Rome: The Senate vote on withdrawing soldiers from Mesopotamia transpired in 112 BC and the legions are slowly returning to Rome.
Emperor Obamicus now rules the empire, carrying the scepter and the burden of empire on his shoulders. Senator Obamicus bested Senators Clintonia and McCainius, to replace the aging Emperor Bushitis. The old head of state has retired to his villa in Texarcania. Senator Clintonia has been appointed the State Consul of Rome.
Emperor Bushitis had sent several legions to Mesopotamia in 107 BC to rid this area of the brutal warlord Hussein the Terrible. Under their able commander General Petraeus's leadership, the Roman Legions prevailed. Senator McCainius, convinced Emperor Bushitis that a surge of additional legions would carry the day.
Sending the legions to Persia against another vicious warlord Ahmenajad the Crazy has been delayed by Emperor Obamicus, pending high level meetings with Rome's allies the Celts, the Gauls and the Huns. Emperor Obamicus also appears to be doing a diplomatic Kabuki dance with the nut case Ahmenajad.
Additional international troubles at the far eastern border of the empire, a place called Afghanistan, are now occupying the new emperor's time. Afghanistan is lead by a corrupt tribal chief named Karzi and is one of those places no one wants to take possession of, but keep fighting over!
The emperor must confront and destroy another warlord threatening the empire named Ben Laden (hiding in a cave in Afghanistan), who it is clamed has "the cloak of invisibility." The emperor is currently holding a war council with General McChrystalis, his new legions commander in the field. The general is asking that the empire send additional legions to the frontier. But, some republicans in the Senate say that the emperor is "dithering."
Gibbis the emperor's spokesman says "we will allow State Consul Clintonia to use tact and diplomacy and then perhaps kick the enemy in the gonads." This appears to be imperial policy.
On the domestic front economic times are bad in Rome. Tribute from conquered territories is low causing a debt, state spending is out of sight, large trade deficits, and citizen taxes are high (particularly on the rich Patricians). State Consul of Rome Clintonia's husband, while at the ladies baths, was overheard to remark "it's the economy stupid!" Fortunately or unfortunately the new emperor did not hear this comment.
The old formula of "bread and circuses" appears lame except for the circuses! The emperor has asked the Senate to convene and consider several economic proposals to restore the empire to greatness, namely.
- Health care for all citizens was proposed by Senator Reidontis. The question was taken under advisement by a Senate committee headed by Senator Baucus, until the ancient Dr. Pelosi can testify. Politically, the emperor needs this measure or he will be left behind. Rumors indicate the emperor may visit the oracle for guidance.
- Public baths, running water (aqueducts), toilets, sewers, arena construction and repair, and road construction were all approved via the Roman Stimulus Measure. A liberal amount of money was also given to the chariot manufactures. Few Senators asked where the money would come from!
- Banking restrictions were introduced by Senator Doddus, although some Senators felt he was the cause of the financial problems. Roman banks are limited by the people's preference for cash transactions. A Senate housing committee was established to investigate other financial/housing problems and provide frank answers.
- Energy concerns to reduce Rome's use of imported lamp oil reside within Senator Boxernia's (a.k.a. Ma'am) committee. Domestic oil production is constantly being urged by the people, as the solution. Although Senator Goris's question of "how to get rid of the Carbon stains (soot) on lamps" garnered some interest. A number of Senators wanted to consider past Emperor Bushitis's plan to send the legions to Persia, defeat warlord Ahmenajad the Crazy, and obtain all the lamp oil needed for 1000 years.
- The Senate voted to keep Gays in the legions, after a heated debate. In fact, some members proposed females be recruited into the legions. This last measure was soundly defeated as the traditional method of fraternization with local women would be retained. Gay marriage provoked astonishment!
The Senate then adjourned to celebrate the festival of Bacchus at retired Emperor Bushitus's villa. Emperor Obamicus sent his regrets, as he was in route to a meeting about the next Roman Olympics.