Recently, a thumb-drive with an audio file on it arrived in my mail. No return address, but I have a Mac, so I'm never too worried about viruses. I jacked it in and heard this secretly recorded call between President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney talking about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Keystone XL pipeline.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney: Hello Barry?

President Barack Obama: Yes, Dick.

Cheney: Just wanted to thank you for that NDAA thing.

Obama: No problemo. But oil tanked today--even though the NDAA has the Iran sanction punishment clause in it, which will keep supply down, and prices up, and we have plenty of oil inventory, so it should have been a wash. Now everyone is freaking out about about the prices. Just tell me, what are you up to this time, Dick? I told you I would OK that stupid pipeline, as long as you kept Rove on the case to keep Palin out of the race. Why are you burying my economy again? Aren't the rates low enough for you?

Cheney: I know that a Palin-Romney ticket brokered at the convention could kill your second term, but don't worry. Mission accomplished on that one. Rove is on the case. And pipelines are never stupid, that's why we went to Afganistan, after all.

Obama: Ok look, Dick, what is it this time?

Cheney: I need you to go along with the pipeline because otherwise BP won't play ball. You see they are still on us with that suit over the Gulf spill!

Obama: Look, last week I signed the damn NDAA bill, like you asked, and before that the pipeline, and I pushed for the Iran oil sanctions, and we got that done. The sanctions should push domestic oil prices up, right? So that's good for you. But the pipeline only buys me like 6,000 construction jobs for 2 years. I'm about to cut a million troops out of the military. You know what that is going to do to my unemployment numbers?

Cheney: Don't be such a whiner. I'm keeping the Palin-Romney ticket out of play for you, and you can thank Carl for that.

Obama: Dick, I gotto book soon...really what now?

Cheney: I made a few calls and cranked up the Iran sanctions for you. That should give you cover for the pipeline and with a little luck, take care of that military wind-down problem.

Obama: But oil's tanking today on that Iran boycott.

Cheney: Right and that's why BP is gonna back off that Halliburton suit over the bill for the Gulf.

Obama: Dick, do you have to be so complicated...always?

Cheney: Listen Barak, it's just business. Sign off on the pipeline and the money I get goes to sweeten BP and get them to back off my back. And Carl takes care of that Palin-Romney ticket. Mission accomplished all around. I mean, how complicated is that?

Obama: Dick, what about the environmental damage from the pipeline and what about all the people who get clobbered with higher heating bills if the Iran sanctions finally drive oil prices up?

Cheney: Let's you keep from raising taxes, out of sympathy, and takes everyone's eyes off that move to end oil subsidies. Still so worried about those moose, or whatever?

Obama: Dick what do you expect me to do now?

Cheney: Just do nothing, Barry. I know I can count on you for that. And don't worry, No Palin, no Romney, you win, just leave it to Carl--and Rupert and Roger, of course. They send regards.

Obama: Those two are gonna rip me a new one. Thanks for bringing them up. Now I've got my reflux again. Dick, you are truly the most heartless person.

Cheney: Good one. I have to remember to tell George that. And not to worry, I'll put in a word for you with R&R, too.