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    NY Times: Election Day

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    April 13, 2008
    Bitter People Increasingly Bitterer, Study Shows

    A recent survey showed that bitter people in towns all over America have been becoming increasingly bitter, in no small part because of people calling them bitter.

    Gordon Stillwater, a native of Elk's Mount, Pennsylvania, denied that he was bitter. "I may be a little peeved," he said, holstering his gun on the way to church, "I mean, I lost my two jobs, I lost my house, and now some goddamn strangers are calling me bitter."

    He killed two crows on the way to the Sunday service.

    "Who am I voting for?" he later told reporters. "Do I have time to worry about an election? Do I care whether Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are at each other's throats? Get out. You're scaring away the deer." He mumbled something about having more time for hunting now that he was completely unemployed.

    For his part, John McCain was upbeat about all the bitterness and infighting. "I don't know about bitterness," he said, "but things are certainly looking up for me."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 6:16 PM in News

    April 12, 2008
    Entire Liberal Blogosphere Actually Just One Incredibly Prolific Man

    Steve Benen, the liberal blogger who runs The Carpetbagger Report, has recently been discovered to be the sole author of almost every liberal blog dealing with U.S. politics on the internet, blog readers recently discovered.

    At first Benen was writing The Carpetbagger Report and allegedly guest blogging on sites such as TalkingPointsMemo, the Washington Monthly's blog, Political Animal, and Crooks and Liars. However, a visitor to TalkingPointsMemo, who saw a video of the alleged author and blog founder "Josh Marshall," immediately recognized him to be actor Marshall Mappschteen, with whom he had performed "Guys and Dolls" in college. A phone call to Mappschteen resulted in revelations that eventually uncovered Benen as the author of more than 260 liberal blogs. Subsequent investigation revealed that popular "bloggers" Atrios and Political Animal's Kevin Drum are actually fellow league bowlers whom Benen recruited to be fictitious front men.

    The revelations caused Salon to put an end to their Blog Report, a supposed roundup of items of interest on liberal and conservative political blogs compiled by Benen. "All the liberal blogs were him," said "Skippy," one of the few liberal bloggers who appears to really exist. "He was just linking to himself all over the place. It was unsanitary."

    Benen admitted that he had orchestrated and created the liberal blogosphere in order to create the impression that more people have liberal values than actually do. "I wanted the liberal presence on the web -- and in the U.S. -- to appear to be very, very big, much larger than it actually is," admitted Benen, who welcomed the end of his deception as a chance to rest his hands. "I've been suffering from carpal tunnel something awful," he said.

    Benen is now thought to be the entire 65% of Americans who oppose further involvement in the Iraq war.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 11:32 AM in News

    But What About Their Pitching?

    "There have been many Presidents who have thrown out first pitches, but I don't know if any have done it better than this particular President," gush television announcers when President Bush, in the midst of a chorus of boos, opened the Nationals' season this Spring.

    And now from the historians:


    As one historian put it,

    No individual president can compare to the second Bush. Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he has bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the world's goodwill. In short, no other president's faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large.

    H/t to Steve M. and Skippy.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 9:04 AM in Fundamental Observations

    April 8, 2008
    People Furious That Clinton Sacked Penn, Penn's Polls Show

    Polls conducted in the wake of Mark Penn's dismissal from his role as Chief Strategist in the Hillary Clinton campaign show that the public strongly opposes the move, according to a poll conducted by Mark Penn, who retains his job as head pollster for the Clinton campaign.

    "98% said that Mark Penn is a good person," said Penn, "98 per cent of people said that they believe he is the right person for the job." Penn said that the 2 per cent who did not like him was his cousin Barney, with whom he has had "some issues."

    Penn later denied that he had "cherry picked" the data.

    Of great importance to Clinton, Penn said that polling showed that Pennsylvanians especially wanted him to be reinstated, and that it had nothing to do with his name. While most other polls show Clinton with at least a double digit lead in Pennsylvania, Penn said his post-dismissal polling shows Clinton now trailing Obama by 35 points. "Her only chance is to let me take over again," said Penn, adding, "Numbers don't lie."

    Opinions You Should Have reporters gained access to a copy of the poll. One of the questions on the poll was, "Should Hillary Clinton have kept the brilliant and gifted political strategist Mark Penn on her staff as Chief Strategist, or would you prefer that the world go up in a big puff of smoke?" 98 per cent of respondents chose the former.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 12:17 PM in News

    Comments All Askew

    Hey -- I've been so overwhelmed by spam in the comments that I shut them down, then turned on moderation, and now I'm just searching for a solution. So comments will be either moderated or unavailable, and my apologies to those who've tried to leave a note but been waylayed.

    I'll probably put a captcha on or require registration, both options I've been avoiding, but those Russian spammers are now far too good at their job these days.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 9:24 AM in Notices

    April 3, 2008
    Lousy Future Sours Public's View of Future, Survey Finds

    Prospects for a poor economy, a neverending war, melting ice caps, increasingly dangerous weather systems, the plummeting dollar, and the horrific job market have taken a toll on the public's view of the economy, the war, ice caps, weather, the dollar, and the job market, a New York Times/CBS poll found today.

    Describing the poll's methodology, pollster Felicity Proctor explained that it was based on a survey of 3,042 increasingly depressed individuals throughout the United States.

    The poll also found that the use of torture by the American government, and its disregard for many basic civil rights laws, including those protecting individuals from being wiretapped and spied upon, made Americans fear being tortured, having their civil rights violated, and being wiretapped and spied upon.

    "People in an increasingly negative environment often experience their environment as increasingly negative," said Dr. Enola Imnot Gay, a Boston researcher whose specialty is diseases of the obvious.

    But Dr. Gay cautioned reporters not to read too much into the poll results. "American Idol and the fleeting availability of even the most miniscule line of credit can completely erase Americans' awareness of outside phenomena," she said.

    Cross-posted at The American Street.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 8:03 PM in News

    April 2, 2008
    Next Time Just Say You'd Prefer Not To Answer

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's response to a Congressional question on the advisability of Bush's scheme for overhauling the nation's "regulatory" (read: "lack of regulatory") structure:

    "The Treasury plan is a very interesting and useful first step," he said. "I think we all agree there is going to be quite a bit of discussion and analysis before we are ready to do major changes in our regulatory structure."
    Our tax money, once again providing us with basic college-level bullshit from the world's greatest authorities in answer to serious and fundamental questions upon which the future of our country depends.

    Posted by Tom Burka at 1:36 PM in Fundamental Observations