Monday, June 8, 2009

Karman-Obama Exchange

Photo: Jo Ubogy

We Talk to the Man in Charge

President Obama has been reaching out to Americans through frequent media interviews. The Karman Turn was lucky enough to secure one. What the president didn’t know was that I was wearing my Straight Specs, digital glasses from Costco that oblige everyone within a five foot radius to tell the truth. Here then is the interview.
PK: Hello, Mr. President, and thank you for visiting The Karman Turn.
BO: I do catch the reference, Pete, if I may call you that.
PK: Certainly, sir. Just don’t call me late for lunch.
BO: Lame ass line.
PK: Mr. President, Being of a certain age, I’d like to begin with health care.
BO: Feel free, old feller. Only don’t cough on me.
PK: You came to office in January with a once in a lifetime opportunity to launch us on the universal coverage that all other developed countries enjoy. The financial companies that dominate our health care were utterly discredited because their chicanery and incompetence caused the credit crisis and the worst recession since the Great Depression. Yet instead of brushing their insolvent carcasses aside, you not only revived them with unlimited amounts of government bailout money, but virtually reassured their continued control of health care. Why?
BO: A great question, Pete, not the sort I get from the media. I’m a man of my word. If you paid attention to the campaign, you’ll remember that I received more contributions from Wall Street than any candidate in history. I’m not about to betray big money by taking away one of their fattest cash cows.
PK: Fair enough. A while back, I wrote on this blog that whereas FDR sacrificed the banks to save the economy, you’re apparently sacrificing the economy to save the banks. How’s that coming along?
OB: I’m hopeful we can save both. But to give you a straight answer, bankers are a lot more powerful and vindictive than the ordinary people being hurt by this economy. Back in FDR’s day, there were massive popular movements of the dispossessed, jobless and poor. They made Roosevelt reform the economy. Today, ordinary folks are fat and dumb. They don’t pressure me to do anything because they’re clueless about everything. Ah, but the bankers, they know how to spank a guy.
PK: Can we go on to foreign policy?
BO: Sure. How you gonna keep ‘em down in the Rose Garden after they’ve seen Paree?”
PK: Virtually all other countries defend themselves at their borders. By contrast the U.S. requires 700 bases in 130 or so countries. We have combat commands covering the world and a military doctrine that proclaims “full spectrum dominance.” Is all this really necessary for our ‘national’ defense?
BO: That’s a good question, Pete, and another one I never get asked. The fact is that we’re not like other countries. We’re a global empire. Dominating the economies and politics of foreigners, policing and punishing them for disobedience--that’s what we do.
PK: But all empires inevitably overreach and fail. Ours is on the skids. We’re insolvent, in hock to our rivals, and our military is too corrupt to be competent. Isn’t it time we save blood and treasure and quit the empire business?
BO: I wish we could. But there’s too much invested in it. Whether we win or lose war X, the profits pile in. If I even slowed down the Pentagon’s gravy train, I’d be pushed under it.
PK: So we just keep picking fights with foreigners forever?
BO: As long as we can borrow the bucks to do so.
PK: Unlike your predecessor, you’re smart and curious. You know the world and its messes. You know the ways to make them right. Are you just gonna mark time pretending that business as usual is change?
BO: The job description for campaigning calls for change. That for being President of the United States calls for continuity. If you want a leader who actually changes things, go to Venezuela.
PK: Thank you, Mr. President
BO: And you’re sure no one’s going to notice this blog?
PK: It’s our secret, Mr. President.
(NOTE TO OUR READER: We'll be summering instead of satirizing
for the next couple
of weeks. See you soon)