Monday, March 30, 2009

Obama Becomes First Commander-in-Chief Chief Executive Officer of GM

Detroit--After ousting General Motors Corporation’s former chief operating officer, and following GM’s spending billions of dollars in government loans he supported, President Obama officially took control of the automaker as its first Commander-in-Chief Chief Executive Officer.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the President took the opportunity to announce the government would guarantee all GM warranties to instill consumer confidence. Under the program, GM cars would be covered under warranty as long as car owners had government-issued IDs, paid a licensing fee, took a course in car maintenance, provided a complete history of car upkeep free of adverse car events, and submitted multiple competitive bids from companies employing only green-certified union workers.

The President then addressed GM’s plans moving forward. He told reporters that before he became a politician, he was a community organizer and a law professor, and as such “the only things I’ve designed are protest signs and a syllabus or two.” But he boldly predicted the success of two new car lines he has aleady begun developing.

The first, modeled closely on the now-defunct Yugoslavian government-manufactured “Yugo,” will be called the “You Go, Girl!” and promoted by Presidential friend Oprah Winfrey. The second, dubbed the Katrina, would fulfill the President's commitment to produce "greener" cars that run exclusively on hope and change.

Asked when prototypes of the cars might be available to the public, the President said only that there was an interim “Plan B,” which sources later confirmed stands for “bankruptcy.”

Associated articles:;;;;; National Affairs; Washington Post; New Editor

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Photographer Disciplined for Snapping President at Bad Angle

The New York Times announced yesterday that it was disciplining one of its editors, Neil Thomas, and a photographer, for approving the publication of a photograph of President Barack Obama that was judged to have been taken from not the best angle. News of the action rocked the journalism world as editors, photographers, and publishers reevaluated how best to convey to readers the total perfection that is President Obama.

Times editor-in-chief Lewis Mann, discussing the lapse of standards with reporters, said “Our journalistic philosophy is that if an image or a report does not capture the true majesty of the President's grandeur, that image or report is essentially a lie. And the Times does not print lies.”

The announcement by the Times follows a string of journalistic lapses by the venerable newspaper commonly known as the Old Gray Lady on Her Death Bed. Last week, a Times reporter was taken to task for writing an article that mentioned a remark the President made on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in which the President likened his poor bowling abilities to the Special Olympics. The next day the Times published a retraction expressing regret for the article, clarifying that “When President Obama compared his really pitiful bowling ability to the Special Olympics, he was making fun of himself, not the people he explicitly compared himself to as being really pitiful bowlers.”

Previously, the Times reported on the President’s first meeting with the Prime Minister of Great Britain, a country that shares a historically special relationship with the U.S. During the traditional gift exchange, the Prime Minister gave the President a pen holder carved from the timbers of the HMS Gannett, a sister ship of the HMS Resolute, the Resolute’s commissioning certificate, and a seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill. In return, President Obama gave the Prime Minister a 25-pack of American movies that were incompatible with British DVD players. That Times report was quickly amended to make clear that the non-functioning DVDs were “a thoughtful if subtle expression of how the relations between the U.S. and Great Britain transcend the superficiality of Hollywood make-believe.”

It has also been reported that another writer for the Times was on the verge of filing a report that mentioned how the President had mistaken a White House window for a door, but his editor rejected it before publication. An anonymous source tells this newspaper the editor explained to the reporter that while former President Bush’s struggle with a locked door was publication-worthy, President Obama’s struggle with a window was not, as “Obama sees windows as opportunities. Bush saw doors as things meant to stay shut.”

But perhaps the most glaring breach of journalistic standards occurred just a few days ago when an article was posted on the Times website that referenced the President’s obsessive reliance on his teleprompter when making public statements. The posting was immediately taken down for reasons that were never made public. But sources told this newspaper the posting violated journalistic standards because “It’s common knowledge that, far from relying too much on his teleprompter, Obama is actually transferring his exquisitely crafted, wholly spontaneous thoughts in real time onto the screens around him through sheer force of brain power, so others on the far sides of the room can see his remarks.”

Associated articles:;;;;

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Compelling Personal Histories Shape Mortgage Crisis Solutions

(AP) Washington, D.C.--Rep. Barney Frank is the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Sen. Chris Dodd is Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. For the first time, these two leaders of recent mortgage rescue efforts shared their compelling personal stories and told reporters how those experiences helped shape their proposed solutions to the mortgage lending crisis.

Before a packed Congressional hearing room, Frank described for the first time how “As a Member of Congress, I publicly dismissed calls to reform government-sponsored mortgage companies, denied their failure would threaten the Treasury, and scoffed at the prospect of a coming crisis. All the while, I encouraged the same companies to guarantee more affordable mortgages to people who couldn’t pay them back.”

As a result, he confessed, those companies are now insolvent, and taxpayers are on the hook for some $200 billion to bail them out.

“I saw the writing on the wall, and chose to ignore it,” said Frank, almost inaudibly as he looked down at the podium. “And then,” he said, cupping tears in his cheeks as he cracked a wide smile, “I was rewarded by my constituents with reelection.”

At that fateful moment, said Frank, he became committed to promoting government programs that benefit those who knowingly incur the risk of long-term losses. “If I could be so rewarded for overextending the taxpayer,” said Frank, “how could I not reward those who overextended themselves?”

Sen. Dodd approached the podium next. He appeared somber at first, but as he began to describe his own mortgage history, his cheeks began to glow under a halo of perfectly coiffed hair. Dodd described how he came to be the beneficiary of two sweetheart mortgages brokered by a subprime lender. “There I was, a Senator and a millionaire,” he said. “And someone was going out of their way to do a special favor for me. I was touched. Changed forever.”

It was a change, he said, that tranformed him into a champion for millionaire victims and billion dollar bailouts.

Dodd, the protector of millionaires, and Frank, the protector of those pretending to be millionaires, took one last question before winding down the press conference with a mutual hug.

A reporter asked where their programs left those who live within their more modest means. Frank turned to Dodd, a wet glint in his eye. “We have the greatest job in the world,” said Frank. “We spread the word to the middle class that they’ve been making sacrifices not for themselves and their families, but for others.” Dodd was eager to complete the sentiment. “We bet they find that reward enough.”

Associated video: video; associated articles:;;,0,4221115.story;;;;;