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Saturday, February 19, 2022

Safe Smoking Kits, Bongs, And Abortion–Joe Biden’s Dilemma: Why Do Sex And Jesus Always Get In The Way Of Policy?

A safe smoking kit may contain alcohol swabs, lip balm, other materials to promote hygiene  and reduce the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis, White House Press Secretary Psaki said in a briefing Wednesday.  The kit is part of the Harm Reduction Grant Program offered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The program's purpose is to help American struggling with substance abuse avoid overdose death.  A safe smoking kit may contain alcohol swabs, lip balm, other materials to promote hygiene and reduce the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis.

The conservative press had a field day.  Not only was Russia amassing troops on the Ukrainian border and war imminent, but inflation was rising to record levels, gas prices were soaring, the country was growing angry at mask and vaccine mandates, and promotion of the cancel culture was everywhere, but the President was spending millions on smoking kits.  Smoking kits?  What a crazy, cockamamie idea.


Even those most loyal to the President asked how the kits, financed to the tune of millions of dollars would have any effect on drug addiction.  The first harm reduction efforts made during the worst of the AIDS epidemic were intended to distribute clean needles and syringes to drug addicts to reduce the risk of HIV infection. The smoking kits had nothing to do with reducing drug addiction, and the issue of intravenous injection was not addressed at all. 

Worst of all, since articles, studies, and public health documents routinely referred to pipes as a component of safe smoking kits, the logical inference was that users would substitute powerful opioids with more recreational drugs like hashish.  After all, why the term ‘smoking kits’ if there was no intention for the user to smoke something?  The idea of kits without pipes and equipped only with alcohol swabs and lip balm was illogical and ludicrous.

Jennifer Psaki had to quickly backpedal and insist at every press conference that the kits were innocuous and meant ‘to do good’; but nobody was buying.  Even if there were no pipes, the whole idea, given the precarious state of the nation, was absurd.  It was a PR disaster even worse than the recent initiative to deploy robot dogs along the Mexican border to detect, deter, and help arrest illegal migrants. Just as the press whooped and hollered with delight over the news of the dogs – images of mechanical dogs with jaws, teeth, and powerful withers and haunches just like the massive German Shepherds let loose on civil rights demonstrators in Selma went viral – it went over the moon with stories of federally funded crack heads and dopers.

Image result for images robot dogs on mexican border

“I told you it was a bad idea, Joe”, Jill Biden said to her husband as he read the headlines in the Washington Post over breakfast.

But just as he had been adamant about a humane, generous, and forgiving approach to the illegal migrants headed for El Norte, he was equally committed to doing the right thing about drugs.  “Nasty business, that”, said the President.  “Never tried it, should have, missed out, always on the outside, getting drunk on Thunderbird, disgusting when I could have had any girl I wanted”.

Indeed the President had missed out on high times. “Too Catholic”, he said, blessing himself, " too goddamned Catholic for my own good, and here I am peddling abortion and homosexuality”, blessing himself again and touching the medal of the Virgin Mary under his doublet.  “I wonder how many times I have to confess the same sins”, he said out loud to no one, although Jill, concerned about his more and more frequent flights of guilt, was standing by her dressing table.  “There are thousands of abortions in this country each day; and half of them might never have happened if it weren't for me.  I would be in the confessional all week long if my penance had to cover allof them.”

Image result for images catholic confessional

“We’ve been through this before, dear”, said his wife, and indeed they had.  They had called in the most liberal, progressive-minded bishop on the West Coast for consultation.  The President knew enough to stay away from the East Coast, long dominated by his kin, and Irish Catholic priests were the worst, hammering away about sin every Sunday, making him ashamed of the dirty thoughts he had most days, and if he was honest, most times of day.  No, a San Francisco Italian bishop would be the right choice.  They were used to the most godawful sins in that city, so he was likely to get a fair hearing.

The cleric, somewhat humbled sitting across from the President of the United States, was about to make an offering, a libation of forgiveness without actually forgiving him which could only be done in the formal confines of the confessional, and even there he wasn’t sure how he would reply to, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned.  I have committed three million, four hundred thousand abortions”.  A thousand Hail Marys?  Five thousand Our Fathers? Said over what period of time?

In this frame of mind, there was no stemming the President’s troubled fancies.  He did indeed dream of getting stoned with Betty Farmer, and having sex with her over and over again, stoned some more, bathing in champagne, touching her parts, and taking in great big, billowing draughts of smoke, and wondered what it would be like to be stoned these days on all the drugs going around, and even if he was near 80, he was the President after all, and there would be Viagra in addition to Ecstasy…

Image result for images getting high

Jill knew that this was going to be a bad one, convulsions of guilt followed by morbid regret over Betty Farmer, back and forth and having to sort out national policy in a few minutes when the Vice President would come calling.

The President shook his head, and looked at his wife. “Maybe the robot dogs and the smoking kits were bad ideas”, he said.

“No, dear”, Jill replied. “You are just way ahead of your time”.

Nevertheless, once the news about the smoking kits went viral, the press, Republicans, and even members of the President’s own party began calling for his head.  What was he thinking? they wondered, especially with Vladimir Putin encircling Ukraine with Russia’s military might, hand on the gas spigot, ready to divert billions of gallons of crude from Siberia from the West to China.

As he left his chambers, the Vice President met him and handed him the day’s briefing papers.  “It’s getting ugly, Mr. President”, she said. 

A few hours later after he had met and greeted ladies from the DAR and  Mothers for Free Choice, the Vice President took him to the podium of the briefing room, adjusted the teleprompter, barked orders to her attending staff, and gave him a hug.  “Just read it, Joe, and don’t worry about a thing.”

So the President, feeling a bit dodgy after his early morning reveries about Betty Farmer and Father Murphy, couldn’t quite put his heart into the speech.  ‘War, assault, attack, irremediable damage, death, destruction, freedom, imperialism’ were just words with no meaning.  If it weren’t for those imagined days on Lower Broadway and idylls with sweet, luscious Betty Farmer, he could concentrate, put some oomph into his speech, really put the fear of God into that fascist autocrat in the Kremlin; but as it was he could have been reading pages from a car manual.

“Thank you very much”, the President said after the teleprompter went dark, and turned towards the Vice President waiting in the wings; but no sooner had he started to step down from the podium, hands shot up in the press corps, and loud shouts of “Mr. President, Mr. President!!” came from all quarters, and questions were shouted out.  “Are there crack pipes in the smoking kits….Why the lip balm….Are the alcohol swabs related to intravenous injections…What about the Black community? etc.”

This had been one of the President’s worst weeks.  Inflation was at record levels, the bully in the Kremlin wouldn’t listen, robot dogs were attacking brown and black people on the border, and the worst imaginable uses of the smoking kits swirled around him. He couldn’t wait for the door to close on his bedroom for the night, and for Jill to welcome him into her warm bed. 

Once you get stuck in a quagmire, the more you struggle the more you sink.  So the more Jennifer Psaki snapped at reporters and the more the President kept saying, ‘Come on, man” while neither one of them made any sense, the nightmarish brouhaha they had created only made matters worse.  The President lurched this way and that, fumbling his prepared speeches, sending his Vice President, of all people, to Europe to talk Putin down, and looking dazed and confused from morning till night.

“Hang in there, Mr. President”, said an old friend from Delaware.  “It will soon be over”; and indeed it was.  Republicans were poised for a dramatic takeover of the House and Senate with significant majorities, and conservative Republicans were licking their chops at a White House win in 2024. “If only I had fucked Betty Farmer”, the President thought before turning off the light and snuggling up to his wife.

Image result for images donald trump with miss connecticut

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