In the last Vent I mentioned that our fearless (in the way sponges are fearless) leader, George W. Bush, was “thinking” about whether to allow federal funding of stem cell research. By the way, using quotes when referring to W’s “thinking” is actually statutorily mandated, like the requirement of using quotes when saying that Lee Majors is “acting.”

Part of the “thought” process consists of vigorous information gathering. W is reading everything there is to read on Stem Cell research, while eschewing his usual “Babar the Elephant goes Camping!” books. He has also consulted with everyone from the Cardinal of New York to the Pope (he likes to hear diverse opinions) who told him stem cell research was bad, but that really big hats were good. Still after months of this, W still has not made up his “mind” (the quotation statute is actually quite broad).

Recently, W had a private one-on-one confab with his chief health advisor, the Secretary of HHS Tommy Thompson. This was the first time the health advisor had actually met with the president, and he required an extensive briefing on how one briefs W. This briefing was conducted by Vice-president Dick Cheney (often referred to as “Sexalicious” in the West Wing). My highly placed sources were able to tell me how that briefing unfolded.

Cheney
Good morning Tommy

Thompson
Good morning Mr. Vice President

Cheney
Cigarette?

Thompson
Absolutely!

Cheney
OK, I just want to go over with you how to brief the
president. First, you’re helping him make a decision
about stem cells, right?

Thompson
That’s right.

Cheney
Ok, you’re going to have to start with the very
basics.

Thompson
You mean I’m going to have to explain what a
“stem cell” is?

Cheney
No. You’re going to have to explain to him what a
“decision” is.

Thompson
Oh my.

Cheney
Now that doesn’t make the president a moron.

Thompson
Oh my God no! I wasn’t thinking it did.

Cheney
Now there are certain things you should never
say in front of this president. For example, never
call him George.

Thompson
Of course not.

Cheney
Never use profanity.

Thompson
Understood.

Cheney
And never use words bigger than “Marshmallow.”

Thompson
I’m sorry?

Cheney
Doesn’t like ’em. Also, no compound sentences, no
contractions, except “Ain’t,” no words with silent
letters and none of those tricky words ending in
“tion.” He says they confuse him.

Thompson
Wow.

Cheney
Doesn’t make him an idiot.

Thompson
No. No, or course not.

Cheney
During the conversation, he may suddenly blurt
out something like, “Who are you?” or “What the
hell you talkin ’bout hoss?” Nothing to worry about,
just keep going.

Thompson
Ok.

Cheney
If he lies down, closes his eyes and starts to
scratch himself, don’t worry. Means he’s listening.

Thompson
Well then, I think I got…

Cheney
…If he takes out any white powder, that’s special “thinking
powder.” Developed by the CIA. Top secret. You never saw
it.

Thompson
Gotcha.

Cheney
Occasionally the president may make an honest mistake.
For example, if you mention the blastocyst, the president
may think you’re saying something bad about God.

Thompson
You mean like…blaspheme?

Cheney
Does not make the man a ‘tard…necessarily.

Thompson
No, certainly not.

Cheney
As the conversation goes on, you may feel the urge
to argue with the president. Resist that urge.

Thompson
No problem.

Cheney
As the conversation goes even further, you will feel the
urge to leap across the room, grab the president by the
throat and literally suck the “stupid demons” out of his
ears. Resist that urge as well.

Thompson
I would never…

Cheney
Will you just trust the voice of experience here? Now,
when you leave the oval office and meet the reporters
outside, please make sure to say that the meeting was
“wide-ranging and productive.” You got that?

Thompson
“Wide-ranging and productive.”

Cheney
The meeting was not, as the French ambassador said,
“like teaching a buffalo to rivet.”

Thompson
He said that?

Cheney
Also, the president was “engaged and inquisitive,” not
as the head of NASA said, “dull as a coffin and coked
to the fuzzies.”

Thompson
I understand sir.

Cheney presses the intercom

Cheney
Send the president in please.

Receptionist’s Voice
I’m sorry Mr. Vice-president. The president has injured
himself learning about fiscal policy again.

Thompson
Injured himself? You mean physically?

Cheney
You don’t want to know….Doesn’t make him
a complete chowderhead!

Thompson
Uh…No, of course not.

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