March 31, 2004
In Nod To 9/11 Commission, American Courts To Start Recording Trial Testimony On Napkins
Will Also Permit Witnesses To Testify Jointly And Simultaneously
The U.S. Court system is adopting an entirely new set of rules for testimonial evidence today in recognition of the 9/11 Commission's novel and persuasively convenient methods of gathering evidence, a spokesman for all American courts said today.
The 9/11 Commission's apparent acceptance of President Bush's offer to testify jointly with Dick Cheney has "revolutionized the taking of testimony in courts everywhere," said legal expert Prof. Dozey Doats.
"Not requiring witnesses to testify under oath and not formally recording their statements totally streamlines the judicial process as we know it," said Prof. Doats. "Why didn't we think of this before?"
As soon as the new rules were announced, prospective witnesses all over America came forward to testify in secret with each other before courts not recording their testimony.
"Being able to testify with your friends is a lot more fun than testifying alone," said 8 year-old Jill Beets, an eyewitness from Montclair, Nebraska, who testified recently at a murder trial jointly with ten of her "bestest" friends.
"I can understand why President Bush wants to testify along with Vice-President Cheney," she said. "Testifying is scary and sometimes you just want someone big to hold your hand."
Posted by Tom Burka at 10:20 AM
March 27, 2004
Democrats Seek to Show Rice's Lips Moving In Effort To Show That She Lied
Seek to Declassify Her Private 9/11 Testimony, Too
Republican Congressional leaders said Friday that they would seek to declassify past Congressional testimony from Richard A. Clarke, President Bush's former counterterrorism chief, in an effort to demonstrate that the former aide had lied this week about Mr. Bush's record.Democrats furious at the move of Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist to declassify Richard Clarke's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee are fighting back, demanding that Rice's testimony before the 9/11 commission be similarly declassified.
Rice recently asked the Commission for the opportunity to testify privately before them a second time, but not under oath, and only while speaking through a large hand puppet.
"It is our view that use of the hand puppet would give Ms. Rice plausible deniability, should anyone challenge her statements," said Michael Musto, a new spokesman for the White House. "If that happens, we will just blame it on the hand puppet."
For her part, Rice categorically denied lying to the Comission in her previous testimony. Rice said that it would be "revisionist history" to say that she was lying when she said that she wasn't lying when she lied before.
"We just want the American people to have the truth," she said of the most famously secretive government in America's history.
"Cross Dick 's heart," she added.
Posted by Tom Burka at 10:25 AM
March 25, 2004
God Asks To Have Name Removed From Pledge
Would Really Rather Not Be Mentioned, He Says
In a startling development in arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday, God appeared and asked to have his name removed from the pledge of allegiance.
"I'd really rather not be bothered," God said. "I'm very busy, and, while I try, in my infinite omniscience, to listen to every girl and boy in America, the pledge is really just a mindless recitation that muddies up the Holy airwaves with empty, patriotic static."
God cautioned that he had nothing against patriotism and that he very much enjoyed almost every rendition of the Star Stangled Banner.
"I'm not a heathen," he said.
Posted by Tom Burka at 12:07 PM
Ridge To Ask For Creation Of Department of Homeland Security Security
Department of Homeland Security Not Secure, He Explains
Tom Ridge asked the White House to create a new cabinet-level position in response to his growing awareness that the Department of Homeland Security is not sufficiently secure.
"Many of the locks don't work," said Ridge at a press conference today. "Anybody can just walk in here. I had a donut and coffee on my desk that just disappeared."
Ridge called on President Bush to create a "Secretary of Homeland Security Security."
Ridge suggested surrounding the building with an 18-foot-high concrete fence to keep out intruders, and starting an inquiry to determine "who drew a mustache on my picture of President Bush."
"The first place to start with security is our own back yard," said Ridge. "And I could use some barb wire and an outdoor grill that you can put 30,000 volts through."
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:34 AM
March 24, 2004
A Letter To The 9/11 Commission From Condoleezza Rice
Dear Members of the 9/11 Commission,
It is with great regret that I write that, unlike every other invited government official, I will not be able to testify before you.
It's not because I won't talk about the Bush Administration's record on counterterrorism to anyone. I do talk about it -- to anyone at any time. I talked about it with Rush Limbaugh, with Larry King, I talked to the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Sacramento Bee, Mad Magazine. I even went on Meet the Press. Yesterday I cornered my postman and talked his ear off for an hour about that ruthlessly dishonest Richard Clarke. I talked to my cat Licks about terrorism for about three hours this morning.
No, it's not that I won't talk about the matters that the Commission is interested in questioning me about. It's because I can't. You see, I suffer in secret from a terrible malady: I have Swearing-Induced Investigatory Commission Immune Deficiency Syndrome. If I testify under oath before an investigatory committee on a matter of the utmost importance to our nation, my entire body will swell up until I burst, suffocate, and implode.
My terrible condition has only recently been diagnosed. It is amplified by the fact that I am allergic to Lying Like A Rug Under Oath Disorder, also known as Llaruod-itis. Although I am fully capable of misrepresenting and even fabricating out of whole cloth "facts" to the American people, I have an as-yet-intractable aversion to lying under oath to them. I am undergoing treatment for this condition, and I hope that someday I will be able to dissemble under oath in the future.
So you see, I cannot testify before this distinguished and most important Commission.
I have a note from a doctor.
"Dr." Condoleezza Rice
National Security Council
A Corner Office In The White House With Lots of Toys For The President To Play With When I'm Meeting With Him
Posted by Tom Burka at 8:38 AM
March 22, 2004
Bush's Road Map For MidEast Peace Outlined Today For First Time
Click On Map To Enlarge
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:48 PM
Pakistani Forces Closing In On Elvis
Flash of Giant Diamond-Studded Belt Buckle Was Key, Say Generals
Pakistani troops in the area of Waziristan report that they have surrounded Elvis Presley and expect to capture him within days. They also assert they are close to a cure for cancer.
Pakistani forces were directed to several villages in Waziristan after flashes of brilliant light reflected from Elvis's belt buckle burned out the image sensors of a U.S. spy satellite hovering overhead. Suspicions were also aroused by the heavy importation of fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches into the area.
"We are not finding Elvis just because because it is the anniversary of the war in , which we have been told to call the war on terror, and because Secretary Powell just named us a non-NATO U.S. ally and bribed us with access to U.S. weaponry, foreign aid and money that we could only have dreamed of some short time ago," said Pakistani leader General Musharraf.
"This is simply a most fortuitous coincidence the like of which would have surprised even Charles Dickens," he said.
Waziristan, best known for being thought to be a fictional locale invented by Dr. Suess, is also known to harbor aliens, U.F.O's, and a Bush Administration offical who speaks only the truth.
March 18, 2004
Nation In Deeper Trouble Than Scalia Imagines
Justice Antonin Scalia rejected demands that he recuse himself from a case involving Vice-President after the Vice President footed the bill for an expensive vacation that he and took together.
"If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court justice can be bought so cheap, the nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined," Justice Scalia wrote in a 21-page memorandum bristling with defiance.
Today, in response to the memo, the Supreme Court unanimously (8-0) declared that the nation is in deeper trouble than Scalia imagines.
"Whenever you have to write 21-pages explaining why there's no appearance of impropriety, there's an appearance of impropriety," said a poorly disguised David Souter in a diner near the Courthouse.
Scalia emphasized in his memo that he "never hunted in the same blind with the vice president," although he did acknowledge occasionally "sharing the same buckshot," "telling the same jokes," and "sharing the same utterly arrogant, fascist view of our own power and authority."
Misunderstanding Of "March Madness" Causes Turmoil, Unrest
Insurgents misunderstanding the meaning of the Americans' "March Madness" have been celebrating the month with explosions, exchanges of shoulder-launched grenades, and chaos. Insurgents were shocked to discover that "March Madness" referred to a popular basketball tournament.
"We thought we were going along with the moment," said stunned insurgent Ismed Pallavi, "We have been creating the March Mayhem, just like all other Americans."
Pallavi was absolutely amazed that "March Madness" meant that he was supposed to enter a betting pool and spend the next several weeks camped out in front of a TV.
"Do I still have time to put some money down on Gonzaga?" he asked.
Professor Irving Mayhew noted that this was just another example of how the gulf between cultural norms in radically different societies can lead to violence.
"The solution is to teach Moslems to love college basketball," he said.
Posted by Tom Burka at 12:11 PM
March 16, 2004
Kerry "Foreign Leader" Statement To Be Defining Issue Of Campaign, Say Pundits
Political pundits lodged all over the mediascape declared today that Kerry's "foreign leaders" statement -- that some foreign leaders had confided in Kerry that he wanted him to win the Presidential election -- will be the single-most important issue in the campaign.
The question for most voters will not be "where does Kerry stand on health care," or "what is his position on jobs or foreign policy," but "when did he say it," and "did he know, when he said it, what he was saying?"
President Bush called Kerry out recently, daring him to name one foreign leader that wanted Kerry to be elected, but Kerry declined, saying that "it would save considerable time if I just named the leaders that didn't."
In a recent poll conducted by Karl Rove, nine out of ten Americans feel that John Kerry's "foreign leaders" claim would be more important to them in choosing a candidate than the current President's abysmal handling of the economy, the war in , and Dick 's ties to Halliburton.
Posted by Tom Burka at 8:34 PM
Gore To Ask For Supreme Court Vote Recount
After a long period of brooding, Al Gore has decided to ask for a recount of the nine Justices' votes in the 2000 election, alleging that "improper vote counting techniques" had resulted in a wrong decision.
"It should have been 4-5, not 5-4. Sandra Day O'Connor assures me that she thought she was voting for me and not Mr. Bush when she wrote her concurring opinion," said Gore at a news conference today.
Justice Clarence Thomas, in a recent speech at Howard University, said that he thought that he had voted for Pat Buchanan.
Mr. Gore is presently collecting the Supreme Court ballots and intends to deliver them to the Palm Beach County Board of Elections for the recount.
Posted by Tom Burka at 9:32 AM
March 15, 2004
Bush Joins Socialist Party
Move Necessary To Secure Hispanic Vote, Says White House
President Bush, determined to lock up the all-important Hispanic vote in America, joined the Socialist Party today. "I want the people of Mexico to know that I sympathize with their terrible tragedy and that I'm there for them," said Bush.
"He meant to say Spain," said an advisor.
Bush is to fly immediately to Spain for a photo opportunity with Spain's new Prime Minister, Socialist Party leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
"If we can't line up a pic with Zapatero, we're willing to fly Bush for a picture with anyone who looks like they might be Hispanic or, at least speaks Spanish," said a senior White House official. White House aides were said to be looking to arrange a picture of the President offering a giant plastic taco on a platter to Spanish troops in . There was some discussion of photoshopping it.
"The age of digital photo opportunities has arrived," said "el jefe Karl Rove del Valencia," as he will henceforth be known. "Look, if we can digitally correct the President's speeches for campaign ads, what's the problem with creating photos out of whole cloth? No es una problema, claro."
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:36 AM
March 12, 2004
Seniors Should Be Given Expiration Dates To Pay For Tax Cuts, Says Greenspan
Alan Greenspan acknowledged recently that George W. Bush's almost fetishistic tax cuts could, indeed, make it impossible to fund Social Security, but said that it should not be a problem as long as senior citizens were given expiration dates upon which they were required to expire.
Expiration dates could be easily tattooed on the back of Americans' necks, Greenspan said. He also proposed that the expiration requirement contain a grandfather clause permitting the continued existence of extremely wealthy grandfathers.
Asked if rolling back the tax cuts was a more reasonable option than such drastic measures, Greenspan replied, "The tax cuts were absolutely necessary to allow Americans to live in a robust economy."
"For at least a little while," he added.
Posted by Tom Burka at 10:43 AM
March 10, 2004
GOP Says Democratic "Shadow Government" Violates Laws Against Cloning
A recent initiative by Democrats to form a "shadow government" critical of the Bush Administration, on everything from foreign policy to domestic spending, violates natural and legislated laws against human cloning, say Republicans.
"This is spitting in the face of God, pure and simple," said House Majority leader Tom Delay. "It's an outrage."
Some have been urging the Democrats to create a "shadow government" -- in which a person or opposition party comments on what the people in power are doing and describes an alternate course -- but now the GOP says it is illegal.
"You see what happens when you let stem cell research go unchecked? This is precisely the kind of conduct we proscribed," said Delay. "Next thing you know, there will be two Bill Clintons."
The Democrats have created a "shadow White House" -- mostly from Legos -- a shadow cabinet, a shadow Capitol Building, and "what's the most fun," according to Terry Griebling of Menachem's List, "is the shadow Air Force One, which we're hoping we can get to fly." The shadow Air Force One is presently a large model of a plane that Democrats can put on their heads like a hat and run around with while saying "whoosh!" and "vrroom, vrooom!"
The shadow government has been formed by a coalition of some well-funded anti-Bush, pro-Democratic organizations, such as Move-On.org, Get-Out.net, and Go-Away.com.
In other news, Republicans revealed that they are against using "soft money" donations to benefit Democrats. "We're pretty much against most types of campaign finance reform, but we're very much in favor of strong restrictions on the financing of Democratic campaigns," said a spokesman for the RNC.
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:31 AM
March 9, 2004
Rove Blameless; Only Savaged Plame And Wilson After Leak
In a new article out this afternoon investigative journalist Murray Waas reports that in an FBI interview last October Karl Rove admitted that "he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists."
Rove also apparently mentioned "at least six other administration officials who were involved in the effort to discredit Wilson."
However, Rove insisted that he did this only after Plame's name appeared in Novak's column; and that he was not Novak's source.
Fans of Karl Rove were relieved to hear that Rove and six other White House officials only maimed and tortured Joseph Wilson's and Valerie Plame's reputations only after some "other, less moral" person illegally had leaked Plame's identity to Robert Novak.
"I'm so happy to know that Karl's motives and methods are still unimpeachable," said Lissa Crappollinio, President of the Roviators, a prominent Rove fan club.
"He's so dreamy," she sighed.
Rove and six other White House offiicials, acting under Rove's direction to "make Wilson wish he'd never been born," and to put Plame's career "so deep in the toilet it'll only surface in a Beijing outhouse" definitely "didn't make one slur" before Novak "signalled the start of the campaign," Rove told the FBI.
The FBI interview with Rove had a rocky start at first, according to FBI Special Agent Howard Abstruse. "He kept saying, 'Do you know who I am? Do you? Do you know who the f--- you're dealing with?' And we'd say, yes, that's why we came to the White House to talk to you. And then he'd just start all over again."
"Boy, we all can breathe easier now that we now that we know that he just took someone's else's plan to discredit Wilson by ruining his wife's life," said Crappollinio.
"What a man," she sighed.
Posted by Tom Burka at 12:02 PM
March 8, 2004
Interim Constitution Still Signed
Could Last Until Thursday, Some Say
In a watershed development in the history of Iraq, the interim constitution signed today by the Governing Council is reported to appear to be still signed as late as this afternoon, reports the Washington Post.
Moslem factions in the governing council were said to be quite happy with the document, which they said "makes a great dish towel," and "is suitable for flaming."
Some of the governing council had stronger feelings about the constitution. "This law, it suck," said council member Boswani Madbitten, "I spit on it while I sign it. I take law out to woodshed and beat it with stick, and then I sign it."
Bob Tonsil of the soon-to-be-formed American Embassy in Iraq, said, "We've made real progress. This piece of paper will easily wipe out the virulent ethnic and religious infighting that has fractured for the past century."
He was optimistic about reopening the Embassy soon. "I'm really looking forward to opening the embassy, living in a building, and eating food," he said.
Posted by Tom Burka at 5:51 PM
Shiites Pause For Dramatic Effect Before Signing Constitution
Earlier Refusal Was Simply Ploy To Build Excitement, Says Sheik
Iraqi Shiites claimed that their refusal to sign the interim Iraqi constitution last week was just a "device to build dramatic tension," said representatives of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani after today's signing.
"Wasn't that great? Wasn't that a cliffhanger with a magnificent surprise ending?" said Fouad Pajami, Professor of History of Mideastern Cinema at NorthWestern University. "They always intended to sign it, but isn't it more fun this way? They want to make sure that is the nation everyone loves to watch and they are succeeding."
"We've got some real twists and turns set up for the coming elections," said Butwad al'Futari, "Riots, some explosions -- but in the end everything will work out, and we will all hug. Kind of like an episode of Seventh Heaven."
Pajami indicated that al'Futari was largely correct, but said that he was probably thinking of the Iraqi hourlong family drama, "Seventh Circle of Heaven."
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:42 AM
March 5, 2004
Report Finds Spying On Senate Democrats Detracted From Hunt For Al Qaeda
Precious Resources Diverted To Fight Against "Phantom Foe"
For the past 18 months, the hunt for al Qaeda and bin Laden was starved for resources that had been diverted to mounting a no-holds-barred offensive against a shadowy opponent that GOP members claimed "threatened the very security of the American nation."
That enemy was Senate Democrats, according to a report filed by the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms today.
According to the report, GOP aides diverted resources from the hunt for Osama to engage in unauthorized and possibly illegal spying on Senate Democrats in what they are now calling "a war of necessity."
Orrin Hatch assailed the practice, saying he was "shocked -- shocked" to hear of it -- and added that he "couldn't believe that William Bennett was gambling either."
Hatch and other Senate Republicans were pleased that, despite the unpleasantness, crucial resources diverted to the "secret war" have now been freed up, and "finally the U.S. can start hunting Osama 24/7."
"Concentrating all our resources on searching for bin Laden every hour of every day is a great idea," said White House spokesperson Squid Molineaux. "I wonder why we didn't think of it before?"
Posted by Tom Burka at 7:08 AM
March 4, 2004
Bush Calls To Congratulate Self On GOP Nomination
After George W. Bush called John Kerry on Tuesday night to congratulate him on apparently securing the Democratic nomination, President Bush called himself to "let me know how appreciative and impressed I am at my having locked up the GOP nomination."
"It seemed like the natural and right thing to do," said Bush, recounting the phone call to several captive aides the next day.
The first couple times Bush called he got a busy signal. "Apparently I was talking to someone else, " he said.
"When I did get through, we had a nice conversation. I was very warm and personable."
Bush explained his phone calls. "I did it because I'm engaged in politics. I follow it closely. I guess you could say I'm married to it."
"I sure hope it doesn't divorce me," Bush added. "I would hate to pay the alimony."
March 2, 2004
Cheney Will Not Drop Self From Ballot, He Says
Today, Dick Cheney brushed aside speculation that he might consider replacing himself with someone else on Bush's re-election ticket.
"I've asked me to serve with Bush on the ticket again for the next four years," said Cheney in an interview with Fox News. "I told me I'm happy to do that and as long as I want me in that spot, I plan to serve," he said.
Cheney continued, "I don't know of anyone else who can pose as vice-president and totally run the country as well as I have, in accord with my wishes. I don't think anyone else could do as good a job running the country as I've dictated it should be run."
Asked whether Bush should make the decision as to who fills the Vice President's slot on the GOP ticket, Cheney said, "He already has. I told him what to decide last Tuesday."
Posted by Tom Burka at 3:45 PM
Opinions You Should Have Newsroom Struck by Lightning; Power Surge Shorts Out Managing Editor
The newsroom was struck by lightning as recently as last Friday, shorting out the managing editor, and plunging the staff of O*Y*S*H into chaos. Scores of great stories were incinerated on the way to press.
The managing editor is being taped together with duct tape (which can fix anything, really). Barring another national disaster, we expect business to resume as usual by this evening.
Posted by Tom Burka at 3:13 PM