Art and commentary by Kimberly Harris

Posts tagged ‘Barack Obama’

President Obama and Krampus Unwind on the Beach in Hawaii

Krampus and President Obama listen to music on the beach in Hawaii

The Krampus and President Obama are on the beach at Hanauma Bay discussing a contract to punish the members of Congress who have been so naughty in the previous year.

December 5 was Krampus Day in a number of European countries with Teutonic roots. As many of you know, the fierce horned Krampus figures prominently in the folklore of Germany and Austria, and also in the traditions of Hungary and the countries of former Yugoslavia. The role of the Krampus is complementary to that of the benevolent bearded old man who distributes presents to nice children far and wide on Christmas. The Krampus rounds up the naughty children that Santa has passed by and proceeds to whip them with a switch of birch branches. Those who have been exceptionally bad are stuffed into a sack and taken to a remote location in the woods to be devoured by the Krampus.

This year saw an unusually large contingent of naughty children who disobeyed their parents, failed to do their household chores, talked back to their elders, refused to eat their vegetables and got into fights at school. Disciplining the lot of them kept the Krampus very busy and by the time all of the punishment had been meted out, the Krampus was exhausted.

President Obama was likewise very tired from fighting with the Republicans over raising taxes for the rich, saving entitlement programs and avoiding the looming fiscal cliff. The president had just wrapped up a brief chat with the Chancellor of Germany, Andrea Merkel, regarding the debt crisis in Southern Europe when the Chancellor suggested that Mr. Obama invite Krampus to visit him in Hawaii so that they could both unwind on the beach together. Krampus immediately sparked to the idea of escaping the cold German winter and promptly booked a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Honolulu.

Soon after arrival the pair proceeded to Hanauma Bay where they were served heady tropical beverages while being entertained by an exotic dance troupe recruited by the Secret Service. When the show was over, President Obama approached Krampus concerning a possible future contract with the US Department of Justice to castigate all those individuals appearing on the list of naughty legislators that the president has been compiling. Mr. Obama emphasized to Krampus that certain members of Congress had been very, very naughty.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

The Debate

A modern interpretation of Eugene Field’s iconic poem “The Duel” about the fateful clash between the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat who had a terrible spat and ate each other up

Canine Bark Obama prepares to debate feline Kitt Romney

Fierce adversaries Kitt Romney and Bark Obama prepare to confront each other in the first presidential debate on domestic policy

It was high noon in the Colorado mountains high
The fateful hour of debate dreweth nigh
The crowd grew silent anticipating the drama
As fearless Kitt Romney and bold Bark Obama
Side by side at their podiums stood
Praying to avoid gaffes, knock on wood

(“The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Were on site to watch this much-anticipated debate
They two were among the first to see the drama unfold
The Plate winced as Kitt sized up Bark with eyes ice-cold
The Clock shuddered as Bark assessed Kitt with a look most callous
Each candidate was determined to emerge victorious
“No good will come of this,” said the old Dutch clock, looking perturbed
“I foresee a very bad ending,” the Chinese plate all but concurred)

One was a follower of the grey Pachyderm,
Pledged to limit his opponent to a single term
The incumbent was a devoted disciple of the Donkey
Flatly opposed to the vision of that feline Romney

Prominent legislators had coached the two
Briefing them on the issues with much ado
Foreseeing every attack and each defense
And for the practice spared no expense
Senator Portman had stood in for Bark
So Kitt could hone his attacks like a shark
Senator Kerry pretended to be Kitt
Coaching Bark to strike with serious grit

Suddenly the cries from the audience filled the air:
“There’s no difference between this pair”
“All politicians are cut out of the same cheap cloth”
“They should tell us the facts and cut out all the froth”

But a few astute observers were quick to remark
“Look at the cool blue gingham coat sported by Bark”
“And then there’s Kitt’s handsome fur of red calico”
“Either one could be a most formidable foe”

The moderator called the hall to order without delay
“Gentlemen, prepare to confront the issues of the day”
Kitt Romney arched his back in advance of his strike
And with utmost conviction exclaimed into the mike
“Meow, meow, meow!” (“Government has grown far too large!”)
But with ears drawn back and poised to counterattack
Without skipping a beat Bark Obama retorted back
“Arf, arf, arf!!” (“in order to serve us, government needs to be big”)

“So tell us of your achievements, said the moderator”
Accusations and counterclaims swiftly followed from either orator

Bark on the transportation  industry:

“There wasn’t time to design a green aeroplane, so I opted for a fast train”
“I allocated 8 billion for high-speed rail that will grace our nation’s terrain”
“Then I saved the automotive industry from a calamity most feared”
“Graced them with cash with a little help from Ben of the Beard”
“My injection of loot inspired them to create the Chevy Volt”
“A person who would drive any other car is none less than a dolt”

Kitt’s reply:

“You messed with the market and now look at what you have wrought”
“You have spawned a fleet of cars that nobody has bought”
“Volt, Tesla and Leaf all sit in a dealer’s lot as was widely feared”
“In spite of huge rebates, courtesy of your Man with the Beard”
“If that wasn’t enough, you gave half a billion to Fisker-Valmet”
“For an electric sports car to be built in Finland, to our dismay”


Kitt on stimulus

“Your stimulus program had no lasting effects”
“You fleeced the taxpayers with your imprudent projects”
“Solyndra was a dismal failure that squandered half a billion”
“Under your watch the national debt increased by 5 trillion”
“There were no shovel-ready jobs and the money benefited your cronies”
“The country would have done better at the track betting on the ponies”

Bark’s reply:

“I created 4 million jobs by doing things my way”
“$787 million, I mean billion, was a small price to pay”
“The fiscal multiplier is certainly bound to be greater than one”
“In fact GDP is growing so fast that I’m sure I hit a home run”
“There is no need to be concerned about all the spending”
“We are backed by the full faith and credit of Beijing”


Bark on Bain Capital:

“When you were the heartless steward at Bain”
“It is well known that you inflicted considerable pain”
“You and Goldman Sachs cynically used equity extraction”
“To drain the lifeblood from firms for your own gratification”
“You closed factories all the way from Hawaii to Maine”
“And offshored thousands of jobs for your personal gain”

Kitt’s reply:

“You may call me many a name, but a vulture I’m not”
“I saved many a noble brand from ruin or rot”
“If you sleep on a mattress it is most probably a Sealy”
“Your favorite golf clubs came from Sports Authority”
“And that pizza you had for lunch, it’s from Domino’s
“And your laptop was bought at Staples, or was that Joe’s?”


Bark on animal cruelty:

“You strapped your family pet to the top of your sedan”
“You could not find room inside amongst your clan”
“He howled out in terror with the most woeful woof”
“Then poor Seamus panicked and soiled the roof”

Kitt’s reply:

“You shamelessly dined on your faithful four-legged friend”
“In a heartless move that is hard to comprehend”
“You stewed him in sambal sauce and garnished him with greens”
“And then you enjoyed a smoke after they took away his remains”


Suddenly, Bark blurted out:
“I’m not taking any more abuse from you! That’s it!”
“This is the final straw! I’ve had it too!” echoed Kitt

They leapt and charged towards each other with pent-up emotion
Their fangs bared and their claws poised in the angriest fashion
The podiums crashed to the floor with a deafening wham
And the air soon filled with shreds of calico and gingham
It was a truly terrifying sight to behold such a vicious row
The audience rushed to the door with the moderator in tow

Feline Kitt Romney and canine Bark Obama are fighting furiously

After trading insults for most of the debate, a furious fight breaks out between Kitt Romney and Bark Obama

When the janitor arrived late that night
There was little evidence of that epic fight
The dust had settled and the folks were gone
So he stood up the chairs and tidied up until dawn
But as he prepared to go home for some well-earned rest
He was confronted by a crowd of reporters, all well-dressed.

“What became of the debating candidates?” they all asked in chorus.
“We can’t seem to find them anywhere. Do you have a scoop for us?”
The janitor replied politely as he offered them a chair:
“Those quarrelsome two? I have seen neither hide nor hair of that pair”
“But I do know there was a fierce fight in this hall”
“And I did sweep up a tad of fur, as I recall”
“But no siree, I assumed that they both went home to bed”
But the reporters knew better, so the evening news headline read:

Janitor eyewitness states: “There wasn’t a shred of material evidence left!”

(The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Both confirm this was no mere stalemate
Bark ate Kitt and Kitt ate Bark, no question
Tragically ending their ferocious debating session)


Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

Obama’s Magic Loafers and the Solitary Rose

President Obama is on the asteroid Vesta along with a lone rose

President Obama travels to the asteroid Vesta to escape the stress of the debt ceiling debate

On July 6, 2011, President Obama conducted a Twitter Town Hall Meeting where he addressed the future of America’s space program. He spoke enthusiastically about the need to redirect NASA’s vision away from its current model that is rooted in the past and focus instead on aggressive new objectives, like a manned mission to Mars. The president further stated “A good pit stop is an asteroid. I haven’t actually — we haven’t identified the actual asteroid yet, in case people are wondering.”

Late tonight the Dawn spacecraft will rendezvous with the giant asteroid Vesta. Dawn was launched in September 2007 and has now completed the first 117 million mile leg of its historic journey. The probe is scheduled to orbit the protoplanet until July 2012 to take scientific measurements and transmit back images before proceeding on to the asteroid Ceres, where it will arrive in 2015.

As the Dawn spacecraft begins it year-long mission, President Obama is engaging in a difficult mission of his own right here in inner space on Earth. He is tasked with persuading opposing congressional factions to compromise on issues relating to the urgent need to raise the ceiling on the national debt before default occurs on August 2nd. After a particularly acrimonious meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, the President decided to walk out of the negotiations, as it was evident to him that they were going nowhere.

Frustrated and weary by these stressful events, the President concluded that he needed to get away for a spell. Camp David wasn’t really an option, so he decided to perform the ultimate escape to a place where he could experience some peace and quiet and contemplate the state of world affairs in solitude.

With a sharp click of the heels of his magic loafers, a flock of migrating wild geese suddenly appeared and swiftly transported President Obama to Vesta, arriving well ahead of the Dawn probe. To his amazement, the first thing he saw was a lone rose growing in the dry, dusty soil of the arid asteroid.

Recalling a long-forgotten lecture from a world literature class from the distant past, the President realized that he was standing on the very planet that was the home of the Little Prince described by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry nearly 70 years ago. The little man had appeared to Saint-Exupéry in the Sahara Desert where he had performed an emergency landing to repair the engine of the plane he was flying. The President further recalled the conversations the Prince had with the flower and the tenderness with which he cared for it. In particular, he remembered the instance where the Prince was concerned that his beloved flower would be eaten by a sheep during his absence. In comforting the distressed young Prince, Saint-Exupéry promised to draw a muzzle for the sheep so it could not eat the precious flower.

Then, in an inspired flash of genius, President Obama drew two muzzles, one for the House Majority Leader and another for the House Speaker. His problem was finally solved!

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

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