Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Missions

Liv Cigemeier left the meeting with her boss and returned to her desk, weary: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had just announced that it was launching another $100 million health initiative, and her boss wanted International Development Machine to apply for ten million dollars. The foundation had stated it would consider grant applications from "anyone" with a "good idea" for improving health internationally, and it was now Liv's responsibility to come up with a "good idea". Never mind that this is not a public health organization, never mind that nobody on our staff has a public health degree, never mind that our mission is sustainable development. It was, again, time to follow the money, and international funding was getting more and more difficult. Maybe I will tell B & M that if people could earn money, they could pay for their own health care! She quickly started jotting down ideas off the top of her head, regardless of whether they would be vetoed later: (1) clean up urban air by harnessing wind and solar energy, (2) distribute bicycles and build bicycle paths in congested Third World cities, (3) support environmental watchdogs in their efforts to hold polluters accountable for contaminating water sources, (4) promote organic agriculture, (5) support sustainable forestry jobs in the remaining rainforests, (5) build subsidized schools for girls, (6) work with ocean advocates to clean up the oceans, restore fish populations, and educate consumers on mercury contamination, (7)--She paused, tired; it was late in the day. She knew that all those ideas would improve health around the world, but her boss was expecting some kind of silver bullet--a simplistic proposal like mosquito nets to combat malaria or subsidized AIDS medication. If people weren't so poor, they could buy those things themselves. When did we stop talking about economic development?

A few miles away, Charles Wu was also contemplating that question. Has the West given up on economic development? Wu was perusing the details of the current White House economic stimulus plan, which seemed to him rather simplistic for a "superpower", and completely silent about the looming foreign debt--most of which was held by China. So basically you're going to borrow more cash from China, distribute it in election-year "tax rebates" in increments too small to pay for rent or health care but large enough for Americans to run out and buy more consumer goods, thereby returning additional profit to the Chinese who manufactured most of those consumer goods, stimulating few (if any) American industries...and you're going to whine and plead with OPEC to lower oil prices because OPEC is "strangling" the American economy. Wu shook his head, baffled that Republican economic advisors had changed so radically in just a couple of decades. Ultimately, it would mean more money for China, and make it easier for Wu to develop additional legitimate Chinese clients to provide more cover for his clandestine operations. Still, sometimes he felt twinges of pity for the American people, who had mortgaged their fiscal future far more deeply than many of the ignorant would ever understand. Just last week, he had received a solicitation for a donation to Bread for the City, and he had almost written a check! And, in fact, he still had not thrown away the solicitation, and this troubled him.

Several miles south, Laura Bush was sitting at her East Wing computer, logged onto http://www.947theglobe.com/ to get some Republican work done before dinner: she was casting votes in the radio station's "kissability" poll on presidential candidates. When she had first heard of the poll, John McCain had zero votes, which was extremely upsetting to her, so she had diligently been logging in during most of her spare time, and had finally gotten McCain into first place. She had thought about mentioning the poll to Mrs. McCain during their White House lunch on Wednesday, but had decided that the poor dear was probably exhausted and could not take on any additional campaign work. And what if she had taken it the wrong way? I suppose it's better that I did not tell her I was voting her husband the most kissable presidential candidate! Laura did a lot of unsung heroics for the Republican party. Maybe I should tell Lynn about it?

Several miles north, Lynn Cheney heard the phone ringing, saw it was Laura Bush, and let it go onto the answering machine. Then she quickly logged onto the radio station's website and began casting votes for Barak Obama. She told herself this was because McCain believed in global warming and was a threat to the Cheney oil industry nest egg, but that wasn't the real reason. She got so engrossed in casting votes that she forgot she was supposed to be cooking dinner for Dick tonight.

A hundred feet away, Dick Cheney had gone into his home office without saying hello to his wife. He needed to make another call to Condoleezza Rice in Israel before she went to bed, but he got her voicemail and asked her to call him right back. He decided to wait another ten minutes in case she called him right back, so he logged onto http://www.947theglobe.com/ and began casting votes for Hillary Clinton because he thought she was hot and because he had already done enough for the Republican party. Outside his window, a catbird got ready to tell Cheney that there was plenty left to do.

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