Sorosh Saji is a character from my third mystery, Nikita.

Sorosh is important to the plot in that he is a somewhat less than stellar President of the United States during a very scary episode.

During the entire fiction/mystery Sorosh doesn’t make many of the decisions on his own, however the question was raised by several readers at a book club, “If Sorosh lost his handlers and had to make decisions, what would Sorosh do?”

I thought about this for a few weeks and decided that it would make a very entertaining exercise to select a crisis a week, give my own opinion as to what I believe Sorosh would do then open it to the followers of the blog.

G. Hugh Bodell

New America Tales Courtesy of Sorosh Saji

The Affordable Plumbing Act

Only weeks after leaving office on January 20, 2017, former President Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Troy the Plumber to come out to fix it.Troy drives to President Obama's new house, which is located in a very exclusive, gated community near Chicago, where all the residents have a net income of way more than $250,000 per year. Troy arrives and takes his tools into the house. He is led to the guest bathroom that contains the leaky pipe under the sink. Troy assesses the problem and tells Obama that it's an easy repair, that will take less than 10 minutes. Obama asks Troy how much it will cost. Troy checks his rate chart and says, "$9,500." "What?! $9,500?!" Obama asks, stunned, "But you said it's an easy repair. Michelle will whip me if I pay a plumber that much!" Troy says, "Yes, but what I do is charge those who make more than $250,000 per year a much higher amount so I can fix the plumbing of poorer people for free. This has always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied the Democrat Congress, who passed this philosophy into law. Now all plumbers must do business this way. It's known as the 'Affordable Plumbing Act of 2014', I'm surprised you haven't heard of it." 

In spite of that, Obama tells Troy there's no way he's paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Troy leaves. Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book calling for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses in the area have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Troy's price, Obama does nothing and the leak goes un-repaired for several more days. 

A week later the leak is so bad President Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. Michelle is not happy as she has Oprah and guests arriving the next morning. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there's a risk the room will flood, so Obama calls Troy and pleads with him to return. Troy goes back to Obama's house, looks at the leaky pipe, checks his new rate chart and says, "Let's see, this will now cost you $21,000." Obama quickly fires back, "What? A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!" 

Troy explains, "Well, because of the 'Affordable Plumbing Act,' a lot of wealthier people are learning how to maintain and take care of their own plumbing, so there are fewer payers in the plumbing exchanges. As a result, the price I have to charge wealthy people like you keeps rising. Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work by those who get it for free has skyrocketed! There's a long waiting list of those who need repairs, but the amount we get doesn't cover our costs, especially paperwork and record-keeping unfortunately has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, they're not being replaced, and nobody is going into the plumbing business because they know they can't make any money at it. I'm hurting too, all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won't pay their 'fair share'. On the other hand, why didn't you buy plumbing insurance last December? If you had bought plumbing insurance available under the 'Affordable Plumbing Act,' all this would have been covered by your policy." "You mean I wouldn't have to pay anything to have you fix my plumbing problem?" asks Obama. "Well, not exactly," replies Troy. "You would have had to buy the insurance before the deadline, which has passed now. And, because you're rich, you would have had to pay $34,000 in premiums, which would have given you a 'silver' plan, and then, since this would have been your first repair, you would have to pay up to the $21,000 deductible, and anything over that would have a $7,500 co-pay, and then there's the mandatory maintenance program, which is covered up to 17.5%, so there are some costs involved. Nothing is for free."

"WHAT?!" exclaims Obama. "Why so much for a puny sink leak?!" With a bland look, Troy replies, "Well, paperwork, mostly, like I said. And the internal cost of the program itself. You don't think a program of this complexity and scope can run itself, do you? Besides, there are millions of folks with lower incomes than you, even many in the 'middle class', who qualify for subsidies that people like you must support. That's why they call it the 'Affordable Plumbing Act'! Only people who don't make much money can afford it. If you want affordable plumbing, you'll have to give away most of what you have accumulated and cut your and Michelle's income by about 90%. Then you can qualify to GET your 'Fair Share' instead of GIVING it." 

"But who would pass a crazy act like the 'Affordable Plumbing Act'?!" exclaims the exasperated Obama. After a sigh, Troy replies, "Congress ... because they didn't read it."

This will help you understand Obamacare .... 

Dear Mr. Obama

Dear Mr. Obama:

As you are well aware, I was created in your image and likeness… even with the same job, President of the United States.

From time to time you have let me know, indirectly albeit, that you do not approve of many of my solutions to everyday problems (like the Goats to trim the grass on the White House lawn) and you really hate my solutions to the bigger problems, the ones you seem to make worse with every action you take.

Well, as much as you resent my offered help, it appears that I will be leaving a more impressive legacy than that which appears in the offing for you when they write the history of President Barack H. Obama.  With that in mind and in view of the fact that I do believe you need help in the ‘Decision/Action’ compartment of your personality, I have a bit of advice.

Do not hesitate, Bomb Syria!

It makes no difference who did what to whom, with chemicals, bombs US made weapons, etc.  This has nothing to do with right and wrong or stopping the infighting going on in that ancient civilization.  It has everything to do with economics, the status of the United States and most of all with History as it will be written…as it relates to you.

If you take the bold action of lobbing a few dozen Tomahawk rockets into Syria, (it makes no difference where in Syria, as long as they land within that beleaguered country’s borders) the result will be pretty predictable but also quite spectacular.

This aggressive action will almost immediately result in Iran and of course Russia declaring war on the United States.  Believe it or not, as far as you and your place in history are concerned, this is a good thing.

Immediately you of course will have to re-institute the Draft taking 2 to 3 million young Americans, both men and woman since we have now an equal opportunity military, out of the workforce, off unemployment or off of welfare.

Next, as it did in 1941 for Mr. Roosevelt, war production will create, immediately, at least 4 million new jobs and a half million more each month for the war's duration.

Do you see how this simple expenditure of less than $50 Million (Tomahawks go for about $1.45 Million a pop), you have created over seven million jobs and increased new hires to heights not seen in decades.

Continuing on to the Obama (Saji) miracle of economic recovery.

The war will spread globally and production of domestic oil, gas and coal will skyrocket since we will be forced to become energy independent and must, in the new state of national emergency, rely on the tried and true sources of energy not the idealistic but highly unreliable alternatives.

More Americans will be drafted into military service, more war production jobs will be created and with the new prosperity and spendable funds, all areas of the domestic economy will expand.  People will once again be happy and carefree.

The economy will soar and like Roosevelt you can leave a legacy of putting the US back on top... between you and I, something quite opposite to the legacy you now appear to be leaving.

When the war gets too hot, you can… again as did Roosevelt, cut a deal with Russia.  Then you both can nuke the other participants that really don’t matter anyway. Of course, as it did in 1945, Russia will dominate half the world and we the other half.  But best of all we can get back to the US we all love, that of Global Dominance, Hope and most of all Prosperity.

Go for it Mr. O!  As your literary clone it is what I would do… and it just may be your last chance to achieve anything notable (or at all for that matter).

Since I am only a character in the imagination of a writer, I will end up wherever he deems I should, a place that will most of all make him look good!  You on the other hand do not have that luxury.

Now please Mr. O, it is crucial that you concentrate, I know you find it difficult but you have to focus and remember the absolutely critical two foundation actions required to set this Miracle of Change in motion, BOMB AND DRAFT the two important orders you must give.

Your Literary Double,

Sorosh Saji
President Of the United States (Fictional)

Author's Note: Since the writing of the satirical 'Open Letter To Mr. Obama' the situation in the Middle East has deteriorated to a very serious and dangerous level.  Today's news spotlights the underground sale of nuclear weapons' material by Eastern European opportunists to Middle Eastern bad guys.
This scary scenario is the basis for my third novel, NIKITA, published in 2011.
I zeroed in some five years ago on the existence of 7,400 nuclear warheads, manufactured by the Soviets for arming of SCUD missiles, since retired...but not the nuke warheads (Fact).  They are in storage in Russia and in my fertile imagination an Eastern European opportunist negotiates the sale of 4,000 of them to Iranian bad guys.  The deal is a perfect fit since the nuke warheads are a perfect fit for the Iranian Shahab 3 ballistic missile which was designed using the SCUD as the prototype (Fact).
You may want to take a look at this bit of speculative fiction we pray will never happen...but seems to be getting closer.  Click the book cover below.

The Shit's Creek Solution

The Challenge:
Unexpected summer flooding is occurring in Wyoming and the Federal Government has not so much as noticed much less provided help of any kind.  At a press conference Marsha Peabody, a Reporter with VPNN, (Veritas & Probitas News Network - Truth & Honesty News Network) raised the question of what and when did FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) intend to do something for the self-sufficient citizens of Wyoming?  In a heated exchange the President asked Ms. Peabody to be more specific and at one point simply shouted out “What’s the problem Marsha? What kind of trouble can these people be in?”
Obviously frustrated by the President’s lack of either knowledge of the crisis or any empathy for the brave and self-reliant men and women of Wyoming shouted back, “Mr. President, tens of thousands of Americans in Wyoming are up shit’s creek without a paddle, what are you an FEMA going to do for them?”
President Saji answered, “I’ll take care of it Ms. Peabody. Next question.”

 Sorosh’s Solution:
Immediately on the conclusion of the press conference, President Sorosh Saji summoned the Director of FEMA to the Oval Office and shouted at the Director, “You have caused me embarrassment on national TV you idiot. Apparently there are tens of thousands of our citizens stranded on some creek in Wyoming. No backtalk from you now, I am the President! You are to see to it that one-hundred thousand paddles are delivered to these people on some place called Shit’s Creek in Wyoming. Got it? Now out of here and get that done with plenty of media coverage.”
The stunned Director of FEMA turned and left the Oval Office muttering to himself.

Another great solution from Sorosh Saji
President Extraordinaire!

The Goat Poop Solution

The Challenge:
The lawnmowers that trim the grass on the White House Great Lawn have broken down irreparably, having been bought during the Carter years.  New ones must be bought but due to the lengthy Government purchasing procedures, they will not be delivered until December 22, the day after winter begins.  The grass will be a foot tall by August 30.
The Master Grounds Keeper, fearing the wrath of President Sorosh Saji decides to approach him directly for a solution.

 Sorosh’s Solution:
“Let us examine the problem from all sides,” says President Sorosh Saji.
“The mowers cost money and we must save money!  The mowers use gas and we must save gas!
“The mowers breakdown thus we must hire a mechanic to care for them and we must shrink the number of government employees!
“I have it!  Order fifty goats!
“They will eat the grass, they will eat the trash the tourists throw on the lawn and best of all, the place will stink of goat poop which will keep the damn protesters away.”

Another great solution from Sorosh Saji
President Extraordinaire!

March 18, 2012 – What Would Sorosh Do?

Today’s topic was inspired by an article the author received via one of the many feeds he subscribes to.  If this particular post were given a title it would be ‘Campaign Contributions – Don’t believe anything you hear or see’.
For more on the real story that prompted this segment be sure to read the ‘Author’s Notes’ immediately following the Sorosh Saji interview.

What Would Sorosh Do?
Produced with permission of VPNN
March 18, 2012

Marsha Peabody – Reporter with VPNN
Veritas & ProbitasNews Network (Truth & Honesty News Network)

“Good morning loyal viewers.  Because of the nature of today’s interview, it is being held in the studios of VPNN.  The President is due to arrive shortly but before his entrance, my producers and I thought it would be wise to give you a heads up.
“President Saji and his staff think the topic is ‘China, our new Best Friend Forever’, it’s not!

“The topic will concentrate on anomalies uncovered in over $135 million in contributions that the President’s 2012 campaign has received from an army of ‘common folk followers’ as he chooses to refer to them.
“We are giving you advanced knowledge of this ‘bait and switch’ tactic on our part since it is quite possible the President may choose to end the interview and leave.

“I am getting the sign from both my producer and the program director that President Saji is on his way into the studio.  Please stay tuned.”

Marsha Peabody

As a smiling, President Sorosh Saji enters the set and takes a seat at the small table Marsha greets him.
“Good morning Mr. President, thank you for coming all this way for our weekly interview.”

Sorosh Saji – President of the United States

“Good morning Marsha, it is always a pleasure to see you each Sunday.  As for the trip, you do remember, I am the president so it’s easy, you know, helicopter to Air Force One to helicopter to your roof.  Hell it’s easier than going to church, which is why I don’t go to church, ha ha.
“Besides, I welcome any opportunity to discuss the huge progress I’ve made in getting the Chinese to view us as their best buddies.”

Marsha Peabody

“I am glad you brought up the proposed topic Mr. President.  Our producer has received a number of e-mails and telephone calls from people around the country regarding certain inconsistencies in the latest reports on your quite successful campaign fundraising.
“It would appear…”

Sorosh Saji

President Sorosh Saji starts frantically looking about the set.  His staff has left the studio invited by a group of male and female models to join them in a sumptuous breakfast coupled with Mimosas and Bloody Marys.  Almost screaming he turns to Marsha and angrily says,
“What do you mean ‘proposed topic’?  You have changed the topic to discuss my campaign fundraising?  I have staff to deal with that, I just go and spend what is necessary to get me reelected.

“I told you that since I spilled my guts to you on the plane from Sedona, Arizona to Palm Beach, Florida and you broadcast it to the world on February 12, there were to be no more surprises.  You are to give my staff the topic a week in advance so they may prepare my responses and play them into my earpiece as the interview progresses.
“Not only are you ambushing me with an unexpected topic but somehow you have made my entire staff vanish.”

Marsha Peabody

“Calm down Mr. President!  We have done nothing to make your staff vanish and the topic is one that you are probably more familiar with than any of your staff.
“In the conversation aired February 12 you indicated that, and I quote, ‘I had learned from my mentor the secret of winning elections; have more money than any other candidate and use any means at your disposal to get rid of the other candidates’.

“You further indicated in that conversation that two people and their global enterprises provided most if not all of the funding for every one of your political campaigns.  You went on to tell me that these enterprises centered on the sale of drugs and arms.
“Mr. President, you indicated at your recent campaign speech in Wisconsin that you’re campaign is being funded by, and I quote you, ‘the common folk’.

“Which is it Mr. President, the two drugs and arms tycoons or lots of common folk?”

Sorosh Saji

“It is the common folk of course.  I am the president of everyman and that is who is sending in their small contributions.  They send what they can to assure the candidate who fights for their needs will win another four-year term.  The average contribution of my supporters is five dollars.  Some give seven, some give three but the average is five dollars.”

Marsha Peabody

“Mr. President, according to the data provided by the Federal Election Commission, since April 2011 you have raised over $135 million at five bucks per contributor that says you have over 27 million contributors, is that correct.?”
Sorosh Saji

“If that is what the Federal Election Commission says, it must be so.”

Marsha Peabody

“Well Mr. President, I’m sure you don’t mind but we obtained the data supporting the contention that over 27 million Americans contributed a maximum of five dollars apiece to your 2012 campaign.
“President Saji, we found some serious issues with the data.”

Sorosh Saji


Marsha Peabody

“To list a few:
  • 37,653 Paul Reveres, Number 12 Midnight Lane, Boston, MA
  • 42,786 Donald Ducks, The Pond, Hollywood, CA
  • 153,587 Peter Rabbits, Hole In the Ground Road, Cabbage Patch, OH.
“Shall I continue Mr. President?”

Sorosh Saji

“I don’t understand the problem.”  Once again President Saji began to look frantically for his staff.

Marsha Peabody

“You don’t understand the problem?  Do you really think these are actual people making bona fide contributions of five bucks apiece?
“It appears more like someone is breaking down large illegal contributions into tens of thousands of small contributions from fictitious small contributors.”

Sorosh Saji

“Marsha, are you accusing me or the Federal Election Commission of carrying on this fraud?”

Marsha Peabody

“Actually I would say that the guilt rests equally with your unidentified two people and their global enterprises for giving the funds, the Federal Election Commissionfor adding credibility and you for closing your eyes to the fraud.”

Sorosh Saji

President Sorosh Saji looking angrily about the studio pulled the earpiece from his ear and finding no one jumped up from the chair and shouted, “This interview is over and furthermore Ms. Peabody, this series is over.  I will not be ambushed with embarrassing questions when I have no staff to provide answers.
“I’m out of here.”

With that announcement, President Sorosh Saji stomped off the set, lighting a cigarette and screaming for his staff using a great deal of obscenity.

Marsha Peabody

“You can’t say I didn’t warn everyone that this may happen.
“Now as to the series being over, I don’t think so, give this actor wannabe president the opportunity to get in front of a microphone or camera and he’ll be there, even if you are going to throw pies at him.

“Until next week when President Sorosh Saji and yours truly will be back, same time, same place, this is Marsha Peabody, investigative reporter signing off for VPNN.”

Author’s Notes

I decided to write this post after receiving a conservative news piece that referred me to the internet pages of the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Contained therein is a great deal of information concerning election law, fundraising rules, etc.
Those of you who know me or have read my biography will remember that I started my long career as an accountant and evolved into the use of technology in that profession.
The item that jumped out at me from the pages of the FEC site was financial/accounting so I decided to download the details of the 292,400 individual contributions received by Mr. Obama’s campaign between April 4, 2011 and January 31, 2012.

I converted the data to a database format that would permit me to do analysis and ‘ask questions’.  From there my over the top, genetic curiosity took over.
I will not bury you in what I discovered; I will simply point out the two overwhelming data discoveries that prompted the topic for this week’s interview.
  1. The 292,400 individual contributions which is the statistic that will be quoted by the Obama Campaign from now to November 6, 2012, particularly as it grows, is actually the contributions of 107,206 individuals who have made multiple contributions, as many as six on the same day.
  2. That discovery led me to do another analysis driven by a very specific FEC Rule, Under Federal law; individuals may contribute a maximum of $2,500 per election to each candidate.
    Of the 107,206 individuals, 6,803 contributed more than the permitted $2,500, however breaking those contributions down into as many as 6 contributions on the same day, each at the limit of $2,500.  The total these 6,803 generous followers of His Grace, Barack Obama, contributed, $36,235,144.56
I hope you enjoyed today’s interview and will continue to follow ‘What Would Sorosh Do’ through November 4, 2012 (and possibly beyond).

If you would like to learn more about Sorosh Saji, his puppeteers and the havoc they all caused you might want to take a look at my third novel, Nikita.

Thank you for following,
G. Hugh Bodell