The Daily Beast asks: what drug is President Obama on? According to his recent medical report, the President's doctors have prescribed "occasional medication use" for "Jet lag/time zone management." Is the President on Provigil?
Provigil is the magical stimulant that keeps you awake and completely alert for days on end without the terrible side-effects of traditional stimulants, like anxiety and addictiveness and euphoria and "being fun." It is supposed to be for people with narcolepsy but obviously the military uses it to create helicopter pilots who can work for 40 hours straight. (It is all pretty terrifying, honestly, because considering that everyone in America who still actually has a job is increasing their "productivity" while getting paid less, how long will it be before like 15% of the population is actually employed and they all work 36-hour shifts? But that's probably a topic for another post.)
Now no one has actually said that the president is taking Povigil. But Daily Beast Special Correspondent for Presidential Speculation Barbara Kantrowitz totally "consulted" some "sleep doctors" and they said it is definitely "one possibility." (It is also an "intriguing possibility.")
Taking Provigil to remain active and alert for days on end is increasingly common in the military, but it is still an off-label use—no one quite knows what the long-term effects of chemically fucking with your sleep cycle might be. So this is obviously an issue of great import!
Of course, another doctor points out that the presidential physician's mention of "time zone managment" might actually be the same boring old methods of avoiding jet lag that business travelers and astornauts have been using for years, and for all we know the medication is over-the-counter Melatonin.
Back in 2003, a reporter asked then-Secretary of State Colin Powell how he dealt with his grueling travel schedule. Powell revealed the miracle drug of the Bush administration:
"Yes," Powell replied. "Well, I wouldn't call them that. They're a wonderful medication-not medication. How would you call it? They're called Ambien, which is very good. You don't use Ambien? Everybody here uses Ambien."
We all know that Ambien has the funniest side-effects of basically any drug that doesn't give you a 4-hour boner. So this admission eventually led to a lot of jokes about sleep-driving, sleep-sex, and sleep-testifying before the UN. But "Jet lag/time zone management, direct physician prescribed program, occasional medication use" could just mean that the President sometimes takes Ambien to fall asleep, not something to stay awake.
None of this matters, of course—any second now Drudge will pick this up and noted drug experts Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh will announce that the President's doctors prescribe him cocaine for his all-night plotting sessions with ACORN.