In a highly anticipated press conference this morning, New York Governor David Paterson announced* he will nominate New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden as Assistant Chief of Party Pooping. “For years, Frieden has stood out as party pooper par excellence,” Paterson said. “Wherever New Yorkers tried to enjoy a hamburger or soda, Frieden was always there to kill the buzz with his trademark gloom. This is exactly the kind of public servant New Yorkers need managing my recently launched Department for the Elimination of Fun.”
In December, Paterson declared a “war on fun” when he proposed a $121 billion budget that included taxes on downloaded music, movie tickets, soda, beer, wine, cigars, and 82 other merchandise and activities that New Yorkers enjoy. Early last month, Paterson scrapped the plan when its unpopularity was becoming increasingly apparent.
“Frieden has a long track record of success in pushing through regulation no one likes,” Paterson added.* “Only Frieden could turn margarine into public enemy number one. I want him to do the same with salt.” Frieden’s high-ranking party-pooper role will have him working closely with Paterson’s cabinet, occasionally with Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto, the head of the Department of Military and Naval Affairs, to reduce salt in food.
Asked where personal responsibility fits into his new agenda, Paterson quietly repeated the question to himself before asking the reporter to define “personal responsibility.”