In a parallel universe where all of Earth's inhabitants are implanted with a bioengineered liar gene that is immediately activated when someone dares to utter an untruth, President George W. Bush is about to deliver the State of the Union address.
If caught in a lie, the president risks the dire consequences of his action: The gene triggers a reaction that emblazons the letter "L" on his forehead in neon green, followed by a total meltdown modeled on the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz.
Standing at the parallel podium, Bush begins:
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests and fellow citizens:
America this evening is a nation called to great responsibilities. And we are rising to meet them. As we gather tonight, hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women are deployed across the world in the war for oil. By bringing hope to Halliburton, and channeling wealth to our contributors, they are making America poorer by the day.
Americans are proving once again to be the stupidest working people in the world. Wall Street and corporations are thriving because the tax relief you passed for the wealthiest is working.
Our greatest priority is homeland defense, and to that end, we must continue to give security and law enforcement personnel unquestioning support. Our best method for doing so is the Patriot Act, allowing federal law enforcement to better share information on anyone we choose for any reason we like.
As part of the offensive against terror, we are confronting the regimes that harbor and support terrorists, unless they are our allies, in which case we will turn a blind eye, or unless they are opposed to regimes we don't like, in which case we will supply them with arms.
Since we last met in this chamber, combat forces of the United States, along with a paltry number of allies, ended the rule of Saddam Hussein. As a result, the people of Iraq are poorer, suffering from a lack of reliable basic services and enduring a collapsed economy. They are also protesting, demonstrating and opposing our occupation on a daily basis.
As to the rest of the Middle East, it is imperative that we continue our balancing act between the Israelis and the Arabs in order not to threaten our supply of oil. Honestly, why should we care what goes on there as long as we can keep those pipelines flowing? But in order to appease those voices who think we have a moral obligation to work for peace in the Middle East, we will expand our Voice of America propaganda machine to provide news and disinformation favorable to our version of the truth.
In these last three years, adversity has revealed the fundamental weakness of the American economy. Job loss continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, with over two million jobs lost during the course of my administration. But training programs for those displaced by outsourcing to places such as Mexico, India and China are under way. A combined effort between the federal government and McDonald's holds great promise for a future generation of poor, but proud, burger flippers.
To ensure that each child in America is given the best opportunity for education, my administration passed the Every Child, err, No Child Left Behind Act. By making federal dollars contingent on standardized performance, and by failing to provide states enabling resources, thus making it difficult for them to implement the Act's mandates, we have rendered teachers impotent, forced schools to close their doors to underachievers, squashed creative methods for teaching based on children's needs and created a huge financial burden on districts that can ill afford it.
As to taxes, Congress has some unfinished business on this issue. Unless you act, my wealthy friends face a tax increase. What the Congress has given, the Congress should not take away. For the sake of job growth in places other than the United States, the tax cuts you passed should be permanent.
Our agenda for jobs and growth depends on reliable supplies of energy to make our economy run. I urge you to pass legislation allowing us to drill wherever we think there is the remotest chance of finding oil. It is also imperative that we further roll back the pollution restrictions on corporations in order to provide Americans with the cheapest energy possible.
Our nation's health care system, like our economy, is also in a time of change. By eviscerating Medicare and adding a prescription drug benefit, you kept a basic commitment to insurance companies and drug companies. You are giving them a way to bleed seniors of their last dollars and ensure greater profits at the expense of those who can least afford it.
A government-run health care system is the wrong prescription. How could insurance companies and HMOs survive if we instituted a one-payer system? Quality health care, like everything in America, should be reserved for those who can pay its price. As to the millions of uninsured, I suggest they find their way to the nearest clinic, or read up on home remedies. This will provide them with the joy of owning their personal health care decisions.
My fellow citizens, we now move forward, with confidence and faith. Our nation is strong and steadfast. The cause we serve is right, because it is the cause of all man...."
Whoops, it seems that last sentence enabled the liar gene. Bush's forehead is glowing with the letter "L." He is gasping for breath and banging on the podium. He is disintegrating into an oozing pool of slimy, unidentifiable muck and bellowing, "I'm melting! I'm melt ..."