Using Small Words So That You Can Understand: Why the Nice Old Man with the Funny Glasses Can’t Be President Barry’s Health Friend

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02/04/2009 1:42 PM |

“Any scientist who cannot explain to an eight-year-old what he is doing is a charlatan.” –Cat’s Cradle

It is with that in mind that we introduce this new feature here at, in which I attempt to explain the news in such a way that even a small child can understand it.

So, gather ’round Mommy’s skirts, little Timmy and Rebecca and Eammon and Momosuke, while she tells you ’bout what Tom Daschle did wrong.

Every president has a group of friends, who keeps in a place called “the cabinet,” and takes out whenever he needs their advice, like Mommy does with her medicines. And President Barry wanted Tom Daschle to be his health friend, whose job it is to make sure that Mommy can afford her medicine without selling any more of your kidneys. Tom Daschle is a friend of President Barry’s: imagine how you have sleepovers with your friends and stay up all night. It’s like that, only instead of playing Truth or Dare and showing each other their willies, they talk about medicines.

Does President Barry have bunnies or spacemen on his pajamas? I don’t know, I don’t know, I bet if you wrote a letter to the White House they’d be happy to answer it.

Now, President Barry wanted Tom Daschle to be his health friend because Tom Daschle knows a lot about medicines, and he used to be in the Senate, so he would have been a very good health friend.

But what happens to Senators when they’re not in the Senate anymore, but are still alive? That’s right, they go into the “private sector”, which is a place where rich old white people get paid lots of money for being friends with other rich old white people. And people were worried that Tom Daschle had too many other friends to really be President Barry’s best friend.

Also, Tom Daschle is very rich, and doesn’t have to drive his own car. He has someone to drive for him! Like mommy does, for you! But because the car and driver were part of a job, he should have paid taxes on it. But he didn’t, because he had someone called an “accountant,” whose job it is to tell you all the things you are supposed to pay taxes on, and how you can avoid actually paying those taxes.

Now, President Barry is very good to his friends, and knew that Tom Daschle would be a good health friend, and that the Senate would still let him be his health friend, because Tom Daschle used to be a Senator and so it’s like they were all in a club together, like when you slice your palms with Mommy’s kitchen knives and shake hands, and then put the knife back, so that Mommy uses it to slice up your peebeeanjays, and Rebecca has to go to the hospital with a bacterial infection, and Mommy has to sell all your video games to pay for it, because medicines are expensive, remember?

But a lot of people were very mad that President Barry’s health friend didn’t pay his taxes, so Tom Daschle decided that he didn’t want people to be mad at his friend, President Barry, too. So he said it’s ok, I won’t be President Barry’s health friend. He was a very nice man to do that. It’s like how Mommy won’t let you go over to Ari’s house when you’re sick, because you’ll get Ari sick, too. Tom Daschle was con-tay-jus.

There. Now who wants to run the hot water for Mommy to soak her feet in?