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Redneck Perspective: A redneck frolic in D.C.
I just returned from a weeklong frolic in Washington D.C. with Blythe Winters-Paulson, vice president of ethics with Goldman Sachs. We met during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium. Blythe works out of the main office in Manhattan but often travels to D.C. to explain to our elected representatives the complexity of ethics in investment banking. She reminds them of the importance of Sachs’ campaign contributions when they are crafting legislation or considering opening an investigation. She has a three-story condo in Georgetown but as she likes to say, “It misses that down home feel.” Which is where I come in.
Alice, my Republican lover, has been a bit possessive about my new relationship. “I can’t understand why you would sell yourself out as a cheap cabana boy to some spoiled, rich Victoria Secret model-looking executive,” she pouted.
“Really?” I asked. It didn’t seem all that complicated to me.
“I thought I would always be your only Republican lover.”
“Don’t worry Alice,” I consoled. “Blythe is not a Republican. She has no party affiliation; she bribes both sides.”
Actually, I proved myself to be more than arm-candy with a beer belly; I saved the day for Goldman Sachs. The investment banks had paid for a bill to deregulate speculation in derivatives based on mortgage credit defaults because, as they explained, the whole 2007 housing collapse was basically just a misunderstanding. But because of a clerical error the bill said regulate!
Blythe and I were on the Senate floor and she was hysterical. “What can I do? If this passes it will cut millions off my performance bonus.”
The Senate was just about to vote and I said in a loud voice, “I can’t believe that intern is going public with her affair with Senator…” I purposely muffled the name and a wave of terror flowed across Congress. Not the terror of America being destroyed by political infighting. Not the terror of planes ramming into buildings that, while tragic, at least provided an opportunity for political speeches and condemnation of the other party; but real terror: the terror of loss of power.
Immediately senators grabbed their cell phones and began calling mistresses, chiefs of staff, experts in damage control and spin. I overheard a couple calls:
“After I got your daddy that 598 million dollar contract to provide the defense department with coffee cups how could you do this…”
“Look I’m sorry about last night. I had a lot on my mind and no, I don’t need a pill…”
“It was not legitimate rape; you took the job; you must of known what was required.”
In all the excitement the bill was forgotten long enough for Blythe to change the wording.
The CEO of Goldman Sachs even called me to express his thanks. “What can we do to thank you Clyde? The sky is the limit.”
I thought about it. “How about all Blythe and I can eat at D.C.’s finest rib joint?”
“You got it,” he replied.
Later, soaking in the Georgetown hot tub with Blythe and Linda–Blythe’s personal secretary she tossed in for me as a performance bonus, I realized commercial bankers have a bad rap. They’re just regular folks after all.