Saturday, May 2, 2020

Biden War Room: Nanny State

JILL BIDEN:  Joe, wake up.  Jake Tapper’s here.  His crew is in the basement setting up.

BIDEN:  Tapper?  The song and dance man?  We having some live entertainment?

JILL BIDEN:  [patiently]  You’re doing a live five-minute tape-delayed interview with CNN.  Makeup!  I want him looking rosy-cheeked and vital.  [exit Biden] Doctor?

PHYSICIAN: As discussed, I’ll inject a fast-acting high alert medication to keep him awake. 

STAFFER: Our backup’s set, Ma’am.  His chair’s wired.  Press the remote button once for a mild wake-up shock, twice to keep him focused and alert.

JILL BIDEN:  I’m still nervous.  Suppose he panics and walks out mid-interview, even though we’ve had the questions and practiced the answers for days? 

STAFFER:  Um, we thought it prudent to have an emergency option available, Ma’am, and we wanted to surprise you.  Millie, bring him in.

[enter staffer with Joe Biden]

JILL BIDEN:  Joe, what are you . . . Oh my God!

STAFFER:  Yes, Ma’am, it’s the vp’s double.  We had the Mission Impossible special effects team create a Biden face mask.

JILL BIDEN:  But, but, how can . . . ?

STAFFER:  Jim’s an impressionist.  We’ve been coaching him.  He has the vp’s voice and mannerisms down cold.  Jim, say something Bidenesque.

DOUBLE: When the pirates took our ship back in 2009, I says to the president, “Lemme fly out there, Boss, settle this thing.  I grew up with workin’-class stiffs tryin’ to make an easy buck any way they could.  I’ll get down and dirty if I hafta. and I’ll get her done.”  The Big O says, “Do it, Joe.”

JILL BIDEN:  Incredible.  Jim, how would you respond to a softball on Tara Reade?

DOUBLE:  Every woman has a right to have her claims questioned and dismissed. 

:  Charlie!  Put the vice president in the study and let him watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang again.  [to double] You, sir, have a long-running gig if you want it.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Obama War Room: Village Ijit

OBAMA: So I told them, “Zero Dark Thirty" is a farce; they made me a footnote.  So the big guys agreed to do a remake.  Lucas will produce and Spielberg will direct "Barack CoJones and the Devil’s Lair," with Denzel Washington playing me and Cat Stevens as Osama.

Hagel, order SEAL Team Six released from their official duties during production to play themselves. 

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: I’ll announce healthcare waivers for Paramount, Lucasfilm Ltd., and Amblin Entertainment tomorrow morning, Mr. President.

DAN PFEIFFER: We should beef up your macho bona fides in the short term, sir, to keep Republicans intimidated.

VALERIE JARRETT: Tie it into family values, sir. Visit your destitute brother in Africa and give him a few bucks. Then go into the bush without the Secret Service and kill a lion with a spear. Gutsier than Palin shooting a moose with a 30-06 at two hundred yards.

OBAMA: I’ll do that once I force Netanyahu to risk national suicide for a shot at peace.

JARRETT: The vice president arrived, sir—I think.

[enter Biden wearing surgical gloves, mask, and scrubs]

OBAMA: What’s with the getup, Joe? You look like you’re attending an autopsy.

BIDEN: This outfit? My driver sneezed on the way over; and I saw a gate guard wipin’ his nose. Maybe some contagion’s goin’ down. So I went right to Medical and got protection. We might hafta quarantine Washington, like FDR did in ’55.

OBAMA: I’ll, uh, think about it.

Joe, you’re heading my Select Commission on “Kicking the Can down the Road on Iran.” Where are they at right now?

BIDEN: [checks wall map] Same place as yesterday.

OBAMA: The bomb, Joe.

BIDEN: We estimate they’ll have two Hiroshima-level nukes by Labor Day.  Our forces in the region remain on alert and are prepared take out Israel’s air force if an attack on Iran appears imminent.

JARRETT: That would certainly give the lie to wingnuts who say you don’t have the guts for preemptive action, sir.

BIDEN: Hey, I gotta tinkle, Big Guy. Gimme a minute. [leaves]

PFEIFFER: Sir, now’s the time.

OBAMA: I know, I know. This better work, Dan. Man’s driving me crazy: calling every five minutes, waylaying me after meetings. This morning, I caught him in the Oval Office addressing the nation.

[Biden returns]

OBAMA: Joe, a special assignment for you.

BIDEN: Whassup, Boss? Wahmeeta go to Russia, straighten Putin out? Or plug my tripartite plan for D.C. to the Post? How ‘bout a budget debate with Ryan Paul on "Meet the Press"? Just say the word.

OBAMA: None of those, Joe. Actually, I’m appointing you roving ambassador to Smalltown, USA. You’ll be my, uh, what’s that title I’m giving him, Dan?

PFEIFFER: Ijit, sir. Rhymes with widget.

BIDEN: Ijit?

OBAMA: It’s a Native American honorific, Joe—Ojibwa, I think. Means, ‘’simple, plain-spoken man.” You’ll start in Oregon and work east through election night 2014, visiting every hamlet and telling folks my plans for the country. Joe, historians will acclaim you the Obama Administration’s Village Ijit.

BIDEN: I’m on it, Chief. I’ll leave tomorrow, report in daily.

OBAMA: Godspeed, Joe. Watch your topknot out there.

Ah, he’s gone. Val, tell the switchboard to shunt his calls to State. What’s my schedule today?

JARRETT: You’re meeting a delegation of Comanches at ten, sir. You’ll present a federal eminent domain order giving back the tribe’s ancestral West Texas homeland--Governor Perry’s turf, incidentally. Afterwards you leave for an aerial survey of damage to golf courses in the storm-ravaged South.

PFEIFFER: Regarding your approval ratings among Hispanics, Majestad: they’re looking at Rubio and Cruz and slipping away from our hacienda. Could be trouble for you in ’16.

OBAMA: Time to crank up the rumor mill. Jay, ask Maddow to find a genealogist who’ll swear the Rubio family’s roots are Italian, not Cuban. Tell our National Council of La Raza and Reconquista contacts to push the meme. As for Cruz, let’s muddy his heritage waters: release a blizzard of press releases spelling his name C-r-u-i-s-e.

JAY CARNEY: Si, Padrone. I’ll alert the Times and the alphabets what we’re about.

PFEIFFER: Presidente, Hispanics will flock to your banner if we expel gringos from Arizona and California and cede the states to Mexico. Quid pro quo: Mexico allows Norte Americanos reeling from the Obama economy to cross the border in search of work.

JARRETT: Naming that refitted navy minesweeper after Cesar Chavez didn’t have much impact on Hispanics, Caudillo.

OBAMA: Get the Vatican on the horn. I’ll put Chavez in for sainthood and tell Pope Francis I want it fast-tracked.

PFEIFFER: Sir, Christie appears to be getting ready to take you on next go-round. We should knock him down a peg.

JAY CARNEY: I’ll commission a poll with this question: “Does Governor Christie’s inability to control his weight make it more likely or less likely you’ll vote for him?”

PFEIFFER: Sir, Barney Frank and his sister, Ann Lewis, are here to advise you on the housing crisis.

OBAMA: Right. Headsets on, everyone. Ms. Lewis will provide simultaneous translation.

FRANK/LEWIS: Good news, sir: foreclosures are increasing. Bad news: not fast enough. Unless we act now, no catastrophic economic event to rally the nation around you and the Party occurs before November 2014.

OBAMA: Damn! Can we accelerate the timetable for fiscal Armageddon?

FRANK/LEWIS: One possibility, sir: mandating home ownership by every citizen over 21.

OBAMA: Okay. Jack, tell banks to start lending again as if their charters depended on it. Dan, advise Fannie and Freddie to open the spigots wide, and stonewall the Inquisitors on the House Financial Services Committee.

LEW: Sir, HUD will need your Civilian National Security Force to evict non-compliants from their apartments and cardboard boxes and force them into homes.

OBAMA: Not enough units are ready. Is Blackwater still hiring out mercenaries?

[enter Michelle]

Oh, Jay, Michelle has something to say to you. She speaks for me.

MICHELLE: You’re not working out, Carney. So, back to Biden you go. Word is he’s leaving tomorrow on a long trip. Better get home and pack.

OBAMA: Chris Matthews, aka Tweety, will be my new Press Secretary, everyone.

MICHELLE: I still don’t like the way he looks at you. Keep the door open when you’re alone in a room with him. You hear me, Barack?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Hillary War Room: Resistance Is Futile

BILL: Ya gotta move now, darlin.’  We can’t count on a brokered convention anymore.  Biden’s toast, Bernie’s ticker is tuckered, and the rest are midgets.  Warren’s unstoppable--unless you act.

: I don’t…cough-cough-cough-cough-wheeze-cough-cough-cough- cough cough . . . .

: He’s right, my queen.  Declare your candidacy tomorrow.  I’ll instruct our media familiars to gush in approbation as they cover it live, with a five-minute tape delay to edit out stumbles, falls, respiratory episodes, brain freezes, and bathroom emergencies.

BILL: Good thinkin.’ Let’s put her whole campaign on a five-minute delay.

HILLARY: Shuddup, Bill.  Damn!  I’d hoped to avoid retail politics in Podunk coffee shops.  Maybe Lizzie will bow out once I throw my pantsuit in the ring, and I can skate to the nomination.

What, Serpenthead?

JAMES CARVILLE:  That dog won’t hunt, Missus.  She ain’t stayin’ on the leash.  She got the scent and she’ll run it down and get her teeth into the mudbugs in the gumbo pot before the moon rises over the bayou.

HILLARY: So, how do I supplant the Wicked Witch of the East and become inevitable within days after I announce my candidacy?

BEGALA: First thing, Sensei, make a short, powerful statement that you’re running for reelection against the usurper, Trump, and everything you do as president will be For … the …Children.  We can flesh it out in the fall, or not.

BILL. To lock you in, Honeybun, we saturate the airwaves and social media with the ad you wouldn’t let us use in 2016 against Trump.  Remember?  Your takeoff of Peggy Lee’s “I’m a Woman.” *

: Only did it because Streisand persuaded me.  I thought it made me look tawdry, and why risk it because I was supposed to win big anyway.  

DAVID BROCK: Different times, Excellency.  It shows a side of you nobody ever sees, including us.

BILL: I just previewed the spot, Sugarlips .  It’s perfect!  Blows away your robotic persona by taking a page from Trump’s book. The rubes will see an in-your-face Hillary who’s PC-free, bold, brassy--and even a little sexy. And we did finally get a take without a coughing jag.

HILLARY: All right. Show me.  Better be the one I appear mostly from the waist up.

BILL: Run it, Paul.

I'm a Clinton

[On the monitor Hillary stands next to a piano chatting with John Legend at the keyboard.  She is rouged, red-lipped, and wearing a white pantsuit ensemble with three inch black pumps.  She turns and puts her hands on her hips. When the intro begins, she smiles suggestively and starts tapping her foot. The camera zooms in.]

I can BleachBit my e mails and laptops then flip a bird at the FBI
I can rake in cash as I please through my Foundation until the day I die
I can order the nets to sow talkin’ points like seeds across the land
Take a month off the trail, schmooze the rich in the Hamptons, return when I’m flush to beat the band
‘Cause I’m a Clinton! C-L-I-N-T-O-N, I’ll say it again

I can spew out a dozen lies and make you think they’re all true
Cuss an agent, rank my staff, and beat on Bill so he’s black and blue
Party with Cher on Saturday night, head home and drink til 3:00 a. m., and then
Get up at 10:00, eat steak and grits, go to church and screech “Amen!”
‘Cause I’m a Clinton! C-L-I-N-T-O-N, hear me say it again

If you come to me beggin’ you know I’m gonna make you pay
If you come to me with bad news you know I’m gonna ruin your day
If it’s pity you’re wantin’, I’ll slap you and shame you, you snivelin’ twit
‘Cause I’m a Clinton! C-L-I-N-T-O-N, hear me say it again

I can break every rule in the book from now to End of Times!
I can laugh at Congress skirt the law commit a host of crimes
I got a history of payback that proves there’s nobody I can’t screw
I can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but I can make dupes outta you
'Cause I'm a Clinton! C-L-I-N-T-O-N, hear me say it again
'Cause I'm a Clinton! C-L-I-N-T-O-N, and that says it all

HILLARY: I like it. Where’s Huma?

BILL: Off pouting somewhere. She wanted to include a verse extolling female genital mutilation and subjugation to Sharia, but we thought those issues could wait until after you’re elected.

BEGALA: Reverend Sharpton on line 1, your Eminence.

HILLARY: What’s up. Al?  I don’t care what Jackson told you. You will be my Secretary of Reparations.  Yes, a Cabinet position.  Contingent, as we agreed, on your guarantee of 70% turnout and 95% support in designated black communities.  Well, better get busy. [hangs up]
Ah, Huma.  Where have you been?

HUMA ABEDIN: Arranging for Anthony to be kidnapped and taken to Saudi Arabia to be stoned to death for unspeakable acts, my Liege.

HILLARY: Probably best, my dear.

BROCK: The Post is reporting we have a good chance at picking up the Senate and keeping the House, your Grace.

HILLARY: From your lips to g-d’s ears, if he exists.  Absent congressional obstructionism, I can do a better job of chipping away at the Bill of Rights.

BILL: Sweetheart, we’re seeing some softening in a vital demographic: one-issue abortion righters.

HILLARY: Troubling.  I’ll issue a statement next week supporting abortion up to six months after birth if the woman complains of sleep deprivation.

BROCK: We’ll have expired Democrats voting in sufficient numbers to put you over the top in Pennsylvania and Ohio, your Worthiness.  By a simple stretch of the imagination, they’ll qualify as absentee voters.

HILLARY: No argument there.  Let’s do more outreach to the disembodied. Huma, channel Betty Friedan.  Ask her to found the League of Dead Women Voters.  Brock, order up ten million Johnnie Cochranized bumper stickers: “If you’ve gone and died, don’t be denied.’’ Bill, use your mojo and book a rally at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on All Souls’ Day.

BILL: Precious, I don’t think . . . .

HILLARY: Shuddup, Bill.  I don’t care what you think.  Do what you’re told or I won’t let you vet the interns.

This is an adaptation of an earlier piece.

Original lyrics by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Grapes of Roth

Reprised from 2010 and maybe an inkling of where Democrats plan to take us should they sweep in 2020.

JOE BIDEN: Man, the wingnuts could smoke us in midterms. You nailed it, Boss; if they win, Boehner and McConnell’ll be drivin’ the bus while we’re sittin’ in back scratchin’ our butts.

OBAMA: Didn’t say that, Joe. Said I was “itching for a fight.” There’s still hope. Dan?  

PFEIFFER: The earlier we go on the attack, the better, sir.  Soros’s PAC already cut an ad. Opens with a Latino woman breastfeeding her baby at home when Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s SWAT team storms in, arrests her for exposing herself to a minor, carts her to the Rio Grande, throws her in, and laughs as she paddles to Mexico.

The voiceover: “It’s 2015 and Republicans control Congress.”

OBAMA: Okay! What happens to the baby?  

: Orphanage. Right out of Dickens.

JAY CARNEY: Here’s another, sir: on background, I’ll tell the anchors Boehner wants to discourage abortions by requiring women to register their uteri with HHS. That’ll get all the scandals off the front pages for a couple days.

BIDEN: I got one, Chief: a House Democrat switches parties then introduces a bill criminalizing the application of makeup while driving.  

OBAMA: Good. We go positive, too. Republicans are gaining traction on immigration and austerity. Let’s counter.  Eric?

: Disband the INS and employ drug traffickers to police our southern border, sir; they know the territory and consider people smugglers scum.

VALERIE JARRETT: That would save us a bundle and show you’re serious about stopping uncredentialed landscapers infiltrating from Ju├írez and Tegucigalpa. 

OBAMA: No good. Streisand has her Shangri-La estate in Malibu where half those people wind up. I lose her, I lose Hollywood.  Besides, why stop the flow of irregular expatriates who’ll vote for me when I amnestitize them? Anyone else?

JACK LEW: Sell China drilling rights off the coasts of Florida and California, sir, then have our enviros tie up the deal in court. If the court rules for the companies, a DNC black ops team will blow a wellhead, setting exploiters back a decade. Your hands would be clean.

OBAMA: No way we can let those rigs produce.  Gasoline’s four bucks a gallon right now, a far cry from our $10 a gallon goal. Last thing I want is more product and lower prices.  

JARRETT: You haven’t responded to China’s offer to lease California and build mega-manufactories staffed by restive Muslims from Xinxiang.

OBAMA: I dunno. The Chinese say they just want “Made in the USA” tags on their stuff. Sounds harmless enough, but something smells wrong.  Stall them. John?  

KERRY: French President Hollande called, sir. He’ll accept return of Jefferson’s 1803 Louisiana Purchase and refund our $15 million payment, minus a 20% restocking fee.  

OBAMA: Tempting. Get rid of Texas and a couple other red states. That it?

LEW: McConnell and Boehner laughed when I suggested Treasury assume management of the trillions sitting in IRAs, sir. Too bad. The investments we might have made in America’s future!

BIDEN: Wienies. Argentina’s government had the guts to take control of the country’s private pension funds. Argentina! A tinpot regime shows the world’s most progressive declinin’ superpower howda do it.  

OBAMA: Jack, what about the windfall tax revenue you promised from this year’s one time Roth IRA “Pay the IRS now, profit later” conversion deal?  

LEW: The public hasn’t bought into the promotion, sir. Frankly, only an idiot would pay taxes proactively while you’re in office.  

JARRETT: Mr. President, why not go after the Roth trove itself? Most of that money’s owned by the richest 40%, people who don’t need the funds but invested in Roths to help their children and grandchildren evade responsibility for the fix we’re bequeathing them.  

BIDEN: Won’t work, Val. The Hill will never legislate a surtax on Roth withdrawals.  

OBAMA: Val’s not talking some measly 10% surtax, Joe. I want it all, Val.  How do we do manage that?  

JARRETT: Go Argentina one better: citing fiscal eminent domain, nationalize Roth accounts. Holder can drag out the court fight through 2016.  

OBAMA: Brilliant! With more money than God, I‘ll buy off enough legislatures to repeal the 22nd Amendment.  

LEW: Related matter, sir: Barney Frank says the Republicans are undoing all the damage he did with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during his tenure as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. He wants a firewall to stop them.  

PFEIFFER: Barney’s right. Took years of neglect for Fannie and Freddie to become a bureaucratic rat’s nest. Republicans are cleaning it out.

OBAMA: I’ll appropriate those organizations and place them in trust with Treasury. Jack, recharter the two as “Fannie Mae"and “Freddie Mac the Knife,” the government’s fully owned “tough love” lenders [snort]. I’ll ask budget hawks Paul Krugman and John Kenneth Galbraith to serve as CEOs.  

PFEIFFER: Galbraith’s dead, sir.  

OBAMA: True. But when critics say his agency reeks of corruption, we’ll have a counter.

Friday, August 23, 2019

From 2012

Secretary of State Joe Biden
Sails Through Confirmation Hearings

Washington (AP)—If all goes as expected, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry will officially trade places at an unprecedented swearing-in ceremony next week in the Rose Garden.

As a mark of courtesy to their former Chairman, Senate Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee appointed Mr. Kerry Chairman Pro Tempore to allow him to conduct Mr. Biden’s confirmation hearing.

[partial transcript] 

JOHN KERRY: Good morning. In recent weeks, the president realized what a disaster I am on the international stage. He correctly reasons I would do less damage to the administration as his Number Two.

Joe Biden is uniquely qualified to take the reins at State and oversee the steaming pile of dung Mrs. Clinton and I left him. I have no doubt Joe can handle the load, at least in the short term.

America is a nation in decline, a nation hurtling toward the depths. With his misplaced sense of humor, endearing ineptitude, and characteristic superciliousness, Joe is well-equipped to lead us into irrelevance.

Before we begin the questioning, I would like to offer a few thoughts about my tenure at State and some initiatives I hope Joe will pursue:

. . . defeating the worldwide scourge of male pattern baldness and preventing loss of innocent follicles . . .

. . . extraditing Dick Cheney to The Hague to stand trial for. . .

. . . returning Texas and California to Mexico, from whom we unjustly . . .

. . . calming Americans’ unreasoning dread of a Global Caliphate . . .
. . . reversing the Industrial Revolution, so that the Earth may once again . . .

Now, to save time, we’ll dispense with a self-serving statement from the Ranking Member and go right to questioning. Suit you, Mr. Vice President? 

BIDEN: Sure. [looks into camera and nods at Kerry] Don’t let the long face and sober mien fool ya, folks. Kerry’s a regular guy. The other day we were playin’ bumslap in the locker room at the New York Athletic Club, and he . . . 

KERRY: That was Bob Kerrey, Joe. 

BIDEN: Whatever.  

KERRY: Let’s do a foreign policy word association exercise first.  

BIDEN: Shoot.  

KERRY: Palestinians.  

BIDEN: Give ’em a chunk of money to ignore Israel, then sic ’em on Iran. 

KERRY: Guantanamo. 

BIDEN: Release the detainees. Say, “We grab you on the battlefield again, we’ll shave your beard and feed you pulled pork sandwiches.” To hell with Human Rights Watch.  

KERRY: Nicarugula  

BIDEN: [hesitates] Um, nice, with a light balsamic, maybe some parmesan shards? 

KERRY: Bumslap, huh? Gotcha.  

BIDEN: Damn.  

KERRY: North Korea. 

BIDEN: They’re paranoid. Hand over Bill Clinton to serve as hostage to our good behavior.  

KERRY: Muslim Brotherhood.

BIDEN: Appoint Minister Farrakhan Special Envoy to the brothas.  

KERRY: On a more personal note: what was your proudest moment in the foreign arena as Vice President  

BIDEN: Tell you a story was never reported.

April 2009, a few months after we took over. The standoff between the USS Bainbridge and Somali pirates holdin’ the captain of an American-flagged ship in a lifeboat was in its fourth day and showed no signs of endin’.

I said to the president, “Lemme fly out there, Boss, settle this thing. I grew up with workin’-class stiffs tryin’ to make an easy buck any way they could. I’ll get down and dirty if I hafta.”

The Big O says, “Do it, Joe.”

Twelve hours later I was aboard the Bainbridge and had assumed command of the ship. I parleyed with the pirates in Somali, which I speak fluently. They musta been hopped up. Wouldn’t listen. So, I decided to move on ‘em.

I nixed a proposal for a SEAL dive team to surface next to the boat, climb in and overwhelm the bad guys. “No waterboarding,” I told the SEALs. “Not in this administration.” Instead, I stationed snipers on the ship’s fantail, spottin’ for one of them.

When the time was right, I gave the order and my team took ‘em down. Then I dove in, grabbed our hostage, and got ‘im back to the ship in twelve foot seas. 

KERRY: Amazing.  

BIDEN: Don’t make me out like a hero, now. Just doin’ my job.  

KERRY: How can we prevent such a situation from happening again? 

BIDEN: Piracy was allowed to grow and fester under the previous administration, John. President Bush never reached out to the pirates; he dismissed them as barbarians and thieves.

In fact, the Obama Administration has developed evidence these high seas entrepreneurs often mistakenly target American vessels because of dense fog caused by global warming.

The president authorized me to share ship identification technology with responsible members of the pirate community to reduce the chance of a repeat incident.  

KERRY: Ah, my time’s up. Before I yield, I want to thank Mr. Biden for his advice on registering my yacht in Panama, beyond the reach of Massachusetts tax collectors who . . .

BIDEN: Don’t go there, John.