Saturday, June 25, 2011

Extended Sexual Orgasm and Why I Will Never Vote Again

“This is Chip Carter. Chip, this is James.”

“How are you doing?” He smiled a big toothy smile like his father. He shook my hand firmly.  I had one of those handshakes that lost its grip mid-shake and would just hang there.  I was so happy. Chip Carter!
This was the peak of Chip Carter’s life. Not necessarily meeting me, a 12 year old, at the Democratic National Convention in NYC in 1980. But the fact that his father, the President of the United States, was about to be renominated reluctantly by his party.
Before attending the 1990 convention, I read the book “Convention” by Richard Reeves about the Democratic Convention of 1976 so I would know what to expect at the 1980 convention.
Two answers: hookers and Amy Carter. Never having seen either in my life, I was wide-eyed on the lookout for both.
(Jimmy Carter's daughter, Amy Carter, my childhood crush)

Reading "Convention" at the age of 12 was like reading hard-core pornography. You would think it would be about politics, about back-room negotiations, about how Walter Mondale was finally selected to be Vice-President of the United States of America (a story broken by a newspaper called “The Children’s Express” that I briefly wrote articles for. They had a party at Studio 54 when I was 13 that I’d just as soon forget but will save for another story). [See also:  My visit with the President of the United States].
The only thing I remember about “Convention” was that he wrote about two women from Florida who were third grade teachers who came up to the convention to be prostitutes. Nonstop servicing all of the married delegates who had been elected by their peers for their good common sense, their political savvy, their charisma, their historical insight, their knowledge of world affairs, to represent their little hometowns at the world’s biggest gathering of political magnates in the Democratic Party. All to vote for Jimmy Carter (who was fairly unanimous by the time the convention rolled along in 1976, as these things usually are) and then spend the rest of the weekend whoring it up with women who could be the teachers of my own daughters.
So, at the sprightly age of 12 I went to the Democratic Convention hoping to meet, among other things, Amy Carter, but settling for Chip Carter and a few other random Congressman, Senators, delegates. All to fill an autograph book I’ve since lost although all my political buttons from that day and age are miraculously saved in a box. It was maybe the best week of my life at that point. To see the process in action.
What a crazy, wild, carefree, thing it is to vote. Its American to vote. The last time I voted was for Harris Wofford in Pennsylvania in 1991 in a special election against the former Attorney General under Bush or Reagan. Wofford represented the opposite of Bush and Reagan, having worked for Sargent Shriver during the Kennedy Administration when they all created a benevolent army of college kids, all wanting to have sex all over Africa, called the Peace Corps. A Sex Army. Good for them!

(Don't lie: you know you would've been all over it in the Peace Corps.)
Once you vote, they know who you are. And they hunt you down. After I voted in 1991 I must’ve gotten letters from every government organization ranging from the Internal Revenue Service, to jury duty, to Social Security. Think about it: a “service”, a “duty”, and “security”. All government code words for the different ways we’re imprisoned and my, up-to-then, privacy could be legitimately invaded. Thank you Harris Wofford. Thank you Sex Army of America.
All because I voted for a guy who promised health care (we still don’t have it) and then he disappeared shortly after (I certainly never heard of him again. Harris who?) although his election paved the way for Bill Clinton’s election, the governor of the tiniest state in the known Universe.
Politics is a big scam and I’m about to tell you why.
“James,” Bill McCluskey said to me, “this is Alan Quasha.” Bill was CEO of Brean Murray, one of the mini-banks I considered selling my fund of hedge funds to in 2006. We had a deal on the table. The table was circular, there were papers on it with numbers, I was bullshitting every which way I could about “synergies”. Whatever. That was months later. But first I had to meet Alan Quasha, the Chairman of Brean Murray, at an event they were throwing, and he had to like me.

(Have you heard of Alan Quasha before this post? And there he is with Ivan Boesky's daughter. Go figure.) 
Alan Quasha squinted his eyes, shook my hand. He had no idea who I was. I certainly wasn’t anything like George W. Bush, the man Quasha had personally saved in 1981. The man Bush owes his sobriety to. Bush was CEO of some oil company that was going down in flames. It might've been the worst oil company in Texas history. The first post-peak oil company in Texas. I’m assuming some calls were made (we can only assume because nobody really knows what goes down) and Quasha’s Harkin Oil bought Bush’s company for millions of dollars it didn’t deserve. Then, of course, a few years later, Bush sold his shares in Quasha’s Harkin Oil right before Harkin Oil announced a mega-loss and the stock tanked. Bush used his profits to buy a stake in the Texas Rangers, sold that stake later for 10-15 million dollars and was finally able to follow his father’s sage advice (“don’t go into politics until you get rich” ***).
Let's spell out what that means: if Alan Quasha called up W on September 12, 2011 in the middle of Bush pouring over maps of the jungles of Afghanistan to see where we would invade (do they have jungles in Afghanistan? Do we really need an “h” in Afghanistan?), Bush would say "hold all calls", close the doors of the oval office and say "Hi Daddy Number 2", to Quasha. He owed his life, his livelihood, the Texas Rangers, the Presidency, all to Alan Quasha and now I was shaking Quasha’s hand. I had five seconds to make Alan Quasha like me almost as much as he liked Bush so he would buy my company. Why? Alan Quasha was Chairman of Brean Murray.
Fast-forward about ten seconds. Now I was being introduced to Terry Mcauliffe. I don’t even know if that’s how you spell his name. I’m not looking anything up. Terry was the Vice-Chairman of Brean Murray. Terry was known in most circles as “Bill Clinton’s best friend”. Terry raised the bulk of the money for the two Presidential campaigns that Bill was in (the first, of course, where he crushed Bush, the Elder). I’m guessing Terry also raised the money for all of Hillary’s political races. If Chelsea Clinton ever ran for Mayor of New York (now that Weiner is out of the running so you never know) I bet Terry would raise all the money for her race as well.
So there you have it. The biggest mastermind in Republican politics, the behind the scenes mover and shaker across the entire Bush family, was Chairman of the company. And the biggest mover-and-shaker in Democrat politics, was Vice Chairman. The war of values, between Democracy and Republicanism that our founders had fought for, had shed blood for, was over between them, if it ever even existed. Screw “The Federalist Papers”! Let’s make some money!
You see why your vote is useless? Not only is it useless, it’s scary. A female friend of mine had a self-described: “it was the biggest sexual feeling I had felt in the past 10 yeas of my marriage” when Obama became President. Obama then extended Bush’s tax cuts, kept Bush’s Secretary of Defense, extended the wars in Afganistan and Iraq, didn't close Guantanamo Bay, and fought for a healthcare that’s now being disputed (and overturned) in every court in America. What else has he done? I can’t think of it. Planned Parenthood has less government funding now than under Bush. Africa has less funding from the US than under Bush (in fact, Obama has bombed Africa / Libya).


And yet we all fought so much. “Palin is an idiot!” “Biden can’t speak straight!” “Where’s Obama’s birth certificate!” “Is McCain senile?”!  “!”!”!” Let’s fight in the streets and pass out pamphlets and wear buttons and lose friends (“I can’t believe he’s voting for Nader!”) and stick on bumper stickers that can never be scratched off once we realize they are as embarrassing as that magic dragon tattoo we got lasered across our backs when we were 17.
We fought so hard for beliefs we all thought we had and where do they all end up? Where does it all congeal together right before it flushes down the toilet?

One is Chairman and the other is Vice-Chairman of the same company. They’re all laughing together. Slapping backs. Making Money. They are laughing at you and me, my friend. The war is over for them.
We voted them all in there, they served their time, and now they are minting money as if they own the printing press. I watched Quasha and McCaulliffe laugh, sitting next to each other when they used to pretend to be sitting so far apart.
They have no idea who I am, what I want out of life, what ideas I think are good or bad, or would save the world, or whatever. They were laughing as hard as they could just ten feet from me and I knew while I stood there watching them, hoping beyond hope that they would share some of the wealth, I knew that they were laughing at me.

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** I put the two stars on “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” because there were two main guy characters. There was the cool guy who was a nogood dirtbag who she met in a bar and she couldn’t handle her lust for him. The sex was so good. She had never had an orgasm before she met him. Then there was the other guy, the good guy, the lawyer, who was horrible at sex. It was the worst and she dreaded it but she felt obligated to be with him because he was “the good guy” and a lawyer. His name was “James”. Ugh.
*** Net worth of most recent Presidents and Vice-Presidents (according to
  • Barack Obama: $5 million (will probably end up around a billion)
  • George W. Bush: $26 million
  • Bill Clinton $85 million (my guess is this is understated by about $50-100 million.)
  • George H.W Bush: $15 million (I think this is understated by about a billion)
  • And now the big question: Al Gore versus Dick Cheney? Democrats versus Republicans. The winner is....
  • Al Gore, coming in at $300 million with Dick Cheney at $90 million (don't forget Gore was an advisor to Google since 2001 and on the Board of Apple. He also manages a billion dollar "green fund"). Al Gore's net worth in 2001: $1 million.