Monday, January 26, 2009

An Obama Hosanna

Inauguration Day is over but America still hasn’t recovered from the Obama investiture. From the array of celebrity sightings to the wealth of reported miracles, observers agree that this was the greatest presidential inauguration ceremony since Millard Fillmore took the oath of office on July 10, 1850 after Zachary Taylor kicked the bucket.

For days before the inaugural, Washington was wall-to-wall celebrities. Everyone who is anyone was there - Hollywood stars, political bigwigs and the remaining captains of industry. From Alan Alda to Pia Zadora, the rich and famous flocked to the nation’s capital to catch a glimpse of history in the making.

And no one was disappointed. Although the newly inducted 44th president denied that anything special happened, reports from hundreds of people who were there strongly suggest otherwise.
"It was truly astonishing," said pint-sized, D-lister Gary Coleman. "I was standing there with a million other people for hours without so much as a Tic-Tac to eat. And then Obama shows up, someone passes him a couple of loaves of bread and two or three fish and the next thing you know we’ve all got a Filet-O-Fish sandwich. I’m not one to throw words around casually but that was an honest-to-God miracle"

If other reports can be believed, the feeding of the masses was the least of the miracles that occurred that day. Warren Buffet, for one, had to be briefly hospitalized after viewing the most miraculous event of his lengthy and event-filled life.

"It’s not something I would have believed unless I had been there," said the elderly uber-investor. "But I swear it’s true. It was a Tuesday and the Dow opened down fifty points and eventually closed down almost 200 points. But for a few minutes after Obama was sworn in, the Dow jumped a thousand points. Others claim it didn’t happen but I saw the big board and it was truly amazing."

But the most amazing miracle of all occurred just as Barack Obama took the oath of office. More than one attendee swears that as the new president spoke the final words of the oath, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Jesus Christ appeared beside him on the podium.

"I recognized the first two guys," said inaugural invocation presenter Pastor Rick Warren. "But that third guy didn’t look like Jesus at all. After all, he was black and kind of effeminate."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama Flubs Oath

In a surprising and unexpected development, President-elect Barack Obama flubbed the oath of office on Tuesday and has now inadvertently become the Prime Minister of Canada.

"I thought I knew that darned thing by heart," said Obama. "But then Chief Justice Roberts started playing around with the words and I just got confused.

Justice Roberts not only transposed the word "faithfully" to follow the words "the United States", he also referred to the office of the President "to" the United States rather than "of" the United States.

"All that to say," said Obama. "I wasn’t sure where he was going with the oath and I have to admit that I mixed up some of the words."

The video of the ceremony clearly shows the putative 44th president of the United States actually swearing to execute the office of president of "the number two country next to the United States."

"In all fairness, I guess that does make me President or Prime Minister or something of Canada," said Obama. "Either that or I’m now the Emperor of Mexico. I’m not quite sure which."

Unconfirmed sources report that Chief Justice Roberts’s miscues in administering the oath were not accidental. Apparently outgoing President George W. Bush put him up to it.

Reached at his new home in Dallas, former President Bush initially denied the reports but couldn’t stop himself from laughing.

"OK, OK," said Bush. "I admit it. That Barry guy was so full of himself, I figured it would do him some good if we took him down a peg or two and played a practical joke on him."

Bush and Roberts cooked up their scheme just before last week’s rehearsal. Bush convinced the Chief Justice to go along with the joke and reminded him that no matter what happened, he couldn’t get fired.

"It’s not like he could get sent to the principal’s office or anything," said Bush. "I told Justy that this one was a slam dunk."

Asked why he decided to execute such an elaborate prank, Bush said that it was a matter of tradition.

"I think if you look back in history," said Bush. "You’ll see that every outgoing president does something funny to the new guy. For example, that hound dog Bill Clinton left a stained dress in the Oval Office closet and I hear that Herbert Hoover jimmied the hand brake on Franklin Roosevelt’s wheelchair. "

"It’s all in good fun," said Bush. "Plus, I wanted Barry to see how easy it is to make a mistake when you’re the President. Now he’ll see it’s not so easy being me. Mind you, he still has a way to go to top my record."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

W's Diary

W’s Diary - January 20, 2009:

6:00 A.M.
Woke up. Worked out. Went for a quick jog. Another great day as the leader of the free world.
6:30 A.M.
Had breakfast with Laura - eggs Benedict, croissants and some of that delightful Malaysian coffee. Tired of pretending to like flapjacks, pork rinds and chitlins, whatever the heck they are.
7:30 A.M.
Met with staff in Oval Office to ensure everything ready for today’s Inauguration. Don’t want any slipups in ceremony. Called Chief Justice Roberts to make sure he knows the drill.
8:30 A.M.
Phoned those seeking pardons and assured them there’s no rush. Karl seemed a bit agitated but eventually accepted my guarantee that things have been taken care of.
9:30 A.M.
Phoned Dick Cheney and double-checked that Barack Obama still being held at Guantanamo. Chuckled again at the look of surprise on his face yesterday when we enforced Supreme Court order to have him "detained." Funny thing is, the Clintons don’t seem that upset.
10:30 A.M.
Checked with staff that Supreme Court nullified 22nd Amendment just for today. Court agreed everything back to normal tomorrow and that this is only a temporary measure to ensure the terrorists don’t win.
11:30 A.M.
Headed out to the U. S. Capitol for Inauguration ceremony. Thank God I don’t have to retire to that godawful hell-hole of a ranch in Crawford. People don’t appreciate the things I have to do to keep up appearances.
12 Noon
Chief Justice Roberts administered oath of office. Had to help him out with the words. Small price to pay for not appointing eggheads to the bench. Luckily, I now know the oath by heart.
2:30 P.M.
Back at White House. Democracy restored to America. Felt pretty good.
3:30 P.M.
Made tax cuts for the rich permanent and planned for next unilateral invasion of middle eastern country with no weapons of mass destruction.
5:30 P.M.
Had early dinner with Laura. Cancelled Inaugural Ball as symbolic austerity measure in view of widespread suffering among middle class. Let them eat cake, ha ha!
8:30 P.M.
Lights out. Lots of important work to do to keep the world safe for democracy tomorrow. God bless America.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Capitalism's Obituary

WESTERN CAPITALISM: Dead at approx. 300

Western "Free Market" Capitalism died suddenly on December 31st after a brief illness. Mr. Capitalism expired at home on Wall Street surrounded by his immediate family including investors, shareholders and several unsecured debenture owners.

Born sometime in the early 1700s in northern England, Capitalism was nurtured by the Nobility and the Enclosures and embraced by both Entrepreneurs and Industrialists. Thanks to Capitalization and Limited Liability Corporations, Capitalism grew rapidly and achieved great success not only in England but throughout the western world. A lifelong believer in free markets and class exploitation, he was able to employ billions of impoverished workers while at the same time enriching thousands of owners of the means of production.

Mr. Capitalism achieved his greatest successes during America’s Gilded Age of the late 19th century. Through the judicious use of vertically and horizontally-integrated monopolies, he was able to secure untold wealth for his followers who became known as "Capitalists", "Industrialists" and "Robber Barons."

Financial success did not always follow Mr. Capitalism especially during a period called The Great Depression when he was severely ill and, for some years, on life support. Thanks to government intervention and a diet of strict regulation, Capitalism recovered and went on to experience some of his greatest success during the latter part of the previous century.

Sadly, Western Capitalism was not able to learn from his past mistakes and continued to encourage others to profit from a series of so-called Bubbles based on everything from tulips to computers to real estate. His final illness was precipitated by a rash of unduly complicated and severely underfunded investment vehicles. Ultimately and ironically, his final demise was brought on by a severe and prolonged case of greed.

Western Capitalism was predeceased by his parents Feudalism and Serfdom and his estranged sibling Communism. He is survived by his other siblings Socialism, Fascism and Democracy and countless millions of illiquid shareholders and bankrupt corporations.

To honor Mr. Capitalism’s life, Wall Street will close today and will remain closed until further notice. In memoriam donations may be made to the government bailout program of your choice.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Everything's Coming Up Obama

In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President-elect Barack Obama is doing all he can to keep the country’s spirits up. He has helped Americans deal with these troubled times through the sheer force of distraction. In particular, it seems that we just can’t get enough about his family’s decision of what kind of puppy to get for The White House.

It turns out that the upcoming canine selection is not just an idle and carefree exercise conducted by America’s First Family. Rather, it is part of a long-term plan to keep Americans occupied with matters cuddly and cute in the face of what could be the nastiest economic downturn in several generations. Recently revealed documentation indicates that there are several stages in "Operation Canine", the first of which has already been put into place, namely the announcement of the acquisition of a First Puppy.

When the timing is right, The White House will let the public know the type of breeds under consideration. If the economy further plummets, that announcement will be followed up quickly with the selection of the actual dog. And if that does not do enough to keep everyone entertained amidst a sea of bad news, the puppy-naming process will begin. If things deteriorate further, Obama may, in fact, exercise the national puppy-naming contest option for maximum amusement and distraction effect.

But "Operation Canine" is not the only federal program that can be used as a feel-good initiative in the face of troubled times. If, for any reason, the new White House puppy dog does not keep citizens sufficiently preoccupied, Obama is apparently prepared to launch "Operation Feline", a multi-stage plan to find what has been called the "cutest little kitty" in the nation.

Realizing that pet acquisition has its limitations, Obama also has under consideration a number of other initiatives with maximum "cuteness" and "ahh-inducing" ratings. In particular, the president-in-waiting has indicated to his advisors that, if things get worse, he will not hesitate to implement "Operation Gumdrops and Hot Chocolate." Within days, the new administration will be in a position to mobilize forces across the country to ensure everyone gets some gumdrops and a nice cup of hot chocolate.

The array of options is staggering. In the unlikely event that gumdrops and hot chocolate do not assuage the American public, look for the rapid deployment of another domestic initiative entitled "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows." Every mailbox in the nation will receive a personalized card bearing a picture of the sun on the front, a rainbow on the back and an actual lollipop inside.

However bad the economy gets, it appears that the new Obama administration is prepared to do whatever it takes to distract Americans from its deleterious effects. Warehouses are already filling up with bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens and millions of brown paper packages tied up with strings. Contacts have reportedly already been made with China at the highest diplomatic levels to ensure a ready supply of baby pandas in the unlikely event that they are needed on an emergency basis. No word yet on whether Michelle Obama has signed on to "Operation New Baby" as the final fail-safe program.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Mutant Federal Agencies

As the Bush-Obama presidential transition reaches its final stages, some frightening and bizarre discoveries have been made by the incoming Administration.

"We all knew about the public side of the Bush Administration," said Obama’s Chief of
Staff Rahm Emanuel. "You know, the various departments and agencies of the federal government that regularly make the news. Organizations like the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget."

However, there appears to be a secret underbelly of government, a grouping of once-active but now seldom-used offices and bureaus. Emanuel’s subordinates have only begun to catalogue the unusual groupings of dormant bureaucrats who have apparently resided in the sewers of Washington, D. C. for the last eight years.

"We often heard stories about agencies of this type," said the Chief of Staff. "Agencies from the last century that supposedly had mandates to help the general public and occasionally even performed useful work."

Early reports indicate that deep below the streets of the nation’s capital live the remains of a department devoted to improving the educational standards of American students.

"We found barely breathing bureaucrats," said Emanuel. "Who whispered strange phrases like ‘second to none’ and ‘more public financing’ and ‘no child left behind.’ Sadly, none of them could recall any details of these long forgotten policies."

Also discovered in Washington’s sewers was something called the State Department where blank-eyed diplomats muttered expressions that sounded like ‘diplomatic relations’, ‘human rights’ and ‘no unilateral invasions.’

"We had heard rumors about strange government bureaucracies like this," said the new Chief of Staff. "But we never thought that they really existed. Apparently there was a time when America actually listened to other countries and even engaged in mutual cooperation."

Perhaps the strangest mutant organization found within the murky sewer waters was something called the Treasury Department.

"I’ve never seen anything like it," said Emanuel. "There were scores of functionaries who apparently once regulated financial institutions to keep them from making crazy investments. And sitting next to them were legions of bureaucrats whose only job was to ensure that the rich actually paid their fair share of taxes."

As the new staff members slog deeper and deeper into Washington’s sewers, they’ve been finding even stranger and less effective agencies.

"Believe it or not," said Emanuel. "We’ve discovered entire government departments that were once devoted to protecting the consumer, the environment and even the health of the nation. Who knows? If we can revive these strange creatures, we may even learn something about how to run a country."