President George W. Bush attacked "greedy trial lawyers" again Saturday, explaining that frivilous lawsuits caused millions of Americans not to have ready access to Krispy Kreme and other brands of doughnuts.
Speaking at the 114th annual National Association of Doughnut Manufacturers and Retailers Convention in Sweetwater, Texas, the President explained that 7398 counties in America did not have a Krispy Kreme store. "The only possible explanation for this travesty is stupid lawsuits against the sellers of these wonderful doughnuts. We must get greedy trial lawyers out of the kitchens making up this important industry."
When asked to identify a single lawsuit against a doughnut manufacturer or retailer, the President wiped some jelly off the corner of his mouth and explained that he was sure that read about some of these lawsuits "on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Or maybe Sports Illustrated." But, he said, "it makes no difference whether there are any lawsuits yet or not. You and I both know that they are coming. By the way, pass me one of those with the peanut crumbles on it, will ya?"
A Bush aide quickly handed the President a press release, which pointed out that just two years ago there was a claim paid by a California doughnut manufacturer. The lawsuit alleged that someone found a small bolt in what was supported to be an apple fritter. According to the press release, the manufacturer was forced to settle the case, paying $2000 for a new crown and giving the claimant a coupon for a dozen glazed doughnuts and a large cup of coffee. "Clearly a fraudulent claim," said the President. "I am surprised that she didn't say she found a finger in it."
Bush also explained that during a recent golf outing at Pebble Beach the president of a doughnut manufacturing concern told him that she had raised the price of doughnuts because of the threat of litigation, and a CEO mentioned over cocktails at the Four Seasons in San Francisco that his company had ordered a cut back in the amount of powdered sugar for its powdered sugar doughnuts to build up reserves to meet anticipated litigation expenses.
When pressed about whether his proposed reforms would decrease insurance costs or increase powdered sugar on powdered sugar doughnuts, the President got visibly angry. "This isn't about that," he said, "it is about access to doughnuts. We have to ensure that every man, woman and child has ready access to fried dough products. Do you see any bear claws around here?"
"In fact," the President added, "I have heard that people are getting out of the doughnut business all together because of the threat of litigation. There was an 87 year old man who sold the factory he had run for over sixty years because of lawsuit abuse. We are losing the best minds in the doughnut business because of the actions of greedy trial lawyers."
At the urging of the White House, this reporter called the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in Georgetown to inquire about doughnut litigation activities. A spokeswoman for ATLA looked somewhat confused at the request for a comment, but denied the existence of a Doughnut Litigation Group, saying "our only connection to doughnuts is that we serve them at every seminar."
The White House responded to ATLA's denial with anger. "It is no surprise to any decent American to learn that lawyers would eat doughnuts by day and sue doughnut manufacturers by night."