Special New York Times report. March
Barack Obama, who on Tuesday succumbed to an injury from a golfing mishap on
was put on display in the Capitol Rotunda,
and viewed by thousands of solemn, often weeping mourners in a line that stretched
for over a mile outside and showed no signs of shrinking. Hundreds of the
mourners returned to the end of the line to view his remains again, according
to reports. “I can’t get enough of him,” said one mourner, Joanna
Beech from North Carolina, as she took her place at the end of the line again.
“I like how the embalmer guy left a smirk on his face. That was Michelle’s
touch, I heard. He was such a cheerful, outgoing man, you know.”
viewings reflected the means by which the late President achieved two terms of
office in 2008 and 2012. However, Attorney
General Eric Holder quickly advised the pundits and their publications that
they were risking government action if they continued making such discourteous insinuations.
morning even attempted to open Mr. Obama’s casket to stick a pin in the
President’s body, but was stopped by Secret Service men. Mr. Biden, flustered
by the intervention, explained to reporters as he realigned his hair plugs after
the tussle with the Secret Service: “I still can’t believe he’s gone. My
pal. My friend. I just couldn’t believe it, I just wanted to make sure he’s
really gone. It’s such a f**king big deal, his passing. I hope I can just fill
his pants…I mean, his shoes.”
the bullet-proof, solid burnished oak casket, resting in a gray-bluish velvet
interior. Mr. Obama seemed to be smiling at Mr. Biden’s incontinent but puckish
House to public tours, many visitors and mourners appeared at the White House,
thinking that the late President’s remains would be on display there. One visitor
quipped, “What did he think it was, Superman’s Fortress of Solitude?
Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair? You
really gotta give the guy points for hubris.” The visitor was immediately arrested
by Park Service police and handed over to federal speech monitors for
interrogation and possible charges of treasonous expression.
agents, and members of the independent Rapid Deployment Law Enforcement Force
(RAPDLEF), formed a human corridor through which the mourners passed before
ascending the Capitol steps, with a TSA checkpoint at the tail-end.
another two days before being taken to Graceland Cemetery in Chicago for burial
in the family plot. Yesterday Mayor Rahm
Emanuel visited with Michelle Obama, the grieving ex-First Lady, in the White
House amidst the hectic packing of the Obama family’s personal things to make
room for President Joe Biden’s occupation. Their expletive-sauced exchanges
could not be reported by the press for reasons of public decorum. Observers of
the exchange could not determine if the widow was angry or sorrowful at the
prospect of relocating back to Chicago.
tombstone. She swept aside the bangs covering her eyes, looked thoughtful, and
answered, “‘I want to be significant.’ That’s what he’d want, that’s what
he told me years ago. It’s so simple and selfless, don’t you think?”
named, “and could heft a fifty-pound moving carton just as easily as a
professional moving man. Goes to show what a good diet and selective chow-downs
can do, things she promoted all the while in the White House.”
missing from walls, mantles, and sideboards that are listed in the White House
inventory as government property, but he would not elaborate for fear of
For the first time, a presidential honor guard is not exclusively male. Members
of the guard are clearly identifiable with plastic badges hanging from lanyards
as being male, female, gay, or transgender. Ever since passage of the Gender
Neutral Military Recruitment and Training Act earlier this year, eagerly signed
by the late President, it has been the policy of members of all the armed
forces to “show and tell” on formal occasions.
Jersey alternates with the Soulful Mozart Sextet of Buffalo, New York to
provide the appropriate background music. The choir, adorned in shimmering
purple and scarlet gowns, delivers a heavenly rendition of “Mmm,
mmm, mmm! Barack Hussein Obama!” swaying back and forth in time with the
perfectly synchronized snapping of their fingers, reciting all the lyrics of
the worshipful chant which once scandalized the nation. The choir also performs
upbeat numbers such Steven Greenburg’s “Funky Town” and Michael
selection of compositions by John Cage, Krzysztof
and Karlheinz Stockhausen, serving as a backdrop to the energetic but subdued vocal
solo of hip-hop rapper artist Sharaqq “Big Gangsta At U” Diggins
debuting “songs” especially composed by him for the Rotunda viewing.
miscommunication between Mr. Diggins and the sextet. At one point, Mr. Diggins
waited a moment for the sextet to begin the next number. When he heard nothing,
he turned enquiringly to the group, whose spokesman said they were playing John Cage’s “Silent Spring
and a Urinal 4-99,” which required the musicians to simply to go through
the motions of playing their instruments without producing any sound. Mr.
Diggins, resplendent in a tuxedo made of dyed burlap and sporting an oversized green
bow tie, shrugged and launched into his next number, with the sextet performing
silently behind him.
article, Mr. Diggins said he has been invited to the White House to give a
farewell performance for Michelle Obama, her children, Marian Robinson, her
mother, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Mr. Obama’s half-sister, and his half-brother, Abong’o
Malik Obama, and guests.
given that day by the All Services Military Band for the public in conjunction
with the Obamas’ last Easter Egg Hunt on the White House lawn.
services for the late President held at the National Cathedral on Friday were
attended by the firmament of politics, business, and the arts. All of Mr.
Obama’s cabinet attended, and almost the whole of Congress, and major
departmental, bureau and agency heads. Hollywood sent a sizable contingent
which included Michael Moore, Danny Glover, and Sean Penn. The Hollywood
Reporter noted that “Mr. Moore, dressed nattily in ubiquitous somber, wore
his regulation baseball cap, which he was obliged to remove during the
services. Sean Penn, similarly garbed, still looked scruffy, anorexic, and only
temporarily detoxed. Director Oliver Stone seemed to be preoccupied, as though
he were collecting details for a movie he has promised to make about the ‘Obama
interviewed outside the Cathedral as attendees left the services, said,
“Mr. Obama was a champion, a giant, a great friend of the people. I shared
a beer with him when I visited the White House.” Stone volunteered that
“President Obama’s life was the stuff of drama, and I mean to bring that
drama to life. People believed that his and my friend, Hugo Chavez, who also
died tragically young, would rise from the dead and lead his country on. I mean
to raise Mr. Obama from the dead so that at least on the big screen, he can
continue to lead.”
declined to be interviewed, angrily waving reporters away as he stumbled down
the Cathedral steps, “looking like he needed a drink,” noted a writer
for the Washington Post. Danny Glover, who met several times with Obama in the
White House, said, “We all embraced Barack Obama as a social-champion of
democracy, material development, and spiritual well-being. Vive la Revolution!”
hostess Ellen DeGeneres, to the
services. Barr said, “Our man hated the upper classes, and even though he
was upper himself, he fought to bring them down and spread the wealth taken
from the people. I hear Joe the Plumber is still plumbing, or is on unemployment.
Serves him right for trying to corner our man.” The couple walked away,
looking like a distaff Laurel and Hardy.
Rodham Clinton also attended the services with her constant companion, Humana Abedin.
“The situation here is fluid, information is developing, and conclusions can’t
be reached yet. My condolences go to the Obama family, but I don’t want to
interfere in their grief. What difference does it make now? It’s less important
today to look back at the President’s record than to look forward to the
political consultant for NBC News, and Distinguished Fellow at the Harris
School of Public Policy, as well as Director of the Institute of Politics at
the University of Chicago, announced the establishment of the Saul Alinsky
Chair of Constitutional Studies at the University of Chicago Law School. The
position was made possible by a $50 million donation by a syndicate of past
Obama campaign donors, including Apple, Facebook, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google,
Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks, and the Walt Disney
Company. Mr. Axelrod, who in the past has devoted himself to developing
“progressive” educational policies in America’s schools, and who
introduced his “neighbor” Barack Obama politics during a state senate
race, had kept in close touch with the Obamas for decades, some claiming that
he even ghost-penned the late President’s two autobiographies, a charge Mr.
Axelrod denies. “He wrote it himself,” he said years ago during an
interview with George Stephanopoulos. “I just filled in the blanks. How
many blanks there were, I can’t say.”
the Alinsky Chair. It came right out of the blue, in a call from the CEO of
Google the day before. I suggested that the Chair be named after my friend,
Barack, and I talked it over with Michelle, too, and she said that her husband
wouldn’t have wanted it named after him, he was too modest. So, we’ll stick
with the Sage of the South Side.”
an Obama museum
to be built somewhere in Washington, preferably in or near one of the city’s
many parks. A syndicate of George Soros-funded entities, including Think
Progress, MoveOn, Forward for Change, and Organize for America announced a
collective willingness to underwrite the project. A spokesman said that the
total costs of construction, staffing and maintenance would also be
complemented by subscription donations from loyal Obama supporters, beginning
at the top with the oligarchy created by Obama’s policies down to rank-and-file
beneficiaries of his largesse, including federal employees and union members.
golfing cap, his golf clubs,
basketballs, the raincoat he wore while community organizing in Chicago, books
from his library, the blackboard he used while teaching law at the University
of Chicago, half-empty packs of Marlboro cigarettes, favorite teleprompters,
photographs and videos of defining moments of his administration, souvenirs
from his trips to Africa, the Mideast, and Europe, and numerous other artifacts
of public interest.
Barack Hussein Obama Presidential Library, to be built in Honolulu, Hawaii, the
late President’s birthplace. It will house all the official papers from the 44th
president’s two administrations. Michelle Obama, and doubtless Mr. Axelrod and
other members of his White House staff, past and present, will guide historians
and cataloguers in organizing the daunting mountain of papers. Rumor points to
former information “czar” Cass Sunstein as the likely chief
consultant for the project or its permanent director. No date yet has been set
for the groundbreaking.
Mark Steyn, the controversial Canadian columnist notorious for his Islamophobic
bias, remarked cynically in The National Review that the presidential library
will “probably wind up fitting neatly into two large storage cartons, so
much is expected to be redacted or just plain discarded. The Obama reign so overflowed
with scandal, corruption, cronyism, and embarrassing faux pas that it would a violation of the late President’s
Machiavellian principles to leave much of that sordidness open to public and
attendance, but declined to be interviewed and were whisked away in their
limousines for parts unknown.
Rotunda for one last look at their leader in the flesh, the state of the union
was on many minds. What does the future hold for the country, they wondered, now
that its most flamboyant socialist was dead and gone? With an inflation rate of
25% and rising, unemployment stalled at 30%, and people who have lost their
homes and income filling up FEMA camps that are proliferating around the
country, the confidence index sits at zero.
conjecture, but as a stain on the country’s history. Others will point to the
soup kitchens and ragged lines of people waiting to collect food parcels and
clothing and say, “You can’t make a nation’s omelet without breaking some economic
and fellow Nobel laureate with the late President, opined in today’s
edition that “the nation can indeed spend itself into a state of
prosperity. The trick is to know when spending levels reach a critical mass and
which buttons to push when it is reached. It’s an intuitive skill and Mr. Obama
had it. We can only hope that Mr. Biden receives appropriate advice, and I’m sure
he will.” Mr. Krugman refused to comment on the speculation that he will
be tapped to head the Treasury Department. “There’ll be a Cabinet
reshuffling, of course, and I know I’m on the short list, but while you may
very well think that I ought to get that appointment, I couldn’t possibly
some inspired mourners leave the file to form an impromptu line-dancing performance
of their own, their voices merging with those of the Choir. Even Mr. Diggins
joins the line.
late President may just yet overcome the travails and trepidations that now sour
the country’s mood.