Words to Live By
Since 1993 A SPIFF Publication Vol. 6, No. 1

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Where's Yassir Aracat?
The good news is that America once again has a first dog. Yes, after three failed nominations and after being tied up in subcommittees by those mean-spirited Republicans, the Senate finally confirmed the nomination of Buddy for the position of dog.

The news was not good for everyone, however. Former acting first dog Socks the cat, whose nomination was never even brought before a subcommittee because he was obviously unqualified, will be forced to take a lower position, but will retire with full benefits and a reserved burial plot at Arlington. Our vast Spiff spy satellite rumor mill reports that Socks will accept the (scratching) post of Official Document Shredder.

Always ready for a good photo op, Bill Clinton decided to have a joint press conference with Buddy and Socks. The two did not get along. This was not a surprise to the informed few who knew Buddy and Socks. You see, Buddy is a dog, and Socks is a cat.

While most Americans are unaware of their history, others are painfully aware of the conflicts between these two groups. Throughout the world, dogs and cats have been at war with each other for centuries. Even in our own land, although it is often swept quietly under the carpet, Canine-Americans and Feline-Americans have been at odds with each other for years.

Because they care, Clintons Administration officials verified today that the first master will send peace-keeping troops to the back yard. (There was no mention about the first mistress, however.) This noble mission, Operation Good Boy, will continue no later than November 1998. After that, it will continue no later than June 2000. After that, Bill Clinton will admit that he was unaware of these groups' painful history, and that creating an artificial deadline was a mistake. The troops will remain indefinitely, and billions of dollars in aid will be diverted from nonessential programs, such as your bank account.

Not Much in Common
(and please make them stop playing that song!)

Writing about death is never a pleasant topic, especially when it's about the death of (a.) someone we liked or (b.) baby-sitter molesters. Recent examples would be (a.) Rep. Sonny Bono and (b.) Michael Kennedy. But we wanted to be prepared for what's about to happen.

Both Bono and Kennedy died in skiing accidents, and as we have come to expect after any high-profile accident, somebody in Washington will use a tragedy to make darn sure it doesn't happen again without government oversight. Prepare ye, therefore, for H.R. 90210: The Kennedy-Bono memorial mandatory ski helmet law.

Each year, we will hear, hundreds of thousands of people take to the slopes. Each year, thousands of those people are injured in accidents, many of which could have been avoided. What we won't hear is that most of these injuries are to arms and legs, not heads. What we won't hear is that some day the government will stop forcing us to spend billions of dollars trying to reduce accident statistics from 0.000002 to 0.000001.

One phrase we often hear at times like this is, "He would have wanted it this way." Never the ones to shy away from joining the crowd, we here at Spiff would like to take some guesses at what both Kennedy and Bono would have thought about such legislation.

Kennedy, being a Kennedy, would have said something like, "Uncle Ted, pour me another, will you?" Then he would have joyously endorsed the bill as necessary to protect the lives of our children. He would then procede to ignore the law, since it didn't apply to him. After all, he was a Kennedy, and who's going to arrest him?

Bono, on the other hand, would have rejected the idea, siting such quaint ideas as, "We can't prevent every accident," and "Why are we giving $100 to Maxine Waters' 30-year-old utes?" and "We need to take responsibility for our own actions."

He will be missed.

Ending Tax Cuts as We Know It
In her State of the It's a Small World After All speech, President Clinton is expected to have Bill announce that the United States, a subsidiary of Uenco, will have its first balanced budget in more than 30 years. (By the way, why is it that the Grammy-award-winning Mrs. Clinton, with her Grammy-award-winning voice, always has her husband do the State of the Union speeches?)

The problem with the Clintons announcing that this is our first balanced budget is that it's what the Republicans announced last year. It's also what the Republicans announced the year before that. Maybe if they keep announcing it hard enough, their wish will someday come true.

Not if Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin has his way. Once he figured that a balanced budget might cause tax cuts, Rubin ran to the Sunday morning talk shows to warn the viewer that such measures would throw the budget back out of balance. Only by maintaining policies of "financial responsibility," such as increased spending, could the budget be balanced.

"People want to cut taxes, but we don't hear a lot of ideas on how they are going to pay for it," Rubin said. That, of course, is the same silliness we've heard from Democrats for years. First, we don't hear that complaint every time President Clinton and Bill want to add a new social program for the chiiildren. They just go ahead and push it and let you worry about how you're going to pay for it. Second, Mr. Rubin, if you'd pay attention you'd hear lots of ideas on how to pay for it. Eliminate the NEA, the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the IRS, Amtrack, American occupation of Bosnia, the EPA...and the list goes on.

If we got a 50-cent tax cut for every dollar we saved by eliminating these things, we'd still balance the budget and even make a slight dent in the national debt. And a more significant dent in Washington's power over our lives.

It's about Time
This year, Time Magazine, which we at Spiff like to think of as our little (wayward) sister publication, is celebrating its 75th birthday. In celebration of the event, the magazine has decided to stop being so darn liberal. No, wait. Sorry. No, the magazine has asked some famous people to sing the praises of some other famous people. This, of course, is the only natural way to celebrate 75 years.

One of the famous people from the first group is pizza celebrity Mike Gorbachev. The famous person from the second group that he personally selected to celebrate is none other than Joe Stalin. Surprising as it might be, Time concluded that this might not be a wonderful idea. People might get the idea that Time endorses communism, although its selection of Gorby surely disproves that. Worse yet, people might get the idea that Gorby is a communist, and just because it's true doesn't mean it's good p.r. for their red friend. Even worse yet, people might cancel their subscriptions!

We expect that, with a little arm-twisting from Ted Turner, Mr. Gorbachev will give in and write about somebody more in tune with Time's idea of what a socialist should be. Mr. Gorbachev, meet Mrs. Turner.

Mrs. The President
and The President, Ronald Reagan, greet Pope John Paul. The pope was
going to make a trip to the U.S. to meet the current head of the
government, but he said, ''Hey, why meet a junior communist when I can
see the real thing in Cuba?'' Mrs. The President and The President, Ronald Reagan, greet Pope John Paul. The pope was going to make a trip to the U.S. to meet the current head of the government, but he said, "Hey, why meet a junior communist when I can see the real thing in Cuba?"

Quote of the weak:
"I believe this high office requires more than being Senator Pothole."
Geraldine Ferraro
Quote of the strong:
"Same might be said for President Pothead."
Federalist Digest
Words to Live By is published every once in a while by Spiff. You can send a fax to us here in the Spiff Executive Tower, on the banks of the mighty Cumberland River, at 615-847-2259. You can e-mail us at