President Obama Orders Interstate Highway System Shut Down
Today, President Obama, unfazed by criticism that his administration is unnecessarily inflicting pain on the American people in an effort to wrest control of federal spending away Congress, doubled down on his Barrycades program by issuing an Executive Order closing the entire Interstate Highway System.
Toll booths serving all major bridges and tunnels were also shut down blocking all traffic, despite the fact that most of these are operated by municipal authorities, on the justification that these connect to federal highways. Four hundred thousand furloughed pentagon employees were recalled and immediately deployed across the country to put police tape on anything that moves.
At the press conference announcing the Executive Order, a White House staffer was caught murmuring into an open mic "If blocking a bunch of geezers in wheelchairs from visiting the World War II Memorial is not enough to prove to the American people that nothing can function without federal permission, just wait until food riots break out!"
Sen. Elizabeth "You Didn't Build That" Warren (D-Taxachussets) hailed the President's bold move as the next step toward forcing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tea Party) to commit hari-kari. "The time has come for the American people to acknowledge that we are all in this together. We cannot allow a minority to block the will of the majority by appealing to outmoded concepts like limited government, checks and balances, and separation of powers. These principles are as discredited as the white male slaveholding Founders' belief that they could construct a Constitution that would stop people from voting themselves a living at someone else's expense."
Attorneys for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters immediately appealed for a waiver for trucks driven by the union's members. Calls to the White House to clarify whether organizations that pledged allegiance to Organizing for Action would be granted waivers to travel on the interstate did not get through, as the White House switchboard was shut down.
Asked about what he thought of rumors that red state governors were planning a national retreat to consider secession, President Obama responded, "Is that right?" Basking in the approval of a crowd of SEIU-paid protestors pretending to be furloughed federal workers that were bussed to the 14th hole at Andrews Airforce Base to cheer his 47th speech of the week, the President chuckled, "And just how are they going to get to this retreat if my roads are closed?"
When asked what the administration's next step might be if House Republicans refused to hand it a blank check, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said, "There are far more efficient ways to fund the government than begging Congress for money." When asked for clarification, Lew excused himself to attend a meeting to discuss terms for the upcoming merger of the Treasury Department with Goldman Sachs. The stock market soared on news of the pending merger, shrugging off reports of economic collapse and widespread starvation as a result of the highway system shutdown.
President Obama intoned in his weekly address,
As I made clear to them this week, there is only one way out of this reckless and damaging shutdown. Give me everything I want right now, with nothing in return, and I will let you get on with your lives. I will not pay ransom to right wing extremists who think they can derail my signature health care achievement by denying us the funds we need to write software that will let more than 18 people at a time sign up for subsidized coverage without crashing. What is it about the settled law of perpetual entitlements that Tea Party terrorists don't understand? Like Social Security and Medicare, the Affordable Care Act is now on autopilot. It has become a force of nature. Members of Congress who read the Constitution and foolishly believe that they have the power to control the federal budget need to wake up to reality.
A weeping House Speaker John Boehner (R-Dinosaur) issued the following statement on his way to Walter Reed Hospital for treatment of a nervous breakdown:
Our two-party system functions on the principle that Republicans pretend to be fiscally responsible by insisting that federal spending only grows by a smidgen less than the Democrats want. In return, the Democrats let us funnel as much money as we can to preferred defense contractors. The breakdown of bipartisanship caused by a President who insists on spiking the ball after presiding over an unprecedented spending blowout running smack into a bunch of newly elected representatives who refuse to accept the usual compromises offered by Republican Party leaders has made my job impossible. It's time to admit that democracy as we know it is not only broke but broken.
As the shutdown entered its second week and tumbleweeds blew down I-80, wagon trains were spotted crossing the open plains trying to deliver food and fuel to desperate citizens without trespassing on federal property.