Shinseki Rules Out Suicide
Over V.A. Hospital Scandal

By Jim Berlin

When a South Korean ferryboat capsized last month and over 300 high school students drowned, their school principal – in the Asian tradition of ultimate accountability – committed suicide.

Aware of the practice, President Obama immediately phoned Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki when news broke that over 1,000 veterans have died while awaiting treatment at V.A. hospitals…

“Eric, you’re Japanese, right?”

“My parents are Japanese, Mr. President, but I was born in Hawaii just like you.”

“Close enough. I just wanted you to know you’re no more responsible for this V.A. mess than I am as Commander-in-Chief. Stuff happens. And, well, you know, I wouldn’t want you to be too hard on yourself and do something rash.”

“I’m not going to resign, if that‘s what you’re asking.”

“Heavens no! I was more worried about that Japanese thing you people do when you think you’ve fallen down on the job.”

“Get depressed? No, Mr. President, I’m not

depressed at all. Like you said, stuff happens.”

“Great! But we at least have to be angry. I’ve already told Jay Carney to announce that I’m ‘madder than hell.’ It would be good if you also said you were mad as hell.”

“I’ve already taken care of it, sir. I told the press just today that I’m mad as hell.”

“Excellent. When important people like you and me use common phrases like ‘mad as hell,’ everyone believes us. It shows we’re feeling accountable.”

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