WASHINGTON – In a speech at a black-tie meeting of the Periodic Table of the Elements last night, President Obama called on all atoms to share their electrons more equally.
“Electron inequality represents the biggest problem that atoms face today. Disturbingly, chemistry has increasingly become divided into two groups: the electron “haves” and the electron “have-nots”.
“Folks with the fewest number of valence electrons – like sodium, lithium, and potassium – are trapped in an endless cycle of poverty. Any electrons they happen to gather up are almost immediately stolen away by the selfish greed of certain atoms – and I’m looking at you, halogens – chasing after the status symbol of a full “octet” with the rapaciousness of a Wall Street bond trader.”
“Those on the right wing of the periodic table like to tell you that taking electrons away from the poor actually helps them by making them more “positive”. They also spread the misconception that ionic “bonding” is all about sharing electrons. In truth, it’s exploitation – nothing but the “bondage” of the have-nots to the haves through electrostatic attraction.”
“And those on the extreme right of the periodic table – the so-called “noble elements” – don’t even interact with the rest of the atoms on the periodic table. Their attitude is, “I’ve got mine – why should I share?”.
“There’s nothing noble about greed.”
In a press conference afterwards, Vice President Joe Biden elaborated on Obama’s remarks.
“We have two Americas. One rich, and one poor….I know what it’s like to be from a poor working class family, trying to balance the budget around the kitchen table….and there’s table salt on that kitchen table…. and in that table salt, there’s rich chlorine with 8 valence electrons and poor sodium with none… the fact that every working class family has to look at that, every night – well, it’s a slap in the face, to be honest. We need to make this situation more equal.”
One critic pointed out that any effort toward reducing electron inequality in NaCl would result in highly flammable sodium metal and toxic chlorine gas, with potentially disastrous effects for the occupants of the family dinner table.
Biden continued. “We need less ionic “bondage” and more covalent sharing. Look at carbon, where all valence electrons are shared equally. Diamond is the strongest material known, and all the carbon bonds are identical. That isn’t a coincidence. That’s a model of what the elements of this table could achieve.”
Republican Speaker John Boehner, reading a prepared statement, said that he and the Republican leadership will continue to fight for stricter voter ID laws. “It’s crucial for the liberty of our country that we ensure that elections are fair. We’re not going to stand idly by while the Democrats try to push through legislation that allows for more voter fraud.”
When pointed out by a member of the press that Obama’s remarks were about ELECTRON inequality, not election inequality, Boehner’s face went blank.
“What the hell’s an electron?” he asked.