An ‘all in’ economic solution

By Paul Gully

Special Projects Editor

 Things aren’t looking good here in America.

Our financial sector is in such shambles that I wouldn’t be surprised if the government started rounding up all of the country’s illegal aliens to see if they can loan us a buck.

I’m sure President Bush is hoping the illegals can clean up this mess as well as he thinks they can clean a hotel room.

The administration is currently working on finalizing a $700 billion bailout plan that, according to Bush, is in the taxpayers’ best interest.

The proposed plan would take our national debt to about the $10 trillion mark.

And don’t look for things to get much better anytime soon.

According to Paul Krugman, professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University and New York Times columnist, “The best scenario for this is the economy is probably going to get worse for another year and the housing market is going to get worse for another two years. This [bailout plan] is not the answer, this is just avoiding disaster.”

But ladies and gentlemen, I have a solution; a quick fix to this seemingly endless problem:  Get the world’s most powerful leaders, sit them down at a table, and get things settled like men, with a high stakes game of Texas Hold’em poker.

At stake in said game: A mere $10,000,000,000,001 — just enough to get us out of our current financial hiccup and pay off our national debt and get us out of the red.

It is well known among Washington insiders that both Bush and Cheney are quite skilled in the craft of poker.

Well, not really, I just made that up. I figure they have to be good at something other than ruining a country in 10 years or less.

As tough as it may be to swallow, the only way of avoiding the administration’s proposed bailout plan, the burden of which falls squarely on the shoulders of taxpayers, is to shuffle up and deal.

The players involved in this elite showdown would be a who’s who of the world leaders.

The first who would be none other than Hu Jintao, the president of the People’s Republic of China. To his left would be a superpower in the Middle East, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran.

The European Union would be well represented with Gordon Brown, the prime minister of England, Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France and Italy’s head honcho, Silvio Berlusconi, all at the table.

For comic relief, North Korea’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-Il would be given a seat,

complete with a booster chair.

Representing Russia, Teddy KGB, who would be sitting in for Vladimir Putin. For those who aren’t familiar with Teddy, he’s the ruthless, Oreo Cookie-eating poker player in the 1998 film “Rounders.”

And, of course, representing the U.S., everyone’s favorite fake Texan, George W. Bush.

While many Americans might have a little more faith in one Richard Bruce Cheney when given the option of choosing between the country’s two most powerful men, going with the Dick — the country’s most evil, slimey, conniving, maniacal citizen — just wouldn’t be American.

Surely, sending a real-life version of Batman super-villain The Penguin to rescue us from the depths of our financial abyss is beneath this country.

What fun would that be? Either you lose to him, or he shoots you in the face, like he did with his buddy Harry Whittington.

Folks, the clear choice would be Bush. Think about it, Texas Hold’em is all about strategy.

And while George is rarely the smartest person in a room, he knows a thing or two about strategy.

Bush’s Iraq War strategy is practically a blueprint for poker success, if you’re willing to overlook the blunders.

Take for instance Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in the first place. This follows suit with basic poker strategy. When you have power, bully the short stack.

Or his claims of Iraq’s WMDs, which was clearly a perfectly played bluff.  

Being the poker master that he is, Bush seems to have mastered the art of what I’ll call the surge. Even when things aren’t working, you still have the power, flex your, muscle up the ante, and win with sheer force.

And while I have no explanation or poker rationale for Bush’s premature claims to victory, he does heed to one of the basic tenets of strategy: Always stick to your guns.

Folks, this man would not let us down.

Just picture this scenario: Bush and Ahmadinejad are in a heated hand. Bush is throwing around cash like the U.S. has some to spare, and Mahmoud calls him down.

Bush turns over a pair of jacks. Ahmadinejad shows his two queens and goes to take the pot.

G.W. Bush: “Not so fast there, Ahmi.”

M. Ahmadinejad: “What are you talking about, George, I have the higher pair, I have two queens in my hand — none in my country — but, my pair of queens beats your jacks.”

W: “Not according to your Taliban belief system, Ahmi. Both you and I know that women are not equal to men. So your pair of ladies are beneath my jacks.”

Ahmadinejad: “This is absurd! Iran may be free of gays, but we do not not have a Taliban belief system!”

W: “Well, the pot’s mine anyway.”

Ahmadinejad: “How so?”

W: “First of all, I’m American, so I’m better than you. Second, haven’t you heard the saying,

‘The house always wins?'”

Ahmadinejad: “What does that have to do with poker? There’s no ‘house’ in poker.”

W: “The house, Ahmi, always wins. The White House. America. We always win.”

Bush could not lose.  Regardless of the number of all-ins he was on the losing end of, he could just have the Treasury print up some more money.

He could always borrow a little more from Hu Jintao. Even after he exhausted all monetary options, as we all know, Bush isn’t above gambling with people’s lives. He could always sweeten the pot by throwing a few able-bodied Americans into the mix. I’m sure Hu would be glad to take them — after all, China could always use a few more people for some sweatshop work.

All that aside, doesn’t Bush just fit the part perfectly? He sports a cowboy hat, speaks in a southern accent, rarely answers questions, and has the greatest poker face ever.

Though you could swear he’s lying 100 percent of the time, you’re never completely sure because he’s so absurd.

And the constant look of befuddlement would even throw off the world’s best card players. No one would know when he was bluffing.

Frankly, I doubt George would know either.