You haven't read this yet in the daily newspapers, but the National Security Agency -- aka NSA -- has succeeded in wiretapping God. Yep, after it was discovered that the Lord listens to prayers of liberals and, heaven (so to speak) forbid, infidels, the spooks slapped a tap on the Pearly Gates. Now your once-private prayers are as public as Sonny Perdue's squirrelly land deals.
Which is good for me. I have a good source at the NSA, and we recently met at 2 a.m. in a Buckhead parking garage where he slipped me a dossier. "This meeting didn't happen," he said. "And if it did, I didn't give you this." As I slid the packet into my trench coat and adjusted the press card stuck in the hatband of my fedora, I replied: "What meeting? What dossier?" You have to play along with these guys.
When I opened the dossier, I found it contained prominent Georgians' New Year's resolutions -- which are sorta covenants with the deity. It's only a few days after Jan. 1, but many of the resolutions were already stamped: "BROKEN!" Several of those had handwritten notes, which said things such as, "Send to Purgatory, 10,000 years." I think that was on Vernon Jones' resolution to foreswear the ménage a trois as a form of constituent outreach.
So, let's take a peek at some of the resolutions.
Top of the stack is a resolve from someone called the "Big Ego," er, I mean "Big Guy." I see he promised, "Try being nice for a change." Uh-oh, the "BROKEN!" stamp has a notation: "He made it to 12:02 a.m. on Jan. 1."
Next is a joint resolution -- from Cobb County school officials who think evolution is just a bit of devilish whimsy, Gwinnett anti-Harry Potter crusader Laura Mallory and the field marshals of the Christian Coalition. It says, "Turn back the clock to 1006. Burn objectors (in the name of a loving God, of course)."
Hmmmm, yes, here's a good one from state Senate leader Eric Johnson, R-Foolthevoters. "I will make myself appear to be a passionate conservative," he vowed. Explanation: Johnson has proposed that Georgia emulate Florida and adopt what's hailed in Jeb-land as "John McKay Scholarships." These provide vouchers ... oops, not supposed to use that word ... "scholarships" for disabled students to attend any school their parents want. We all know that the real purpose is to poke a hole in the dike between church and state. But, heck, as long as Johnson can claim he's "helping disabled children," maybe no one will notice that he's wiping his feet all over the Constitution. Oh, in Florida, many children suddenly became "special needs" so their parents could pay private schools, 75 percent of which had no special education teachers.
Still, Johnson's resolution is a dandy model for other legislators in need of their own resolutions. Former Florida Senate President John McKay, after all, epitomized "compassionate conservatism." The high-rolling, multimillionaire developer dumped his wife of 24 years and tried to stiff her out of alimony payments that supported his three daughters. This followed McKay's high-profile affair with a lobbyist. Isn't being compassionate and pro-family a delightful New Year's vow?
The next resolution is from, let's see, John Lewis, and it says, "Stay away from Shirley and Andy, and don't volunteer to make any radio commercials." I see some angel has penned in the margins, "A killer idea. I hope he's deadly serious."
Aha! Here's one from Jay Bookman of the Daily of No Particular Point of View. "Fight roads, promote density," Bookman promises. That sounds a lot like another one, let's see, down in the stack ... yes, here. It's a collective resolution from the Georgia Department of Transportation board, and it says: "Fight trains, promote sprawl." I guess that's called "dialogue on transportation." If both sides are faithful to their resolutions, we'll have an incredibly dense Atlanta with no transit, and what's left of the land in Georgia will be paved over.
The new secretary of state, Karen Handel, in an exasperated note, grumped: "Find a state dumber than Georgia to take these used Diebold machines off my hands."
Sonny Perdue wrote two resolutions, "First, promote government efficiency. Pack my staff with ex-lobbyists from Georgia Power and other special interests and cut down the time it takes for them to eliminate what remains of consumer protection. Second, check my Christmas stocking, the one that keeps filling up again and again, for more Florida land deals."
Sen. Chip Rogers and the Cherokee County Commission had novel resolutions that read: "Celebrate every holiday with piñatas -- with one small change. Replace the gift-filled toy with live Mexicans."
Newly Libertarianized Bob Barr promises that "in the coming year, I'll become the first pro-civil liberties, pro-gun, pro-business, anti-Bush, anti-anti-anti-Clinton presidential candidate in history."
Another congressional veteran, Newt Gingrich, penned a curious resolution: "Convince Americans that backwards is forwards in providing health care. If enough suckers believe that, run for president."
Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond and Attorney General Thurbert Baker harmonized: "Survive."
Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington had to mail his resolution from whatever city he was speaking in last week. It read, "Try to visit Atlanta a few times this year. Talk tough about not letting the narcs shoot civilians -- at least until I get another shot at a raise."
Another joint resolution came from all of the critics of Jimmy Carter -- authored, I see, by two Emory profs, Ken Stein and Melvin Konner: "Find another smear tactic. That old 'anti-Semite' canard is just too worn out. People see through it."
Jimmy has one, too. "Find the strength to continue telling the truth for one more year."
And, good grief, look at this. My very own resolution. "Try being nice for a change." Sounds familiar. So is the "BROKEN!" stamp. But I made it to Jan. 1, 2007, 12:03 a.m.
Happy New Year!