December 31, 2004
What A Year. (Let's Hope The Next Is Nothing Like It.)

A Very Special Opinions You Should Have Report

The management looks back on the past year and, after having downed a couple of shots just to keep looking back on it, recollects the highlights. (And these were the highlights . . .)

January - President Bush started off the year with yet another rousing State of the Union address, followed by his announcement of a really fine jobs program.

February - Tony Blair and George W. Bush were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Paul Bremer announced that a wardrobe malfunction was delaying Iraq's election.

President Bush helpfully suggested that his testimony before the 9/11 Commission take the form of a children's parlor game.

March - President Bush called to congratulate himself on winning the GOP nomination.

Judge Scalia discovered that the nation was in deeper trouble than he imagined, and Condi Rice refused to testify before the 9/11 Commisssion under oath. She had a good excuse.

And Pakistani forces were reported to be closing in on -- Elvis.

April - The White House announced it would build a $100 billion shield against Richard Clarke.

An angry Karen Hughes, attacking John Kerry, said that President Bush would have kept his war medals if he had earned any.

May - When the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib came to light, President Bush immediately found out who was responsible. An endless cycle of outrage threatened to swallow up Washington.

Tom Ridge raised the terrorist threat level from yellow to "yellower."

prexy.jpgJune - President Bush said his umbrella was "working just fine."

America and its media took some slight notice of Reagan's death.

In honor of the Vice President, the Senate revised its voting procedures.

July - The DNC just went wacky -- even before they nominated Kerry.

At the DNC, hope was delayed at a security kiosk. Kerry was nominated.

August - Due to a poor strategy adopted by White House pols, flip-floppers chose Kerry, recognizing him as one of their own.

Florida hurricanes prompted Bush to call Kerry soft on weather, a strategy that was to eventually win him the election.

President Bush appointed the judges of the Summer Olympics to oversee the U.S. election.

September - At the RNC, Rudy Giuliani reminded Americans that President Bush was the only choice to lose the war on terror, and Dick Cheney rallied the delegates as only he could.

October - After the second debate, a spin room tilted off axis, wounding twelve.

As the presidential election drew near, polls showed the race to be virtually tied at four Supreme Court Justices apiece.

November - On November 2, Bush won the election, and immediately claimed a mandate by a whole half of the nation.

While we're tempted to say that we blacked out entirely after November 2, reality quietly ticked on.

Bush announced that he would solve the problem of Social Security insolvency by making the country insolvent.

December - Bernard Kerik's nanny left to spend more time with her family, Donald Rumsfeld aimed to broaden the scope of the Pentagon's disinformation program beyond America's borders, and President Bush showed us all the true meaning of compassionate conservatism.

The whole marvelous year is presented in reverse order here.

Looking back, you have to ask yourself: Can the new year come too soon?

A Happy New Year from the staff at Opinions You Should Have!

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:47 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewYear in Review

December 28, 2004
Bush Urges Americans To Give As Much As He Has

Asks Americans To Cut Pell Grants, Withhold Money For Food, Cut Back on Foreign Aid

In a Christmas Day radio broadcast, President Bush urged Americans to adopt the spirit of giving that he had already embraced in previous months. In the past month or so, President Bush reminded Americans, he had set a fine example by cutting back on college grants, by cutting back on the World Food program, and by drastically reducing the richest nations contribution to other, needier countries.

President Bush said that withholding was spiritually sound. "The Bible tells us that God helps those who help themselves," said Bush. "So give the gift of not giving."

"It's Christmas," said Bush. "So tell someone who desperately needs help to go help themselves."

"Although," he added,, "if you do insist on giving, I've only got a paltry $40 million saved up so far for my inauguration. . ."

Update: Bush followed his own example recently by pledging the relatively tiny sum of $15 million to the tsunami relief effort in Asia. If you must be un-American and give more, Collective Sigh recommends Doctors Without Borders; Bohemian Mama recommends

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:28 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

December 21, 2004
Fact That Iraq War Is Going Poorly Convincing Americans War Is Going Poorly, Complains Bush

Iraqis Also Screwing Up Whole Democracy Thing, Says Bush

In a press conference yesterday, President Bush affirmed that Americans were beginning to believe things were going poorly in Iraq just because things were not going well.

"All of these reports of how poorly things are going in Iraq is having an effect on Americans considering the sitchiation there," Bush said. "They're beginning to think that things are going poorly. And when we think that things are going poorly just because things are going poorly, the insurgents are winning, because that's just what they want us to do," said Bush.

President Bush also said that newly-trained Iraqi forces were "making a mess" of the whole "democracy thing." "Whoever trained these people should be given a good talking to," said Bush. "Or a Presidential Medal of Freedom."

Bush conceded that bombs were having an impact on Iraq. "Because that's what bombs do," he said. "They have an impact and they make these little craters."

President Bush concluded the conference by cautioning Americans not to draw conclusions based upon observable facts or conditions, and instead urged Americans to believe whatever made them "most happiest."

"That's what I do," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:07 AM in News

December 17, 2004
Penny To Be Recalled

In "The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln," to be published next month by Free Press, Mr. C.A. Tripp, a psychologist, subjected almost every word ever written by and about Lincoln to minute analysis. His conclusion is that America's greatest president, the beacon of the Republican Party, was a gay man.
President Bush announced today that he is immediately withdrawing the penny from American currency. He stressed that there was "no time to lose."

"It is high time that this entirely worthless currency be taken out of circulation," Bush said. He denied that Lincoln's alleged gayness had anything to do with his decision. "I don't believe that Lincoln was gay," said the President, "although I admit I no longer feel comfortable handling the penny."

The Republican-controlled Congress has drafted legislation that it intends to pass in an emergency session that will make it a Federal crime to refer to the Republican Party as the "party of Lincoln."

At the White House, an environmental SWAT team dressed in special "clean suits" was seen cordoning off the Lincoln bedroom and bringing in special equipment to perform what White House officials called "a routine sanitization and disinfection" of the area.

Dennis Hastert, Republican representative from Illinois, was worried. "That's not what they mean by 'the Land of Lincoln.'"

Conservatives called for the Lincoln Memorial to be immediately removed to Greenwich Village in New York City.

Senator Frist agreed with the President's decision to withdraw the penny. "This news about Lincoln really brings new meaning to the phrase 'heads or tails.'"

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:20 PM in News

December 15, 2004
Pentagon Seeks To Broaden Scope Of Disinformation Program Beyond American Borders

The Pentagon said today that it was considering expanding the disinformation program it has employed so successfully in the United States to include Europe, Russia, the Arab States, China, and the arctic poles.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld pooh-poohed any suggestion that expanding the program risked squandering America's credibility abroad. "Disinformation appears to have served us well here in the United States," said Rumsfeld, who added that "everything in Iraq is going just we had hoped and planned," and that he expected the January 30 elections to go forward "without a hitch."

The Pentagon's Department of Misinformation -- also known as the "Ministry of Truth" -- is considering planting false stories in foreign newspapers, creating misleading websites, and sending out fake e-mails "in much the same way we do here in the U.S.," said a Pentagon spokesperson.

Rumsfeld was cautiously optimistic about the program's expansion. "You can't do everything," said Rumsfeld. "In the near future, there will probably still be small pockets where reliable information may be obtainable. But we're confident that in ten or twelve years we can fix that."

Rumsfeld denied that the disinformation program had already been in full swing for several years. "Oh, no," he said. "Believe me."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:17 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

December 13, 2004
Kerik Nanny Left Job To Spend More Time with Her Family

The nanny Mr. Kerik had employed, who has not yet been identified, left the country about two weeks ago, just prior to the announcement of his nomination, a former New York City official said on Saturday, adding that her departure had been planned for at least two months.
Bernard Kerik's nanny, in a press conference in Canada, told reporters that she had left on amicable terms with Kerik, and that she had left because she had largely completed her duties as a "nomination withdrawal facilitator" and wanted to spend more time with her family.

"I got into this business when I was brought in to solve the Kimba Wood problem years ago," said Marjorie Bumpers, who has gone under the nom de nomination of Juanita Rosario Evita Gasparza, usually posing as an illegal immigrant from El Salvador. In the case of Linda Chavez, she took the name of Magda Vostka, an Armenian refugee. Bumpers is a Canadian accountant.

Bumpers denied that she had left Kerik because she had found working for him distasteful. "Taking care of Bernard Kerik's children and spending time in the Kerik household -- however odious these tasks might have been -- was a small price to pay for the pleasure of knowing that I have helped to make America more secure," said Bumpers. "It's time for me to move on."

Bumpers declined to reveal other public figures that employed her because "they may wish to keep their future nominations in play."

She did say, however, that she had worked illegally for Clarence Thomas, and was surprised that she was not used to withdraw his nomination, but noted that "people sometimes exercise poor judgment."

She vowed to return to public service in the future. "I have every expectation that I will be able to assist administrations with horrifically bad nominees in years to come," Bumpers said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:35 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

December 8, 2004
Iraq CIA Reports Contaminated By Exposure To Liberal Chatter, Says White House

Two recent CIA reports depicting the future of Iraq as exceptionally shaky were the result of too much CIA/FBI electronic eavesdropping on liberal groups in the United States, White House officials charged today.

"We're greatly concerned about what we see as an overdose of reality-based perceptions in these reports," said Dick Cheney.

The two agents who gave the reports -- an Iraq station chief and a senior agent who had made a recent visit to Iraq -- have been placed in a safe house for observation and quarantine, sources revealed. "We think we may have contained the outbreak," said Dr. Ivan van Fromderwear.

The two pessimistic reports were authored after "listening carefully to liberal chatter," an agency spokesperson may or may not have confirmed today, but he denied that that reality had contaminated agents' perceptions.

"CIA Director Goss has made it quite clear that reality has no place in any report used to determine policy in this administration," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:20 PM in News

December 6, 2004
Bush Calls For U.N. Chief's Resignation; Failed To Stop Iraq Invasion, He Complains

President Bush entered the fray surrounding criticism of U.N. Chief Kofi Annan today, saying that he was not as concerned about problems with the oil-for-food program as he was with the U.N.'s inability to promote international peace.

"Kofi Annan failed to stop war from breaking out in Iraq, I can tell you that," said Bush. "That's a poor excuse for a leader of an organization calls itself a vehicle for world peace."

"In Texas, when we have a steer that's not breeding we masculate him," the President told White House reporters. "And Kofi Annan isn't breeding, if you know what I mean.. ."

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte agreed with President Bush. "Kofi Annan knew the inspections were working in Iraq-- yet he utterly failed in his mission to stop the President from just riding roughshod over him. It's time for him to go."

"I hope the next U.N. leader will at least be able to stop me from nuking Iran," said President Bush.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:28 AM in News

December 2, 2004
Iraqi Elections Worth Having If Only One Person Votes, Says Bush

President Bush said Thursday that Iraqi elections should proceed on January 30 as scheduled, even if the security situation in Iraq is so poor that only one person makes it to the polls.

"It's time for Iraqi citizens to go to the polls," Bush told reporters in the Oval Office. "We can't concern ourselves with whether they can actually make it there."

Bush disagreed with the dozens of Iraqi political parties calling for the elections to be delayed. "If even one person votes, that will be a great victory for democracy," said Bush.

Election expert Cody Sudapod of the Hackings Institute agreed with the president. "If even one vote can be cast and accurately counted, the Iraqis will be this much closer to having elections just like we have in America, where we accurately count an undetermined amount of votes more than that."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:50 AM in News