Links of the Day
Chevy Chase says "Vacation," released in 1983, was based on Mitt Romney's 1982 family trip.
"People are kinda confused about that because of the literary license taken by screenwriters," Romney said. "I did not tie my dead aunt on top of the car. It was my dog. And I didn't go skinnydipping with Christie Brinkley in the pool. It was the hot tub. Unfortunately, I did hasten my senile Aunt Millie's inevitable departure from this earth when I forgot about tying her to the bumper."
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Obama defends algae, cites science
by Trina Forrest
March 16, 2012, Washington, DC — President Obama used a campaign event today to criticize Republicans who scoffed at his idea of using algae as an alternative energy source.
"Some of the professional politicians make fun of me for saying pond scum will energize the planet," he said. "I have a sneaking suspicion that if they were around when Columbus asked for government funding, they would have turned him down."
The press pool broke into laughter and applause, joined by many in the crowd. Looking encouraged by the response, Obama continued: "They would have said, 'You'll never reach India."
The journalists fell silent, but the crowd guffawed and cheered, evidently unaware that Columbus never got to India but accidentally found the New World instead. Five Cherokee Democrats abruptly left the rally, grumbling that Obama was honoring a man they considered to be a genocidal racist.
The president said he dreams of the day when every home in America will have its own hydroponic algae garden. He pointed to the potential of "millions of swimming pools" that currently require energy but could be converted to energy-producing algae ponds.
"All you gotta do is take out the chlorine," he said, "and you'll have a beautiful scum factory in a few weeks. Every morning you could scoop some of it out and put it in the fuel tank of your eco-friendly scum-burning car or your home's algae furnace. You would no longer be contributing to global warming by burning carbon, and that would lower the sea levels as I promised to do in my last campaign, and no more polar bears would drown.'
Obama was interrupted by his newly appointed alternative energy czar, I. Burns Moss of Florida State University, where he developed a proposal to convert the entire Everglades into a giant algae farm. Dressed in a white lab coat smudged with green, Moss whispered something to the president, who again faced the crowd.
"My AE guy just told me that algae is a carbon fuel," Obama said, smiling. "My bad."
The president then criticized Republicans for saying America could drill its way out of dependence on foreign oil.
"Some folks think that if we produced more oil, then the price of gas and diesel would go down to $2," he said, evidently referring to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's campaign slogan that calls for gasoline at $2.50 a gallon. "You can't drill yourself to cheaper gas. It's not based on the law of supply and demand because it's a global market."
Obama was interrupted by his chief economist, M.T. Pauketts, formerly a professor of applied economics at Harvard University. Dressed in an Italian suit, he whispered to the president, who turned to the crowd with a wide grin.
"Sorry, folks," he said. "Professor Pauketts just informed me that the law of supply and demand applies to global markets. Again, my bad. Maybe I should stick with something I know, like scum. But before I do that, I gotta complain a little bit about all the drilling that's been going on. We're drilling just about everywhere except the National Mall and under your houses. There are drill rigs literally anywhere. So when those idiot politicians tell you, 'Drill, baby, drill,' tell 'em we're already doing that, and I take full credit for it."
Obama defended his decisions to cancel oil and gas leases in the West, stop new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, nix drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and block a new pipeline that could have brought billions of gallons of oil from Canada.
"We're addicted to gas and oil," he said. "Now, if I were a cocaine addict, which I risked becoming in college, would you give me more cocaine? No! And neither should we give more oil to a country addicted to oil! And that's the United States of America!"
The journalists jumped to their feet and cheered, some of them leeping and waving their arms like Butler fans during last year's March Madness. The crowd didn't seem quite as enthusiastic. One man, looking puzzled, asked a woman next to him, "Honey, is it too late to cancel our lease on that new Government Motors Company truck? I think we ought to order a Scumvee or a Scumvette."
Obama told the crowd he will order his science and invention czar, Dr. Sly McGoo, "one of the few Republicans I've appointed to anything and standing here on my right where he belongs," to hire the best minds in America to find the best way to turn pond algae into usable fuel.
"We don't need another fuel like ethanol, which requires more energy to make than it produces," he said. "We need to convert pond scum into fuels that can power our plains, trains and automobiles."
Dressed in a gray jumpsuit that appeared to have been white at one time and wearing a faded fluorescent orange hard hat, McGoo whispered to the president.
The world champion Tele Prompter reader and former community organizer again turned to the crowd with a sheepish grin on his face.
"The good doctor said they already figured it out," Obama said. "Here, I'm going to have him take my mike and explain this breaking news to you right now."
McGoo stepped forward, stood behind the microphone and tapped it five times.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we already know how to make pond algae into cheap, high-energy fuels," said the man who gave the world such ubiquitous inventions as the Chia Pet, the Pet Rock and the Nerf Medicine Ball. "Not just pond scum, either, but almost any other swamp plant, including reeds, cattails, sedges and grass, even marsh trees.
"It's a form of solar power. The plants use chlorophyll, water and dirt to convert solar energy into sugars and cellulose through the process of photosynthesis. So when we take the energy stored by plants such as algae or bulrushes and turn it into a fuel, which we know how to do, and then burn that fuel to run your car, you really are driving a car powered by the sun."
The president lunged forward and grabbed the microphone.
"This is exactly what I've been waiting to hear!" he shouted in a manner similar to that of the most famous orator of the 20th century, a man who became the German chancellor in 1933. "Tell us more! Tell us more! Tell us more!"
Soon the crowd was chanting along in a paroxysm of joy as they realized their long-hoped-for energy solution was at hand. McGoo stepped back to the microphone and tapped it five more times.
"Yes, we have a way to convert plant-stored solar energy into three main fuels," he said. "These fuels contain so much energy that we can use them to cheaply heat our homes, power our communities' electrical generating plants, drive our cars at 70 miles an hour from coast to coast, stopping maybe half a dozen times at the most, and even to fuel our aircraft, including even the giant new Boeing 787."
McGoo explained the process. The first step involves making recesses in the ground. Next they are filled with pond algae, trees bulrushes and other organic material. Next the material is covered with enough dirt and rocks that great pressure is exerted on the material away from light and oxygen. The next step is simply waiting for the conversion process to be completed.
"What we're working on now is speeding up the process," he said. "Right now it takes almost forever — it's worse than watching paint dry. But if we can accelerate the conversion process and then recover the fuel without too much governmental interference, we'll have three different fuels at unbelievably low prices — an energy source that has a minimal impact on the environment if we have a few commonsense safeguards in place."
Mr. Obama again grabbed the microphone.
"And would the good doctor favor us by telling us the names of these solar fuels?" he asked.
"Yes, Mr. President," McGoo said. "But let me first answer in a way that our our newest undocumented friends can understand.
"El gas natural, el petróleo y el carbón.
"Natural gas, oil and coal."
Before McGoo was summarily fired on the spot, he managed to mention that America has enough reserves of all three fuels, which took 100 million years to make, to last 25 generations, by which time he expects scientists in the private sector to develop efficient alternative energy technologies. As he was hustled out the door by two Black Panthers, wellwishers expressed remorse over his losing a high-paying bureaucratic job.
"Don't worry," he said, "I have a good lobbyist job waiting for me, just like all the other people in this administration."