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    NY Times: Election Day

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    January 31, 2005
    Iraqi Election Held; First Step Toward American-Style Democracy Taken

    Powerful Lobbyists For Special Interests To Be Created Next Week

    Iraqis hailed the Iraqi election this past weekend as a "good first step" step toward a representational democracy, but, with a mixture of sadness, hope, and courage, acknowledged that more needed to be done. "We have much to do before we can claim the kind of successful representative democracy that America has," said Fawad Ghreib, an Iraqi election official. "For one thing, in this election we barely had any three-hour-long waits."

    Iraqis expressed disappointment that the election failed to produce a vote which could be settled by lawsuits. "I am afraid that the counting of ballots in all of Iraq is perfectly uniform," said a discouraged Hasseem Wasabi, a Baghdad resident. "Clearly we still have a very long ways to go."

    Iraqis hope to have hackable electronic voting booths in sixty per cent of the country by the time of the next election, with unreliable optical scanners in most of the remaining precincts. "We must remember that American Democracy wasn't built in a day," said Wasabi.

    Iraqi officials were also dismayed by the sixty per cent voter turnout. "That's certainly far too high," said Sam Jabouli, a poll watcher in Fallujah. "There are far too few disaffected citizens. But we are confident that as people see their government in action, we can halve that figure."

    Iraqi officials were said to be troubled that so little money was required to campaign for a government position. "We will not be able to enact a good campaign finance reform bill unless we can build campaign finance abuses," said Jabouli. "We are working on it."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 6:17 AM in News

    January 28, 2005
    Google To Start Indexing Brains

    Plan To Take Over World Well Underway

    Google announced today that, as part of its plan for world domination, it will include people's thoughts in search engines results starting on Monday.

    The move is designed to further increase Google's hold on "everything anybody knows," and accelerate Google's drive to "hold sway over all puny earthlings," according to Google executive Maurice Finster, who laughed diabolically.

    Google's plans include becoming the world's first corporate nation-state, literally ruling the world and "making Microsoft our complete bitch," Finster confided.

    Starting next week, Google will enable users to find gossip, details of secret affairs, who's sleeping with whom, and how many people pick their noses while driving.

    Finster declined to reveal precisely how Google was going to index brains, but mentioned that they involve "harvesting organs."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 8:04 AM in News

    January 26, 2005
    Support For Bush Social Security Plan Increases Among Dead People, Says Bush

    Silence Equals Consent, He Says

    President Bush announced a groundswell of support for his Social Security reform plans among those no longer living. One of Bush's new supporters is the prominently deceased Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the President told reporters today. "So there's one Democrat's vote I know I can count on," Bush said.

    While President Bush acknowledged that his plan might have somewhat weaker support among the living, he expected that "these people" would "sing another tune" if "they were to become unavailable for some reason."

    The President also speculated that some people would give support to his plan after he told people exactly what it was, although he noted that Daniel Moynihan had not needed to wait for the details of his plan, "unlike some of these living folks."

    President Bush declined to specify whether his plan involved the creation of "personal accounts," "private accounts," "investment accounts," or some kind of privatization, saying only that his plan involved allowing folks to do "take some of their stuff and do something with it."

    Meanwhile, Republicans asked President Bush to a better job of selling his plan to those not yet dead.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 3:49 PM in News

    January 21, 2005
    Bush: Exporting Freedom Will Halve Trade Deficit

    In his inaugural address yesterday, President Bush declared that he would decrease the trade deficit by exporting American freedom and spreading it around the world.

    "American freedom is the fire that will spread to all nations and, who knows, maybe they can make barbecue," he said.

    Bush described a program of forcibly exporting "our special brand of American Freedom" all over the globe, and predicted that the export of American Freedom could entirely erase the trade deficit over the course of the next four years.

    Michael Pecklestein, an expert in lamb pickling who was the only expert available as we went to press, said, "The biggest problem with Bush's vision is that value of American freedom is plummeting. As I speak it's only about .77 against the Euro." He also noted that the export of American freedom could result in a domestic shortage of the product.

    Malmook O'Neill, a frequent commentator on game shows, applauded Bush's model of forcible exports, hoping that the Freedom program could be expanded to include the forcible export of other products overseas. "Hopefully we can get rid of those little troll dolls," he added, calling them "unspeakably ugly," and "a blight on the American playscape."

    "We will bring freedom and peace to the rest of the world as quickly as we can," said Bush. "We are only limited by the number of soldiers and weapons available to us," he said.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 9:58 AM in News

    January 20, 2005
    Republicans Excel At Self Parody

    Two months ago it was liberal satire. Now it's conservative self-caricature.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 9:50 PM in NewsOld But Gold

    January 19, 2005
    Inaugural Celebration To Take Up Four Years, 200 Billion Dollars

    Bush Achieves Goal Of Having One Inaugural Ball For Every Campaign Contributor

    The White House announced today that it had planned so many inauguration ceremonies, balls, and celebrations that the inauguration would likely take up to four years to complete, at a cost of over $200 billion dollars.

    "We 're pleased to announce that every cent necessary has been raised privately from individuals who did very well with the tax cuts," said Scott McClellan. He also described the events as "significantly cheaper than the Iraq war."

    The White House reacted quickly to suggestions by critics that the lavish festivities set the wrong tone for a nation embroiled in an expensive war that has claimed thousands of American lives. Officials noted that the celebration would be tempered with many solemn tributes to the troops, and only one peppy tribute to the exercise of unchecked power.

    Indeed, banners hung atop inauguration ballrooms proclaimed the event to be "A Somber Celebration of War," although an angry Dick Cheney was reported to have said, "Damn it. It was supposed to say 'cerebration.'"

    There is to be much quiet meditation on the war as attendees drink champagne, eat caviar, and do the Texas two-step to the sounds of America's greatest Republican musicians.

    "I don't know what we're supposed to be so somber about," said invitee Bucky Trollop, CEO. "I thought the Iraq war was supposed to be this big old success."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 10:04 AM in News

    January 18, 2005
    Bush Used Unique Military Weapon To Win Election

    "Voting Aphrodisiac" Brought Male Voters Into Bush's "Column," So To Speak

    The idea of fostering homosexuality among the enemy figured in a declassified six-year, $7.5 million request from a laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for funding of non-lethal chemical weapon research.
    President Bush used a unique chemical weapon originally developed for U.S. military use to literally woo and seduce male voters in the presidential election, government documents show.

    The weapon, which was originally developed to induce enemy soldiers to drop their weapons and pick up the soldiers to their immediate left, was adapted for domestic use at a cost of "like, a gazillion dollars," said a Pentagon spokesperson.

    The weapon was secretly sprayed on male swing voters to induce them to become deeply enamored of President Bush. The weapon's only side effect is that it causes a deep craving for showtunes, "which is good for the economy," said White House liason Paul Schneckner.

    Brian McFadden was exposed to the weapon a week before the election. "That was when I decided the Iraq war was really virile," said Mcfadden. "I had been on the fence about our foreign policy, but it was then that I realized that the President is a truly appealing leader. And kind of buff."

    Other men exposed to the drug described the President as "really fierce" after exposure.

    "This secret weapon -- which was developed and used at great expense to the American taxpayer -- was used to hoodwink American voters" said Terry McAuliffe, DNC chairman. "But you have to admit that President Bush is really handsome. Has anyone seen my Judy Garland CD?"

    Posted by Tom Burka at 7:57 AM in News

    January 14, 2005
    Dan Rather Only Television Media Flack Not Paid By Government, Reports Show

    Geraldo Rivera Possibly Not Paid Either, Rivera Claims

    New documents subpoenaed by senators showed that the Department of Education and other government agencies have routinely paid almost every television personaliity, anchor, commentator, talk show host, and pundit to plug government programs at some point over the past four years. The entire staff of Fox News netted over a billion dollars in the past year, records show.

    "Now we know where some of those misplaced Iraqi dollars went," said Senator Arlen Specter.

    The White House denied any wrongdoing. "We have a duty to inform the public about government programs," said White House spokesperson Scott McClellan. "And Britt Hume, George Will, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly are part of the public." He explained that after the White House informed them and gave them a little money, they, in turn, informed the rest of the public.

    The informal senate investigation began after it was revealed that Armstrong Williams, a talk show host and columnist, was paid $240,000 of taxpayer money to promote No Child Left Behind.

    The only prominent television personalities who were not paid were Dan Rather and possibly Geraldo Rivera, "Dan Rather because we don't like him," explained a senior White House official, "and Geraldo because he's just a clown."

    Critics of the program were quick to point out inadequacies in the White House "public information" program. "They should have informed the public about the government program to pay Britt Hume and others to plug government programs," said Indiana resident Jamie Fastow.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 6:42 AM in News

    January 8, 2005
    hand_lg.gifWashington Week In Revue

    As the result of a bureaucratic slip-up, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was inadvertently included in the United States government delegation sent to comfort tsunami victims in Southeast Asia.

    "Waves happen," Mr. Rumsfeld told survivors.

    This and other stories here.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 10:41 AM in NewsNotices

    January 7, 2005
    Tenet To Blame For 9/11 Failures, Says CIA Report; Should Be Held Accountable

    Presidential Medal Of Freedom Cannot Be Worn On Thursdays, Agrees Angry President

    A review by the CIA of its pre-9/11 efforts blames George Tenet and a few others for "so ignoring the threat of terrorism" that they failed to prevent the World Trade Center attacks, and calls for Tenet to be severely punished for his shortcomings.

    The administration today said that it had no choice but to follow the recommendation. "We are considering several avenues," said Sheila Wickner, a White House spokesperson. "The President will either give Tenet a stern finger-shaking or rub his nose in the Oval Office carpet."

    Wickner said that the President was not considering taking the Presidential Medal of Freedom back from Tenet, because Tenet deserved the award for his public service. Wickner pointed out that the Medal had been awarded to golfer Arnold Palmer, among others, and that "Tenet himself is pretty amazing with a five-iron."

    The CIA report blames Tenet for ignoring a Presidential Daily Briefing report ("PDB") entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike In The U.S.," saying that Tenet should have tried to impress upon the President that Bin Laden was planning to strike in the United States. Tenet personally briefed the President on the document on August 6, 2001.

    "He should have shaken President Bush by the shoulders or something," said CIA analyst Herman Shrewville, one of those responsible for preparing the CIA critique. "Or maybe read the memo out loud with a Texas twang."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 11:22 AM in News

    January 3, 2005
    New White House Budget Expected To Top Best Selling Fiction Charts

    White House officials bragged that the administration's new budget, which is to show that President Bush can fulfill his campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by 2009, is a "masterpiece," and will become a best selling work of fiction shortly after its release. "People are really going to buy this," said a member of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

    To make the case that President Bush can halve the deficit, White House officials are preparing a "masterful account" that leaves out huge amounts of spending and includes entirely ficticious income.

    "This is a brilliant work of imagination and whimsy," said critic Janet Maslin, in a soon-to-be-published New York Times review.

    White House officials are planning to exclude from the budget the cost of the Iraq war, Social Security, heating oil, travel and gasoline, paper, dry cleaning and payroll.

    The release of the budget will be accompanied by a major advertising campaign with the tagline "If Only We Believe . . ." The White House also plans to spend 50 million dollars on "a small army" of hypnotists who will push the budget. "We can afford it," said a glazed-over John Snow, who rocked back and forth several times as he spoke. "Afforrrrrd itttt," he added.

    Asked how the White House managed to come up with such an innovative and dazzling new work of fiction, OMB "imagineer" Carl Finch said, "Once you've decided to leave about 2 trillion dollars worth of Social Security privatization transition costs out of the budget, you have to ask yourself, why include expenditures at all?"

    "The rest came naturally," he said.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 8:14 AM in News