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 ....

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Death Spiral

Charles and David Koch sipped former Senator Evermore Breadman's aged bourbon amiably.  It was the sort of liquor millionaires drank and, as billionaires, they were accustomed to far better, but this was adequate for a closed-door meeting at Ardua's favorite law firm, Prince and Prowling.

"As you know," began Breadman, "our lobbying efforts were quite successful in the House of Representatives, where the tax bill passed easily."

"Senators are not as easily swayed," said C. Koch.  "They are subject to the wrath of the fully enfranchised voter."

"The fully enfranchised voter is certainly a problem," replied Breadman, "and I concede that gerrymandering and Koch Brothers donations have an out-sized effect in the House as compared to the Senate, but we are still optimistic that the Senate can do this."

"Can or will?" asked D. Koch.

"It's too early to say," said Breadman, feeling his intestines churning.

"Will we win the gerrymandering case at the Supreme Court?" pivoted C. Koch, referring to oral arguments heard this week in Gill v. Whitford.  "If Kennedy jumps or, God forbid, Roberts himself--"

"Pyrrhic victory at best," declared Breadman.  "They would simply send it back to Wisconsin for an ordered re-drawing of the maps, which would take time, and then the new maps would probably be re-litigated."

"But the precedent could upend matters in the South, right?" asked D. Koch.  "Resurrect the Voting Rights Act?"

"Don't get too far ahead of yourself," cautioned Breadman (who had already written up an alternative five-year action plan for Prince and Prowling's government practice, contemplating a seismic shift back to Democrat majorities).  "It's best to take these things a few months at a time."

"A few months?!" scoffed C. Koch.  "We have spent decades building up our influence in Washington!  We are at the peak of our power!  Why aren't we seeing more results!?"

"Well, sir, I think if you look at the regulatory level, your businesses are already benefiting tremendously from non-enforcement of the Clean Water Act, RCRA, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The U.S. has rejected the climate change treaty, which was one of your pet projects, and--"

"That's all fine and dandy, but we want the damned tax cut!" interrupted D. Koch.

"I think what would help with that," said Bridezilla (startling the Koch Brothers into turning around to see her sitting on the leather couch behind them), "would be for you to make a detailed statement about how you will reinvest that money you save into your community."

"How long has she been there?" demanded C. Koch, turning back to Breadman.

"She's been here the whole time," said Breadman, annoyed that, instead of wearing a red dress, Bridezilla had blended into his couch with black jeans and a black silk blouse.

"What is that thing?" asked D. Koch, pointing to her lap.

"This is Flower Girl and Maid of Honor," the junior partner replied, petting her miniature conjoined twin guinea pigs.  "I used to call them Thelma and Louise, but I'm at a happier place now."

D. Koch turned back with raised eyebrows to Breadman, who quickly said, "she has outstanding contacts on the Hill.  She was instrumental in getting passage of the Pentagon budget."

"For instance," continued Bridezilla, causing the Koch Brothers to crane their necks around again, "you could write an op-ed about how the government should get out of the arts funding business and let philanthropists like you fund the art your community actually wants."

"I'm not sure--" began C. Koch.

"But why stop there?  Explain how health insurance companies should not be forced to provide contraception, but billionaires like you, if your tax bill were lighter, could donate condoms in your community."

"Donate condoms?!" asked D. Koch.

"Sure!" exclaimed Bridezilla.  "Either that or more maternity wards.  You could also write an op-ed about how you love coal miners so much that you are going to give some of your tax refund to them, and you can do it more efficiently than the government could even if they were allowed to end coal subsidies and give renewable energy a level playing field in coal country."

"What she's trying to say--" interrupted Breadman, but he was quickly talked over by Bridezilla.

"You just have to explain the trickle-down so people get it.  It's billionaires with more money in their pockets that can really accomplish things:  everybody knows that!  By the way, are either of you single?  I have a steady boyfriend, but I think he might be a spy.  My ex was a spy, and I really don't want to go down that road again."

"What is going on here?!" demanded C. Koch.

"She was just about to tell you our strategy for persuading Senators Collins and Murkowsky to support the tax bill," said former Senator Evermore Breadman.

"It involves your private jet," said Bridezilla, "a few Russians I know, and videotape."

"Go on," said the Koch Brothers in unison, starting to feel hypnotized by the sight of Bridezilla's steady stroke along the spine shared by Flower Girl and Maid of Honor.

Breadman exhaled deeply and smiled at the inexplicable charm of Bridezilla...and another $300,000 of legal fees likely to pour in from the Koch Brothers in October.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department had a different agenda:  preventing nuclear war with North Korea while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson continued his death spiral.

"I am not the one who leaked the 'f-ing moron' comment!" insisted C. Coe Phant for the tenth time.

"It was either you or somebody you know!" retorted the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Carnage.  "I told you to get me a name, or it's your name I'm serving up on a platter!"

"You wouldn't dare!" hissed C. Coe Phant.  "I am doing the work of five different reassigned or laid-off employees, not to mention personally mixing your smoothies, picking up your dry cleaning, renting comfort dogs--"

"Shut up!  That has nothing to do with this!"

"If you fire me, who's going to keep bribing the North Korean Ambassador with Little Debbie cupcakes, Moose Munch, and pure cane alcohol?  Who's going to keep Tillerson from demolishing the entire Africa division and replacing it with a team dedicated to turning Puerto Rico into a foreign country?  Who's going to supply you with a new porn tape six days a week?"

"Who leaked the 'f-ing moron' comment?!" screamed the ADAfC.

"It was probably the Bloodsucker!" exclaimed C. Coe Phant.  "You want me to confirm that for you?" he added with a sneer.

The ADAfC turned pale at the mention of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and shook his head vigorously.  "No, no!  Would she do that?  Why would she do that?!"

"Why does anybody in this town do anything?!" wailed C. Coe Phant, who had been sleep-deprived for months.  "We're all gonna die!"

"How many do you think will die?" asked Joey Bent Oak, a few miles away in upper Georgetown.

His adoptive father, Coast Guard officer Marcos Vazquez, had finally returned from two weeks in his native Puerto Rico for the birth of his daughter.  He and his wife had named her "Isabela" for his decimated hometown, and "Justice" for everything else.  Marcos just shook his head and continued trying to assemble a rainbow and unicorn mobile while Golden Fawn slept under the close eye of her grandmother and Isabela Justice was walked around the block by his mother.

"Will abuela stay here forever now?  She can't go back to Puerto Rico ever, can she?"

Marcos shook his head again.  He was worried that Joey would get less attention from his adoptive abuela now that she had a flesh and blood granddaughter.  He was worried that the strain on his wife's body would bring the breast cancer back a third time.  He was worried that his daughter's dark skin and mixed heritage would make her life very hard in Trump's America.  He was worried that his island looked like a nuclear bomb had been dropped on it, but Republicans just wanted their precious tax cut for billionaire campaign donors.  He was worried that people like Bill O'Reilly thought 600 innocent people's getting shot by a lunatic machine-gunner was the price to be paid for "freedom".

"I think things will get better," said Joey.  "They can't get worse, right?"

Meanwhile, over at CIA headquarters, Director Mike Pompeo stumbled across the evidence related to the rogue undercover operation at the White House--which normally he would have gotten furious about except for the fact he was very distracted by a little voice inside his head telling him to take that Rolex and put it on.  Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac smiled.

***************************************************
COMING UP:    Let them eat cake!

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