City Desk

The Most Obvious “Worst-Case Scenario” Book Ever

From the folks that brought you The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating and Sex, and a wide variety of other books that probably were sold at Urban Outfitters comes The Worst-Case Scenario Almanac of Politics.

The book is not strictly focused on current American politics. No Louis XVI and Jefferson Davis also get proper thrashings. But, D.C. gets plenty of representation in the book's 260 pages.

I flipped to the index already expecting to see one local name, and I was not disappointed.

  • In a table entitled "The Wrong Spin," Marion Barry is featured along with Jim Gibbons, Governor of Nevada and Mobuto Sese Seko, President of Zaire from 1965 to 1997, as well as others. Barry's problem: "The 1989 statistics that showed his city had become the murder capital of the United States." The spin: "Outside of the killings, we have one of the lowest crime rates in the nation."
  • The Barry mentions don't stop there. He also gets cited on the "Political Comebacks" page for being re-elected mayor after serving six months of federal prison time for his earlier drug arrest.

As for $%^&-ups from national U.S. leaders, plenty of them happened on our streets. There are too many to recount. But, here are some highlights from the book.

  • Maryland U.S. representative Bob Baumann is featured in the graph "Political Asylum: U.S. Politicians Who Entered Rehab During Scandals." His problem: "A leading family values advocate, Baumann was caught having sex with a 16-year-old boy in the back of his car on a Washington D.C., street." The solution: "Blamed the incident on 'acute alcoholism' and checked into rehab."
  • Of course, Watergate's in there.
  • "Protesters Get Biggest Piece of Media Pie" is the headline at the top of page 127. Here's the story that follows:" Organizers of a July 1982 Washington, D.C. event thought they had found the perfect way to celebrate the recent passage of President Ronald Reagan's tax cut legislation. The conservative United States Senate Republican Conference created the 'world's largest apple pie' and invited everyone to come to the Capitol Mall to get a piece as a symbolic way of showing the tax cut's alleged universal benefits... Members of the Community for Creative Nonviolence (CCNV), a progressive political activist group that also runs a homeless shelter in Washington D.C., disagreed with the tax cuts...five CCNV protesters "hung signs around their necks identifying themselves as 'Bankers,''CEOS,' 'Fat Cats,' 'Corporations' and 'Lobbyists.'" Then, they "rushed through the crowd and belly-flopped into the pie, shouting 'IT'S ALL MINE! IT'S ALL MINE!'"
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