With consumer confidence slipping and gasoline prices soaring, President Bush delivered an unusually dark assessment of the economy at yesterday's Rose Garden press conference, saying the nation was in "very difficult times, very difficult," all while visibly cringing and brandishing a crucifix whenever 'the R word' was used by journalists.
"Our American economy is a gift from the Almighty," the president assured listeners, "and those who use 'the R word' are demonic instruments of Satan."
"We must stand firm behind the Almighty," he insisted.
"If there was a magic wand to wave, I'd be waving it, of course," Mr. Bush said, possibly referring to recent feelers extended across the Atlantic to MoM Auror Harry Potter, reportedly up for sub-rosa consideration as new chairman of the Federal Reserve.
"But there is no magic wand to wave yet. Hey, it took me a while to get us in this fix, I defy Congress to get us out of it before 2010 without using magic."
Mr. Bush was cool to proposals by Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, a Democratic presidential contender, to give Americans a break through massive public works programs and the declaration of war on Germany as an economic stimulus.
The other Democratic contender, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, dismissed the image of a justifiable war alongside anti-fascist British and Russian soldiers as just a gimmick.
"America doesn't want justifiable wars anymore," Mr Obama said, "it wants buzzwords and its non-college track kids lined up in coffins."
"But if I thought it would affect the economy positively," he said, "I would seriously consider it."
Mr. Bush has spent much of his presidency riding high on claims of unparalleled economic growth, but with nine months left in office, he says America has to confront a new reality.
"Face it, I'm a big fat liar, " the president told the assembled Rose Garden reporters.
"I will tell you that these are very difficult times, very difficult," he said, continuing to flinch from use of the word "recession." "But we'll leave it to Satan's hellish minions to actually use 'the R word'."
After all, Mr. Bush added, "Americans already look to their elected leaders in Congress for answers."
The Almighty could not be reached for comment.
Tragic Rabbit, Washingtonian Revelations Review, Pearly Gates