Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pres. Obama Gives Away the Farm

WASHINGTON, DC- Pres. Obama once again amazed the nation this week with his masterful negotiating skills. Faced with a Republican Senate minority that threatened to filibuster his entire agenda unless every millionaire in the country was given roughly $100,000 a year in tax cuts, he carefully crafted a deal in which the millionaires would get all of the money they wanted, and the president would get only most of his agenda filibustered.

To sweeten the deal, the president also gave away the farm. "I wasn't happy to see the farm go," Pres. Obama says, "but when you're bargaining, you have to give something up."

The art of the bargain was something Pres. Obama first learned as a child at Hawaii's famed Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. "Someone was selling a watch for $50. I wanted it for $25," the president recalls. "In the end, I gave him $40, and he kept the watch, so neither of us got exactly what we wanted, but it was a successful compromise."

As the future president grew, he found himself negotiating bigger and bigger deals, first trading his entire comic book collection for a half eaten peanut butter sandwich, later a vintage Mustang for a rusty bicycle, and once a cow for three magic beans.

In his days as a Chicago community organizer, the young Obama once defused a potentially explosive standoff between police and hostage-taking bank robbers. He brokered a compromise in which the police handed their weapons over to the bank robbers and provided them with additional hostages in exchange for the assurance that they would not be harmed. Once again, neither side got everything they wanted. The bank robbers had demanded a Learjet, but Obama instead bought them first class plane tickets to South America, which he paid for by selling his house for over $700.

Although congressional Republicans have vowed not to compromise on anything, the president is confident that even with the farm gone, he can still appease them with enough give-aways to accomplish at least some of his remaining goals. If necessary, White House insiders say, he is even willing to give up his magic beans.

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