March 31, 2005
Help Stop Gannon-On-Wonkette Sex
If you can recover from that image (sorry, we just wanted to get your attention), Sean-Paul at The Agonist has alerted the Editors to the fact that the National Press Club has invited Jeff Gannon to speak on blogging. (They've invited Wonkette, too.)
While we would not be surprised to see Jeff Gannon hired as a neutral commentator on CNN (oops, now we've given them the idea), we join with The Agonist and many bloggers in thinking that the National Press Club panel would be incomplete without one of the fine and serious political bloggers who uncovered the Gannon story. We note that liberal response would be incomplete without some sort of petition.
So, if you're a political blogger, go sign it! You'll find yourself in good company.
Posted by Tom Burka at 6:22 AM
March 21, 2005
Other 293 Million Americans Waiting For Congress To Pass Bills For Them
The success of Congress's record-breakingly speedy passage of a bill specifically crafted for the parents and brother of persistently-vegetative Terry Schiavo induced a furor this morning as America's other 293 million inhabitants eagerly awaited their own "personal legislation."
"I can't wait," said seven-year-old Terry Dooley, who has petitioned Congress to pass legislation ordering Schwinn to give him a new bike.
Americans couldn't be happier that Congress is finally doing something for them. "Now, this is your government at work," said Piper Cobb, who has asked Congress for a law requiring credit card companies to give him an exceptionally low rate of interest with no late payment fees.
"The era of the individually targeted law has arrived," said Professor Anthony Garnabanzo. "Congress has finally abandoned the idea of forging general domestic policies that impact on the entire country."
Tammy Gamble of Illinois has asked Congress to pass a law stopping the accelerating erosion of health care benefits offered by her employer, Sears. "Pretty soon we will not be able to afford the cost of my cancer medication copayment," she said.
Garnabanzo traced the evolution of so-called "personally crafted" legislation back to the advent of George W. Bush's presidency. "When the Supreme Court created a personal private right of action protecting George W. Bush from counting the Florida ballots, it was just a matter of time before they started protecting other people."
UPDATE: Two new developments in the Schiavo case:
God's 15-Year Quest To Call Terri Schiavo Home Delayed By Congress and Doctors Declare Congress "Persistently Vegetative," Petition For Withdrawal of Life Support.
Posted by Tom Burka at 6:31 AM
March 17, 2005
Karen Hughes Perfect Person To Heal U.S. Image on Arab Street, Say Arabs
The Saudi Arabian Government today hailed President Bush's choice of Karen Hughes as a kind of Ambassador to the male-dominated Arab world. This week, Bush appointed Hughes to act as the U.S. emissary charged with healing the United States' image in the Arab world. It is already working, according to some Arabs.
"We used to think the U.S. was supremely arrogant," said Saudi Arabian Wahdi Feisal. "Now -- we don't know what to think."
"In the Arab world, being asked to meet with the woman of the house is like having your nose rubbed in camel excrement. But this is a purely cultural norm that we can overcome," said Hasan bin-Abdul, as he ripped the raw liver out of a goat as a valued gift for presentation to Hughes on her first official visit.
"We welcome Karen Hughes," agreed Sheik Abdul-Rayadh, royal emissary of Saudi Arabia to Women in Power, whose position was awarded to him as a punishment. "But if she takes off her veil, we will have to cut off her nose. It is Islamic law."
President Bush reaffirmed his confidence in Hughes as his choice to repair the U.S.'s tarnished image abroad. "I am firmly convinced that Karen Hughes can fix things with the Arab nations as well as she fixed the press's reporting of my drunk driving conviction," he smirked.
Hughes herself was pleased, announcing that she was happy to be able to spend more time with other people's families.
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:01 AM
March 13, 2005
Americans Fear Social Security Debate Will Not Last Much Longer
Afraid Other Issue Might Eventually Pop Up On Nightly News
A poll of Americans this weekend found that over 88% of them were afraid that the Social Security debate would not go on much longer. 98% of Americans found the give and take about Social Security "utterly fascinating" and filled with "intrigue."
Americans need not fear, however, as President Bush indicated today that he planned to focus on Social Security for the "next five years," according to White House spokespersons.
Indeed, President Bush revealed that he "just likes talking about saving Social Security," and wasn't sure if he would ever send a bill to Congress for its approval.
"I'm just thrilled to be able to use my bully pulpit to bring Social Security back into the national debate," said Bush.
The American public was greatly relieved. "Everytime I turn on my television, I am afraid I'll find news of something else," said Charlotte Rambling of North Carolina. "For pure entertainment value, you just can't beat those Social Security discussions."
Arlen Ferdinand of Pockstown, Minnesota agreed. "The Michael Jackson trial has been a huge disappointment," he said.
President Bush has expanded his push to discuss Social Security in America to include every small town "in the union," and hopes to reach Alaska by 2007. By that time, the President hopes the dialogue he has with wealthy Americans and corporations back in Washington will allow him to hammer out at least one single detail of his plan. After that, he plans to make "at least one more circuit" of the country.
"This is an important issue," said Republican Bill Kringlesman of Tennessee. "I just hope the President finalizes his plan before I finish paying off my mortgage in 2052."
Posted by Tom Burka at 7:13 AM
March 9, 2005
GOP To Make Law Giving Everyone's Money To The Rich
Bankruptcy Bill Ditched In Favor Of More "Direct" Legislation
The GOP leadership in Congress has decided to throw out the Bankruptcy Bill in favor of legislation that directly transfers all money from the poor and middle class to wealthy individuals and mammoth corporations.
"The bankruptcy bill -- which completely stopped this horrible practice of providing middle class and poor people a fresh start -- was a great idea" said Bill Frist. "But then we figured, why not just give those big corporations and CEO's the money directly?"
"We're tired of all these half-measures," agreed Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Republicans also expressed frustration at the length of time it was taking to dismantle social programs helping the poor and middle-class to live. "What is taking so freaking long already?" said John Sununu. "It's time for the downtrodden to start stumbling about on their own two gimpy legs, without the government getting involved and stirring up trouble."
Republicans were also concerned that government programs continued to regulate corporations for the good of the people. "These public policy initiatves are getting in the way of the ownership society," said Sen. Rick Santorum.
"Owning things is good," said Fred Dursley, President of Chase Manhattan Bank and a sponsor of the Bankruptcy Bill. "But sometimes owing things is better."
Posted by Tom Burka at 3:22 PM
March 3, 2005
God Denies Scalia's Authority Derives From Him
[Scalia] called the Ten Commandments "a symbol of the fact that government derives its authority from God," adding, "That seems to me an appropriate symbol to put on government grounds."Today God, responding to a comment made by Justice Antonin Scalia, noted He had given neither government nor Justice Scalia authority "to do anything."
"I think Justice Scalia may be mistaken," God is reported to have said.
"I think the American government was created by a bunch of guys from England," said God, "but I could be wrong." God also reportedly mumbled that, although He was present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, that "John Hancock guy" had not left Him room to sign anywhere. God also noted that he had nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution, "particularly the Electoral College," although He thought the Bill of Rights was "not so bad."
God complained about the "common misconception among the unwise" that governmental authority derives from Him. "My Justice is perfect," said God. "But if you look, I think you'll see that the justice of Man is necessarily less than that." According to a lesser prophet, God then instructed an archangel to send a memo to Justice Scalia on original sin.
In an aside, God said that mortals needed to lay off displaying the Ten Commandments in courthouses. "You don't see me putting up copies of the Penal Code in my churches," He said.
Posted by Tom Burka at 1:20 PM
March 1, 2005
Iraqi Government As Good On Human Rights As U.S. Government, State Department Finds
Hardly Tortured Anyone Who Did Not Deserve It, Officials Say
The State Department on Monday detailed an array of human rights abuses last year by the Iraqi government, including torture, rape and illegal detentions by police officers and functionaries of the interim administration that took power in June.A U.S. report on human rights violations throughout the world lauded the interim Iraqi government for "as scrupulously respecting human rights as the United States" during 2004. The report noted that "in certain areas" the Iraqi government had even exceeded the standards set by the United States, in that the Iraqi government "hardly waterboarded anyone" and "pretty much refrained from building human pyramids of any kind."
"The Iraqi government only raped and tortured individuals who were either suspected to be insurgents or were wrongly thought to be insurgents," said Harold Glipner, a State Department spokesperson. "We were very pleased."
In a joint press conference, Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzalez praised Iraq's human rights record, saying, "We could not have done a better job if we'd done it ourselves."
Iraqi detainees themselves also praised the interim government's human rights record after hours of sensory deprivation and sexual humiliation. "Yes, yes," said an unidentified figure somewhere near Basra.
Posted by Tom Burka at 10:49 AM