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    808 State

    Is this thing on? Super. And for Pete’s sake, good thing they’re letting me have the TelePrompTer considering all the FLAK I’ve been taking after that school thing. I mean, seriously? Second Assistant was all, like, “Mr. Prez, I realize that you’re used to giving speeches to segments of the electorate that are no more sophisticated than middle-schoolers, but that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to use the ‘PrompTer in front of an actual classroom of sixth-graders!” Oh, snap, Second Assistant, snap! Like I’m supposed to be able to figure these things out anymore.

    Speaking of which, you people drive me up the wall sometimes. Why bother electing me president if you’re going to throw a fit every time I actually try to PRESIDE over something? I keep trying to introduce some European enlightenment into this place—FINALLY!—in fact, “Light Bringer” sounds like a cool nickname. Wonder what it is in Latin? ANYWAY, I TRY these European things you said you wanted when you voted me in, and then what do you go and do?

    Well, okay, Massachusetts just went and elected a senator who once posed nude for a national magazine, which is sort of like what happens in maybe Italy, but that’s not the Europe I mean. I mean France and Germany, geniuses. They have national health systems, and they’re all kinds of cool.

    For a while there, I was heartened by the whole “Tea Party” thing I was hearing about from my staffers whose job is to look out the window sometimes. The UK doesn’t consider itself part of Europe, really, but it may as well be, and they have tea parties there. Class-act tea parties. Then Anderson Cooper told me you were actually “Tea-Baggers,” and I was like, Blech! BAG TEA? What is America now—one gigantic rest-stop diner? Seriously, your personal assistant can learn to make tea from proper loose leaves. You’ll love it. Serve it in Limoges. And then you’ll really be worth partying with! Almost, dare I say, European.

    But really, it’s not even just Europe. Let’s talk Japan. (Actually, am I supposed to call that Prime Minister guy soon? I need to find out from someone.) Japan invented sushi and Kurosawa movies, and you’re fine with those, but Japan also has a national health service, and you’re all up in arms because I might want to give you something like it. Who knows—maybe once we have a national health service, our countrymen will come up with better food and movies, and you in the hinterlands won’t all be stuck eating at Taco Bell and watching crap from James Cameron.

    Okay, fine. That’s fallacious reasoning. POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC. I know all about that because I went to Harvard Law School. Just, look, forget what results…don’t you want to be more like the Japanese? Remember: sushi! Kurosawa!

    Oh, yeah. Japan also has that bad-news economy that totally wasn’t helped by those stimulus packages. Meh. Let’s think about Europe again.

    If you’re in a snit and not going to take the national health care system—which, let me be perfectly clear, the people in Washington would totally have a plan completed for sometime after the bill passed and before the first bureaucrat manning the help line put a citizen on hold—maybe you can take something else France and Germany have (and hey, Japan, too!): a super-zoom-zoom-fast choo-choo train! Those of us who get around on private jets have been totally trying to get you to assent to one of those for for-flipping-EVER. Seriously, que es el holdup?

    On the other hand, I can’t say that I like the way the AP talks about it here (via Reason, where people keep insisting on pointing out that they did NOT VOTE FOR ME):

    A day after delivering a State of the Union address aimed at showing recession-weary Americans he understands their struggles, President Barack Obama intends to award $8 billion in stimulus funds to develop high-speed rail corridors and sell the program as a jobs creator.

    Excuse me? I don’t have to “sell” anything. That railroads create jobs is, like, manifest. The song isn’t called “I’ve Been Underemployed on the Railroad,” now, is it?

    The official said the projects are expected to create or save [Like that? I came up with it myself.–Yr. Prez] tens of thousands of jobs in areas like track-laying, manufacturing, planning and engineering, though there is no time frame for how long it will take for those jobs to develop. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak ahead of the president’s announcement.

    Okay, if a certain Anonymous Official had said what he’d actually REHEARSED, he would have left out the part about “no time frame.” I mean, sheesh—do you have any idea how many unions we’re going to have to massage? Where do people think jobs are supposed to come from, entrepreneurship or something?

    With that in mind, Obama will spend about two-thirds of his speech on the economy, telling Americans in specific terms that he understands their struggles. He’ll reinforce that message in the coming weeks by laying out a number of job creation initiatives, the first of which will be the high-speed rail grant awards to announced Thursday in Tampa.

    Trust me, I lobbied hard for Palm Beach. Who the hell goes to Tampa? But those staffers of mine are total martinets.

    Even experts who favor high-speed rail question whether the awards Obama will announce Thursday can turn into the job generators the administration is hoping for. Because the U.S. has never had the kind of bullet trains found in Europe and Asia, there are no U.S. engineering companies or manufacturers with experience in high-speed rail. Anthony Perl, who heads the National Research Council’s panel on intercity passenger rails, said that means much of the technology will have to be purchased abroad.

    And that’s a problem? At least the ignoramuses may end up letting me import SOMETHING, I say.

    So anyway, yeah, more jobs and a sophisticated, environmentally friendly, employment-providing new set of transportation systems. What could be better? And I’ve been looking to get away from all the bankers and car makers, too. With this project, I can leave all these industries whose reputation has been sullied by decades of greed and inefficiency behind and just settle into working with, you know, railroad magnates and transportation authorities. Can’t wait.

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