Bush Pardons Turkey, Awards It $25 Billion Bailout

President Bush this week re-enacted a long-standing White House tradition when he issued a symbolic pardon of a Thanksgiving turkey in a Rose Garden ceremony. What began as a simple and corny photo op for local papers left the White House press corps and onlookers alike stunned, however, when President Bush followed the pardon by granting the turkey over $25 billion in TARP bailout funds.

“As a lame duck, I of course feel a natural sympathy with any sitting duck whose goose may be cooked,” Bush explained. “So when I heard that this turkey, long one of the pillars of our nation’s Thanksgiving economy, was a goner, I knew it was time for the sort of swift and decisive government intervention that only I can provide… for the next 8 weeks.”

“Not only has this turkey been a loyal ally in the war on terror, but it is my understanding that it can also provide you with cash for everyday expenses should you become injured and unable to work,” added Bush, apparently confusing the turkey with both the NATO member nation and the AFLAC Duck.

Seizing upon the obvious mistake by the President, the press corps then began a vigorous flurry of questioning until the President explained that the turkey’s pardon had been signed off on by Eric Holder, at which point all questioning strangely ceased.

The President’s action met with immediate disapproval from President-elect Barack Hussein Obama and his transition team, who claimed that the $25 billion bailout was “obviously inadequate for the turkey’s needs,” and that the Obama administration would shortly come forward with details of their secret and much larger plan to save the turkey.

While no one has actually seen the Obama turkey plan, the media immediately claimed that the stock market rose 600 points in jubilation at the mere thought that Obama has plan. When the stock market later fell 800 points in the final hour of trading, MSNBC’s Chris “Tingle Me Elmo” Matthews hypothesized that the stock market had probably become despondent knowing that the Dalai Obama will not be able to implement his Most Holy and Secret Plan until January 20th.

News of the escalating turkey bailout bidding war between Bush and Obama left General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in shock, with GM CEO Rick Wagoner at one point seen sobbing uncontrollably on the White House lawn, crying “WHAT”S SO WRONG WITH ME? WHY CAN’T I GET A MEASLY FEW BILLION?” Wagoner was then removed by a White House security detail in order to make room for a ceremony in which AIG was presented with an oversized novelty check in the amount of a “Kajillion” dollars. “AIG is too big to fail, just like America itself,” Bush remarked at the ceremony, adding, “where’d you put the insurance turkey from the commercials?”

Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson later informed the nation that the $25 billion dollars in turkey bailout funds would not be given to the turkey directly as originally planned by the President, but would instead be spent upon a “secret mix of companies that I decided I liked on the way over here to talk to you idiots today.” When pressed, Paulson first claimed the money would be spent to buy up toxic turkey debt instruments, but by the end of his press conference had changed his mind again and decided to buy an equity stake in poultry more generally. 15 minutes later Paulson had rethought things once more and deposited the money in a series of Turkish banks with hitherto unreported exposure to Lehman Brothers.

In other news, Congress spent the day crafting a new stimulus package in which money would be passed out “willy nilly” according to the language of the bill, mostly to drunks and other Democrats who “could be counted upon to spend it immediately and not waste it on savings or paying off debt. “ President-elect Obama praised the congressional bill, but worried that “it may not go far enough.” The Hang Seng index then popped up 0.1 percent for a few minutes, probably because of the reassuring effect of Obama’s bold worry.

In a related development, London Cranberry futures rose 364 percent then fell 810 percent on rumors that cranberry would or would not receive a piece of the turkey bailout funds, now estimated to total over $74 billion, up from the $25 billion estimated at the start of this article.

Reality was unavailable for comment when this column went to press, and apparently has taken a vacation for the foreseeable future.