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Scene: The set of Sesame Street. Except instead of an urban neighborhood, we see it is now a smallish, dingy office: a typical boiler room sales operation with cheap fluorescent lights and no windows. Rows of desks -- empty, except for telephones -- face a large white board showing weekly sales totals for each salesman. Many of the columns are empty.

At the desks sit the salesmen: Bert and Ernie, the Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Kermit the Frog, Elmo, and (crouched in his garbage can behind one of the desks) Oscar the Grouch. They’re talking nervously among themselves, waiting for a meeting to start. A squirrely looking sales manager (Grover) stands by the door to an inner office behind the white board.

Blake, a Bain Capital executive who looks amazingly like a young Alec Baldwin, strides into the room.

Blake: So you're talking about what? Bitching about some number you forgot to count, some kid that doesn’t like the letter you’re selling, some Miss Piggy you’re trying to screw and so forth? Let’s talk about something IMPORTANT! (to Grover) Are they all here?

Grover: All except Snuffleupagus. He’s still in the shop.

Blake: Well, I'm going anyway.

The Cookie Monster rises and tiptoes towards the door.

Blake: Where do you think you’re going, fur ball?

Cookie Monster: Me go get cookie.

Blake: Sit down. Cookies are for closers.

Oscar the Grouch growls. Blake turns on him.

Blake: Do you think I'm fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I'm here from downtown. I'm here from Mitt and Bain. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. Your name's Oscar?

Oscar growls again.

Blake: You call yourself a muppet, you son of a bitch?

Big Bird: We don't have to listen to this shit!

Blake: You certainly don't pal. 'Cause the good news is -- you're all fired. The bad news is you've got just one week to get your jobs back, starting with this week’s show. Oh, have I got your attention now? ‘Cause we’re adding a little something to this month’s ratings contest. As you know, first prize is a slightly used Olympic dressage horse. Anyone want to see the second prize? (Holds up a CD) Second prize is Mitt and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing God Bless America. Third prize is we zero out your federal funding. You get the picture now? You laughing now?

Now you got the leads. Mitt and Bain paid good money . . .

Elmo: But the leads are in China!

Blake (whiny Elmo voice): ‘Oh, the leads are in China.’ (back to normal arrogant private equity voice) The fucking leads are in China? Your JOB could be in China. Mitt and Bain can make that happen, you know.

Big Bird: What's your name?

Blake: FRIED CHICKEN, that's my name!! And your name is "white meat." You can't play in a real bird’s game. You can't count ‘em. And then you go home and tell your hen your troubles. But only one thing matters in this life! Get them to recite the letter which is dotted. You hear me, you fucking faggots?

Bert and Ernie glance at each other sheepishly.

Blake flips over the white board, which has two sets of letters written on it: ABC, and AIDA.

Blake: A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-counting. Always be counting!! A-I-D-A. Alphabet, illustrate, duplicate, articulate. Alphabet -- teach the little shits the alphabet. Illustrate -- can you draw them a  picture? Duplicate -- can you say it over and over and over again, until you think you're going out of your fucking mind? And articulate -- are they repeating it back to you? A-I-D-A. Now get out there!! You got the four year olds tuning in; you think they tune in to take a nap? Kid doesn't watch unless he wants to count. Sitting out there waiting to GIVE you their candy! Are you gonna take it? Are you muppet enough to take it? (to Oscar) What's your problem pal? You. Oscar.

Oscar: Mitt’s such a big shot, Mitt’s so rich. Why did he send you down here, wasting time on a bunch of losers like us?

Blake takes off his watch.

Blake: You see this watch? Mitt gave me this watch.

Oscar growls.

Blake: This watch costs more than the entire PBS budget. Mitt made $42 million last year. How much you make? You see, pal, that's who Mitt is. And you're nothing. Nice guy? Mitt doesn’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you -- go home and play with . . . well, whatever kinda offspring your species produces. (to everyone) You wanna work here? Count!! (to Kermit) You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you fly sucker? You can't take this -- how you gonna take it when Mitt’s in the White House? You don't like it -- leave. I can go out tonight with the materials you’re made of, and build Mitt and Ann a perfectly good living room sofa. In two hours! The numbers are out there, you count ‘em, they’re yours. If not, you're going to be shining my shoes -- with your fucking foreheads. Bunch of cloth puppets sitting around in a bar (in a mocking weak voice): “Oh yeah, I used to be in children’s educational television, it's a tough racket.”

Blake takes out large stack of red index cards tied together with string from his briefcase. Each one has a large Chinese character painted on it.

Blake: These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry Guangzhou leads. To you, they're gold. And you don't get them. Why? (laughs) Because Mitt and Bain can buy Chinese-made counterfeit muppets for eight cents apiece to dial these leads. Giving them to you would just reduce our profit margin by 0.002 percent. (He hands the stack to Grover) Put these in tonight’s Fed Ex to Shanghai.

Blake: I'd wish you all luck, but you wouldn’t know what to do with it. (to Oscar) And to answer your question, pal: Why am I here? I came here because Mitt asked me to, he asked me for a favor. I said, you want a real favor, follow my advice and fire their fucking asses. They’re all just victims, who believe they’re entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. Your job isn’t to worry about muppets like them -- you’ll never convince ‘em to take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

And you know what? Mitt agrees with me. And come next January, you’re ALL going to find out what THAT means.

Blake glares at Oscar for a second, and then picks up his briefcase and steps into the inner office with Grover. Fade to black.

Originally posted to billmon on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter, Community Spotlight, and Daily Kos.

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