Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Year Late and a Trillion Dollars Short

Michael Stevens, a man about to face reality. The day after the 2008 election, he was in a traffic accident that left him in a coma. One year later, Nov. 5th, 2009, he woke up from his long, glorious dream. Beside him was his wife, Joan and his brother, William, both overjoyed at Michael's return to the waking world.
Mere minutes after returning from his year-long coma, he asked the question that would seal his fate.
"Joan, Will, how's Obama doing?" he asked.
"Michael, please, can we not talk politics right now? You've been asleep for a year, can't you just enjoy being back with us?" Joan pleaded.
A perplexed lood crossed Michael's face at his wife's reluctance to give him information.
"Joan, you know politics is my passion. I spent almost two years campaigning for Obama. Most of the last year I spent dreaming of how wonderful things must be now," he explained.
Before Joan could plead with him again, Will replied, "C'mon Mike, give it a rest for a little bit. The doctors said you shouldn't get any shocking news."
"Shocked at how amazing things are now that Obama has had almost a year to work his magic? If that's what you're worried about, I'm sure I can take it," said Michael, laughingly.
The look exchanged between Joan and William did not go unnoticed by Michael.
"What, what is it? What's that look for? Come on, things are a lot better now, right?" Michael said, his voice wavering.
"It''s fine Mike. Everything is fine," Will said unconvincingly.
"I don't believe it, what's wrong with you two?" said Michael, as he began to grow impatient.
"Michael, things aren't...they're not that great. But you know, that's politics, these things take time," explained Joan.
"Not that great? How can that be? President Obama was supposed to fix everything from the last eight years. Oh god, he wasn't assassinated, was he?" Michael exasperatingly guessed.
"No, no, he's still alive and well. It's just that we're in a situation where it's better if things stay the same, since everything seems to be getting worse," Will conceded.
"The economy?" Michael asked.
"You remember the economic collapse before the election right?" Will asked, to which Michael nodded. "Well, it's kind of gone downhill since then. They passed a $787 billion dollar emergency stimulus package, that...didn't do much. Unemployment is around 9.8% and I think they're fudging the numbers to keep it under 10%. Over a hundred banks have failed and credit isn't easy to come by, but at least the stock market is up a bit from when it bottomed out."
"787, 10%, a hundred banks...what the hell has been going on?" Michael questioned, desperately. "What about taxes? They didn't go up, right?"
"Don't worry about taxes, Michael," Joan said, trying to downplay the situation.
"Yeah, Mike, the Bush tax cuts haven't expired yet, and aside from some new taxes on cigarettes, we're not on the hook for anything big. And it'll be at least a couple years before taxes go up to pay for the new healthcare bills," Will said, wishing he'd phrased it differently.
"Healthcare bills? You mean we don't have universal healthcare yet?" questioned Michael.
"Well, Congress is really trying to get it passed this time. Sure, the last couple attempts this year failed, but the President assured us they'll get it right, if not this year, then next year for sure," Will said.
"This is too much, I can't believe this has been going on. If only the Democrats had 60 seats in the Senate, then those damn Republicans wouldn't be able to stop President Obama," Michael said.
"Michael, the Dems...they DO have 60 seats," Joan said.
"What else could go wrong? This isn't how it was supposed to be! The adults are in charge now, right?" Michael said, an edge of desperation in his voice.
"Please try to calm down Michael, this is why we didn't want to talk politics right now," Joan begged.
"No, I need to hear it or I won't be able to rest. Will, give me the truth. Iraq?"
"We're still there, sometimes it's winding down, then things can suddenly get crazy again."
"We're in it bad, things are looking worse. Obama is weighing whether to send more troops or not."
"Ugh, damn wars. Gitmo? That's closed, right?"
"Still open, Congress won't give funding to shut it down. We let out some prisoners, and only a small percentage have gone back to being terrorists."
"What about foreign policy? The rest of the world loves Obama! He's talked Iran and North Korea into negotiations, right?"
"Not quite. North Korea has tested more missiles. Iran is closer than ever to getting a nuke. Russia is playing games with Obama, even after he cancelled the missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Things are even hot and cold with Chavez in Venezuela. Sometimes he likes Obama, sometimes he calls him an idiot and Bush clone."
"Chavez!? We can't even get Hugo Chavez on our side? Bush must have pushed us over the edge farther than we thought. What about gay marriage? Don't ask, don't tell? Those should have been passed easily, right?"
" marriage has now been shot down 31 consecutive times when the people vote on it. Obama doesn't seem to want to tackle the issue. He doesn't even talk about don't ask, don't tell."
Michael was on the verge of a panic attack.
"What about...what about Sarah Palin? She went back to Alaska, never to be heard from again? Please, tell me she went back to Alaska to disappear."
"Oh she did. She went back to Alaska. For a little while. Then she resigned as governor, then started making speeches and backing candidates. She has a book due out in a couple weeks and it was number one Amazon and Barne's & Noble for a while, but I haven't followed it too closely. She was also partially responsible for getting one of the health care bills getting shot down."
"Why is she still around? Why aren't people just ignoring her?"
"It's tough Mike, she backed a candidate for a special election in New York for an empty seat in Congress."
"New York? He must have lost by at least 20 points. At least they can get something done to teach those Republicans a lesson."
"Actually, she didn't back the Republican candidate."
"She backed the Democrat? No way, I don't believe it."
"No, not that either. She backed the 'Conservative' candidate. He was a third party guy. After her endorsement, along with Fred Thompson and Dick Armey, he became so popular that the Republican dropped out before the election."
"But still, with her backing him, he must have lost by quite a bit."
"Three points."
"Three? Let me get this straight. A third-party candidate, backed by Sarah Palin, lost by only three points after pushing the Republican out of the race?"
"I need a drink. Did the doctors say when I could drink again?"
"They didn't say. Just mentioned not giving you any major shocks."
"Whew, well that must have been the worst of it and I'm still here. So, what's Hillary Clinton up to these days?"
"She's Secretary of State..."

"Mike? Wake up, Mike! This isn't funny, bro! Joan, I'm gonna go find a doctor, try to wake him up!"