The Enemies List

(Prelude, before a staff meeting)

CBI is pacing back and forth, muttering to himself

CBI: Base, Base, Base, Basic, Trump, tower, tower ,tower, wall …

Pauses …, opens door to hallway

CBI: Kelly!

No one arrives

Starts muttering again

No Kelly, no Kelly, base, base

Actual staff meeting begins, attended by the usual suspects

CBI: Last week I mentioned to Frank here (gestures to a BS) that we will begin our Monday staff meetings with a discussion of potential enemies to attack. Yes, we are going on the attack and I will expect every one of you to fall in behind me and support our highlighted enemy.

CBI: I have a few that haven’t received the attention they deserve, groups and people who oppose America and the administration, which is the same thing.

CBI: Frank, can you start with the list?

BS: It’s Mark, sir.

BS: (to attendees) We’ve tested these groups with both the base and our important friends and gotten some good feedback.

BS: We found that attacking Hispanics continues to test well. The best results were when attacks on Blacks were mixed in. This tested better than Blacks and Hispanics attacked separately.

CBI: That’s good, but we need new avenues, I want to awaken more of America.

CBI: How about the German car thing?

BS: We ran the ‘driving German cars means you’re against America’ combined with 50% tariffs on all products from Germany idea, but it turns out 42% of 6 figure contributors to the party own or drive at least one German car. Some have several. Additionally it didn’t test that well among the base – it turns out many of them would like a German car at some point.

CBI: Alright, we’ll come back to that. Maybe substitute French cars for now. Tired of that French guy.

(Met with quizzical glances around the room)

IR: Sir, I don’t think we import any French cars.

CBI: Fine with me. This will keep it that way. Mark, get those tariffs written up in an executive order.

IR: Mike, sir.

CBI: OK, getting places

(Starts muttering under his breath, suddenly snaps out of it after 20 seconds)

BS: Next on the list is academics.

CBI: Yes! Yes! I like this one. Those socialists have gotten a free pass for too long. Ralph, didn’t you tell me to start calling the Democrats socialists? This is a great first step.

CBI: How about this? America’s universities are overrun by Socialists, maybe even Communists. Shall we open that up?

BS: That didn’t test that well sir. It worked better if we targeted certain institutions, but the general attack tested negatively with the base. However if we narrow it to Berkeley we got a positive spin.

CBI: Berkeley? That’s it?

BS: It seems many in the party also don’t like Oberlin and Mills.

CBI: What are you talking about?

BS: There seems to be some grudges there among the DC party activists towards those schools.

(CBI is exasperated, starting to lose his temper)

CBI: I need some big names here! Oberlin and Mills sounds like a comedy act!

BS: Ivy League attacks also tested well with the base but that gets a lot of pushback amongst our party.

CBI: Really? Maybe we should start getting rid of those elitists and just keep it real American, you know?


CCC: Sir, if I can interject briefly, some of the best and brightest leaders in our party come from the Ivy League. We are thin on the ground as far as expanding our appeal, and this might constrict it.

CBI: First off, thanks for contributing. Second of all, I think you’re dead wrong. There are way more true Americans in our base than academics. And you guys should get over it. I went to the best school in the Ivy League. The best! My gut tells me much more than those useless books ever did. They never taught street smarts over there, that was a big problem.

CBI: You know what we need in here. More street smarts. Frank, your next project is to determine how we get the cabinet to lead by their gut, by real instincts. You guys can hop on or you’ll be replaced.

CBI: We’re going with the Hispanic attacks this week. I want the academic attacks honed. I’m going to tweet against Berkeley this week, maybe we can get them investigated for being controlled by China or something like that.

(Looks around the room)

CBI: No one here drives a German car anymore, understood? We’re still going to run with that in the future. I spent a lot of time during commercials last week working on this list.

The New Election Strategy 3

Last in a series (finally)

An august group of GOP leaders are putting the finishing touches on election strategy going forward. And not a moment too soon.

SEM: The reaction to that election was scattershot. We have to be pre-emptive.

LZ: The new law is written. We have to pass it in the last session before the Dems take their places.

IR: Do you think we could prevent them from taking their seats?

LZ: Meh, …

SEM: We were late on this whole thing

LZ: Is the drunk guy going to play along?

IR: Definitely. We think our people will be onboard.

SEM: So basically any disputed election goes straight to the Supreme Court?

LZ: Yes. And the genius is the president decides which election is disputed, with proper input of course.

SEM; He’ll go for this for sure. Didn’t you mention this to him before he made that nitwit remark about the election results?

IR: He’s not listening to anybody, still stewing over who knows what. If he wasn’t so self-obsessed with twitter and watching those Fox attention whores stroking him maybe we could get something done.

LZ: Alright, let’s alert the drunk guy and the Houseplant and try to get that thing passed before those Bolsheviks take their seats


The New Election Strategy

(First part of some number of parts greater than 1)

We are shortly after the 2018 Midterms. The Democrats have retaken the House, barely. The GOP seems oddly unconcerned. They are thinking outside the constitutional box and to a better future.

Fun Note: With the impending departure of LZ2 we will be dealing with only one Lizard (for now). Of course there are many lizards in the thorny and amoral world of politics, but not that many in the Houseplant Biosphere.

We will call him Lizardo (LZ) … (why do I feel a Tony Bennett melody coming on?)

LZ: I’m glad we got the drunk guy in. That was an important piece of the puzzle

IR: The Big Man will love this

SEM: I hope he sticks to the script. That will be a great speech.

LZ: I think we pace it slowly

SEM: Why? I want to see the end of the Democratic Party in my lifetime

LZ: No no no. The USA has to be a 2 party system. Otherwise we’re what, Venezuela?

IR: I agree. What’s the difference if the Democrats run California? We need a good bogeyman.

(Murmured assent)

SEM: OK, fine. Are we giving them any other states?

LZ: New York for sure. And maybe what, Hawaii?

(Laughter all around)

Unknown attendee: And American Samoa!

(Laughter swells in intensity)

SEM: Let’s get the meetings together. We need to get the findings out soon. The election never happened!

(LZ eye roll)

BJR has just entered

BJR: Of course it happened. But we won easily. How could we not win? We’re the winners. Lets get this fraud out in the open

LZ: Yes. Good. Meeting over.

LZ: (quietly but tersely, to IR): How did he get in here? That little dolt will blab it on twitter before the speech. I think he might believe the narrative. That’s trouble.

To be continued …


The Meeting of the Minds

Today, You Are There introduces a very special participant in our series: THE Houseplant himself (if you are unclear on his real identity please check here: . In addition we are introducing a new character as well:

Angry White Judge (AWJ)


Off we go

The Houseplant (HP) and AWJ are sitting in a large SUV on an empty highway near the woods. They are applying disguises.

AWJ: Are you sure this meeting is safe? This is a sensitive time for me.

HP: Don’t worry about a thing. Photography is not allowed inside. I’ve found this to be a pretty safe haven. Of course the disguises are a must. But a lot of the customers are disguised. It’s all taken in stride.

He places a large afro wig on his head and pastes on a salt and pepper handlebar mustache. He is wearing a dashiki with several layers of Mardi Gras beads. The final touch is a pair of enormous gold-tinged Aviator sunglasses.

HP: Let’s get that wig on already.

AWJ: OK, let me finish my makeup.

AWJ puts on a large blonde wig, with hair cascading down past his collar. He has pasted on a blondish-red mustache and goatee. He is wearing clip-on earrings with enormous peace signs. He has applied an Instant Tan product which gives him a fairly dark skin tone, especially in contrast to the blonde wig. He is wearing overalls, work boots and a plaid shirt. He also has giant Aviator sunglasses, in red.

HP: That outfit’s a little weird but as far as disguises go I think it will work. Remember, anyone takes a photo; we call security and seize their camera. And it’s too dark inside to photo anything without a flash. Remember, NEVER take off the glasses, for any reason.

AWJ starts the SUV and they proceed down the road for roughly 15 miles. Little is spoken on the way.

HP: Ah, there it is. Pull into the lot.

The first lights for several miles are visible. A huge neon sign announces Kitty’s Den-o-Sin in multi-colored flashing lights. A squat building with music blaring from inside lies before them. The parking lot is ½ full, about 15 vehicles.

HP: My spot! Middle of nowhere, nobody bothers us. Word is Clinton used to hang out here in his, er, private time. I think his disguise was some kind of a hipster musician cat. We all would have been better off if he was a better sax player, could go play for some dumbass rock band in the South or something and skipped politics,

Our protagonists enter the club and find a table near the stage. It is indeed dimly lit, with the exception of the brightly illuminated central stage, currently featuring 4 women in various stages of undress. One is completely naked; the others will get there soon enough. The customer area is arranged in a circle around the stage.

The waitress approaches immediately.

AWJ: Scotch rocks please

HP: Ginger ale

HP: This is a nice relaxation place. You know, I love Virginia, but this place is great for some relaxing man time. I know you could use that.

AWG: Oh yeah, for sure. These crazed leftist chicks are on the warpath. Don’t they know what Yale is like? Even that nitwit Bush was a drunken horn dog.

AWG drains his drink and signals for another.

HP: Well I’m here to tell you that the time is coming soon when you’ll be in charge. And we can show those crazy bitches, er no no, I didn’t say that …

HP is a little disoriented but recovers after a minute of silence. AWG takes the lull in conversation as an opportunity to drain his second drink.

HP: OK, anyway we’re going to be in charge. We’re going to ignore the women on the court, we’re going to ignore all that left wing noise around the country, the men are in charge. The women on the court have been a huge pain, even O’Connor. God, she was the worst. Nino hated her, still hard to believe she was a Reagan appointment. Ginsburg is the only one you can talk to but of course she’s basically a socialist, same as that Mexican one.

AWG: Nino?

HP: Mr. Scalia’s nickname for his friends. Not only my inspiration, but a man so smart and so ethical I never had to pay much attention. Whichever way he went, that was my vote too. I certainly miss him. What would Nino do? I ask myself that at every session. Well, at every voting session. I don’t pay much attention to the rigmarole and the endless lawyer posturing. Waste of effort if you ask me. Nino had his mind made up well before the hot air started.

AWG: Listen, these Democrats are getting nothing from me. This is a crazed conspiracy, I’m fed up. I’m with you. To Nino!

AWG lifts his glass, but it’s empty. He frantically signals for another drink, which is quickly delivered.

HP: You probably want to slow down there a bit.

AWG: I’m totally in control.

One of the dancers has just come off stage. She approaches the gents and offers a lap dance. HP waves her away immediately.

HP: Remember, we’re strictly spectators here.

AWG is staring forlornly as she walks away. He has finished his 3rd drink.

HP: So look, what I want to tell you again is the men are in charge now. The court and the country, we will be setting the agenda, as its always been, as it should be. The liberal noise, you can tune that out. That’s going nowhere. I was where you are now, and you can see it all blew over.

AWG: I hope so. I’ve got my enemies list going already. Total outrage.

HP: Yes, OK

AWG has summoned his 4th drink. He appears a bit unsteady

HP: We have to get going. I’ll drive.

Another dancer has finished her shift. She also approaches the table offering a lap dance. HP tries to reject her but AWG has a different idea.

AWG: (now clearly drunk): Hey, hey, STOP trying to be in control. You’re worse than the Democrats. Honey, come here. I’m ready. Be gentle. (AWG guffaws loudly at his joke).

Our scene ends with HP striding out in disgust. AWG is now hugging the dancer as she attempts to do her lap dance. He has placed 2 100 dollar bills on the table, so she is putting up with his groping with a bemused grin and several eye rolls. His blonde wig has slipped off and is on the floor. It appears someone is readying their phone for a snapshot …


Meet the New Candidate

The scene is the Roosevelt Room. Most of the Cabinet and higher level staffers are in attendance. SEM has a good-sized German Shepherd on a leash. The dog is slightly agitated but not hostile.

SEM: Ladies and Gentleman meet Rusty. We are running him for the 10th District in California.

CBI is eating a hamburger. There is another hamburger on a plate to his right.

SEM: Sir, We’d like you to meet Rusty, one of the new faces of the new Republican party. He is the first of what we hope will be a successful group of alternatives to business as usual in Washington and state legislatures.

BS: We’re cleaning up the swamp! Nothing is cleaner than a dog!

There is a brief silence in the room. CBI takes another bite of his hamburger.

CBI: (mumbling with mouth full). You KNOW I don’t like dogs. OK, never mind, let’s get this over with.

PS: We need a quick group of photos sir, then we’ll leave you alone

LZ1 and LZ2 enter the room smiling

CBI: Do they have to be in the shot too?

PS: Party unity sir. There will be a series of shots and we need the Lizard twins in there just to show we are behind Rusty 100%. He IS incorruptible.

LZ1: After that Pruitt mess we need someone a little more likable.

SEM leads Rusty to CBI. CBI has just started on the second hamburger. The photographers and videographers are ready to record the meeting. SEM is grinning broadly. Rusty is slightly more agitated.

SEM: Sir I’d like you to meet Rusty, Republican candidate. Shake, Rusty!

CBI extends his non-burger hand. Rusty the German Shepherd leaps for the (almost whole) hamburger in the other hand. CBI is bowled over backwards. Rusty is grabbing for the burger but CBI is showing impressive dexterity in keeping it barely out of reach. SEM has maintained hold of the leash but has been capsized and is on the floor desperately preventing Rusty from getting at CBI’s burger.

The 3 tussle on the floor in a maze of suits, dog and burger. There is bedlam in the room. CBI continues to wrestle on the floor with Rusty. Rusty has gained control of the burger and is finishing wolfing it down. SEM has lost his grasp on the leash and is trapped on the floor adjacent to Rusty and CBI; the leash is now wrapped around SEM.

After several staffers intervene order is restore. PS has taken control of the leash. SEM is attempting to straighten his wrinkled suit, which has a large tear at the left knee. CBI’s suit appears intact but is severely wrinkled and has large spots of dog saliva in several places.

CBI: Shoot this animal!

PS: No sir! The publicity campaign has begun already

CBI: Bannon was right about this party!

Rusty is hustled out of the room. He seems a bit calmer.

CBI: I am not to be bothered the rest of the day. Everyone in this room is fired.

The Ever Growing Candidate Pool

We introduce a new character here to our super-duper You Are There interludes, please welcome …

SEM ! – Shameless ex-mayor, and CBI’s new goto for legal matters

(applause, possibly metaphorical, metaphysical, or meta-data)

CBI: Let’s make it quick, golf at 1 today

CBI: Who’s got burger duty?

CBI: Never mind, I’ll get one at the course.

BS: Sir, we are going to open up the election process

CBI: That doesn’t sound good. I thought we’re trying to close it off to everyone but real Americans.

BS: Yes, and nobody is more of a true American than a pooch

CBI: A dog? I don’t like dogs.

SEM: There is nothing in the constitution about it. We are going to calculate ages in dog years, so we can run candidates 4 years and older. And of course the dog will be born in the USA, American through and through.

SEM: We can control them pretty easily, usually with a treat or 2. And the promise of MAGA. Even dogs are patriotic. probably more so than many of our so-called ‘American’ opponents.


IR: It will be like Scalia and Thomas. Thomas was his hand puppet.

PS: The most important thing is, the dog will be cute and be one of the faces of the administration. I’ll have him with me at the briefings. If they ask a typical hostile question I’ll signal the candidate to make a sour face. We’re working on training programs right now.

PS: Then we can accuse the press of making him unhappy

CBI: Ok, get on it and have those burgers ready next time

… to be continued

Listening in to Our Friends Overseas

Special guest stars

PFL: President for Life

PC: Premier Cru

ZZZ: Chinese Telecom Company Head (one of many)

M1, 2: Meeting Minions (Overseas Division)

Translation courtesy of ZTE Phones

PFL: (grumbling). OK, so what do we need here? 500 million?

PC: We think that gets us started. They are loans.

PFL: Yes, ‘loans’

M1: I remember we used to have these meetings back when he was a crooked businessman. Always phone calls. He never learned to use email.

PFL: He may end up more useful as a crooked politician.

(Polite Laughter all around)

(PFL picks up a phone lying on the table)

PFL: What data do we get from these anyway?

M2: Nothing much we care about. Google cares about the shopping and location data. We let them have it as part of the license.

PC: We like the Americans thinking that we’re spying on them with the phones. That distracts from any real spying we might do

PFL: Which never happens.

(Laughter again, more sincere.)

PFL: ZZZ, can we keep moving on this? How long until you can build it out without American components?

ZZZ: We recognize the national goal of total autonomy for all progressive electronic technologies. However that’s not possible at the moment.

PFL: A theme park! Do we have to deal with the little dunce?*

M1: Junior is running it but we don’t deal with anyone but our people. All we’re doing is guaranteeing the loan.

PFL: OK, not bad, Junior is supposed to be even stupider than the child.

(PFL picks up the phone again)

PFL: Do you think we could get The Child to start using a ZTE as part of the deal? I’m sure the twitter insults would work just as well for him

*Son of Child

The Gun Debate

The scene is the Roosevelt Room in the White House Kitchen. Today’s staff meeting has been assigned to the gun issue. There is an AR-15 assault rifle on the table near CBI. The usual staffers are in attendance as well as the Lizard twins.

Special guest star: WLP, head of the NRA

CBI: Good morning. We’re here to get this dumb gun thing behind us, and get back to making America great again. Lizardo, I did not see your daughter wearing the MAGA cap to school by the way. We had a deal, and I don’t like people who renege on deals.

LZ2: (looks uneasy, glances at LZ1). I assumed that was a joke, sir.

CBI: (visibly upset) Those hats are NOT a joke. We are here because of those hats! And me of course.(Smiles and calms down). OK, LZ, get on top of it. There is nothing smarter than wearing that hat. I would think she would be wearing it all the time. No greater route to popularity than associating with a winner.

CBI: Let’s commence with the compliments

BS: Sir, we’re a little short on time. You’ve got lunch and golf, and that phone call from Prime Minister Trudeau.

CBI: That French fool is a huge pain. Oh Sorry, Duane, I guess you’re French, too.

WLP: I’m from New York, sir, like yourself. My heritage is German, Scottish, French-Canadian, but that goes back a ways.

BS: It’s Wayne, sir.

CBI: Let’s get on with it. And cancel that damn phone call. I feel like putting in a little extra link time today.

(CBI picks up the AR15) So this is the baby that’s causing all the trouble, huh?

CBI suddenly points the AR15 at the group of people opposite him at the table.


(Several attendees instinctively scatter, some go to the floor)

CBI: Ha, ha. You guys are as bad as those pathetic high schoolers. You’d think one of those kids would have the guts to confront that shooter guy – maybe some of the football players or something.

CBI: I know I would have, that’s on the record. I’ll bet this thing would work great for Baldwin. Maybe ALL the Baldwins at once. (waves the AR-15 around the room again)

CBI: Can we take a few minutes while we go around the room and hear congratulations on my courage?

(Each attendee gives a short speech praising CBI’s bravery in confronting the Florida shooter)

CBI: So Duane, we need some kind of symbolic action so these dumb-ass high school kids, and the hired actors, will shut up. Can we sub in a different model of rifle to replace these things? After 6 months we’ll bring this baby back.

WLP: It is our policy not to back down when our 2nd amendment rights are threatened, sir.

CBI: Oh, come on. As you know by now we’re about results, not that silly constitution. That goddamn Sessions never shuts up about it. You know, I never heard anything about that when he was kissing my ass hoping to be attorney general.

WLP: We think this issue is being manipulated. It is a mental health issue. If enough citizens had AR-15s, we would in fact not have an AR-15 problem at all.

CBI: Hey listen Duane, I’m the one that came up with that mental health angle. DO NOT take credit for my ideas. I’m doing you guys a favor with that stuff.

CBI: Hey, is it burger time yet?

CBI: I think we’ve done some good work here today – let’s call it a day. I’ve got some appointments.

The Meeting about Jerusalem

The scene is the White House Kitchen. The 60 inch television is on but silent. CBI is watching the television and drinking a diet cola. The TV remote is next to the cola can. He is surrounded by regular staff. OS, IR and XMCH are also in attendance.

Special guest star: GE (Generic Evangelical)

CBI: I am delivering

CBI: People, not only did I make the bold promises, I delivered

CBI Takes a drink of cola and stares at the television. Something has caught his eye. After 30 seconds of uncomfortable silence



CBI: Delivering

CBI: Can I get a hamburger in here?

BS: Yes sir, it’s been ordered. We order them automatically now for each meeting, per your earlier instructions

CBI: Hurry it up. I think I signed an Executive order for that one, didn’t I?

There is another 30 seconds of silence. CBI has resumed watching television, but only briefly.

CBI: I love those Executive orders. I can reverse that Kenyan’s whole scheme in 6 months.

CBI: BS, I’m going to branch out a bit. Let’s do one that fires any NFL player that doesn’t stand for the anthem. I can do that!

XMCH: Sir, we should move to the topic at hand. I see you’ve invited GE. I’d like to extend a welcome on behalf of everyone here.

CBI: Hang on, hang on.

CBI grabs the TV remote and turns the volume up past a comfortable level. He is starting at himself on the screen. His jaw goes slightly slack. The entire room is now dominated by the image of CBI on the screen, accompanied by the loud commentary.

2 minutes pass

CBI looks up blankly. Suddenly a McDonald’s hamburger is placed in front of him. This snaps him out of his reverie. Coincidentally his image is no longer on the television. He mutes the volume. The television remains on.

CBI: OK,what is it XMCH? Are we finished yet?

XMCH: No sir. We are discussing the recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. OS and I, while supporting your move, think the timing is bad.

GE: We believe it’s long overdue.

CBI: Yes, yes. It is not just overdue but a bold move. It is a move that I make. OS, get your butt to Europe and tell our friends what reality is like.

CBI: And by friends, you know who I mean (CBI smirks and rolls his eyes)

OS: I would urge you to postpone the move sir.

CBI: Be quiet man, hang on.

CBI turns the volume back on and finishes his hamburger and cola. The room is again dominated by the television volume.

CBI: I think we’re done. Good meeting. We need to cut these down a bit in length.

CBI: Can I get a hamburger and cola here. Get on it BE!