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    NY Times: Election Day

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    February 25, 2005
    Bush Talk Of Spreading Democracy Causes Widespread Panic

    Some Democracies Accidentally Evacuated

    President Bush's remarks to foreign leaders about spreading democracy caused a widespread panic this week among individuals and nations who were uncertain as to the import of his remarks. Early in the week, Bush told foreign leaders that he would spread democracy throughout the world so that the flower of liberty will continue to bloom and grow. "We have spread democracy all around and planted the seeds of liberty," said Bush. "If you water that seed, there'll be lots of fruits." Bush then pledged to "aggressively spread democracy everywhere."

    His remarks alarmed many, and several small democracies, and one theocratic monarchy, evacuated pending clarification from the United States.

    After his remarks about the spread of democracy, President Bush talked about "being tough with the moolahs," which quickly plunged economic markets around the world into a downward spiral. White House spokespersons later clarified that the President's words should not have panicked anyone, because the President "did not mean what he said," and "was not sure what he was talking about."

    A poll found that Bush's statements about spreading democracy were slightly better received in Western Europe than elsewhere: 68% of Western Europeans did not trust Bush to spread democracy, and 68% thought that Bush was talking about spreading something else. "I know what he was talking about, but I think he meant 'compost,'" said Gerhadt Sheinmutter, a German gardener. Nine out of ten Europeans also mentioned that they did not need a Bush spread, whatever it was, because they had Nutella.

    In the wake of the reaction to his remarks, President Bush today promised to speak more plainly, but noted that he "was keeping his options open."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 12:00 PM in News

    February 18, 2005
    Admitting Prostitutes To White House Part Of New Outreach Program, Officials Say

    The Bush Administration today said that its credentialing of a Republican prostitute to the White House press pool was part of a job training and escort outreach initiative. "It's part of a program of good works," said Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

    The White House was trying to explain why Jim Guckart was given daily access to the White House for the last two years. Guckart, who went by the name of Jeff Gannon in the Briefing Room, has been credentialed as a member of the press corps, and received a White House press pass even before he had ever become a journalist, Salon now reports.

    Escort Asked to Visit White House At No Charge, Says McClellan

    The White House denied that it had paid Guckart to come to the White House press corps to spend time with with Ari Fleischer, Scott McClellan and President Bush. Although Guckert's x-rated web sites offer Guckart's male escort services for $200 an hour, or $1500 a weekend, the White House said it did not pay those rates. "He didn't charge us anything for the weekdays," said Scott McClellan, "and he was never here on weekends."

    White House officials denied that they had issued credentials to Guckart because he was a Republican prostitute. "We credential escorts regardless of their party affiliation," Scott McClellan said. When pressed, McClellan admitted that, so far as he knew, none of the rest of the the White House press corps were "professionals."

    McClellan said that the White House was not concerned about any security risks that might be associated with the admission of professional escorts to the White House. "When you take the necessary precautions, it's almost entirely safe," he said.

    At least one prominent Democrat was not pleased with the so-called program. "I have a suggestion," said Congressman John Conyers. "Abstinence."

    Update: TBogg connects the dots.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 8:08 AM in News

    February 16, 2005
    Feburary 15 To Be Designated National Judge William H. Pryor Day

    Judge To Be Renominated Every Year In New Federal Holiday Ritual

    George W. Bush today announced the creation of a new government holiday called Judge William H. Pryor Day. Every year, the President explained, whoever is President will nominate Judge William Pryor, Judge Priscilla Owen, and other judges that no Congress could possibly confirm for federal appeals court seats. "Senators will spend the day marching around the Capitol, wearing colorful ties, shaking fingers at one another, giving entertaining speeches, and breaking for lunch," said the President. "It'll be a great American hoot."

    Americans were delighted at the creation of yet another federal holiday. "Does this mean another day I need a sitter for the kids?" said Daisy Allen, an accounts receivable clerk from Michigan.

    "I'm just happy to see our government moving forward, getting important things done," said Willifred Mimmsler of Georgia.

    Republicans and Democrats alike shared their delight with the new annual rite. "This is a pleasant break from our normal job of pushing bills through Congress written almost entirely by large and powerful corporations," said Senator Bill Frist.

    "Sometimes you get tired of watering down the few good bills that make it to the Senate floor by slapping endless compromise provisions onto them," agreed Senator John Sununu.

    "It is so very wearying sometimes to constantly offer lukewarm dissent and then finally cave," agreed Sen. Diane Feinstein. "This makes for a very nice change."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 10:14 AM in

    February 9, 2005
    Makers Of Zoloft To Create New Pill Based On Bush's Outlook

    The manufacturers of Zoloft, a popular antidepressant, announced today that they would begin work on a pill that encapulates President Bush's mental disposition. "No matter how bad things are, this pill will make you believe everything is really great," said Betty Garland, a spokesman for Pfizer. "We think this pill will be a best seller."

    Indeed, preliminary research indicates that the so-called "W is for Wonderful" pill will induce a state of blissful, ignorant euphoria among its users. The idea for the pill arose after polls showed that a whopping 77 per cent of the American people who watched Bush's State of the Union address felt that "all was right with the world" after hearing the speech. This same group of listeners felt that their most pressing concerns involved choosing a new upgrade for their riding mower and finding a dishwashing detergent that doesn't cause "unsightly spotting."

    The pill will be marketed under the slogan, "Come on! Drink the Kool-Aid!'

    Side effects of the pill include blindness, dizziness, addiction, deafness, hypocrititis, ovationoriasis -- an inability to refrain from giving a standing ovation to the most shallow homily --as well as ever-increasing debt and susceptibility to a military draft.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 4:43 PM in News