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State of the Union

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State of the Union

The Third and Final Fictive Essay, following


My Lunch with President-Elect Obama


The Meeting in the Annex

Ed Cowan

Having flown in from L.A. the evening before, I was picked up at my hotel in downtown D.C. and taken to the White House in a small limo, much to my surprise. I kept my cool as I was ushered into the edifice of democracy that today is far more powerful than any palace in history was in its day. A very pretty aide was beguiling me with her White House stories as I waited to be summoned when Obama, followed by two aides, surprised us both and entered our waiting room from the hall.


He welcomed me, quickly shaking my hand, and led me into the Oval office after glaring at two aides who seemed ready to follow us. When we were seated, he at his desk and me in a chair in front of it, he didn't waste time on small talk.

"Here are the issues I want to address. The State of the Union... is such a mess... as you know... that ah... Bush has left us... that we decided there would be no official address this year. As for the causes, you've pegged them just about right in our previous talks. Our big worry right now is-"

"Financial meltdown!" I said with raised eyebrows.

He nodded with a little laugh, and added, "Yeah, and as much as I'd like to take the advice of you and her," pointing to Ellen Brown's Web of Debt on his desk, "my hands are tied on some issues and this is one. There is so much to be done... ah so much I'd like to do, but resources and funds are lacking across the board. Nationalizing the Fed and the banks...ah... would be a political 8.0 earth quake, as I'm sure you are aware, Mr. Cowan."

"Yes, but it's just what we need to flatten the greed of the bankers, reclaim the government's exclusive right to create money, and give us the possibility of actually solving problems. We can't solve problems-any problems, Mr. President-until we take charge of our financial sector. So you rejected it?"

He shook his head quickly, almost vehemently. "All I've read so far--I'm halfway through it--is very good, and I'm sure she's got some good suggestions later. I wonder if I'll ever get the chance to try them."

"If you believe that, shouldn't you finish the book and consider her proposals before you write her off"

"I will finish it, but I'm just trying to be honest with you based on what I've read. It all looks simple and cut and dried from where you are, but it's not."

"So, what about the top five problems of the planet?" I asked so as to get the discussion back on my turf and on topics on which we could agree. "What do you now have in mind for our top problems?"

"You may well be very correct about all of them, but there again, I can't start talking about the top five problems of the planet when... ah, getting a handle on a financial meltdown is my main concern." He gave me a grimace of disgust before he turned to stare out the window.

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Ed Cowan attended high school and the University of Texas in Austin, getting his BA in English in 1964. In 1965 he moved to Vermont, became a writer, and spent ten years, most of it on the staff at Montpelier High School after manning a fire tower (more...)
 
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