Saturday, October 26, 2013

Obama War Room: Mellow Yellow

[Defense Secretary Hagel, agitated, storms into the Oval Office]

: Mr. President, we . . .

: Stop! This sounds like trouble. I don’t want to hear it. [to Secret Service agent] Get him out of here!

HAGEL: [yelling] It’s North Korea, they’ve . . .

: [covers his ears] Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah . . .

: [screaming as he’s dragged away] They’ve attacked South Korea!

: Damn, I heard that. Let him go. What’s going on, Chuck? 

HAGEL: The North invaded the South three days ago, sir. Our troops on the demilitarized zone were overrun, Seoul was bombarded and occupied. In response, I ordered a strike on the North’s nuclear weapons facilities.

OBAMA: Why didn’t you tell me?

HAGEL: Sir, your standing order to the Cabinet: "I wish to remain ignorant of any event that would require me to make a decision."

OBAMA: Oh, right. So, why are you violating that directive?

: The Norks got off a missile. It’s heading toward California. ETA, 11 minutes; touchdown, Orange County. We can’t knock it down. I’m telling you because no decision is necessary.

OBAMA: Well, don’t put this on me. I had nothing to do with it. Jay, when it comes up at your briefing later, say, "The president just learned of these events. He is as frustrated as everyone else about the loss of life."

: Very good, sir. Network anchors on line 3.

: Scott, Brian, Diane, ignore or spin the Korean situation tonight. That’s half a world away. As for Orange County . . . who cares?

: I'll devote the bulk of our broadcast tonight to the new Smurfs movie, sir.

: I’ll lead with a segment implying the North Koreans interpreted the Republican-engineered government shutdown as a sign of weakness.

: Make it so. Scott?

: We’ll do a story comparing the rise of Ted Cruz to Kim Young-un’s elevation to power.

: Perfect.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

The White House
October 22, 2013

Remarks by the president to prove he's not as clueless about his own signature bill as he appeared to be yesterday

11:44 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, thank you for coming back to the Rose Garden this morning.

Yesterday I advised people who were having trouble getting through at to apply for coverage at one of our call centers. Turns out I was a little ahead of myself: most callers were directed by an automated message to create an account at the dysfunctional website.

Well, that problem has been addressed since yesterday, as I am going to show you right now.

[pulls out cell phone, begins dialing]

It’s on speaker.


: Si?

OBAMA: Healthcare Help Center? I want to apply for a plan.

OPERATOR: No hablo Inglés.

OBAMA: Never mind. [hangs up] Got one of our dedicated foreign language centers. I’ll try again. [dials]


OBAMA: Uh, that’s not right, either. One more time. [dials]

OPERATOR: Yeah, Healthcare Help.

OBAMA: Ah, finally. May I ask you to assist me in setting up an account?

OPERATOR: Sure, sure. I’ll need your name, your bank’s name, the amount in your checking account, your mother’s maiden name, and your password.

[loudspeaker in background: ´´Yard time’s over. Everybody back to your cells. Chop chop.´´]

Uh, look, I gotta go. Gimme your number. I’ll call you back.

OBAMA: [hangs up] Darn glitches. Once more. [dials]

OPERATOR: Whatchu want, man?

PRESIDENT: Um, to sign up for the Affordable Care Act?

OPERATOR: I c’n hep wid dat. But you want insurance, I gotta register you to vote here in Philly first.

OBAMA: Um, but I . . .

OPERATOR: Look, you doan even hafta be in town. We’ll make sure your vote counts. Now, what’s your name?

[dial tone]

JAY CARNEY: Mr. President, Mr. President. The call centers have just been taken down for maintenance.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Life Support

Live from the Oval Office
The President of the United States, Barack Obama

Good evening, my fellow citizens.

Tonight we stand at a crossroads.

I am not surprised the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act crashed and burned so soon. The problem was, Speaker Boehner caved early, shifting attention to the fiasco. Stuff happens.

Our goal was that the PPACA would prove unworkable over time. Eventually, I would heed your pleas and impose a single payer system, similar to the one Canadians who’ve never tried to access their benefits are very happy with. But the situation has changed.

What happens now? We aren’t going back to the time when most Americans were satisfied with their health insurance and the uninsured had options. We must go forward.

However time-consuming and annoying it is, Americans must continue their attempts to access If you’re fortunate enough to get through, I expect you to create an account. Should that occur, you must choose a plan, any plan. It may be the wrong plan, but we can sort that out later.

I’ve instructed the IRS to exhibit no tolerance for people who ignore their civic duty in this matter. Joe Baqualini in Peoria, you’re 28 and whatever plan you choose, your fees will be most useful in making the PPACA work, at least for a while. But the NSA tells me you tried several times to log on to, then gave up. Unacceptable. Keep trying, Joe. Failure is not an option. 

Jennifer Polino in Seattle, you haven’t made one attempt to access the site, though you appear to have plenty of time to tweet. Get your head on straight, girl, or choices will be made for you.

As Ben Franklin said, and I paraphrase, we must all work together or I’ll see to it that you hang, separately.

Good night, and may God help America.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Obama War Room: Whip Hand

JOE BIDEN: We humiliated ‘em in the shutdown fight, Boss. They’re mewlin’like seal cubs. Whyant we administer the coupe foie gras and club their heads?

JACK LEW: This could be a political extinction opportunity, sir.

OBAMA: Okay. Eric, appoint Ramsey Clark Special Prosecutor to target House Oversight Chair Issa for partisan effectiveness. Dan, ask Peter King if he’s interested in joining forces to discredit Ted Cruz and the Tea Party. NSA, I want actionable intelligence on Boehner’s possible successors, Cantor and Ryan.

: Yes, sir. What we can’t find out, we’ll make up.

: Forgive me, Barack, but you’re thinking small. We have a window right now to do almost anything we want while Republicans are busy licking their wounds.

OBAMA: Like what?

JARRETT: ObamaCare. Stop the bleeding: shut down and delay the individual mandate for a year. We’ll survive.

BIDEN: Too late to delay. The train’s left the station and it’s headin’ for the downgrade.  

: Everyone: kneel, face east, put your forehead on the floor, and pray for a miracle.

SEBELIUS: There is one way to save ObamaCare, sir.

OBAMA: Tell me.

SEBELIUS: Eliminate the marketplace. I´ll notify Americans in the 18-36 age group they’ve been assigned a one-size fits all plan and premium, effective January 1st? Pay the premium or suffer IRS harassment.

OBAMA: Nice! Make it so.

LEW: However good our brand looks at this moment, sir, midterms will still be dicey once people understand we’ve sabotaged their health care.

HOLDER: Issue an Executive Order moving the elections up to this November, sir, while Republicans are still under water in the polls.

OBAMA: Sensible. Notify all 17,000 plus registrars about the change. In districts where no Democratic candidate has emerged, the ballot should read ´´Democrat to be named later.´´

JAY CARNEY: Sir, the courts . . .

OBAMA: To paraphrase Stalin, how many divisions does Scalia have?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Obama War Room: Don´t Blame Me

JAY CARNEY: New poll just in, sir. Congressional Republicans have fallen to virtually zero in job approval rating.

: Virtually?

: Spouses and children are still standing by them, for the most part.

: Unacceptable. NSA?

: We’re ready with photoshopped assignations for every one of them, sir. On your word, the material goes to the Enquirer.

: Not the Enquirer. Too hot for them. Make it the Times. Oh, General . . .

: Yes, sir?

: My approval rating is now at 37%.

: I read that, sir.

: Suspend all current NSA operations. Devote your resources to getting chapter and verse on the 63% of Americans who’ve expressed doubt about my stewardship.

: Simpler to neutralize the media that instill those doubts, sir.

: You’re right. Eric, launch a DOJ investigation of collusion between Fox, theWashington TimesNational ReviewWeekly Standard, Limbaugh and his wannabes, and other cogs in the lunatic right propaganda machine.

: Collusion, sir?

: Yes, they’re seeking to undermine the public’s faith in me and my administration. Call it a possible violation of our antitrust statutes.

: Barack, I’ve said it before: you’re polling down because . . .

: I know, Val: because I’ve instructed agencies to make the public suffer. Yes, I’ve taken a hit. But with the help of our media friends, the GOP gets the lion’s share of the blame. A decent tradeoff.

: National Parks Director Jarvis is on the line, sir. Wants to know if he should proceed with the next stage of . . .

: Yes, tell Jarvis to open all national parks and recreation areas to the public—immediately. Concurrently, lock down all restroom facilities at those locations, and monitor them with armed personnel. I’ll issue an Executive Ordure—uh, Order—to cover him when it hits the fan.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Obama War Room: Make It Stop

JOE BIDEN: Boehner ain’t bendin’, Boss. Maybe we overreached. I’m getting’ angstrous.
OBAMA: Jack, you said they’d fold in 3 days.
LEW: That was Valerie, sir, not me.
OBAMA: Valerie can do no wrong. I say it was you. Well?
LEW: [bowing] Yes, sir, it was me.
OBAMA: What’s our exit strategy in case the polls turn?
BIDEN: Double down, Chief. Suspend federal aid to daycare centers; command nuclear subs to cease patrolling and surface; close the interstates; declare the continental U.S. a no-fly zone; flip your internet kill switch--uh, it´s right there next to your phone; order the IRS to raid Dunkin Donuts’ headquarters on suspicion the company has been importing coffee beans from an area in Southeastern Brazil that is home to the endangered Brazilian spiny rice rat.
OBAMA: Hmm. I lost you on that last one, Joe.
BIDEN: All the franchises shut down for the duration of the probe, Boss.
OBAMA: Ah. We make it hurt so much people won’t care anymore who’s to blame; they’ll just want someone to step up and end it.
BIDEN: Exactamundo! Then you go on Letterman, Ellen, and Sesame Street and announce that you’ll be the grownup and meet Boehner halfway. You won´t really, of course.
OBAMA: That´s the plan if we’re taking the hit. What do we do if the polls get worse for Republicans?
BIDEN: Same thing, Chief, except for meetin’ Boehner halfway. Keep the government shut down till midterms, with the GOPhers twistin’ in the wind the whole time.
OBAMA: Okay. Treasury, Defense, HHS, enact the measures Joe suggested. Immediately.
JAY CARNEY: We’ll need a good optic, sir. I’ll alert the media that tomorrow at 9 a.m. , you’ll be outside the shuttered Dunkin’ Donuts on 601 F St NW. While there, shout and stamp about with the other protestors we´ll bus in.
OBAMA: Ooh. Just the thought of not getting something I want makes me angry.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ya Gotta Know When to Holder

Washington (AP) – Federal agents raided a House Republican caucus last evening, arresting all 232 members. In a news conference shortly afterward, Attorney General Eric Holder said the entire caucus will be held indefinitely for violating the Sedition Act of 1918. The charge: reckless disregard of the president’s agenda.

Q: Ed Henry, Fox News. The Sedition Act of 1918 was repealed in 1921, sir.

HOLDER: Hearsay, Ed. Rumors. Go try to find the original signed bill repealing the act. You won’t, because it doesn’t exist.

HENRY: (to himself) Yeah. Anymore.

Q: Art Shapiro, NPR. Was it really necessary to use dogs and fire hoses, sir?

HOLDER: I’ll let my newly appointed second-in-command answer that. He was in charge of the operation. Reverend Al?

SHARPTON: Resiskance was antipiquated, Art. We just took a pigeon outta Bull Connor’s book, is all. Payback is sweet. The dogs didn’t bite but three people. Vets immediately attended the animals as Harry Reid advised us some of those Republicans are rabid.

Q: Where are the detainees now, Mr. Attorney General?

HOLDER: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium/Holding Pen, along with members of their staffs.

Q: David Jackson, USA Today: Were those people read their rights, sir?

HOLDER: Yes, FBI agent Felipe Miranda addressed the group. He warned them that unless they sent a clean CR to the Senate, their immediate families would be picked up as well. 

: That was their Miranda warning?

: Spirit of the law, David.

: Mike Allen, Politico. What happens if Boehner doesn’t budge? How long are you prepared to hold the detainees?

: Until the D.C. United vs. Houston Dynamo game on the 27th, Mike. After that, Guantanamo. We’re implementing early release of the jihadists there now so we’ll have room to house the Republican terrorists if they don’t come to their senses.