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December 31, 2004
What A Year. (Let's Hope The Next Is Nothing Like It.)

A Very Special Opinions You Should Have Report

The management looks back on the past year and, after having downed a couple of shots just to keep looking back on it, recollects the highlights. (And these were the highlights . . .)

January - President Bush started off the year with yet another rousing State of the Union address, followed by his announcement of a really fine jobs program.

February - Tony Blair and George W. Bush were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Paul Bremer announced that a wardrobe malfunction was delaying Iraq's election.

President Bush helpfully suggested that his testimony before the 9/11 Commission take the form of a children's parlor game.

March - President Bush called to congratulate himself on winning the GOP nomination.

Judge Scalia discovered that the nation was in deeper trouble than he imagined, and Condi Rice refused to testify before the 9/11 Commisssion under oath. She had a good excuse.

And Pakistani forces were reported to be closing in on -- Elvis.

April - The White House announced it would build a $100 billion shield against Richard Clarke.

An angry Karen Hughes, attacking John Kerry, said that President Bush would have kept his war medals if he had earned any.

May - When the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib came to light, President Bush immediately found out who was responsible. An endless cycle of outrage threatened to swallow up Washington.

Tom Ridge raised the terrorist threat level from yellow to "yellower."

prexy.jpgJune - President Bush said his umbrella was "working just fine."

America and its media took some slight notice of Reagan's death.

In honor of the Vice President, the Senate revised its voting procedures.

July - The DNC just went wacky -- even before they nominated Kerry.

At the DNC, hope was delayed at a security kiosk. Kerry was nominated.

August - Due to a poor strategy adopted by White House pols, flip-floppers chose Kerry, recognizing him as one of their own.

Florida hurricanes prompted Bush to call Kerry soft on weather, a strategy that was to eventually win him the election.

President Bush appointed the judges of the Summer Olympics to oversee the U.S. election.

September - At the RNC, Rudy Giuliani reminded Americans that President Bush was the only choice to lose the war on terror, and Dick Cheney rallied the delegates as only he could.

October - After the second debate, a spin room tilted off axis, wounding twelve.

As the presidential election drew near, polls showed the race to be virtually tied at four Supreme Court Justices apiece.

November - On November 2, Bush won the election, and immediately claimed a mandate by a whole half of the nation.

While we're tempted to say that we blacked out entirely after November 2, reality quietly ticked on.

Bush announced that he would solve the problem of Social Security insolvency by making the country insolvent.

December - Bernard Kerik's nanny left to spend more time with her family, Donald Rumsfeld aimed to broaden the scope of the Pentagon's disinformation program beyond America's borders, and President Bush showed us all the true meaning of compassionate conservatism.

The whole marvelous year is presented in reverse order here.

Looking back, you have to ask yourself: Can the new year come too soon?

A Happy New Year from the staff at Opinions You Should Have!

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:47 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewYear in Review

December 28, 2004
Bush Urges Americans To Give As Much As He Has

Asks Americans To Cut Pell Grants, Withhold Money For Food, Cut Back on Foreign Aid

In a Christmas Day radio broadcast, President Bush urged Americans to adopt the spirit of giving that he had already embraced in previous months. In the past month or so, President Bush reminded Americans, he had set a fine example by cutting back on college grants, by cutting back on the World Food program, and by drastically reducing the richest nations contribution to other, needier countries.

President Bush said that withholding was spiritually sound. "The Bible tells us that God helps those who help themselves," said Bush. "So give the gift of not giving."

"It's Christmas," said Bush. "So tell someone who desperately needs help to go help themselves."

"Although," he added,, "if you do insist on giving, I've only got a paltry $40 million saved up so far for my inauguration. . ."

Update: Bush followed his own example recently by pledging the relatively tiny sum of $15 million to the tsunami relief effort in Asia. If you must be un-American and give more, Collective Sigh recommends Doctors Without Borders; Bohemian Mama recommends

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:28 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

December 15, 2004
Pentagon Seeks To Broaden Scope Of Disinformation Program Beyond American Borders

The Pentagon said today that it was considering expanding the disinformation program it has employed so successfully in the United States to include Europe, Russia, the Arab States, China, and the arctic poles.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld pooh-poohed any suggestion that expanding the program risked squandering America's credibility abroad. "Disinformation appears to have served us well here in the United States," said Rumsfeld, who added that "everything in Iraq is going just we had hoped and planned," and that he expected the January 30 elections to go forward "without a hitch."

The Pentagon's Department of Misinformation -- also known as the "Ministry of Truth" -- is considering planting false stories in foreign newspapers, creating misleading websites, and sending out fake e-mails "in much the same way we do here in the U.S.," said a Pentagon spokesperson.

Rumsfeld was cautiously optimistic about the program's expansion. "You can't do everything," said Rumsfeld. "In the near future, there will probably still be small pockets where reliable information may be obtainable. But we're confident that in ten or twelve years we can fix that."

Rumsfeld denied that the disinformation program had already been in full swing for several years. "Oh, no," he said. "Believe me."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:17 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

December 13, 2004
Kerik Nanny Left Job To Spend More Time with Her Family

The nanny Mr. Kerik had employed, who has not yet been identified, left the country about two weeks ago, just prior to the announcement of his nomination, a former New York City official said on Saturday, adding that her departure had been planned for at least two months.
Bernard Kerik's nanny, in a press conference in Canada, told reporters that she had left on amicable terms with Kerik, and that she had left because she had largely completed her duties as a "nomination withdrawal facilitator" and wanted to spend more time with her family.

"I got into this business when I was brought in to solve the Kimba Wood problem years ago," said Marjorie Bumpers, who has gone under the nom de nomination of Juanita Rosario Evita Gasparza, usually posing as an illegal immigrant from El Salvador. In the case of Linda Chavez, she took the name of Magda Vostka, an Armenian refugee. Bumpers is a Canadian accountant.

Bumpers denied that she had left Kerik because she had found working for him distasteful. "Taking care of Bernard Kerik's children and spending time in the Kerik household -- however odious these tasks might have been -- was a small price to pay for the pleasure of knowing that I have helped to make America more secure," said Bumpers. "It's time for me to move on."

Bumpers declined to reveal other public figures that employed her because "they may wish to keep their future nominations in play."

She did say, however, that she had worked illegally for Clarence Thomas, and was surprised that she was not used to withdraw his nomination, but noted that "people sometimes exercise poor judgment."

She vowed to return to public service in the future. "I have every expectation that I will be able to assist administrations with horrifically bad nominees in years to come," Bumpers said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:35 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

November 29, 2004
Massive Debt Problem To be Solved By Incredibly Massive Borrowing, Says Bush

President Bush, trying to protect Social Security benefits in the wake of the record $ 7.5 trillion dollar deficit incurred during his administration, promised to borrow "at least a couple billion more" to fix things.

"We're going to borrow more money than a body can possibly imagine," said Bush. "We're gonna take that enormous wad of cash and plug it right into what cynical people are calling 'that gaping whole in the budget.' And that'll save Social Security."

"It may not seem like the right thing to do in the short term, but in the long term, rich people will be thanking me for it," he added.

John Snow, the Secretary of the Treasury, explained the plan, saying, "Sometimes you have to borrow money to make money. It's Keynesian."

President Bush brushed off claims that he was more interested in destroying Social Security than saving it. "Son," he winked. "Around here we use the word 'reform.'"

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:22 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

November 5, 2004
White House Claims Mandate By Whole Half Of Nation

The White House claimed yesterday that President Bush had won a mandate in the election on Tuesday. "Our overwhelming support by only half of a bitterly divided nation means that we have been given a fiat to implement the agenda a record number of voters disagreed with," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

McClellan acknowledged that in the 2000 election, the Bush administration had not recieved a mandate. "That's why the agenda we pursued in the past four years was so mild," he said.

McCelllan explained that in the next four years, the President was considering implementing policies that he would never have dreamed of pursuing a month ago. "For one thing, we're toying with making people in blue states carry red state people around in rickshaws," he said.

Additionally, because the "will of the people" requires it, members of the White House Press Gallery will heretofore be required to recite an oath of fealty to George W. Bush before entering the briefing room, and there will be no more questions from reporters. "Questions are for administrations that have to answer them," he said.

"This is the way democracy works," said McClellan. "Having a 3 percent edge over the almost 56 million voters who disagree with our policies means that we can do whatever we like.

"Democracy means never having to say you're sorry."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:44 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNewsTop Stories

October 20, 2004
Poll: Presidential Race Tied At Four Supreme Court Justices Apiece

One Justice Undecided

A recent Gallup/CNN/Newsweek/Time/New York Times/Washington Post/Zogby/Rasmussen Poll of Supreme Court Justices showed that the Presidential race is tied, with 40% of Supreme Court Justices committed to Bush, and 40% for Kerry. 20% of the Court is still undecided. The poll was based on a sample of four people.

The campaigns of both candidates have built to a fever pitch as the field of uncommitted Justices has winnowed to one. Kerry and Bush will be flying from Ohio and New Jersey, respectively, to spend the last days of their campaigns at the Supreme Court. Dick Cheney has been warning Justices about the danger of nuclear armageddon from his post on the couch in Scalia's chambers.

Sandra Day O'Connor has said that she has not decided who she will vote for when the Supreme Court decides the election some time after November 2. (Justice Kennedy has also said that he is undecided, but nobody believes him.) Both campaigns have designated O'Connor's chambers as a "swing vote state."

There is some concern that several members of the Court may not vote at all, but members of the Woman's League of Voters are mounting a Get Out the Vote Drive which is directed, principally, at Justice Thomas.

"This election will turn entirely upon turnout," said Owen Ferlinghetti, a race-car-driver-turned-pundit. "If the Democrats can block Rehnquist's driveway, they have a very good chance of winning this thing."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:10 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewBest ofNews

October 1, 2004
"Spin Room" Tilts Off Axis, Wounding Twelve

In the spin room just outside the debate last night, Karl Rove and other "spinmeisters" spun so furiously that the room tilted off its axis and spun into space, wounding twelve members of the debate audience and stranding pundits and partisan hacks in outer space.

The "spin room" is where partisans associated with each campaign tell the press how spectacularly their man "won" the debate, Republicans saying that Bush hardly gibbered at all, Democrats crowing that John Kerry finished every one of his sentences in less than the two minutes alloted for answers.

The trouble started when Karen Hughes told Wolf Blitzer that John Kerry had turned his credibility gap into a "credibility chasm," and bragged that President Bush had shown that Iraq was "well on its way to freedom."

After Ralph Reed assured Tom Brokaw that the President had intentionally used the phrase "mexed missage" to make a rhetorical point, the room began spinning so furiously that centrifugal force pinioned CNN's Judy Wooduff and several small-time politicians to the east wall of the room.

Shortly thereafter, when Karl Rove told Dan Rather that the President had never been flustered or angry during the debate, but "composed, passionate and hardly orange," the room spun off into space.

The government is organizing a shuttle mission to effect a rescue.

John Phelps, a medical technician from Wyoming, thought a rescue mission was a bad idea. "Leave'em all up there," he said. "They're always in orbit around some body or other, saying stuff that's from outer space. Let's rescue them when they come down to earth."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:33 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNewsTop Stories

September 2, 2004
Guest Blogger
Cheney Rallies Delegates With Unique Campaign Slogan

Last night, Vice President Cheney whipped delegates of the RNC into a frenzy as he repeated the slogan that he first introduced on the floor of the Senate in June.

"When John Kerry says he will never mislead us into war," said Cheney, speaking from the podium, ". . . we say: 'Go Fuck Yourself!'"

Cheney continued:

And when Kerry says he'll roll back our tax cuts, we say: "Go Fuck Yourself!"

And when we're accused of not having a plan for peace in Iraq, we say: "Go Fuck Yourself"!

With every repetition, the crowd's enthusiam and energy level increased, as the delegates responded back to Cheney and Madison Square Garden resonated in one voice.

Cheney's address was well received by the delegates, many of whom interrrupted him with more than a dozen mid-finger ovations.

"I'm glad that the GOP, the party of Morals and Family Values, has finally got the nerve to tell the democrats to fuck off", said Diane Winters, a delegate from Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

A few delegates, however, expressed concern. "I guess that it's a good slogan," said Dick Smith, a delegate from El Paso, Texas, "But isn't doing that illegal now?"

Written by the mysterious Bill Lyon. With hearty thanks and expeletives to him from all of us.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:45 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

August 30, 2004
Bush Only Choice to Lose War On Terror, Says Giuliani

Today, some hours after President Bush assured Americans that he would lose the war on terror, Rudy Giuliani, addressing the delegates at the Republican National Convention, told Americans that George W. Bush was the only candidate who could really, really lose it.

"Senator Kerry does not have the fortitude to lose the war on terror that President George W. Bush does," said Giuliani. "Only President Bush has the courage to pursue the determined, difficult course to utter failure."

He said that Bush was "rock solid, and not just from the neck up." He pointed out that Bush had not "strayed the course" despite being held up to ridicule. "So what," said Giuliani. "Churchill was ridiculed, Reagan was ridiculed, and stupid and silly people who were dumb and funny looking were ridiculed."

Giuliani closed by talking about President Bush's unique capabilities. "Few people could exploit the tragedy of 9/11 as well as our President," said Giuliani. "And I should know."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:44 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

August 24, 2004
Bush to Appoint Olympic Judges To Oversee U.S. Election

Wants To Make Sure An American Wins, Among Other Things

President Bush tonight, acknowledging what he called the "overwhelming importance" of ensuring that the upcoming Presidential election is fair and accurate, and that "every person's vote is counted properly," has designated a panel of Olympic judges to oversee matters in the U.S.

"I can't think of a better group of people to do it," said Bush.

Administration officials stated that the President was concerned, among other things, that "some fantastic Russian" or "well-developed South Korean" might outperform American candidates and somehow steal the election. "We want to make sure that, at the very least, no foreign nationals can steal it," said Scott McCllellan.

"No one is more concerned than I am that the operation of democracy be impeded in any way," said Bush. "That's why I have created this blue ribbon panel. Let freedom reign."

In other news, President Bush was rounding the last lap of a record 365 vacation days in office, and is expected to earn himself a page in either the Guinness Book of Records or Ripley's "Believe It Or Not" just before he accepts his party's nomination sometime next week.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:09 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

August 16, 2004
Bush Says Kerry Soft On Weather

Electing Kerry Is Just What Terrible Weather Wants, Says GOP

President Bush, while touring hurricane-ravaged Florida today, called John Kerry "soft on weather" and claimed that "bad, bad weather" would be absolutely thrilled to see Kerry in office this November.

"That's just what Charley wants," said Bush. Bush announced plans to invade Cuba and Jamaica in what he called a "preemptive strike" against future Category 4 hurricanes. "I don't know why these countires want to send their bad weather here," said Bush. "But they've gotta stop it."

President Bush hailed the Governor of Florida as an "ally in the war on weather" and asked Congress to send $100 billion dollars to Florida because "we reward our friends -- that's what you do to friends, you reward 'em."

In other news, today FEMA awarded Halliburton a no-bid contract to rebuild Florida.

Many thanks to Dave Pell of Electablog for the concept and headline. Now everyone should immediately go check out his blog, too.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:47 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

August 2, 2004
Flip-Floppers Choose Kerry

Bush's Depiction of Kerry As Indecisive Appeals To Voters Having Difficulty Choosing Candidate

The relatively small group of undecided voters chose to vote for John Kerry today following a major campaign by George W. Bush to depict Kerry as a "flip-flopper" who has been unable to decide where to come down on an issue.

"Hey, that's just like me," said Felicity Unction, a formerly undecided voter from Frudge, Ohio. Before picking Kerry, Unction had spent her entire morning deciding which brand of baking soda to buy that afternoon. "There are so many of them," she said.

From the time Kerry became the Party's presumptive nominee last March, Bush has been working hard to depict Kerry as a flip-flopper who has taken both sides of every issue. Today, a Zogby poll found that the few undecided voters remaining in the race -- a historically smaller number than in previous election cycles, due to an extremely polarized electorate -- had chosen to vote for Kerry.

"The Bush campaign forgot that these undecided voters were people who just couldn't make up their minds, even when the choice was obvious," said Zogby. "They immediately warmed to Kerry."

On hearing the news, Karl Rove reportedly banged his head against a large densely packed object - Tom Ridge's head -- in frustration.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:41 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNewsTop Stories

July 29, 2004
Hope Has Arrived


Posted by Tom Burka at 11:11 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewCommentary

July 28, 2004
Hope Delayed At Security Kiosk Outside Fleet Center

Security has been so tight at the Fleet Center that even delegates have sometimes had difficulty getting inside.

Hope Campobello, a New Jersey delegate, was on her way back into the Democratic National Convention when she was detained by security personnel because she refused to surrender a liquid. It is prohibited to bring liquids into the convention. As a result, Ms. Campobello missed John Edwards' acceptance speech.

"Hope was on the way," her husband Gino Campobello said. "But she was too damn thirsty to give up her Diet Coke."

Ms. Campobello had managed to get the Diet Coke through the metal detectors, over the barbed wire, and past the Royal Canadian Mounties when a bunch of police dogs, carefully trained to detect soft drinks, sounded the alert.

Hope refused to give up her Diet Coke because Diet Cokes, which are somehow sold by Verizon inside the Fleet Center, cost thirteen dollars a can.

John Edwards, always a champion of the tired and thirsty, refused to give up. "Hope is on the way," he said.

"I don't know. I think Hope got lost or something," said her husband, an hour or so later. "Maybe she just gave up and went home."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:00 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

July 8, 2004
hand_lg.gifIt's Official. We're Reporters.

Opinions You Should Have Credentialed For Democratic Convention, Thousands Weep

Yep. We can take a statement from you and everything, and then we can quote you as saying anything we like.

We've been officially designated an "on-line (sic) daily computer service or newswire" for the upcoming Democratic Convention and have been granted press credentials to cover the event.

We (that is to say "I") applied as a correspondent for OpYSHA, as well as The American Street and Jesus' General. Needless to say, the DNCC could not turn us down.

The General has realized that I (we), in his words, is (are) "a Frenchman," and so my "reportage" will not be on display on his site. Instead, look for blogging from the convention floor here and at American Street. I have promised to send the General pics of "his kinsmen" picketing and protesting outside the Fleet Center, so look for those at his place.

Yesterday was spent in a frenzy of journalistic preparation, as I zoomed all over town looking for a combat photographer's vest.

I am indebted to Kevin Hayden at The American Street and the General himself at Jesus' General for their kind permisssion to use their names, and hopefully their credit cards, to help gain credentials to the event.

Vive la France!

UPDATE: Doug Everett of Radio Parallax at KDVS-FM and I will also do a roundup of the convention on Thursday, just hours before Kerry accepts the nomination. If you haven't tuned in there (the shows are archived and available at the KDVS site, and there's a live wbecast), you should. Doug is as fine an interviewer as you're likely to find anywhere on broadcast radio. He warmly and smartly tackles politics and current events with interviews of some of the biggest names in the news and media. Plus, he does top-notch political satire.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:39 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNotices

June 28, 2004
Senate Revises Voting Procedures

In Case Of Senate Tie, Vice President Will Now Say "Aye" or "Go Fuck Yourself"

The Republican-controlled Senate revised its voting procedures today to reflect the new-found propriety of Vice President Dick Cheney's behavior last week on the Senate floor.

Now, in the event of a tie, the Vice-President will break the tie by voting in the affirmative and saying "Aye", or, when voting in the negative, saying "Go fuck yourselves."

Additonally, the more traditional "Aye" or "Nay" will be henceforth replaced by "Fuck Me" and "Fuck You."

The Senate Sergeant-at-Arms will no longer place members under arrest, but will tell them that they are "fucked." In the event that a member is expelled, the Sergeant-at-Arms will announce that the member has been totally fucked.

When a vote is held up in committee, it will be referred to as "a total fucking."

"We want to thank the Vice President for ushering in a new, more open era of Senate civility," said. Sen. Bill Frist. "I mean, fucking-A."

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:49 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

June 10, 2004
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Read More »

June 3, 2004
Bush Says Umbrella Working "Just Fine"

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

"This umbrella is perhaps one of the finest umbrellas this country has ever had," said Bush, "and I stand firmly behind it."

Critics said that Bush's umbrella was "ineffective, severely flawed, and just as bad as no umbrella at all." In response, Bush said that was "just people playing politics," and that he was not "all wet," as many have alleged.

"That's exactly what you'd expect them to say," said Bush.

Habeeb McKenzie, a postal worker from Iowa, said,"That umbrella don't work for shit! Who is he kidding? Can I offer you some mail?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:51 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNewsTop Stories

May 26, 2004
Certain Higher Terror Threat To U.S., Says Washington; Threat Level Raised From Yellow To "Yellower"

Today the Department of Homeland Security warned of a much higher risk of a terrorist attack over the coming months, which prompted them to raise the threat level from Yellow ("Elevated") to Yellow ("Still Elevated"). "The threat level remains fundamentally the same," said Tom Ridge, "Except that it is definitely, certainly much threatier."

In response, the FBI pledged to step up its random arrest program, used most recently to such great effect with Portland lawyer Brandon Mayfield last week, who, although not a terrorist, "was unable to mount a terrorist attack during his two weeks in captivity, had he really been one."

Although unable to supply a date, time, place, method, situation, guess, hope, or random thought for the expected attack on the U.S. by al Qaeda, Ridge said there was "credible intelligence" corroborated by lots of "chatter" that, while not "actionable," provided a firm basis for scaring the bejesus out of an otherwise complacent U.S. populace.

"We don't want people to panic," said Ridge. "But it could be any place, at any time, and it could be either a nuclear explosion that flattens the coast or a biological attack that could make "The Day After Tomorrow" look like a high school picnic."

"Or not," he added.

Ridge cut his remarks short to make a trip to Capitol Hill to get the Department of Homeland Security renamed the "Department of Scaring The Pants Off People While Not Offering The Slightest Help Whatsoever."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:07 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

May 12, 2004
Democrats Outraged By Outrage at Outrage

A vicious cycle of outrage threatens to swallow up Washington following Sen. Inhofe's (R. Okla.) statement earlier this week that he was "more outraged by the outrage than he was by the treatment" of Abu Ghraib prisoners. Democrats immediately became outraged that he was more outraged by the outrage, and now Republicans are livid that Democrats are furious at Sen. Inhofe's acrimony.

Historians can recall few times as outrageous, but recall previous incidents in American politics, such as 1742, when the Tories were irked by ire, 1773, when the Whigs were fuming about wrath, or 1907, when populists were incensed by aggravation.

"All pales compared to the period when Mary Lincoln confessed to Abraham that she was piqued by temper," said Sydney Mayhew, a scholar in the field of acute exasperation.

Sen. Inhofe has previously been menaced by menace and mystified by mysticism, so his statements this week should not have been very surprising, said Mayhew.

And the effect on the citizenry? "All of this anger we're seeing in Congress right now," said Mayhew, "It probably just pisses them off."

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:23 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

May 4, 2004
Clinton Responsible For Prisoner Abuse, Says Bush

Responsibility For U.S. Soldiers' Misconduct Must Go "Right To The Top," Affirms Current Prez

Today President Bush said that the blame for the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners must lie with "the very highest offices responsible for overseeing the military," and that, accordingly, President Clinton was at fault.

"Far from being just the misdeeds to a handful of misbehaving soldiers, we have to see these that only one person and one person alone ultimately bears responsibility for the government over which he presides," said Bush. "That person is, of course, President Clinton."

"President Clinton's failure to act directly caused the horrors we have discovered today," Bush continued. "If President Clinton had invaded Iraq when he should have, this would never have happened."

President Bush called for the formation of a special commission to investigate the many ways in which Clinton caused the ailments of today's America: "President Clinton should fess up to these aburdly high gas prices," he said. "Not to mention all these lost jobs. He sure has a lot to answer for."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:48 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

April 26, 2004
Bush Would Have Kept Medals If He Had Earned Any, Says Hughes

Karen Hughes, in a withering attack on John Kerry today, complained that it was awful for Kerry to throw away or keep his medals or ribbons from the Vietnam war.

Hughes admitted that she was confused as to whether Kerry had said that he kept his highly prestigious medals, but had actually thrown them away, or the reverse. "I don't care about the facts," she said.

"Whatever Kerry did or didn't do with the medals he earned for saving men's lives in dangerous combat, it's a disgrace," she said. "His so-called defense of this country makes me puke."

"If George W. Bush had earned a medal for anything that he did, you can bet he wouldn't have faked throwing out any award that he would possibly have earned," she said. "If they gave out medals for running out on National Guard duty, for disregarding a direct order, or for practically flunking the National Guard pilot's exam, you can bet the President would have taken a principled stand on them, if he had had any principles."

Hughes derided the bravery and valor that led Kerry to get the medal in the first place. "Anyone can get medals," she said. "It's keeping them or throwing them out that's the hard part."

"I don't know if you can get a medal for driving drunk," she said defiantly, "but if you could, the President would have a whole deskful."

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:09 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNewsTop Stories

April 1, 2004
White House To Build $100 Billion Shield Against Richard Clarke

Rogue Employees Are Top Threat To Nation's Security, Says Rice

Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld gave a joint press conference this morning in which they announced that the greatest threat to the nation's security are "rogue employees" that "threaten to undermine the security and confidence of the nation."

Rumsfeld stressed the importance of building an "impenetrable shield" to stop these former employees from "compromising our future."

Rumsfeld estimated that the shield could cost anywhere between 10 and 100 billion dollars, although private White House estimates place the cost of the shield at 500 billion.

"These disaffected employees have large, terrible axes to grind and if we cannot disarm them, then we must guard against them" said Rumsfeld.

"We are not going to stand idly by and watch revisionists threaten the safety of our nation," said Rice.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:31 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

March 22, 2004
Pakistani Forces Closing In On Elvis

Flash of Giant Diamond-Studded Belt Buckle Was Key, Say Generals

Pakistani troops in the area of Waziristan report that they have surrounded Elvis Presley and expect to capture him within days. They also assert they are close to a cure for cancer.

Pakistani forces were directed to several villages in Waziristan after flashes of brilliant light reflected from Elvis's belt buckle burned out the image sensors of a U.S. spy satellite hovering overhead. Suspicions were also aroused by the heavy importation of fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches into the area.

"We are not finding Elvis just because because it is the anniversary of the war in , which we have been told to call the war on terror, and because Secretary Powell just named us a non-NATO U.S. ally and bribed us with access to U.S. weaponry, foreign aid and money that we could only have dreamed of some short time ago," said Pakistani leader General Musharraf.

"This is simply a most fortuitous coincidence the like of which would have surprised even Charles Dickens," he said.

Waziristan, best known for being thought to be a fictional locale invented by Dr. Suess, is also known to harbor aliens, U.F.O's, and a Bush Administration offical who speaks only the truth.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:29 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

March 18, 2004
Nation In Deeper Trouble Than Scalia Imagines

Justice Antonin Scalia rejected demands that he recuse himself from a case involving Vice-President after the Vice President footed the bill for an expensive vacation that he and took together.

"If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court justice can be bought so cheap, the nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined," Justice Scalia wrote in a 21-page memorandum bristling with defiance.

Today, in response to the memo, the Supreme Court unanimously (8-0) declared that the nation is in deeper trouble than Scalia imagines.

"Whenever you have to write 21-pages explaining why there's no appearance of impropriety, there's an appearance of impropriety," said a poorly disguised David Souter in a diner near the Courthouse.

Scalia emphasized in his memo that he "never hunted in the same blind with the vice president," although he did acknowledge occasionally "sharing the same buckshot," "telling the same jokes," and "sharing the same utterly arrogant, fascist view of our own power and authority."

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:37 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

March 4, 2004
Bush Calls To Congratulate Self On GOP Nomination

After George W. Bush called John Kerry on Tuesday night to congratulate him on apparently securing the Democratic nomination, President Bush called himself to "let me know how appreciative and impressed I am at my having locked up the GOP nomination."

"It seemed like the natural and right thing to do," said Bush, recounting the phone call to several captive aides the next day.

The first couple times Bush called he got a busy signal. "Apparently I was talking to someone else, " he said.

"When I did get through, we had a nice conversation. I was very warm and personable."

Bush explained his phone calls. "I did it because I'm engaged in politics. I follow it closely. I guess you could say I'm married to it."

"I sure hope it doesn't divorce me," Bush added. "I would hate to pay the alimony."

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:15 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

February 26, 2004
Bush To Allow 9/11 Commission To Ask Twenty Questions

President Bush, in the spirit of fully cooperating with the 9/11 commission, has agreed to permit them to ask him twenty questions in a closed session on a Sunday behind the old gnarled oak tree next to the Thomas Jefferson memorial in the dead of night under a new moon during the Year of the Ox.

"We're confident that this compromise is one which the commission will gladly accept," said Scott McClellan. The compromise was the result of "meeting halfway" between the unlimited numbers of questions under oath in an open session that the commission wanted and the President's initial offer of no questions whatsoever in a closed session with a representative of the President, a norwegian hedgehog named Bruce.

Thomas Kean, chairman of the commission, is to ask the first question of the President, namely, "Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?". The last question is expected to be "Does it require specific knowledge to use it?"

"We're pretty sure it's either a verb, or a secret," said vice-chair Lee Hamilton.

"We need to know what went wrong on 9/11 in order to make sure we're doing everything we can to make this country secure," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "The President feels that there is nothing more important than making this country secure -- except, perhaps, getting reelected."

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Posted by Tom Burka at 1:11 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

February 22, 2004
Wardrobe Malfunction Delaying Iraq Elections, Says Bremer

Machinery Of Democracy Not Working Yet

J. Paul Bremer noted yesterday that technical difficulties could delay Iraq elections for up to 15 months.

"The machinery of democracy is in need of repair," he said. He explained that the U.S had over six thousand sprockets of equal rights on order and that "the government transparency module" was out of whack. Also, the United States appears to have been overcharged -- by contractor Halliburton -- for seven hundred thousand Free Speech widgets by $23 billion dollars.

"And there are a number of other technical problems delaying elections -- like the enormous number of religious Shiites who want to make this country into a fundamentalist Moslem theocracy," Bremer added.

Bleb Fusillade, a janitor for the Institute of Middle East Studies, commented, "We didn't bring the right tools, we had the wrong parts and we forgot to read the manual."

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:34 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

February 1, 2004
Bush, Blair Nominated For Irony Awards

Awards ceremonies positively took over Opinions You Should Have for the third day in a row, as Tony Blair and George Bush were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Other nominations included Saddam Hussein, for "Most Benevolent Dictator," Dick Cheney for "Handsomest American," and former Alabama Chief Judge Roy Moore for "Champion of the Separation between Church and State."

The Nobel prize institution, which has been criticized in recent years for being "overly political" and "just silly," took pains to emphasize that the nominations this year reflected a "new seriousness," rather "a complete surrender to the absence of judgment and thought in selecting nominees," as some have said.

"George Bush brilliantly used the military to force peace upon the war-loving is," said Pietra Sjordihorgi, a Swiss philanthropist who tortures small animals to stop animal abuse.

Silica Myoderovich, a Russian scientist who boils old sneakers in order to ameliorate foul smells, commented, "Pre-preemptive war -- involving the use of military force to prevent the contemplation of activities seeking to start programs that might be focused on the development of possible weapons that could be used to start hypothetical wars -- is a brilliant idea."

"It is deserving of some form of pre-recognition," he said, turning on the Superbowl.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:00 PM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

January 22, 2004
Bush To Spend Half Billion Bucks On No-Job Training

Spending Will Halve Deficit, Says Prez

President Bush today fired the opening salvo in his reelection campaign in Ohio, announcing that he plans to pour a half billion dollars in credit card cash advances into "Lack of Job Training for the 21st Century."

The money is to be spent helping people adapt to the needs of emerging industries in the George W. Bush domestic economy. Under the program, training for everyone from young college students to retirees will be available in the growing fields of bankruptcy, unemployment counseling, and building homeless shelters. There will also be training for Repo Men.

"I'm very excited to be able to reach out to the people of Ohio and give them this helping hand. That's what our tiny Federal government was meant to do."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:06 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews

January 21, 2004
Network And Cable Coverage Of State Of The Union More Balanced Than Ever

JOHN: We're back with more of our liberally biased and objective coverage of the President's State of the Union. Bob?

BOB: It was a masterful speech, strong and hardy -- like some of Campbell's soups, John.

JOHN: I think that's right. How was the delivery? We turn to drama critic Norman Lickspittle.

LICKSPITTLE: He pronounced all the words correctly, John, and punched all the right syllables. He's ready for Hamlet.

JOHN: Exactly, I thought so. Substance, Bob?

BOB: Well, Bush did exactly what he had to do: he told the Republicans that everything was all right and it was going to continue on course and get better, and he acknowledged to the Democrats that everything was broken but he had solid plans to fix everything. He praised his strengths, or created them out of whole cloth, and glossed over or plain didn't mention his failures.

LISA GIBBLER: He was aware but not aloof, in control, but not dictatorial, confident but concerned -- he struck the perfect balance, hit the perfect tone.

JOHN: He earned every single moment of applause that occurred, all 365 outbursts--

BOB: And that was just from us. Half of the Congressional Gallery applauded the speech 67 times--

JOHN: But not as heartily as we did, Bob. President Bush also adequately kindled the spark of fear in each and every American while assuring Americans that, as long as he's in office, they have nothing to be afraid of.

BOB: He reflected the mood of the country. He was complaisant, superficial, full of homilies and platitudes -- one of the great State speeches ever, John.

JOHN: I don't know which awed me more the speech -- or the man. They were both so, so . . .

BOB: Masterful?

JOHN: Yes. Now: let's hear from a conservative voice.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:49 AM in 2004 Year In ReviewNews