January 29, 2009
In Times of Trouble, Wall Street Prepared To Make Hard Bonuses

Sacrifice Not In Most Execs' Vocabulary, People Find

Wall Street execs responded today to President Obama's angry denunciation of their recent round of bonuses, saying that they were ready to knuckle down and make some real bonuses, endure true bonuses, and even brave possible bonuses in order to help their companies and the country find its way out a crippling economic downturn.

"I think President Obama is right," said CEO Martin Randolph, head of Entropy Manufacturing, the largest manufacturing company in the United States. "The situation is urgent. The board and I have decided that we must take drastic action and give ourselves bonuses right away, before it is too late."

But some CEOs responded strongly to President Obama's words. "If not bonuses, then what do we give ourselves?" said Brett Ratner, chief executive of Globutronics. "Bonuses are pretty much the only assets left to take."

"It is a common misconception that bonuses should be related to profits," explained Prof. Ernest Pyle, an expert on economics and a member of the boards of over 65 embattled, now-crappy companies. "Bonuses have to remain high in order that companies can continue to attract great CEOs after, say, they've been reorganized under bankruptcy proceedings."

The GOP leadership assailed Obama's words tonight, saying his words reflected a lack of understanding about righting the American financial system. "The only thing that will stimulate the economy is cutting taxes on these CEO's bonuses," said Sen. Mitch McConnell. "Nothing else."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:21 PM in News

January 22, 2009
Bush's Secret Letter to Obama

Continuing a White House ritual, President George W. Bush left a note in the Oval Office for President-elect Barack Obama, wishing him well as he takes the reins of the executive branch.

The White House on Tuesday declined to provide intimate details of the message the two-term Republican left for the incoming Democrat, saying only that Bush wrote it on Monday and left it in the top drawer of his desk.

Dear Barack,

As you know, it has become a tradition for the old President to leave the new President a confidential letter, telling the new President whatever the old President thinks is important to pass on. It was pretty tough figuring out what to write here because there's some things my legal guys say I should never put on paper, if you know what I mean. Hey, you could take that as a first piece of advice -- try not to write anything down.

I hope I got the number on the envelope right. If I screwed up, well, it's been busy here, trying to get out of the White House in time. Speaking of which, if you could keep your eye out for a 9-iron with a graphite shaft, I think it's a Calloway. I cant find the dang thing anywhere. And somewhere there's also a silver toothpick I like an awful lot. Mght be in the couch.

Well, let's get to it. The responsibilities and dangers of high office are many. I would warn you about some.

Watch out for pretzels. They can sneak up on you. I learned the hard way, your choice of Superbowl snack food can be critical.

Here's another thing: Sometimes you have to make an exit off a stage and they lock the doors on you. That can be embarrassing. Make sure you have a viable retreat plan before you get up there behind the podium.

Give everyone a nickname. Makes everyone like you. I have discovered you can get away with names like "Pooty Poot" and "Stinky Cheese Guy". For some reason, people love this.

Lastly, make sure you get enough rest and exercise. It's a stressful job. You got to be at your best. I recommend at least two hours a day working out and roughly a third of your term should be vacation.

Well, that about wraps it up. I wish you well. And for the record, I never drank any of that Johnny Walker Black in the lower righthand drawer.


Posted by Tom Burka at 5:45 PM in News

Strict Constructionists Unable To Read, Chief Justice Roberts Reveals

Failure Reveals Massive Flaw In Theory of Constiutional Interpretation

Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts admitted that so-called "strict constructionists" -- who base their interpretations of the Nation's laws based on the exact words in the Constitution -- are unable to read.

"We just kind of make up what we want to hear," Roberts said. "We've been doing it for years. Scalia is the worst offender."

Roberts was forced to make the announcement after it became apparent that he had been unable to accurately read the 35 words making up the President's inaugural oath.

"I figured if I would put in 'swear' and 'duty' and 'so help me God,' no one would really notice," said Roberts.

Roberts, however, was forced to correct his administration of the oath when President Obama pointed out his mistake.

Of his theory of legal interpetation, which has been critical in decisions of the Supreme Court for some time, Roberts said, "We've been doing it for years. It's just absolute nonsense."

Ruth Bader Ginsberg had suspected as much, not just from the bizarre content of many of Justice Roberts', Thomas', and Scalia's opinions, but also because they furrowed their brows and moved their lips when they tried to order off a dinner menu. "They would all just throw up their hands and order the pasta," said Ginsberg. "Every time."

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:40 PM in News

January 19, 2009
The Bush Years, Part Two: Bush and the Iraq War

The history of the Iraq War in headlines:

Bush Plan To Invade Iraq, Syria, Iran, and North Korea "Totally Different" Than Neocon Plan to Invade Iraq, Syria, Iran, and North Korea

Bush makes Last Ditch Attempt to Avoid Diplomatic Solution

U.S. Marines Discover Hidden Trove of Extra Hussein Sons

Marines Encounter More Than Just Pockets of Resistance in Baghdad, Try to Fend Off Complete Pants

Deck of Cards Mixup Leads to Accidental Killing of Actual King of Hearts

Iraqis Celebrate; U.S. Soldiers Shoot Them

Iraqis Protest Shooting of Iraqis by U.S. Soldiers; U.S. Soldiers Shoot Them

U.S. Forces Stop Shooting Iraqis; Offer Them $40 Instead

Paul Bremer Takes Over; U.S.-Iraq Administrator Jay Garner Demoted to Shoulder Rest For Reporters At Press Conferences

Claimed Iraqi Bioweapons Trailers Revealed To be Winnebagos

Indiana Husband Claims Wife Has WMD, Wants Regime Change and $100 Billion For Rebuilding

Cheney Makes Surprise Thanksgiving Visit To Undisclosed Location

White House Afraid That Fact That White House Authorized Torture Causing Growing Perception That White House Authorized Torture

Stupid Senseless Deaths Inevitable Part of Stupid, Senseless War, Says Rumsfeld

And naturally, the most recent development:

Bush To Invade Iraq Again

Last night, in an address to the nation, President Bush explained that he would have to "invade Iraq again," because "it's an awful mess over there." He said he was "not sure who was in charge" in Iraq, but that it had again become the "nexus of the axis of evil."
Posted by Tom Burka at 2:25 PM in Year in Review

January 18, 2009
The Bush Years, Part One: Bush and the Weather

June, 2004. The OYSH headline that captures the entire Bush Presidency:

Bush Says Umbrella Working "Just Fine"

President Bush said that his present umbrella was "working perfectly" and rejected calls for a new one.

And in August, 2004, during the 2004 election cycle, when Bush beat us like a drum with his "everything I'm doing I'm doing for the sake of national security" lie, telling us Kerry was soft on terrorism, a particularly prescient OYSH story, just one year before Katrina:

Bush Says Kerry Soft On Weather

Electing Kerry Is Just What Terrible Weather Wants, Says GOP -- Bush announced plans to invade Cuba and Jamaica in what he called a "preemptive strike" against future Category 4 hurricanes. . . .

The truth was the terrible weather wanted Bush to be President all along.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:31 PM in Fundamental ObservationsYear in Review