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    NY Times: Election Day

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    May 28, 2005
    Syria To Send Suspects To U.S. For "Interrogation"

    Koran Abuse, Certain Human Rights Violations Not Available In Syria, Syrian Officials Explain

    The government of Syria has announced that it will send suspects to the United States for interrogation in order to skirt limitations on the handling of prisoners in Syria. "We have determined that we cannot adequately question Syrian suspects in this country," said Syrian Director of Prisoner Interrogation Hosni Washkar today. "We will get better results if they are kept in a gula-- excuse me, in a U.S. base."

    President Bush hailed the arrangement as a "cooperative venture" designed to encourage the growth of democracy in Syria. "Freedom is on the march," he said.

    The news comes just days after Amnesty International released a report condemning U.S. practices at Guantanamo. President Bush declared the report "absurd" and invited the authors of the report to Guantanamo so they can be "re-eddicated."

    "We're not flushing Korans down toilets there," said Donald Rumsfeld late yesterday, after reporters forgot to ask the President follow-up questions during his press conference. "As to the Korans, we treat them fairly well." Rumsfeld declined to answer questions about the treatment of people.

    Bush said that the Amnesty report was based upon the complaints of detainees who had been "trained to disassemble".

    Amnesty International Gladys Potash commented, "It's Guantanamo that should be disassembled."

    With a hat tip to Victor Barall.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 11:27 AM in News

    May 23, 2005
    Senate Republicans to Reject Nuclear Option in Favor of Biowarfare

    Senate Republicans who feared that they would not get the 50 votes they needed to destroy the filibuster spoke of abandoning the so-called "nuclear option" in favor of biological or chemical warfare.

    "We should just gas all of them," said Sen. Rick Santorum of the Democrats, almost immediately after he had called them Nazis. Sen. Santorum later told critics that he had meant "sedating all of the Democrats with a non-toxic inhalant."

    Another proposal on the table in behind-the-scenes discussion among conservative GOP senators is to inroduce Santorum's 6-year old niece, Bonnie Santorum, known to politicians as "Contagious Bonnie," into the Senate chamber. Most of the GOP senators have individually caught flus, coughs, incapaciting colds, and head lice from Bonnie in unfortunate happenstance encounters over the past two years, and Dr. Frist has certified that they have built up antibodies to her. Democrats, however, are expected to suffer and become unable to report for work long enough for the GOP to take advantage of their absence.

    "And then the only issue would be whether we had a quorum," said Frist. "And when Dick Cheney is the Presiding Officer, well, a quorum is what we say it is."

    The conservative organization Focus on the Family, which has been instrumental in forcing Republicans to wage the filibuster battle, supports the exploration of all "extreme" options, said Dr. James Dobson. "The ends definitely justify the means," said Dobson. "If it takes unethical and immoral acts to make this a more ethical America, then -- what are we waiting for?"

    Posted by Tom Burka at 9:33 AM in News

    May 19, 2005
    Old but Gold
    GOP Filibuster Causes Dangerous High Winds Throughout Northeast
    Hurricane force winds whipped up the northeast today and yesterday, generated by enormous blasts of hot air during the latest Senate filibuster. . .
    Originally published here on November 14, 2003. The linked Washington Post article is still online and worth reading, too.
    Posted by Tom Burka at 4:36 PM in

    May 17, 2005
    Bush To Retract War

    Cites Protests, Poor Sourcing, Newsweek Debacle as Impetus

    George W. Bush retracted the Iraq war today, saying that it had been based on information from an unreliable source and that the original premises for the war were wrong.

    "We had one source for the war -- two, if you count Judith Miller -- and it now appears that that source didn't know what he was talking about," George W. Bush told reporters. (Ahmed Chalabi had no comment, but told reporters that he would consider "telling them everything they wanted to hear" for 10 million dollars.)

    While the Administration initially reported that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that it was linked to the 9/11 attacks on America, it appeared as recently as last Thursday that that was not true. "We couldn't be sorrier that our misreporting of the facts surrounding Iraq has caused the loss of human life," said Scott McClellan today.

    McCelllan explained that the President thought that the recent Newsweek debacle required the Administration to reexamine its own poorly sourced actions. "We couldn't really ask Newsweek for an apology and not admit our own mistake," said McClellan. "We're not hypocrites."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 10:20 AM in NewsTop Stories

    May 13, 2005
    Report Links Bolton To Mafia, Elder Abuse, Prostitution; Sure To be Confirmed, Sources Say

    Also A Crack Addict, Senators Admit

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee reported yesterday that nominee John Bolton has ties to organized crime and worked as a "crack whore" as recently as last Tuesday. "That being said," said Senator George V. Voinovich, "the committee is sending Mr. Bolton's nomination on to the Senate floor where he will almost certainly be confirmed."

    GOP Senators vowed that the time was right for a United States citizen such as Bolton -- who senators admitted may also have been a "pimp" when he was UnderSecretary of State -- to represent the United States in the United Nations. "John Bolton is the man for the job," said GOP Elder James Baker III, who took his hand out of the pockets of Saudi oil merchants just long enough to speak to reporters today.

    "We want to signal our willingness to work closely with the member nations of the U.N. by sending them a man who is a fine example of what this administration is all about," said Dick Cheney.

    Mr. Bolton could not be reached for comment. A spokesperson said that Bolton was spending some "personal time" sticking pins in a Kofi Annan doll with some friends.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 4:32 PM in News

    May 12, 2005
    Bush Bicycle Rides Nation's Top Domestic Priority

    Possible Terrorist Attacks Will Not Hinder Only Working Bush Administration Domestic Policy, Vow White House Officials

    While some criticized the Administration for failing to inform the President of a red alert triggered by a small aircraft that flew perilously close to the White House yesterday, U.S. officials denied there was any error.

    "We have shown these terrorist thugs that their threats cannot and will not deter the free leader of the world from pumping iron," said Donald Rumsfeld. "Or pedaling."

    bicycle_sign.jpgSome criticized the Administration for not alerting the Commander in Chief of a red alert resulting in a widespread emergency evacuation, in what some feared was a possible terrorist attack. While Supreme Court Justices were hurriedly yanked into underground parking lots, and Dick Cheney was once again whisked away to a secure location, the President rode his bicycle down a leafy Maryland park path.

    "We 're just pleased President Bush didn't fall down again," said a senior official, on the condition that he not be identified.

    Scott McClellan confirmed that the President was not informed of the emergency facing the nation's capital, but was quick to point out that, at the time of the evacuation, the President had shifted into a higher gear. "I think it was fifth, or maybe even sixth," McClellan defiantly told reporters today.

    While McClellan did confirm that the government was in a state of red alert during the President's "very soothing" bike ride, senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security considered revising threat protocols in light of yesterday's events.

    "We're thinking of creating a level higher than red," said one official. "There would be 'red' and then, above that, 'Interrupt the President's bicycle ride.'"

    Posted by Tom Burka at 10:30 PM in News

    May 10, 2005
    Giving Knowledge To Children In Schools Highly Overrated, Say Kansans

    Educating Children Possibly Big Mistake, Uneducated Kansans Say

    Members of the Kansas State Board of Education started a "debate" last week exploring whether or not it was proper to pass knowledge on to children in schools. "Perhaps passing on everything that mankind has learned to our children is overrated," said Board of Education member Sheila Kitzick to fellow board members last Wednesday.

    Instead of teaching children about evolution, Kansans proposed teaching children that the earth is flat, and that everyone will fall off if they walk over the edge of the Kansas border. "Have you ever seen anyone come back from a trip to the mythical city of Denver?" asked Ph.D. Farrah Reed of Topeka.

    Kitzick and her brethren were also troubled by what they claimed is "a bad trend" in history classes of teaching everything that "allegedly" came after the Dark Ages. "What is this 'rennaisance' teachers keep prattling on about?' she asked.

    Professor Bill Nybol, a visiting scholar from Princeton, advocated for the actual education of children, urging, "We can teach our children about the world without compromising our religious beliefs." He was subsequently found to be a witch and burned.

    Biologist Bryan Phelps, a colleague of Nybol's, surprised reporters when he said that was not sure that evolution should be taught in Kansas schools. "While there is abundant evidence of evolution almost everywhere in the world," he said, "there isn't much in Kansas."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 11:21 AM in News

    May 5, 2005
    Powerful Lobbyist Appointed To Serve on Ethics Panel Investigation of Tom Delay

    Pledges to Vigorously Prosecute Case

    Jack Abramoff, a powerful lobbyist who is himself being investigated for allegations of corruption, was appointed to investigate allegations that Congressman Tom Delay improperly permitted Abramoff to pay for Delay's airfare.

    "I'm going to look into it very thoroughly," said Abramoff.

    Abramoff was asked to substitute for two congressmen who today recused themselves from the House ethics committee because they had donated money to Delay's legal fund. "We want everyone to understand that there's no funny business going on here,' said Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, who again donated $5000 to Delay's legal defense fund as he gave the press conference announcing his recusal.

    Members of the ethics committee who have received money from Tom Delay's Political Action Committee are staying on the panel, however, "just to balance everything out," said a Congressional spokesperson.

    Abramoff rejected the suggestion that he would be too biased to fairly investigate Delay. "I'm not at all partisan,' he said. "I pay for Democrats' trips, too."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 2:01 PM in News