The latest federal takeover (satire)

WASHINGTON (Satire Wire) - Speaking at the White House this morning, President Barack Obama announced to reporters that, in lieu of his receiving a speaker's fee for his giving the commencement address there on May 17, the Federal government would be acquiring a controlling interest in Notre Dame University. 

Mr. Obama was responding to recent reports that Notre Dame has so far lost $13.9 million in canceled bequests and donations as a result of that Catholic institution's plan to award the pro-choice President an honorary degree at its graduation ceremony. 

He said the Federal government had to "step up to the plate" to help Notre Dame and other private colleges and universities compensate for reduced alumni giving in troubled economic times. 

The infusion is part of a new White House initiative called Grants to Remake All Society's Priorities or GRASP. 

As with the TARP program, which targets banks, all colleges and universities will be required to accept a special GRASP infusion in order not to single out any one educational institution as particularly deserving of the wrath of its infuriated alumni who believe their alma mater is selling her soul to the devil.

"For too long," said Obama, "college and university administrators have hesitated to take bold steps to move their institutions forward, for fear of losing the support of alumni or large individual donors. With this step, we hope to put our nation's educators on a firmer footing, where all they will have to worry about is displeasing me."

Following the precedent he laid down in his Treasury Department's negotiations with General Motors and Chrysler, Mr. Obama said that in return for its infusion of $100 into each college or university, the administration expects to name a new chairman of the board and several new trustees, plus get "dibs" on the naming of any new buildings at America's 4,140 institutions of higher learning.

To administer the GRASP fund, the President said he is appointing William Ayers, professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "He's a guy who lives in my neighborhood," Mr. Obama explained. 

Asked by reporters what changes he foresaw as a result of handing control of the nation's higher education to Ayers-an outspoken enemy of American capitalism, an unrepentant former terrorist, and a long-time advocate of violent Marxist revolution worldwide-the President said, "Actually, very few."

Mr. Obama added that if Notre Dame's president, Fr. John Jenkins, feels that the controversy over the President's scheduled address will detract so much from the graduation ceremony that he feels he must rescind Obama's invitation to speak at the last minute, the President said, "We understand, and we will be wishing Fr. Jenkins all the best in his new endeavors."

In an unrelated matter, responding to reports that Clear Channel Communications, which owns the syndicator of the Rush Limbaugh program, had laid off another 590 workers, the President said his administration was also considering a stake in that company.

Duncan Maxwell Anderson is creative director of High Tor Media, Inc., a producer of books and magazines. E-mail:

editor's note: This is satire. It is not factual, and is presented for entertainment purposes only.