Obama staffers: 'ESP is better than reading'
by Stan D. Seeley
WASHINGTON, D.C. — When four members of President Barack Obama's cabinet admitted last week that they had not read Arizona's new immigration law before attacking it over contents that it did not contain, many Americans were outraged. But other current and past members of the president's team were not surprised, saying that Obama and his team have learned that Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) surpasses reading as an effective and efficient method of evaluation.
"The President has taught us well," said Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salad Czar. "ESP seldom fails. It's the primary method we use to evaluate the safety of oil rigs in the Gulf, for example, and it works 99.9% of the time, which is better than the reading comprehension of the average Harvard professor."
Attorney General Eric Holder said ESP has worked well for him.
"That's how I know that the religious affiliation of a terrorist has nothing to do with his or her actions," he said. "We were able to determine that the so-called Times Square bomber was simply mad that he couldn't make his mortgage payments.
"ESP also helped me evaluate the intent behind Arizona's immigration law. Not only did ESP allow me to read between the lines but also between the words. And on a good day ESP enables me to read between the letters.
"The very best a reading of the law could have allowed me to accomplish would have been to see the law as it was actually written, not on how its framers might have intended for it to be applied.
"And there is no way I could read every law that comes across my desk. Even a 10-page law such as this one takes valuable minutes out of my meditation time, which I need to evaluate more complicated pieces of legislation, such as the president's 2,700-page health insurance reform bill.
So I strongly stand by my statement that the law calls for racial profiling even though on its face the law prohibits racial profiling. ESP has allowed me to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that police officers could detain a person solely on the evidence, such as a person's inability to speak English, his choice of hiding place in the trunk of a Toyota, the burlap sack of marijuana in his hand, and his fake drivers license."
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet "Napoleon" Napolitano said ESP saved her four minutes this month, allowing her to evaluate the Arizona immigration law in less than 10 seconds.
"Some people who don't understand the demands of my position might think that the Number One officer in charge of security of our nation should read a law that deals with the security of our borders," she said. "Nothing could be further from the truth. My job is accomplished much more efficiently if I listen to our great leader and rely upon his ESP judgment and work to improve my own ESP rather than waste time reading things that may or may not have a bearing on my job.
"Most people see laws in black and white. I see them in all the glorious colors of their aura, everything from violet to red, and this law is definitely red like the Nazi flag or the color of the fly over states.
"Now, may I be excused. I have an important appointment with my hair dresser."
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said his job requires calculations that are beyond the capability of most handheld calculators, so he relies on ESP to give him the answers he seeks.
"When I first took office," he said, "I had a Hewlett-Packard 20B, but every time I tried to figure out how much money we were spending per minute, all it gave me was a weird number with an E in it. That's when our great leader showed me how to use my innate senses to solve the world's problems. And I must say it has worked out very well for me.
"Even the smartest financial wizards in America can't understand what I have learned through ESP, such as the best way to ease America's debt load is to triple our debt. Not even President Bush could figure that one out. So now we are simply borrowing trillions of dollars from Chinese banks that are truly too big to fail so that we can hire thousands of new federal employees so that they can pay taxes that we can use to pay back the loans that allowed us to hire them. I don't think there's a calculator made, or maybe even a personal computer, that could have devised such a fantastic solution."
Sharon A. Burger, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said she employs ESP in her recommendations to the president.
"One of my biggest challenges so far was trying to figure out how the Affordable Health Care Act could save money," she said. "Commonsense would tell you that the cost of health insurance would skyrocket if we were to make insurance companies add millions of adult children to their parents' insurance plans, especially if we were to require insurance companies to insure millions of people who are already sick, not to speak of giving free insurance to millions of people.
"That's when ESP helped me realize three solutions to our problem.
"First, we figured out that if we made people pay for the added costs right away and didn't provide any benefits for four years, health insurance could be affordable. Think in terms of buying a new car. Instead of a five-year loan, you get a nine-year loan but don't pick up the car till you've made payments for four years. Isn't that brilliant?
"Second, if we were to make people pay a tax on their health care insurance, that could make the actual cost of the insurance less. Again, think of your car payment. Let's say instead of paying $300 a month, you pay $290 a month for principal and interest, and then you pay a new $50 a month tax. We pay $10 toward your car payment, and then we keep the other $40 to help people who can't afford cars to make their payments. Again, you have to admit that's a brilliant solution.
"Third, an independent board could set maximum premium rates that private insurance companies could charge. Now, everybody knows that if you increase insurance companies' costs, then they would have to raise rates to stay in business, especially when their profit margin is only a few percentage points in the first place.
"Here is where the brilliance of ESP sets in. We set the rates so low that most people save money. The insurance companies pull out because they're losing money, and the federal government steps in. Then we can run the entire health care system just the way we run Medicare, which is to say we don't charge enough money to cover our costs, so we pay the difference with money we get from taxpayers and the Chinese. So once again ESP comes to the rescue."
Burger said the bill still seemed destined to defeat in Congress until she was able to convince Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also to rely on ESP rather than attempt to peruse the 2,700-page bill.
"I was proud of Nancy when she told the Democrats to pass the bill and then read it later," she said. "Nancy's a smart old bird. She catches on fast."
Reporters on Wednesday were hoping to discuss Obama's use of ESP when he held a press conference with Mexico President Felipe Calderon, but only two foreign reporters, hand-picked by the White House press office, were allowed to ask one question each.
"I was going to ask the president if he had read the Arizona immigration bill," said Barb D. Hook of Fox News. "I'm pretty sure he didn't because otherwise he would never would have said that it would allow policemen to persecute a family of American citizens going out for ice cream.
"But he must have had ESP because he just walked out of there without opening up to any questions except from the two plants. That's what I would have expected from the guy who promised the most transparent presidency in history. I guess I have ESP, too!"
Quote of the Day
"Going forward, anytime the American people want to know something that I or a former president wants to withhold, we will have to consult with the Attorney General and the white house counsel, whose business it is to ensure compliance with the rule of law. Information will not be withheld just because I say so; it will be withheld because a separate authority believes my request is well-grounded in the Constitution. Let me say it as simply as I can: transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency." — President Barack Obama