’s Court, a chatroom which I shall not identify by name, else its scant 23 seats will be overrun even more by riffraff and hoi polloi.

WND: What about James Traficant. Can someone explain how he’s not just being crucified?

ShowerMe: I love Traficant. First of all, that Cone Head hair club from heck rug cracks me up.

CheezWiz: Check out his government website. The animation makes him look like he’s perishing from self-abuse.

ShowerMe: And listening to him is like inviting Sybil over for an Eight Ball.

WND: I mean, is he evil? I was so busy watching Bush and Cheney, he came up out of nowhere.

InsideStraight: He looks Middle Eastern.

WND: Is he a sleaze or just being targeted for political reasons? He seems pretty witty.

BetterMojo: Just a sleaze.

JustaReadHed: Traficant is a Democrat sleaze who supported the Republicans.

DesertPond: If being an idiot and a crook was criteria for dismissal from Congress, D.C. would be a ghost town.

WND: Well they’ve paid him back, haven’t they.

PairaDice: Traficant needs a new hairdresser.

PetiteJenny: I remember watching Traficant’s speech to the Committee. Hours of hysterical laughter.

ClickThis: Traficant is a slimy [ethnic slur].

BetterMojo: Anyway, Bush is awful.

LizzyBoarder: [Traficant] looks Native American, but I understand he isn’t.

PetiteJenny: He’s a hero to every redneck farmer in ‘merica.

BoatBarba: Isn’t he connected to the Moscow Mafia?

JustaReadHed: Bush and Traficant always get the Billy Joe Bob vote.

BetterMojo: The country sinks while Bush fiddles.

WND: Why the laughter, Jenny?

Petite Jenny: I was laughing because he’s hysterical.

LadleIt: He looks like a Hobbit.

WND: Moscow Mafia? He’s connected?

BetterMojo: Traficant is really Frodo.

EndGamer: I do business with them … no biggy.

BoatBarba: I could swear I read something about him being an assassin.

ACE10101: Barba, wasn’t that George Bush?

BetterMojo: Bush Sr. used to stay at the bin Laden residence in Saudi Arabia. And socialized, too.

MessiahToGo: Who would figure … Bush the “moral” president destabilizes the entire globe, wipes out the middle class, destroys the economy, and even has a couple of fake energy crises in less than two years.

BetterMojo: Bush has ruined our economy … nuff said.

PetiteJenny: The pretzel was Cheney’s last hope.