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Potomac Fever

Additional symptoms of "Potomac Fever"

Potomac Fever?
We need your help to better diagnose and treat a major DC malady.

The end of summer brings on health concerns such as fall allergies, common colds, sore throats, the coming flu season, and even holiday weight gain. While these concerns are by no means trivial there is an even more significant health concern that may be impacting you or some of the people you love and respect. It's called Potomac Fever. Following is some information to assist you in recognizing, preventing, and combating Potomac Fever.

General Symptoms include: Extreme disorientation, memory loss, and occasional delusions of grandeur.

Symptoms can present as follows: An individual suffering from Potomac Fever may have an inflated notion of self worth and may use phrases such as:
- "let's get one of the cars and drivers here to take us to dinner"
- "hello, I'm THE Assistant Secretary of ________" (vs. President Bush's Assistant Secretary of ____________ )
- "this issue is very important to MY agenda"
- "this hotel room is not big enough for the Assistant Secretary of _________"
- "I have the ugliest building in Washington"

The individual may suffer from delusions of grandeur:
- words like million and billion no longer seem so large
- the individual may believe he/she could be effective if only OMB would loosen up on the budget strings
- the individual may get upset at related industry gatherings when other people don't immediately know who he/she is
- the individual may be continually focused on his or her next position/appointment
- the individual has more material and pictures of themselves on their "I love me" wall than paper in their policy files
- office hallway pictures and blow-ups are two times life size

The individual may have incoherent speech. They may:
- frequently use words like paradigm and synergy
- frequently use acronyms and code words when talking about government programs……at home or at social occasions.

The individual may suffer bouts of memory loss:
- they may forget who appointed them to their position, the person whose name is on their appointment paper
- they may forget that they serve at the pleasure of the President

Prevention/Treatment: Frequently listen to or reading the President's vision for America. Also review the writings and remarks of past Presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. Listen to their principles, message, and vision.

Visit any small town outside the DC media market, go into a local store or restaurant to ask how many Cabinet officials and senior staff members the person waiting on you can name. Watch the local news in the same small town, notice how many seconds they devote to the most important issue you are currently working on.

Ask your children or siblings if they know how important a person you are.

Consider the following two questions.

Car Picture

Which of the following describes the picture above?
A. An American four door sedan
B. A common government vehicle
C. MY car

Dinner Place Setting

Which of the following describes the picture above?
A. A holiday dinner setting
B. A formal dinner setting
C. Everyday lunch

If you answered C to both questions and/or if you suffer from any of the symptoms described above, you may indeed be suffering from Potomac Fever. Please carefully review the suggested preventions/treatments.

Also please help us identify other symptoms and treatments for this terribly debilitating DC disease. You've all known people inflicted with the illness. Use the email feedback system to suggest other symptoms and treatments that we haven't thought of; so we can publish the expanded list for everyone's benefit.

We appreciate your help in this important effort.

Clay Johnson