February 26, 2004
Bush To Allow 9/11 Commission To Ask Twenty Questions
President Bush, in the spirit of fully cooperating with the 9/11 commission, has agreed to permit them to ask him twenty questions in a closed session on a Sunday behind the old gnarled oak tree next to the Thomas Jefferson memorial in the dead of night under a new moon during the Year of the Ox.
"We're confident that this compromise is one which the commission will gladly accept," said Scott McClellan. The compromise was the result of "meeting halfway" between the unlimited numbers of questions under oath in an open session that the commission wanted and the President's initial offer of no questions whatsoever in a closed session with a representative of the President, a norwegian hedgehog named Bruce.
Thomas Kean, chairman of the commission, is to ask the first question of the President, namely, "Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?". The last question is expected to be "Does it require specific knowledge to use it?"
"We're pretty sure it's either a verb, or a secret," said vice-chair Lee Hamilton.
"We need to know what went wrong on 9/11 in order to make sure we're doing everything we can to make this country secure," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "The President feels that there is nothing more important than making this country secure -- except, perhaps, getting reelected."
Below the fold »
The twenty questions are, in reverse order:
20. Is it a secret? Yes.
19. Does it require specific knowledge to use it? Yes.
18. Does it bring joy to people? No.
17. Was it invented? No.
16. Does it store information? Yes.
15. Do you use it at night? No.
14. Does it make sound? No.
13. Is it pleasurable? No.
12. Do you know any songs about it? Yes.
11. Is it considered valuable? Probably.
10. Does it grow over time? No.
9. Can it be heard? Yes.
8. Is it man made? Yes.
7. Can you get information by using it? Yes.
6. Does it help accomplish tasks? No.
5. Is it part of something larger? Yes.
4. Is it small? No.
3. Would you find it in an office? Yes.
2. Does it have writing on it? No.
1. Animal, vegetable, mineral, or other? Other.
Questions supplied by 20Q.net.
Answer not yet supplied by President Bush.
« I take my satire straight, thank you.
February 25, 2004
Pentagon Report Warns Bush His Shoelaces Are Untied
Could Trip And Fall, Says Document
The White House recently became concerned about a Pentagon report warning of potential serious problems Bush could face as a result of a "footwear failure" that could "trigger a tragedy."
The report notes that Bush could fall and "skin his knee," causing him discomfort or "embarrassing the nation," and cautioned that a fall into a visiting Prime Minster or during a State visit could "ruin relations with foreign nations for years to come."
The White house has convened a commission to advise the President on the dangers of failing adequately to "secure his podiatric device" and possible remedies, such as "redundant reinforcement" -- double-knotting -- and expects a report as soon as July.
The White House has been so busy with the shoelace report, the general election campaign, and banning gay marriage, that it has not had time to look into a Pentagon report presaging a world disaster --including rioting, nuclear disaster, and apocalypse -- if global warming is not stopped, said Scott McClellan.
"Oh, we have plenty of time," said McClellan. "We have until 2020 before the world as we know it ceases to exist."
Posted by Tom Burka at 12:12 PM
February 24, 2004
Bush Makes Recess Appropriation, Approves Budget, Passes Energy Bill, Eliminates Taxes On Corporations, Declares Congress The "First Chapel of America"
New Laws Good Until Fall of 2005, Says Rove
President Bush, having discovered the power of the "recess appointment" with his elevation of Judges Charles Pickering and William Pryor to higher courts, has invented the "recess bill," which he contends permits him to legally enact laws when Congress is not in session.
Bush said he felt the "recess bill" was a magnificent invention, and that he planned to pass several "recess amendments" to the Constitution banning gay marriage, giving more electoral votes to so-called "red states" and declaring that "just signing up for National Guard duty prior to 1990 constitutes military combat duty for purposes of a political election."
In the meantime, all GOP members of Congress have been denominated "High Priests of the Homeland" under President Bush's new "Religiosity" law passed yesterday.
"May the Lord and all wealthy corporations bless his little born-again soul," said Father Bill Frist (R- Tenn.).
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:00 AM
February 22, 2004
Wardrobe Malfunction Delaying Iraq Elections, Says Bremer
Machinery Of Democracy Not Working Yet
J. Paul Bremer noted yesterday that technical difficulties could delay Iraq elections for up to 15 months.
"The machinery of democracy is in need of repair," he said. He explained that the U.S had over six thousand sprockets of equal rights on order and that "the government transparency module" was out of whack. Also, the United States appears to have been overcharged -- by contractor Halliburton -- for seven hundred thousand Free Speech widgets by $23 billion dollars.
"And there are a number of other technical problems delaying elections -- like the enormous number of religious Shiites who want to make this country into a fundamentalist Moslem theocracy," Bremer added.
Bleb Fusillade, a janitor for the Institute of Middle East Studies, commented, "We didn't bring the right tools, we had the wrong parts and we forgot to read the manual."
February 18, 2004
Iraqi Shiites Want To Rename Sunni Triangle "Tiny Sunni Hexagon"
Democracy in Iraq took yet another giant step forward today as Iraqi Shiites moved to reshape the Sunni triangle into the "tiny Sunni hexagon," and asked that it be excluded from elections "because it has six tiny sides."
Iraqi Sunnis protested, noting that their knowledge of Euclidian geometry showed that the shiites were trying to reduce them from a three-dimensional area to a one-dimensional point.
"It is not fair," said Suad Mothammi, a prominent Sunni cleric and mathematician. "The Shiites want to limit the election to only those people who will vote for them. I thought that you could only get away with that in Florida."
J. Paul Bremer, the U.S. overseer with godlike powers of authority over in , said that he was satisfied that Democracy would "find its way" despite what he called "quibbling" over "little things like votes."
"There's more to democracy than voting," said Bremer. "There's governing -- by which I mean soliciting campaign contributions and keeping your donors happy."
Posted by Tom Burka at 9:34 PM
February 15, 2004
White House Budget Contains Gatefold, 12-page "Emperor's Clothes" Pictorial of Bush
Goal Was To Excite Republican Base
In a bid to make the budget more "campaign-friendly," the 2004 Budget the White released recently contained a nude pictorial on George W. Bush, including a gatefold and a section on "What I Hate" and "Things I Love."
While critics have dubbed the budget a "glorified campaign brochure," others have said that it was a desperate ploy to keep people from actually reading the budget.
"I think they just wanted folks to shudder with disgust and dump all twelve volumes in the garbage. That way no one would know they didn't even include Iraq and Afghanistan war expenditures in there, to start." said Floyd Plume, a reporter for the National Gasket.
Stalwart members of the GOP were also turned off by the pics, saying they would have preferred pictorials on luxury yachts and private jets.
In the future, the White House plans to accept advertisements for the budget, in order to defray the expense of spending increases.
"We want the budget to kind of be the Superbowl of print media," said an unidentified source. "We're hoping for, like, 10 pages from Budweiser alone."
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:54 PM
February 13, 2004
Bush Seen In Close Contact With Jane Fonda Video
Former college roommates of George W. Bush brandished allegations that Bush had engaged in "sexual relations" with the Jane Fonda video "Barbarella."
Bush allegedly spent a great deal of time with the video, called it "her," and made everyone leave the room when he was "on a date" with it. The roommates had agreed upon a code they used to signal when they needed the room to themselves, and whenever George was watching Barbarella, he hung his jockstrap on the front doorknob.
Bush reportedly slept with the Barbarella video under his pillow; he refused to let any of us roomies watch it, claiming that they were trying to steal "his girlfriend," said roommate Casparagus "Woofty" Kling III, heir to the Woofty Clothes Softener fortune.
"Now that I recall his relationship with "Hanoi Jane" Fonda, I question his ability to lead the troops," said Woofty. "Not to mention that he also hung out with that hooker in Klute."
Posted by Tom Burka at 1:41 PM
Intern Says Kerry And Matt Drudge Having Affair
A former intern who Matt Drudge claimed had had an affair with John Kerry called those allegations untrue, and released several photographs allegedly documenting an affair between John Kerry and Matt Drudge that had "gone on for years."
One photo shows Matt Drudge wearing his trademark goofy hat at a Washington fundrasier for desperate journalists; Kerry can be seen leaning over the hors d'oevres table seventy feet in the background. Kerry's hair appears to be munching on some skewered shrimp.
Another photograph shows John Kerry at a football game: a slightly out-of-focus Drudge is being tossed out of the press booth by legitimate sports reporters several rows up in the background.
"Obviously, these two were involved," said the intern.
The former Kerry intern, Blubba Iphagenia Fisk, intimated that news that rumors that Kerry and Drudge were once involved in a torrid affair was sending both Kerry and Drudge's spin factories into overtime preparing for what she called "a media onslaught."
The New York Times immediately published an article highlighting that insinuations entitled "Is it ethical to publish unsubstantiated assertions of bipartisan homosexual romping by Presidential candidate John Kerry?"
Posted by Tom Burka at 1:30 PM
February 12, 2004
On February 6, 2003, I wrote my first post, and on February 12, I wrote the first "headlines." One year later, I've had 53,000 odd visitors and 65,000 hits, over 400 entries and 800 comments, and Opinions You Should Have is "syndicated" weekly to two other sites. Technorati says I now have 143 inbound blogs and 156 inbound links, which is a long way from all-around zero last February. Plus, I got an iPod.
I have to thank the many, many people who sent me kind words, or posted them here, who linked to me or just read the satire and laughed. (For those of you who don't like me or the site, these are the people to blame.)
Below the fold »
The first link I got was from Andrew Dimn of Byte Back, the second from Eric Tam of Antidotal, and the third was probably Jane Finch of Classless Warfare, who gave me my first real bounce from her many links and encouragement. I very quickly discovered that bloggers -- particularly, but not limited to, lefty bloggers -- make up an extremely friendly and mutually supportive community dedicated to the exchange of ideas and the advancement of political discourse, which was dying out away from the web.
I wrote to Kos early on and he took the time to give me some helpful advice back in my days at blogspot, absolutely amazing considering the volume of emails he receives. Skippy was the first truly big league blogger who said nice things and also gave me some of the Skippy Roo action. Jo Fish of Democratic Veteran, introduced me unbidden to the fantastic Tbogg, who kicked up my daily visits bigtime with his plugs. Early on Nathan of Brain Fertilizer linked to me for my humor in spite of our different politics and demonstrated the generosity of spirit that I have found everywhere in the Blogosphere. Later on, Der Kommissar of Politburo Diktat echoed that spirit; his praise was welcome. MadKane, the lovely folks at Lunaville, particularly Elvis56, who I am relieved to see hanging around the comments again, all gave me the strength to keep at it. Adam and Rick of the defunct Likely Story deserve thanks as well, and a wave to Editor Bob of the fine online journal Skreed. A special mention to Elayne Riggs, who seems to hold the lefty blogosphere together single-handedly, and whose opinion on comedy must be respected above all else, given her background with the Firesign Theater and her expertise in the field of comics. Of course, my family, for exceptional support. Victor Barall. And I have some mighty fine editors who deserve credit for quality control.
Some of the regulars around here -- Shelly, Bohemian Mama, Andante, Prometheus, NC Progressive, Dr. Banzai, Terry, A Vet, NTodd of the great-hearted Dohiyi Mir, Bryan of Dumka, Mick, Jeremy, and many others all floored me both with their loyalty and the fact that their comments were always funny, often funnier than the articles they commented on. John Isbell was a welcome guest, and I hope he still stops by. Holden Caulfield, who I have never been able to thank personally, regularly posts links ot me at Atrios unbidden, and says nice things too. Thanks to everyone who I failed, through absurd memory drain and ineptitude, to mention.
Thanks to Kevin Hayden of The American Street and Tom Ball of the fine new Daily News Online for inviting me to work with them.
Thanks to all the new readers and to all of the old ones. There are more people to thank, but I'll never thank everyone. Everyone who ever linked to me, and everyone on my blogroll, and everyone who . . .
(This is really a lot worse than the Oscar speeches, but the music is swelling, swelling, and they're leading me offstage . . . )
The internet is people-powered, and the names listed above, and many of the names that aren't, only go to show that Blogtopia (ysctp) is filled with articulate, thoughtful and brilliant thinkers, writers, leaders, the great creative minds of this century, the populist movers and shakers of our time.
It seems a strange thing, but a computer, some software, and the internet, and this fine community, have given me hope that we can change this country for the better, and some small share of power -- to change it. That's no small thing. You really can't thank people enough for giving you hope.
Jane linked to me again today, which is as fine a gift as I can think; it's been a good day, and a fine year. The only thing that could improve upon it is when the press start calling Bush's DWI conviction a conviction, instead of an "arrest." We'll see. . . .
Update: Mr. K of Rule42 has been a great and regular commenter, and Charles of Little Green Footballs drops by to gawk, which I appreciate.
Update update: And thanks to Unknown News! And Nick Barlow!
« I take my satire straight, thank you.
Posted by Tom Burka at 10:39 PM
White House Concerned Obsession With Lying About National Guard Could Distract Nation From Current Lies
The White House is losing patience with America's preoccupation with President Bush's lies about his National Guard duty and records, said Scott McClellan.
"We tell far more important lies every day," leaked Press Secretary McClellan. "America should be concerned with what President Bush is saying today, not what he said yesterday."
Patty Flagellum, of the National Institute for the Study of Bush's Untruths, explained that the public is confused. "Allegations that the President lied about were relatively easy for Americans to understand," she said. "With the National Guard, it is hard to see where the lies are. Was President Bush lying about being AWOL in the National Guard, not being AWOL but lying about it anyway, or --regardless of the AWOL issue -- simply lying to Tim Russert when he promised to release the records?"
"There are so many possible lies, it's a staggeringly difficult job to sort them out. That's where we come in," said Flagellum, who maintains a staff of over three hundred who track, chart, graph, and organize the President's "lacks of truth."
"The National Guard issue is just one tiny flap. We have to cover all of the untruths spoken on every conceivable issue."
"This really would have been impossible before the invention of the computer," said Flagellum.
Posted by Tom Burka at 9:45 AM
February 10, 2004
Ex-American Airlines Pilot Hired To Fly Airforce One
A former American Airlines pilot -- who lost his job after he asked all the Christians on a recent flight to raise their hands, told the other passengers to "discuss their faith" with them, and then called non-Christians crazy -- was hired today to pilot Airforce One. According to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, "This guy sounds like our kind of people."
McClellan also explained that the President likes to get everyone on the plane raising their hands except Paul Wolfowitz, "who gets really pissed off."
"It's a hoot," said McClellan. "Everybody's waving their hands, and telling Wolfowitz, 'Come on, Paul, talk to us,' and Wolfowitz gets all red. It's really funny."
Attorney General John Ashcroft was said to be outraged when American Airlines took disciplinary action against the pilot. Ashcroft was poring over private records of women who had sought partial-birth abortions when he heard the news.
"God was that man's co-pilot," said Ashcroft. "The Holy Ghost was his in-flight navigator. His stewardess was Mary and his ground crew was probably Joseph. I can't tell you who refueled his plane, but I'll get back to you just as soon as I've replaced the Constitution with a copy of my personal bible."
Update: Lars Doornbos has illustrated this story. Go visit him here! You have to scroll down to the February 10 entry, no permalinks, sorry.
Cross-posted on the Daily News Online.
Posted by Tom Burka at 10:33 PM
February 8, 2004
Bush Says Saddam Could Have Shared Weapons With Evil Cartoon Villains
President Bush: There was no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a danger to America.Bush continued, "Or maybe an evil cartoon villain -- say, a Wile E. Coyote, a Joker, a Penguin."
Tim Russert : In what way?
President Bush: Well, because he had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon. . . . But he had the capacity to make a weapon and then let that weapon fall into the hands of a shadowy terrorist network.
Bush alleged that Hussein may have been ready to connect to the infamous Acme corporation, and that "he could have purchased Acme Rocket Shoes and Acme Instant Exploding Birdseed from an African nation."
Bush also noted that he was concerned that, had he not invaded Iraq, Hussein might eventually have joined forces with the Riddler. "Riddle me this, Tim," Bush drawled. "When is a non-threat really a threat? When he can become a threat."
He also said that Saddam had massive quantities of hypothetical weapons that he could some day develop and manufacture. "These hypothetical wepaons were everywhere, but they hadn't been made yet, which is why the inspectors couldn't find them. It was a diabolically clever ruse. It would have succeeded except for the fact that I invaded Iraq and disarmed him."
"Give a Doctor Octopus a batch of hypothetical weapons, and I don't think he'd sit around not using them, Tim."
Tim Russert pressed Bush for answers. "But isn't Doctor Octopus an imaginary villain? A comic book chracter?"
Bush answered, "I would be careful not to denigrate the Guard. The National Guard is a fine institution, and many of our men serve with honor in it, here and in Iraq."
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:07 PM
February 6, 2004
Plame Leak Accidentally Pops Out Of Dick Cheney's Office
In a moment that Dick Cheney called "a telephonic malfunction," aides to Dick Cheney revealed Valerie Plame's role as an undercover CIA officer to the whole country while entire families were watching episodes of "Survivor: White Trash Mountains of West Virginia" and "American Idol: The Golden Calf."
"It was disgusting," said Carlos Influenza of North Bend, Wyoming. "We were sitting down with our TV dinners for a wholesome evening of entertainment when, all of a sudden, the Administration flaunted this woman's non-official cover right in our faces. Little Timmy was shocked. We had to tell him all about covert operations years before he was ready for it."
The Bush Administration, which supposedly vetted the activities of the Vice-President's office, claimed that they had no knowledge of the incident before it occurred. "In rehearsals, neither 'Scooter' Libby nor John Hannah leaked in any way," said Scott McClellan.
A thorough examination of White House telephones is under way. It is said that the White House is considering forcing Libby and Hannah to attend Sunday's Grammy Awards as punishment for the debacle.
Posted by Tom Burka at 3:09 PM
February 5, 2004
Senate Offices Closed Due To Botox Scare
The Offices of the United States Senate were closed today when a vial of what appeared to be Botox turned up in package found in the office of Sen. Earl Hollings.
Capitol employees were shaken by the discovery, which sent Senators and myriad aides scurrying home with clipboards held up to conceal their foreheads.
Representative Tom Delay declared this "the most ominous act of domestic terrorism" he had seen in a long time. There was not a wrinkle to be seen in Mr. Delay's face.
This marks the third time the Capitol has been closed in recent weeks. "First the nip and tuck scandal, then the silicon scare, and now this," said the ever-youthful Sen. John Breaux. "It's chilling."
Rumors were circulating that a search of the Senate Office building after the Botox discovery turned up countless bottles of Grecian Formula 2000 and black hair dye.
"Actually, I'm glad that the offices are closed," said Majority Leader Bill Frist. "It keeps discretionary spending down."
Headline and inspiration by Kevin Hayden of The American Street, where this story is cross-posted.
Posted by Tom Burka at 8:07 AM
February 4, 2004
Lieberman To Enter Race For Republican Nomination
Rove In Denial
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, after dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination, announced that he was vying for the Republicans'. Lieberman has every expectation that he will tie up the "moderate Republican" vote and carry the party.
"George W. Bush ran as a moderate and turned out to be a fanatical rightwing conservative. I will run as moderate Republican and be a conservative right-wing Democrat. I expect to win the nomination handily," said a suave, confident Lieberman this morning.
Karl Rove was said to be confident that the power of a few wealthy extreme right-wing conservatives was greater than that of the numerous middle-class moderate Republicans.
"When has a populist Republican candidate ever won?" asked Rove.
Lieberman said that Rove was right, but this wouldn't stop him. "Yes, the populist Republican candidate who ran in 2000 lost the general election.
"But he became President anyway."
Posted by Tom Burka at 12:38 PM
February 3, 2004
Frequently Asked Questions About Ricin
Why are we talking about Ricin?
In today's more secure American environment, everyone needs to know about Ricin.
Why are we talking about Ricin now? We captured Saddam and the world is safer than it was before.
Listen, we'd be talking about Ricin a lot more if Saddam hadn't been captured.
What ever happened to those Anthrax mailers?
We're talking about Ricin here.
We never caught the people who did it, did we?
This is about Ricin! Forget about the anthrax.
How is the country safer if some guy who mailed Anthrax all over the United States is still at large?
We're talking about Ricin, damn it! Ricin! An amount the size of a grain of salt can kill you!
I thought you said we were worried about dirty bombs.
Today, we're worried about Ricin.
How come we're not doing anything about Pakistan? I heard they actually passed nuclear secrets to some of the "Axis of Evil."
Ricin could be anywhere. You can make it at home, easily and inexpensively.
And isn't bin Laden hiding in South Pakistan? How come the Pakistani government won't let us in there? Isn't our national security at stake? What are we really doing to stop terrorism?
Here. Have some Ricin.
I don't feel any safer.
Posted by Tom Burka at 9:24 AM
February 1, 2004
Bush, Blair Nominated For Irony Awards
Awards ceremonies positively took over Opinions You Should Have for the third day in a row, as Tony Blair and George Bush were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Other nominations included Saddam Hussein, for "Most Benevolent Dictator," Dick Cheney for "Handsomest American," and former Alabama Chief Judge Roy Moore for "Champion of the Separation between Church and State."
The Nobel prize institution, which has been criticized in recent years for being "overly political" and "just silly," took pains to emphasize that the nominations this year reflected a "new seriousness," rather "a complete surrender to the absence of judgment and thought in selecting nominees," as some have said.
"George Bush brilliantly used the military to force peace upon the war-loving is," said Pietra Sjordihorgi, a Swiss philanthropist who tortures small animals to stop animal abuse.
Silica Myoderovich, a Russian scientist who boils old sneakers in order to ameliorate foul smells, commented, "Pre-preemptive war -- involving the use of military force to prevent the contemplation of activities seeking to start programs that might be focused on the development of possible weapons that could be used to start hypothetical wars -- is a brilliant idea."
"It is deserving of some form of pre-recognition," he said, turning on the Superbowl.
Old But Gold
Rice, Powell: Nothing Wrong With Intelligence; It Was Decision-Making That Sucked
Full story here.
Originally published on June 9, 2003.
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:12 AM
Old But Gold