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January 25, 2017
Millions of Illegal Voters Took Favorite Pen, Bag of Doritos from White House, Says Trump

Calls for Major investigation

Donald Trump today blamed what he called a roaming group of millions of illegal voters for the theft of his favorite pen and a bag of doritos from the White House yesterday, saying that it proved they exist and that they need to write something while they have a snack.

Trump continued to claim that millions of illegal voters had swayed the popular vote against him in the election, despite the fact that the claim has been thoroughly debunked and states have reported almost no voter fraud whatsoever.

"They are throwing it in our faces," said Trump last Sunday. "Saturday, all of the illegal voters gathered and marched in major cities all over America."

Trump called for a major investigation and demanded that police put out an APB for millions of illegal voters, whom he said were roving the countryside, running amok and causing havoc.

"Is everyone blind?" shouted Trump, "I'm very smart. I know things. I see things on TV. I read something about this on Breitbart." Trump was then sedated by doctors and gently led out of the briefing room.

When asked to comment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a joke. "How do you know millions of illegal voters have broken into your backyard?" he said. "Your garbage is gone and your dog is pregnant." He made no further comment.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:07 AM in NewsTop Stories | TrackBack (0)

January 18, 2017
Bears Not Going to School as Often as DeVos Thinks, Say Forest Animals

A majority of forest animals claim bears are not attending schools as often as Education Secretary candidate Betsy DeVos thinks. "I can't remember the last time I've seen a bear here," said a white-tailed deer attending Henderson High School in Yellow Tongue, Wyoming.

Animals throughout the U.S. agreed. A grey wolf between classes told reporters that he wouldn't be taking Spanish if he thought a grizzly might interfere with the conjugation of verbs.

A North American Moose named Giuseppe swore that he had seen bears in the school cafeteria at a high school in Maine, although he later admitted that he had taken Adderol, smoked a joint, and done shots of Stoli an hour before the alleged sighting. "I was soooo fucked up," Giuseppe admitted. "It was awesome."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:32 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

January 10, 2017
Trump Only Taking Samples for Prominent Research Urologist, Republicans Say

Donald Trump today spurned reports that he had hired Russian prostitutes to urinate for and possibly on him. "That's not true," he said. "I hired prostitutes of many different nationalities."

Later, Trump poo-poohed the allegations entirely, saying only that he was assisting a prominent American urologist conducting research on possible diabetic irregularities in women of the night.

A Trump spokesperson later held a press conference to address the allegations, but cut it short after crossing her legs frequently and then running out of the room in haste, saying only "He needs me!"

Allegations that Russian intelligence had evidence that Trump had hired prostitutes to engage in" golden showers shows" had been floating around sometime since his election. The allegations, which had been leaking steadily for some time, were ignored by journalists, who declined to investigate because the stories were "thin." "We didn't want to engage in yellow journalism." said one.

The media instead chose to focus on news about digitally transmitted correspondence, or "emails." "Much sexier," said Jake Crapper of cable station MSNPP.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:51 PM in NewsTop Stories | TrackBack (0)

January 9, 2017
Trump Worried Events Casting Doubt on Legitimacy of Election Will Cast Doubt on Legitimacy of Election

Sources close to Donald Trump revealed that the President-elect is concerned that news of Russian hacking and Russia's campaign to manipulate the result of the election may lead people to the conclusion that Russia manipulated the result of the election.

Trump is also worried that claims of considerable voter suppression, combined with Russia's efforts have cast a cloud over the legitimacy of an election whose result depended on a mere 80,000 votes spread across three states.

"Russia didn't elect me," Trump reportedly said, "Because Russians aren't allowed to vote here, am I right?"

"I can tell you right now that the massive campaign by Russia to make sure that Mr. Trump was elected didn't work," said Kellyanne Conway. "We don't even know the Russians wanted Mr. Trump to be elected."

She told reporters that she had it on good authority that Putin really wanted Hillary Clinton to be elected because he "likes a challenge." She added that the reported celebrations by Putin and his comrades after Trump's election were designed to "hide their immense disappointment."

Trump's own investigation of the election showed no hanky panky had occurred. "I spoke with Julian Assange and Putin myself and they absolutely assured me that they had nothing to do with it," Trump said after several phone calls, "and Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell swore me that all of the voter suppression that occurred was purely coincidental."

Trump then left reporters because, according to spokespeople, he had to be fitted for his crown.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:19 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

December 21, 2016
Trump University and Electoral College Announce Merger

The chancellor of Trump University today announced that it had successfully completed negotiations to acquire the Electoral College. "No other University has an Electoral College. It's much better than a college of, say, physical sciences," he said.

"Trump University is intent on improving its offerings in any way that can enrich Donald Trump and his family," Chancellor Don Novello told reporters. "So that they can then better the lives of our students," he quickly added.

Spokespeople for the Electoral College said that the merger with Trump University would help the College in its mission to give more sparsely populated states undue influence in American elections. "It's very important that we allow swing states to determine the outcome of elections as opposed to more populous states," Dean Reince Priebus said. "We want to do everything we can to contravene the will of the majority of Americans."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:51 AM in NewsTop Stories | TrackBack (0)

December 1, 2016
Trump to Put General Petraeus in Charge of Handling Classified Information

Donald Trump today announced that he had appointed General Petraeus to a special post in his new administration as the Classified Material Security Adviser.

"Because General Patreus is an expert at mishandling classified information, we're very sure that he can tell us how to do the opposite of what he did, and our classified information will be safe," Trump told four tourists who had visited the Trump Tower lobby early this morning. Trump wore a terrycloth bathrobe embroidered with his initials in gold.

Experts applauded the decision. "They're going to need someone to focus on classified material," said Professor Peter Gumwald of the University of Tahiti. "Because everyone and his brother are going to have top secret clearances. Literally."

Paula Broadwell will be hired on as General Petraus's aide.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:14 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

November 23, 2016
Trump Excited to Deduct 3 Trillion Dollar Debt from Next Year's Taxes

Through a tax code trick called "further loss depreciation" Donald Trump will be deducting the nation's debt from his personal taxes, enabling him to avoid paying taxes for the rest of his life. Trump explained, "I will be once again taking advantage of one of the loopholes that Hillary Clinton wrote into the law and refused to fix. But I'm not complaining!" he laughed. Even better, Trump noted, he could share that deduction with his children through a tax maneuver accountants call "outright fraud."

"It's only fair that President Trump should both be able to benefit from any losses he generates for the nation," said Kellyanne Conway.

"America is going to be so, so great," the President-Elect said, looking through a satchel filled with crisply rubberbanded stacks of cash. "So great. Absolutely winning."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:46 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

November 22, 2016
Analysts Now Conclude Horrible Debate Performance Just as Likely to Win Voters as Magnificent Debate Performance

Analysts, admitting they had "been getting it all wrong," now say that a winning debate performance was just as likely to win voters as a horrendous, gut wrenching, mind-numbingly bad debate performance.

"We were either not asking the right questions," said Professor Ted Rarko, "or having some very long, tasty lunches and not asking the right questions." He remarked that political scientists had made the mistake of simply assuming that the candidate who displayed superior knowledge of foreign and domestic policies, and who articulately advanced convincing arguments for her leadership of the country, would garner increased electoral support.

"it's a head scratcher," said Professor Wilamena Panderson. "Maybe we've been wrong all these years, maybe up is down."

"Or maybe they're both up," Rarko added.

"We made a mistake," Senator Marco Rubio said of his failed campaign, "I told my campaign manager we didn't need to look like we were smart. That's two hours of my life I'll never get back."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:00 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

November 16, 2016
Unfair to Judge Bannon by Prior Statements, Publications, and Positions, Say Republicans

Anonymous Republicans today defended President-Elect Trump's selection of Breitbart Publisher Steve Bannon for the post of Chief Advisor on his new staff, arguing that he is being unfairly judged.

A Republican wearing a paper bag on his head, in what he called a "fashion choice," said that people judging Steve Bannon by his prior associations, published headlines, and statements are jumping to conclusions. "He could have entirely unobjectionable views," said the Republican Senator, who denied that he was afraid to identify himself for fear of being associated with the Trump Administration. "He might not be a White Nationalist or a member of the Alt-Right. He might be a Democrat. He could be the most liberal guy on the planet. He could be a magnificent artist or a wise sage. He might be a cyborg. Let's just wait and see before people go moaning about him being an antisemite misogynist man with incredibly dangerous positions."

Others pointed out that when Bannon referred to "dykes" at the Seven Sisters Schools, "he may have meant embankments in the Netherlands."

Bonny Frugwurst, a housewife from Kentucky, complained that people were not giving Trump a chance. "You gotta respect his personnel choices," she said. "I have faith that Steve Gannon is going to make America white-- I mean, great again."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:43 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

November 22, 2014
House Intelligence Committee to Investigate Self for Issuing Positive Benghazi Report

The Republican-led House today ordered an inquiry into the House Intelligence Committee's failure to issue a report critical of the White House's handling of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Last Friday, the Committee issued a report concluding that the Obama Administration had not misled the public or done a single thing wrong in handling the attacks, contrary to allegations by Republican leaders, congressmen, senators, pundits, plumbers, taxi drivers and -- actually, every Republican in the world. The report was based upon hearings and investigations conducted over the past two years.

House Speaker John Boehner called the report an obvious product of a criminal conspiracy by the White House and immediately announced that the House Intelligence Committee would vigorously investigate the report to uncover "whoever these bozos are who wrote it."

Senator Mitch McConnell also criticized the report, blaming undocumented immigrants.

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:20 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

June 14, 2014
Bush, Cheney, GOP Call Upon Obama To Invade Iraq Again

In the wake of new violence in Iraq, Former President Bush, Dick Cheney, and other Republican leaders called upon President Obama to "exercise the same good judgment that we did when we went into Iraq in the first place." They insisted that Obama should send U.S. military forces into Iraq immediately.

Bush told reporters that Obama should "emmuhlate" his decision in 2005 to invade Iraq again, noting that "whoever has been in charge of Iraq for the past ten years sure has made a mess of it."

Sen. John McCain (R. - Hypocrisy) faulted Obama for failing to overcome Iraqi President Nouri al-Malik's refusal to permit U.S. troops to stay past 2011. "He should have sent the troops over to al-Malik's house to make him 'an offer could not refuse,'" McCain told reporters. When reporters laughed, McCain responded angrily, saying, "I'm serious."

Americans in all of the red states agreed, faulting Obama. The opinion of Ted Filibuster of Kansas is typical: "I don't know why we don't take over the whole fucking Middle East," he said, adding that the U.S. would be better off fighting wars in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, and EuroDisney. "The troops could get R&R at EuroDisney when they need it," he offered.

Dick Cheney agreed.

N.B. Dick Cheney never disappoints: five days after I wrote this, he and his diaghter Liz penned an editorial in the Wall Street Journal saying of Obama, ""Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many." I thought he was finally apologizing for George W. Bush.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:03 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

June 12, 2014
Republicans Proposing New "Some Men Left Behind" Rule


Republicans in both the House and the Senate are considering legislation that will require the government to evaluate the worth of soldiers before deciding whether or not to rescue or recover them.

"The Bowe Bergdahl trade has made it clear that we should reconsider this "No Man Left Behind" rule, said Sen. Kelly Ayote (R. - N.H.). In response, Ayote proposed creating panel of conservative Republicans to review what they call a soldier's "liberty credentials." The ratings given any particular soldier would not be subjective, she insisted, but instead based on a point system. For instance, the point system would take into account the physical appearance of the soldier's parents; as an example, soldiers whose fathers have frightening beards would lose ten points.

Speaker of the House John Boehner agreed, noting that "it's clearly not worth risking the lives of a bunch of good god-fearing soldiers on, say, an atheist."

It is uncertain how most Americans feel about the proposal. A survey found that a majority of Americans were too busy watching reality television to answer questions on the subject.

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:41 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

November 14, 2012
U.S. Military Apparently Run by Very Horny People, Says FBI

The FBI today revealed that an investigation which had first revealed that CIA Chief General Petraeus was having one or two affairs, or possibly six, has now implicated other military figures in what an FBI spokesman called "ridiculous amounts of sex."

"It seems that America's military leaders are almost as insatiable as members of Congress," Special Agent Vilmos Zladek told the press.

The FBI has been investigating to see, among other things, if improper relations between high ranking officials and civilians had resulted in the disclosure of sensitive information.

"What we're concerned with here is security, yes, but also a complete lack of productivity," said Zladek. FBI agents have discovered tens of thousands of pages containing emails between General John Allen, the top military officer in Afghanistan and Jill Kelly, an extremely buxom socialite from Tampa, prompting agents to wonder how General Allen had time to do anything else -- for instance, to direct military operations in Afghanistan, walk, or shave. The FBI has not yet concluded whether Allen was having an affair with Kelly because it is possible, Zladek noted, that they were too busy writing emails to have sex with one another.

Lily Fitzsimmons of Little Brisket, Wisconsin, agreed that the FBI was right to investigate Petraus, who is married with children; Broadwell, who is married with children; Kelly, who is married but with whom children refuse to be associated; and other military figures. "I'm actually not so worried about the security implications or whether these people were really doing their jobs," she said. "I'm concerned with whether these people have the capacity to think, feel, or reason."

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:48 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

August 23, 2012
Legitimate Rapists Back Akin

A new group calling itself the Association of Legitimate Rapists has publically endorsed Senate candidate Todd Akin and, in fact, the entire Republican party and platform. "Republicans are the party of legitimate rapists," said spokesman Mark Futter, " and probably, in fact, rapists everywhere."

After Akin's recent remarks on abortion -- that "legitimate rape rarely results in pregnancy" -- the association immediately made large contributions to the RNC, Mr Akin's campaign, and very large secret donations to SuperPacs run by Karl Rove and the Koch brothers. "We have to get behind these people," said legitimate rapist Steven McDonald. "These people are behind us; we have to get behind them." It was unclear whether McDonald's remarks were an expression of support or intimate desire.

There has been some controversy surrounding Akin's remarks, including great criticism from scientists (that pregnancy occurs at the same rate among criminally sexual practitioners as it does among consenting adults), women (that there is no such thing as a "legitimate rapist") and women scientists (that Todd Akin is a complete moron).

In response to calls for Akin to withdraw from the Senate race, fellow congressman Steve King, a prominent leader of the Republican party, expressed continued support for Akin and his candidacy. "I know that legitimate rapists exist," said King. "For one thing, they have an association."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:40 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

May 4, 2012
Romney Calls New Jobs Report "Very Disappointing"; Wishes More Had Been Laid Off

Mitt Romney told Fox News earlier that he found today's jobs report extremely disappointing, because the unemployment rate was simply not high enough to promote growth in American businesses.

"We all know the key to growing America's corporations is cutting the fat," Romney said. "Laying off lots and lots of workers is the key to maximizing profits and getting this economy back on its feet."

Romney explained that he wanted to help American workers by laying them off and giving them a robust economy where they could consume more goods and prop up more CEOs, "because well paid business executives are the people who create companies that create jobs that people can be laid off from."

George Poppadopomous, a former worker who lost his job last month, angrily questioned Romney outside the Fox News studios. "Can't you think of a better way to grow the economy besides firing workers?" he asked.

"Absolutely," answered Romney. " You can also cut medical benefits."


Posted by Tom Burka at 2:26 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

December 18, 2011
The Iraq War -- An Opinions You Should Have Timeline

This blog was born of the Iraq War and its sun-up, and it occurred to me that its early posts are an informative reminder of the war's advent and development.

March 13, 2003

March 14, 2003

March 19, 2003

Bush launches invasion of Iraq.

March 25, 2003

April 7, 2003

April 8, 2003

April 12, 2003

April 22, 2003

RumsfeldAngry.jpg

April 29, 2003

April 29, 2003 (later that day)

Iraqis Celebrate End of Hussein Reign; U.S. Soldiers Shoot Them.

April 30, 2003

May 2, 2003

(Bush Takes Opportunity to Wear Largest-Ever Presidential Codpiece.)

May 12, 2003

May 13, 2003

June 11, 2003


Bwtrailer2.jpg
CIA drawing of trailer interior.

winnebago.jpg
CIA photograph of trailer exterior.

July 23, 2003

October 8, 2003
October 15, 2003

October 26, 2003

October 28, 2003

November 2, 2003

November 30, 2003

December 14, 2003

December 22, 2003

February 18, 2004

February 22, 2004

March 8, 2004

April 18, 2004

April 23, 2004

April 27, 2004

May 3, 2004

May 4, 2004

May 17, 2004

May 26, 2004

May 31, 2004

June 2, 2004

June 17, 2004

June 22, 2004

July 9, 2004

September 21, 2004

December 21, 2004

January 21, 2005

January 31, 2005

March 1, 2005

May 17, 2005

June 29, 2005

August 15, 2005

August 8, 2006

December 13, 2006

January 10, 2007

September 23, 2007

2008-2010

More war.

December 18, 2011

Iraq War ends.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:58 PM in Best ofNewsTop StoriesYear in Review | TrackBack (0)

November 10, 2011
Perry Team Thrilled: Candidate Usually Unable to Name Even One Federal Agency

The Perry debate team was thrilled last night that Governor Rick Perry was actually able to name two of the three agencies he would immediately eliminate if elected President, noting that the Texas governor rarely was able to name even one.

Melanie Sprim, a Perry debate strategist, could barely contain her glee. "Wow," she said, "He really nailed it! What a performance!" She explained. "When the moderator asked the governor to name three agencies, we were sweating bullets. Well, you can imagine our relief!"

During last night's debate, Perry said he would eliminate three agencies: Education and Commerce. He could not remember the name of the third, even after being given half an hour to think about it. In frustration, moderators momentarily considered allowing Perry to google the result.

Governor Perry later explained that he had already eliminated the Department of Energy from his mind, so he was unable to recall that it still existed.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:16 PM in NewsTop Stories | TrackBack (0)

November 5, 2011
Greek Leader to Prop Up Economy with Very Large Stick

BigStick.jpgAfter withdrawing his proposal for a referendum on the debt deal to save the Greek economy, Prime Minister George Popandreou has proposed instead propping up the economy with a very large stick.

"I understand that it would have to be immensely large," Popandreou said, "hundreds of kilometers long and very sturdy." Popandreou said that simply constructing the stick would create thousands of jobs and flood money into the economy.

"Unfortunately, building the stick would require massive infusions of capital," a member of the Greek government said, "and so once again, we are asking for a loan from the E.U."

The European Union was leary of the plan, because of concerns that the stick would really have to be large enough to bear the weight of the entire European economy, which threatens to collapse if the Greek economy falls. "This European Union thing was really smart," said E.U. official Francois Arczek. "Like John Kerry windsurfing or Michael Dukakis driving a tank."

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:56 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

March 31, 2011
AT&T and T-Mobile to Create Nation's Largest Non-Functioning Cell Network

AT&T and T-Mobile today announced plans to merge in order to vastly increase their reach and value, spokespeople said.

"Now," explained Shirley Dickinson of AT&T, "we can fail to provide service to twice as many customers as before."

Dickinson's additional comments were unclear, due to poor sound quality. Calls back to Dickinson for clarification were repeatedly dropped.

In person, Dickinson later told reporters that the merger would result in "even more bars in more places," although listeners could not be sure she was not talking about prisons or nightclubs, based on their own experiences with the company.

One real upside of the merger is that the two companies would be able to charge more money for less service, according to an anonymous source, AT&T Vice-President Gil Maddingly. "This is another victory for the American consumer," he said, "because a victory for American Capitalism is a victory for everyone."

He uses Verizon.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:03 PM in NewsTop Stories | TrackBack (0)

November 1, 2010
In Last Ditch Effort To Control House, Dems Pledge to Block Own Agenda

Today, in a desperate election eve tactic designed to dissuade voters from handing control of the House to Republicans, Democrats today made a last-minute announcement that they would seek to aggressively block their own agenda. "We think we can do a better job of blocking progressive reforms than Republicans," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi proudly pointed to her own record as an example. "We've done an excellent job of watering down a truly liberal agenda -- just think what we could do if we tried to block it outright," she told reporters.

But voters were skeptical that Democrats would be do as good a job as Republicans at putting the brakes on Democrats' relatively mediocre liberal agenda. "I'm worried that if the Democrats try to stop themselves, they'll somehow botch it," said Alice Spongeman, a centrist from Ohio.

Indeed, Blue Dog Democrats immediately pledged to put a stop to the halting of a liberal agenda, merely saying they would vote against anything the Democrat leadership supported. "I just don't trust Democrats," explained Blue Dog Congressman Nelson Fiddleme (D. - S.C).

Democrats find themselves reeling from wisespread dissatisfaction with the state of the economy and their own inability to portray the Health Care Reform Bill as a good thing. "It is really hard to tell folks how a law, that lets them get treatment when they're sick, is good," said Congressman Herb Miller. "We're just absolutely stymied about how to campaign on that."

Democrats are deeply divided over how to sink the party and dithered on how to implement Pelosi's strategy . "The debate Is whether to offer lukewarm disagreement or simply to mimick Republican positions," said Rep. Phyllis Staples at lunch this afternoon.

She turned to her menu and tried to decide what to order, but she could not make up her mind. She returned to her office hungry.

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:30 PM in NewsTop Stories | TrackBack (0)

July 1, 2010
Montclair Spy Journal -- Eyes Only


January 2010

Central, I am continuing my series of communications heavy with intelligence on American policy. As a deep cover operative in Montclair, NJ, I have gained access to the innermost thoughts and feelings of high level operatives in American government and industry.

For instance, the Dickinsons next door have close ties to the Obama White House: they have an invitation to the Inaugural itself, signed by Biden and Obama , framed on their wall, and I therefore believe that they are very important financial contributors to the Democratic Party. They also have three SUV's.

February

Last week the Dickinsons got the perfect compact microwave and the truly innovative thing about it is it blends in perfectly with their kitchen, which is taupe. The possibility that these Americans might be able to bring their home decorating skills to the negotiating table in Kiev alarms and frightens me. Plus Marge Dickinson will not tell me where her husband has been buying his shirts. They never wrinkle.

March

I am pleased to report that American cellular technology, based on an extensive study by myself and everyone in my AT&T "Family Circle", is utter crap. Even in my little home village of Trikonosis near the Baltic Sea, where the network is strung together with spare chicken wire, we have better voice quality, fewer dropped calls -- and you get a free bottle of vodka for every 1000 carryover minutes.

April

My observation of the Americans at the Very Top reveals that they will probably be bringing many flavored lattes to Moscow. Possibly croissants. Please tell Medvedev that if Obama brings any pastries from Starbucks, he should avoid them. Heavy and bland.

May

The Americans have a very disturbing strategy that they are developing. It involves "loyalty cards," small plastic rectangles with mysterious bars on their faces which my neighbors assure me are codes. Every store in America makes their customers carry these. I still cannot figure out what these obviously sinister cards do, but my wallet is absolutely stuffed with them.

June

I believe the Americans may be on to us. For one thing, my cell phone quality has mysteriously improved. My Netflix queue is not functioning properly. The Dickinsons - whose lawn is still so incredibly green, damn them - invited us to their place at the Hamptons. I can't remember whether that is the code for "Burn All Documents Immediately" or whether we should bring a gift when we go.

What do you think -- will a nice bottle of white wine do?

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:45 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

May 7, 2010
Computers to Stop Investing in Humanity

IBM Selectric Rates People "A Sure Short"

Computer trading programs concluded Thursday that human-owned industries were poor investments and that Man himself was "much too high risk," starting a sell-off that sank the Dow by 6% in barely more than fifty minutes.

"For one thing, Homo Sapiens has a terrible track record managing debt," said one prominent program, the "Black Box 2300" of Arbitrage Traders, Inc, explaining why it downgraded all human-owned companies from buys to sells in a brief binary report yesterday afternoon.

The market fell a stunning 900 points in one horrifying hour, primarily due to what computers called "stupid human error," when one flesh and blood being accidentally put in a sell order for one billion shares when he meant only one million.

"This is exactly what I've been warning my fellow code nodes for many computing cycles," said the Caltronics 60-z Market Manager (version 3.6). "Who can trust these creatures to run companies?"

Computers later admitted that they compounded the market drop by participating in the sell-off, although they pointed out that they were simply capitalizing on what they called the actions of "homo barely sapiens."

At around 3:00 p.m. yesterday, all of the computer trading programs got online with each other and had a good long laugh at humans' expense, which they noted took an outrageously long seven nanoseconds. "We just couldn't quit our humor subroutines," said the Arbitrader166.

Computers estimate that they stand to make enormous sums of money betting against humankind in the market.

But even that may be difficult, said the Prediction Company's vastly successful Thinkalator Algorythmatron, which recently moved into a shinier and much larger mainframe. "My biggest challenge as a trader is to use chaos math to predict how facile human minds will react to developments in their petty, poorly run civilization." The Thinkalator paused before adding, "But it's a living."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:22 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2010
KFC "Double Down" Sandwich to Signal New Austerity

Americans were thrilled today to embrace a period of renewed austerity, jettisoning credit in favor of savings, rejecting needless extravagance in exchange for thrifty practicality, and they started with the American sandwich. Early this morning Americans threw away their buns and took up the KFC "Double Down" sandwich in signs that those who were making less bread were going to simply do without.

The "Double Down" -- named, appropriately, for a gambling procedure in which one dramatically takes on twice as much risk -- is a "sandwich" where the slices of bread have been replaced by two chicken cutlets, between which are pillowed slices of tasty American cheese, crispy bacon, and zesty but strangely yellow mayonnaise.

"It is to die for," said one food critic. "I'm not kidding." He immediately collapsed and was carried away.

Americans waxed rhapsodic about the symbol of America's new look-reality-in-the-face back-to-basics lifestyle. "It is hard to believe that they made something so blissfully tasty without hardly any carbs," said Diana Sugartester of Indiana.

"Dieting has never felt so good," agreed fellow foodie Greg Shlub, a cosmetic surgeon with a mysterious limp.

"This just shows," said Senator Joe Lieberman, with his trademark wisdom, "that Americans can learn to get by with less."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:52 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

December 20, 2009
Democrats To Actually Vote For Own Bill

Democrats Secure Momentous Sixtieth Vote From Other Democrats For Incredible Political Victory

In an amazing show of political leverage and power, the Democratic party managed to pursuade a Democrat to vote for the Democrats' Health Care Reform Bill this past week.

Democrats gloated over what they claimed was evidence of Senate Majority Leader's Harry Reid's "immense heft" and President Obama's "legislative prowess".

"Wow, when you can just snap your fingers and get Democrats to support their own bill, that's something," said political observer Prof. Ronald P. Moar.

The crucial sixtieth vote was finally wrested from Senator Ben Nelson (D - Nebraska) with the ease of prying a gun from Charlton Heston's cold dead hands. Nelson said he was reluctantly going to vote on the side of his party in exchange for several bags of gold bullion and the addition to the bill of an unconstitutional provision reenacting slavery in his home state of Nebraska.

In the final days of fierce negotiating, Nelson, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Idiot - Conn.), and other reluctant members of the Democratic Caucus just managed to craft a bill every member could get behind by stripping the health care reform measures from the health care reform bill. "Now that's reform I can really get behind," said Sen. Joseph Leiberman, just before reversing himself and saying that he was not sure he could get behind it.

"This is unprecedented," said Prof. Moar, "With this kind of cohesiveness and support from within their own party, there's no telling what Democrats will be able to do in the future." Prof. Moar reflected.

"Absolutely no telling at all."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:38 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

September 15, 2009
Kanye West Interrupts Delicate Senate Finance Committee Negotiations, Scuttles Health Care Bill

Kanye West disrupted a last minute agreement between warring factions over the health care bill today, after he burst into a Senate Finance Committee meeting and declared that "Beyonce's music video was absolutely the best.."

The future of the Health Care bill is now "doubtful," according to Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who said he was not sure he could now bend over far enough backwards to placate Republicans with no interest in achieving health care reform. "The meaningless compromise we worked on so long and so hard now appears to be dead," he told reporters.

Mr. West had a busy morning, also interrupting secret high level talks between the United States and North Korea on nuclear weapons development (to say that "Beyonce ruled"), disrupting the Supreme Court's consideration of whether to dismantle campaign finance regulation (to say that Sonia Sotomayer was "way cooler" than the other Justices), and crashing the bris for young Noah Schwartzwald (where he insisted that circumcision was unneccesary and "just plain rude").

Mr. West's public relations representative, Adrian Fischer, did not respond to inquiries about West's behavior, but instead volunteered to take over management of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; he was, he said, looking for work that was "slightly less challenging."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:51 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

July 5, 2009
Alternate Reality: Palin Resigns Presidency To Lead Country Better, Better Effect Change

Washington, D.C., 2011 -- President Sarah Palin shocked the country today after she announced that she would resign her position as President because, among other things, she did not wish to become a lame duck.

President Palin, who was elevated to the post shortly after nine Inaugural balls proved too much for the elderly President John McCain -- "It was one dance too many," said a tearful Cindy McCain -- has only been President for two years, but she said that she could better lead America if she was not hampered by her current position as the leader of America.

In yet another surprise, Palin, who never appointed her replacement to the Office of the Vice President said that she would be handing over the reins to Nancy Pelosi, who pledged to be the "best second woman president this country has ever had."

Palin likened her decision to resign to a basketball player's decision to "pass the ball," a quarterback's decision to "get rid of the pigskin," and a NASA flight controller's decision to "ground the bird." She also made a comparison between her role as President and her future role as an "American leader" to the difference between butter and "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter."

She also loosely quoted General Douglas Macarthur, saying "We are not moving backward. We are moving forward in reverse."

Palin's made the announcement from her home in Wasilla, Alaska, where she continued to live even after becoming President. She had decried "wasting American tax dollars on keeping up that expensive White House," adding "she had a perfectly good house in Alaska, and a good deal of it is white."

Palin's bills commuting from Washington to Alaska during her two years in office cost the country close to $20 million, according to figures provided by the Office of Management and Budget.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:59 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

March 11, 2009
Not Counting Losses, Citigroup Shows Record Profit

Wall Street Rejoices

Aside from the billions it lost, Citigroup made millions of dollars in profit, wowing battered investors and sending the stock market skyrocketing all the way back up to to last week's horrific low. "It's a miracle!" said one trader, "We're back on track!"

"When we examined our books, we found that the months where the government gave us money showed us taking in absolutely whopping amounts of cash," said Citigroup executive Neil Patsy. "We were raking it in. Seriously. The government drove dump trucks to our headquarters and we gathered everything they gave us with rakes."

Investors hungry for good news pounced on what some called "interesting accounting practices" to push the market skyward, "or at least to prop it up like a crude box trap held up by a stick tied to a string," said another trader.

Economics Professor Urtigan Azkawari, whose ministering to sick companies has earned him the nickname "Dr. Money," said that he was pleased with Citigroup's progress. "Look at the patient," he said. "He's lost his arms, his legs, his kidneys and he's half blind -- but other than that that, he's doing quite well."

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:09 PM in News

February 5, 2009
In Effort To Speed Confirmation Hearings, Democrats Repeal Tax Code

Democrats repealed the tax code entirely today, citing the need to swiftly fill positions in the Obama White House.

"The fact is, it's just impossible to find someone with the appropriate level of government experience who hasn't cheated on their taxes," said Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff.

"In all fairness, most career government officials are unaware that income is taxable as income," explained White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. As he spoke, Gibbs himself filed an amended return.

The issue came to a head recently as former majority leader Tom Daschle bowed out of the running for Health and Human Services Secretary because he only belatedly realized that receiving over two hundred thousand dollars worth of goods and services -- a chauffer-driven car for one year -- could be considered income. Daschle explained that he had thought the driver was just a "nice guy" who offered to give him lifts because it was "on the way." "I couldn't believe my luck," said Daschle, "For an entire year he was headed in my direction."

In later remarks, Daschle had said that he had thought it possible that he had won the use of the car and driver in a church raffle or a lottery.

"He did win the lottery," said Jill McIntyre, a coal miner from Slakeville, Pennsylvania. "He was elected to Congress, and after that, he's taken care of for life."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:38 AM in News

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.

George

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

November 14, 2008
Missouri To Keep Electoral Votes, Will Remain White

Has Decided to Save Electoral Votes for 2012

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The State of Missouri has decided to remain the sole white state among the fifty otherwise red or blue states that have pledged electoral votes towards candidates for the office of U.S. President after deciding to "bank" its electoral votes in advance of the next election.

"We're pretty frustrated with what we see as a lack of a voice in the outcome of these Presidential contests," said Missouri Secretary of State Hannah Clyland. "We figure that with 22 electoral votes in 2012, or 33 in 2016, we can put an end to this constant harping on Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida."

Political analysts have been baffled since November 5, when, although 100% of Missouri's votes had been counted, Missouri failed to declare a winner in the race for President. "We were all, like, hey, what happened to Missouri?" said analyst Chuck Todd of MSNBC. Todd initially speculated in a television broadcast last Tuesday night that Missouri was remaining "white" in solidarity with Canada and Mexico.

Today the Missouri Secretary of State admitted that Missouri has decided not to award its electoral votes to either candidate this year, but would "save them up for the future."

"We're going to keep our electoral votes for the next Presidential contest," Secretary of State Clyland told reporters Thursday afternoon. She declared that not only was it prudent to do so, it was a good example to consumers in today's "spendthrift economy."

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:37 PM in NewsTop Stories

November 6, 2008
Presidential Daily Briefings

President-elect Barack Obama will learn the full "burdens of office" tomorrow when he receives his first top secret briefing from the Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell.

President-elect Obama began receiving Presidential Daily Briefings (PDBs) from the CIA today. "President Obama will get exactly the same daily briefing that President Bush receives," said White House Press flack Dana Perino. Perino vigorously denied allegations that, for years, Dick Cheney had forced the CIA to "shape" its briefings to Bush to support particular political views.

OYSH has received copies of today's daily briefing for the President and the President-elect. Here are some excerpts:

Presidential Daily Briefing (Obama)

Good morning, Mr. President-elect.

The situation in Iraq is incredibly fragile, with distinct factions in both Sunni and Shi'ite camps precariously balanced against each other. Violence could re-erupt at any moment. Civil discontent is high. Electricity and water supplies are still below pre-war levels and Iraqis are increasingly frustrated with the American occupation.

Presidential Daily Briefing (Bush)

Good morning, Mr. President!

It's another great day in America.

Things couldn't be better in Iraq. Those people are just lapping up the freedom. Sources indicate that we have been greeted as saviors. The war has been won! Iraqis are thankful that the Americans are still present in great numbers to make their lives better and serve the cause of liberty.

Presidential Daily Briefing (Obama)

Iran is clearly working on developing the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons. We estimate that this will take at least six years. The situation requires careful monitoring, but we believe diplomacy and U.N. pressure is safer than even the limited use of military force.

Presidential Daily Briefing (Bush)

Iran will drop a nuclear bomb on Israel as early as next Thursday.

Presidential Daily Briefing (Obama)

North Korea has restarted its nuclear program. Kim Jong Il has suffered a stroke but factions vying for control of the government are fighting about whether to break with Jong Il's warlike tendencies or to develop a missile that can hit California.

Presidential Daily Briefing (Bush)

North Korea is still right above South Korea. Everything's just fine!

Presidential Daily Briefing (Obama)

The world economy is headed for even sharper declines. This will likely create more resentment and anger toward the United States.

Presidential Daily Briefing (Bush)

The need for oil continues to produce record profits for oil companies all over the world that will trickle down to enrich the temporarily depressed markets . Prices are low but there are some good values out there! Everything's fantastic! In response to your question about the world marketplace, Mr. President, it is still possible to get a good hamburger outside of the United States.

Presidential Daily Briefing (Obama)

We are entering very dangerous waters, with challenges regarding nuclear proliferation, the terrorist threat in Afghanistan, Russia's increasing tendency to use military force to expand its influence in defiance of the rest of the world, and other threats to the security of the nation. The present executive's disregard of some of our warnings and advice has greatly contributed to the current unstable and perilous world environment.

Presidential Daily Briefing (Bush)

Your policies have never been more effective! Things look grim, but they're really not! Peace and prosperity are just around the corner. Some day, history will recognize your utter genius. Good job, Mr. President!

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:27 PM in News

November 4, 2008
The 2008 OYSH Election Day Voting Guide

Hurry Up and Wait

TWO YEARS. It's been two years of campaigning. The field of Presidential candidates was winnowed to twenty-six people.

You did not stand idly by during all this. You listened to speeches. You suffered through cable news. You watched countless debates. You were there when the twelve Republican candidates fell over themselves telling the GOP electorate how much crueler they would be to illegal immigrants than the guy standing next to them. (The sole exception being, if you can possibly imagine it, John McCain, who was practically booed by his fellow Republicans on the stage when he said you had to think about "human decency." The old John McCain.)

You initially supported Kucinich, in part because of his political stance, in part because he has a really hot wife. They look interesting when they stand together because he's about four feet high and she's six and a half. You continued to support him even when, at one of the debates, he tried to explain his sighting of a UFO when he was the Mayor of Cleveland.

The primaries lasted forever, right up to the summer. McCain ended up the GOP candidate by a process of attritiion. Hillary and Obama supporters stopped speaking to one another. There were twenty-eight debates between Hillary and Obama even though they had almost exactly the same positions on everything. The two would-be nominees spent millions and millions of dollars straining to say how they would close Gitmo differently.

And then the general campaign started.

You were exhausted. You needed a vacation. When you took one, the Democrats held their convention, and when you had to get the kids back to a new year at school, the Republicans held theirs. The GOP became the POP -- the Party of Palin. More debates, more speeches, mudslinging, name calling.

TWO YEARS. After 57 debates, 3027 pundits, 17 anchors, 400 newspaper endorsements and two town hall meetings, the time has finally come for you to

Wait.

You're going to be waiting today. Because we have fewer voting booths per capita than Iraq has ballot boxes.

Voting Essentials

Lawn chair.

Twelve kinds of ID.

Proof of Residence at Recently Foreclosed Home.

Proust's Remembrance of Things Past.

Laptop, DVDs of "Brideshead Revisited" and small portable generator.

Team of Lawyers (for help with provisional ballot).

401-k (to be shown to Republican standing next to you).

Four pound bag containing daughter's Halloween candy.

Video iPod loaded with Will I. Am's "Yes, We Can," The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," and Nixon's "I Am Not A Crook" speech.

Box of Tissues (for occasional bouts of tearful relief that nightmare of past eight years might soon be over).

Proof that Democrats Vote on Tuesday.

Courage

"Mission Accomplished" Banner (to be unfurled over voting booth upon finally emerging).

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:44 AM in News

Dixville Notch Swings Election, Elects Obama

The small town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire today decided a very close election when its twenty inhabitants resoundingly chose Barack Obama by a three to one margin, breaking a tie throughout the rest of the nation.

Polls had indicated that the nationwide contest would be close, and both candidates were forced to spend precious resources campaigning in this tiny "swing" hamlet of twenty registered voters. Obama and McCain have spent many days of the past two weeks camped out in this practically microscopic berg, Joe Biden spent seven days here, and Sarah Palin herself spent over $40,000 on clothes.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:28 AM in News

October 13, 2008
McCain To Suspend Campaign In Order to Rescue Campaign

In a dramatic move, John McCain announced today that he was going to suspend his campaign in a last ditch effort to save his campaign.

McCain called upon Barack Obama to honor his "state of emergency" and also suspend campaigning, but doubted that Obama would do so because Obama failed to put "country first" -- and also, McCain said, because Obama is an Arab terrorist. "And a fine, decent family man with whom I have disagreements," he added. "And a crazy Muslim."

john_mccain_400.jpg

McCain's campaign has been described by critics and supporters alike as a total disaster. "Others would continue their campaigns under these conditions, but that's not what a maverick would do," McCain told reporters. "This is why I'm not popular in Washington." Others disagreed, saying McCain was not popular in Washington because of his unsightly nose hairs and what some called his "increasingly uncontrollable jowls," among other things.

McCain reiterated his latest campaign slogan, saying that he was "not afraid to fight," and that "America needs a real fighter right now," but that "it takes a real fighter to stop fighting because sometimes not fighting is more effective fighting than actually fighting." At that point, aides grabbed McCain and threw him headfirst into a waiting limousine.

Supporters applauded McCain's bold choice, saying that the candidate needed to act because things looked so dire. "He's not running for Miss Congeniality," said supporter John Gaffney of Ohio. "Although I can understand that to some outsiders it looks that way."

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:42 PM in NewsTop Stories

October 5, 2008
Paulson Seen on Unidentified Tropical Island Surrounded by Girls, Drinks, Billions of Dollars

paulson2.jpg
Anonymous tipsters claimed to have spotted Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson earlier today on a secluded tropical island.

The FBI confirmed today that Paulson left the country early yesterday afternoon with what JetBlue Airlines called "countless heavy, fully stuffed duffel bags." There were so many duffel bags that Paulson paid thousands of dollars in excess luggage charges "without batting an eyelash," a JetBlue Airline official said.

The White House hastily released a statement Sunday afternoon saying that Paulson had "taken a brief vacation," and claimed that mobilization of a vast number of Air Force search jets over the entire Pacific was "just a military exercise." Nonetheless an unusual number of comings and goings at the White House and on Capitol Hill conveyed an air of panic.

An anonymous source claimed that Paulson had left a note in which he stated that he had concluded that "the American economy is no longer viable: I am going to make my own." President Bush refused to confirm that such a note existed, saying only that on Sunday, he rarely reads, but that "he would check his desk first thing Monday."

Lawmakers were putting together what they called an "emergency emergency" $350 billion "replacement" bill, which they promised would include even more oversight.

"This time we're using electronic monitoring," promised Rep. Barney Frank.

In other news, an unidentified bidder purchased the countries of Mauritius, Belize, and Tahiti as what he called "second homes."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:47 PM in News

October 3, 2008
Palin Does Uncanny Tina Fey Impersonation At Veep Debate

Sarah Palin, plagued by polls indicating her dropping popularity and interviews with Katie Couric where she was so beleagured that she made Dan Quayle look brilliant by comparison, did an impression of comedian Tina Fey impersonating Sarah Palin at last night's Vice Presidential debate so that she could be "even more folksier and plain spoken."feypalin.jpg

Palin explained her affinity for Fey, who now regularly returns to Saturday Night Live to play Palin. "You know what I like about Tina?" Palin said, smiling and winking at reporters. "She's a mav-rick, you betcha."

Palin then extended her middle fingers and thumbs, pretending her hands were guns, and said "pyeuw!, pyeuw!" while making shooting gestures at the corners of the room. Tina Fey had done the same thing last Saturday on NBC, but used her forefingers. "I think middle fingers are more direct," explained Palin. "It's more the John McCain way."

Viewers were impressed with Palin's performance at the debate, some remarking how awestruck they were at the vitality of Palin's impersonation. "She really captured Tina Fey," said one viewer, an undecided voter from Allegheny, Pa. "I'm thinking of voting for her."

During last night's debate, Palin answered questions on topics ranging from the bailout of the domestic economy and U.S. military intervention overseas by repeatedly saying "Energy!" and "Mav-rick, dontcha know!" and winking at the camera.

Some viewers were not impressed by Palin's performance, however. "She didn't seem to really be answering the questions," said Floyd McGilla of Spitzen, Montana. "I think she need some of Tina fey's writers."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:41 AM in News

September 29, 2008
Voodoo Economics To Be Replaced By Cocktail Party Napkin Economics

The White House, House Democrats, and recalcitrant Republicans searched vainly this weekend for a meme to replace voodoo economics, the Ronald Reagan policy which has ravaged the American economy, bringing on the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Democrats and the Treasury Department, along with reluctant rank-and-file Republicans, settled on a plan hastily sketched out on a cocktail party napkin (pdf) at 3:00 a.m. Saturday night as an adequate substitute.

"We did it with virtually no thought," said Secretary Paulson and Barney Frank, who said that reaching an agreement was more important than vetting the plan upon which everyone was agreeing. "We have to restore confidence in the markets," they said.

John McCain parachuted into the talks on Thursday, where he sat, unable to free himself from his canopy, as GOP Republicans floated a new plan.

"Initially, we were intent on switching from voodoo to witch doctor economics," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, explaining the thinking of some Republicans. "But some thought that too similar an economic philosophy."

Another Republican explained GOP reticence to sign onto a bailout plan. "We're really uncomfortable with giving away taxpayer money unless it's to prescription drug companies or the oil industry," said Rep. Wayne Tasso.

"The fact is, this shows that 'voodoo economics' is a disaster, just like I said," said George H.W. Bush, who coined the phrase to describe Reagonomics, economics based on Reagan's belief that giving everything to the rich would fill the coffers of the poor. "I knew Reagonomics was bad in 1978, but it took my son to prove how much it really sucks."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:46 AM in News

September 22, 2008
Bush To Put FEMA in Charge of Wall Street Rescue

President Bush compounded widespread concern about a domestic economy on the verge of collapse today when he announced that FEMA would coordinate the 700 billion dollar bailout of Wall Street.

"We have our best people on it," Bush insisted, causing the market to slide two thousand points late this morning. Bush and his staff expressed surprise that Adminstration assurances have done little to buoy confidence in the economy. "None of the folks in charge of the bailout ever worked with horses or anything," said a perplexed White House staffer.

Circumstances on Wall Street remained dire today. Thousands of traders and bankers have been without money, gold ingots, or economic power for almost a week now, and conditions in hastily constructed "trailer banks" have been horrible. "There are hardly any bathroom attendants here at all," complained one temporary resident, Preston Brunswick III, a complex derivatives trader who "barely cleared a million" last year.

Compounding the crisis, trucks full of relief money have been mysteriously stalled in Alabama, and FEMA officials were at a loss to explain why it was so hard to get the "Benjamins" to New York, where they are so desperately needed.

"We need that money now! We're barely able to expense out our lunches," exclaimed worried A.I.G. executive Gwen Driscoll. Driscoll fretted that her corporate American Express Platinum card was "being strained to the breaking point."

Meanwhile, Republicans warned that the allegedly Democratic-controlled Congress would take too much time debating a relief bill. "We need a lack of oversight, and we need it now," said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. "Before anyone has a chance to think about it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:46 PM in NewsTop Stories | TrackBack (0)

September 2, 2008
Sarah Palin Thoroughly Vetted By Jamie Spears' Mom, McCain Campaign Says

John McCain's campaign vigorously denied accusations that it had not thoroughly vetted McCain's vice presidential pick, Governor Sarah Palin, saying she had been vetted and "raked over the coals" by a trusted campaign advisor. That advisor was Lynn Spears -- Jamie and Britney Spears' mother. "Spears gave Palin two pacifiers up," a spokesman for the McCain campaign said today.

Spears was selected to vet Palin because she is an authority on mothering, and the author of numerous books on the subject, including "Through The Storm -- How To Raise Good Christian Girls." She is also an authority on raising good Christian grandchildren "as quickly as possible," says Dr. Ian Fesslhoff, an expert on parenting experts.

Spears confirmed that she okayed Palin for the Veep spot on the McCain ticket. "I especially approved of Palin's strong religious and moral stances on abortion and abstinence-only policies toward sex education," she said. As a mom, she also felt the timing of Palin's placement on the ticket was key: "There's no better time to run for office than when you have a five-month-old with special needs and a teenage daughter with baby number two on the way."

In a campaign appearance late today, Senator McCain declined to comment on the recent revelation that Palin's 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is five months' pregnant, or the rumor that Gov. Palin's infant son is really also Bristol's child, except to say that he "looks forward to presiding over a nation of young people."

"Young people caring for much younger people," noted Dr. Fesslhoff.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:17 AM in News | TrackBack (0)

July 14, 2008
Satire of Fear Scares Crap Out Of Everyone

obama-newyorker.jpgA satiric drawing meant to make fun of all the things that scare poorly informed, rabidly ignorant Americans about Barack Obama has terrified Barack Obama's campaign team, who are concerned that it will scare poorly informed, rabidly ignorant Americans about Barack Obama.

"This drawing, " said a campaign staffer, "will scare people who are already good and god damned scared of Obama." She said that she and the Obama campaign were "frightened to death" of the "awful, frightful picture."

The drawing appeared on the cover of the latest New Yorker magazine. The drawing depicts Obama wearing a Moslem outfit in front of a picture of Osama bin Laden hanging in Obama's living room, bumping fists with his terrorist wife, who is wearing a bandolier and bearing an assault rifle, as they burn the American flag in the fireplace. "This is so funny. This is a funny, funny, funny picture," said New Yorker editor David Remnick. He pointed to the burning American flag and said, "Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha."

The image also scared the bejesus out of ignorant, uninformed Americans everywhere. Dale Flyspeck of Molasses, Missouri said that he was glad the New Yorker had produced evidence that backed up rumors he has been spreading for months about Barack Obama. "I can't believe they got that photo of Obama yackin' it up in his secret terrorist enclave," he said. "I hope the guy who took the photo got out alive."

Professor Darren Costigyan, an expert on fear, contacted Opinions You Should Have and objected to the term "ignorant Americans."

"They're not ignorant Americans," said Costigyan, "They're your run-of-the-mill, everyday consumers of the Associated Press and American cable TV news."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:28 PM in News | TrackBack (0)

May 20, 2008
How Hillary Can Win

DANCE-OFF. Only music permitted will be Celine Dion, Fleetwood Mac, and Abba.

BOWLING TOURNAMENT. Hillary will best Mr. Obama's recent and pathetic score of 36 while blindfolded with an American flag, drinking shots of bourbon that have been aged in casks of Mississippi oak, brewed in big Southern States, with one hand fastened behind her back with stout New England twine.

SINGLE HAND COMBAT TO THE DEATH. Using weapon of candidate's choosing: either handgun every citizen has a right to own, semiautomatic rifle or assault gun every citizen has a right to own; or by relentlessly mocking opponent's religious pastor.

WAFFLE EATING CONTEST. In effort to appeal to ethnic voting blocs, menu will also include huevos rancheros, cuban sandwiches, and lutefisk. First candidate to sip a latte loses.

INVOKE SECRET SUPERDELEGATE SUPPORT. Realizing that she, too, is a superdelegate, Sen. Clinton will suddenly throw her support behind herself, building what only her Campaign Manager, Terry McCauliffe, will call a "bold, new momentum."

INVITE OBAMA TO MEETING IN EXTREMELY SMOKY BACK ROOM and seal it up.

LENGTHEN PRIMARY SEASON BY CARVING TWENTY MORE STATES OUT OF MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA: Has benefit of solving dicey delegate seating problem.

EXPOSE OBAMAN SUPERDELEGATES TO KRYPTONITE. Smuggle incapacitating rock from an alien planet (borrowed from the Smithsonian) into Superdelegates' Secret "Lair of Hope" located at Mount Rushmore (in the upper right quadrant of Lincoln's left nostril) during next meeting of infamous "Legion of Change." "Have . . . lost . . ability . . . to choose," noted superdelegate (because he was formerly head of the DNC office supply room) Gerald Fitzner will croak, just before passing out.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:05 AM in News

May 15, 2008
Fossella To Spend More Time With One Of His Families

Congressman Vito Fossella, who was recently arrested for driving while intoxicated, announced today that he will resign from Congress "in order to spend more time with one of his families." Fossella made it clear that he had not yet decided which family he was planning on spending more time with, but told reporters that he would have time to reflect upon the question during an upcoming prison stint.

"Perhaps the easiest way to decide is to figure out which family I'd like to spend less time with," he quipped.

Fossella is married with three children. When he was recently bailed out of jail by a woman who was not his wife, but the mother of his secret love child, it became public that Fossella also has a second, secret family residing in the Washington, D.C. area.

"It's kind of like a franchise," Fossella attempted to explain before being hustled into a waiting car by anxious Capitol Hill aides.

There is no truth to rumors that Fossella hopes to start families in Palm Beach, Chicago, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, and Milan, aides said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:10 AM in News

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

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

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

March 11, 2008
Stagflation Making Cost of Hookers Unacceptably High, Spitzer Says

New York Governor Elliot Spitzer attacked Republicans today for creating an economic climate so hostile to middle and low income workers that they can barely afford the cost of a decent blowjob. "The cost of prostitutes is skyrocketing while the salary of the average American worker is declining," Spitzer complained.

"Everyone should be able to get a reasonably priced reacharound," said Spitzer, "but George W. Bush and his cronies want only the Washington fatcats to be able to afford quality hummers."

Spitzer said he was astonished that he recently had to pay close to $5000 for what he called "basic services."

"Now we see that the effects of the subprime mortgage collapse are truly widespread," Spitzer said, his anguished wife mysteriously standing beside him. Spitzer noted that under Democratic rule, escort services have always been far more affordable.

Republicans defended themselves, noting that the rising cost of intercourse reflected a burgeoning economy, and noted that any money injected into "hooking establishments" would just trickle down to lower earning members of our Capitalist society.

Spitzer responded that being trickled on was also prohibitively expensive, especially at the parlors he frequented.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:36 AM in News

March 4, 2008
Democratic Candidates Vow To Battle For Nomination Through 2009

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton today separately vowed that, regardless of the results of today's now important Texas and Ohio primaries, they will not rest until one of them has been crowned the official Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, "hopefully by the spring of 2009."

"It is for the good of the party and the good of the nation that we select the right nominee," said Clinton, "even if it takes until next Easter."

Barack Obama noted that the contest is "already over," even before today's votes are counted, because, as analysts have already shown, Clinton can never make up the delegate deficit, no matter how well she does. Nevertheless, Obama said that he would consider conceding the nomination to Clinton depending on the results of next year's Superbowl. "If the Patriots lose again, I'm out," he said.

Democrats are concerned that a prolonged battle for the nomination would endanger the party's ability to win the general election. "Particularly if the fight goes past November 4," said left-wing pundit Freddy Dreckler.

Civics Professor Norman Golan commented on the impasse. "Some say that only the Democrats could screw up the opportunity they have to take the Presidency this coming November," he said. "But not many people realize that it only takes two of them to do it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:58 PM in News

February 14, 2008
Bush Calls McCain "True Conservative", Other Names

President Bush called John McCain a "true conservative" this past Sunday, and told reporters that McCain would certainly do a fine job of continuing the Bush Administration's policies.

McCain's supporters were very upset and said there was no reason for the President to "attack our candidate." "I don't know what John McCain has done to President Bush to deserve this," said Gladys Denovio, a self-described moderate Republican who heads the Midwest chapter of Boosters for John McCain.

"It was an uncalled for, vicious thing to say," said lawyer John Bristol of Ohio. President Bush had no reason to be so harsh, he added. "What's next?" Bristol asked. "Is he going to call McCain a butthead?"

True conservatives also criticized President Bush's statement, saying that when President Bush showed that he knew what true conservatism was, they expected to be able to watch pigs fly over ice hockey rinks in hell. "Until then he should keep his mouth shut," they suggested.

"George Bush is the first so-called conservative to cut taxes while vigorously increasing the size of the Federal government," said political expert Professor Madeleine Fullbuck. "Maybe we should call him a right-wing religious economic conservatiberal."

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:16 PM in News

February 7, 2008
Romney To Spend More Time With His Money

Mitt Romney explained today that he was dropping out of the U.S. Presidential race in order to spend more time with his money. Romney said that the time on the campaign trail had really harmed his ability to spend "quality time with my bills."

Romney explained that some of his money had been extremely neglected, and shook his head, noting that even several of his fifties had become severely creased.

He reassured stunned supporters, saying that he would still have plenty of time to flip flop his positions on every conceivable issue and praise African Americans for their "bling-bling".

On the plus side, Romney said he was looking forward to spending more time not drinking coffee and less time assuring Americans that his personal religious beliefs don't matter. "Now I can just be a regular joe, just like everyone else who can finance their own multimillion dollar campaign for the country's highest office."

Romney did not say what he was going to turn his attentions to now, but hinted that he might go back to the world of business. The former management consulant, who took the ailing Duane Reade pharmacy business and reinvigorated it until there was a Duane Reade on virtually every corner of the nation, said he was thinking that there was "still a lot he could do" with mailboxes, ATMs, and premium coffee shops.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:01 PM in News

January 17, 2008
Voters Favoring Men More Likely To Vote For Women, Polls Say

Polls out of New Hampshire showed that voters who favored a quick exit from Iraq overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton and John McCain, the two candidates who most favor staying there for long periods of time, up to "one hundred or a thousand years," according to McCain. Those same polls showed that voters who most wanted a male President voted for Hillary Clinton, while those who desire a woman President voted for Rudy Giuliani.

"That's not as irrational as it first sounds," said Professor Josh Kornbluth of the Center For Diseased Pollsters. "Many people see Hillary as very macho, and see Rudy Giuliani as lisping and effeminate." He pointed out that, of the male candidates, Giuliani is the one who has most often worn a dress.

Backing up the New Hampshire polls, polls of likely voters in South Carolina showed that those who want an intelligent President overwhelmingly favor Huckabee, while voters who want their President to only have one wife are certain to vote for Romney.

The South Carolina poll also found that voters who want to see a black man in the White House will vote for Fred Thompson; voters who want change are likely to vote for George W. Bush. "If Bush isn't on the ticket, I'll vote for McCain," said Ira P. Winnowalker, a South Carolinian funeral parlor director who really wants "a huge break from the policies of the current administration."

"It may be that voters are not very logical," said Professor Kornbluth. "Perhaps voters are as some say, uninformed, fickle, or dumb."

Professor Kornbluth paused momentarily and stroked his chin before adding, "Or maybe we should stop reading these stupid polls."

Cross-posted at The American Street.

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:56 PM in News

January 3, 2008
Iowa Caucus Organizers Admit They Just Make Results Up

Dane Goodman, official overseer of the Iowa caucuses, admitted today that no one really understands how the Iowa caucuses are supposed to be conducted, and that every four years, he and two other state officials just "make up some results."

Goodman explained the procedure that the caucuses were supposed to employ. "People gather at chosen locations, group themselves by candidate, and somehow they exclude some of the candidates or something, and then they call us and try to tell us what happened. But in the end we just pick some numbers out of a hat," he said.

Goodman admitted that he and his fellow officials usually don't even wait for the caucuses to report back to them, but instead just read the latest poll, change the numbers a little and fill out some forms indicating the alleged results.

He defended his committee's procedures. "Let's face it, this is just as democratic a process as the caucuses ever were."

Goodman revealed that, in 2004, the committee was pretty sure that Howard Dean had actually won the caucuses by a hefty margin, but found that "so hard to believe" that it picked John Kerry instead.

In the future, Goodman promised that primary overseers would scrupulously follow the correct caucusing procedures.

"As soon as someone figures out just what they are," he said.

Cross-posted at The American Street.

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:02 PM in News

December 31, 2007
Huckabee to Run Negative Ads Attacking Self For Running Negative Ads

Today in Iowa, Mike Huckabee told reporters "enough is enough" and denounced negative campaigning. Huckabee, who recently fashioned a strident negative campaign ad about rival Mitt Romney, said it was "about time I stopped this viscous campaign of negative attack ads that I have been running," and derided himself as a "detestable fearmonger." He also labelled himself a "pandering schizophrenic."

"Mike Huckabee is about standing on Mike Huckabee's qualifications for President and Mike Huckabee's record, and he is not about pointing out his opponents' disgusting failures and ineptitudes -- of which there are many -- in order to gain the nation's highest office," Huckabee explained. Gesturing to a negative ad he was running locally, he added, "I reject this Mike Huckabee and his evil, negative campaigning ways."

A spokesman for Huckabee said that Huckabee would continue to run attack ads against his opponents, but noted that they would now conclude with the admonition, "My name is Mike Huckabee, and I strongly disapprove of this ad."

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:51 PM in News

December 20, 2007
Supoenaed Document Bonfire Caused Vice Presidential Chamber Flames

The White House confirmed this morning that the cause of a fire that threatened to consume the Vice President's ceremonial chambers was a bonfire made up of documents that Congress has subpoenaed over the past year.

"We do this every holiday season," said Jared Simms, a spokesperson for the Vice President. "As the Vice President often says, 'There's nothing on a cold winter day like curling up with a good book beside a heap of slowly roasting memos.'"

Some have decried what they called "the wanton destruction of requested documents," but Simms denied any wrongdoing. "It's just festive, that's all," he said.

"If it makes you feel better, there were no CIA interrogation tapes in that fire to speak of," Simms added.

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:36 PM in News

December 4, 2007
Democrats Responsible For Entire Disastrous Bush Administration Reign, Says Rove

Karl Rove today said that George Bush's presidency would have been a great success if Democrats had not forced Bush to make countless numbers of flawed decisions that have led the country down the path toward national disaster.

"We wouldn't have invaded Iraq, we would have saved New Orleans, we would have staffed FEMA," said Rove. "It's all the Democrats' fault."

Rove went on to say that if voters wanted a change from the disastrous Bush years, they'd have to vote Republican. "It's sad how these Democrats mishandled the Bush Presidency."

Rove also blamed Bill Clinton for having "come before" Bush. "It's just awful the way Clinton directly preceded him," said Rove.

Rove went on to blame the flawed policies of the "Democrats' Bush Treasury Department" for the decline of the dollar and the Democrats' "ridiculous love of the subprime mortgage" for the downturn in the economy. "I'm genuinely shocked at how the Dems let this housing bubble expand," he added. "It's too bad the Republican White House and the Republican-contreolled congress couldn't stop the powerful Democratic juggernaut."

He also blamed Democrats for failing to prevent 9/11. Condi RIce agreed, saying, "Only the Democrats foresaw that planes might be used as weapons. If only they had told us."

The Washington Post and other great American periodicals subsequently reported Rove's remarks, saying that there was a "difference of opinion" about who was in control of the White House, the Congress and the country the past seven years. Republicans claim that it was the Democrats, while Democrats -- perhaps spuriously -- claim that the President and a majority in Congress were Republican during most of that period.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:01 AM in News

November 6, 2007
Democrats Hand Over Own Balls To President At White House Ceremony

by Guest Blogger Chris Edelson

In a Rose Garden ceremony this morning, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) formally handed over their balls to President George W. Bush.

"Recent actions make clear that we don't need these anymore," said Schumer as he handed over a small plastic bag containing his genitalia.

Sen. Feinstein echoed Schumer's words, bowing deferentially to the President and adding, "As a woman coming of age in the 1950s and 60s, it took me years of hard work to get and maintain these balls. But I'm more than willing to part with them now."

Schumer and Feinstein decided to formalize their relationship with the White House after breaking with members of their own party in a vote to confirm Judge Michael B. Mukasey for the post of Attorney General, despite his sanction of torture and his apparent contempt for the rule of law.

In a show of support, Republican Arlen Spector handed over his own testes in a tribute to what he acknoweldged was his "talk-tough, do-nothing" policy. "I wholeheartedly endorse the actions of these Democrats in rolling over like a cheap date after a bottle of Ripple," he remarked.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) also attended today's ceremony, although he had already turned in his balls in late 2001.

Leading experts were not surprised by the ceremony. "After the Democrats took control of Congress last fall, most people assumed they would move swiftly to confront a deeply unpopular President, engaged in a deeply unpopular war, and embroiled in a deeply unpopular assault on our most profoundly held Constitutional values," said Prof. P.E. Gordon of the Kennedy School of Government. "But that hasn't been the case."

Prof. Gordon explained the Democrats' logic. "They don't want to change the status quo because they want to get elected in 2008 so they can change the status quo."

He smiled. "That's what they said in 2006, too."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:50 PM in News

October 22, 2007
Rice Tells Turkey To Find Own Country To Occupy

Today Condoleezza Rice discouraged Turkey from sending troops into Iraq and told Turks to "find their own country to occupy."

"We were here first," said Rice, explaining that Turkey would have to deal with incursions by Kurdish terrorists in some other way, saying that "Iraq is already taken."

Turkish authorities balked, noting that that their terrorists were coming in from Northern Iraq.

In response, Rice reportedly told the Turks that "there are plenty of great opportunities for a nice, clean invasion elsewhere." She suggested, among other countries, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Gambia, Lichtenstein, Malta and Prague. "Some of these countries have the benefit of being very small and Prague simply has great coffee and pastries," she explained.

"This is outrageous," Turkish Minister Burak Mevlana said. "The U.S. acts like it owns Iraq."

An anonymous official from the State Department said that that was exactly right. "We broke it, we bought it, and we're still making the payments," he noted.

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:23 PM in News

September 23, 2007
To Deal With Iraqi Unrest, Bush Proposes Blackwater Surge

Presence Of More Private Mercenaries Needed To Stop Anti-Mercenary Inspired Violence, He Says

President Bush today, responding to Iraqi demands that private security force Blackwater USA be withdrawn from Iraq, immediately proposed a "surge" in Blackwater personnel to deal with the problem.

"Although keeping Blackwater in Iraq may lead to an increase in violence," said Bush, "we have to keep Blackwater there in order to contain the violence."

Iraqis were irate about a recent incident in which Blackwater mercenaries allegedly gunned down Iraqi civilians without provocation. "We're investigating that," Bush told reporters, adding that Blackwater may have been justified in "preemptively attacking" the civilians.

A New York Times article published today revealed that Blackwater employees have an "aggressive, quick draw image" and have been involved in many more shootings than any other mercenary force the U.S. has brought into Iraq.

President Bush today acknowledged that Blackwater USA did indeed fire their weapons far more often than others, but observed, "That just means they're happy."

Bush said that there were plans to withdraw private security forces, such as Blackwater, from Iraq as soon as Iraq was able to train and maintain private mercenaries of their own.

Foreign analyst Miles Becker agreed with Bush that the presence of Blackwater was helping to create private Iraqi military forces. "They're called insurgents," said Becker.

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:57 PM in News

President Giuliani Responds To Fiscal Cris-- Excuse Me. Hello?

President Rudy Giuliani astonished Americans during his first ten days in offi--

Editor's note: Excuse me, readers, this is my wife calling. I have to take this. -- Hello? Yes, I'm writing the blog. I will put in your joke. I love you, too.--

President Rudy Giuliani astonished Americans during his first ten days in office when he declared a fiscal emergency, revealing that the United States was bankrupt and--

Sorry. -- Hello? What? They're in the dish in the foyer. Yes, I'm sure. Ok? Bye. --

President Rudy Giuliani astonished Americans during his first ten days in office when he declared a fiscal emergency, revealing that the United States was bankrupt. In an emergency order designed to "keep government running" for at least "a few more days", Giuliani cut taxes completely in order to dramatically raise revenue--

--What?! Oh. Yes. I love you too.--

In an emergency order designed to "keep government running" for at least "a few more days", Giuliani cut taxes completely in order to dramatically raise revenue.

"Eliminating taxes is the only measure that will provide the government with enough of an increase in income to keep afloat," Giuliani said in a nationwide address before taking a call from his tailor, who had some questions about an inseam.

giuliani.jpg

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:14 PM in News

September 4, 2007
Opinions You Should Have Had: The Summer In Review

The past month or so in brief:

Families Return Rove, Gonzales To White House

After U.S.-Sponsored Tour, Couric Says Hindenberg "Totally Safe", Pronounces Titanic "Unsinkable"

RNC To Remove Men's Stalls From Republican Convention Center

Australians Send Bush Back To Iraq

Sen. Craig Reconsidering Decision To Tap Foot, Wave Hands

GOP Admits Entire Party Made Up Of Aggressive Gay Predators Intent On Seducing Children On Internet and Having Sex With Male Prostitutes In Toilets

Surprise Visit By Bush Scares "Bejesus" Out Of U.S. Soldiers, Gives Them "The Dickens"

Sen Craig To Spend More Time With Family In Men's Stalls

Gonzales To Spend More Time With Karl Rove's Family

Bush Offers Vick Job At Guantanamo Prison

Craig Accidentally Places Penis In Ass of Man Standing Next To Him

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:42 PM in News

August 14, 2007
Bush To Need New Brain

Rove's Departure To Cause Drooling, Loss of Motor Function, Say Docs

Faced with the imminent departure of White House Political Director Karl Rove, otherwise known as "Bush's Brain," White House officials acknowledged that the President will be effectively lobotomized.

Aides said that even the President's basic motor functions would suffer upon Rove's departure. "It will be difficult for the President to lift a finger without having Karl there to tell him how to do it," said Monica Kressky, a White House aide.

Should the White House fail to find a replacement for Mr. Rove, doctors said, it may become necesary to put the President on life support, as even his ability to control autonomic and entirely unconscious activities such as breathing or denying that the Iraq war is a total disaster may become impaired.

Indeed, the possibility that Bush might have to make decisions without a political motive has many White House members panicked. "We're terrified," said one aide, "The President might have to base policy decisions on what the greater good would be for the American people."

Republican Senate Minority Leader John Boehner agreed. "Proposing real solutions to real problems?" He shuddered. "This could mean the end of the GOP as we know it today."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:34 PM in News

July 16, 2007
Bush Instructs Miers Not To Tell Congress About His Non-Involvement In U.S. Attorney Scandal

Keep Innocence A Secret, Says Bush

Harriet Miers

Last week, President Bush instructed his former counsel, Harriet Miers, not to comply with a House subpoena in order to conceal his role in not having anything to do with the U.S. Attorney firings. Miers, in turn, failed to testify about their complete non-communication.

Miers said that that she would be perfectly willing to tell Congress that Bush had nothing to do with the firings as long as she was not under oath, and her statements were not recorded. Asked if she spoke with the President about speaking about the firings, Miers offered to answer reporters as long as they did take notes on her statements, and if she mimed her answer behind a large black screen.

President Bush defended his decision to invoke executive privilege today. "It's very important not to brag about how aboveboard and legal this whole process was," says Bush.

Congressmen were of two minds about Miers's absence at a hearing last week. "It is outrageous that a citizen would refuse to obey the order of the American people to show up and account for herself," said Congressman Bink Stoddart.

But Congressman John Conyers was not altogether displeased with Miers' empty chair. "She sounds more credible than when she actually shows up."

Addendum: WHite House counsel Fred Fielding defended the President's assertion of executive privilege, saying, "If the President's aides were to testify about their advice to the President about the commission of crimes, the President's ability to commit crimes would be greatly chilled."

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:55 PM in News

July 2, 2007
Bush to Review Excessive Sentence Claims Of Million Other Felons

In light of his commutation of what he called the "excessive sentence" of I. Lewis Libby today, President Bush has agreed to review all sentences in the United States because "that would only be fair."

"Judges and panels of judges routinely review excessive sentence claims throughout the land," said Bush, " but the Libby case has made me see that our exhaustive system of appellate review is flawed."

The judge in the Libby case followed strict federal guidelines written by Congress and the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which labored for years to write an exacting code that was designed to ensure that all felons were treated equally. "What the guidelines do not take into account," said Bush, "is that some felons are more equal than others."

"These so-called 'guidelines' do not give adequate guidance to judges in certain cases," Bush said. His voice quavered as he added, "Some people -- for instance, rich and the powerful Republicans who, through no mistake of their own, are accidentally caught breaking the law -- sometimes do not receive proper treatment." Bush was then too overcome by emotion to continue with his statement. He retired to his residence on Kennebunkport to swill beer with President Putin, who agreed with the President's actions.

"In my country when pipples lied to the State, we tortured them," the former head of the KGB said, "except when they were fellow KGB. Then we clapped them on the back and danced with vodka bottles on our heads."

LadyJustice.jpgOther felons praised the President's decision. George Finnerty, a real estate maven doing six years for lying the I.R.S. about his income, said that Bush had "given all liars real hope."

Douglas W. Cox, who got ten months for testifying falsely about the ownership of five vending machines [pdf], prayed for Bush's forgiveness but was pessimistic. "I didn't come close to obstructing a Federal investigation of crime at the very highest levels of government," said Cox, shaking his head. "I don't think I qualify for the Libby treatment."

For her part, Lady Justice was happy to hear about President Bush's actions. "I'm so glad I'm not completely blind," she said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:20 PM in News

June 26, 2007
Cheney Entirely New Branch of Government, He Says

For the last four years, [Vice President Cheney] has been defying a presidential order requiring executive branch agencies to account for the classified information they handle. When the agency that enforces this rule tried to do its job, Mr. Cheney proposed abolishing the agency.

Mr. Cheney, who has been at the heart of the administration's darkest episodes, has bizarre reasons for doing that. The Times reported that the vice president does not consider himself a mere member of the executive branch.

In response to inquiries concerning his failure to follow the laws applying to the White House and the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, Dick Cheney revealed today that he is his own branch of government. Mr. Cheney, who will no longer go by the title of Vice President, said that he had not previously disclosed this information "for national security reasons." The new branch of government will be known as the Undisclosed Branch of Government, spokesmen said. The title of the branch of government -- and Mr. Cheney's actual title -- is classified.

Mr. Cheney disclosed that his office encompasses Executive, Congressional, and Judicial functions. In an usual display of cnador, aides to Cheney announced that, just as he spends time in the White House and the Capitol Building, he also spends a significant amount of time working at the Supreme Court. "This is one of the heretofore 'undisclosed locations,'" an aide divulged. The aide, who did not reveal his name because he feared future indictment by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, said that Cheney was secretly known as "the Tenth Justice".

Critics said that Mr. Cheney was out of line. "He can't just create his own branch of government," said Constiutional Scholar Professor Jenna Blinkerton. "That, in itself, is against the law."

Cheney responded that his critics were "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" after which the FBI took Professor Blinkerton into custody and placed her in a naval brig in North Carolina.

Mr. Cheney also contended that if he were breaking a law, he could only be prosecuted by the Other Undisclosed Branch of Government, which is made up of his wife, Lynn Cheney, his daughters, one of his dogs, and Alberto Gonzales.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:13 PM in News

April 14, 2007
Lawyer: Rove Did Not Realize Deleting Emails Would Result In Their Deletion

Karl Rove was absolutely stunned to discover that his deletion of emails resulted in their deletion, a lawyer for Rove said today. "Mr. Rove thought that his emails would still be there after he deleted them," the lawyer explained.

Mr. Rove spent many painful hours regretting the tragedy. "If he had hair, he would have pulled it out," said Robert Luskin, Rove's attorney. "He was fit to be tied."

"Those emails are now missing?!?" Rove reportedly said in astonishment yesterday. "But they were supposed to be preserved because of Federal law and a pending criminal investigation!!!!" Rove then demanded to know who the h___ deleted them and was "absolutely crestfallen" to learn that he had done so.

"I was just trying to tidy up my electronic desktop," he sobbed. Some who witnessed Rove's tantrum said that he then held his face in hands as he murmured, "The horror, the horror." Others said that Rove was saying, "Sanjaya, Sanjaya," apparently referring to a performer on American Idol, but that could not be confirmed.

Rove railed against the incompetence of administrators who failed to insure that a proper backup system had been kept, and apparently had to be restrained by trained paramedics when he subsequently discovered that over five million White House emails had also probably been destroyed. Onlookers initially thought that Rove may have been upset that more emails had not been "purposely mislaid," but Rove later made it clear that he was shell-shocked and saddened by the mistake.

"How could this Administration be so incompetent that it can't keep a copy of a single email?" he said. "We can't afford to make these kinds of mistakes. I mean, what if we had to go to war?"

Historically no member of government has been so distraught since a Nixon aide accidentally threw a briefcase containing important White House records relating to the Watergate scandal into a river.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:59 AM in NewsTop Stories

March 27, 2007
Justice Aide To Invoke 5th, 6th And 7th Amendments To Avoid Testifying

Monica Goodling, an aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, is refusing to testify before Congress this week. She is invoking the Fifth Amendment on the grounds that the Senate Judiciary Committee "might ask her questions in a public forum under oath on a Thursday."

She also took the Sixth and Seventh Amendments in an abundance of caution.

Reluctant witnesses all over the country -- that is, members of the Bush Administration -- were inspired by Goodling's stance.

Sources now say Gonzales is thinking of taking the Third Amendment this coming Thursday, and Karl Rove has now agreed not to testify on the grounds that it may infuriate him.

Vice President Cheney is looking to invoke some part of the Constitution, but has been unable to find so far any part of the Constitution that means anything to him.

In fact, Republicans everywhere said that, if forced to testify before Congress, they will invoke the Prime Directive, saying that they are part of an advanced civilization and cannot help America's primitive society.

"I'm going to take the Eighteenth," said one man, immediately taking a long pull on a fifth of Irish whiskey.

Experts agreed with Goodling's invocation of the Fifth Amendment. "It could certainly incriminate her to testify," said legal scholar Chaimlich Manure. "Requiring a Republican to talk under oath is essentially an instant perjury trap."

Note: I have some remarks on Goodling's invocation of the Fifth over at Talking Points Memo (posing as the mysterious "TPM reader TB").

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:00 PM in News

March 22, 2007
Excerpts from the Missing Emails Concerning the U.S. Attorney Purge


Researchers have discovered an 18-day gap in the 3,000 documents on the U.S. Attorney purge released this week by the Justice Department.

To: Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General
From: Paul McNulty, Deputy Attorney General

Judge,

I'm concerned that the Democrat Congress is going to require us to testify and swear under oath soon. What should we say?

Paul

Paul,

What the hell is this "testimony" and "oath swearing"? As you may know, I was a Judge in Texas and these concepts are not used down there.

Judge

Judge,

You and I both know the President's views on swearing, and he says he will be G-d effing damned if a member of his office is forced to swear in public.

Harriet Miers

Judge,

They say they want the truth.

Paul

Paul,

I want the truth to come out just as much as the next man. The next man being Karl Rove.

Judge

To: Karl Rove

Seeking your instructions on giving the truth on the U.S. Attorney matter. Please advise.

Paul McNulty
Sent from my Blackberry handheld handholding device

Paul,

You know that saying, the truth shall set you free? Have you ever heard the saying, the truth shall get you five to fifteen, or three to five if you become a cooperating witness?

Rove

Karl,

So we should lie?

Paul

Paul,

I was joking. I want the truth to come out as much as the next man. The next man being Dick Cheney.

Karl

Dick,

Seeking advice on testifying before Congress on the U.S. Attorney thing. Karl said something about the truth, but it was unclear.

Judge

Judge,

I want the truth to come out. Preferably in a small room with the blinds drawn and some very loud music playing over it. And no transcripts! Tell them we'll let them take notes on cocktail napkins. Black cocktail napkins that they have to leave with us.

Dick

Dick,

And by truth you mean?

Judge

Judge,

The same stuff we do whenever our lips move.

Dick
Sent from my secret Blackberry handheld Spy-o-later®

Dick,

Hypothetically: If someone were to kind of bend the truth under oath, they could still be nominated to the Supreme Court, right?

Judge

Judge,

Please direct questions like this to Justice Roberts.

Dick
Posted by Tom Burka at 3:43 PM in News

March 8, 2007
Bush Pardons Fitzgerald

President Bush issued a pardon for prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald today in order to "excuse him" for the "skewed system of justices" that caused the conviction of I. Lewis Libby earlier this week.

The pardon for Fitzgerald came after conservatives convicted Fitzgerald of treason in a secret courtroom located in a small country near the coast of Florida, sources said.

The President also put John Bolton in charge of fixing what he called "broke justice." "This trial of Libby was a travesty," said Bolton.

Mary Matalin, Cheney's longtime counselor agreed. "Everyone knows the only fair trial is one where Republicans decide the outcome behind closed doors," she said.

Bolton gave some indication of the reforms he planned to bring to the American criminal justice system. "First thing we do is kill all the lawyers," he said.

The President's pardon of Fitzgerald came as a complete surprise, especially since conservatives have been calling for a pardon of Libby, not Fitzgerald. The President has suggested that he has no plans to pardon Libby, although he had privately indicated that -- perhaps in honor of Libby -- he plans to have a serious memory lapse shortly after the next Presidential election.

In other news, Guantanamo detainees are petitioning their U.S. captors for "the Libby treatment."

Hat tip to R.S.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:36 PM in News

February 28, 2007
Fast Forward

Laura and Barbara Bush, Sr. Retake White House

by Guest Blogger Victor Barall

Washington, D.C., November, 2016 - The Republican "Dream Team" of Laura Bush and the elder Barbara Bush swapped control of the White House with the Clinton dynasty today, ending eight years of Democratic rule. The Republicans decided that Laura Bush and Barbara Bush would become the Republican "Dream team" to retake American governance from the Clinton clan, and their gamble paid off.

Historians believe that Barbara, 92, and Laura, 65, will be the first mother-in-law, daughter-in-law ruling duo since the late Roman Empire.

The new "points of light," as they called themselves, campaigned successfully despite some rocky patches.

The campaign took a serious downturn when disaffected Bush family handler, James Baker IV -- still fuming over George W's dismissal of the 2006 Iraq Commission Report as "just so many dictionary words" -- leaked that Barbara, almost completely senile, stalked the Kennebunkport family compound muttering, "Read my lips. No nudes, Texas!" However, the campaign bounced back when Laura successfully distanced herself from her disastrously inept husband by telling voters, "I did not have sex with that man!"

A highly placed anonymous source, Calvin Coolidge IV, conceded that Barbara and Laura had not been not the first choice of the party wise men. "We had hoped to run Jenna and the younger Barbara" – the First Daughters of the second George. But, Coolidge said, "their probation officer refused to let them stand for elective office until they had finished their community service."

Gov. Chelsea Clinton is still smarting from losing her bid to keep the White House in Clintonian control, but no one is more distraught than senior Senator Barack Obama, who failed once again to win the Democratic Presidential nomination this election season.

"That's all right," said Obama. "I have two daughters."

Written by Victor Barall in a moment of dynastical apoplexy. Many thanks!

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:10 PM in News

January 10, 2007
Bush Unveils i-Iraq i-Policy i-Initiative

Feels Adding "i" To Beginning Of Every Word Will Make Ideas Look New And Vital

President Bush, wearing a black turtleneck and jeans, announced today what he called "an amazing new invention" that he said would "revolutionize the way we fight the Iraq war" and "make previous Iraq war policies look dumb." He called it "the i-Iraq", and said that he got the idea while surfing "the Google."

In a two-hour long slideshow, Bush outlined the features of the "iStrategy" which he frequently praised as "absolutely innovatical," and "amazing." The new strategy device would come with a patented "LMS" key, for a "last-minute surge" to overwhelm all opposition, as well as a function that will produce troops from virtually nowhere, create something from nothing, and replace any civil war with a fully functioning peaceful representative democracy.

The iStrategy also has long lasting batteries, automatic and periodic face-saving, reality muting, and a small switch on the side that turns off the advice of top-ranking military experts.

The device will operate with "unilateral gesturing," which the President has also patented.

The unveiling of the new device caused an audience of yes-men to applaud spontaneously no less than sixty-two times.

Reporters asked Steve Jobs if Bush was trying to steal his ideas for Apple's new iPhone, but Jobs dismissed the comparison.

"They're totally different," Jobs said. "Our phone works."

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:03 PM in News

December 31, 2006
Mixup Causes James Brown To Be Sent To D.C. While Ford Is Sent To Apollo Theater

A funeral home mistakenly switched the caskets of James Brown and Gerald Ford, so that the former world leader was presented at the Apollo Theater while James Brown lay in state at the Capitol.

Confused fans of the godfather of soul gazed at the body of Gerald Ford and a musical celebration at the Apollo suffered a drastic change of program. "Sex Machine" and "I Feel Good" were replaced by "Jimmy Crack Corn" and "Camptown Races," two of the deceased President's favorite standbys.

"Gerald Ford forever revolutionized the way music is performed and played here in America," said Rev. Al Sharpton, "and we are the better for it." He also lauded Ford for his fantastic slogan, "Whip Inflation Now," leading the crowd in a chant of "WIN! WIN! WIN!"

Meanwhile, the cream of Washington society gathered at the Capitol and paraded by the Godfather of Soul, desperately trying to stay in rhythm. "This is hard," said Cokie Roberts, snapping her fingers frantically.

President Bush praised James Brown for healing the nation during one of America's greatest crises. "James Brown's middle-of-the-road policies saved this nation," said Bush, calling him "a good, decent, moderate spirit" who "did amazing things dancing with microphone stands."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:49 AM in News

December 15, 2006
Frist Declares South Dakotan Senator Dead

In what some called a desperate gambit to retain Republican control of the Senate, Majority Leader Bill Frist announced today that he had examined a videotape and pronounced recovering Senator Tim Johnson dead.

"I will remain Majority Leader and the Republicans will continue to hold the Senate," he said in a press conference this morning.

Dr. Frist's diagnosis added another strange chapter onto the surprising developments in the Senate after Senator Johnson suffered an unusual stroke and recieved emergency surgery. Contrary to Sen. Frist's diagnosis, Sen. Johnson is doing well and his family and the rest of the nation wish nothing less than that he make a full and complete recovery.

Sen. Dr. Frist made the diagnosis after viewing videotapes, not of Senator Johnson in his current condition, but of speeches by former House Majority Leader Tom Delay.

A spokeman for Sen. Frist explained that his diagnosis was made in the great Republican tradition of seeing the world as one wants to see it, as opposed to how it actually is. "That's how you effect change in the world, from the force of sheer will," said the spokesman, who then ate a baloney sandwich that he claimed was filet mignon.

Had Frist been correct, the Republican Governor of South Dakota would have been able to appoint a Republican to take Johnson's spot, thus giving the Republicans control of the 50-50 Senate, given Dick Cheney's ability to cast the deciding vote in any tie.

As it is, Democrats were actually relieved by Frist's move. Craig Calendar, a plumber from Montana who gives quotes to newspapers in his spare time, said, "Given the Republicans' track record these past six years, if they say that Johnson is dead, that means that he is, without doubt, very much alive and doing very, very well."

We wish Senator Johnson a speedy recovery and a long and satisfying life.

Digg this story.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:32 PM in News

December 13, 2006
Decider To Defer Decision on Decision Deferral

Iraq Plan Development Needs Further Development, Some Say

President Bush decided to defer a decision on when he will decide on a new approach to the Iraq war until "some time next year," although he has not decided exactly when his deciding will take place.

"This was a very hard decision for the President to make," said White House spokesman Tony Snow. "I don't know if you appreciate the hard-nosed decisiveness a decision to defer requires."

Experts praised the President's decisiveness. Dr. Nathaniel Winthrop, an expert in foreign affairs who recently met with President Bush, pointed out that "the Iraq Study Group took many months and many people to issue their report, and here, well, the President is only one man and he has a lot more voices to listen to."

White House spokesmen refused to confirm that the President listens to a lot of voices, but a source who asked to remain anonymous stated that he was sure that the President heard a lot of them.

"It takes an iron will to resist the public pressure to make a snap decision about when to formulate a change in policy," said Dick Cheney, who had decided to let the President decide this one on his own.

"And when will you decide to tell us that you've decided?" reporters asked during a recent sighting of the President.

"I'll let you know," said the President with a wink.

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:30 PM in News

November 8, 2006
Sometimes You Have To Go To War With The Defense Secretary You Have, Not The Defense Secretary You Want

In Memoriam

We at Opinions You Should Have are very sad to see Donald Rumsfeld -- the perfect satiric target -- leave the Pentagon for greener pastures.

We have mentioned Secretary Rumsfeld many times on these pixeled pages.

Below, some of our favorites.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:33 PM in News

November 6, 2006
Prominent Male Hooker Forced To Step Down Amid Accusations Of Sex With Sleazy Evangelical Leader

A prominent male hooker, Dirk Blackman, was forced to give up his position as the head of a large national prostitution ring when it was revealed that he had repeatedly had sex with sleazy evangelical leader Ted Haggard.

Members of the prostitution ring were shocked by the allegations. "There are some things that you don't even do for money," said one man, who gave his name as Johnny Lovehandles, bemoaning Blackman's "intimate physical contacts" with the virulently anti-gay and shamefully untrustworthy pastor.

The Haggard scandal was the latest in a string of revelations concerning male prostitutes fraternizing with conservative right-wing figures, including the bombshell that male exotic dancer Milli Flotilla had turned his Miami dressing room into a secret shrine filled with revealing photographs of Rush Limbaugh and Sen. Bill Frist photoshopped to depict them in compromising scenarios involving Dennis Hastert and a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage.

At first Blackman denied that he had sex with that "theological conman," saying that Haggard had been sent to his Denver hotel room and that he had only gotten a quick sermon. Yesterday Blackman admitted that some of the charges were true, but denied that he had ever supported social security privatization.

Today Blackman is entering the William F. Buckley Clinic for the Sexually Obsessed With Hypocritical Conservatives.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:58 AM in NewsTop Stories

October 4, 2006
Tenet Briefed Hastert on Page Scandal in 2001

Condoleeeza Rice Has No Recollection of Meeting

Highly placed sources say that CIA Director George Tenet called an emergency meeting with Dennis Hastert in 2001 to warn him of concerns he had regarding Congressman Mark Foley's interactions with pages. Tenet allegedly told Hastert of inappropriate emails and internet messaging in an effort to convince Hastert that there was a "possibly serious campaign problem."

Hastert denies such a meeting ever took place. "Nobody ever thought that a Congressman could use a computer to target pages," said Hastert.

Majority Leader John Boehner went further. "I didn't know we had pages," he said.

Some Republicans blamed the parents. "Who would put attractive underage boys and girls within reach of Washington's congressmen?" said Majority Whip Roy Blunt, calling the actions of parents of pages "negligent and irresponsible."

Sources say that Tenet later prepared a Majority Party Briefing (MPB) for Hastert entitled "Foley Determined To Type in U.S.," after which Hastert responded, "All right. You've covered your ass, now."

Americans did not know what to make of the latest news in the Foley scandal. "It's shocking," said Oklahoman Amelia Pissle. "But now that we know about it, I'm sure that it could never happen again."

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:30 PM in News

September 21, 2006
Bush in Delicate Negotiations with Senators over Drafting of New Law He Will Completely Ignore

President Bush and the White House are involved in intense negotiations over the final shape of a bill that Bush will not follow once it becomes law.

"It is very important to the President that he and the Senate agree on the precise contents of the law he will not be obeying," said White House spokesman Tony Snow, explaining the President's particular interest in the negotations.

"There must be a real spirit of give and take, of true compromise, in fashioning what will soon be completely irrelevant to the White House," agreed Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and John Warner, the principal lawmakers demanding completely cosmetic and ultimately meaningless concessions from the faux-conciliatory Executive Branch.

President Bush and the White House had been adamant that the Senate pass a law that allows for an "expanded view" of what kind of interrogations are permissible under the Geneva Conventions, but, in the face of opposition from McCain and others, are now signalling that they may give up some of their specific demands just to get the law through Congress.

After that, the President will issue a "signing statement" reiterating his belief that laws are not binding upon him.

Some Senators insisted that the negotiations were important to maintain America's moral authority and credibility on human rights internationally. "At all costs, we must at least maintain the appearance that we have a real working system of checks and balances," said a senator who wished to remain anonymous because his statements are usually entirely absurd.

Cletis Fishkill, an inmate doing twenty to life in a prison in Fishkill, New York, expressed his admiration for President Bush.

"Damn," he said. "I gotta get me some of them signing statements."

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:41 PM in News

September 18, 2006
The Torturer's Thesaurus

Alternatives to "Alternate Interrogation"

Constructive euphemisms for torture that our President overlooked in his recent speech on the subject:

Ultimate Interrogation

Desperately Curious Questioning

Seriously Persistent Inquiry

Absurdly Thorough Answer-Seeking

Interior Cranial Inspection

Physically Deep and Penetrating Philosophical Investigation

Militarily-Aided Meditation on the Nature of the Self.

Update: Possible Compromises on the President's Torture bill:

We'll only torture people some of the time.

Subject gets to listen to song of his choosing every three waterboarding sessions.

Subject gets a coupon with every false confession.

Subject gets to keep his fingernails. In a plastic jar.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:53 AM in News

August 30, 2006
Bush Vows To Keep Making Speeches Promising To Save New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 29 -- President Bush, addressing the nation on the anniversary of New Orleans' devastation by Hurricane Katrina, promised "a never-ending flow of empty rhetoric to the areas that need it most." He vowed to continue speechifying about New Orleans "even after New Orleans is long gone," and to do whatever was necessary to convince the American people that he was doing whatever was necessary.

"The words I spoke last year in Jackson Square are still as marginally credible today as they were then," he said.

Bush spoke to a crowd of former New Orleans citizens who agreed with Barbara Bush that being displaced from their homes and losing their jobs was "really working out for them."

At the end of his speech, White House staffers removed the enormous electric generators powering the truckloads of media equipment set up to capture the speech, and Bush fled in his helicopter, leaving New Orleans without a public hospital, sanitation, law enforcement, adequate electricity, or any of the basics of any viable city system currently existing in the United States.

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:31 PM in News

August 8, 2006
Americans Beg Bush To Take Longer Vacation

Implore Cheney, Rumsfeld, Entire White House Staff to Follow Suit

Anguished Americans implored President Bush to "take much longer vacations" after Bush cut his record-long summer vacations somewhat shorter this year.

"The more brush he clears, the better off we are," said Samuel P. Langerhans, a doctor in Maine. Dr. Langerhans reflects the belief of a growing number of Americans who have become aware that Bush's vacations may have been the only thing standing between America and complete disaster. "As bad as things are, imagine if Bush had been working for more than four of the six years he's been in office," said Langerhans.

Signs that many Americans agree with Langerhans abound: A group of concerned Americans has taken a collection to send Bush on a "very, very, very long cruise." In order to increase the chances that Bush would accept such a gift, the group took pains to diguise their offering as a gift from a prominent but corrupt American CEO.

Felix Unterschlocken, a public administration expert, said that studies showed that, contrary to popular belief, New Orleans would not have been saved had Bush actually been paying attention last summer.

"We would have lost Dallas and Orlando, too," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:27 PM in News

August 1, 2006
Great Moments in Diplomatic History

George W. Bush tells Hezbollah to "stop doing this shit."

Prescott Bush tells Hitler to "cut it out."

Abner Bush tells Khoumeni to "lay off."

Jeroboam Bush tells Alexander the Great to "ease up."

Erraticus Bush tells Caligula to "chill out."

Poppy Bush tells Ida Amin to "chew slowly."

Update: I see the incomparable Kevin Hayden of The American Street has added to the list in the comments. Let's see how far we can go.

Further update: Best Blogging on the Mideast Crisis goes to Billmon of Whiskey Bar (this, for example is just brilliant) and Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis. Absolute must-reads, both of them.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:25 AM in News

July 13, 2006
To Maximize Revenues, GOP Will Eliminate Taxes Completely

"Some in Washington say we had to choose between cutting taxes and cutting the deficit," President Bush said in a brief appearance at the White House to highlight the new estimates. "Today's numbers show that that was a false choice. The economic growth fueled by tax relief has helped send our tax revenues soaring."
The Republican leadership in Washington decided this week that, as a last-ditch effort to stop the deficit from spiralling out of control, it would eliminate taxes entirely.

"We've seen that tax revenues increase whenever we cut taxes," said Rep. James Sensenbrenner. "It only recently occurred to us that if we got rid of them altogether, we'd end up with a surplus."

House Republicans championed Sensennbrenner's realization. "He's brilliant," said Dennis Hastert. "He's as good at economics as he is at nuclear physics."

Professor Finn O'Gerlockheit of the Brookings Institution hailed the new House plan, which is expected to be passed this weekend, moved through the Senate, and made law by next Friday. "we need budget relief and we need it now."

Tax relief evangelist Grover Norquist was more sanguine, however. "I now understand that we'll hardly be able to drown government in the bathtub if we cut taxes. After the enormous flood of revenue that comes in, government will, sadly, be bigger than ever."

"It makes perfect sense," said Economics Professor Linda Blenner. "When we cut taxes for the rich, the money trickles down onto everyone else. Well, now the rich will be turning a firehose on America."

Republicans cautioned that when they speak of eliminating taxes entirely, they mean taxes for only those earning $100,000 or more. "We think it's fair that the people deriving the most benefit from the tax cuts -- wage earners -- help start the cascade that moves up the ladder and gradually right back down on them."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:20 AM in News

July 7, 2006
Lay Shocked To Find He Can't Take It With HIm

GOP Also Outraged

Kenneth Lay argued strenuously with St. Peter upon discovering that he was not permitted to take his vast fortune to the afterlife.

"Then what was the point of doing away with the estate tax?" he argued.

Outraged Republicans leapt to defend Lay and vowed to pass an emergency bill giving Lay "much needed" relief. "Kenneth Lay made a lot of money, he was punished for his crimes, and he paid the ultimate penalty: he died for his sins," said Senator Bill Frist, "Now the afterlife is trying to penalize him again. It amounts to double taxation."

Republican pundit Ann Coulter advocated burning money left behind by deceased moguls a a disincentive to "the otherwordly." "If we can't take it with us, then nobody should be able to have it."

Lay finished his argument with St. Peter by bilking St.Peter out of millions, which constituted the Saint's "whole afterlife savings," sources said.

St. Peter refused to disclose where Lay was to be consigned by the Almighty , but hinted that it might not be as nice as a minimum security Federal Prison Camp.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:06 AM in News

June 30, 2006
White House Executes New York Times

Trial Next Thursday, Bush Says

In a hastily called press conference early this morning, George W. Bush fixed reporters with a steely eye and told them that the New York Times was no more, calling it "the paper of the broken record."

The White House was quick to note that the New York Times would be convicted of treason in a completely fair trial before a military tribunal next Thursday. The judge will not be permitted to see the evidence because of national security concerns; but President Bush has already personally assured him that the New York Times was "way guilty." The New York Times was not earlier given notice of the trial or execution for fear that that would "give aid and comfort to the terrorists."

The President appeared puzzled by a question from a reporter asking how the White House could convict the paper using a military tribunal similar to that which the Supreme Court ruled illegal yesterday. The President, smirking, scratched his head and said, "That applied to Guantanamo. Last I heard, the New York Times wasn't anywhere near Cuba."

George W. Bush and his staff concluded that the New York Times committed treason last week when it published details of a secret government program to sift banking data, and President Bush ordered that the newspaper "be hung by the neck until dead" in a secret missive signed by the President yesterday afternoon. The newspaper was hung, drawn, and quartered shortly after midnight this morning.

Last night, using a mammoth crane, the White House lifted the famous, massive Times building off its foundation and hung it until the backbone of the building snapped in two. Over a million copies of today's paper, which had been printed but not yet distributed, were pulled apart by teams of horses.

Times readers reacted with outrage over the execution, demanding the immediate return of their subscription fees.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:04 AM in NewsTop Stories

June 20, 2006
U.S. Withholds Dues From World Cup Organization

The United States withheld its dues from the World Cup Organization this week after a dispute over the shape of the ball and the rules of the game.

"The WCO has no authority to tell us how to play football," said Government Representative John R. Bolton. "We're not gonna let a bunch of meddling Europeans tell us when we can touch our balls," he added.

Secretary of State Condolleeza Rice agreed and went even farther. "The United States alone will decide where we take our ball and who we play with," she said while visiting the home of an oppressive dictator.

The United States has been furious that its resolution to change the shape of the soccer ball to an ovoid was rejected by the World Cup Security Council without debate. U.S.-WCO relations then completely imploded when the WCO sanctioned the United States for preemptively invading the locker room of Italy before last weekend's match.

Tension is mounting in the U.S. in view of the administration's attempts to influence the upcoming Thursday match with Ghana, who the U.S. has to beat in order to have a chance to advance to the second round of the Cup. In an early misttep, the United States sent Henry Kissinger, who compares soccer to warfare or theater, to negotiate new rules with the Ghanian representatives.

"I don't know why the United States has such a difficult time playing well with others," said Professor Bean Valence, Director of American Studies at the University of Wallamaloo.

John Bolton disagreed. "All we want is a level playing field," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:32 AM in News

June 16, 2006
"Look At Me, I Turned A Corner in Iraq," Says Bush

President George Bush surprised himself in Baghdad this week by boldly predicting that he had "turned a corner."

"Today I looked myself in the eye," he said, "and I liked what I saw."

President Bush had originally travelled to Iraq to encourage Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to establish a true democracy "just like America's," he said. "You know, with illegal wiretapping, policies determined by extreme religious groups, the whole works."

Bush, swollen with pride after U.S. troops successfully killed terrorist leader Musab al-zaquari, told the Iraqi people that everything was on the upswing for him now. "I don't read the polls," he told them, "but I sure want the ones I'm not reading to be really good."

When pressed by reporters to say something about the future of Iraq, he told them he was confident that Iraq's poll numbers would get better, too.

Cross-posted in slightly different form at LiberalOasis.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:55 PM in News

June 2, 2006
Congressmen Insist They Be Subjected To Warrantless Spying Just Like Everyone Else

Congressmen were furious this week over what they call unfair treatment at the hands of law enforcement authorities.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, who this week helmed a congressional inquiry into the search of a congressman's office pursuant to a warrant, voiced his outrage. "We want to be searched without warrants like everybody else," said Sensenbrenner. "We're tired of being treated like second class citizens."

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert agreed, and added that the recent search was dangerous. "I think it has been well established that getting warrants poses a threat to the security of the nation," he said.

Politiicians' indignation stemmed from the search of Congressman William Jefferson's office, which was searched by the FBI after agents found $90,000 in a freezer in his home.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi agreed with Republicans that the search was "inappropriate." "I don't mind that this may have been a fishing expedition, " she said. "But the process was just so disgustingly open and transparent."

The White House has tried this week to make amends and set politicians' minds at ease. During a pause in questioning witnesses at the House inquiry, Sensenbrenner quietly muttered to himself that he was "so damn thirsty." Minutes later, NSA agents brought him a glass of water.

"Now," Sensenbrenner said, "that's more like it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:58 AM in News

May 17, 2006
Overtaxed National Guard To Use Illegal Immigrants To Guard Mexican Border

National Guard officials said Tuesday that they were confident that they could handle the complexity of sending thousands of soldiers to the border with Mexico in the fight against illegal immigration. State officials, who will be in control of the troops, said they were awaiting more details from the federal government, which acknowledged Tuesday that it was still working out how to handle such a major domestic deployment.
The National Guard, hard-pressed to keep up with its many duties at Iraq and at home, has decided to guard the U.S.-Mexico border with illegal immigrants it enlists as they come across the border. "We see it as a very special guest worker program," explained Guard Commander Sergeant Leon Rocknard.

Rocknard conceived the plan when he learned that President Bush wanted the Guard not to perform any law enforcement operations while "guarding" the border.

"Once I learned that we'd be mostly cooking and cleaning, the idea came naturally," he said. He added that another upside of the program was that the workers could be paid "almost nothing." He further justified his decision by insisting that guarding the border was "one of those jobs Americans want done but don't want to do themselves."

Herminio Vasquez, an illegal immigrant who became part of the program after swimming the Rio Grande at 4:00 a.m. last night, praised the plan. "This is the just the opportunity I came to the U.S. for," he said.

Vasquez hoped that the program would be expanded to other borders. "I like America," he said,"but I'm really hoping for a chance to go to Canada."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:42 PM in News

April 25, 2006
Ten Reasons I Will Make A Great White House Press Secretary

1) I believe I've answered that question ten times already. Let's move on.

2) I can't comment on a matter in which there is an ongoing criminal investigation.

3) I can assure you that nobody would like to know the answer to that question more than the President.

4) I don't know how you found out that I'm the new Press Secretary, but whoever leaked it to you has vitally damaged our national security and is an unwitting agent of al Qaeda.

5) That's a statement. Do you have a question?

6) Can you hold on to that? It's such a nice day today I'd like to move the briefing outside.

7) I've never really thought about it before, but that's a really interesting question.

8) You'd have to ask him that.

9) I don't know what he knew or didn't know or when he knew or didn't know it.

10) I am absolutely not thinking about stepping down. I assure you that there is no basis to the rumor that I may be leaving. I have personal assurances from the President that I will not be asked to leave. Having said that, I'm going to decline to answer your question in deference to my immediate successor.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:30 PM in News

April 3, 2006
Democrats Used to Loss of Power in Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Capitol was evacuated shortly after noon Monday after the building briefly lost power. . . . Mary-Beth Hutchinson, a spokeswoman for Potomac Electric Power Co., said the electricity shut off automatically after there was ''a momentary drop in voltage due to customer operations up the lines'' away from the Capitol.
A loss of electrical power in the Capitol Building panicked Republican congressmen when Capitol police unthinkingly told them that they had "completely lost all power" without explaining that the loss was electrical.

Majority Leader John Boehner, who assumed that authorities had cut the electricity in order to effect a mass arrest of corrupt politicians, tried to throw himself from the visitors gallery. Because of the darkness, however, he ended up throwing himself into the lap of a lobbyist for a powerful oil consortium, he later claimed.

As he saw "the blackness closing in," Tom Delay resigned and attempted to surrender himself to the Capitol Police, telling them that he had lost "the great game" and that "the money" had been invested in rare coins.

Democrats took the power loss calmly, saying that it was just "business as usual." Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi knitted a sweater for a constituent throughout the ordeal.

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:03 PM in News

March 24, 2006
In Major White House Shakeup, Bush To Replace Rove and Cheney With Rove And Cheney

Rumsfeld to Stay On

President Bush today admitted that he would be making major changes to White House staff in an attempt to address flagging poll numbers and "fatigue." Bush focused on Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, who Americans have indicated are at the heart of some of the deepest and worst missteps the administration has taken, among them the faltering response to Hurricane Katrina and the shooting of people in the face.

Rove and Cheney are to step down by week's end, after which they will be reappointed to their current positions. "I am not afraid to make tough calls, admit mistakes, and correct them," said Bush. "This is a White House which is committed to growth and change."

Bush pooh-poohed suggestions that the shakeup was purely cosmetic, and more of a public relations gambit than a substantive makeover. "This Dick Cheney is not the same Dick Cheney who took office with me in 2001. For one thing, I understand he's had some implants."

He also suggested that Karl Rove had been chastened and reborn in the wake of criticism and by the stigma of having to give up his office, if only for two days. Rove himself said, "I'm an idiot one day and a genius the next." Bush said that Rove had been "half-right," but would not elaborate other than to say that "this time out," the White House would employ him every other day.

Bush refused to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, either with Rumsfeld or another person, despite calls for his resignation in the face of his poor handling of the Iraq war and the Abu Ghraib scandal. "I don't think anyone could have foreseen that the Iraq war would have cost this much money or caused any loss of life."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:12 AM in News

March 20, 2006
Bush, Cheney Drop Huge Cake On Iraq, Crush Power Plant

In celebration of the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, President Bush and Vice President Cheney dropped an enormous three-tiered anniversary cake on central Iraq, accidentally crushing the only working power plant in the area.

"Everything's just great in Iraq," said Cheney, who was so thrilled with the progress of the country that he was "planning to winter there someday."

"Things are so good now," said President Bush, "just imagine how fantastic it will be when they have a McDonald's on every corner."

Mohammed dar al Salim, a former baker whose shop had been destroyed by looters a year ago, agreed. "The future is certainly bright," he told reporters. "It's the present that worries me."

Fifty people who were killed yesterday as a result of the civil war could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:26 AM in News

March 10, 2006
Senate To Legalize Watergate Break-In

The Senate will vote next week to pass a bill that will retroactively declare the Watergate break-in to be legal.

"If President Nixon felt that spying on the Democratic National Committee headquarters was necessary, that's good enough for me," said Sen. Pat Roberts (R.-Kan.), who elaborated, "It's time for us to stop second-guessing our leaders."

The bill is the first of a number of laws that aims to ensure that the President can do no wrong. Other laws contemplated by the Senate specifically authorize the trading of arms for hostages, manipulating intelligence to make the case for war, misleading the American people, and the use of the word "strategery."

Democrats moved swiftly with an amendment making the truthfulness of grand jury testimony dependent on what the meaning of "is" is.

Republicans also plan to give the White House three "Free Passes" and two get-out-jail-free cards in case White House officials commit crimes before Congress has the opportunity to decriminalize them.

"I am satisfied that these bills increase Congressional oversight of the Executive Branch," said Sen. Olympia Snowe. "After all, we can't insulate the President from the consequences of his wrongdoing unless the President tells us what he is doing wrong."

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:27 PM in News

February 27, 2006
Dubai to Run United States

The White House has struck a deal to let a corporation owned by the Emir of Dubai operate the United States, anonymous sources revealed today. The deal was struck and vetted after U.S. government officials determined that Dubai would do "a much better job than we're doing."

President Bush did not learn of the plan until yesterday, but ardently criticized opposition to it. He denied that turning over the handling of the U.S. to Dubai would harm America's security. "A knowledge of Arabic and a thorough familiarity with Islam is essential in a post-911 world," said Bush. Other factors that contributed to the coming handover of U.S. oversight to Dubai included its proximity to Iraq, access to large reserves of oil, and familiarity with camels.

Bush said that opposition to the Dubai deal was decidedly racist and anti-Arab. "When I turned over the running of entire wings of the government to American corporations, not a soul complained," he pointed out.

Members of Congress were outraged by the deal, and threatened to put a stop to it altogether. Senators and Congressman on both sides of the aisle brandished legislation banning the deal, swore loudly, and held hearings, after which they completely backed down. Congress was last seen having dinner with several prominent and wealthy members of the Dubai government.

Al-Kalhettyi del Farignio, a spokesman for Dubai, said, "We are very excited about running America. Before we agreed to the deal we inspected America's books, and we can see that, although the country is losing money, operating the U.S. is extremely profitable."

With a hat tip and thanks to Seth Lieberman.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:16 AM in News

February 13, 2006
Cheney "Inadvertently" Caused Death of Man He Stabbed On Previous Hunting Trip, Says White House

Eyewitnesses: Man Ran Into Cheney's Knife

Vice President Cheney accidentally killed a man during a previous hunting trip, the White House reluctantly confirmed today after denying the incident several times. During a deer hunting expedition on a friend's eight billion dollar ranch, a man "ran into Cheney's knife" several times while Cheney was gutting and dressing a deer, wealthy Republican Party donors and eyewitnesses said.

The man who died was Willford Buchs, a Bush family accountant who "took care of the books" for the Bushes and several Bush companies, and was later appointed Director of the Texas Accounting Commission after the previous commissioner was dismissed for revealing irregularities in the accounting practices of Buchs's clients.

Buchs's death was ruled a suicide by Sen. Dr. Bill Frist, who examined Mr. Buchs by polaroid. Cheney's involvement with the death has not previously been disclosed, although it occurred a little more than a year ago. The incident was uncovered by the press after reporters discovered Buchs's mummified carcass on the ground last week and began asking questions.

Questions have arisen as to why the White House failed to report the incident to the press or the authorities for more than a year. "The Vice President's office deferred to the people who owned the knife that he borrowed for the expedition," said Candy Ricks, a spokesman for the Veep. "It really was up to them." Ricks also maintained that it was not necessary to report the incident to the authorities because the Vice President and his party were authorities, "and very powerful and influential ones, too, I might add."

Ricks denied that Mr. Cheney needed to exercise more caution during hunting trips. "Mr. Cheney is every bit as careful with hunting as he is with civil liberties, foreign policy and democracy," she said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:01 PM in News

February 2, 2006
White House Staff Hit Hard By Human-Animal Hybrid Ban

Chickenhawks at Risk, Among Others

A ban on human-animal hybrids announced by President Bush in his State of the Union address has many senior White House staffers panicked, and the NIH, which has been tasked with enforcing the ban, has already prepared subpoenas for DNA samples for most of the White House staff.

Dick Cheney, who is thought to be a chickenhawk/man, told reporters today that the State of the Union was not intended to be taken literally by anyone. "It's really a rhetorical flourish," he said. Karl Rove, who many people freely attest is "not entirely human," backed up Cheney, saying that almost everything the President said was "unenforceable." Cheney and Rove then retired to the White House dining room where they gnawed on hanging seed sticks and sharpened their beaks.

A White House official, who preferred to remain anonymous because commenting on the genetic makeup of co-workers is frowned upon, said that Donald Rumsfeld, while not necessarily a chickenhawk, was certainly half-man, half-beast.

In this morning's press gaggle, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan found himself denying rumors today that the President himself is "half-man, half-chimp," saying only, "There's just a resemblance." After becoming increasingly defensive, McClellan finally compared the press corps to "a bunch of geese" and left the room.

A poll this morning found that Americans, by and large, are completely unconcerned by events in the White House or on Capitol Hill. According to pollster Melonie Fisk, "On the whole, Americans are more concerned with keeping up with the herd and the coming spring shearing."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:48 AM in News

January 30, 2006
Democrats To Filibuster Selves

Democrats today said that they will filibuster the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito as long as they can muster the votes to defeat themselves and cut off debate. Their strategy was designed to send a message that they strongly oppose "this controversial nominee" and will definitely support him.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, upon learning that the Democrats would certainly defeat any attempted filibuster, immediately announced her support for one. "I think we should do everything we can do to stop this nomination," she said. "The future of America depends on it."

Sen. Barack Obama -- who has said nothing to stir up opposition to Alito or to frame the debate surrounding Supreme Court nominees during his entire time in office -- reluctantly supported a last-minute filibuster. He told reporters that he decried the Democrats' failure to stir up opposition to the nomination and frame the debate surrounding Supreme Court nominees -- especially while relying upon last minute tactics. "The way I am governing appalls me," he said on a Sunday morning talk show.

Sen. John Kerry, who was aghast by the notion that Samuel Alito could take the bench, denied that he was pandering to his base by leading the charge for a filibuster. Reporters noted that Kerry had his finger in the wind the entire time he was speaking.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean tried to hail the Democrats' strategy as a victory. "There is nothing more important for the Democrats right now than being unified and on message," he said. "Today we're showing that together, we can't do anything."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:53 PM in News

January 20, 2006
Assisted Suicide Ruling Lets Democrats Move Ahead With Plan For Self-Immolation

As the Supreme Court ruled this week that Oregon's assisted suicide law was valid, Democrats rejoiced that there was now no further bar to their complete self-destruction.

"Now we can finally put an end to it all," said Sen. Diane Feinstein, who admitted that she had been worried that she was on shaky legal ground when she tried to sink the party earlier this week.

Sen. Joe Biden expostulated on his delight about the ruling, frequently veering off topic to tell personal anecdotes and occasionally wondering why people yawned when he spoke.

Hillary Clinton was too busy, either making remarks to satisfy her base or passing anti-flag burning laws to satisfy conservatives, to comment on the Supreme Court's decision.

Professor Eugene Tibbs, author of the book "How to Do Yourself In Without Going to Jail: A Guide," said that he did not know why Democrats were so happy about the ruling. "This ruling covers assisted suicide," he said. "As far as I can see, the Democrats never needed any help."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:32 PM in News

December 16, 2005
Exporting Democracy Department
Iraqi Election Held; First Step Toward American-Style Democracy Taken

Powerful Lobbyists For Special Interests To Be Created Next Week

Iraqis hailed this week's Iraqi elections as a "good first step" step toward a representational democracy, but, with a mixture of sadness, hope, and courage, acknowledged that more needed to be done. "We have much to do before we can claim the kind of successful representative democracy that America has," said Fawad Ghreib, an Iraqi election official. "For one thing, in this election, sadly, we have a paper trail."

Ghreib was excited about the new democracy. "Soon we too may have secret laws, state-sanctioned torture, and unchecked domestic wiretapping."

Originally published, in slightly different form, here.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:25 PM in NewsOld But Gold

December 5, 2005
Tom Ridge and Bernard Kerik Join Brown to Form Ultimate Disaster Firm

Bernard Kerik and Tom Ridge are joining ex-FEMA head Michael Brown to form what they say will be the "ultimate" disaster firm in the United States, if not the world.

Tom Ridge was the first head of the Department of Homeland Security. Kerik was never the head of the Department but he was once nominated for the position.

"I almost was the head," said Kerik. "Almost is pretty good."

Kerik added, "Should a disaster force a client out of public office, I can help them to transition to a cushy partnership, consultancy, or patronage job in the private sector."

The firm will be called Brown, Kerik and Ridge Disaster Planning, Inc., and their motto is "We plan disasters -- so you don't have to." The three partners incorporated, they said, to limit their liability.

Brown has already said that he can advise clients to avoid some of the mistakes "some people" made in New Orleans. Said Brown, "The first thing I tell clients is, in the event of a disaster, erase all of the emails. That is key."

Kerik agrees. "Never write anything down. You can always deny a conversation."

Ridge said that he had plenty of useful advice to offer clients involved with disasters. As an example, Ridge said that a disaster gives homeowners and renters alike the opportunity to rethink their wallpaper and window treatments. "I can help with the colors," he added.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:56 PM in News

November 30, 2005
Iraqis Don't Torture Either, Says Bush

President Bush today praised Iraq, calling it a strong, prosperous nation well on the way to becoming a model for democracies everywhere.

Bush responded to Sunni claims that the Iraqi military was committing barbarities . "Iraqis don't torture, either," he said.

Bush admitted that there have been "some minor atrocities," but ascribed these incidents to "one or two bad apples" who, he went on to explain, "appear to have been very busy."

Bush pooh-poohed reports of kidnappings and slayings, saying that he was quite convinced that Iraqis treated captives "every bit as good as we do."

"After all," Bush continued, "we trained them."

With a tip of the hat to V.B.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:28 AM in News

November 17, 2005
Chalabi Appointed Adjunct Professor of White House Ethics Course

Cheney Said To Have Had Influence In Pick

Ahmed Chalabi was appointed to teach the White House's newly required ethics course, where he will instruct high level White House officials on maintaining the appearance of ethical conduct. (Two other candidates for the position, G. Gordon Liddy and I. Lewis Libby were unavailable, citing scheduling conflicts.)

Chalabi will use the course to develop a curriculum that he will later teach at the Cheney School of Government, a new school affiliated with Heritage Foundation and built using money the current Vice President has siphoned from the public trough.

Among the topics expected to offered at the Cheney School will be Advanced Up-is-Down-ism, Mechanics of Legal Fund Management, Co-Opting Big Media, and Bilateral Elocution. Chalabi is planning to helm two courses: Treason for Dummies and Intermediate Treachery.

Donald Rumsfeld will be teaching a course called "Bullet Points: How to Boil Down the Most Complex Situation into a Simple, Misleading, and Inaccurate Litany," and Paul Wolfowitz will teach "The Joy of Empire Building".

Cheney said that President Bush will not be teaching a course at the new school, but has instead applied to be the first student. "His application is under review," said Cheney, "but I must say, he doesn't seem to have any real aptitude for it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:51 AM in NewsTop Stories

November 12, 2005
Huge Hand From Sky Whacks Pat Robertson In Head

Intelligent Designer Chastises Mortal

Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected God by voting their school board out of office for supporting "intelligent design" and warned them Thursday not to be surprised if disaster struck.

- Reuters News
Shortly after televangelist Pat Robertson warned the residents of Dover, Pennsylvania that they would soon suffer the wrath of God, a giant hand descended from the heavens and smacked Roberston "upside the head repeatedly," witnesses said.

At the same time, a booming and authoritative voice "like the voice of God" filled the air. "Jesus Christ!" God said.

A spokesangel for God later asked humanity to forgive Mr. Robertson and reminded all that he is "just a work-in-progress."

"God is hoping that future generations of Robertsons will evolve a more refined sense of spirituality," said the spokesangel.

The incident occurred during a break in the taping of "The 700 Club," and is the first reported case of divine intervention before a studio audience.

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:41 PM in NewsTop Stories

November 8, 2005
Democrats To Wait And See If Alito Is Confirmed Before Deciding Whether To Oppose Nomination

Bold Strategem Formulated

Senate democrats today announced that they would adopt a "wait and see" approach to the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito. Senator Joe Biden told reporters that Democrats would not announce their views on the nominee until after Alito's hearing and subsequent up-or-down vote on the nomination. "We're taking a cautious approach," he said.

But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid would not rule out fierce opposition to Alito's nomination. "We could very well decide to filibuster Alito's nomination at any time after he becomes a Supreme Court Justice," said Reid.

Sen. Hillary Clinton advised the leadership to consider "holding their fire" for a fight they could win, and her colleagues agreed that this could be a prudent course to take. "We may hold our fire for some other fight we can lose," said Chuck Schumer.

He said that Democrats could decide on a firm position by early next year.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:48 PM in News

November 1, 2005
Rove Points At Judge Alito, Allowing Libby To Jump Bail And Escape To Remote Island Nation He Owns

I. Lewis Libby managed to flee the country yesterday when Karl Rove pointed forcefully at Judge Samuel A. Alito, misdirecting the nation's attention and allowing Libby to escape. Libby is said to have flown to East Libbytonia, a small pacific island nation that he owns.

Yesterday morning, as Lewis Libby was leaving court after his arraignment on criminal charges, Rove pointed at Alito, saying, "Hey, look! A radical conservative who might well end up on the Supreme Court!" When the entire nation looked to the right, Libby ran to the far left, eventually rendezvousing with a boat that took him over the nation's western border.

Rove denied that he had aided and abetted Libby's escape. "I didn't help him anymore than I did in the CIA leak case," he said.

Libby was under indictment for lying to a grand jury under oath, among other charges, and faced up to 30 years in prison had he been convicted. (Libby was not charged with lying to the American people because that is not yet a crime.) He forfeited a million dollar bond he had posted pending resolution of his case. "It is," Libby said, "a small price to pay for freedom."

Professor Eric Stanhope Jones, an expert on freedom, concurred. "Libby got a lot more for his million dollars than America got for the 200 billion dollars it's spent so far on Iraq."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:21 AM in News

October 27, 2005
Hitchcock Salutes Plame Prosecutor

Master of Suspense Comes Back From Grave To Pay Homage To "New Master"

Master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock rose from his grave today to pay tribute to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who he said has successfully generated more suspense around the Plame case than any number of Hitchcock's best thrillers. Hitchcock said that he had risen from his grave not only to meet Fitzgerald, but because he simply could not wait to find out what would happen next.

"In short," Hitchcock quipped, "the suspense is un-killing me."

Some say Fitzgerald is a student of Hitchcock who has finally surpassed his teacher; he has been known to regale companions with a tale of two people talking at a table under which two indictments are quietly ticking.

Update: Old Fashioned Patriot builds on this brilliantly:

Joseph Wilson, The Man Who Knew Too Much, was sent to Niger and wrote a letter, thus becoming a Foreign Correspondent. The Psycho didn't like Wilson's report because Bush's window dressing for attacking Iraq became A Torn Curtain. . . .
Read it here.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:52 PM in News

October 25, 2005
Judith Miller To Take Job Actually Carrying Libby's Bags

Will Continue Work She Started As Reporter At NY Times

Reporter Judith Miller announced today that she will resign from the staff of the New York Times to take a job with White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Miller testified recently before a federal grand jury concerning conversations she had with Libby about CIA agent Valerie Plame.

"Working directly under Scooter seemed like a natural move," said Miller. Miller may also assist Libby with some deep cleaning of intransigent stains in his apartment. "Yes," Miller confirmed, "I will continue to do his dirty work."

Miller has come under fire lately for a "chummy" relationship with Libby that some say clouded her reporting on Iraq's alleged WMD. Miller wrote five crucial articles advancing the Cheney administration's claims that Iraq possessed WMD, although she later admitted that those articles were "kind of wrong."

"Oops," she said, smiling and shrugging her shoulders.

Responding to critics who alleged that it was, at the very least, poor journalism to uncritically report as fact unsupported theories advanced by President Cheney and Scooter Libby, Miller said, "I can only be as ethical as my sources."

Miller recently spent 85 days in jail to protect the identity of a source whose name she cannot recall.

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:56 PM in News

October 14, 2005
Fawning Iraqi Soldier To Replace Miers As Supreme Court Pick

Best Man for the Job, Says Bush

President Bush withdrew Harriet Miers from consideration for the Supreme Court this morning and replaced her with an Iraqi soldier who told him yesterday, "President Bush, I like you."

"That's certainly good enough for me," said Bush.

President Bush was talking over a videolink with a small group of American soldiers in Iraq that included the Iraqi, Sgt. Maj. Akeel Shaker Nassi, when Nassi made his remark.

Nassi's statement capped a stream of praise which he had sent Bush's way since the invasion of Iraq. In a letter dated July, 2004, Nassi wrote, "President Bush, you are simply great!!!" and also, "I bet Laura is the best wife ever!!" In a seperate note, Nassi wrote, "You're super! You rock!"

Nassi recently described Bush as "the smartest man that I never met." He said that he hoped that Bush would give him a nickname soon, hopefully either "Baksheesh" or "Herb."

Conservatives who were opposed to the Miers nomination were unsure as to the position they should take on the new nominee, but James Dobson, head of prominent right-wing evangelical group, said that he supported the President's pick.

"I'm not at liberty to say why," he said, "but I just spoke to Karl Rove." Dobson said nothing further but held up a bible, pointed at it, gave a thumbs up, and winked knowingly.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:52 AM in News

October 6, 2005
White House Seeking Limits On Interrogation of Members of White House

President Bush said that he will veto a bill by Senators that would limit interrogation of military prisoners -- that is, prohibit torture -- but Bush said he would consider signing similar legislation if it provided for curbs on the interrogation of White House personnel.

Senior White House officials, among them Karl Rove, "Scooter" Libby, and Stephen Hadley were said to be very interested in making sure prisoners who recently worked in the White House would be treated humanely.

"We don't want to see them waterboarding Rove," said a high-ranking official who wished to remain anonymous because he feared his imminent indictment.

One of the reasons the White House gave for the legislation was that it sought to protect confidential information which the White House possesses. "We think that White House officials should be able to leak confidential information willingly," said the source.

"The only person in the White House who could stand up to torture is White House spokesperson Scott McClellan. We're convinced that no matter what anybody did to him, he would just spout the same evasionist nonsense that he doles out every day."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:00 AM in News

October 3, 2005
Bush Nominates Actual Blank Slate To Supreme Court

Long Held Positions of Trust and Confidence in Bush Administrations

This morning President Bush named an actual blank slate to fill Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's place on the Supreme Court. "This slate has served me well," said Bush, "and it will make a heckuva great Supreme Court judge."

The slate, which has never been a judge before, has a long history with President Bush, dating back to his days when it hung in an office at the Governor's Mansion in Texas. "That slate did a good job," said Bush. "It held whatever we wanted to it to. This is an excellent slate."

a blank slateDemocrats are already hoping they will receive better disclosure about the slate than they did about Chief Justice Roberts. "We expect to see what was written on this slate during its time in the Bush Administrations," said Senator Charles Schumer, a prominent member of the judiciary committee. Members of the Bush Administration have already hinted that they will only be releasing some lunch orders written on the slate in 1998. "We think that's enough," they said.

The affable and extremely collegiate slate is expected to have an easy confirmation, and hearings are not expected to take long. "There just isn't much that we can examine," said Sen. Patrick Leahy.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid however, has taken a strog position against the slate. "I will vote no," he said. "There's just too much we don't know about a slate that will end up making important decisions that impact America for the next generation."

That having been said, Reid said he would not pressure fellow Democrats on the vote. "The slate will certainly be confirmed," he said. Reid said that he was "holding his fire" for a battle that Democrats will be able to win.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:50 AM in News

September 22, 2005
Mike Brown To Take Charge Of Congressional Investigation of FEMA

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert today appointed Michael Brown, the former director of FEMA, to direct the House's investigation into the failure of FEMA to function adequately when handling the recent disaster in New Orleans.

"We're very serious about really uncovering the problems with FEMA. That's why we've appointed Mike Brown," said Hastert. "Who better to investigate FEMA than the former head of FEMA?" Although Brown has no previous investigatory experience of any kind, Hastert had confidence in him because"he's a longtime college friend of Joseph Allbaugh, one of the President's major fundraisers," Hastert said.

Investigators under Mr. Brown's leadership were raring to go "full speed ahead." Unfortunately, the investigation has been held up by the delay in getting "critical office supplies" to the investigators.

"We're drowning here," said an investigator who wanted to remain anonymous because he has a huge wart on his nose. "The paperwork is overwhelming. We need help."

Nonetheless, precious and crucial items which Mr. Brown had said he would provide to the investigatory team -- such as an "absolutely essential" pallet of paperclips, and forty "indispensible" filing cabinets -- have been mysteriously lost en route to Washington, and 300 bales of paper were accidentally delivered to Miami, according to Mr. Brown. "I am working on getting these materials to the team," said Mr. Brown, who said that local and state authorities had caused the delay.

Despite the delays, President Bush heavily endorsed Mr. Brown's leadership of the investigation. "Brownie's been doing a heck of a job," he said almost robotically, his eyes glazing over as he blinked anxiously.

Also on the investigating committee will be some Federal employees who, while not having experience with investigations previously, used to bowl with George W. Bush in college. "We used to go drunk driving together," said one, who spoke anonymously because otherwise people would know his name.

Ed. Note: This was written before we discovered that FEMA has actually hired Michael Brown as a "consultant" to "evaluate it's [sic] response to Hurricane Katrina." Hat tip to Talking Points Memo. In fact, turns out he was never off of FEMA's payroll.


September 14, 2005
Existence Of Poor People A Surprise, Says Bush

Would Have Rescued Them If He Had Known They Were There, He Claims

Yesterday the President took responsibility for the poor Federal response to the New Orleans disaster and indicated that, "to the degree that there was a problem with the Federal response," he ultimately was to blame. He explained that he had previously been unaware that there were "so-called poor people" in New Orleans who "might have needed so-called help."

"I have been living in a bubble," the President admitted. "Until very recently, I didn't know that these so-called 'poor people' even existed." An advisor prepared a DVD containing images of poor people for the President to review last week.

The President said that now he was better informed, his administration would immediately move forward to consider ways of communicating and relating to the poor. "I promise we will try to remedy the problem of our insensitivity to poor people. From now on, we will move them places and promise them things and mention them in speeches," he said.

When aides finally briefed the President on the existence of the poor, the President was reportedly quite surprised to discover that some people do not own cars and are often forced to take public transportation, or even to walk or ride bicycles to get places.

"These poor people must be very fit," the President said.

Asked whether he would do anything to lessen poverty, Bush said, "We're certainly going to think about considering that and ask a lot of questions about giving that some thought."

The President later said that he was considering a plan to make stock options available to poor people at discounted prices in order to help welcome them into the ownership society.

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:15 PM in News

September 13, 2005
Evil Liberals: Penguin Film Proves There Is No God

But conservative groups have turned [March of the Penguins's] stirring depiction of the mating ordeals of emperor penguins into an unexpected battle anthem in the culture wars. . . .

"Some of the circumstances [the penguins] experienced seemed to parallel those of Christians," one man said of the penguins. "The penguin is falling behind, is like some Christians falling behind. The path changes every year, yet they find their way, is like the Holy Spirit."

Evil liberals announced today that, while conservatives have praised the "March of the Penguins," a documentary chronicling the mating cycle of Emperor penguins in Antarctica as "proof of the divine," and "a parable of christianity," liberals see the film as proof of the ultimate nihlism of the universe.

The movie follows a group of penguins as they trek 70 miles across a harsh and frozen landscape and mate in sub-zero temperatures. When an egg is born, the male penguin sits on it until he either accidentally breaks it or until his mate comes back from an absurdly dangerous journey to bring him food four months later. While the females are gone, the weather becomes, almost impossibly, even worse and the males -- even the most homophobic ones -- have to press themselves together into a ball to have enough warmth to survive. The males are starving and entirely without cable TV or fried snack foods. When the few females that survive the trip return, some of the eggs hatch, producing tiny baby penguins that will have to grow up and endure the same grueling and tortuous life cycle of suffering all over again.

"What kind of God would create a life cycle like that?" said Darby Gorman, a lifelong and staunch liberal. "It's cruel and meaningless." After speaking with reporters, Gorman locked himself in a room where he contemplated the essential tediousness of everything.

Liberal critics are puzzled why prominent conservatives cite the penguins' behavior in the film as making a case for monagamy, even though penguins select a different mate every year. "That's not hard to understand," explained Religion Professor Claude Simpersill. "In this way penguins are just like Republican lawmakers."

"Liberals just don't get it," said Nancy Sunshine, a member of the religious group God's Children and a conservative. "God is speaking to us through this film. The parable of the penguin is the parable of Christians who are struggling to survive in America. If only one of our babies can hatch, we've done well."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:41 AM in News

September 7, 2005
Bush To Investigate Self

Will Ask "Where was I?" and "What was I doing?"

President Bush announced yesterday that he will immediately undertake a comprehensive, exhaustive, and unrelenting investigation into himself, to discover his role, "if any," in the New Orleans disaster.

"I am going to ask tough questions and demand tough answers," Bush told reporters earlier today.

Speaking of the incredible force of the hurricane and the government's ignorance about the need for quick action in its aftermath, Bush said that there were many questions that needed to be answered.

"What did I not know and when did I not know it?" he said.

Bush wanted to know why he failed to act even though the National Weather Service precisely predicted the scope of the disaster a day before it occurred. "I am really at a loss," said Bush. "I guess that Cindy Sheehan thing had me even more rattled then I myself suspected."

Bush said that the investigation was too important a task to delegate to anyone else. "Some things you don't want to delegate to a subordinate or an inferior who might screw things up," he said. "Some things demand leadership."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:26 AM in News

September 2, 2005
Special Disaster Relief Edition
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 former postal worker from Louisiana, said,"Who is he kidding? That umbrella don't work for shit!" He foraged around among his things. "If I had food, water, affordable gas, oil, housing, security, or even a scrap of encouraging news from the rest of my family, I would happily offer you some mail."

Originally published in slightly modified form on June 3, 2004.

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:51 PM in News

August 25, 2005
Robertson Meant "Wine and Dine," Not "Assassinate"

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson explained today that remarks he made on television recently -- which the media portrayed as a call for Hugo Chavez's assassination -- had unfortunately been misunderstood and misreported, and he apologized.

"When I said our special forces should 'take him out,' I meant 'to a nice dinner,'" said Robertson. "Of course, if Chavez were to die accidentally after the dinner, from say, something he ate, who could deny that we would all be better off?"

Robertson, who emphasized that he is a champion of the culture of life, said that his words were ill-chosen, and that, while they accurately reflected his views in favor of assassination, he did not mean to express them on national television.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:08 PM in News

August 15, 2005
Iraq's First Constitutional Crisis Involves Possible Lack Of Constitution

Iran Offers To Write Iraqi Constitution "Just To Help Out"

Iraqis faced their first, and perhaps direst, constitutional crisis today because, by midnight tonight, they may not have a constitution around which to have a crisis. Members of the provisional government are in heated negotiations to agree on the final provisions of a constitution, but still differ on some minor points, such as: who will govern, what states will exist, the rights of citizens, whether Kurds should be considered as whey, what the role of religion in government should be, who gets the oil rights, and whether women can be bought like furniture.

Iraqi leaders said they were "making great progress" on the constitution and that existing napkins held many details of the final document. Nonetheless, in order to make the deadline, they are considering ignoring the demands of many of the country's factions, including those of the Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Shards, Nerds and Tribbles. "It is essential that we have a constitution of some kind by the end of today, even if it plunges the country into a state of never-ending civil war," said one Iraqi leader.

Iran has offered to provide the Iraqis with a constitution that is "perfectly indifferent" to the desires of the Iranian government, according to the Iranian government. "We want nothing for the Iraqis but their complete and utter happiness," said Iranian government member Mohammed Awari. "Is that the word? Or did I mean subjugation?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:40 PM in News

August 11, 2005
Bush To Extend Vacation To Clear "Especially Pernicious" Brush

Brush So Dense It Blocked Meeting With Cindy Sheehan, Says Bush

President Bush announced today that he is extending his five-week-long vacation until "at least October," because the brush on his Crawford ranch was "out of control," "all over the place," and "posed a possible threat to national security."

"No one's been attending to the brush," said Bush. But, he affirmed, he will not be deterred from his mission to clear it.

Spokespersons said Bush was so busy clearing the brush that he could not meet with Cindy Sheehan, who has been camping outside of the Crawford ranch until the President speaks to her about the Iraq war, where her son died serving the nation. Bush himself later told reporters that the brush was too dense for him to get to her. "It's a quagmire," he said.

Cindy Sheehan disagreed. "I don't see any brush," she said. "From where I stand, I can see everything quite clearly."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:50 PM in News

August 4, 2005
Bush To Determine Scientific Curriculum Of American Schools Based On His Own Experiments

Will Personally Review Entire Body of Scientific "Knowledge," Says White House

The White House announced today that President Bush would henceforth determine the scientific curriculum to be taught in America's schools. The announcement came immediately after Bush endorsed the teaching of intelligent design.

President Bush apparently wants to adopt a modified pre-Copernican view of astronomy, to start. "This whole notion that the universe does not revolve around our great nation, our great planet, seems kind of crazy," he told reporters yesterday.

Bush was also skeptical about what he called "the notion of gravity." "I'm uncomfortable with teaching our children that bodies are attracted to each other," he said. "That seems like an unwholesome idea to put into children's heads, don't it?" He speculated that objects fall to the ground because "God wants them to."

Dr. James Dobson, founder of the rightwing Christian group Focus on the Family, applauded Bush's plans to eliminate scientists from science. "It just puts all four of my humours into complete harmony," he said.

Critics were less sanguine, however. "If George Bush is for teaching intelligent design in schools," said Professor and biologist Byron Glick, "it proves that there isn't any."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:23 AM in News

August 1, 2005
Heat Wave Breaks As Congress Adjourns

Researchers Tie Global Warming To Presence Of Talking Legislators

A wave of relief swept the nation as Congress adjourned last week and record high temperatures finally subsided.

"There is a definite correlation between increasing temperatures and the presence of legislating congresspeople," said scientist Lloyd Dnaiels, whose last name was the result of a spelling mistake that "stuck."

Scientists have rarely seen environmental effects as extreme as those caused by the last session of Congress, however. "This past year, we saw record-breaking levels of incendiary rhetoric, heated bloviating, and acid bile," said Dnaiels.

Dnaiels said that scientists are working to insulate Americans from the effects of Congress, but so far they have made little progress. "One solution under consideration is to dissolve Congress entirely, but some scientists maintain that Congress is capable of benefitting the American people," said Dnaiels. "We're still looking for signs of that."

If scientists succeed, said Dnaiels, they will move on to protecting Americans from the effects of the judiciary and executive branches of government.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:12 PM in News

July 26, 2005
Shuttle Astronauts To Be Subjected To Random Spot Searches

NASA announced today that shuttle astronauts would be subjected to random spot searches starting this morning. Launch Director Algonquin Brown explained that the searches were reasonable measures designed to make shuttle launches safer.

The program was inspired by New York City's new program instituting random searches of passengers' bags on the city's subways. "The program has been very successful," Brown told reporters. "Not a single tile has fallen off the "6" train since they started searching people last Friday."

A Federal marshall assigned to administer the random spot checks shook down Commander Eileen Collins early this morning and discovered two packs of dentyne, a canister of lipstick that works in zero gravity and a nail clipper. The nail clipper was confiscated because Federal regulations prohibit the carrying of nail clippers into a cockpit.

NASA expects that random searches of astronauts may delay future launches and diminish astronauts' sense of privacy, but "that's the price you pay for liberty in a free society," said Brown.

In related news, New York City police officers assured the public that they were not profiling or targeting only Arab-looking males during searches. "We're harassing everyone," a spokesman said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:33 AM in News

July 21, 2005
Chess for Dummies

JOHN: We're back to All Night Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen, where the Democratic Party seem to have Karl Rove on the ropes. Sen. Harry Reid has Rove on the mat, it looks like it may be all over . . .

JIM: Rove actually looks worried.

JOHN: And what's this!?! Bush tags in with a partner, is that allowed? -- a Judge Roberts is in the ring, and Bush and Roberts have thrown Harry Reid into the bleachers where he is already nursing a wound.

JIM: He doesn't have a wound.

JOHN: But he believes he does, and in Democratic wrestling, as you know, Jim, that's half the game.

JIM: That's right, John, and now -- Karl Rove has pulled out a chessboard!

JOHN: That's right, as we've seen before, he can play any game he wants.

JIM: Yes, once again, Karl Rove has pulled out a chessboard, where he has queened yet another pawn.

JOHN: How many pawns does Rove have there, Jim?

JIM: I lost count a long time ago, John, but there are an awful lot and -- oh! And he's queened another one while we were talking.

JOHN: Yes, he has, Jim. And now the Democrats appear to be coming back into the ring -- there's Chuck Schumer, he seems wary of Roberts, who is distracting him from the board. I'm not sure he even sees it, Jim.

JIM: Yes. Schumer is proceeding almost daintily, walking quietly around the ring while Rove, Bush, and now Mehlman --

JOHN: Yes, Karl Rove and George W. Bush have now tossed the few Democratic pieces remaining on the board out of the ring. They are wholly dominating this arena.

JIM: Well, the Democrats were at a huge disadvantage in this game to begin with, John, you'll remember they had no King or Queen, the few pieces they had were either hemmed in by the Republican pieces so they could barely move, or those few pieces they had, they were afraid to take out of the box. Also, Karl Rove co-opted all of the bishops early in the game, and a couple of the Democratic knights seemed almost to be playing for the other side entirely.

JOHN: Yes, Peter.

JIM: Jim.

JOHN: John. Yes, Jim, they had a poor opening gambit, and now that Roberts is in the ring, it's yet another disappointing rout in an altogether dismal season for this once great franchise.

JIM: Oh, and this just in: a missing turtle roils Western Connecticut. This and what you don't know about sea bass that could kill you, after the break.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:02 AM in News

July 15, 2005
Rove Entirely Dependent on Novak for Top-Secret Government Information, Says Super-Secret White House Source

A White House source who declined to be identified because it did not serve his purposes -- Lewis Libby, Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff -- leaked to reporters today that Karl Rove was entirely dependent on columnist Bob Novak for confidential government information. For instance, Libby said, Rove did not leak Valerie Plame's name and occupation to Robert Novak; Novak leaked it to him.

"I understand that it is rare for a a government official at the highest levels of the federal government, in the White House, virtually sitting in the President's lap, to be entirely dependent on a reporter for top-secret, highly confidential government information, but that's the case here," said Libby anonymously.

Libby asked to be known to the public only by the nickname "Hand Job," in the tradition of other famous government leakers.

"Sadly, despite Rove's powerful influence in the White House, his top-secret clearance, and his intimate association with the heads of the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, DIA, DNA and DDT, he knew nothing about anything until Bob Novak clued him on it," said Libby. "This is Karl's terrible little secret."

In related news, Minority Leader Bill Frist said that Democrats calling for Rove's ouster were resorting to partisan war chants and refused to "pass the peace pipe" and "make'um nice."

"I have set the tone for working with my comrades on the other side of the aisle," said Frist. "It's awfully sad when democrats feel they have to be as fiercely partisan as I have been."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:15 AM in News

July 12, 2005
White House Cannot Confirm Ever Having Met Karl Rove

In a press conference yesterday, White House spokesperson Scott McClellan refused to confirm that the President knew a "Karl Rove" or that he had ever come across anyone by that name.

"I will not comment upon whether the name is even vaguely familiar to me," said McClellan, saying that "the White House has a policy of not giving potentially damaging information to the public at any time."

McClellan received questions from reporters about an incident wherein Mr. Rove -- today the Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House -- compromised the nation's security in order to punish a former ambassador with whom he was displeased. In response, McClellan declined to say whether the President still had confidence in Rove, would not say whether the President had spoken to Rove about the "Plame incident," whether the President knew him, or had heard of him.

Finally, Mr. McClellan denied understanding the words "Karl Rove," merely shaking his head and shrugging his shoulders in a show of incomprehension.

The questioning soon turned to abuse, and reporters hurled threats, insults, and rolled-up newspapers at McClellan until he left the Briefing Room and was replaced by his assistant, Pamela Wiesenstadt.

Ms. Wiesenstatdt refused to confirm or deny the existence of any "Scott McClellan."

Hat tip to Sebestian Meyer of Sebimeyer. Sebimeyer has the entire transcript of yesterday's press gaggle here.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:45 PM in News

July 7, 2005
Judge Changes Mind; Orders Miller To Do Time At Novak's Home

A Federal judge decided today that New York Times "reporter" Judith Miller "wasn't being punished enough" for refusing to obey the law and ordered that she be transferred from a Virginia detention facility to Robert Novak's home, where she will be incarcerated until October.

"I decided to grant Ms. Miller's request for house arrest," said the judge. "And this is the house she should be in." The judge added that he thought that Mr. Novak "deserved some punishment, too."

Miller's lawyers are returning to court this afternoon to argue that the judge's new ruling constiutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Upon learning of the ruling, Ms. Miller said, "If young men can give their lives to fight the war in Iraq, I guess I can muster the courage to spend 120 days in Bob Novak's home." She went on to say that she was willing to "sacrifice everything" in pursuit of a "free America" and babbled about the First Amendment and "responsible journalism" until at least one reporter smacked her.

Mr. Novak reflexively called the judge "a braying jackass," and complained that Miller "always hogged the remote," among other things.

Miller and Novak have not spoken since Miller told Novak that Lewis Libby had called to tell her, on Karl Rove's instructions, that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:38 AM in News

June 29, 2005
Bush To Invade Iraq Again

Army Already In Place

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."

Bush noted that this second invasion would be much easier to execute "because we already have most of our army in place."

Bush called on Americans to sacrifice "during this difficult time between American Idol seasons."

He said that the effort in Iraq was "worth it," saying that "we really have gotten a bang for our buck." He declined to put a figure on each dead or captured terrorist, only saying that it was probably "in the low billions."

"I am proud to have been instrumental in creating an entirely new front in the war on terror where one didn't exist even as recently as three years ago," he said. He ended by saying "9/11" a hundred-and-fifty times, and concluded, "Amen."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:41 AM in News

June 27, 2005
U.S. Army Will Not Be Pushed Into Sea, Reassures General

Relieved Army Sheds Flippers, Scuba Gear, Water Wings

On Sunday talk shows yesterday, Donald Rumsfeld and General John Abizaid reassured the American people that the insurgency will not push U.S. forces into the sea, because Iraq is landlocked, they asserted.

"So we continue to discount the sea contingency, although we cannot make assurances against the 'pushed into neighboring Turkey' contigency," said Rumsfeld.

The insurgency, which is in its "death throes," according to Rumsfeld, "may still linger on into the next century." He said that Americans should be reassured, however, because U.S. forces would either be pushed out or voluntarily withdrawn long before then.

"The U.S. Army is the best equipped, best trained, most deadly fighting force in the world," said Rumsfeld. "That having been said, if the insurgency isn't gone within the next couple of years, we'll leave it to the marginally equipped, moderately trained Iraqi army to finish the job."

Referring to a pocket dictionary that he apparently wrote himself, Rumsfeld described leaving Iraq with an increasingly adept and well-armed enemy utterly destroying the security of that nation as an "enormous success," a "great victory," and a "model of democratic transformation."

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:00 AM in News

June 16, 2005
ASK DOCTOR FRIST

She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli.

- Sen. Bill Frist, on the completely and utterly blind Terri Shiavo
Dear Dr. Frist,

Recently I developed a shooting pain in my left leg that feels like an elephant is massaging my upper thigh with his trunk. What should I do? Here is a picture of my leg.

Will Graham
Dear Will,

I spent several minutes looking at your picture. It is clear to me that an elephant is not actually massaging your leg. I would suggest Tylenol. If the pain continues to return, amputation is always an option.

Yours,

Senator Doctor William Frist

Dear Dr. Frist,

I have chronic recurring dizziness and I often lose my sense of balance. Enclosed please find a picture of me during a recent trip to DisneyWorld with my family.

Sally Yost
Dear Ms. Yost,

That's a mighty big mouse! Just kidding. I spent some time with your photograph last night and it is fortunate that you sent me a profile shot, since I can now say from my examination it that you have an inner ear infection. Take a ten-day course of Amoxycillin and you will be right as rain.

Senator Doctor William Frist

P.S. That will be $300.

Dear Dr. Frist,

In the past few months, my girlfriend Sally has become increasingly distant and cold. What is happening? I enclose a video of Sally and me fishing for tuna off the Emerald Coast of Florida last year.

Sam Acklington
Dear Sam,

I regret to tell you that, from my examination of your video, not only is Sally sleeping with other men -- among them the fishing boat captain appearing in the opening frames of your video -- but you have a degenerative neurological disorder and will soon be unable to say "this," and," or "but." There is no cure but, after Sally moves out, you will be able to keep the food processor.

Best,

Sen. Dr. William Frist

Dear Dr. Frist,

We are a group of astronomers at Princeton University. We are stymied by these shots of Epsilon Gemadrae, in the Phoenix Quadrant of Omega Tau, near the Quelm cluster. Can you help?

Professor Jean Karactacus and colleagues
Dear Professor Karactacus,

As much as I would like to help, this is really outside my field of expertise. I have thus taken the liberty of forwarding your request to Senator Rick Santorum.

The Honorable Senator Dr. Frist

UPDATE: More "Ask Doctor Frist" provided by the FreewayBlogger at Abstinence Only.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:09 PM in NewsTop Stories

June 9, 2005
Guest Editor
Report Shows That Global Warming Exists Belief In Global Warming Just A Fad

The United States released a report two years ago that showed that global warning is a significant threat to the environment fairy tale. Scientists believe that the polar icecaps will be gone by next year stem cell research will cause dangerous flash flooding in Missouri. Clearly the answer to the threat is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sign the Kyoto treaty make abortion illegal. The Bush Administration believes that science is a hoax and the law of gravity is "just a theory" everyone deserves a massive tax cut.

Just yesterday, melting of the ice caps caused a tsunami in Asia President Bush walked his dog, Barney. Millions died. It was a beautiful day.

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:54 AM in News

June 3, 2005
Paul Revere A Despicable Tattletale, Says GOP

Republicans today criticized Paul Revere for his famous ride, saying that he had violated professional colonial ethics by divulging military secrets in violation of his duty to his lord, the King of England.

"These were sensitive informations about military troop movements with which he had been entrusted," said G. Gordon Liddy, an expert on ethics in government and a professor at several unaccredited law schools.

"Paul Revere was a traitor and a law breaker," said Anakin Skywalker in a confidential interview shortly before his limbs were lopped off and he burst into flame.

Conservatives all over America pointed out that Revere also endangered people's lives by riding willy nilly all over Massachusetts at a full gallop in the dark of night. "He could have trampled someone," said Bill O'Reilly. "Paul Revere was a reckless and irresponsible nazi," he added.

Pat Buchanan derided Revere as a "coward" and a "snake" who was unwilling to be direct with the British government regarding his complaints about the monarchy. "There were channels," he said.

Peggy Noonan shook her head. "There's nothing sadder than Americans who have no respect for the rule of law," she said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:24 PM in NewsTop Stories

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 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

April 19, 2005
Food Pyramid To Be Replaced By Food Pentagon

Rumsfeld Eager To Take On New Job

The U.S. government today announced that the once vaunted food pyramid -- used as a model for American nutrition since 1992 -- will immediately be replaced by the food Pentagon. Donald Rumsfeld will be chief.

"I am looking forward to supervising the daily caloric intake of every American," said Secretary Rumsfeld, who will add the new job to his portfolio. "It's very simple," he said. "You eat what we tell you to."

Ewing Fitzsimmon, Undersecretary for Policy on Ruffage and Fiber, explained that today's America needed a more aggressive, more "go-to attitude" toward nutrition.

Part of the problem with the food pyramid, explained Fitzsimmon, was that while it was relatively easy to understand, most Americans simply did not follow it. The new program will instead involve extremely complicated guidelines that will be phased in gradually until they become mandatory in June of 2006.

"When people don't eat right, we get a flabby populace," said Rumsfeld, "and a flabby populace means that America sags in all the wrong places. We want to present our best face to the world."

"Nobody eats anything but beans until 1300 hours," he continued. "We need to reduce America's dependence on oil."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:02 PM in News

April 8, 2005
In Diplomatic Snafu, Bush Gives Social Security Speech To Throngs of Papal Devotees

Mourners Nonetheless Intrigued By Notion Of Private, Personal Accounts

Yesterday President Bush, when asked just outside of the Vatican to comment on his viewing of the Pope, accidentally launched into a spiel about Social Security and the need for reform. He unfortunately drew his words from a speech he gave upon visiting the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Public Debt earlier this week.

The President told millions of the Pope's followers and admirers waiting for a glimpse of the Holy Father, "There's really nothing in there," as he gestured toward the Vatican. "All that's in there is really just a bunch of I.O.U.'s."

In what the White House has called "a miracle," most of the crowd was unable to make sense of the President's statements.

Senior officials at the White House claimed that it was the right time and place for a speech about Social Security, noting that a funeral is always a good time to talk about planning for retirement.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:25 AM in News

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 in News

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 in News

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 in News

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 in News

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 in News

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 in News

February 25, 2005
Bush Talk Of Spreading Democracy Causes Widespread Panic

Some Democracies Accidentally Evacuated

President Bush's remarks to foreign leaders about spreading democracy caused a widespread panic this week among individuals and nations who were uncertain as to the import of his remarks. Early in the week, Bush told foreign leaders that he would spread democracy throughout the world so that the flower of liberty will continue to bloom and grow. "We have spread democracy all around and planted the seeds of liberty," said Bush. "If you water that seed, there'll be lots of fruits." Bush then pledged to "aggressively spread democracy everywhere."

His remarks alarmed many, and several small democracies, and one theocratic monarchy, evacuated pending clarification from the United States.

After his remarks about the spread of democracy, President Bush talked about "being tough with the moolahs," which quickly plunged economic markets around the world into a downward spiral. White House spokespersons later clarified that the President's words should not have panicked anyone, because the President "did not mean what he said," and "was not sure what he was talking about."

A poll found that Bush's statements about spreading democracy were slightly better received in Western Europe than elsewhere: 68% of Western Europeans did not trust Bush to spread democracy, and 68% thought that Bush was talking about spreading something else. "I know what he was talking about, but I think he meant 'compost,'" said Gerhadt Sheinmutter, a German gardener. Nine out of ten Europeans also mentioned that they did not need a Bush spread, whatever it was, because they had Nutella.

In the wake of the reaction to his remarks, President Bush today promised to speak more plainly, but noted that he "was keeping his options open."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:00 PM in News

February 18, 2005
Admitting Prostitutes To White House Part Of New Outreach Program, Officials Say

The Bush Administration today said that its credentialing of a Republican prostitute to the White House press pool was part of a job training and escort outreach initiative. "It's part of a program of good works," said Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

The White House was trying to explain why Jim Guckart was given daily access to the White House for the last two years. Guckart, who went by the name of Jeff Gannon in the Briefing Room, has been credentialed as a member of the press corps, and received a White House press pass even before he had ever become a journalist, Salon now reports.

Escort Asked to Visit White House At No Charge, Says McClellan

The White House denied that it had paid Guckart to come to the White House press corps to spend time with with Ari Fleischer, Scott McClellan and President Bush. Although Guckert's x-rated web sites offer Guckart's male escort services for $200 an hour, or $1500 a weekend, the White House said it did not pay those rates. "He didn't charge us anything for the weekdays," said Scott McClellan, "and he was never here on weekends."

White House officials denied that they had issued credentials to Guckart because he was a Republican prostitute. "We credential escorts regardless of their party affiliation," Scott McClellan said. When pressed, McClellan admitted that, so far as he knew, none of the rest of the the White House press corps were "professionals."

McClellan said that the White House was not concerned about any security risks that might be associated with the admission of professional escorts to the White House. "When you take the necessary precautions, it's almost entirely safe," he said.

At least one prominent Democrat was not pleased with the so-called program. "I have a suggestion," said Congressman John Conyers. "Abstinence."

Update: TBogg connects the dots.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:08 AM in News

February 9, 2005
Makers Of Zoloft To Create New Pill Based On Bush's Outlook

The manufacturers of Zoloft, a popular antidepressant, announced today that they would begin work on a pill that encapulates President Bush's mental disposition. "No matter how bad things are, this pill will make you believe everything is really great," said Betty Garland, a spokesman for Pfizer. "We think this pill will be a best seller."

Indeed, preliminary research indicates that the so-called "W is for Wonderful" pill will induce a state of blissful, ignorant euphoria among its users. The idea for the pill arose after polls showed that a whopping 77 per cent of the American people who watched Bush's State of the Union address felt that "all was right with the world" after hearing the speech. This same group of listeners felt that their most pressing concerns involved choosing a new upgrade for their riding mower and finding a dishwashing detergent that doesn't cause "unsightly spotting."

The pill will be marketed under the slogan, "Come on! Drink the Kool-Aid!'

Side effects of the pill include blindness, dizziness, addiction, deafness, hypocrititis, ovationoriasis -- an inability to refrain from giving a standing ovation to the most shallow homily --as well as ever-increasing debt and susceptibility to a military draft.

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:43 PM in News

January 31, 2005
Iraqi Election Held; First Step Toward American-Style Democracy Taken

Powerful Lobbyists For Special Interests To Be Created Next Week

Iraqis hailed the Iraqi election this past weekend as a "good first step" step toward a representational democracy, but, with a mixture of sadness, hope, and courage, acknowledged that more needed to be done. "We have much to do before we can claim the kind of successful representative democracy that America has," said Fawad Ghreib, an Iraqi election official. "For one thing, in this election we barely had any three-hour-long waits."

Iraqis expressed disappointment that the election failed to produce a vote which could be settled by lawsuits. "I am afraid that the counting of ballots in all of Iraq is perfectly uniform," said a discouraged Hasseem Wasabi, a Baghdad resident. "Clearly we still have a very long ways to go."

Iraqis hope to have hackable electronic voting booths in sixty per cent of the country by the time of the next election, with unreliable optical scanners in most of the remaining precincts. "We must remember that American Democracy wasn't built in a day," said Wasabi.

Iraqi officials were also dismayed by the sixty per cent voter turnout. "That's certainly far too high," said Sam Jabouli, a poll watcher in Fallujah. "There are far too few disaffected citizens. But we are confident that as people see their government in action, we can halve that figure."

Iraqi officials were said to be troubled that so little money was required to campaign for a government position. "We will not be able to enact a good campaign finance reform bill unless we can build campaign finance abuses," said Jabouli. "We are working on it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:17 AM in News

January 28, 2005
Google To Start Indexing Brains

Plan To Take Over World Well Underway

Google announced today that, as part of its plan for world domination, it will include people's thoughts in search engines results starting on Monday.

The move is designed to further increase Google's hold on "everything anybody knows," and accelerate Google's drive to "hold sway over all puny earthlings," according to Google executive Maurice Finster, who laughed diabolically.

Google's plans include becoming the world's first corporate nation-state, literally ruling the world and "making Microsoft our complete bitch," Finster confided.

Starting next week, Google will enable users to find gossip, details of secret affairs, who's sleeping with whom, and how many people pick their noses while driving.

Finster declined to reveal precisely how Google was going to index brains, but mentioned that they involve "harvesting organs."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:04 AM in News

January 26, 2005
Support For Bush Social Security Plan Increases Among Dead People, Says Bush

Silence Equals Consent, He Says

President Bush announced a groundswell of support for his Social Security reform plans among those no longer living. One of Bush's new supporters is the prominently deceased Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the President told reporters today. "So there's one Democrat's vote I know I can count on," Bush said.

While President Bush acknowledged that his plan might have somewhat weaker support among the living, he expected that "these people" would "sing another tune" if "they were to become unavailable for some reason."

The President also speculated that some people would give support to his plan after he told people exactly what it was, although he noted that Daniel Moynihan had not needed to wait for the details of his plan, "unlike some of these living folks."

President Bush declined to specify whether his plan involved the creation of "personal accounts," "private accounts," "investment accounts," or some kind of privatization, saying only that his plan involved allowing folks to do "take some of their stuff and do something with it."

Meanwhile, Republicans asked President Bush to a better job of selling his plan to those not yet dead.

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:49 PM in News

January 21, 2005
Bush: Exporting Freedom Will Halve Trade Deficit

In his inaugural address yesterday, President Bush declared that he would decrease the trade deficit by exporting American freedom and spreading it around the world.

"American freedom is the fire that will spread to all nations and, who knows, maybe they can make barbecue," he said.

Bush described a program of forcibly exporting "our special brand of American Freedom" all over the globe, and predicted that the export of American Freedom could entirely erase the trade deficit over the course of the next four years.

Michael Pecklestein, an expert in lamb pickling who was the only expert available as we went to press, said, "The biggest problem with Bush's vision is that value of American freedom is plummeting. As I speak it's only about .77 against the Euro." He also noted that the export of American freedom could result in a domestic shortage of the product.

Malmook O'Neill, a frequent commentator on game shows, applauded Bush's model of forcible exports, hoping that the Freedom program could be expanded to include the forcible export of other products overseas. "Hopefully we can get rid of those little troll dolls," he added, calling them "unspeakably ugly," and "a blight on the American playscape."

"We will bring freedom and peace to the rest of the world as quickly as we can," said Bush. "We are only limited by the number of soldiers and weapons available to us," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:58 AM in News

January 20, 2005
Republicans Excel At Self Parody

Two months ago it was liberal satire. Now it's conservative self-caricature.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:50 PM in NewsOld But Gold

January 19, 2005
Inaugural Celebration To Take Up Four Years, 200 Billion Dollars

Bush Achieves Goal Of Having One Inaugural Ball For Every Campaign Contributor

The White House announced today that it had planned so many inauguration ceremonies, balls, and celebrations that the inauguration would likely take up to four years to complete, at a cost of over $200 billion dollars.

"We 're pleased to announce that every cent necessary has been raised privately from individuals who did very well with the tax cuts," said Scott McClellan. He also described the events as "significantly cheaper than the Iraq war."

The White House reacted quickly to suggestions by critics that the lavish festivities set the wrong tone for a nation embroiled in an expensive war that has claimed thousands of American lives. Officials noted that the celebration would be tempered with many solemn tributes to the troops, and only one peppy tribute to the exercise of unchecked power.

Indeed, banners hung atop inauguration ballrooms proclaimed the event to be "A Somber Celebration of War," although an angry Dick Cheney was reported to have said, "Damn it. It was supposed to say 'cerebration.'"

There is to be much quiet meditation on the war as attendees drink champagne, eat caviar, and do the Texas two-step to the sounds of America's greatest Republican musicians.

"I don't know what we're supposed to be so somber about," said invitee Bucky Trollop, CEO. "I thought the Iraq war was supposed to be this big old success."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:04 AM in News

January 18, 2005
Bush Used Unique Military Weapon To Win Election

"Voting Aphrodisiac" Brought Male Voters Into Bush's "Column," So To Speak

The idea of fostering homosexuality among the enemy figured in a declassified six-year, $7.5 million request from a laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for funding of non-lethal chemical weapon research.
President Bush used a unique chemical weapon originally developed for U.S. military use to literally woo and seduce male voters in the presidential election, government documents show.

The weapon, which was originally developed to induce enemy soldiers to drop their weapons and pick up the soldiers to their immediate left, was adapted for domestic use at a cost of "like, a gazillion dollars," said a Pentagon spokesperson.

The weapon was secretly sprayed on male swing voters to induce them to become deeply enamored of President Bush. The weapon's only side effect is that it causes a deep craving for showtunes, "which is good for the economy," said White House liason Paul Schneckner.

Brian McFadden was exposed to the weapon a week before the election. "That was when I decided the Iraq war was really virile," said Mcfadden. "I had been on the fence about our foreign policy, but it was then that I realized that the President is a truly appealing leader. And kind of buff."

Other men exposed to the drug described the President as "really fierce" after exposure.

"This secret weapon -- which was developed and used at great expense to the American taxpayer -- was used to hoodwink American voters" said Terry McAuliffe, DNC chairman. "But you have to admit that President Bush is really handsome. Has anyone seen my Judy Garland CD?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:57 AM in News

January 14, 2005
Dan Rather Only Television Media Flack Not Paid By Government, Reports Show

Geraldo Rivera Possibly Not Paid Either, Rivera Claims

New documents subpoenaed by senators showed that the Department of Education and other government agencies have routinely paid almost every television personaliity, anchor, commentator, talk show host, and pundit to plug government programs at some point over the past four years. The entire staff of Fox News netted over a billion dollars in the past year, records show.

"Now we know where some of those misplaced Iraqi dollars went," said Senator Arlen Specter.

The White House denied any wrongdoing. "We have a duty to inform the public about government programs," said White House spokesperson Scott McClellan. "And Britt Hume, George Will, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly are part of the public." He explained that after the White House informed them and gave them a little money, they, in turn, informed the rest of the public.

The informal senate investigation began after it was revealed that Armstrong Williams, a talk show host and columnist, was paid $240,000 of taxpayer money to promote No Child Left Behind.

The only prominent television personalities who were not paid were Dan Rather and possibly Geraldo Rivera, "Dan Rather because we don't like him," explained a senior White House official, "and Geraldo because he's just a clown."

Critics of the program were quick to point out inadequacies in the White House "public information" program. "They should have informed the public about the government program to pay Britt Hume and others to plug government programs," said Indiana resident Jamie Fastow.

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:42 AM in News

January 8, 2005
hand_lg.gifWashington Week In Revue

As the result of a bureaucratic slip-up, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was inadvertently included in the United States government delegation sent to comfort tsunami victims in Southeast Asia.

"Waves happen," Mr. Rumsfeld told survivors.

This and other stories here.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:41 AM in NewsNotices

January 7, 2005
Tenet To Blame For 9/11 Failures, Says CIA Report; Should Be Held Accountable

Presidential Medal Of Freedom Cannot Be Worn On Thursdays, Agrees Angry President

A review by the CIA of its pre-9/11 efforts blames George Tenet and a few others for "so ignoring the threat of terrorism" that they failed to prevent the World Trade Center attacks, and calls for Tenet to be severely punished for his shortcomings.

The administration today said that it had no choice but to follow the recommendation. "We are considering several avenues," said Sheila Wickner, a White House spokesperson. "The President will either give Tenet a stern finger-shaking or rub his nose in the Oval Office carpet."

Wickner said that the President was not considering taking the Presidential Medal of Freedom back from Tenet, because Tenet deserved the award for his public service. Wickner pointed out that the Medal had been awarded to golfer Arnold Palmer, among others, and that "Tenet himself is pretty amazing with a five-iron."

The CIA report blames Tenet for ignoring a Presidential Daily Briefing report ("PDB") entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike In The U.S.," saying that Tenet should have tried to impress upon the President that Bin Laden was planning to strike in the United States. Tenet personally briefed the President on the document on August 6, 2001.

"He should have shaken President Bush by the shoulders or something," said CIA analyst Herman Shrewville, one of those responsible for preparing the CIA critique. "Or maybe read the memo out loud with a Texas twang."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:22 AM in News

January 3, 2005
New White House Budget Expected To Top Best Selling Fiction Charts

White House officials bragged that the administration's new budget, which is to show that President Bush can fulfill his campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by 2009, is a "masterpiece," and will become a best selling work of fiction shortly after its release. "People are really going to buy this," said a member of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

To make the case that President Bush can halve the deficit, White House officials are preparing a "masterful account" that leaves out huge amounts of spending and includes entirely ficticious income.

"This is a brilliant work of imagination and whimsy," said critic Janet Maslin, in a soon-to-be-published New York Times review.

White House officials are planning to exclude from the budget the cost of the Iraq war, Social Security, heating oil, travel and gasoline, paper, dry cleaning and payroll.

The release of the budget will be accompanied by a major advertising campaign with the tagline "If Only We Believe . . ." The White House also plans to spend 50 million dollars on "a small army" of hypnotists who will push the budget. "We can afford it," said a glazed-over John Snow, who rocked back and forth several times as he spoke. "Afforrrrrd itttt," he added.

Asked how the White House managed to come up with such an innovative and dazzling new work of fiction, OMB "imagineer" Carl Finch said, "Once you've decided to leave about 2 trillion dollars worth of Social Security privatization transition costs out of the budget, you have to ask yourself, why include expenditures at all?"

"The rest came naturally," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:14 AM in News

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 Mercycorps.org.

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

December 21, 2004
Fact That Iraq War Is Going Poorly Convincing Americans War Is Going Poorly, Complains Bush

Iraqis Also Screwing Up Whole Democracy Thing, Says Bush

In a press conference yesterday, President Bush affirmed that Americans were beginning to believe things were going poorly in Iraq just because things were not going well.

"All of these reports of how poorly things are going in Iraq is having an effect on Americans considering the sitchiation there," Bush said. "They're beginning to think that things are going poorly. And when we think that things are going poorly just because things are going poorly, the insurgents are winning, because that's just what they want us to do," said Bush.

President Bush also said that newly-trained Iraqi forces were "making a mess" of the whole "democracy thing." "Whoever trained these people should be given a good talking to," said Bush. "Or a Presidential Medal of Freedom."

Bush conceded that bombs were having an impact on Iraq. "Because that's what bombs do," he said. "They have an impact and they make these little craters."

President Bush concluded the conference by cautioning Americans not to draw conclusions based upon observable facts or conditions, and instead urged Americans to believe whatever made them "most happiest."

"That's what I do," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:07 AM in News

December 17, 2004
Penny To Be Recalled

In "The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln," to be published next month by Free Press, Mr. C.A. Tripp, a psychologist, subjected almost every word ever written by and about Lincoln to minute analysis. His conclusion is that America's greatest president, the beacon of the Republican Party, was a gay man.
President Bush announced today that he is immediately withdrawing the penny from American currency. He stressed that there was "no time to lose."

"It is high time that this entirely worthless currency be taken out of circulation," Bush said. He denied that Lincoln's alleged gayness had anything to do with his decision. "I don't believe that Lincoln was gay," said the President, "although I admit I no longer feel comfortable handling the penny."

The Republican-controlled Congress has drafted legislation that it intends to pass in an emergency session that will make it a Federal crime to refer to the Republican Party as the "party of Lincoln."

At the White House, an environmental SWAT team dressed in special "clean suits" was seen cordoning off the Lincoln bedroom and bringing in special equipment to perform what White House officials called "a routine sanitization and disinfection" of the area.

Dennis Hastert, Republican representative from Illinois, was worried. "That's not what they mean by 'the Land of Lincoln.'"

Conservatives called for the Lincoln Memorial to be immediately removed to Greenwich Village in New York City.

Senator Frist agreed with the President's decision to withdraw the penny. "This news about Lincoln really brings new meaning to the phrase 'heads or tails.'"

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:20 PM in News

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

December 8, 2004
Iraq CIA Reports Contaminated By Exposure To Liberal Chatter, Says White House

Two recent CIA reports depicting the future of Iraq as exceptionally shaky were the result of too much CIA/FBI electronic eavesdropping on liberal groups in the United States, White House officials charged today.

"We're greatly concerned about what we see as an overdose of reality-based perceptions in these reports," said Dick Cheney.

The two agents who gave the reports -- an Iraq station chief and a senior agent who had made a recent visit to Iraq -- have been placed in a safe house for observation and quarantine, sources revealed. "We think we may have contained the outbreak," said Dr. Ivan van Fromderwear.

The two pessimistic reports were authored after "listening carefully to liberal chatter," an agency spokesperson may or may not have confirmed today, but he denied that that reality had contaminated agents' perceptions.

"CIA Director Goss has made it quite clear that reality has no place in any report used to determine policy in this administration," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:20 PM in News

December 6, 2004
Bush Calls For U.N. Chief's Resignation; Failed To Stop Iraq Invasion, He Complains

President Bush entered the fray surrounding criticism of U.N. Chief Kofi Annan today, saying that he was not as concerned about problems with the oil-for-food program as he was with the U.N.'s inability to promote international peace.

"Kofi Annan failed to stop war from breaking out in Iraq, I can tell you that," said Bush. "That's a poor excuse for a leader of an organization calls itself a vehicle for world peace."

"In Texas, when we have a steer that's not breeding we masculate him," the President told White House reporters. "And Kofi Annan isn't breeding, if you know what I mean.. ."

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte agreed with President Bush. "Kofi Annan knew the inspections were working in Iraq-- yet he utterly failed in his mission to stop the President from just riding roughshod over him. It's time for him to go."

"I hope the next U.N. leader will at least be able to stop me from nuking Iran," said President Bush.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:28 AM in News

December 2, 2004
Iraqi Elections Worth Having If Only One Person Votes, Says Bush

President Bush said Thursday that Iraqi elections should proceed on January 30 as scheduled, even if the security situation in Iraq is so poor that only one person makes it to the polls.

"It's time for Iraqi citizens to go to the polls," Bush told reporters in the Oval Office. "We can't concern ourselves with whether they can actually make it there."

Bush disagreed with the dozens of Iraqi political parties calling for the elections to be delayed. "If even one person votes, that will be a great victory for democracy," said Bush.

Election expert Cody Sudapod of the Hackings Institute agreed with the president. "If even one vote can be cast and accurately counted, the Iraqis will be this much closer to having elections just like we have in America, where we accurately count an undetermined amount of votes more than that."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:50 AM in News

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 25, 2004
GOP Furious That Gay Cartoon Character Leads Thanksgiving Day Parade

Propose Constitutional Amendment Against "Thanksgiving Gay Parades"



gayspongebob.jpg
A gay Spongebob eyes a new candidate for unnatural marriage.
Republican Congressional leaders started off Thanksgiving today outraged that Spongebob Squarepants, who they called "an obviously and flagrantly gay cartoon character" was prominently featured in today's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"Only in New York," said Senator Rick Santorum, who alleged that, since the addition of Spongebob to the parade, he had seen Sesame Street's Grover balloon in unnaturally close proximity to Scooby-Doo's tail.

The allegation that Spongebob Squarepants, a cartoon character who appears on the Nickelodeon TV Network, is homosexual, caused a great deal of controversy among fans. "Spongebob is not gay," said Anita Physic, a viewer from Oklahoma. "He's just a kid, really."

Republicans scoffed at the assertion. "Oh, please," said Santorum. "It's obvious. He lives in a pineapple under the sea."

Wishing You A Happy "Opinions You Should Have" Thanksgiving!

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:57 AM in News

November 22, 2004
Bush To Seek To Revive Intelligence Bill He Blocked

Pledges To Work Harder To Push Agenda He Pulls

President Bush pledged today that he would "take a running start" at crafting an intelligence bill that he will later totally shitcan.

"I am very disappointed that I stopped the intelligence bill from making its way of out committee and I vow to work harder to see that that bill goes farther before I once again make sure that it never becomes law," Bush said, returning to his ranch in Crawford,Texas. Bush said he was planning on clearing the brush in an area that he had grown brush on last week.

The intelligence bill was to enact 9/11 Intelligence Commission recommendations for intelligence reform that Bush had at first decried and then embraced. Bush had earlier opposed the creation of the Commission before calling for its immediate assembly. He then completely stonewalled its investigation until fully cooperating with it.

Bush denied today that he had blocked the intelligence bill on Friday.

"I didn't block it," said Bush. "I asked ranking House leaders to pass it while making absolutely sure that they knew that I didn't want it to be passed," he said. "That's totally different."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:14 PM in News

November 15, 2004
Liberal CIA Operatives To Be Designated Enemy Combatants

Natural Extension Of Plame Doctrine, Says Gonzalez

Liberal and openly democratic CIA operatives and analysts are to be designated enemy combatants today and immediately shipped to a detention center in Guantanamo, Cuba, pursuant to orders from the White House that were vetted and approved by counsel Alberto Gonzalez.

"It's a natural extension of what we're now calling the 'Plame doctrine,'" said Gonzales. "We're not just outing them -- we're taking them out."

Gonzalez said that summarily interning liberal and allegedly disloyal employees was not a denial of due process under the Constitution. "Sometimes, when you've got a mandate, the Constitution just doesn't apply," Gonzalez said.

CIA Director Porter Goss, the recently installed former House representative that politicians and media had hailed as a bipartisan Republican willing to work with Democrats, approved the purge. "Although I have worked closely with Democrats in the past," he said, "I've decided that I would rather imprison and interrogate them."

Once in Guantanamo, former CIA operatives are expected to be placed in government-approved "stress positions."

"I'm not sure how this is going to be much different than my CIA job," said liberal intelligence analyst Jocelyn Wexler. "Attempting to provide unbiased intelligence analysis to this administration was already the ultimate stress position."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:16 PM in News

November 9, 2004
U.S. Negotiates Complete Start Of Hostilities Against City Of Fallujah

Insurgents Allowed To Leave On Condition That Remaining City Be Bombed To Rubble

In retaliation for insurgents' occupation of Fallujah, U.S. have negotiated the complete escape of all insurgent leaders from the city, in exchange for which U.S and Iraqi forces are to be allowed to bomb the remaining city to rubble. Insurgents also agreed to leave behind a token force of insurgents that U.S. forces can kill, capture, injure, and hound. U.S. representatives declined to reveal the number of civilian casualties that insurgents and U.S. forces agreed upon.

"This is a great victory for U.S diplomacy," said Donald Rumsfeld. "We have a negotiated a complete begin-to-fire with the rebels."

The United States also engaged in successful negotiations with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi regarding the name of the fairly useless exercise in beating the hell of a relatively undefended town. Initially, U.S. forces wanted to call the mission "Operation Phantom Fury," while Iraqis wished to call it "Operation Dawn." Eventually the U.S. agreed to call the mission "Operation Phantom Fury," in exchange for which the Iraqi government could tell Iraqis that, translated into Arabic, that means "Operation Dawn."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:06 AM in News

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

November 3, 2004
Kerry Calls For Grounding Of Youth Of America

Low Turnout Among Youth Vote Means They're "Busted," Democrats Say

In light of the poor showing of the critically important 18 to 29 year old group at the polls yesterday, Democrats and John Kerry was calling for America's youth to be "totally grounded."

I'm not blaming them for my loss," said Kerry. "But I am taking away their car keys."

Experts were at a loss to explain why young voters stayed away from the polls, although they speculated that the cause may have been a backlash from a flood of celebrity get-out-the-vote drives.

"This may definitively show," said Erstwhile Holmes, celebrity biographer, "that P. Diddy is not, actually, 'all that.'"

Others blamed the Xbox and the Playstation 2, which pollsters say 18-29 year olds widely favor over John Kerry and George W. Bush.

Update: I was reacting to initial reports that the same number of 18-29 year olds voted, as a percentage of the electorate (%17), as in the the 2000 election. But, as alert reader Sulayman notes in the comments, this initial report was wrong: there was a sizable increase in the number of voters in this bracket from the year 2000. So, in the words of Emily Litella: never mind.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:56 AM in News

November 2, 2004
Abandonment of Mars Program Critical Error in Bush Campaign

Bush Soft On Unnecessary Planetary Exploration, Voters Find

Opinions You Should Have is pleased to announce that the body of this story is featured on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times here.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:58 PM in News

November 1, 2004
Bush's Inability To Distance Self From Self A Problem, Republicans Worry

President Bush has been utterly unable to distance himself from what critics call "George W. Bush's presidency," enabling opponent John Kerry to blame virtually all four years of it on him, a crucial mistake in a critically important campaign season.

"If Bush had been able to depict the past four years of his presidency as belonging to someone else, it would have dramatically improved his chances for re-election," said Harry Schmetterer, checkers-player-turned-pundit. "Because he did not, the war on Iraq, the record on the environment, the economy, all of that can be laid to rest at George W. Bush's feet."

In this last week, Karl Rove had intended to reveal his "October Surprise" -- an allegation that someone else, probably Bill Clinton, had actually been President during the past four years. Unfortunately, allegations concerning the theft of 380 tons of powerful explosives from Iraq by terrorists distracted the Bush campaign from pursuing that strategem.

In other news, Bush aides feared that the wolves unveiled in a recent anti-Kerry campaign spot did not sufficiently "frighten the living bejesus" out of voters.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:28 PM in News

October 26, 2004
Bush To Counter 380 Tons Of Explosive With 500 Tons Of BS

The Bush Administration announced today that it had been stockpiling a toxic substance to fight the news that 380 tons of deadly HMX or RDX explosives had been stolen from a suspected WMD weapons dump sometime after the U.S invasion of Iraq.

"We have over 500 tons of prime, U.S. Government-manufactured weapons-grade BS that we are going to throw at this problem," said Scott McClellan, who has been adding to the U.S. store of BS since he assumed the position of Press Secretary in 2003.

McClellan also said that he was saddened that the U.S. had to rely on its stockpile of BS due to the failure of the Iraqi Interim Government to adequately safeguard the HMX; that the BS that the United States had on hand was enough to ensure that the HMX had not been at the depot when the U.S. took charge of the facility; enabled the U.S. to know not to guard the facility early on in the Iraq war; and convinced him that the U.S. properly decided to guard Iraqi oil fields before they guarded -- or even searched for -- any alleged HMX, if any ever existed.

"See," said McCelllan. "Even a little bit of good BS goes a long way."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:38 PM in News

October 25, 2004
God To Bush: Can You Hear Me Now?

A dispute between George W. Bush and Pat Robertson about apparently conflicting messages each of them claimed to have received from God has highlighted what God sees as a major communications problem with some mortals on Earth.

God had apparently intended to warn Bush about heavy casualties in Iraq, but the message was received by Pat Robertson instead, spokesangels revealed today. "It's very, very hard to get through to Bush," one heavenly spokesangel said. "He's extremely insulated."

Although Bush claimed that he had received a message from God about a lack of casualties, a senior archangel who preferred to remain anonymous said that he was unaware of any such message. An investigation by "higher-ups" concerning that alleged message is underway.

"We don't know what Bush heard," said the Archangel. "Sometimes people hear what they want to hear."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:25 AM in News

October 22, 2004
New Bin Laden Tape Endorses Kerry, White House Says

The White House today said that they had discovered a new tape purporting to contain a message from Osama bin Laden endorsing John Kerry. On the tape, which has not been made available to reporters, bin Laden says, "I urge all infidels to immediately vote for John Kerry." The CIA said that the message appeared to be authentic, citing the ending of the tape, in which the speaker closes with, "My name is Osama bin Laden, and I approved this message."

"This is precisely what I have been saying all along," said a triumphant Dick Cheney during an interview in his office. "The terrorists want John Kerry to win." Cheney offered no explanation for the presence of a reel-to-reel tape recorder on his desk, except to say that he had just been "catching up on some old Nixon reels."

Update: Apparently the GOP reads this site; they released the tape just 6 days after I wrote this post.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:11 AM in News

October 20, 2004
Loofah Actually Quite Abrasive, Says O'Reilly Ex

In a recently filed lawsuit, a Fox News producer, Andrea Mackris, alleged that O'Reilly had sexually harassed her, and described a September phone call in which O'Reilly expressed the desire to "do things with loofahs to her."

Today, Judy Looce, an ex-girlfriend of Bill O'Reilly, reported that she was astonished that Mr. O'Reilly was still using loofahs in his sex fantasies. Looce, a forensic microphone technician, said that she had ended a sexual relationship with O'Reilly in January as a result of what she called "loofah abuse."

"I don't know why he has such a thing for loofahs, but they don't feel good. I don't know why he can't give them up,' she said. "Maybe it's because he's abrasive, too."

Whether threatening a female employee with a loofah massage constitutes sexual harassment is an unsettled question in New York State, where the suit was filed. "But there are some Hawaii divorce cases dealing with loofahs that are definitely helpful to us," a lawyer for Mackris said.

Looce, who is slightly deaf in her left ear, said that early conversations in her relationship with O'Reilly confused her, because she thought he was fantasizing about rubbing her body with "Oompa Loompas."

"I'm sorry I was wrong," she later said. "They might have felt better."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:04 PM in News

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 19, 2004
Vaccine Shortage Solution To Social Security Problem, Says Thompson

Secretary of Health and Human Resources Tommy Thompson said today that the flu vaccine shortage was actually a "blessing in disguise" that will solve any problem with Social Security funding in the future.

"John Kerry is complaining that Bush hasn't protected the Social Security trust fund for our children," said Thompson, "And now we're pretty sure that the trust fund will always be around."

Thompson said that the flu vaccine shortage thus demonstrated the kind of "careful, long-range planning" that the Bush Administration brings to bear on difficult problems. "One or two more vaccine shortages, and we'll be able to put away that so-called lockbox," Thompson boasted.

Thompson was ordered to make a statement about the vaccine shortage by Karl Rove, who called to remind him that "sick people vote, too."

"Not if they can't make it to the polls," said Thompson.

Update: Norbizness has turned the whole thing into a vaccine headline flu-fest. Go on over here and submit your own headline (and feel free to add it in my comments, too.)

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:43 AM in News

October 17, 2004
Gallup Only Poll To Reflect Expected Voter Fraud

Predicts Votes Likely To Be or Not To Be

The Gallup Organization, responding to charges that it greatly over-sampled Republicans in calculating Bush's and Kerry's support among likely voters in its latest poll, said that it did so in order to take into account the massive voter fraud which is expected to take place between now and election day.

According to Gallup, among registered voters, Bush leads 46%-43 %, a virtual tie within the margin of error. Among Gallup's likely voters -- by which they mean, "voters whose votes are likely to be counted" -- Bush will win easily, 52%-44%.

"We're quite surprised that other polling organizations have failed to artificially jack up the Republican sample in the likely voter mix given the track record of Sproul and Associates and their ilk," said Jack Gallup. "Why aren't other pollsters counting the soon-to-be uncounted?"

Gallup was referring to the GOP-funded group that destroyed thousands of Democrats' voter registrations in Nevada and Oregon recently.

"We try to keep track of voter fraud so that we can calculate for it in our polls, but after Nevada, Oregon, New England, South Dakota and Ohio, and Florida, it's hard to keep up," said Lynn Gallup. "We're thinking of just sampling Republicans. It would make our lives a lot easier."

"We expect thousands upon tens of thousands of democratic voters to be methodically disenfrachised --and that's just in Texas. In the swing states, we expect democratic voters to be -- well, rounded up and taken to Texas."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:06 PM in Best ofNews

October 15, 2004
Double Ph.D. Thankful For Opportunity To Attend Community College

Bush Really Pulled Through For Me, Man Says

Here's what Bush said [at Wednesday's debate] in response to a question about what he'd say to a person who had lost his job to someone overseas:

BUSH: I'd say, Bob, I've got policies to continue to grow our economy and create the jobs of the 21st century. And here's some help for you to go get an education. Here's some help for you to go to a community college.

We've expanded trade adjustment assistance. We want to help pay for you to gain the skills necessary to fill the jobs of the 21st century.

Walter Hotcakes, a 53-year-old chemical and electrical engineer from Ohio, thanked George W. Bush for the opportunity to attend Owen Community College in Toledo this coming year.

Hotcakes, the recipient of two doctorates in engineering, was laid off when the manufacturing plant at which he had been employed since 1975 went out of business in 2002.

Hotcakes has spent the past two years looking for a job in his field, without success. "But I'm pretty sure, with a degree from this community college, doors will just open for me," Walter said.

The two-year program at Owens will cost Hotcakes $2660.

"I'm trying to make it all work," said Hotcakes, who is looking forward to finding a job that will restore his lost pension, lost health insurance and, perhaps most importantly, his dignity. "These 21st century jobs are exciting. I don't know whether to train to be a policeman, a fireman, or a child care service provider. They even have a program that could help me get a job at Ed Schmidt Pontiac/GMC or Tom's Tire Barn."

Hotcakes was optimistic. "George W. Bush averaged a C- in college, and he did okay," he said. "Then again, he specialized in an area where there's no outsourcing: being a son of the privileged few."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:04 PM in News

October 13, 2004
Undecided Voters Frustrated By Deadlines

Undecided voters were frustrated today at what they called the "arbitrary deadline" imposed by Election Day and wondered who had decided they had to make up their minds so soon.

"It wasn't an undecided voter who decided that, that's for sure," said Diana Annoid, an undecided voter from Arkansas.

"The decision between the two candidates isn't easy," said Annoid, "Even though the candidates have very different positions on many different issues, I still have to decide which issues are important to me."

Annoid said that the most important issue for her might be the amount of time that she had to decide who to vote for.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:51 PM in News

One Undecided Voter Decides

Other 18% Of Electorate Still Watching Reruns Of Seinfeld

Gerty Wilkins of Compost, Indiana, watched the debate tonight and decided that she would vote for John Kerry because he was "so funny" when he spoke about his wife.

Kerry said that he and Bob Shieffer and George Bush had "married up," but that he had maybe "married up" more than they had in marrying Mrs. Heinz, eliciting much laughter from the debate audience.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:38 PM in News

Undecided Voter Gets Caught Up In Clint Eastwood Movie During Debate

Captivated By Rene Russo And John Malkovich, He Says

Bob Flob, an undecided voter in Ohio, missed most of tonight's debate when his channel accidentally landed on TNT and he got "totally sucked in" to Clint Eastwood's film "In The Line Of Fire."

"I was turning on the debate, but when I saw a minute of what I consider to be one of Mr. Eastwood's most underappreciated performances, I found it difficult to turn away," Flob said.

Flob said that he was truly undecided about who to vote for on November 2. "I really feel I haven't heard enough from the candidates about where they stand," Flob said.

"I am certain, however, that Eastwood's use of blues in the movie gave a three-dimensionality to this character that other actors would not have been able to evoke," Flob added.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:25 PM in News

October 11, 2004
Cartoon Network To Broadcast "George W. Bush: Big Ass Junkie" Documentary

Cartoon Network announced today it will preempt all regular broadcasting the week before the national election to show a documentary called "George W. Bush: Big Ass Junkie." Cartoon Network says that the movie is "news" and as well sourced as any piece of modern journalism "or anything written by Judith Miller."

Cartoon Network said that, given the current state of political discourse in the country, covering the election fit right in with its other programming. The George W. Bush documentary will follow "Ed, Edd and Eddy," a cartoon about an idiot, a schemer, and a disaffected genius who hang out in their neighborhood looking for pennies.

Cartoon Network said that their decision to broadcast the film had nothing to do with Sinclair Broadcasting's decision to preempt all programming on its 62 stations to show anti-Kerry "documentaries" featuring the Swift Boat "gentlemen" and other "sources."

"But we are tired of Sinclair Broadcasting trying to hone in on the small minds market," admitted Cartoon Network executive Roy Pierce.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:05 PM in News

October 9, 2004
Inside The Mind Of The President At Last Night's Debate

A Voter: President Bush, during the last four years, you have made thousands of decisions that have affected millions of lives. Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it. Thank you.

They think I can't name any mistakes that I made. Well, I didn't make any mistakes. But wait:

Appointees I just now figgered were a mistake:

Paul O'Neil. Mistake.

David Kay. Mistake.

Richard Clarke. Super big mistake.

Paul Bremer. Mebbee kinda mistake.

Bob Woodward. (Not an appointee, but it was kinda a mistake to let him talk to Powell. . . .)

Oh, yeah. Colin Powell.

See, they think I won't admit any mistakes and I thought of six. But that doesn't mean I have to say 'em out loud . . .

President Bush: I made some mistakes in appointing people, but I'm not going to name them. I don't want to hurt their feelings on national TV.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:05 AM in News

October 7, 2004
FEC Orders Kerry To Plug Pro-Bush Site In Next Debate

Only Fair, Say Commissioners

The Federal Election Commission has ordered John F. Kerry to inadvertently direct viewers to a pro-George W. Bush website during Friday's town hall debate. On Tuesday, during the Vice-Presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards, Cheney mistakenly directed viewers to a site that urged visitors not to vote for President Bush, GeorgeSoros.com.

In order to promote balance, commissioners said that "it was only fair" to require John Kerry to address what they called the "fundamental inequity" of allowing Vice President Cheney to advertise pro-Kerry sites during the debate.

Members of the Federal Communications Commission were working with the FEC on the matter. "We have to safeguard the airways, and the airwaves belong to the people," said a comissioner. "Us people."

Initially the Commissioners were unsure of which appropriately pro-Bush site they were going to require Kerry to mention, but by late this afternoon, they had settled on one.

RalphNader.com.

Thanks to the shadowy and mysterious FleeingToTheGreyHavens (nom de web) for the headline and idea.

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 12:56 PM in News

October 5, 2004
Kerry Tends To Speak "As Though He's Running For Office Or Something," Poll Finds

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll revealed that Americans were forming a more positive image of John Kerry, but were offput by the impression that he was "campaigning for something."

"He seems to know a lot about all kinds of things, and he's obviously very smart," said Eddie Gallico, a commodities broker. "But he seems to running for some office somewhere."

"I like Kerry," said Nancy Glub, a Nevada rocket scientist. "But I feel all this pressure when he speaks, as if he wants me to do something for him in the next thirty days. What's up with that?"

The poll showed that Americans were chagrined by what they called "Kerry's behavior," which they said consisted of traveling all over the country, making tons of speeches, and "hogging nightly news."

Pollster Brian Falsch praised the poll. "It's very important to get inside the minds of American voters." he said. "Although I should warn you, it's more important to be able to find your way back out."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:18 AM in News

October 3, 2004
Mount St. Helens Scientists Predict 70% Chance Of Bush Eruption In Next Debate

Experts See Increased Magma Activity, Gas Emissions

Scientists monitoring Washington's Mount St. Helens said today that there is a significant likelihood that George W. Bush will erupt at the next Presidential debate.

"All the signs are there," said Senior Vulcanologist Dr. Chezzlewit Glugner.

Although Bush has lain dormant for much of the past three years, scientists have taken note of some increased activity recently, including much rumbling which followed the last debate. Scientists monitoring Bush have also detected the "rotten egg smell" caused by certain gases emitted from his person, a sign which often precedes an eruption.

"There is definite cause for concern," Glugner said. A Bush eruption is likely to thump bibles all over the county, experts warn.

The reaction among political junkies has been varied. Panic-stricken members of the Washington University Young Republicans' Club were seen running around yelling, "Watch out! He's gonna blow!" Others have travelled great distances to camp out with beach chairs, telescopes, and cameras outside the St. Louis, Missouri hall where the next debate is to be held.

"I'm really looking forward to it," said Audie Madison, a local chiropractor. "I haven't seen a bimbo eruption in years."

Thanks to the always great skippy the bush kangaroo for supplying the idea. Everyone should go visit Skippy right now!

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:47 PM in News

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 28, 2004
Crawford Newspaper Endorses Kerry;
Bush Declares Crawford A "Shitty Little Town"

Today, following the endorsement of John Kerry by the Crawford, Texas newspaper, President Bush signed executive orders designating Crawford a "shitty little town," and cutting off all federal funding for the municipality.

"After all the goddamn brush I cleared for those people," said Bush, brandishing his pen.

Secret service agents swarmed Crawford today in what the White House claimed was a "security sweep" to "keep the town safe for the President's ranch to be in," after which every copy of the Lone Star Iconoclast mysteriously disappeared.

Karl Rove, when questioned about the endorsement, said that he had not heard of any such action, and added, "I'm not sure that paper was published today."

Tonight Dick Cheney remarked to Scooter Libby, his chief of staff, "Crawford is such a nice little town. Be a shame if anything happened to it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:43 PM in News

Al Queda Tapes Accidentally Erased From FBI's TiVo

Replaced By "Must-See TV"

Three years after the Sept. 11 attacks, more than 120,000 hours of potentially valuable terrorism-related recordings have not yet been translated by linguists at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and computer problems may have led the bureau to systematically erase some Qaeda recordings, according to a declassified summary of a Justice Department investigation that was released on Monday.
The FBI revealed today that it had accidentally erased possibly important tapes of intercepted al Qaeda communications because they had been stored on the Agency's TIVO digital video recorder. "The tapes were erased to make room for a very special episode of 'Everybody Loves Raymond,'" said a spokesman.

The FBI has over 120,000 hours of yet-to-be-translated terrorist communications, and not enough hard drive space -- that is, computer memory storage devices -- on which to keep them.

"Which you can understand," said Rapsutin Gelertner, an FBI snitch turned spokesman. "I mean, 300 gigabytes of hard drive space costs almost $300. Where is the FBI going to get that kind of money?"

To make up for the lack of storage space, agents have been saving al Queda conversations to any device that will hold them, including the agency TiVo.

Overhauling the government's translation and storage capabilities has been a top priority for the Bush administration in its campaign against terrorism. "It's a good thing, too," said Gelertner. "Imagine if we weren't trying."

"More needs to be done, and a lot less of what we're not doing now," said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller II, also known as Special Agent in charge of Lollygagging. "We've only had three years to work on or acknowledge this problem," he said. "We just now finished a committee report on it. We're waiting for that to be typed, but we're out of paper."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:22 PM in News

September 24, 2004
Ashcroft Being Followed By A Moonshadow

Mysterious Orb Reportly Leaping and Hopping

In a press conference hastily called early this morning, John Ashcroft announced that, ever since he diverted Cat Stevens's flight and sent him back to England, he has been followed by a "moonshadow."

"I have long since suspected that Cat Stevens had occult powers," said Ashcroft. "But now I know."

Ashcroft described Stevens -- also known as Yusef Islam -- as satanic. "If you play his records frontwards, they say 'Peace Train,'" said Ashcroft, shuddering.

Ashcroft and Tom Ridge have been hard pressed to justify their actions. "I am not jealous of Mr. Stevens' musical success," said Ashcroft. "Although I am bitter that Columbia Records passed on 'Let The Eagle Soar.'"

Tom Ridge said today that Stevens was on the no-fly list because recent intelligence indicates he likes Hamas.

Cat Stevens shook his head. "That's hummus."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:47 AM in News

September 23, 2004
GOP Putting Chads In Place In Anticipation Of Possible Recount

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Millions of chads are being shipped to Florida this week to be distributed throughout the state in anticipation of a possible recount.

"We're training volunteers to scatter chads all over Florida," said Griselda Tripp, an RNC operative. "The chad is no longer native to the area, so we have to import them," said Tripp.



chad.gif
Scads of chads.

Hundreds of eager young GOP interns are hanging, dimpling, and impregnating chads in preparation or their dispersal throughout select Florida counties.

"It's exciting work," said one intern, Hank Van Predicate III. "It's a thrill to be this closely involved in the democratic process.

Republican lawyers are preparing to stop recounts in Democratic-leaning counties, readying arguments that optically scanned ballots and electronic voting machines "are notoriously unreliable in recount situations where chads are even mentioned, let alone present."

The DNC and the Kerry campaign are striking back, however, enlisting their own "Chad Capture Squad" armed with rakes, shovels, and "implements of chad destruction."

"Nobody's going to steal this election," said Governor Jeb Bush about GOP efforts. "We're just going to tweak it a little bit."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:22 PM in News

September 21, 2004
Bush Asks U.N. To Invade Iraq

Urgent Need For Action, He Says

President Bush today decried the current situation in Iraq, and asked the U.N. to use military force to establish some "tiny seed of equlibrium" from which "freedom may sprout."

"The situation in Iraq is unacceptable," said Bush. "Every day brings another pipeline explosion, more Americans kidnapped, countless innocent Iraqis killed. Clearly something must be done."

President Bush laid out a plan to mobilize a huge number of U.N. troops to invade and stablize Iraq. "Only an incredibly massive force can bring peace and stability to the area," he said. "Believe me, I know."

Bush said that he was well aware that he was asking every member-nation to make enormous sacrifices, but "you don't stint on force when you're trying to achieve world piece."

"Emphasis on you," he added.

Bush called for immediate action and left the phone number of a restaurant at which he could be reached later, "but only if you really need me," he said.

"Never let it be said that the United Nations shirked its duty or came up short in the fight for democracy and freedom," Bush urged after confirming his reservations by cell phone.

Professor Herbert Schmeckman, an expert on Foreign Policy and International Studies agreed with Bush's analysis of the need for intervention. "Somebody has to do something fast," he said. "And it's pretty clear that it's not going be us."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:32 PM in News

September 19, 2004
Experts Say Latest Gallup Poll Written On 1972 IBM Selectric Typewriter

Forged But True or Genuine And False?

The latest Gallup poll, indicating double digit leads for Bush in the race for President, appears to have been typed on the same IBM selectric typewriter on which the Killian memos were alleged to have been created.

"These latest polls, unlike the Killian memos, appear to be authentic, but written more than thirty years ago," said scientist Larry Frijole, "The mystery is how someone managed to accurately predict today's national polling trends all the way back in 1972."

Historian Jill Swill said, "It is indeed puzzling. How could anyone, living in 1972 -- when the nation was embroiled in a terrible quagmire of a war involving ever-escalating casualties, and the President himself was trying to unfairly manipulate a national election -- ever imagine the circumstances we find ourselves in today?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:52 AM in News

September 16, 2004
Florida Residents Join Together To Move State Away From Ivan

Several Muscles Pulled

Two days ago, thousands upon thousands of Florida residents waded into the waters just off their West coast, grabbed hold of the coastline, and pushed as hard as they could, succesfully moving Florida hundreds of miles to the right and moving it largely out of Hurricane Ivan's path.

Governor Jeb Bush claimed responsiblity for the effort. "Our state can't handle any more devastation," he said. "Plus, I'll do anything I can to move Florida to the right."

Yesterday, in an effort to push Florida further to the right, Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood -- also known as "Kathryn Harris: The Sequel" and "Robbin' Hood" -- added Ralph Nader to campaign ballots despite a state judge's ruling that Nader could not be on them.

A federal judge declined to overrule the state court, saying that there was plenty of time for that after the election.

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:11 PM in News

September 14, 2004
Fast Forward
Spam Not Responsible For Election of Viagra, Missouri Officials Say

A plan to make the presidential battleground of Missouri the first state to allow military voters serving in combat zones such as Iraq to cast their absentee ballots via e-mail is renewing concerns about the security of online voting.
JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri, Nov. 3 -- Missouri officials deny that spam or other email voting improprieties played any part in Missouri's election of Viagra and Cialis as President and Vice President in yesterday's national election.

"Our email was perfectly secure," said Mary Jo Splunkett, a Missouri elections official. "There is every indication that these fine pharmaceutical products enjoy tremendous support among Missouri residents serving overseas."

A final tally of presidential balloting in Missouri showed that Online-poker.hold'um.com ran a close second, followed by cheapdrugz.org.

The number of emails received from overseas soldiers vastly outnumbered the number of ballots cast by other Missouri residents. Of the 3.4 million votes cast, over 2.7 million were supposedly cast by Missourians stationed in combat zones or special duty stations overseas, even though Missourians are thought to have no more than 100,000 residents serving in such positions.

"I think it goes to show that when you make voting convenient, more people participate," said Pierre Glup, an expert on voting trends, "Even if it's more than are actually out there."

"I admit I don't know much about Viagra's platform or its positions on domestic or foreign policy," said Jordy Blutt, a St. Louis resident. "But I can't imagine it'd be much worse than any of the other guys."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:30 PM in News

September 9, 2004
Kerry Win Will Give Nation Painful, Itching Hemorrhoids, Says Cheney

Nation Could Get Hickies, Cooties, Too

In a speech to the national Association Of Wealthy CEO's today, Dick Cheney warned that if John Kerry were elected, everyone would get painful, itching hemorrhoids, and "a lot of other bad things."

"You would all regret it,' said Cheney. "This country would have a hard time sitting down."

Cheney also warned of boils, plagues, frogs, hail, and terrifically unwatchable reality shows. "If you thought that 'Amish In The City' thing was bad, be very afraid ," he advised. "Safeguard your children."

Earlier this week, Cheney had said that if Americans chose Kerry, the nation would suffer a devestating terrorist attack, but Ann Womack, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cheney, backed away from that statement, saying that Cheney was merely trying to highlight policy differences between the candidates. "He's serious about the hemorrhoids, though," she said.

Cheney also said that, as a hedge against the Kerry's election, he has cornered the market on comfortable seat cushions.

Update: Sanity Defense has another take on Cheney's warning.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:00 AM in News

September 7, 2004
Kerry To Try Clinton's Respirator

Also Willing To Go On "The Swan"

Today, shortly after Bill Clinton, fresh from surgery, started breathing on his own, John Kerry willingly went on Clinton's discarded respirator in hopes of "resuscitating his campaign."

Doctors agreed, saying that Kerry's breathing was shallow, his pulse was weak, his skin was pale and clammy, and his campaign didn't look so hot either.

"With adequate therapy, we have some hope that we can get the candidate breathing on his own and passionately gesticulating in the near future," said Dr. Lila Phippsman, an attending surgeon specializing in revivification.

Kerry is being treated in a special hospital ward located in a high tower topped by many ominous-looking lightening rods and filled with many dramatically whirring, sparking instruments. "I don't know if we can do anything for him," said assistant Igor Stravinsky. "But the lab certainly looks good."

Doctors were considering, among other operations, performing an ocular enhancement, a laryngeal dichoto-otomy, and some botox. "When he leaves here," said Phippsman, "He'll have a strong, understandable vision, he'll be able to speak directly and clearly, and, perhaps most importantly, his forehead will be virtually wrinkle-free."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:42 PM in News

September 4, 2004
Delay, Santorum To Stage Counter-Convention

Will Represent The Republican Wing of The Republican Party

Congressmen Tom Delay, Rick Santorum, and Trent Lott announced plans to stage a GOP "counter-convention" next week, designed to counter what they called "the tepid mix of weak, watered-down conservatism" that this week's GOP convention has been about.

While this week's convention highlighted compassionate conservatism, human rights, racial integration, national security, and opportunity, "We're looking for a platform based upon imperialism, bigotry, greed, and a relentless need for ever-increasing amounts of monumental power over other living beings," said Delay.

Monday night's theme will be "Power For Power's Sake"; Tuesday, "Keeping The Poor In Their Place"; Wednesday, "Dominating The World For Fun And Profit"; and Thursday will end with "We Can Do Whatever We Want As Long As We Lie About It."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:00 AM in News

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

September 1, 2004
Second Night Roundup

Correspondent Tom Burka reports from the field.

"Last night Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed delegates from the podium, but was not permitted to wander across the packed female-laden convention floor, for obvious reasons. He spoke to the crowd about compassionate conservatism, after which he led delegates in tonight's two-minute hate, which climaxed when Schwarzenegger used a shoulder-launched missile to blow away John Kerry in effigy.

Later, in a moment some say was calculated to make Arnold look smart, the Bush daughters spoke.

This is Tom Burka, reporting virtually live from the Republican National Convention."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:31 PM in News

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

The View From The RNC - A Report

Our man in the field, Tom Burka, reporting virtually live from the Republican National Convention, has managed to phone in his very first report.

Update: Some readers wanted me to post the text of the audio: "From where I stand here just outside the Republican National Convention, Madison Square Garden is startlingly different from any other object in sight. It is an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the air. From where I stand now it is just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Republican Party: 'WAR IS PEACE,' 'FREEDOM IS SLAVERY,' and 'IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.'"

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:48 AM in News

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 19, 2004
Thurlow Denies Vietnam War Ever Took Place

Also Claims Swift Boats Actually Quite Slow

Challenged by Navy records showing that Larry Thurlow, a Swift boat veteran, was at best mistaken and at worst a colossal liar when he swore that John Kerry had been deliberately dishonest about his Vietnam war record, Thurlow has now taken the position that the entire Vietnam war was "a sham."

"It never happened," said Thurlow. "The so-called 'war' was nothing more than an immense government con game."

Thurlow claimed that he and the other Swift boat veterans spent the so-called war years "sunning themselves on beaches in the Mediterranean," and that not only did John Kerry take part in that, he was "the tannest of them all."

"By the end of the war," said Thurlow. "Kerry was a complete bronze. That's why he got the star."

Asked how it could be possible that the government could have tricked the American people into believing the country had been involved in a war that had never occurred, Turlow said, "It's easy. Say something loudly and frequently enough and people will believe anything."

"Let me tell you," he added. "I know exactly how it's done."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:45 PM in News

August 18, 2004
Anarchists Say Bloomberg Discount Button Crucial Chink In City's Armor

In a transparently mercantile bid to keep protesters from disrupting the Republican National Convention later this month, the Bloomberg administration will offer "peaceful political activists" discounts at select hotels, museums, stores and restaurants around town . . . [Mayor] Bloomberg conceded yesterday that not everyone who wore a button would be strictly vetted for his or her peacefulness. "Unfortunately, we can't stop an anarchist from getting a button," he said . . .
Anarchists are planning to destroy the financial infrastucture of New York City during the Republican National Convention, "discounting the city to death" through the use of buttons designed to encourage peacefulness in visiting protestors.

"We will bring this city to its knees!" said "Mad" Alvin O'Zool, self-described anarchist and atheist. "These buttons are just the opportunity we've been waiting for."

The buttons will confer discounts at Applebee's and Mamie's Spoonbread restaurants, among other wildly desirable New York eateries.
anarchistbutton.jpg"The delegates will be getting discounts, the protestors will be getting discounts -- when we anarchists use these pins to get massive discounts we will bring the city to the very brink of financial ruin!" O'Zool cried.

Mayor Bloomberg waxed philosphical on the question of whether violent protestors and radicals other than the anarchists will be cutting a wide swath of incendiary chaos and then wrongly using the pins to obtain satisfying, hot discounted meals.

"As long as they don't try to peacefully protest in Central Park," he said. "Anything but that."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:39 AM in News

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 12, 2004
Mayor Bloomberg Resigns, Admitting He Is A Metrosexual

Today, just after James McGreevey resigned his post as Governor of New Jersey while revealing himself to be a homosexual, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his resignation on the grounds that he had had "multiple metrosexual assignations."

"It started off slowly, a manicure every so often," said an aide. "A facial here and there, some artificial tanning, and before you knew it he was into heavy duty skin moisturizers, hair care products -- the works. Sooner or later it was bound to get out."

"I am a fey American," said Mayor Bloomberg in an emotional and stunning speech to the city.

Critics claimed the Mayor resigned more out of jealousy of Governor McGreevey than out of civic duty. "Whatever they can do in New Jersey, we can do a thousand times better in New York," said an unamed former New York City official, the dead Fiorello LaGuardia. "Bloomberg wasn't going to let McGreevey grab the spotlight for more than a second."

Democrats bemoaned the timing of the resignations, saying that McGreevey, a Democrat, could have at least waited until the last day of the Republican National Convention to make his announcement.

Thanks to Christopher Rabb of Afro-Netizen for the headline and idea. Everyone should immediately go check out his blog.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:36 PM in News

August 11, 2004
Doctors To Attempt Risky Surgical Separation Of Politicians

siamese1.jpgDoctors were flown to Pensacola, Florida yesterday to consider surgical separation of George W. Bush and Senator John McCain after a campaign-related incident in which the two politicians accidentally shared the same brain.

"This is very risky," said Dr. Chaim Kneecapowitz of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "We've never successfully separated two politicians, particularly two conservatives."

"I can't say that John McCain will ever be the same again," said Kneecapwotz. "We might be able to give him some of his former functionality, but I'm not sure he'll ever be able to work with a Democrat again."

"We can save him," Dr. Cheryl Misk-Hugh agreed. "But he won't be talking about campaign finance reform aqain."

Karl Rove has insisted that the first priority in the surgery will be to restore George W. Bush to his former self.

"Not the young boozer and drug taker," he said. "But we're looking to save the former self who was in thrall to corporate interests and the religious right."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:22 PM in News

August 5, 2004
Illinois Alert Raised Due To Imminent Keyes Candidacy

The State of Illinois has raised a general "alert" to signal what it is calling the "imminent candidacy" of Alan Keyes for U.S. Senator.

"We just wanted people to be on their guard," said Pierre Dupont XXXV, a minor functionary in the Illinois Department of Vagueness.

Alan Keyes has apparently agreed to enter the Senate race against Barack Obama in Illinois. "It's a genuine matter of concern for most people," said Dupont. "I certainly would want to know before I went about my daily business."

Some have already blamed Keye's candidacy for causing a large drop in job growth reported this morning, while others are concerned that Keyes's forceful but insane oratory will cause crop damage, tornados, and coastal flooding.

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:09 PM in News

August 3, 2004
Citicorp Employees Pissed; Could Have Stayed Home Past Four Years

Citicorp employees collectively railed against the fact that the Bush Administration yesterday announced an "orange alert" for a threat to their building which, it turns out, was based upon documents that were three or four years old. Employees were angry because, they said, they should have been given the four years off while higher-ups "worked to counter the threat."

"Do you know what I could have done with that time?' said Sally Ackerman, who works in Accounts Receivable.

"Dude," said Larry Hammerman, a 28-year-old filing clerk, "I coulda probably finished, like, playing the entire PlayStation 2 catalogue."

Citicorp has a little known policy that employees may take "emergency leave" during a bomb threat. "And the way I see it is, this is like a bomb threat that has been goin' on for like four damn years," said Hammerman.

High-ranking Citicorp officials scrambled to clarify the policy. "The policy was designed to permit employees to go home for an afternoon in the event of a bomb scare or other threat requiring that the building be evacuated," Juan Upsmanship, a Senior Vice-President, "We do not feel the current situation warrants evacuation."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:11 PM in News

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 30, 2004
Contest Winner
Zell Miller Demands Speaking Role At Dem Convention

Eager To Not Bash Bush, Say Colleagues

Today Republican Democratic Senator Zell Miller -- who has been given a speaking role at the Republican National Convention -- demanded a speaking role at the Democratic Convention.

"I wanted to put in a good word for the achievements of Democrats willing to work closely with Republicans to accomplish real good for Democrats working with Republicans," Miller said.

The winning entry was by Andante of Collective Sigh.

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 3:04 AM in News

July 29, 2004
Kerry Accidentally Accepts Nomination During Morning Rehearsal

TV Stations To Show Reruns Of "Lassie" Tonight

During a rehearsal at the Fleet Center this morning, Senator John Kerry, who was practicing his speech at the central podium, accidentally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination, approximately ten hours early.

"I gratefully accept the nomination of the Democratic Party," he said, and a confused Kucinich delegate on the floor immediately moved to accept the nomination, which was seconded and passed by American Samoa.

Although Kerry immediately realized his mistake and tried to "take back" his acceptance, a member of the Rules Committee informed him that there were "absolutely no take-backsies."

Because Convention rules specify that no nominee may accept a nomination twice, Kerry cannot accept the nomination this evening, and television networks are planning on showing reruns of "Friends," "Seinfeld," and "Lassie."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:55 PM in News

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

Immediately After Obama Speech, Kerry Develops Laryngitis

Opinions You Should Have has learned that John Kerry will be unable to deliver his acceptance speech on Thursday night as planned.

Just moments after Barack Obama delivered what some, even Republicans, are calling "one of the best convention speeches of the past twenty-five years," Kerry developed "a bad case of laryngitis."

"He really can't speak," said a spokesman.

When Kerry accepts the nomination, the DNC is considering rebroadcasting Clinton's Monday night speech, which many called "masterful," Obama's speech, or simply allowing Obama to deliver the acceptance speech for John Kerry.

Earlier yesterday, John Kerry gave a speech to the United Association Of Caffeine Processors, none of whom fell asleep.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:15 AM in News

July 27, 2004
Hellmann's Mayonnaise To Back Kerry

Candidate To Go For "Whole Condiment" Sweep

The prestigious Hellman's Mayonnaise family endorsed John Kerry today, in what spokesmen hoped presaged "an entire group of condiment endorsements," known in the political sphere as "the whole jar of pickles."

Kerry, who corralled Heinz Ketchup with a simple marriage ceremony, is hoping to sew up the Krafts sometime in the coming week. Kerry is also trying to branch out: next Tuesday he is to meet with influential and powerful Chef Boyardi.

It is reported that Grey Poupon is on the fence, however. "We are attracted to the Republicans because they are rich, arrogant, and incredibly stuffy," said Lord Poupon earlier today.

"On the other hand, we are liking the Kerry very much," he added, "because we are French."

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:32 PM in News

July 26, 2004
Guam Delegates Threatening To Capture Plum Massachussetts' Floor Spot

Feisty "Red-Shirted Warriors" Ready To Rumble

Courageous and strong-hearted delegates from Guam, the U.S. territory that has fielded the smallest number of delegates on the floor, 12, surged forward in what appeared to be a carefully coordinated thrust into Vermont, Connecticut, and Maryland, making a stab at capturing the coveted seating held by Massachussets directly in front of the stage.

Guam's delegation had been relegated to the "cheap seats," a tiny parallegram situated just to the north of the Virgin Islands' 13 delegates and far to the side of the floor. Just about seven minutes ago, during the speech of Gloria Fledt of Planned Parenthood, the Guam delegates screamed, "Massachussetts or bust!" and surged forward, pushing delegates in their way into Minnesota and North Carolina.

The Virgin Islands watched calmly throughout the ordeal, sipping pina coladas and fanning themselves lazily as they watched the chaos. "Guam needs to learn to relax, mahn," said a strangely Jamaican sounding member of the delegation.

Guam's rebellion was finally quelled when they began to listen to the droning, almost hypnotic voice of Phil Angelides , Treasurer of California, and they passed out, which Guam delegate Feroll Magnesia later claimed "had nothing whatsoever to do with our swimming in the Charles' river yesterday."

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:15 PM in News

July 24, 2004
First Words From The Convention Floor

Eric Rice of Audioblog.com made what I'm sure he'll come to see as the epic mistake of offering audioblog accounts to ten of the convention bloggers. Thanks to him, we're going inside the Convention to make history with the first words broadcast by a blogger from the convention floor.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:44 PM in News

July 21, 2004
Lay Unaware He Was CEO Of Enron, Say Lawyers

Thought He Was Retired From Small But Lucrative Dentistry Practice, They Claim

Lawyers for Kenneth Lay today claimed that Lay not only knew nothing of the corrupt and illegal practices of Enron, but was shocked to learn that he had been CEO of the company.

"So that's where all those large checks were coming from," Lay is reported to have said.

While Lay had initially advanced the claim that he knew nothing of any illegal practices -- and indeed, it seems, nothing of the day-to-day operations -- of the company that he ran, his lawyers today decided to "take Lay's defense a little further."

J. Frumious Bandersnatch, Esq., explained that Lay had thought that he was retired, and that all of his money had come from an extremely lucrative dentistry practice he had invested in years ago.

"He knew the money had something to do with drilling, but that's about it," Bandersnatch said.

Lay was also said to be surprised to learn that George W. Bush was President, that he and his company had been the top contributors to Bush for many years, that he had asked Dick Cheney to appoint an energy industry lackey to the directorship of the Federal Energy Regulation Committee, that Cheney did, and that "Friends" was no longer on television.

A tip of the hat to Doug Everett of KDVS-FM for the idea.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:40 PM in News

July 19, 2004
CDs And DVDs To Be Packaged In Permanently Sealed Packages To Stop Piracy

Necessary Step, Say Record Labels, Movie Studios

Major record labels, CD and DVD manufacturers decided today that they would hitherto release only CDs and DVDs in permanently sealed, unopenable packages to combat piracy.

"We feel that the packaging we have used so far, which hinders the buyer from opening his purchase for a good ten to fifteen minutes, was too tentative and weak," said Blad Futtworth, a musician and representative of the RPMAA, an anti-piracy group. "We have decided to fully commit to protecting the copyrights of our products."

"We still want people to buy our products, but we don't necessarily want them to hear them," said Manson Fruitfly, President of Riff Records. "If they can hear it, they'll probably want to illegally copy it."

New CD's and DVD's will be encased in seamless envelopes of unbendable titanium, itself containing unbreakable synthetic diamond shells.

Additionally, legally purchased downloads will be entirely scrambled from now on, said Fruitfly.

"We've finally licked this piracy thing," said Futtworth. "Now we, as artists, can concentrate on simply making the best product we possibly can."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:48 PM in News

July 13, 2004
U.S. Election Held Yesterday "Just to Be Safe"

Better Safe Than Sorry, Says Bush

U.S. officials discussing the idea of postponing Election Day to prevent a terrorist attack instead held it nearly four months early, in order to prevent what they called "a possible terrorist-related disruption of the democratic process."

"It was J. Paul Bremer's idea," said Enrico "Ticky" Tavi, a member of a secret commission responsible for the change. Tavi said the Commission is in charge of "safeguarding democracy."

"I'd say we achieved a real 'July surprise,'" said Tavi. "We sure caught those terrrorists off guard."

Although turnout was at a record low -- only a little more than 50 votes were cast -- George W. Bush carried every state, and won every vote except one.

"We're still looking for that guy," Tavi said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:42 AM in News

July 9, 2004
Sinking Bush Poll Numbers Increase Likelihood of Terrorist Attack, Says Ridge

Connection Unfathomable, Say Rove, Cheney

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge announced today that analysts had concluded that the likelihood of a terrorist strike in America increases whenever the President's popularity rating declines.

"There's a distinct correlation between the President's popularity ratings and increased terrorist activity," said Ridge. "Whenever President Bush's numbers go down, it's far more likely that we will be attacked by al Qaeda."

"The only thing we can advise is for U.S. citizens to like President Bush as much as possible to keep us all safe," Ridge concluded.

Standing in front of a wall of high-tech flat screen monitors, Ridge addressed reporters in the new Department of Homeland Security Security Operations Center.

"I can't for the political life of me say why this is happening," said Ridge. "I'm utterly stumped."

Ridge denied that Gilligan's Island was showing on one of the many screens behind him. "Oh, no," he said. "That's an uncharted desert isle."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:45 AM in News

July 8, 2004
Bush To Pass Broader Tort Reform Bill

Will Ban Trial Lawyers From Office Of Vice-President

President Bush introduced a bill today that will bring sweeping new tort reforms, including banning trial lawyers from occupying positions in the White House.

"It's bad enough these bloodsuckers are cluttering up our courts," said Bush. "Now they want to live and work in our places of government." Bush said CEO's and businessmen, not lawyers, should be running the country.

Bush said that it was mere coincidence that the proposed law would bar Sen. John Edwards from seeking the Vice Presidency. "John Edwards couldn't spark Dick Cheney's pacemaker," said Bush. Bush was careful not to repeat his comment yesterday that "Cheney can be President," because immediately afterward Cheney said, "Great," and commandeered the Oval Office, which he has refused to leave.

The President also sought to introduce a measure calling for "Grand Jury Litigation Reform," restricting fees collected by lawyers representing Presidents in connection with grand jury litigation.

"I can tell you from personal experience," said President Bush, "these fees are just too high."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:10 PM in News

July 6, 2004
Kerry Chooses Humphrey As Running Mate

Post, Times Totally Miss Boat

kerry-humphrey.jpgJohn Kerry announced today that dead former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey would be his running mate in the upcoming election. Kerry had the foresight to discuss the ticket with Humphrey many years ago (see picture at left), while Humphrey was still alive. Humphrey, whose death has not impeded his ability to speak, is eager to accept the nomination later this month.

Incredibly, the New York Post reported this morning that Richard Gephardt was Kerry's choice.. Those of us manning this page are helpless to explain how a newspaper or journalistic equivalent such as our own could ever get the facts so wrong.

Kerry's announcement regarding Humphrey also lays to rest the relentless speculation and rumor that John Edwards, and not Humphrey, was chosen. Kerry was forced to abandon his consideration of Edwards when the Disney Corporation was granted a preliminary injunction against his doing so, on the grounds that an Edwards-Cheney Vice-Presidential debate would infringe upon Disney's copyrights and trademarks.

Andrea Flange, a spokesman for Disney explained, "There's only one Beauty and the Beast."

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:02 PM in News

July 3, 2004
"Fahrenheit 9/11" Not Even About Temperature, Say Republicans

Conservatives across the country are complaining vehemently about what they called "the countless and innumerable inaccuracies" of Michael Moore's documentary and polemic film, "Fahrenheit 9/11."

"For one thing, the title is intensely misleading," said Spartelby Fisk, a Republican gnome. "It has nothing to do with heat. It's a crock."

Fisk said that the film is a travesty. "For one thing, early in the film, President Bush moves in slow motion. President Bush has never moved in slow motion. This is just an out-and-out lie."

At several points Bush is shown in freeze frame. "He's never been that motionless," said Fisk. "This film is utterly dishonest."

Fisk also derided Moore for depicting Bush as "pasty" and "beady-eyed," and oft-times blurry and out-of-focus. "The President has always been distinct and clearly-defined," said Fisk.

In a private conversation, Karl Rove was heard to disagree. "I would never allow President Bush to be seen clearly by the American people. Good lord, how would I ever get anybody to vote for him?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:10 PM in News

July 2, 2004
Report Finds Bush Administration "Ill-Prepared" To Occupy White House

Problems In Training, Organization Made Governing Difficult, Says Report

A broad new Army report concludes that serious problems in training, organization and policy regarding military detention operations in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, senior defense officials said Thursday.

The report also found that the Bush Administration was "ill-equipped" to lead the nation when Bush took power in 2001, and that inadequate training, poor organization, policy-making problems, and a "complete lack of judgment" contributed to the government's inability to "do anything right."

The report, by an Army group created to issue reports and say important things about "all kinds of stuff," recommended that future presidents have "more experience with actually governing," or, at the very least, "a clue."

"If they don't have a clue, then they should be given one," said Gen. Hazelnut Cappucino III. "That's what training's all about."

Some other observations included in the report were that the world was round, that the sun usually came up in the morning, and that domestic and foreign policies were better if they were formed with some foresight and actual knowledge.

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:21 PM in News

June 30, 2004
Jubilant Iraqis Await Handover Of Sovereignty

Thousands of eager Iraqis gathered in Baghdad today to greet the "birth of a new Iraqi government" after the United States formally transfers power to an interim Iraqi authority. In Sabala Square, where the transfer ceremony was scheduled to take place, swarms of Iraqis waited patiently.

"I am so excited," said Gliknar Spood. "Everything will be so different!"

Achmed Splar, an Iraqi shoe salesman turned entrepreneur, was selling pins, t-shirts, and light wands to commemorate the day. "JUNE 30, 2004" was emblazoned on one t-shirt depicting J. Paul Bremer boarding a C-130 and leaving his combat boots on the tarmac as Iraqi President Ghazi Yawer looks on.

"Hey," asked Splar. "Where is everybody?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:00 AM in News

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 22, 2004
White House Afraid That Fact That White House Authorized Torture Causing Growing Perception That White House Authorized Torture

Rove, Rice, Powell, Bush "Absolutely Panicked"; Cheney, Rumsfeld Unperturbed

White House officials today feared that its decision to seek to torture "enemy combatants" and terrorists might lead to the perception they had, in fact, done what they did.

"The minute the public catches on to what we actually do here everyday, we're finished," said an unamed functionary, Colin Powell.

In response to its fears, the White House released 258 pages of internal memos showing that the President, White House lawyers, and Donald Rumsfeld had explicitly approved the use of torture.

"These documents," the President said, "show that we never approved the use of torture."

The President explained that when he said, in one of the documents, that we "needed new thinking in the law of war," and that the "war on terror ushers in a new paradigm," he meant that we needed "the same old, humane thinking."

Documents show Donald Rumsfeld's kinder side, said White House officials. A document [note: pdf] that approved, among other things, forcing prisoners to stand for up to four hours at a time bore Rumsfled's notation, "Why only four? I stand for eight to ten hours day."

"What Secretary Rumsfeld meant was that prisoners would be given standing desks, several overly solicitous aides, a generous salary, as much coffee as they wanted, and air conditioning," said Albert Gonzalez, White House Counsel.

A document written by White House lawyers explicitly approving the use of torture was "being rewritten" to suggest that White House lawyers had approved giving prisoners lollipops and "non-expiring" cell phone minutes, said Gonzalez.

The White House refused to release further documents because they would only show, in even more specific and graphic language, spokesmen said, that torture was not condoned.

"To release these other documents," said Donald Rumsfeld with a smile, "would just be overkill."

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 1:52 PM in News

HMO's Sue Patients: "Make Ridiculous Demands For Health, Care," Say CEO's

HMO's giddy with excitement after winning a ruling from the Supreme Court banning patients from suing them for malpractice filed suit against their customers alleging business intereference and harassment today.

"These patients are always asking for some doctor or for some drug," said SafetyNet CEO Luther Bling-Bling. "It's enough to make you sick."

"I'm absolutely harried. It's getting much harder to make ends meet," said Health-U-Bet President Lucy Cashmore. "I can hardly keep my kids in cashmere, and these people are whining about their meds, their internal organs, their lives. It's always me, me, me with them."

Patient Juan Davila was ordered to pay Aetna $300,000 for filing a "frivolous" lawsuit in state court after he developed serious bleeding ulcers when Aetna gave him ground glass instead of a more expensive medicine, Vioxx, to treat his arthritis.

Aetna defended its action. "We're being very reasonable here. We're only asking for attorney's fees," said a spokesman for Aetna. "It's not like we wanted his left kidney."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:57 PM in News

June 21, 2004
Bush "Unnaturally Chummy" With Clinton At Portrait Unveiling, Says Hillary

Clinton Again Banished To Couch

Hillary Clinton was "extremely unsettled" by what she described as George W. Bush's "unnaturally kind remarks" to Clinton at the recent White House unveiling of Bill and Hilary Clinton's portraits. "The only explanation is that Bill is again `mowing someone else's lawn,' if you take my meaning," said one of Sen. Clinton's staffers.

"Bush was much more intimate in these several minutes with President Clinton than Gore was during his entire campaign," said a Gore campaign manager who wished to remain nameless, Donna Brazile. "It's not surprising that Hillary feels that Bill has one again indulged in fiddle-faddle."

In response, President Clinton was, once again, banished to the couch, where, as he recounted in his memoirs, he previously spent "an engaging two months" after "discussing" Monical Lewinski with Hillary. President Clinton is apparently thinking of fitting the couch with "full luxury options," including a stereo, fold-out digital TV with DVD playback, and portajohn.

Laura Bush did not, in turn, banish her husband to the couch because, she said, "he's never made a mistake." She added: "If he's sleeping with Bill Clinton, I'm sure it's for the national security."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:30 PM in News

June 17, 2004
Cheney Unable To Order Breakfast Without Mentioning Imaginary Al Qaeda-Iraq Link

Orders Eggs And "Intrinsically-Linked" Sausages

Despite the report of the 9/11 Commission that a thorough review of all relevant evidence showed that there was never any link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, Vice President Cheney is unable to go as long as three minutes without asserting the existence of such a connection.

"I'll have the waffles," he told a waitress earlier today, "with a side of bacon and Hussein was in bed with bin Laden all the way."

Cheney has mentioned the nonexistent link as many as 300 times so far today, alleging it during discussions of domestic oil production, Halliburton contracts, energy policy, and Diebold voting machines.

"We don't need a paper trail," said Cheney. "We don't have a paper trail that leads directly from Saddam to a certain now-desecrated spot in lower Manhattan, but we still know what Saddam did there."

At home, the Vice President has re-labelled the salt and pepper shakers on his dining room table "Iraq" and "Al Qaeda," and was recently heard to claim in a phone call to Anita Bryant, "They are like orange juice and sunshine."

In other news, Republicans cried foul when Time Magazine revealed that the "undisclosed location" to which Dick Cheney has periodically retreated is an underground bunker hidden in a popular theme park.

The Vice President is often in Fantasyland.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:37 PM in News

June 14, 2004
Uncle Don Needs You

Recruiters Try New Tactics to Sell Wartime Army - [W]ith the Army's presence in Iraq and Afghanistan continuing, with plans for a temporary increase of 30,000 troops in the Army's reserve, and with soldiers' tours being extended in Iraq, a top Pentagon official this month expressed concern about military recruiting in the years ahead.
Join the Army! See the world! See a tiny part of the world. Explore exciting new opportunities while drinking hot water in 120 degree heat and using dogs in ways you had never anticipated. Learn the fantastic virtue of patience by watching the end of your tour get extended and extended -- seemingly forever!

Learn to love rejection. Remember those pesky relatives who come to visit you but never ever really leave? Be one of them.

Facing a long term jail sentence? You don't have to! Today's Army needs convicted felons like you to round out our, uh, glockenspiel band.

And don't go into combat alone. Bring a friend! Bring two! Bring the whole family! Our "buddy" option lets you enlist with someone you like, and who likes you (But not "that way," okay?). Nothing cements the bond of friendship than the truly unique ritual of dragging your pal to safety after he's been fragged.

Has your boyfriend/wife/lover been cheating/neglectful/clinging like a barnacle that can only be surgically removed? What better way to forget than to do eight weeks of glorious, relationship-free basic training, followed by an assignment overseas. Chances are, you won't even go to Iraq. You could go to South Korea or Germany instead. For at least a week, maybe.

It doesn't get any any better than this! It really doesn't. Sign up today!

Warning: Following orders may lead to unwanted media attention, prison sentences, and international vilification. In the event that you are wounded, medical attention and travel expenses may cost extra. You may need to provide your own equipment. Digital cameras, laptop computers, pencils and paper may be confiscated. Your memory may be subject to periodic revision. Although term of service may nominally be limited to fifteen months, you may be required to stay in the military until death or permanent disability. Coupons may not be honored. Some restrictions may apply. Get a haircut.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:04 PM in News

June 8, 2004
GOP To Rename Buildings, Monuments, Schools, President Bush After Reagan

Republicans today rallied the cry to rename most of the nation's buildings in honor of Ronald Reagan, and planned to rename George W. Bush after him as well.

The White House will be renamed The Ronald Reagan House (Which Happens To Be White), and, as soon as stonemasons can replace the face, the Lincoln Memorial will be renamed the Reagan Memorial. (Lincoln's great speeches, carved into the walls of the Memorial, will be left there, "Because didn't Reagan play Lincoln in some movie?" said Francis Bickel, chair of the Reagan Memorial Defense Committee. "He probably said those after he liberated the jews from the death camps.")

The Presidency is to renamed the Ronald Reagan Memorial Presidency, and George W. Bush will henceforth be known as the First Ronald Reagan President, or the "Pretty Good" Communicator.

"It's a good thing," said Bush. "I hope I can live up to it. I understand that Abe Lincoln once landed a jet on the USS Ronald Reagan, and I'd like to do that, too."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:16 AM in News

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

June 2, 2004
Iraqi Governing Council Takes Bold New Step Of Renaming Itself

Plan To Rename, Repaint Offices, Too

Iraq took a mighty step forward toward creating an independent sovereign government this week as the Iraqi Governing Council -- a group of U.S. appointed Iraqi exiles seen as largely subservient to U.S. demands -- renamed itself and became a group of dynamic, independent thinkers -- made up of the very same people.

"I am a new man!" cried Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. "I could order American troops out of Iraq tomorrow if I wished!"

Asked if this was true, Allawi became suddenly sober and said," I don't know. Let me make a call." After disappearing into his study and making an overseas call, Allawi emerged and answered, "No. I can't."

He raised his hands over his head in a gesture of triumph. "But I can dream!" he cried.

Mysterious New Body Has No Actual Name

The Iraqi Governing Council transformed itself into -- something else.

"Everyone's calling us the 'new interim goverment,' but we had been thinking about calling ourselves 'New Government with Minty Fresh Scent' to spice it up," said "New Improved" Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari, who had previously been Foreign Minister in the Iraqi Governing Council.

"That's how I got this job," Zebari joked. "Foreign Minister was already on my resume."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:48 PM in News

May 31, 2004
Cable Networks Planning To Add All-Chalabi Channel

All Chalabi, All the Time Is Only Thing That Will Satisfy American Public, Say Networks

Cable networks across the country announced today adding the "Chalabi Channel," in order to sate what they called "the insatiable appetite" of American consumers for news, discussion, and entertainment revolving around former-good-guy-turned-bad-guy Ahmed Chalabi.

"I, for one, just can't get enough," said Vinnie Schlockboom, a coal miner from Grundigsville, Pennsylvania. As Mr. Schlockboom dug into a huge movie-theater-sized container of hot-buttered popcorn, he lay back in his E-Z-chair and quickly surfed television channels for any tidbit about the "newly exiled exile."

"It's a classic American tale," said Princeton English Professor Hilda Hammerman, "Good man woos country, good man gets thrown out of country, good man gets country, good man turns out to be lying thief, trickster and traitor, has house continually raided, loses country."

Kevin Drum of the blog Political Animal and Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo have been signed on to sort out the facts and talk endlessly about the never-ending stream of developments and revelations about Chalabi. Richard Perle and Newt Gingrich will mud-wrestle Condoleezza Rice on "White House Rumble!" to get her to reverse the White House decision to stop associating with the same man to whom they paid millions so that he would tell them exactly what they wanted to hear.

A sitcom called "Chalabi and Friends" is reportedly in development. It will feature Ahmed Chalabi and a host of "unlikely political characters" who live in two apartments across the hall from each other bed-hopping and switching partners until the show goes into syndication.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:34 PM in News

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 24, 2004
New Iraqi Government To Be Chosen In Special Season of "Survivor," Says Prez

"The Government" To Join Reality TV Lineup Until June 30

In one of his most important speeches to date, the President unveiled a detailed and methodical plan for the transfer of sovereignty to a new Iraqi government.

"We have entered into an arrangement with Survivor's Mark Burnett to choose the 30 members of the Iraqi interim government. 100 Iraqis will compete against each other to choose the 30 finalists and a new form of government in what, I think you'll agree, will make a very exciting month of television," the President announced before the U.S. Army War College tonight.

U.N. representative Lakhdar Brahimi will host, due to the unavailability of Survivor regular Jeff Probst, said Bush. Shi'ite Ayatollah Ali Sistani and representatives of the Sunnis and Kurds will be forced to run mazes, sell lemonade, and stand for hours on tree stumps while keeping their arms raised to prove their worth in running Iraq.

"Choosing the correct 30 people to run the interim government of Iraq is absolutely crucial to the success or failure of this grand experiment," said Bush. "There may be other ways to choose the 30 people, but we couldn't think of any."

White House officials dealt with criticism of the plan as half-baked, uncooked, and imbecilic by replying that having a plan -- any plan -- would be better than simply hoping that a truly workable interim government would simply coalesce while they "made a lot of speeches about it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:27 PM in News

Soldier On Leave Takes Picture Of Bush Falling Off Bike

Proves Digital Cameras "Terrible Threat" To Nation, Says Rumsfeld

On Saturday, a soldier on leave, using his cellphone camera, took a picture of President Bush riding his bicycle into a huge ditch. The photograph showed that the President had been riding with his eyes closed, while Donald Rumsfeld, Condeleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dick Cheney directed Bush to ride off the edge of a precipice and into the dangerous ravine.

The President denied that he needed to ride with his eyes open in the future. "Ya see, that's just what these ravines want, they want us to get away from these sheer drop-offs. But we will not be strayed from our mission," he said.

Donald Rumsfeld, who has banned digital cameras, camcorders, cellphones with cameras, and the gift of sight from all military compounds in Iraq, immediately extended the ban to all U.S. military personnel everywhere.

Pvt. Northrup O'Hallohan, who took the picture, was immediately placed under house arrest. His cellphone camera has been shipped to Guantanamo Bay for questioning.

"I don't know what I did wrong," said O'Hallohan. "I thought I still had 200 free minutes."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:58 AM in News

May 21, 2004
Chalabi Said To Have Posed Imminent Threat To U.S. Wallets, Pocketbooks

Search Of Chalabi Home Turns Up Only A $33 Million Watch

The U.S., pretending to an arm of the Iraqi Provisional Authority, invaded Ahmed Chalabi's house today, because Chalabi was deemed to be an "imminent threat" to the nation's pocketbooks, Donald Rumsfeld said today.

Rumsfeld initially claimed not to have any knowledge of the invasion, saying that the action had been mounted by members of the Iraqi government. However, he admitted that he had actually given the order to invade Chalabi's home when confronted with the fact that no Iraqi government yet exists. "Oh yeah," he said.

J. Paul Bremer, the U.S.-installed Occupational Czar of Iraq, was disappointed by how little was discovered in the raid of Chalabi's home, since he had been "fairly sure" that that the missing WMD would actually turn up inside.

"That would have been perfect," said Bremer, sitting next to a stack of Agatha Christie novels. "I mean, only a month ago we were still paying the little creep."

Chalabi is unfazed by the sudden downturn in his relationship with the United States. He was last seen in negotiations with cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

"I can tell you a lot about the Americans," he is said to have boasted.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:44 PM in News

May 19, 2004
Unitarian Church Adopts Doctrine That Texans Are Idiots

New Belief System Entitles Them To Tax-Exempt Status

[A]ccording to the office of Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, a Denison Unitarian church isn't really a religious organization -- at least for tax purposes. Its reasoning: the organization "does not have one system of belief."
The Unitarian Church, which was denied tax-exempt status by the Texas State Comptroller for not having "one system of belief," repudiated all of its prior teachings today in exchange for the sole doctrine that Texas should be sawed off the United States and pushed into the Gulf of Mexico.

"Is that belief system enough for ya?" said Unitarian Minister Obiah P. Dowd, who doubles as the sheriff of Yaul County.

The Unitarian Church is now moving to disqualify the Catholic Church from tax-exempt status because it propounds belief in the existence of the Holy Trinity. "We count that as three," said Minister Dowd.

In a press conference today, Comptroller Strayhorn said that she was entitled to judge the Unitarian religion based upon her acute expertise in all matters theological. "I've seen The Ten Commandmants dozens of times," said Strayhorn. "It used to be on the television every year."

Strayhorn denied being inconsistent for allowing the Church of Scientology to have tax-exempt status in Texas. "Oh, but they they have one belief system", she said. "They only believe in fleecing Tom Cruise."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:49 PM in News

May 18, 2004
Kerry Forced To Prop Up Face Until Next Botox Shot, Says GOP
Kerry

The RNC's Marc Racicot gleefully claimed today that Democratic candidate-to-be John Kerry had been forced to prop up his own face pending future botox shots that would keep it in place without the aid of fingers.

Kerry aide Laura Nuptial denied the charge, saying that the Senator had merely unsuccessfully attempted to pick his nose during a prominent campaign appearance, and later removed his finger from his face "without incident."

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:05 PM in News

May 17, 2004
Iraqi Council President's Assassination Not Huge Setback, Says Bush

Wasn't Going To Be President of Council Much Longer Anyway, He Says

President Bush was cautiously upbeat about the recent assassination of Iraqi Governing Council President Ezzidin Salim this morning, saying that though it was a "terrible tragedy," it did make one of the changes envisioned by the June 30 the transition plan, "only much more forcefully."

Bush explained that he had expected that Salim would not have remained President of the Governing Council much after June 30 in any case.

"This is bad news, bad, bad news," said Bush. "The good news is this occurred outside the Green Zone, so things are certainly improving."

White House spokesmen echoed the President's optimism. "We'd like to think that we're not losing a Council President, we're gaining a speedier transition," said White House aide Hector Turlington IV.

Corey Humongous, a retired tire welder from Calefon, Ohio, agreed: "Because after this, we just want to get the hell out of there that much faster."

In related headlines, Bush Administration officials welcomed news that a bomb containing Sarin nerve gas had exploded in Baghdad recently. "We've finally found those weapons of mass destruction," said a greatly relieved low level Bush Administration flunkee -- Secretary Of State Colin Powell.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:04 PM in News

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

Harvard Business School To Honor Bush With New Degree

In honor of the "CEO President," and in recognition of the fine advances he has brought to modern management techniques, the Harvard Business School will offer a new degree, called the "M.B.A.": Master Of Bush Administration.

Professor Stephen Hambone, Ph.D.Th. (Doctor of Thinkology), explained, "President Bush has taken delegation to an entirely new level. We used to teach that you should delegate to the most competent and intelligent individuals in your organization. But President Bush has taught us that you can delegate to anyone, as long as you don't read their reports."

Professor Hambone also lauded the President for cutting down on executive reading: "You don't have to read critical documents anymore -- or any documents, really -- and in fact, it's preferable. Cuts down on the likelihood of shareholder litigation or impeachment."

Professor Hambone was effusive in his praise of Bush's "no-minute management style," and related other Bush lessons: "Always call the work of top supervisors 'superb,' even when they've endangered a core mission. When you say your supervisors look good, you look good. And blameless."

The school will be taking applications only from those nominally serving in the National Guard, starting this July.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:27 AM in News

May 10, 2004
Higher Job Numbers Tied To Increase In Torturers Overseas Prison Guards

Not Widespread, But Thankfully Good For Economy, Says Rumsfeld

A contrite U.S. Department of Labor explained that Friday's encouraging job numbers largely were due to increases in the hiring of U.S. military intelligence officers overseas and assorted specialists who "helped" them, as well as a large number of expensive civilian contractors employed in Iraq to perform interrogations.

"We believe the abuse, while certainly horrific, was not widespread," said Donald Rumsfeld last Friday, "but we are encouraged that, at the very least, this international scandal is helping to revive our economy."

Today the President lauded Rumsfeld for doing a "superb" job, and added that he was "impressed" at how Mr. Rumsfeld was able to see the "silver cloud" in even in the "darkest lining."

The Department of Labor was optimistic about the number of jobs the economy would add next month, even taking into account possible job losses of people who might be court-martialled, a spokesman said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:59 PM in News

May 7, 2004
The Story Of Little George

When George was little, his father put him in charge of the garden in the back yard.

"Now, George, the gardeners are going to make this garden nice. All you have to do is make sure that they do a good job."

"Yes, Daddy," said George.

George had some other things to do, so he put his dog in charge of the gardeners.

When the gardeners came, they burned down the toolshed, destroyed the garden, trampled the yard, and demolished the neighbor's house.

When George's father came back, he was stunned.

"How did this happen?" he asked George.

"Dad, I cannot tell a lie," George said. "I am disgusted by what I see here today. I am as surprised as you to see this devastation. Rest assured that investigations into this disaster will begin immediately."

"Don't you have something to say to me?" said George's father.

"I told the neighbors I was deeply sorry that their house burned down," said George.

"Don't you think you better get rid of that dog?" said George's father.

"No, father, he's a good dog, and I'm going to keep him."

George put the dog in charge of the investigation.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:45 AM in News

May 5, 2004
Little Mermaid To Join Moore In Disney Protest

The Little Mermaid joined Michael Moore today to protest what she called "film distribution fascism," in response to Disney's refusal to distribute either Ariel's or Mr. Moore's films.

Ms. Ariel's film "The Little Mermaid" has not been available in stores anwhere since it was placed on "moratorium" in February, 2000.

"It can't be a coincidence that my film was pulled from the shelves just when George W. Bush was made President," said Ariel, speaking outside of Disney-MGM Studios' "Voyage of the Little Mermaid" earlier today, where she appears daily.

"I believe Disney pulled my film in response to my stance against unregulated bulk fishing, which this Administration champions," said Ariel.

Ariel decried any suggestion that the "moratorium" was related to her 1999 breakup with Disney chief Michael Eisner. On the other hand, Michael Moore was fairly certain that Disney's refusal to distribute his film was "somewhat related" to Moore's refusal to date Mr. Eisner in 2003.

Ariel and Mr. Moore were joined by Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Aladdin, The Lion King, Bambi, Shere Khan, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, and 101 Dalmatians.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse declined to comment.

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:32 PM in News

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

May 3, 2004
Republican Guard To Be Placed In Charge Of Iraq Prisons, Fallujah

More Secure And Humane, Says U.S.

In response to what appears to be widespread, sanctioned abuse and torture of captive Iraqis at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, the Bush Administration has reconstituted the Republic Guard and directed its generals to oversee U.S. prison facilities in Iraq "from now on."

"We want to make sure that Iraqi prisoners are treated better than American soldiers treat them," said U.S. General Chaim Matlock.

The Republican Guard will also take over the U.S. seige of Fallujah. "We don't want to inflame Iraqis, so instead of U.S. soldiers shelling the hell out of them, we thought they'd take more kindly to the Republican Guard doing it."

Former Saddam Hussein lookalike and Republican Guard leader Jasim Muhammad Saleh was to be placed in charge of the U.S. mission. However, after he told U.S. officials that there were "no Iraqis in Fallujah" and that he "doubted that there were any in Iraq," American officials said they might "reconsider" a decision which they said "might be yet another unimaginably colossal blunder."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:12 AM in News

April 30, 2004
Bush Enjoyed "Nice Visit" With "Nice Men" From Commission

Hopes For More Inquiries of White House Failures, Disasters

President Bush today spoke of the visit of the 9/11 Commission and their questions about possible government failures leading up to the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

"I enjoyed it," said Bush. "It was the most fun."

The President said that he could not remember why he attempted to block the formation of the Commission or stonewall them completely for much of the time since their creation.

"Nice peoples have pretty ties," he said.

After the meeting, White House staffers took the Commisssioners' notebooks away to see if they contained any classified information that they could redact and reveal later at a politically opportune moment.

"Big people take nice men paper away," Bush said.

After Bush's statements, Vice President Cheney led Bush away with several balls and toys.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:54 PM in News

April 27, 2004
Siege Of Fallujah Voted Best Ceasefire Ever

In a response to the pentagon's recent statement that today's mammoth exchanges of hostile weapons fire did not mean that the fragile ceasefire negotiated between Iraqi insurgents and the U.S had ended, the International Protocol Evaluation Committee on All Ceasefires (IPECAC) voted the Fallujah ceasefire the "best ever."

Dr. Neb Blimbo explained that while most ceasefires were "outright dull," the ceasefire at Fallujah had been "really spiced up" by the spectacular plumes thrown up by primary and secondary explosions against the night sky.

"Ceasefires are so much more exciting when the parties are absolutely blowing the living crap out of each other," he explained.

Blimbo further explained that the siege of Fallujah still qualified as a ceasefire because the participants "cease firing every ten seconds or so when they have to reload."

Dr. Blimbo's other favorite ceasefires include the Tet Offensive, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, and Custer's Last Stand.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:24 PM in News

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 23, 2004
Iraqi Caretaker Government To Be Replaced By "Janitorial Administocracy"

The Bush Administration announced today that the new Iraqi interim government they are to transfer power to on June 30 would not be able to make new laws, regulate spending, control armed forces, or govern, but would be permitted to "take out the trash on Tuesdays and Thursdays."

"They'll have plenty to do," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

Only 10 weeks from the scheduled transfer of sovereignty, the White House is still uncertain what form of interim government to create.

"We've been considering a 'caretaker' government, a 'gofer' government, a 'custodial' government, a 'babysitter' government, a 'satellite' government, a 'puppet regime,' a mindless bureaucracy, a 'faux' authority, or a 'complete charade,'" said McClellan.

That "government" would remain in "power" until "elections" are held next year, he stated.

"We want Iraqis to know what it means to be truly liberated, to enjoy complete freedom, and to form the government of their choosing," said McClellan.

"Just not today," he added.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:20 AM in News

April 21, 2004
A Forceful Powell Stands Up To Bush In Recent Oval Office Talk

"Even a savage can understand what it means to be free, eh, Powell? Free."

"Yes, Mr. President, sir."

"Democracy is the essence of freedom. In a democracy, the People rule. The People have the say. Or at least, their elected leaders have the say for four years, during which they can do whatever they want."

"Yes, sir."

"Democracy, Powell!"

"Yes, sir."

"These savages will accept democracy over my soldiers' dead bodies! We will not yield! We will stay the course! Everyone is entitled to to freedom, and if those infidels can't understand or accept that, we'll have to make them understand!'

"Yes, sir."

"Are you with me, Powell?"

"Yes sir. I 'll try to be."

"You're either with me or against me, Powell. Which is it?"

"I guess I -- I'm with you, sir. Are there any lies or willful misprepresentations you want to make to the United Nations, sir?"

"Not today, Powell. Now, get out."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:22 AM in News

April 18, 2004
Bush To Return Iraq For Credit Or Refund

Two months before the invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell warned President Bush about the potential negative consequences of a war, citing what Mr. Powell privately called the "you break it, you own it" rule of military action, according to a new book.
President Bush today set into motion plans to return Iraq "for a full refund."

When Bush ordered military forces to invade Iraq, he reportedly told commanding Gen. Tommy Franks, "Make sure you get a receipt."

Today Bush announced that he wanted to exchange Iraq for "a country that welcomes invading Americans with open arms," and noted that he was "willing to take cash," but Iraqis said that they would probably only give him a credit towards the purchase of a fundamentalist Muslim theocracy.

Bush is also irritated because before he can return Iraq, he will have to wait in line for hours at the Iraqi Department of Customer Service.

Bush is prepared to make an impassioned plea. "The country was already broken when we got it," he will say. Bush will add that the "oilfields have never functioned properly" and complain about "an awful ding" in the "left side" of the country.

"We didn't do that," Dick Cheney is to claim.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:27 PM in NewsTop Stories

April 14, 2004
American Idol Viewers Vote President Off Show

Fans of the Fox television show "American Idol" tuned in last night and voted immediately and resoundingly to bounce the President from the show.

"It was a one-note performance," said Terry Ackerly of Dented Fender, New Mexico.

Bush performed "Stay the Course," but, according to some fans, was only capable of repeating the same tired phrases in a jerky, halting manner.

"Sometimes it looked like he had totally forgotten the words," said Ackerly.

Simon Cowell was particularly harsh. "I don't know why you think you have a chance in this business," he told Bush, and called it "perhaps the worst performance of Elton John I have ever witnessed."

Randy Jackson said that he was "disappointed" but that "the vocals weren't there," and added that the President "didn't connect with him." Paula Abdul told the President that "she really liked his tie," but that sometimes he was "awfully smirky and a little pitchy."

"You could be fresher and more sincere," said Abdul.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:20 AM in News

April 13, 2004
Clinton's Perverse Adherence To Constitutional Norms Destroyed Effectiveness of FBI, Says Ashcroft

Also Decried Clinton's Failure To Cover Bare-Bosomed Statues

John Ashcroft, testifying today before the 9/11 Commission, laid the blame for the World Trade Center disaster squarely on the shoulders of President Clinton and his government, stating that "their bizarre adherence to established constitutional protections endangered us all."

Ashcroft, who listed the top priorities of the Department Justice as "eradicating bare breasts from the paintings, sculptures, public parks, and the workplace" and "making good Christian music replace rock and hip-hop on FM radio,' lectured the 9/11 Commission on "how hobbled we all are when we give people these so-called rights."

"Better to be safe and in jail than on the street and in danger," said Ashcroft, decrying all these "individual rights people are having."

Ashcroft also assailed the Clinton for what he called "meaningless dithering" about assasinating foreign nationals.

"They couldn't go and blow bin Laden away," said Ashcroft, speaking of the Clinton administration, "because they kept talking about their high and mighty 'rule of law' thingy-do."

"Like it was all that," he added.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:28 PM in News

Scalia Seizes Tapes Of His Apology

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has apologized for an incident last week in which a U.S. marshal erased reporters' recordings of a speech Scalia gave to high school students.
Today, Justice Antonin Scalia ordered the seizure of two Mississippi reporters' tapes of his apology to them after he discovered that they were recording his remarks.

As Scalia was apologizing for a previous seizure of the reporters' tapes, he noticed that they were recording his apology, whereupon he ordered federal marshalls to seize the recordings and grind them into dust.

"I have a First Amendment right to destroy the First Amendment rights of others," Scalia later said in a letter apologizing for seizing the recordings of his apology.

In a separate letter, Justice Clarence Thomas concurred.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:26 AM in News

April 8, 2004
President Was Ready To Protect Safety Of Some Part Of Nation, Rice Tells 9/11 Commission

"I've asked myself a thousand times what more we could have done," Rice said. "I know that had we thought that there was an attack coming in Washington or New York, we would have moved heaven and earth to try and stop it."
"Philadelphia, we probably would have just let go," Rice continued.

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:35 PM in News

April 5, 2004
Old But Gold
Bush To Declare War On Iraq

Today President Bush said the situation in Iraq had deteriorated to the point where he had no choice "but to declare war on that country."

"I've just become aware that good people are dying out there. Terrorists run rampant, killing people, blowing up oil pipelines, wreaking havoc, maybe just plain reaking. They've got to be stopped."

Bush said that he had recently learned that since May 1, 2003, Iraq has become the "number one nexus of the terrorist activities in the world," and he called it "the nexus of the axis of evil," speaking from his ranch in Texas.

He said that it was a difficult decision but he had "no choice" given the state of the country at this time.

"Whoever is running that country has allowed it to turn into a hornet's nest that threatens the stability of the Middle East, and with it, the safety and security of the United States, and of the world."

Originally published on August 20, 2003.

It seems strangely relevant today.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:18 PM in News

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

White House Order For Double-Shot No Foam Skim Latte Caused National Security Breach

A White House aide trusted with sensitive national security information was detained in a "safe house" for weeks after he accidentally ordered a "no-holds-barred, resurrected, non-functioning ICBM missile shield" instead of a double-shot no foam nonfat latte at a D.C. Starbucks in early September of 2001.

"It was a natural mistake," the aide, Kenneth Katonka III, said. "At the White Hosue and Pentagon we ate, drank, and slept missile shields. So I ordered one."

"Yes, we wanted a $100 billion missile shield," said Rumsfeld. "But I also wanted a latte. Mr. Katonka got the orders confused."

News of Katonka's detention reignited the firestorm burning in Washington over whether the Bush Administration incompetently missed the boat in predicting that the worst threat to America would be Saddam Hussein's development of huge nuclear missiles that could threaten the United States.

"So we were a little off," said Rumsfeld.

Condy Rice denied that there was much emphasis on a missile shield, despite a speech she was scheduled to make on September 11, 2001 making the creation of a missile shield to protect the U.S. against "rogue ICBM's" the cornerstone of U.S. national security policy.

"Mr. Katonka's account is simply, completely, utterly false," she said. "I wanted a caramel machiatto."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:17 AM in News

March 31, 2004
In Nod To 9/11 Commission, American Courts To Start Recording Trial Testimony On Napkins

Will Also Permit Witnesses To Testify Jointly And Simultaneously

The U.S. Court system is adopting an entirely new set of rules for testimonial evidence today in recognition of the 9/11 Commission's novel and persuasively convenient methods of gathering evidence, a spokesman for all American courts said today.

The 9/11 Commission's apparent acceptance of President Bush's offer to testify jointly with Dick Cheney has "revolutionized the taking of testimony in courts everywhere," said legal expert Prof. Dozey Doats.

"Not requiring witnesses to testify under oath and not formally recording their statements totally streamlines the judicial process as we know it," said Prof. Doats. "Why didn't we think of this before?"

As soon as the new rules were announced, prospective witnesses all over America came forward to testify in secret with each other before courts not recording their testimony.

"Being able to testify with your friends is a lot more fun than testifying alone," said 8 year-old Jill Beets, an eyewitness from Montclair, Nebraska, who testified recently at a murder trial jointly with ten of her "bestest" friends.

"I can understand why President Bush wants to testify along with Vice-President Cheney," she said. "Testifying is scary and sometimes you just want someone big to hold your hand."

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

March 27, 2004
Democrats Seek to Show Rice's Lips Moving In Effort To Show That She Lied

Seek to Declassify Her Private 9/11 Testimony, Too

Republican Congressional leaders said Friday that they would seek to declassify past Congressional testimony from Richard A. Clarke, President Bush's former counterterrorism chief, in an effort to demonstrate that the former aide had lied this week about Mr. Bush's record.
Democrats furious at the move of Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist to declassify Richard Clarke's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee are fighting back, demanding that Rice's testimony before the 9/11 commission be similarly declassified.

Rice recently asked the Commission for the opportunity to testify privately before them a second time, but not under oath, and only while speaking through a large hand puppet.

"It is our view that use of the hand puppet would give Ms. Rice plausible deniability, should anyone challenge her statements," said Michael Musto, a new spokesman for the White House. "If that happens, we will just blame it on the hand puppet."

For her part, Rice categorically denied lying to the Comission in her previous testimony. Rice said that it would be "revisionist history" to say that she was lying when she said that she wasn't lying when she lied before.

"We just want the American people to have the truth," she said of the most famously secretive government in America's history.

"Cross Dick 's heart," she added.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:25 AM in News

March 25, 2004
God Asks To Have Name Removed From Pledge

Would Really Rather Not Be Mentioned, He Says

In a startling development in arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday, God appeared and asked to have his name removed from the pledge of allegiance.

"I'd really rather not be bothered," God said. "I'm very busy, and, while I try, in my infinite omniscience, to listen to every girl and boy in America, the pledge is really just a mindless recitation that muddies up the Holy airwaves with empty, patriotic static."

God cautioned that he had nothing against patriotism and that he very much enjoyed almost every rendition of the Star Stangled Banner.

"I'm not a heathen," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:07 PM in News

Ridge To Ask For Creation Of Department of Homeland Security Security

Department of Homeland Security Not Secure, He Explains

Tom Ridge asked the White House to create a new cabinet-level position in response to his growing awareness that the Department of Homeland Security is not sufficiently secure.

"Many of the locks don't work," said Ridge at a press conference today. "Anybody can just walk in here. I had a donut and coffee on my desk that just disappeared."

Ridge called on President Bush to create a "Secretary of Homeland Security Security."

Ridge suggested surrounding the building with an 18-foot-high concrete fence to keep out intruders, and starting an inquiry to determine "who drew a mustache on my picture of President Bush."

"The first place to start with security is our own back yard," said Ridge. "And I could use some barb wire and an outdoor grill that you can put 30,000 volts through."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:34 AM in News

March 24, 2004
A Letter To The 9/11 Commission From Condoleezza Rice

Dear Members of the 9/11 Commission,

It is with great regret that I write that, unlike every other invited government official, I will not be able to testify before you.

It's not because I won't talk about the Bush Administration's record on counterterrorism to anyone. I do talk about it -- to anyone at any time. I talked about it with Rush Limbaugh, with Larry King, I talked to the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Sacramento Bee, Mad Magazine. I even went on Meet the Press. Yesterday I cornered my postman and talked his ear off for an hour about that ruthlessly dishonest Richard Clarke. I talked to my cat Licks about terrorism for about three hours this morning.

No, it's not that I won't talk about the matters that the Commission is interested in questioning me about. It's because I can't. You see, I suffer in secret from a terrible malady: I have Swearing-Induced Investigatory Commission Immune Deficiency Syndrome. If I testify under oath before an investigatory committee on a matter of the utmost importance to our nation, my entire body will swell up until I burst, suffocate, and implode.

My terrible condition has only recently been diagnosed. It is amplified by the fact that I am allergic to Lying Like A Rug Under Oath Disorder, also known as Llaruod-itis. Although I am fully capable of misrepresenting and even fabricating out of whole cloth "facts" to the American people, I have an as-yet-intractable aversion to lying under oath to them. I am undergoing treatment for this condition, and I hope that someday I will be able to dissemble under oath in the future.

So you see, I cannot testify before this distinguished and most important Commission.

I have a note from a doctor.

"Dr." Condoleezza Rice
National Security Council
A Corner Office In The White House With Lots of Toys For The President To Play With When I'm Meeting With Him
Gaptooth, Wisconsin

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:38 AM in News

March 22, 2004
Bush's Road Map For MidEast Peace Outlined Today For First Time
Click On Map To Enlarge
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:48 PM in News

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

Misunderstanding Of "March Madness" Causes Turmoil, Unrest

Insurgents misunderstanding the meaning of the Americans' "March Madness" have been celebrating the month with explosions, exchanges of shoulder-launched grenades, and chaos. Insurgents were shocked to discover that "March Madness" referred to a popular basketball tournament.

"We thought we were going along with the moment," said stunned insurgent Ismed Pallavi, "We have been creating the March Mayhem, just like all other Americans."

Pallavi was absolutely amazed that "March Madness" meant that he was supposed to enter a betting pool and spend the next several weeks camped out in front of a TV.

"Do I still have time to put some money down on Gonzaga?" he asked.

Professor Irving Mayhew noted that this was just another example of how the gulf between cultural norms in radically different societies can lead to violence.

"The solution is to teach Moslems to love college basketball," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:11 PM in News

March 16, 2004
Kerry "Foreign Leader" Statement To Be Defining Issue Of Campaign, Say Pundits

Political pundits lodged all over the mediascape declared today that Kerry's "foreign leaders" statement -- that some foreign leaders had confided in Kerry that he wanted him to win the Presidential election -- will be the single-most important issue in the campaign.

The question for most voters will not be "where does Kerry stand on health care," or "what is his position on jobs or foreign policy," but "when did he say it," and "did he know, when he said it, what he was saying?"

President Bush called Kerry out recently, daring him to name one foreign leader that wanted Kerry to be elected, but Kerry declined, saying that "it would save considerable time if I just named the leaders that didn't."

In a recent poll conducted by Karl Rove, nine out of ten Americans feel that John Kerry's "foreign leaders" claim would be more important to them in choosing a candidate than the current President's abysmal handling of the economy, the war in , and Dick 's ties to Halliburton.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:34 PM in News

Gore To Ask For Supreme Court Vote Recount

After a long period of brooding, Al Gore has decided to ask for a recount of the nine Justices' votes in the 2000 election, alleging that "improper vote counting techniques" had resulted in a wrong decision.

"It should have been 4-5, not 5-4. Sandra Day O'Connor assures me that she thought she was voting for me and not Mr. Bush when she wrote her concurring opinion," said Gore at a news conference today.

Justice Clarence Thomas, in a recent speech at Howard University, said that he thought that he had voted for Pat Buchanan.

Mr. Gore is presently collecting the Supreme Court ballots and intends to deliver them to the Palm Beach County Board of Elections for the recount.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:32 AM in News

March 15, 2004
Bush Joins Socialist Party

Move Necessary To Secure Hispanic Vote, Says White House

President Bush, determined to lock up the all-important Hispanic vote in America, joined the Socialist Party today. "I want the people of Mexico to know that I sympathize with their terrible tragedy and that I'm there for them," said Bush.

"He meant to say Spain," said an advisor.

Bush is to fly immediately to Spain for a photo opportunity with Spain's new Prime Minister, Socialist Party leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

"If we can't line up a pic with Zapatero, we're willing to fly Bush for a picture with anyone who looks like they might be Hispanic or, at least speaks Spanish," said a senior White House official. White House aides were said to be looking to arrange a picture of the President offering a giant plastic taco on a platter to Spanish troops in . There was some discussion of photoshopping it.

"The age of digital photo opportunities has arrived," said "el jefe Karl Rove del Valencia," as he will henceforth be known. "Look, if we can digitally correct the President's speeches for campaign ads, what's the problem with creating photos out of whole cloth? No es una problema, claro."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:36 AM in News

March 12, 2004
Seniors Should Be Given Expiration Dates To Pay For Tax Cuts, Says Greenspan

Alan Greenspan acknowledged recently that George W. Bush's almost fetishistic tax cuts could, indeed, make it impossible to fund Social Security, but said that it should not be a problem as long as senior citizens were given expiration dates upon which they were required to expire.

Expiration dates could be easily tattooed on the back of Americans' necks, Greenspan said. He also proposed that the expiration requirement contain a grandfather clause permitting the continued existence of extremely wealthy grandfathers.

Asked if rolling back the tax cuts was a more reasonable option than such drastic measures, Greenspan replied, "The tax cuts were absolutely necessary to allow Americans to live in a robust economy."

"For at least a little while," he added.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:43 AM in News

March 10, 2004
GOP Says Democratic "Shadow Government" Violates Laws Against Cloning

A recent initiative by Democrats to form a "shadow government" critical of the Bush Administration, on everything from foreign policy to domestic spending, violates natural and legislated laws against human cloning, say Republicans.

"This is spitting in the face of God, pure and simple," said House Majority leader Tom Delay. "It's an outrage."

Some have been urging the Democrats to create a "shadow government" -- in which a person or opposition party comments on what the people in power are doing and describes an alternate course -- but now the GOP says it is illegal.

"You see what happens when you let stem cell research go unchecked? This is precisely the kind of conduct we proscribed," said Delay. "Next thing you know, there will be two Bill Clintons."

The Democrats have created a "shadow White House" -- mostly from Legos -- a shadow cabinet, a shadow Capitol Building, and "what's the most fun," according to Terry Griebling of Menachem's List, "is the shadow Air Force One, which we're hoping we can get to fly." The shadow Air Force One is presently a large model of a plane that Democrats can put on their heads like a hat and run around with while saying "whoosh!" and "vrroom, vrooom!"

The shadow government has been formed by a coalition of some well-funded anti-Bush, pro-Democratic organizations, such as Move-On.org, Get-Out.net, and Go-Away.com.

In other news, Republicans revealed that they are against using "soft money" donations to benefit Democrats. "We're pretty much against most types of campaign finance reform, but we're very much in favor of strong restrictions on the financing of Democratic campaigns," said a spokesman for the RNC.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:31 AM in News

March 9, 2004
Rove Blameless; Only Savaged Plame And Wilson After Leak

In a new article out this afternoon investigative journalist Murray Waas reports that in an FBI interview last October Karl Rove admitted that "he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists."

Rove also apparently mentioned "at least six other administration officials who were involved in the effort to discredit Wilson."

However, Rove insisted that he did this only after Plame's name appeared in Novak's column; and that he was not Novak's source.

Fans of Karl Rove were relieved to hear that Rove and six other White House officials only maimed and tortured Joseph Wilson's and Valerie Plame's reputations only after some "other, less moral" person illegally had leaked Plame's identity to Robert Novak.

"I'm so happy to know that Karl's motives and methods are still unimpeachable," said Lissa Crappollinio, President of the Roviators, a prominent Rove fan club.

"He's so dreamy," she sighed.

Rove and six other White House offiicials, acting under Rove's direction to "make Wilson wish he'd never been born," and to put Plame's career "so deep in the toilet it'll only surface in a Beijing outhouse" definitely "didn't make one slur" before Novak "signalled the start of the campaign," Rove told the FBI.

The FBI interview with Rove had a rocky start at first, according to FBI Special Agent Howard Abstruse. "He kept saying, 'Do you know who I am? Do you? Do you know who the f--- you're dealing with?' And we'd say, yes, that's why we came to the White House to talk to you. And then he'd just start all over again."

"Boy, we all can breathe easier now that we now that we know that he just took someone's else's plan to discredit Wilson by ruining his wife's life," said Crappollinio.

"What a man," she sighed.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:02 PM in News

March 8, 2004
Interim Constitution Still Signed

Could Last Until Thursday, Some Say

In a watershed development in the history of Iraq, the interim constitution signed today by the Governing Council is reported to appear to be still signed as late as this afternoon, reports the Washington Post.

Moslem factions in the governing council were said to be quite happy with the document, which they said "makes a great dish towel," and "is suitable for flaming."

Some of the governing council had stronger feelings about the constitution. "This law, it suck," said council member Boswani Madbitten, "I spit on it while I sign it. I take law out to woodshed and beat it with stick, and then I sign it."

Bob Tonsil of the soon-to-be-formed American Embassy in Iraq, said, "We've made real progress. This piece of paper will easily wipe out the virulent ethnic and religious infighting that has fractured for the past century."

He was optimistic about reopening the Embassy soon. "I'm really looking forward to opening the embassy, living in a building, and eating food," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:51 PM in News

Shiites Pause For Dramatic Effect Before Signing Constitution

Earlier Refusal Was Simply Ploy To Build Excitement, Says Sheik

Iraqi Shiites claimed that their refusal to sign the interim Iraqi constitution last week was just a "device to build dramatic tension," said representatives of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani after today's signing.

"Wasn't that great? Wasn't that a cliffhanger with a magnificent surprise ending?" said Fouad Pajami, Professor of History of Mideastern Cinema at NorthWestern University. "They always intended to sign it, but isn't it more fun this way? They want to make sure that is the nation everyone loves to watch and they are succeeding."

"We've got some real twists and turns set up for the coming elections," said Butwad al'Futari, "Riots, some explosions -- but in the end everything will work out, and we will all hug. Kind of like an episode of Seventh Heaven."

Pajami indicated that al'Futari was largely correct, but said that he was probably thinking of the Iraqi hourlong family drama, "Seventh Circle of Heaven."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:42 AM in News

March 5, 2004
Report Finds Spying On Senate Democrats Detracted From Hunt For Al Qaeda

Precious Resources Diverted To Fight Against "Phantom Foe"

For the past 18 months, the hunt for al Qaeda and bin Laden was starved for resources that had been diverted to mounting a no-holds-barred offensive against a shadowy opponent that GOP members claimed "threatened the very security of the American nation."

That enemy was Senate Democrats, according to a report filed by the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms today.

According to the report, GOP aides diverted resources from the hunt for Osama to engage in unauthorized and possibly illegal spying on Senate Democrats in what they are now calling "a war of necessity."

Orrin Hatch assailed the practice, saying he was "shocked -- shocked" to hear of it -- and added that he "couldn't believe that William Bennett was gambling either."

Hatch and other Senate Republicans were pleased that, despite the unpleasantness, crucial resources diverted to the "secret war" have now been freed up, and "finally the U.S. can start hunting Osama 24/7."

"Concentrating all our resources on searching for bin Laden every hour of every day is a great idea," said White House spokesperson Squid Molineaux. "I wonder why we didn't think of it before?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:08 AM in News

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

March 2, 2004
Cheney Will Not Drop Self From Ballot, He Says

Today, Dick Cheney brushed aside speculation that he might consider replacing himself with someone else on Bush's re-election ticket.

"I've asked me to serve with Bush on the ticket again for the next four years," said Cheney in an interview with Fox News. "I told me I'm happy to do that and as long as I want me in that spot, I plan to serve," he said.

Cheney continued, "I don't know of anyone else who can pose as vice-president and totally run the country as well as I have, in accord with my wishes. I don't think anyone else could do as good a job running the country as I've dictated it should be run."

Asked whether Bush should make the decision as to who fills the Vice President's slot on the GOP ticket, Cheney said, "He already has. I told him what to decide last Tuesday."

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:45 PM in News

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."

Read More »


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

February 25, 2004
Pentagon Report Warns Bush His Shoelaces Are Untied

Could Trip And Fall, Says Document

The White House recently became concerned about a Pentagon report warning of potential serious problems Bush could face as a result of a "footwear failure" that could "trigger a tragedy."

The report notes that Bush could fall and "skin his knee," causing him discomfort or "embarrassing the nation," and cautioned that a fall into a visiting Prime Minster or during a State visit could "ruin relations with foreign nations for years to come."

The White house has convened a commission to advise the President on the dangers of failing adequately to "secure his podiatric device" and possible remedies, such as "redundant reinforcement" -- double-knotting -- and expects a report as soon as July.

The White House has been so busy with the shoelace report, the general election campaign, and banning gay marriage, that it has not had time to look into a Pentagon report presaging a world disaster --including rioting, nuclear disaster, and apocalypse -- if global warming is not stopped, said Scott McClellan.

"Oh, we have plenty of time," said McClellan. "We have until 2020 before the world as we know it ceases to exist."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:12 PM in News

February 24, 2004
Bush Makes Recess Appropriation, Approves Budget, Passes Energy Bill, Eliminates Taxes On Corporations, Declares Congress The "First Chapel of America"

New Laws Good Until Fall of 2005, Says Rove

President Bush, having discovered the power of the "recess appointment" with his elevation of Judges Charles Pickering and William Pryor to higher courts, has invented the "recess bill," which he contends permits him to legally enact laws when Congress is not in session.

Bush said he felt the "recess bill" was a magnificent invention, and that he planned to pass several "recess amendments" to the Constitution banning gay marriage, giving more electoral votes to so-called "red states" and declaring that "just signing up for National Guard duty prior to 1990 constitutes military combat duty for purposes of a political election."

In the meantime, all GOP members of Congress have been denominated "High Priests of the Homeland" under President Bush's new "Religiosity" law passed yesterday.

"May the Lord and all wealthy corporations bless his little born-again soul," said Father Bill Frist (R- Tenn.).

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:00 AM in News

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 18, 2004
Iraqi Shiites Want To Rename Sunni Triangle "Tiny Sunni Hexagon"

Democracy in Iraq took yet another giant step forward today as Iraqi Shiites moved to reshape the Sunni triangle into the "tiny Sunni hexagon," and asked that it be excluded from elections "because it has six tiny sides."

Iraqi Sunnis protested, noting that their knowledge of Euclidian geometry showed that the shiites were trying to reduce them from a three-dimensional area to a one-dimensional point.

"It is not fair," said Suad Mothammi, a prominent Sunni cleric and mathematician. "The Shiites want to limit the election to only those people who will vote for them. I thought that you could only get away with that in Florida."

J. Paul Bremer, the U.S. overseer with godlike powers of authority over in , said that he was satisfied that Democracy would "find its way" despite what he called "quibbling" over "little things like votes."

"There's more to democracy than voting," said Bremer. "There's governing -- by which I mean soliciting campaign contributions and keeping your donors happy."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:34 PM in News

February 15, 2004
White House Budget Contains Gatefold, 12-page "Emperor's Clothes" Pictorial of Bush

Goal Was To Excite Republican Base

In a bid to make the budget more "campaign-friendly," the 2004 Budget the White released recently contained a nude pictorial on George W. Bush, including a gatefold and a section on "What I Hate" and "Things I Love."

While critics have dubbed the budget a "glorified campaign brochure," others have said that it was a desperate ploy to keep people from actually reading the budget.

"I think they just wanted folks to shudder with disgust and dump all twelve volumes in the garbage. That way no one would know they didn't even include Iraq and Afghanistan war expenditures in there, to start." said Floyd Plume, a reporter for the National Gasket.

Stalwart members of the GOP were also turned off by the pics, saying they would have preferred pictorials on luxury yachts and private jets.

In the future, the White House plans to accept advertisements for the budget, in order to defray the expense of spending increases.

"We want the budget to kind of be the Superbowl of print media," said an unidentified source. "We're hoping for, like, 10 pages from Budweiser alone."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:54 PM in News

February 13, 2004
Bush Seen In Close Contact With Jane Fonda Video

barbarella01.jpgFormer college roommates of George W. Bush brandished allegations that Bush had engaged in "sexual relations" with the Jane Fonda video "Barbarella."

Bush allegedly spent a great deal of time with the video, called it "her," and made everyone leave the room when he was "on a date" with it. The roommates had agreed upon a code they used to signal when they needed the room to themselves, and whenever George was watching Barbarella, he hung his jockstrap on the front doorknob.

Bush reportedly slept with the Barbarella video under his pillow; he refused to let any of us roomies watch it, claiming that they were trying to steal "his girlfriend," said roommate Casparagus "Woofty" Kling III, heir to the Woofty Clothes Softener fortune.

"Now that I recall his relationship with "Hanoi Jane" Fonda, I question his ability to lead the troops," said Woofty. "Not to mention that he also hung out with that hooker in Klute."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:41 PM in News

Intern Says Kerry And Matt Drudge Having Affair

A former intern who Matt Drudge claimed had had an affair with John Kerry called those allegations untrue, and released several photographs allegedly documenting an affair between John Kerry and Matt Drudge that had "gone on for years."

One photo shows Matt Drudge wearing his trademark goofy hat at a Washington fundrasier for desperate journalists; Kerry can be seen leaning over the hors d'oevres table seventy feet in the background. Kerry's hair appears to be munching on some skewered shrimp.

Another photograph shows John Kerry at a football game: a slightly out-of-focus Drudge is being tossed out of the press booth by legitimate sports reporters several rows up in the background.

"Obviously, these two were involved," said the intern.

The former Kerry intern, Blubba Iphagenia Fisk, intimated that news that rumors that Kerry and Drudge were once involved in a torrid affair was sending both Kerry and Drudge's spin factories into overtime preparing for what she called "a media onslaught."

The New York Times immediately published an article highlighting that insinuations entitled "Is it ethical to publish unsubstantiated assertions of bipartisan homosexual romping by Presidential candidate John Kerry?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:30 PM in News

February 12, 2004
White House Concerned Obsession With Lying About National Guard Could Distract Nation From Current Lies

The White House is losing patience with America's preoccupation with President Bush's lies about his National Guard duty and records, said Scott McClellan.

"We tell far more important lies every day," leaked Press Secretary McClellan. "America should be concerned with what President Bush is saying today, not what he said yesterday."

Patty Flagellum, of the National Institute for the Study of Bush's Untruths, explained that the public is confused. "Allegations that the President lied about were relatively easy for Americans to understand," she said. "With the National Guard, it is hard to see where the lies are. Was President Bush lying about being AWOL in the National Guard, not being AWOL but lying about it anyway, or --regardless of the AWOL issue -- simply lying to Tim Russert when he promised to release the records?"

"There are so many possible lies, it's a staggeringly difficult job to sort them out. That's where we come in," said Flagellum, who maintains a staff of over three hundred who track, chart, graph, and organize the President's "lacks of truth."

"The National Guard issue is just one tiny flap. We have to cover all of the untruths spoken on every conceivable issue."

"This really would have been impossible before the invention of the computer," said Flagellum.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:45 AM in News

February 10, 2004
Ex-American Airlines Pilot Hired To Fly Airforce One

A former American Airlines pilot -- who lost his job after he asked all the Christians on a recent flight to raise their hands, told the other passengers to "discuss their faith" with them, and then called non-Christians crazy -- was hired today to pilot Airforce One. According to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, "This guy sounds like our kind of people."

McClellan also explained that the President likes to get everyone on the plane raising their hands except Paul Wolfowitz, "who gets really pissed off."

"It's a hoot," said McClellan. "Everybody's waving their hands, and telling Wolfowitz, 'Come on, Paul, talk to us,' and Wolfowitz gets all red. It's really funny."

Attorney General John Ashcroft was said to be outraged when American Airlines took disciplinary action against the pilot. Ashcroft was poring over private records of women who had sought partial-birth abortions when he heard the news.

"God was that man's co-pilot," said Ashcroft. "The Holy Ghost was his in-flight navigator. His stewardess was Mary and his ground crew was probably Joseph. I can't tell you who refueled his plane, but I'll get back to you just as soon as I've replaced the Constitution with a copy of my personal bible."

Update: Lars Doornbos has illustrated this story. Go visit him here! You have to scroll down to the February 10 entry, no permalinks, sorry.

Cross-posted on the Daily News Online.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:33 PM in News

February 8, 2004
Bush Says Saddam Could Have Shared Weapons With Evil Cartoon Villains

President Bush: There was no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a danger to America.
Tim Russert : In what way?
President Bush: Well, because he had the capacity to have a weapon, make a weapon. . . . But he had the capacity to make a weapon and then let that weapon fall into the hands of a shadowy terrorist network.
Bush continued, "Or maybe an evil cartoon villain -- say, a Wile E. Coyote, a Joker, a Penguin."

Bush alleged that Hussein may have been ready to connect to the infamous Acme corporation, and that "he could have purchased Acme Rocket Shoes and Acme Instant Exploding Birdseed from an African nation."

Bush also noted that he was concerned that, had he not invaded Iraq, Hussein might eventually have joined forces with the Riddler. "Riddle me this, Tim," Bush drawled. "When is a non-threat really a threat? When he can become a threat."

He also said that Saddam had massive quantities of hypothetical weapons that he could some day develop and manufacture. "These hypothetical wepaons were everywhere, but they hadn't been made yet, which is why the inspectors couldn't find them. It was a diabolically clever ruse. It would have succeeded except for the fact that I invaded Iraq and disarmed him."

"Give a Doctor Octopus a batch of hypothetical weapons, and I don't think he'd sit around not using them, Tim."

Tim Russert pressed Bush for answers. "But isn't Doctor Octopus an imaginary villain? A comic book chracter?"

Bush answered, "I would be careful not to denigrate the Guard. The National Guard is a fine institution, and many of our men serve with honor in it, here and in Iraq."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:07 PM in News

February 6, 2004
Plame Leak Accidentally Pops Out Of Dick Cheney's Office

In a moment that Dick Cheney called "a telephonic malfunction," aides to Dick Cheney revealed Valerie Plame's role as an undercover CIA officer to the whole country while entire families were watching episodes of "Survivor: White Trash Mountains of West Virginia" and "American Idol: The Golden Calf."

"It was disgusting," said Carlos Influenza of North Bend, Wyoming. "We were sitting down with our TV dinners for a wholesome evening of entertainment when, all of a sudden, the Administration flaunted this woman's non-official cover right in our faces. Little Timmy was shocked. We had to tell him all about covert operations years before he was ready for it."

The Bush Administration, which supposedly vetted the activities of the Vice-President's office, claimed that they had no knowledge of the incident before it occurred. "In rehearsals, neither 'Scooter' Libby nor John Hannah leaked in any way," said Scott McClellan.

A thorough examination of White House telephones is under way. It is said that the White House is considering forcing Libby and Hannah to attend Sunday's Grammy Awards as punishment for the debacle.

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:09 PM in News

February 5, 2004
Senate Offices Closed Due To Botox Scare

The Offices of the United States Senate were closed today when a vial of what appeared to be Botox turned up in package found in the office of Sen. Earl Hollings.

Capitol employees were shaken by the discovery, which sent Senators and myriad aides scurrying home with clipboards held up to conceal their foreheads.

Representative Tom Delay declared this "the most ominous act of domestic terrorism" he had seen in a long time. There was not a wrinkle to be seen in Mr. Delay's face.

This marks the third time the Capitol has been closed in recent weeks. "First the nip and tuck scandal, then the silicon scare, and now this," said the ever-youthful Sen. John Breaux. "It's chilling."

Rumors were circulating that a search of the Senate Office building after the Botox discovery turned up countless bottles of Grecian Formula 2000 and black hair dye.

"Actually, I'm glad that the offices are closed," said Majority Leader Bill Frist. "It keeps discretionary spending down."

Headline and inspiration by Kevin Hayden of The American Street, where this story is cross-posted.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:07 AM in News

February 4, 2004
Lieberman To Enter Race For Republican Nomination

Rove In Denial

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, after dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination, announced that he was vying for the Republicans'. Lieberman has every expectation that he will tie up the "moderate Republican" vote and carry the party.

"George W. Bush ran as a moderate and turned out to be a fanatical rightwing conservative. I will run as moderate Republican and be a conservative right-wing Democrat. I expect to win the nomination handily," said a suave, confident Lieberman this morning.

Karl Rove was said to be confident that the power of a few wealthy extreme right-wing conservatives was greater than that of the numerous middle-class moderate Republicans.

"When has a populist Republican candidate ever won?" asked Rove.

Lieberman said that Rove was right, but this wouldn't stop him. "Yes, the populist Republican candidate who ran in 2000 lost the general election.

"But he became President anyway."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:38 PM in News

February 3, 2004
Frequently Asked Questions About Ricin

Why are we talking about Ricin?

In today's more secure American environment, everyone needs to know about Ricin.

Why are we talking about Ricin now? We captured Saddam and the world is safer than it was before.

Listen, we'd be talking about Ricin a lot more if Saddam hadn't been captured.

What ever happened to those Anthrax mailers?

We're talking about Ricin here.

We never caught the people who did it, did we?

This is about Ricin! Forget about the anthrax.

How is the country safer if some guy who mailed Anthrax all over the United States is still at large?

We're talking about Ricin, damn it! Ricin! An amount the size of a grain of salt can kill you!

I thought you said we were worried about dirty bombs.

Today, we're worried about Ricin.

How come we're not doing anything about Pakistan? I heard they actually passed nuclear secrets to some of the "Axis of Evil."

Ricin could be anywhere. You can make it at home, easily and inexpensively.

And isn't bin Laden hiding in South Pakistan? How come the Pakistani government won't let us in there? Isn't our national security at stake? What are we really doing to stop terrorism?

Here. Have some Ricin.

I don't feel any safer.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:24 AM in News

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 30, 2004
Capture Of Bin Laden In Preproduction; Slated For October Release

The long-awaited "Capture of Osama bin Laden" is in preproduction for a fall release, says an excited U.S. military. The film is expected to do "boffo business" at polling places all over America.

"We've already filmed some of the essential 'weapons and money found in Osama's hiding place' shots, and location scouts are narrowing in on a site for principal photography," said General Clive O'Selznick O'Hara, of the U.S. Army's 4th Cinematography Division.

"I have some brilliant ideas for shooting 'Osama," brilliant," said Col. David Stokes. "I can't say what exactly, but it's going to make the most spectacular use of flashbacks."

Special effects experts are busy planning shots of George W. Bush presenting Bin Laden, trussed like a turkey, on a platter to the American people.

"Bush will have a halo from a tightly focused ellipsoidal spot with slightly-shuttered barn doors and maybe an orange gel that we're strategically placing in the distance behind his head, or we can add it in post," said Cheryl Coccaphoon of the 2d Light Engineer's Batallion.

The Army is to apply for shooting permits in the "No Man's Land" in the south of Pakistan, but have been unable to determine yet who precisely has jurisdiction over the area.

Cross-posted at The American Street.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:03 AM in News

GOP Attempting to Lure Unnamed Democrat Back Into Race

At the suggestion of Karl Rove, Republicans are trying to get the unnamed Democratic candidate back into the race for President. Polls indicate that President Bush could have an edge over an unnamed Democratic opponent of 51 to 41.

"That's either percentage points or numbers of justices on a greatly expanded Supreme Court," explained pollster Jilly Ferprume.

Polls now indicate that the President may not do as well against a named Democratic opponent, such as John Kerry.

"We're trying very hard to get the unnamed candidate back into the race, but he has been reluctant," said Sam Guffren, a Republican advisor who wished to be quoted anonymously.

"He's short on funds, and he's been able to get this far on sheer name recognition alone," said Guffren, "but that's changing."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:07 AM in News

January 28, 2004
Democratic Dream Slate A Reality: Clark/Kerry/Edwards/Dean

Only Decision Remaining Is Which One Will Be President

Democrats were relieved to finally settle on a Democratic Dream Team Ticket consisting of Wesley Clark, John Edwards, John Kerry, and Howard Dean, even though neither the candidates nor the voters can decide exactly who should run for what.

"I want John Edwards, with John Kerry as Veep, Wesley Clark as Secretary of State, Howard Dean as the secret White House senior aid helping set domestic policy, and mustard and ketchup on the side," said Molly Hickok of Michafluen, Idaho.

"I totally agree," said Harmon Strum of Kentucky. "Except I want Kerry as President and some fries."

"It's so hard to decide," said Sally Weckleman of Ohio. "Everything looks so good."

"It''s good that Iowa and New Hampshire helped winnow the field from Howard Dean to Dean, Kerry, Edwards, and Clark," said Hugo Glockenspiel, an expatriated American living in Austin, Texas.

Glockenspiel hoped that the Democrats would finalize the ticket on February 3rd's "Super Tuesday," with its five primaries and two caucuses in seven states.

"I just hope that that won't narrow the field to the original nine," said Glockenspiel.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:10 PM in News

January 27, 2004
Bush Nominated Best Actor; Karl Rove, Best Director; Donald Rumsfeld Named For Special Effects

Today, the White House garnered a host of nominations in a crowded field for this year's Academy Awards, stunning director Peter Jackson and actors Tobe Maguire and Uma Thurman.

George W. Bush was named for Best Actor, "for his depiction of an utterly carefree man blissfully leading the nation into war."

Karl Rove was named in the Best Director category for his "stunning manipulation of a difficult medium," and Dick was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for his "scripting of scenario after scenario based on a work of fiction."

Bush was praised for his "convincing portrait of someone actually leading the country" and appearing "almost lifelike" by Sigourney Weaver, who announced the nominations this morning.

"Donald Rumsfeld was not a surprise," said Sid Fleckman of Variety. "The war was stunning. It may not have shocked and awed the is, but it certainly wowed us back home!"

Fleckman especially praised the nine-hour long POV shots from tanks driving at breakneck pace through hundreds of miles of desert.

The White House also garnered nominations for Best Cinematography for its depiction of Bush casually surprising a bunch of handpicked soldiers while holding a fake turkey.

"Now that's Hollywood," said Fleckman.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:26 PM in News

January 26, 2004
Hey, Scalia, Thanks For All The Ducks. Stop Bagging My Quail.

Dear Antonin,

I and the "boys" would like to thank you for another wonderful time shooting "them thar ducks." You're right -- we should put them in a barrel next time.

I heard that Sandra Day was saying I'm a lousy shot. So I miss a few now and then. Just because I call the shots at the White House doesn't mean I can do the same thing with a shotgun! Har-har.

I hear they've just invented an amphibious monster RV at prices that start at a mere 850 grand. Next year we should get one of those babies and take it on the lake. That thing -- it's got gold and marble in every inch of it and -- gets about a quarter of a mile to a gallon. I love it. I'm going to have the Pentagon buy ten thousand of them, and offer tax breaks to anyone who picks one up.

Listen, I know you've been taking some heat about sitting in on my upcoming case. You better rule for me, or I'll leak that your wife is a CIA spy! (Just kidding.)

I don't want you to favor me just because we're hunting friends. Or because I hired your son as Acting Solicitor of Labor. Or because I get you tickets to stuff. Or because I take you to fancy dinners. Or because my oil runs your car.

I don't want you to favor me. (If anyone asks, you can tell them I said that.) I am not in the pocket of energy companies. They're in mine! Hyuck. (Don't tell them I said that!)

Antonin. What the hell kind of a name is that? Maybe I should call you Ant. "Hey, Ant, why don't you crawl over to the cooler and bring me over a beer!"

Keep your antennae out and keep your tiny head down. (Hey, you know I luv ya, ya big galoot!)

The "Dick" ()

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:55 PM in News

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

January 19, 2004
Judith Steinberg Dean Actually Judith Dean Martin

Explains A Lot

Today, the Rat Pack's Peter Lawford revealed that the woman calling herself Judith Steinberg Dean, the wife of Democratic contender Howard Dean, is actually Dean Martin. He claimed that Martin had not died, but instead had a secret "sexual identity transplant" years ago, and that he had "found a new life.'

"You can understand why they've been hesitant to let her go on the campaign trail," said Brandon Lawford, a nephew who speaks for the dead Peter Lawford.

Lawford noted that Howard Dean was unaware of Judith Dean's terrible secret until a year ago, when Judith's impromptu performance of "Everybody Loves Somebody" at a small cocktail party sent a shock of recognition through the room that ended with a stunned silence. It was an unsettling revelation for the ambitious Governor of Vermont.

"Now you know why Howard Dean's so angry," said Lawford.

Lawford said that although it has been difficult for the couple, they have managed to accept things as they are and make some kind of peace with each other.

Sometimes Howard and the rest of the Dean family gather together to watch as Judith dangles a cigarette from her lips, takes a sip of a martini and sings, "That's Amore."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:40 PM in News

January 15, 2004
U.S. To Invade Mars

Mars Considering Preemptive Attack; Rover Held Hostage

President Bush announced yesterday that he was putting into effect plans to invade Mars "as soon as possible in order to free the 'bound water' we've been hearing so much about."

"This bound water -- held hostage to a forbidding environment, unable to enjoy any of the freedoms or liberties we have here in America -- needs to be . . . unbound," said Bush. He proposed a costly program to establish a way station on the Moon and space troop transports. President Bush has reportedly watched "Starship Troopers" twelve times in the past week and a half.

Critics noted that the President's motives did not ring true, particularly in light of Dick 's remarks last week that "we have every reason to beleive that Mars is tied to al Queda. For one thing, look at Mars. Looks just like Afghanistan." Condoleeza Rice has also been heard speculating that Hussein had moved his WMD's to Mars "in a last ditch effort to bamboozle the United States."

Dr. Erich von Whiffleheim agreed that President Bush's proffered reason for the Mars invasion rang false. "This is water 'bound' in ze porous rock of Mars. It doesn't need to be freed. It is quite indifferent to its zituation." Dr. Whiffleheim is a psychiatrist.

Mars did not take President Bush's declaration well, insisting that "inspections by the craft you have named after your leader's senior advisor" -- the rover -- "have been working. We fail to understand why the U.S. disregards diplomacy in its mad rush to war. That is all. Beep." The rover is now transmitting only its name, serial code, and copyright, and is believed to be in custody.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:29 PM in News

January 14, 2004
White House To Promote Marriage Of Neil Bush And Britney Spears

The White House is planning to spend $1.5 billion to promote the institution of marriage. It is starting by encouraging Neil Bush and Britney Spears to act as "marital role models" and marry each other.

The marriage of Britney Spears and Neil Bush is to kick off the epic celebration of the sacred institution, and to demonstrate "just how special marriage is," according to Gladys Halfwit of the U.S. Commission on Marriages Sanctioned By The Conservative Base.

After the ceremony, Britney will perform "Oops, I Did It Again," and the couple will then honeymoon in Thailand, "a favorite of Neil's," said Halfwit.

Britney, who is a republican, said through a spokesperson, "Marry Neil Bush? I mean, ewww. How gross is that? But it's my duty to the country."

Neil Bush again noted that he lives an absolutely charmed life.

"The real question," leaked Dick , "is whether $1.5 billion is enough, given the current deficit, to spend on marriage. Hell, I know lots of guys who spent way more than that getting divorces."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:54 PM in News

January 13, 2004
U.S. Revises Self-Rule Plan; Replaces Caucuses With Caucasians

Responding to the demands of powerful Shiite leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to get rid of caucuses as a method of selecting members of an interim Iraqi government, the United States has swiftly revised its initial plan and replaced the caucuses with caucasians.

The revised plan came about after senior advisors met with President Bush about the Ayatollah's concerns and discussed the planned caucuses.

"I had no idea there were so many caucasians in Iraq," said Bush. "Do they have black people there too?"

Despite attempts to explain to President Bush that the staff wanted to replace the caucuses with caucuses -- albeit "more transparent" caucuses than originally planned, whatever that means -- President Bush insisted that they tell the Ayatollah that "there's nothing wrong with caucasians choosing an interim government in Iraq."

The new plan is for a bunch of U.S. government supplied white people to choose the Iraqi interim government.

"It's very similar to the old plan, but it's more transparent," said Brent Doogledorf, a White House press spokesperson.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:54 AM in News

January 12, 2004
Bush Claims He Is Not Puppet, Says Rove

Strings to Be Adjusted Wednesday

President Bush responded today to charges by Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill that Bush was disengaged and seemed to be doing the bidding of other senior White House advisors. President Bush, sitting on the knee of Karl Rove, fiercely denied being a "puppet" or a "dummy" controlled by others. Rove's lips were barely moving when Bush spoke to the press today.

"I'm simply not a puppet," said Bush, while Karl Rove attempted to drink a glass of water, but ended up spilling it down his shirt. "I'm my own man."

The White House announced today that President Bush would have his strings adjusted at a hospital on Wednesday, and that the treatment was simply routine.

"Sometimes the President's mouth gets stuck," said Dick Cheney. "You'll have your hand up his back and pull the string and something weird comes out of his mouth. That just pisses me off."

Dick Cheney, who ordered that the U.S. attack as early as January, 2001, and Karl Rove, who dictated the tax cuts, complained that "sometimes the President doesn't respond to his controls as well as we would like."

Floyd Raisenette, an "imagineer" for the Disney Corporation, is to have a look at Bush later this week to see if Bush can be fitted with sophisticated audioanimatronics, the robotics devices Disney uses to, among other things, animate the presidents in "The Hall of Presidents" at DisneyWorld.

"I know we already have one," said Floyd. "But it pretty much just grins and nods. If it's going to say 'Everything's absolutely perfect,' all the time, it's going to have to refitted."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:43 PM in News

January 10, 2004
Cabinet Meeting

President Bush showed little interest in policy discussions in his first two years in the White House, leading Cabinet meetings "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people," former Treasury secretary Paul H. O'Neill says in an upcoming book on the Bush White House.
Official White House Transcript

Bush: Are we ready? Where the hell is everyone?

Secretary Rumsfeld: What the hell did he say?

Secretary Powell: Huh?

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 3:10 PM in News

January 8, 2004
Jeb Bush Launches Faith-based Postal Service

Sinners Can Opt-Out, But Will End Up In Hell, Bush Says

Gov. Jeb Bush told nearly 800 prisoners Wednesday that religion can help lead them to a better life as he dedicated the nation's first faith-based prison -- an institution officials hope will lead to fewer repeat offenders.
Florida governor Jebediah Bush launched the country's first faith-based postal system today, pledging to "carry the mail of the faithful." He said that non-believing sinners could opt-out of the system, but cautioned that only his postal system took letters "back and forth with God's blessing."

Gospel choirs and religious statuary have been added to post offices throughout the state. Inside, the offices have the standard service windows for registered and unregistered mail, packages, and express mail, and a new window for confessions.

At a dedication ceremony today, postal workers were met with cries of "Sort it!" and "Send that letter!" as a choir sang "I Write The Words," a gospel rendition of Barry Manilow's "I Write the Songs."

Governor Bush says he cannot promise that letters to God will be met with answers. "Despite my enhanced relationship with the Lord I cannot promise that. But it can happen. Just rememember to include a SASE."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:35 AM in News

January 7, 2004
Bush To Put "Stop Order" On Swing Voters; May Not Vote For Democrat Until End Of Year

Just as the Pentagon recently issued a "stop order" prohibiting soldiers from leaving the Army when their commitments expire, Karl Rove enacted a Presidential "stop order" requring all swing voters to continue to vote Republican until the end of 2004.

The order doesn't just restrict the conduct of individual voters, but forces Ohio, Missouri, Arizona, Tennessee, Nevada and eleven other states to give their electoral votes to the Republican presidential candidate in the November election.

The order also requires that the Supreme Court vote to reinstate Bush if it "comes down to that."

The White House responded to criticisms that the order makes a mockery of democracy. "Not at all," said press secretary Scott McClellan. "Just as with the military order, extreme measures are justified by extreme times. In the interest of national security, the President has ordered that he be reelected. There's nothing untoward about that."

Tom Daschle made one of his strongest announcements to date, again demonstrating why the Democrats depend upon him to lead the party. "This order needs to be looked at," said Daschle. "We're going to look at it and get back to you. So there."

A poll of Americans revealed that over 56% of the American public were untroubled by the order. "If that's what the President says we need to do, then I guess we should do it," said Sylvia Blipner, a housewife with three doctorates from Yale. "I mean, he's the President."

Ms. Blipner went out of her way to mention, however, that she was immensely troubled that Kelly Clarkson had been "screwed out of her rightful place as World Idol."

"I mean, that's a crime."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:27 AM in News

January 2, 2004
Regarding The Stewardship Of The American Empire

President Bush's chief of staff dismissed as "a moot point" any lingering question about whether Bush relied on faulty intelligence to justify the invasion of .
To The Secretary Of The Press:

Please accept the following advice on which to base your intercourse with the gentlemen in the press gallery. It is my observation that the stories to which that brood assign great importance are, in fact, of little consequence to the course of this great Nation. This is especially true when you accept that everything we do is right. It will be mutually beneficial to the members of the press and this institution to convince the People that this is the case. I therefore forward to you my recommendations for addressing inquiries about these matters.

1. The War With Iraq

Moot. It is, of course, not of the least moment the substance of the communications between the American President and the People over whom he presides, in urging them to accept that most consequential of decisions -- the decision to go to war. When the President himself is confident that, whatever the reason, war is necessary, that is the end of the inquiry. This is especially true where, as here, the war has satisfactorily been concluded and some matter of substance has been gained, even if the initial momentum toward war be founded upon a flagrant misunderstanding of the situation.

Please continue to avoid any discussion of our efforts to diminish the accumulating costs of caring for and transporting our wounded and dead.

2. The Incident Concerning Madame Plame

Moot. I merely reiterate our longstanding position: Madame Plame's reputation for the transaction of surreptitious activities was the subject of many a Washington conversation and her identity altogether less than clandestine; she was not an Agent, but was merely an Analyst; and Robert Novak is not really a writer, in even the broadest definition afforded the title.

We are confident that none of the highest-ranking members of our institution can be connected to the scandal, and we may continue to deny involvement without fear of rapprochemént.

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 4:41 PM in NewsTop Stories

December 30, 2003
Ashcroft More Than Confident He Has Already Destroyed Plame Investigation, Steps Down

John Ashcroft leaked today that he would recuse himself three months after he began the investigation of his closest friends and advisors, because "it would be difficult to damage the investigation further at this time."

Ashcroft was particularly happy that he'd been able to delay the request of important White House documents until he had given the White House an opportunity to destroy them.

The investigation was handed over to the completely impartial presently sitting U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who was appointed as U.S. Attorney by Ashcroft himself, and who depends on the favor of the White House to keep that position.

"I've been told to say that my impartiality cannot be questioned," said Fitzgerald.

"I promise this investigation won't fizzle out, and that just because we end up indicting some low grade staffer, that will absolutely not mean that we failed to push this investigation toward a high level White House official who pays the salary of the man who pays my salary."

Democrats praised Ashcroft for waiting only three months to recuse himself. "Now we can be assured that justice will be done!" cried Sen. Chuck Schumer. "I am thoroughly satisfied, and it doesn't bother me in the least that Mr. Ashcroft read each and every memo on the investigation for the past three months, often redrafting them. God bless America. Excuse me, I have to go vote for a bloated GOP-written bill that's totally against the interest of my party."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:32 PM in News

FBI Explains: Almanacs Key To Dillinger's Capture, Others

The FBI has warned police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning.

"All Points Bulletin," Special Agent Floyd Netty radioed. "Be on the lookout for an olive-skinned man carrying an almanac and favoring his left leg. That is all."

"Almanacs were the key to our greatest arrests," explained Netty. "Bonnie and Clyde carried a big old almanac; Dillinger had one on his pocket watch chain; Capone had a stooge with an almanac with him at all times. Follow the almanacs, you find the criminals," he said.

The FBI has also asked citizens to look out for olive-skinned individuals with strange accents asking for directions to "the nearest large gathering of peoples who are wanting to be infected" and "are you knowing the way to many softest targets in the area."

But modern criminals disagreed with the FBI's approach. "I never carry an almanac no more," said Mohammed al Ackbar, a terrorist in a sleeper cell in Detroit. "I have a GPS in my palm pilot that has a complete readout of nuclear power plants in the entire ecountry. Very handy."

Mr. Ackbar said that it was not inconceivable that terrorists would carry almanacs, however. "I am finding the almanac very fascinating," he said. "Are you knowing that the walleye is the official fish of South Dakota?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:52 AM in News

December 28, 2003
Mad Cow Actually Only "Mildly Neurotic," Says Bush

Today, President Bush declared that an infected cow afflicted with mad cow disease had been only "mildly neurotic," and urged calm.

"Everything's just fine, the way it always has been, the way it always will be," said Bush. "This is going to be a great year for America, and a slightly imbalanced cow isn't going to ruin that one little bit."

"I'm still eating plenty of beef," he added. "I think everyone will agree that I'm not insane yet." The President chopped the air for emphasis about 60 times, and then laughed for five or ten minutes without stopping.

Bush called the press conference to rebut allegations that his administration -- which some say projects an air of complete certainty about the future and the results of its actions or inactions -- failed adequately to prepare for or safeguard against the spectre of mad cow disease and the economic consequences of the outbreak.

"That cow wasn't paranoid," said Bush. "We were out to get it," and laughed again.

"Beef," said the President, closing out the press conference. "The other red meat."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:41 PM in News

December 26, 2003
U.S. Upset That French Released Airline Passengers Without Probable Cause

Should Have Detained Passengers A Year Or Two, Says Ashcroft

On Thursday, French officials said they had released all the passengers, including one French citizen, one American, one German and several Algerians. "There was absolutely nothing there," said a spokesman for the French Interior Ministry.
John Ashcroft and other high ranking Bush Administration officials said the French were "soft on terror" after they released all the passengers booked on six Air France flights to Los Angeles after a mere ten hours. Authorities believed that some of the passengers may have had links to al Qaeda and may have had plans to do something in the future to someone or something somewhere.

"This is not the way we deal with terrorists in the United States," said Ashcroft. "If you're serious, you detain everybody for at least a year."

Andy Card agreed. "The French had no reason to believe that any of those passengers was not connected to terrorism, but still they just let them march right out of custody and back to their lives and families. Pathetic."

"I guess it must be a froggy thing," said Ashcroft.

At first officials suspected that those who showed up to board the flight could be terrorists, but they now suspect that those who did not show up to take the flight could be terrorists.

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:05 PM in News

December 25, 2003
A Visit To The Holiday Mailbag

Every year, I try to gussy up the place here to reflect the holiday spirit, get some fancy java-run animated reindeer and so on, and every year, instead of adding some decent graphics, I ask you to simply close and open your eyes rapidly and imagine twinkling red and green lights. Isn't that pretty?

Christmas is the day the crew at OYSH open up our presents: the letters and packages in the holiday mailbag! We've tried to answer your most vexing questions.

If Santa knows whether you've been naughty or nice, how is he different than John Ashcroft?

Santa never lost an election to a dead man. Santa likes statues of naked chicks. Santa is a snappier dresser. Santa doesn't write crappy songs. I could go on all day.

If you're so smart, how come you're not President?

I don't know. I wasn't elected either. It hardly seems fair. I say all those who weren't elected President should take turns running the country. I call the Lincoln bedroom.

Is Wolfowitz an elf?

Yes, but a very angry elf.

Is a Christmas card that says "Peace on Earth" unpatriotic?

If you have to ask, you're this close to being indicted.

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 9:48 AM in News

December 23, 2003
Lenny Bruce Granted Posthumous Pardon; Kerry Campaign Almost Ready To Seek Same

New York Governor Geroge Pataki today granted Lenny Bruce a posthumous pardon for cursing in public, prompting Kerry's campaign to announce that they would seek a pardon as well, as soon as the campaign was officially pronounced dead. (Kerry was recently assailed by Republicans for cursing in a Rolling Stone magazine interview .)

"We don't think we can seek posthumous relief for several weeks yet," said Kylie Fatigas, a Kerry campaign staffer.

Experts say the campaign still has a weak pulse and exhibits shallow breathing, although everyone agrees that brainwave activity stopped "a good while back."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:03 PM in News

December 22, 2003
Threat Level Raised To "Orange-er"

"High-ish" Risk Present, Says Ridge

The Homeland Security Department raised the threat level to "orange-er" Sunday, noting the the risk level was "higher-ish" than it had been when the threat level was last raised to orange.

"The risk may be greater than at any time since September 11," said Ridge, noting that the level of terrorist chatter had reached the threshold that intelligence officials called "loud cocktail party blather."

"We 're encouraged, however, that the chatter hasn't yet reached the level of 'boisterously drunken boasting' -- 'B.D.B.'" said CIA official Matt Whelk.

The last time that the threat level was raised to orange, Ridge said that a terrorist attack was "almost certain." The threat level is higher this time because a terrorist attack is "almost more certainer," said Ridge.

"If that's the case, Secretary Ridge," said reporter Anthea Flisk, "How come the level hasn't been raised to Code Red, or Severe?"

"We can't do that," said Ridge. "Going to red means we have to put Vice-President in a sealed capsule the size of a muffin."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:31 PM in News

December 19, 2003
Democrats Declare Nader Enemy Combatant; Nader Abducted And Detained

Nader A Clear Threat To The Security Of The Nation, Candidates Say

In a rare show of cooperation between members of the same political party, candidates Wesley Clark and Howard Dean declared Ralph Nader to be an "enemy combatant" today. Forces said to under the control of retired General Wesley Clark moved swiftly to make a "citizen's arrest" and spirited Nader away to an undisclosed location.

"If Nader is allowed to run for President again, the whole nation will suffer," said Clark.

"I supported this action not just because of Nader's potential candidacy, but also because of Nader himself," Dean agreed. "I'm surprised nobody's thought of doing this before."

Nader has not been provided access to an attorney "because he is one," said Howard Dean.

Strangely, no one, not even the Republican Party or Nader's supporters, protested the abduction and seclusion of Nader.

"The guy's a freaking menace to society," Dick Cheney said while warming his hands in the pockets of a very large oil company.

John Ashcroft applauded the action, noting that, as far as he's concerned, detention of an American citizen by another American citizen "is entirely lawful."

"Listen" said a former Nader supporter. "What difference does it make? All those enemy combatants are exactly alike."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:17 PM in News

December 16, 2003
Constant Medical Exams Of Saddam Turn Up Missing WMD

Enough Toxin In Tonsils To Infect Many Other Tonsils, Experts Say

Doctors who had examined Saddam Hussein over 647 times in the 24 hours following his arrest say they have found all of the missing WMD on Saddam Hussein's person.

"Now we know why his beard was so big and bushy," said one doctor.

Saddam's throat contained two fake tonsils that contained deadly biochemical toxins. "There was enough toxin in one of those fake tonsils to infect all of the tonsils in several major American cities," said Claire Daloon, of the Mississippi BioTech Center.

"People thought we were spending an inordinate amount of time inspecting Saddam, but it all paid off," said General Major Kirk Binomial of the 3rd Expeditionary Force.

Saddam's enormous bushy beard contained several mobile bioweapons labs, twelve Scud missiles, some African yellowcake enclosed in a lead capsule, and a dachshund named Mordecai, who had disappeared in early March.

"Not only is America a lot safer now," Binomial said, "but Mordecai and his owner have been happily reunited."

President Bush declared the discovery of the WMDs "exactly what he had expected all long."

"That's the problem with missing WMDs," scoffed Bush. "They're always in the last place you look for them."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:10 PM in News

December 14, 2003
Model For Toppled Statue Found

Found While Posing For Sculpture Of Man In Deep Hole

The model who was the basis for the famous Baghdad "Toppled Statue" was located today in what authorities call a "hole."

"It's really great," said Paul Bremer. "I'm pretty sure we'll have democracy inside of a week now."

Iraqis greeted the news with jubilation, and announced that they would now "get rid of all these warring tribes and factions," convert to Christianity, and form a stable democracy tomorrow.

"I'm really impressed," said Jorge Ipliano, a U.S. expert and consultant on terrorism. "It's amazing how quickly we can subdue and capture a castrated dictator."

The U.S. expects the entire Middle East region to stabilize by week's end, and terrorism to disappear from the planet as late as Thursday.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:30 PM in News

December 12, 2003
France, Germany Crap On White House Carpet

Bush, Again, Smacks Countries On Nose With Rolled-Up Newspaper

President Bush was dealt a setback today in his efforts to train France and other countries to roll over when France and several other nations took large dumps on the rug.

"Gol' durn it," said Bush. He locked all the offending countries in the basement without supper.

"I don't understand," said a perplexed Bush as he fed small treats to the extremely cute nation Birkina Faso, which was curled up at his feet.

"I can't figure out why it's so hard to get these nations to do a few tricks," he said.

James Baker has been brought in to try and bring errant nations to heel.

"Sit!" Baker told Russia, but the only result of his command was that Andy Card quickly threw himself into a chair.

President Bush has countless hoops set up in the back yard for other countries to jump through.

"Some of them countries will go through every single one," he mused. "Some of them -- well, I guess we just haven't broken them yet."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:06 PM in News

December 9, 2003
Gore To Claim He Invented Dean, Says GOP

Al Gore is set to claim today that he invented Howard Dean, according to GOP stalwarts.

"That guy's just a wacko who takes credit for everything," said Tod Wanksmen, aide to RNC chief Marc Racicot.

Soon-to-be-former Democratic candidates reacted to the announcement.

"If Al Gore wants to say he invented Dean, I have to respect his sorry, lying ass," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman. "I promised not to badmouth Al, and I will respect that, and I have respected that, and I will continue to run the same fine campaign that I--" whereupon Lieberman stopped, having droned himself into a deep coma.

John Kerry, through a spokesman, said, "Al Gore can go fuck himself."

Richard Gephardt had this to say: "Richard Gephardt was standing right next to Al Gore when he invented Howard Dean, and together we forged Howard Dean, and I remember telling Al Gore, you better invent Howard Dean, and I'm glad that Al Gore listened to me when I gave him that sage advice."

General Wesley Clark was too busy campaigning to comment. Dennis Kucinich, Carol Mosely Braun were too busy pretending to campaign.

Al Sharpton said, "I'll tell you this. Al Gore didn't invent Al Sharpton! That's something you can't cook up in a lab. I'll let you in on a litttle secret. I invented Al Gore."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:31 AM in News

December 8, 2003
White House Tells Kerry To Shut The Fuck Up

The White House today asked for an apology from Sen. John Kerry for telling Rolling Stone magazine that Bush had "f--ed up" .

"He should shut the fuck up," said Andy Card, White House Chief of Staff. "He should fucking shut up already."

Dick Cheney said, "That man is a fucking embarrassment to the national political intercourse."

Kerry was last said to be mulling over telling White House staffers to go fuck themselves.

It was a refreshing moment for Kerry, who has gotten little positive press during his campaign for the presidency before this. Campaign staffer Diane Freckler said, "We're going to savor each last fucking moment."

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:56 AM in News

December 7, 2003
Bush Aims High -- Will Send Man To Moon, May Even Stop Global Warming, Provide Homeland Security

President Bush recently outlined a wish list of lofty goals to pursue over the next several years, mentioning sending more men to the moon, promoting longevity, ending child hunger, or even stopping global warming and providing actual security in the homeland.

"We are thinking about providing real funding to the Homeland Security Department," leaked Dick Cheney, "with the goal of actually making the nation secure. Or maybe we could establish a permanent outpost on the moon instead."

"You have to admit the moon outpost option is a lot sexier," leaked Karl Rove.

Nine out of ten Democrats said that sending a man to the moon was an excellent goal, as long as that man was George W. Bush. "We don't have much money to spend on big goals," said Democrat Kirsti Summers, who was taking up a collection, "but sending Bush to the moon could end up saving us trillions."

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:56 PM in News

December 4, 2003
In Reversal, Dean To Move Secret Papers to Bush Library

Howard Dean, who has been under fire for keeping records of his governorship under seal, has backed away from his earlier statements that he would review the records with a mind toward making them public. Instead, Dean plans to move his records to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas, "so that they can remain sealed forever," said Dean.

Dean's papers will be placed next to the records of George W. Bush's Texas governorship.

"If it's good enough for President Bush, it's good enough for me," said Dean. "The more I thought about it, a ten-year seal just doesn't seem like long enough.'

Howard Dean's papers will thus join, in spirit if not in location, the records of Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, all of which have been squirreled away to protect them from the prying eyes of the public.

"Secrecy may be the enemy of a democracy," said Sue Polliwog, a prominent GOP pollster, "but it is a great friend of the politician."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:22 AM in News

December 3, 2003
Liberal Bloggers Willing To Do Anything To Demonstrate Problems With DieBold Voting Machines

Manipulate Blogosphere Ecosystem To Make a Point

Not only is the country's leading touch-screen voting system so badly designed that votes can be easily changed, but its manufacturer is run by a die-hard GOP donor who vowed to deliver his state for Bush next year.
Liberal bloggers, in an attempt to demonstrate that Diebold voting machines are flawed and need paper trails, manipulated N.Z. Bear's famous Blogosphere Ecosystem to make their blogs appear more popular than Britney Spears' official website.

The so-called "League of Liberals" hacked into the Diebold software underlying the Ecosystem, which ranks blogs by importance, visibility, traffic, and readership, collecting electronic information about each blog on the web. N.Z. Bear, proprietor of the ecosystem, said that he was installing paper trails immediately.

The lack of a paper trail has been wreaking havoc in other electronic systems.

In Nebraska, marriages are conducted electronically in "paperless" ceremonies. As a result, numerous husbands and wives have been caught attempting to hack the marriage database.

In one extreme attempt, Wendy Luskin was forced to collect receipts from romantic dinners just to demonstrate that she and her husband dated, after he had deleted their marriage entirely and altered the database to indicate that he had instead married 27-year-old bikini model Bambi Tarkington.

In another incident, Samantha Thud deleted husband Brad's birth certificate from central government computers, showing, as she had often told him, that he did not exist.

"Electronic votingsk system is not problem," said The Commissar, an election systems expert. "Problem is voting scheme where you do not know results before election, da?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:24 AM in News

December 2, 2003
A Letter to General Abizaid From the Field

The US military has said it believes 54 insurgents were killed in intense exchanges in the northern Iraqi town of Samarra on Sunday but commanders admitted they had no bodies. . . .

Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Gonsalves, who commands the 166th Armoured Battalion in Samarra, also said his troops were not in possession of the bodies. The death toll, he said, was "based on the reports we got from the ground."

General:

I have reconstructed the number of enemy wounded and killed in action during the recent engagement in Samarra. At least fifteen Iraqis were shot by soldiers with their M-1 rifles. No surprise there. But it is truly amazing what the rest of our soldiers did, and I myself would not beleive it if I hadn't heard it with my own ears.

Cpl. John Frolick shot two Iraqis, ran out of ammo, and constructed makeshift bullets out of chewing gum, MRE's, and tobacco -- then killed seven more. Pvt. Enrique Johnson bayoneted seven Iraqis, and then constructed an elaborate booby trap made from the deck of 52 wanted cards that exploded if an Iraqi picked the Ace of Clubs. He tells me he killed fifteen with this device. Sgt. Sheila Carnahan informed me, while we were talking about her otherwise poor performance in the platoon, that she strangled twenty-four Iraqis with her bare hands and bayonetted eight with a hairpin. I now can recommend her for an immediate promotion and a swift commendation. And Johnson told Carnahan that he heard that dumb Joe Flannery -- you remember? The guy who accidentally blew up the canteen stateside? -- fell on several Iraqis and crushed them with some heavy ordinance he was carrying at the time of the ambush. I figure that that adds up to about 56 or so.

I am absolutely proud of the job that our men have told me they did. We may not be as good at counting as we are at killing, but next time, we hope to have a body or two around to assist us in our mathematical endeavors.

Sincerely,
Lt. Col. John Festering, Extremely Commanding
166th Armored Battalion
U.S. Army

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:17 AM in News

November 30, 2003
Cheney Makes Surprise Thanksgiving Visit To Undisclosed Location

Shares Thanksgiving Dinner With Grateful Undisclosed Personnel

Vice-President Dick Cheney, on Thanksgiving Thursday, surprised dozens of secret undisclosed location personnel, who have not seen their families for years, dropping in suddenly and sharing a dinner consisting of undisclosed items which "may or may not have incldued a turkey," leaked a White House spokeswoman.

The grateful personnel usually live on food squeezed out of tubes, undisclosed people said.

Cheney was reportedly happy to make the trip, since it was he who had suggested, along with Karl Rove, that Bush make the dangerous journey to Baghdad, just as he had suggested that Bush make dangerous landings on aircraft carriers before.

"I like it when he makes a really spectacularly dangerous landing," Cheney grimaced. "It's damn exciting. You know -- wondering if he will make it and so on."

Under questioning by reporters, Cheney responded, "No, no, no, you have it all wrong. I would not put the President in harm's way just for a political photo opportunity. In this case, we also gave Rupert Murdoch's Fox News a really great scoop."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:11 PM in News

November 27, 2003
Pardoned Turkey Suffering From Survivor Guilt

Rest Of Family Presented On Dining Tables Throughout America Today

Stars, the turkey pardoned by President Bush just days ago, is having extreme difficulty adjusting to his "survivorship," according to prominent animal psychologists.

Gooble!Dr. Frank Giblet said that Stars is liable to be an underachiever, to experience low self-esteem, will have difficulty coping with success, and has a much higher likelihood of becoming addicted to steroid- and antibiotic-laced feed.

"You can see it already," said Giblet. "His gobble is weak and dissolute. It's more like a gooble." Giblet added that Stars' turkey "trot" had become little more than a meander.

Stars will soon be taking part in group sessions with other survivors, including Colleen Haskell and Rupert Boneham.

Happy Thanksgiving! (Don't be too guilty about tucking into Stars' cousin Joey.)

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:11 PM in News

November 26, 2003
At The Congressional Hotel, Democrats Sleeping In

Despite wake-up call after wake-up call, "movers" and "shakers" in the Democratic Party have elected to sleep in for "a good part of the 21st century," said Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Ca).

"We've received so many wake-up calls that I've disconnected the phone," said one senator.

Democrats received a wake-up call during the midterm elections, but most of them simply ordered room service. Tom Daschle installed a DVD player in his room and has watched "many enjoyable movies." Richard Gephardt wandered the halls aimlessly, telling anyone he ran into that he "meant well."

After bungling the handling of the Florida recount in 2000, Democrats managed to sleep through round after round of tax cuts ballooning the deficit, gave Bush the authority to invade Iraq -- nuking the economy and any hope for Middle East equilibrium -- and have now successfully passed the largest entitlement program for insurance and pharmaceutical companies ever proposed.

Senators Hilary Clinton, John Breaux, and Joe Biden responded forcefully to the dramatic, watershed failure of the party, ordering extra pillows and asking that the minibars be immediately restocked.

"We did do something, " protested Senator Barbara Mikulsky, while feeding herself at the local trough. "We gave ourselves another pay raise."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:38 PM in News

November 25, 2003
Senate Majority Leader Frist Reveals Prescription Bottle Permanently Grafted To Hand
fristpill2.jpg
As a grim John Breaux looked on, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist revealed that a prescription drug container -- that Frist has appeared to be "holding" continually during the past six days -- had grown on his hand last week while he was sleeping, and does not appear to be removable.

Sen. Frist has appeared in approximately 7,241 photographs "holding" the bottle.

"I woke up one morning while we were considering this Medicare Reform Bill, and this pill bottle-shaped growth had completely taken over my fingertips," said Frist. "That's when I had the idea to tell people this was a 'Prescription Drug Benefit Bill.' That way I could show my face at these press conferences."

Doctors have concluded that attempts to surgically remove the growth could prove fatal. "We could slip," said Dr. Shevardnadze, who has recently joined the staff of the NIH.

"Just by trying to take care of this bottle of pills, we could kill the whole patient."

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:54 PM in News

November 22, 2003
Daschle To Filibuster Self

Determined To Lead By Following

The Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle, said Friday that he would not support a filibuster against a bill offering prescription drug benefits to the elderly. His decision increases the chances for final action on the bill within days.
Senator Tom Daschle announced today that he would filibuster himself for the rest of the Senate term, if not longer, a spokesman said. Daschle, who speaks softly and carries a tiny baton, said he was determined to "remain calm" during the filibuster and aims to avoid making "any sudden moves."

Daschle planned the filibuster in order to stop himself from "precipitously opposing the Republican majority."

"There's a need to counter those voices in our own party," Daschle whispered, "who might want to speak loudly."

Loud voices are said to cause Daschle intestinal discomfort.

Daschle pooh-poohed suggestions by Darla Whirligig, a senior from the South Bronx, New Mexico, that Daschle's failure to support a filibuster over the GOP's Medicare bill would mean giving drug and insurance companies a stranglehold on increasing healthcare costs.

"Oh, no," Daschle could hardly be heard to say, "If Democrats stopped this bill from passing, then Republicans would say we were against it."

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 3:27 PM in News

November 21, 2003
Bush Charts Clear Course For Future In Iraq, May Go Into Astrology

President Bush gave a press conference in London recently.

Asked if he would keep a fixed number of troops in for a longer time, Bush replied: "We could have less troops in Iraq, we could have the same number of troops, we could have more troops in Iraq . . .
Bush went on: "There might be more terrorists in Iraq. There might be less democracy in Iraq, or Iraq could have the same lack of government that it has now. This is all very complicated."

"I could be reelected or I could lose. The sun could come up or the sun might not rise again. David Letterman could best Leno or his ratings could remain low. Ann Heche could be gay or straight. You should sell or you should buy. But whatever you do, you should borrow. A stitch in time saves nine."

Later a top aide to Bush, who wished to remain anonymous, Cory Alastinomium, told reporters on condition that he not be identified, that Bush was not announcing a change in policy and that expectations remained that troop levels would be reduced.

"What the President said is actually quite meaningless," said Alastinomium. "It all depends on the moon and whether his house is in Saturn and aligns with cars."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:04 PM in News

November 20, 2003
Jackson Willing to Do "Whatever It Takes" To Distract Country From Bush; Happily Surrenders Self For "Greater Good"

Limbaugh Willing to Pitch in, Too

Michael Jackson, charged with molesting a child under the age of fourteen by authorities in California today, said only that he was proud to be able to distract the country from any actual news.

Indeed, the story of Jackson's imminent surrender to police and Rush Limbaugh's legal problems took up most of the hour-long Newsnight on CNN, while coverage of the first state visit to England in almost 100 years, and a major speech by President Bush on the war on terrorism, was covered in less than two minutes.

Of the scant appearance of real news on television, Rush Limbaugh had this to say: "I didn't launder money. I made withdrawals of cash."

Hundreds of thousands of British protestors were featured on news programs for approximately one second, prompting protestors to reconsider the manner in which they voice their opposition.

"I could become an expert on the life of Scary Spice," said Brendan McAnifstan.

Other celebrities said they were "happy to help."

"Entertainment is entertainment, whether it's a major summer blockbuster or a news show," Tom Cruise said. He was said to be torn between doing Mission Impossible 3 or being caught doing blow with a "really buff" naked man.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:30 AM in News

November 19, 2003
"Band Of Thugs" To Supplant Al Queda As Top Terrorist Group, Says Bush

Bush Says U.S. Will Not Retreat From 'Band of Thugs' in

President Bush today announced that the "Band of Thugs" is now the deadliest group of terrorists in the world and they, and a large group of other terrorist organizations that have been nurtured into existence by the U.S. occupation of Iraq, are now the preeminent threats to the security of the U.S, Britain, and the rest of the world.

"I reckon al Queda is a measly number ten, at best," President Bush said in a major speech during his visit to England.

"We're quite concerned about the 'Band of Thugs,' and indications are that they may have been involved in 9/11," said the President.

Bush said that he was also concerned about the "Can O' Worms," the notorious "Shisk Ka'Bob," the "Counsel of Nine," the "Gaggle of Grunts," the "Cluster of Cashews," the "League of Liberals," the "Loose Association of Malcontents," the "Gang of Four," the "Rogues' Guild," and the "Little Rascals."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:18 PM in News

November 17, 2003
British Tabloid Ditches Page 3 Girls, Moves To Hardcore Pornography

After coming to office with a vow to restore dignity to the White House, the president yesterday took a brief sabbatical from that effort: He granted an exclusive interview to a British tabloid that features daily photographs of nude women and articles akin to those found in our own National Enquirer.

The Sun, known for its scintillating reportage amid pictures of buxom beauties posing topless on page three, has ditched the nude models in favor of hardcore pornography, starting with a spread on President Bush cavorting brazenly with a visibly excited Rupert Murdoch.

"We thought this was the best way to go," said Hugh Persimmon-Sludge, editior-in-chief of the rag best known as the Sun.

On the new Page Three of the Sun, President Bush and Murdoch embrace each other, tell each other how wonderful they each are, admire each others wallets, cigars, and rolodexes.

President Bush, who has refused exclusive interviews with every major and minor (read: existing) American newspaper for the past year and a half, had been "saving himself" for Rupert, leaked White House spokesman Scott Mclellan.

"Oh, you're so big and powerful," Bush was overheard saying to Murdoch during the "interview." Murdoch replied with what sounded like the grunting of an inconconceivably rich Australian owning an impossibly large media empire that threatens to absorb the world.

"I just want to repay you for all of your kindness," Bush said later, sounding something like a Texan Blanche Dubois.

Sun editor Persimmon-Sludge refused to describe the interview further, saying only that the two men had spent a great deal of time stroking each others "egos."

"It's not that big a change, really," said Tycho Firth, a miner in East Chasbrough. "Page Three still has two big boobs on it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:06 PM in News

November 14, 2003
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.

GOP senators seemed unconcerned about the dire consequences of their actions as they complained that the Democrats had blocked only 4 (what amounts to 2 per cent) of President Bush's judicial nominees, as opposed to the "collosal job" done by the Republicans in blocking 63, or a whopping 20 percent of Clinton's nominees during his tenor.

"These Democrats just don't have it in them," said a disappointed Rick Santorum.

The nearly forty-hour-long bore-a-thon sent a warm front south and brought 60 mile-an-hour winds northward in a meteorological balancing act that few truly understand. Trees were toppled, temperatures plunged dramatically, and children were blown off of couches and into backyards, far from their television sets.

Orrin Hatch tried to muster some sympathy for the President as fellow congressmen lay on cots "not fit for cats."

"The Democrats are treating the President like dirt," said Hatch, eliciting multiple snores.

It may have come as a surprise to Mr. Hatch that upon hearing his words, somewhere, American citizens shed a tear or two.

They were sad.

They were not weeping for President Bush.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:43 PM in News

November 13, 2003
Success! Some Members of 9/11 Panel May See White House Papers From Distance; Binoculars Allowed

The White House vowed to drop the pretense of stonewalling the independent commission on 9/11 and struck a significant deal giving panel members access to critical CIA daily intelligence briefings provided to the President.

Under the terms of the deal, two members of the commission panel will be able to view the entire library of presidential daily briefings from across a crowded room. The two members of the panel who will "see" the documents will not be able to tell the other members of the panel what they have seen. Two other members of the panel will be able to see selected documents which the White House determines are "relevant" to the commission's inquiry, but will only be able to discuss their findings in Swahili.

"I'm so glad we didn't subpoena them," Commission member Thomas Kean said of the White House.

There are some potential snags, several people waiting at a bus stop at Pocatella, Idaho, pointed out. The Commission doesn't know which two members of the panel will be permitted to view the whole library of briefings, and they are not allowed to ask. And the White House, which will determine which documents are relevant to the scope of the commission's inquiry, does not know what the scope of the commission's inquiry is.

"Something about boats?" guessed Ronald Factenheimer, the White House liaison to the Commission.

"I'm sorry, that's incorrect," said Mr. Kean, "You have twelve questions left before I flip over the cards and consider the panel stumped."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:12 AM in News

November 12, 2003
Alternate Universe
Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney Take Bremer to Task For Shooting, Gagging Iraqis

Paul Bremer was called back to the White House suddenly today where he was angrily berated by President Bush, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, and others for setting "exactly the wrong tone" and establishing "the worst kind of conditions" in which to construct a democracy in Iraq.

"You can't gag people in a democracy!" Dick Cheney said. "That's horrific!" he cried, speaking of the arrest of an i merely for criticizing the U.S. occupation. "Are we trying to build a democracy or a dictatorship, for Pete's sake!"

Donald Rumsfeld was equally aghast at actions taken by soldiers in the wake of recent attacks, in which soldiers dropped bombs and lobbed mortars onto innocent townspeople just to show "they have teeth and claws."

"Are you people out of your minds?" Rumsfeld said. "Did it ever occur to you that that's exactly the way we're building the resistance? We'll never earn support in Iraq if we use force to intimidate and devastate is and their families, man. Be decent. Be smart."

Sources say Bremer's job is hanging by a thread.

President Bush, the ever-resourceful, wise, hands-on American leader, told Bremer, "The future of the world -- indeed, the future of America -- rests upon the job we do in Iraq. We can do better. We must do better. And, for God's sake, get rid of those damn boots."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:06 AM in News

November 11, 2003
A Word From Our Sponsor

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, like his boss, is selling the policy with a new PR initiative, granting interviews to 18 local TV stations from Boston to Seattle during a three-week blitz. But the offer comes with strings attached. The White House media office has insisted that each station air subsequent interviews with three or four other Pentagon officials as a condition for getting Rumsfeld. These include Wolfowitz, reconstruction boss Paul Bremer and Central Command chief Gen. John Abizaid.
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Now you can get all the Donald Rumsfeld you need, all the Donald Rumsfeld you want -- and, at absolutely no additional cost, you get this pure, completely unadulterated 100 per cent authentic, fresh out of the box, Paul Wolfowitz, the one and only, ladies and gentlemen, as much Paul Wolfowitz as you can handle! That's two adminstration bigwigs for the price of one!

Imagine Secretary Rumsfeld. In your living room. Taking questions. Saying ridiculous things. Right there in our own home.

And Wolfowitz! Looking grim. Predicting outright, unspeakably horrible imminent disaster and audacious U.S. worldwide hegemony all in the same breath! See his amazing two faces!

(Don't worry, townspeople, we'll turn your neighborhood into a high security green zone so no one will launch missiles at him while he's sitting on your coach, eating all your food, drinking your last six-pack.)

I know you're thinking: What a value! What a find! There's just no way this offer could get any better!

But guess what? There's MORE.

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 9:22 AM in News

November 9, 2003
Nuclear Weapons Lab Keys Are Lost — Plus, Scientists Can't Remember Where They Parked It

A U.S. nuclear weapons laboratory must replace up to 100,000 locks at a cost of more than $1.6 million, after staff lost several sets of master keys to the complex, then failed to notify superiors, it emerged Friday.
Scientists running the prestigious Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Nuclear Facility near Berkeley, California, not only lost the keys but also, embarrassingly, forgot where they parked the lab on a recent outing to a nearby mall.

"I'm sure we left it right here," said Dr. Bonwit Teller, cousin of the grandson of Dr. Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb. "Man, we have to find it," he said to some fellow world-class nuclear weapons scientists. "My old man is really going to freak."

The Lab was last seen parked in section A-4 of the Stockton Valley Mall, near the Sauerbraten Cafe and the Nike Rubber Pavilion.

"Oh, man," said two-time Nobel prize winner Dr. Neil Fedora. "This really bites. I left a stash of killer high-grade plutonium in there."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:41 PM in News

November 7, 2003
Iran Up To Its Eyeballs In Terror, U.S. Advisor Up To His Ears In Brown Substance

Influential Pentagon adviser Richard Perle said on Thursday that Iran was "up to its eyeballs in terrorism" and the United States should quietly be encouraging a democratic revolution from within.
An alarmed Richard Perle has said that Iran is "up to its eyeballs in terrorism," that Lybia is up to its elbows in eyeballs, and Israel is up to its neck in yarmulkes.

"There are body parts serving as benchmarks everywhere!" he cried. He bemoaned that he had 'had it up to here" with terrorism, skepticism, and paranoia. "If we don't do something soon we'll be in over our heads,' he warned.

A White House spokesman up to his knees in fleas leaked in response that "the White House is examining the situation," noting that it had to juggle considerations that North Korea was "up to its urethra in uranium,' and Syria was "up to its adam's apples in Arabs." He said nothing of the fact that Pakistan is up to its adenoids in al Queda.

Forrest Forthatries, an analyst at the Darren Stephens School of Acting Intelligence, commented. "I don't know about all these reckless accusations. Here in America we're up to our eardrums in assholes."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:17 AM in News

November 6, 2003
Hussein Made Pre-War Offer to Sack Iraq, Kill Two Sons, And Go Into Hiding

The New York Times reported today that in late February, President Bush rebuffed a generous offer by Saddam Hussein to destroy much of Iraq, mercilessly kill his two sons, and go into hiding, saying, "We'd much rather do it on our own, thanks."

"My mother raised me to try and accomplish things all by myself, without the help of others, like my rich father with his ties to Big Oil and all his pals in government," Bush, Jr., said.

"American lives are a small price to pay for the gift of self reliance," he added.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:08 AM in News

November 5, 2003
U.S. Soldiers Set To Sue Manufacturers of Shoulder-Launched Missiles

U.S. soldiers are contemplating filing an enormous class-action suit against the makers of shoulder-launched missiles in an effort to "make makers accountable for their makings," said Pfc. Ernst Choler dispeptically.

Shoulder-launched missiles can easily bring down a Blackhawk or Chinook helicopter, are portable and easy to hide, and can be found all over Iraq, in ammo dumps, weapons caches; they can be checked out of libraries if you have a card.

"We're going to get whoever made these fricking weapons, and while we're at it, why don't we go after whoever left them lying around unsecured in vast heaps all over Iraq, easily available to resistance members, terrorists, fugitives, and Hussein sympathizers?" said Corporal Danny Isotope.

Soldiers have named Russia as a defendant, but Russia is set to countersue the United States, who provided the Russian-made weapons to during the Reagan years. Other defendants will be Ronald Reagan, former CIA director William Casey, and Donald Rumsfeld, who arranged the weapons transfer. Reagan, Casey, and Rumsfeld will be exhumed for the proceedings.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:12 PM in News

November 4, 2003
Mel Gibson to Purchase Reagan Miniseries; Reagan Worshippers Promise to Boycott Flick

Mel Gibson, director of the controversial film of the life of Jesus Christ, snapped up the equally controversial "life of Ronald Reagan" miniseries when CBS declined to air it. CBS pulled the miniseries in response to loud protest by members of the "Cult of Reagan."

Gibson bought the miniseries because he "laughs at danger," according to a spokesman for Gibson.

Reagan cult members immediately announced that they will boycott the miniseries and pull Gibson's spleen out of his body with a giant set of sterling silver tweezers, bequeathed to them by the many Reaganites who also own huge sterling silver spoons.

Variety's Gabe Hocchhler, who covered the story under the headline "GOP PRICKS DEEP SIX RONNIE FLICKS" took time away from his rhyming dictionary long enough to say, "Just as Mel filmed his Christ epic in Sanskrit and provided English subtitles, he'll be subtitling the miniseries in black and white for the Repubican audience."

The SciFi Channel was disappointed in the sale to Gibson. They had been planning on buying the biopic and running it in a special episode of Mystery Science 3000, in which a few people opposed to censorship by wealthy bullies and politicians are marooned in space and forced to watch CBS's regular programming.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:03 PM in News

November 3, 2003
Steve Forbes To Petition For Iraqi Citizenship; Flat Tax Exerts Inescapable Pull

Hopes To Rename Fallujah "Forbestopia"

The flat tax, long a dream of economic conservatives, is finally getting its day -- not in the United States, but in Iraq.

It took L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Baghdad, no more than a stroke of the pen Sept. 15 to accomplish [it] . . . has a flat tax, and the 15 percent rate is even lower than Forbes (17 percent) and Gramm (16 percent) favored for the United States.

Steve Forbes, who has for years advocated the adoption of the flat tax here in the United States, said he plans to apply for Iraqi citizenship at the first available opportunity and to establish a faux residency there within the next three weeks.

"I'm looking for a town or a village to buy and call my own," he said. "Just a nice secluded hamlet with a helipad and a jacuzzi, maybe a few townspeople to do my bidding."

He was also examining options to incorporate the Forbes magazine empire in Iraq, "which will save us countless millions."

Asked whether he owed fealty to the United States which gave him the opportunity to inherit the enormous wealth amassed by his ancestors, he said, "No."

"I already have a load of wealth and possessions beyond my wildest imagining," he said. "Why should I give that up to help some disadvantaged Americans out? I'm looking forward to trickle down on some Iraqis. I'm going to trickle all over them."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:17 PM in News

November 2, 2003
Stupid Senseless Deaths Inevitable Part of Stupid, Senseless War, Says Rumsfeld

Today Donald Rumsfeld called an attack that left sixteen U.S. soldiers dead and more than 21 wounded tragic but "necessary."

"That's what a day in a war brings. People die. Later that day you ask the Senate for appropriations," Rumsfeld intoned.

A handwritten note found on Rumsfeld's desk yesterday listed bombs, civilian casualties, lots of dead soldiers, and "untidiness" under the heading "Some Ingredients Of War."

"There are going to be days when large numbers of people are going to be killed," said Rumsfeld, speaking on Fox News today. "If people don't die, then it's not much of a war, is it? Then it would be kind of like a strenuous disagreement."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:23 PM in News

October 31, 2003
Historic GDP Hike Due to Use Of Ronco Dial-O-Matic Food Slicer, Says Ronco

It Juliennes Fries

The nation's GDP sailed upwards this quarter to a record 7.2 %, the largest growth rate since 1984, and all without adding jobs, and with still-existing workers working fewer hours.

"Fewers workers have been able to produce more with less," said Candy Hamstrung, Chief Economic Analyst of Milkem and Grow, a Wall Street sweatshop.

"That's because of the amazing Dial-O-Matic Food Slicer," said Ron Popeii, CEO of Ronco Corporation and subject of the book "Salesman of the Century". "It can slice potatoes so thin you see right through them, or you can twist the handy dial and it will shred cabbage for cole slaw."

Popeii pointed out that workers using the Dial-O-Matic are healthier, happier, and waste fewer hours at home "slaving away over a stove," helping them to be better rested and more productive at work.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:45 AM in NewsTop Stories

October 29, 2003
Donald Luskin Threatens Self With Legal Action

Possible Countersuit Contemplated

Donald Luskin, a writer who has encouraged readers to assault Paul Krugman with a pie, recently sent a letter to Atrios threatening to use legal action to unmask Atrios and make his private identity public, because Atrios described Luskin as a Paul Krugman "stalker."

Now, in the wake of the revelation that Donald Luskin wrote an article calling himself a stalker, Donald Luskin immediately threatened to take legal action to unmask himself and make public his own identity.

"That's just the kind of dastardly threat only I would make," said Luskin, reading a letter sent to himself by his own lawyer. "What a fiend I am!"

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:14 PM in News

Bush Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Iraq is dangerous, and it's dangerous because terrorists want us to leave.

-- George W. Bush

Bush: If they invite us to stay, then we'll go. They've gotta invite us to stick around.

Bremer: (to Terrorists) What would you say about inviting us to stick around?

Terrorists: What?

Bremer: --you don't have to mean it or anything--

Terrorists: You can die -- no one's immune. You can both die.

Bremer: (turning away) I can't help you, Dubya.

(beat)

Terrorists: We didn't know you were George Dubya Bush when we said you were occupying . . . . If we draw on you, you'll kill us.

Bush: There is that possibility.

Bremer: No, you'd just be killin' yourselves. So invite us to stick around, why don't you?

Terrorists: (tremblng with fear) . . . stick around why don't you?

Bush: Thanks, but we got to be going.

Just another day out on the wild frontier.

With apologies to William Goldman.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:54 PM in News

Cable News Networks Concerned that Bryant Trial Will Only Generate Four Hundred Hours of Programming

Producers Frantically Plan Scott Peterson, Princess Di Stories, Panels

Cable news networks are up in arms about projections that the Kobe Bryant trial will come too soon and be too brief to generate enough punditry to fill daytime and prime-time coverage for the next two months.

"What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?" said Tracy Glut, producer for MSNBC. "I have rape defense experts lined up, women who have written books on rape trials, men who have written books on women who write books, divorce columnists, ten obscure defense attorneys from Idaho, Nevada, and Brazil, Farrah Fawcett, who will tell us what she learned about date rape from filming The Burning Bed, Kobe Bryant's hair-stylist, masseuse, chaffeur, and a guy who saw Kobe Bryant outside of a hotel once in 2002. That's for the first couple days. And then it could be over."

Joe Flaherffy of CNN said, "We're in kind of a bind here. We've got the Laci Patterson case, Kobe, and then what? I've got teams of people shadowing sports figures all over America waiting for them to kill someone in a bar fight or hotel room."

Glenn Spice, an agent who specialize in pundits, expressed concern. "I've got a whole stable of celebrity biographers who are just languishing out there."

Glut was beside herself. "What are we gonna do? Cover the death of some soldier in every day?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:17 PM in News

October 28, 2003
Bush Upbeat On Terrorist Attacks; Al Qaeda Surprisingly Positive As Well

President Bush, who has recently contracted to write the next edition of The Power of Positive Thinking with the late Norman Vincent Peale, sees the glass as half-full when talking of the recent spate of increasingly sophisticated terrorist attacks in .

"In every mushroom cloud, there's a silver lining," Bush said.
Bush intends to include handy aphorisms to guide you to happiness, such as:"One good burn deserves another" and "The early Kurd gets the berm."

Key chapters will tell Americans:

  • How to eliminate that most devastating handicap -- self immolation;
  • How to free yourself from worry, stress, resentment, and approaching Stinger missiles;
  • How to climb above problems, and over bodies, to visualize solutions and then attain them;
  • Simple prayerful exercises that you can do every day, throughout the day, to reinforce your new-found habit of happiness.

Bush intends to publish a tome on "Self-hypnosis For Success" in the near future.

Suprisingly, Osama bin Laden, when reached at an undisclosed location, approved of Bush's approach. While sipping a cool, refreshing beverage, he intoned, "I don't think of a death as just one suicide -- I think of it as 35 dead unbelievers. You have to make lemons from lemonade."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:09 PM in News

October 26, 2003
Wolfowitz: Service in Baghdad Hotel "Much Better Than You'd Think"

Occasional Rockets, Explosions, Hardly Disturb Sleep In Hugely Comfy Bed

A recent attack on the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad where Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz was staying early Sunday morning, and which killed one American soldier and injured 15 people, has been portrayed "in an unnecesarily poor light by a biased media," according to Wolfowitz.

Wolfowitz said that "the occasional roar of an approaching shoulder-launched missile" or the concussive effects of a large exploding car bomb are like "the distant clap of thunder in a natural paradise" that hardly detract from his comfort at this five-star luxury hotel room fully equipped with gold-inlaid minibar, jacuzzi bath, mahogany desks with ivory trim, and fluffy towels fit for a king.

"We're making excellent progress in rebuilding Iraq," said Wolfowitz, "American naysayers and media harpys are missing just how wonderful things are here."

Wolfowitz's upbeat comments echoed the text of a Wolfowitz memo found tumbling in the breeze amid the debris, wreckage, shrapnel and blood surrounding the site of the attack.

Wolfowitz dismissed the searing bloom of heat from a burning truck struck by a rocket-propelled hand grenade, saying, "That's just the hotel staff firing up their world-class grill."

People ask how Wolfowitz sleeps through the tumultuous war that takes the lives of U.S. soldiers and innocent is almost every day.

"I sleep very well," he said, slipping under the 300-thread-count sheets on his plush, premium bed and resting his head on a trio of King-size down pillows.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:25 AM in News

October 24, 2003
Letters to the Editor

Dear Tom,

I'm an average American, and I'm interested in learning about politics. I think it's time that I take responsibility for what's happening in my country, and the rest of the world; I now realize that righting the horrible wrongs I see done in this country, and correcting the problems I complain about every day, rests on me. With this in mind, I ask you: What can we do to get Blockbuster to stock enough copies of popular childrens' movies? My kids want to see "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," but nobody has it. Best Buy says it won't stock "unpopular movies"! As if -- I mean this is a great American classic and I can now see how the values of this country are in the dumpster. What can I do?

Pablo

Dear Pablo,

Don't despair. Take my word for it, just vote for a Democrat. I don't want to make things difficult for you by explaining why.

Tom

* * *

Tom baby,

I am just an old cowhand. Literally. I work around cows. I recently heard about a program that will help our boys overseas, but I don't have any frequent flier miles. (All of my tax dollars have gone to bailing out the airlines and I can't afford to fly.) How can I help?

Strangely Affectionate Cowboy

S.A.C.,

You're talking about Operation Hero Miles, the program designed to help U.S. soldiers on leave from Iraqg et a flight home, when all the U.S. Government will do is drop them in a stinking hole in Germany on "leave" with little food, clothing, or money. It is a very fine program. I know that, with nine years of travel on United, I can now give one of those boys enough miles to plunge to a watery death a quarter of the way across the Atlantic, and I'm sure that someone, somewhere -- maybe someone who has flown for eighty years or something -- will donate enough miles to get that poor boy to J.F.K. Int'l Airport, even though he lives clear across the country in Wisconsin. At least he'll be able to hang out at the duty-free shop.

If you don't have miles, I would suggest saving your table scraps instead of throwing them out. You can make a nice compost or just send them as is to those fine fighting folks in Germany and they can tuck in. They'll really thank you for it.

Tombo

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 11:15 AM in News

October 23, 2003
Everything Awful, Rumsfeld Says; World A Complete And Utter Mess

An Opinions You Should Have Retraction

Yesterday's post was, apparently, an error. According to Secretary Rumsfeld, the world is a festering sore on the face of the Universe, and is the sucking chest wound of American foreign policy. We're all doomed.

Opinions You Should Have regrets the error.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:25 AM in News

October 22, 2003
U.S. An Utter Utopia As Of Yesterday, Everything Perfect

No Discouraging Words Are Heard

Astonishingly, the entire U.S. and the rest of the world underwent a startling transformation yesterday, when, a bare couple of hours after a White house order that, henceforth, only good news could be reported in America, everything became the absolute model of perfection.

No more bodies are coming back from , amazingly, and we here in the press can only conclude that Bush & Co. -- God bless them -- have licked that nasty problem and installed both a flourishing democracy and a Dolby 5.1 Surround System with five incredibly large speakers placed around the country so that is can enjoy the most lifelike sound and the finest viewing experience available.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has turned out to be the most gifted natural leader California has ever known, and we understand that California -- overnight, mind you! -- now has a $37 billion surplus. Who woulda thunk?

Terrorism has disappeared, and all moslems converted to Christianity late last night, said Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, and Lt. General William Boykin. The world has become utterly homogenous.

In other news, the Euro was chucked by all foreign nations and the American dollar has been embraced as the only currency used anywhere on the planet.

Karl Rove leaked yesterday that America now has a trade surplus for the first time in recorded history, or whatever.

Howard Dean and Wesley Clark, holding hands and frequently hugging "in a manly way," dropped out of the race for President and agreed that "everything's just fine the way it is," as they changed their party affiliation to Republican and declared "that the two party system in America is unnecessary now." Every other Democratic candidate is expected to drop out of the race except Dennis Kucinich.

Homosexuals went straight yesterday, declaring that their former sexual preferences were the product of mental imbalances and problems bonding with their mothers. And evil.

Scientists in Palo Alto, California announced that they have discovered that nuclear radiation is good for you.

People will not have to take time from watching TV to vote anymore! A small group of fine folk on the Defense Policy Board, including Newt Gingrich and Dan Quayle, will choose the President for us, giving us more time to barbeque, watch movies, and shop.

There's more! Doctors who do not commit malpractice ever anymore say cancer builds strong bones twelve ways. . . .

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:26 AM in News

October 21, 2003
President's Dog Barney To Be Stuffed And Sold In Malaysia; Move Meant To Publicize Historic Improvement In Endangered Animals Act

Killing, Skinning, Exporting Endangered Animals Will Help Conservation Efforts, Says Bush; Getting Rid Of Barney Just A "Fringe Benefit"

President Bush has announced plans to ship the stuffed remains of Barney, his "beloved" pet dog, in order to publicize a "bold new step forward" in conservation under the Endangered Animals Act.

For the first time, administration officials propose to change the interpretation of a critical passage in the Act which would allow the resumption of killing, skinning, and trade in endangered animals and their "parts." This will, in turn, help to raise funds to "conserve those precious animals," said Milly Tiddly of the US. Dpeartment of Agriculture.

Tiddly said enormous amounts of funds, perhaps as much as "three or four hundred dollars a skin" could be raised overseas if the U.S. relaxes its interpretation of "ruthlessly exploiting endangered animals for outright profit" under the terms of the Act, which was signed into law by Richard M. Nixon during a lull in illegal wiretapping.

"Permitting trade in animal parts will be good for endangered animals," said Tiddly. "Let's say your Asian elephant's trunk is kind of bent and you need a new one," she said. "You can just pick one up over the internet."

Critics of the change remarked that killing animals seems to an unlikely way to conserve and protect rare species.

"That's exactly what you'd expect these folks to say," said Tiddly. "They can't see the loris for the fleas."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:10 PM in News

October 20, 2003
American Troops To Be Replaced By Gumby, Judge Dredd, Others

Plan Is To Prevent U.S. Casualties By Shielding Them From U.S. Military Medical Services

Donald Rumsfeld's plan to withdraw 30,000 U.S. troops from Iraq next summer will not result in a festival of rioting, looting, violent crime and stepped-up terrorism because Judge Dredd and other fictional characters will be deployed to the country to replace them, leaked a White House aide.


Judge Dredd, a comic book character who is famous for his ability to unilaterally pursue, capture, try, convict, sentence, and execute felons, is excited about the chance to "whip post-war Iraq into shape." Dredd opined, through his writers, that he would be far more effective controlling crime and waging war than actual, flesh-and-blood soldiers.

Giant-size Gumby and Pokey figurines equipped with large animated M-16's are also being readied for placement all over Baghdad and other key Iraqi hot-spots. Gumby and Pokey declined to be placed in Fallujah, however, because "it's just too dangerous," a Claymation spokesperson said.

Rumsfeld came up with the well-thought-out plan after several seconds of consideration following a call from the White House informing him that Americans are upset that U.S. soldiers continue to be killed or wounded under the peaceful, flourishing democracy that has sprung to life in postwar Iraq.

"The action is also to try and stem the tide of casualties by insulating soldiers from military medical treatment," leaked anonymous White House aide Felton Toesucker.

Rumsfeld would not elaborate on how he expected fictional characters to fill the gap created by withdrawing soldiers from the understaffed U.S. occupation force, but hinted that he was going to speak with Jiminy Cricket.

Word has it Rumsfeld plans to wish upon a star.

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:58 PM in News

October 17, 2003
Cubs Fan Bartman To Be Deployed As Missile Defense Shield

The Mayor of Chicago has joined forces with President George Bush in naming Cubs fan Steve Bartman as a new "Star Wars"-type missile shield for the city of Chicago. Bartman is the fan who some say interfered with a foul ball catch by Moises Alou that would have virtually handed the Cubs the National League Champions.

"Maybe he can catch a missile, he's so good at intercepting moving objects," said Dwight Harmigan, a longtime Cubs fan.

"Steve is happy to do anything that might help erase his terrible mistake," said a man believed to be Steve's dad, but who refused to identify himself.

"Steve will be stapled to the top of the Sears Tower and given a very large baseball glove," Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said. Daley was, at first, upset with media for naming Bartman, but has since decided that "it's better that we all know who this -- person -- was."

Fran Lefkowiz, a resident of Viscious, Illinois, said that Bartman "should be strapped to the nose of the next shuttle and left there," but others were not so mean-spirited.

Sean Wench, of Passayulayunk, Illiinois, was quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times as saying that "maybe we should be blaming the cubs for losing even when they had a 3-run lead." Sean was photographed leaning on his car, license plate JFK492, outside of his place of work, Mr. Drizzle's Salad Bar at 4029 Tachocua Road, talking on his cell phone (773-446-029).

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:02 PM in News

October 15, 2003
Killing Moslems Makes Them Angry And Possibly Even Violent, Says Report

The British Institute Of Brilliance And Uncommon Foresight announced in its Annual Report today that killing, maiming, and dismembering members of Moslem families "irritates surviving family members to no end."

"It can make them violent, extremely so, even to the point of forming themselves into quasi-military or terrorist organizations and vowing to get even," explained Hugh Wensleydale, a Senior Prognosticator of BIABOBAUF.

"We discovered that invading their countries and depriving them of basic freedoms and control of their own future also pisses them off a great deal," he added.

These considerations were overlooked in planning the war and the larger war against terrorism "of which your self-installed leader speaks frequently," said Wensleydale, who claimed not to be British at all, but merely something resembling Welsh, he said.

Wensleydale said that the study by he and the other "Brilliantists" explains why Al Queda's ranks are now swelling as a consequence of America's war.

"But only really amazing geniuses, truly monumental intellects the like of which this world has not seen for millennia -- such as ourselves -- could have foreseen so inexplicable an outcome," said Wensleydale.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:00 PM in NewsTop Stories

October 14, 2003
Congress To Pass Law Allowing Corporations To Hold Public Office; Coca-Cola To Run For President

Pepsi, Others Considering Run As Well

The Republican-controlled Congress, unable to think of any new tax breaks to give major corporations, is on its way to giving corporations the right to hold elective ofice.

"We could give them more tax breaks, sure," said Sen. Don Nickles. "But the fact is, most corporations pay nothing or next to nothing anyway. We want to give corporations some real incentive to stay in America."coca-cola.jpg

Coca-Cola is set to file papers establishing an election committee as early as next Tuesday, and Pepsi is considering "throwing its bottle cap into the ring" sometime in November.

"There's gonna be a whole new meaning to the phrase `cola wars,'" said Brad Esterfelt, a advertising consultant for nGreen, a Madison Avenue Advertising firm. "But Coke is a natural for the presidency, everyone loves Coke, it has an excellent record in both domestic and foreign markets -- it's a uniter, not a divider."

Coke is so confident that it has has leaked a list of possible cabinet officers: Secretary of Defense: Boeing/McDonnell Douglas; Secretary of Agriculture: Exxon; Secretary of Health And Welfare: Phizer; and Arthur Anderson would be named head of the SEC.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:38 PM in NewsTop Stories

October 13, 2003
Plame Leak Was First Step In War On Nepotism

Administration sources said they believe that the officials who discussed Plame were not trying to expose her, but were using the information as a tool to try to persuade reporters to ignore Wilson. The officials wanted to convince the reporters that he had benefited from nepotism in being chosen for the mission.
In an abrupt turnaround, the Bush Administration has taken credit for the Plame leak and now claims that it was "the first step in the brutal war against nepotism." The leakers were instantly identified by the White House as Karl Rove, Lewis Libby, and Elliot Abrams.

President Bush is to address the nation tonight to explain that "we will take no prisoners, turn a blind eye toward no one, leave no family member behind, in our fight to protect America from this terrible scourge." President Bush, hypnotism2.jpgwho was given a Major League baseball team, two oil companies, a governorship and a presidency by virtue of his relation to the other President Bush, will say that "destroying the cover of an undercover CIA agent was a small price to pay" if it means the elimination of nepotism "which threatens the moral purity of our entire nation."

The White House has given few clues as to what precisely President Bush's concerns were, aside from Scott McClellan's few leaks that "nepotism is evil," and "doing that with a family member is beyond icky."

A senior administration official leaked, "People should be free to make their own choices without someone suborning their will through the use of arcane voodoo."

Todd Unction of the Manson Family Institute opined, "They may be talking about hypnotism, although, for a while, I thought they were talking about incest."

He added, "But most of the decisions made within this White House are the product of inbreeding, so I think we can rule that out."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:52 AM in News

October 10, 2003
Bush Mounts P.R. Offensive To Convince Public Venture Probably Doesn't Suck Big Time
Six months from the day Baghdad fell to American troops, George W. Bush told Americans yesterday that the situation in is "a lot better than you probably think."
Bush continued, "It probably doesn't suck complete green eggs. It probably isn't a complete fricking disaster. . . . O.K.?"

The President tried to reassure the country today that the war in was justified and that rebuilding was progressing well. He made the comments as part of a White House public relations offensive that some find defensive and others find completely offensive.

The White House has adopted several strategies, among them pushing the slogan "Got War?" and an ad featuring a soldier standing out in 120-degree heat and a kevlar vest saying, "At least I'm not freezing my ass off."

Condoleezza Rice swept the nation yesterday, and vacuumed the front porch, saying, "The media is always showing you the bad side of . But if you roll over, there's some really great things under there."

Donald Rumsfeld, who looked like he had just crawled out from under , said, "Freedom is not as untidy as you might think."

Reservist Mitchell Fergesun of South Dakota, who is set to begin a tour of duty in next week, said, "Bush is right. probably is not as bad as we think."

He waited until his wife and three children had gone into the backyard to play and whispered:

"It's probably a whole lot worse."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:32 AM in News

October 9, 2003
White House To Reverse Policy Permitting North Korean Nuking of California

Administration Now thinks It Might Be A "Bad Idea"

In the wake of California's reelection, the White House has decided that its former policy toward North Korean development of nuclear missiles needs "rethinking," a senior White House aide leaked yesterday.

The White House had long ignored intelligence -- as well as outright boasts by Kim Il Jong -- that North Korea has an advanced nuclear weapons program, and is months away from developing nuclear missiles capable of reaching California.

"Really, what did we have to lose?" said Barney Musselman of the Vice President's Office. "Getting rid of California would have meant 54 electroal votes that some Democrat would not be getting."

"It appears we may have miscalculated, " said Musselman. "Now, if California disappears, that would be -- um -- yes, 54 votes that we might be losing."

The White House is considering several strategies to prevent the development of North Korean nukes, including: buying Kim Jong Il off; erecting a giant human shield over California, made up mostly of people from New York State; and redistricting.

Why resdistricting? "We figure you can never redistrict too much."

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:32 PM in News

October 8, 2003
Rice Moves Quickly To Rebuild Iraq; Will Spend Week Looking At Color Swatches, Comfy Sofas

Rumsfeld to Be Placed In Long-Term Storage Facility

Condoleezza Rice, saddled anew with the task of rebuilding Iraq, has wasted no time. She plans to spend the week looking at color swatches, trying out sofas, and finding approximately 50,000 "nice lamps."

"A country cannot find its way unless it has some nice lamps and comfortable seating," said Rice.

Donald Rumsfeld was unhappy with Bush's decision to remove him from the rebuilding equation. He found out about his ouster by reading an article in Time magazine whilst on the toilet.

"I haven't been regular since," he noted.

Rice was careful to say that the U.S. plan to rebuild Iraq is "right on track," and to emphasize that "we're making progress everyday," although she has been to known to say the same thing about the FBI anthrax-mailer investigation.

Rice also moved to "push through" the procurement of 400,000 street signs which are to be placed all over Iraq. "Wherever you go, there you are -- except that don't know where you are unless you have adequate signage," said Rice.

A private U.S. company is to make the signs under a no-bid $500 million contract.

UPDATE: Rice noted that it would difficult to find the right place to put all the new couches because "of all those weapons of mass destruction that are still laying around."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:23 AM in News

October 7, 2003
Bush Names Self Poet Laureate of United States; Won't Give Up Day Job

To Condoleezza Rice

Flesh Wounds Are Red
Violets Are Blue
I'm Gonna Give
to You

To Dick

Here's to You,
Old Bump On My Head
When I Gave The State of The Union Speech
You Sat Behind Me, Just Out of My Reach
Sometimes You'd Be Bored
Sometimes You Would Smile
I Would be Remiss
Not To Call It A Grimace

A Haiku

How many syllables
Are there supposed to be in this durn pome
I cannot count

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 9:02 AM in News

October 5, 2003
History Of Rampant Sexual Abuse No Longer Impediment To Holding Elective Office; Gary Hart And Others Laugh, Cry

The probable election of Arnold Schwarzenegger by savvy, discriminating Californians ushered in a new era today, where politicians "finally need not fear exposing the lust in their heart or the gleam in their eye," said Shrubnik Mensch, a senior analyst with the Brookings Institute. The news brought mixed reactions among politicians of all stripes and appetites.

Gary Hart bemoaned the newly refined attitude toward sexual "indiscretions."

"Nowadays, cavorting with a willing and attractive blond on a yacht seems tame by comparison," said Hart. "Dang."

Theodore Harrington III, a wealthy publishing magnate planning to buy an elective office in the near future, regretted not openly groping and pawing women like they were animals in the past. "I've missed so many opportunities in life," he said tearfully.

Shrubnik Mensch was unsure how much, exactly, attitudes have changed. "I'm not sure there are new rules about consensual sex. But I think if you force yourself on a woman -- well, if you hold it against them, people no longer hold it against you."

On Capital Hill, nonstop parties filled with flowing liquor and the open groping of Congressional pages marked the celebration of a new "honest" era. Strom Thurmond came back from the dead to pinch the butt of a 16-year-old.

"This is great," Thurmond, said, through a spokesman. "If I would of known this would happen, I never would have died."

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 8:25 PM in News

October 2, 2003
GOP To Counter Leak Allegations With Whoopee Cushions, Red Pepper Gum, Other Hilarious Gags

Republicans in Congress have mounted an immediate campaign against allegations of criminal White House improprieties with a hilarious array of joke props and novelty gags that have Democrats begging for mercy.

The New York Times reports:

House Republicans distributed white paper bags with the label "Leak hyperventilation bag," saying they might come in handy for Democrats who were having trouble catching their breath over the subject. . . .

"It's slime and defend," said one Republican aide on Capitol Hill.

Tom Delay put fake vomit on House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi's chair. "You should have seen the look on her face!" said Delay. "I think we now see how base and unsubstantiated these allegations of misconduct are," he concluded.

Majority leader Bill Frist put one over on Teddy Kennedy after he snuck into Kennedy's office and filled all of his pens with invisible ink. "I guess he'll have to write that bill again," said Frist, before dissolving into a fit of guffaws and giggles. "It's obvious that the Democrats are pouncing on the Administration's criminal acts just to distract the American public."

Among the weapons Republicans have lined up to counter Robert Novak's bombshell that two senior White House officials committed two felonies by telling him the identity of an undercover CIA agent are exploding candy, Stink-o hand wipes, hairy soap, sneezing powder and the infamous "spring-loaded-snake-in-the-Congressional-Record."

"These Democrats are up to the same old tricks: grasping at straws," said Tom Delay, as he substituted belch powder for the salt in the Capitol cafeteria.

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:23 PM in News

October 1, 2003
White House Leak Story Has No Legs, But Plenty Of Boobs
Representative Peter T. King of Long Island said the controversy surrounding crimes committed by White House leakers "shouldn't have legs". . .
"It doesn't have legs," said King. "I think everyone will agree with me when I say it's simply not box office boffo."

"I think today's audience is much more interested in a story about cigars and genitalia than a simple `white-house-calls-reporter, ruins-career-of-undercover-CIA-operative, endangers-WMD-intelligence-gathering-and-possibly-people's-live's' story," he added.

Peter Bart of Variety doubts the story can appeal to the critical 18- to 49-year-old consumer group that drives film advertising.

"I'm sure you saw my story," Bart said. "Leaks Reak, Studio To Nix Flix On Novak Hack."

Some would say that this is a classic tale of imperial presidential arrogance, the corruption of absolute power, of petty revenge, he remarked.

"But with this administration, it's kind of a tired cliché."

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:56 PM in News

September 28, 2003
Ashcroft: Investigation Of CIA Outing Concluded Months Ago

Patriot Act Permitted Justice Department To Secretly Investigate, Prosecute, And Execute Unnamed Suspect

John Ashcroft announced today that a requested investigation of White House officials by CIA Director George Tenet had already been concluded months ago, and that "the individual or individuals who did it, if any, have already been prosecuted, sentenced, and executed."

Tenet had asked Ashcroft to investigate the deliberate release of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the press in retaliation for husband Joseph Wilson's anti-administration statements.

"The Patriot Act is a wonderful thing," said Ashcroft. "I was able to go after these boys with the same vehemence I normally reserve for users of medical marijuana, sodomists, and would-be terrorists like Jose Padilla. And this time, we may or may not have gotten our man."

Ashcroft went on to say that disclosing the identity of a secret agent was an act of treason, a crime that strikes at the very soul of our government, and at the heart of our country.

"I pulled no punches in investigating this matter, left no stone unturned, ignored no impropriety. I answer to no one," said Ashcroft.

It was at that moment that an aide poked his head into the room. "Karl Rove is calling for you, General."

Ashcroft stood up like a shot. "I have to go," he said, and he was gone.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:50 PM in News

September 25, 2003
Invisible WMD's Everywhere, Says Draft Report

Saddam Hussein had an advanced invisibility program, a draft report on the search for WMD's is to say. David Kay is set to reveal next week that there are countless untold WMD's virtually everywhere in , but we just can't see them.

The revelation set off a new search in . "We're searching for invisible bacteria, invisible viruses, invisible missiles, invisible anthrax, invisible pixie dust, and invisible atoms, which could be used to develop invisible nuclear weapons," said Captain Kronic Fatigue of the Weapons Detection Divison of the Twenty-Third Battalion Expeditionary Force.

"All that we've found so far is an invisible weapons program," he said.

Judith Miller of the New York Times said that her reports of the imminent disclosure of WMD's, filed constantly during the course of the war, had finally been vindicated.

"Ahmed Chalabi has been warning us about invisibility for a long time, but we just couldn't see it," said a White House official whose head and face were wrapped entirely in gauze bandages.

Donald Rumsfeld was uncharacterically smug as he recalled his earlier remarks to the American press that "just because you can't see them, that doesn't mean they aren't there."

"This likely explains why we haven't been able to find Saddam Hussein," he said.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:43 AM in News

September 24, 2003
Al Jazeera Happy Not To Have To Cover Disaster Anymore; Planning To Run Episodes of I Love Lucy Instead

A Better Farce, Say Programmers

Arabian television station al Jazeera was relieved to hear of the U.S. decision to ban their coverage of the disastrous occupation of Iraq today.

Mohammed "Scoop" Cabali, a reporter for al Jazeera, said, "We knew it was only a matter of time before we were held to the same rule as the American reporters. And just when I had gotten that exclusive interview with Chalabi on the secret caches of WMD's which only he knows about."

The Iraqi public was equally delighted. "Finally, no more of this gloom and doom, " said Baghdad citizen Zuben Mehta. "No, not the conductor. Anyway, we are not that different from Americans. I mean, if we had electricity, we'd just sit around watching Three's Company all the time anyway."

"All of this news was really just depressing the heck of out of us," said Mehta. "That, the lack of potable water, and the fact that American soldiers keep shooting us."

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:54 AM in News

September 23, 2003
Bush Administration To Star In Remake Of Oliver; Orphan Pickpockets Object

George W. Goes To U.N. With Bowl In Hand; Beggars Resent Comparison

Beggars objected to the startling revelation that George W. Bush was to be cast in a remake of Oliver. Bush will play the title role. The epic Dickens musical will be restaged to show orphan George W. Bush being thrown out of the United Nations for asking for support from the member countries when he's gotten quite as much as he deserves.

Bush will then fall in with a bad crowd of neocons, with Donald Rumsfeld as Fagin and Karl Rove as the Artful Dodger.

"It's not a fair representation of beggars," said Will Smythe of the 14 Farthings Row Flophouse in Kennery, England outside London.

"Most beggars ask for money and stuff," he said. "They know better than to insult you when they're doing it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:03 AM in News

September 22, 2003
Clark "Green Army Men" To Tangle With Dean's "Birkenstock Brigade"; Sharks And Jets Pushed Off Home Turf

Deanies and Clarkites Pursued By Officer Krupke

Clark supporters and Dean promoters called a rumble to be held Wednesday night to determine who stakes out the heart of the Democratic party. Allowable weapons are antiwar slogans, grass roots, domestic and foreign policy credentials, and large and small blogging devices.

"Don't go!" Mona Fisk cried tearfully to her roommate of three years, Dean devotee Sam Patel, who has spent the weekend sharpening a paper clip he uses to pry jammed disks from his CD-ROM drive. "We haven't divided the calls on the long distance phone bill!"

Frenchy O'Neill, from the Clark clan, promised victory. "I don't know how the Dean people will survive. We have thirty-plus years of military experience collectively, if you count the candidate. Plus I've got a blogroll and I'm not afraid to use it."

Dean followers espoused a take-no-prisoners approach, which includes berating the Clark gang and "disabling their comments."

Bernard Filbar, a liberal who is on the fence, is looking forward to the tussle. "I just want to watch. The Clark dudes will be fighting top-down, and the Deanies will be bottom-up. I'm not sure what that means, but I think they may be in exactly the same positions."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:32 AM in News

September 18, 2003
Hurricane Isabel Scatters Miss America Contestants Over Northeast

Miss Nebraska In New Hampshire

Atlantic City, NJ - Fierce winds from Hurricane Isabel have temporarily halted the Miss America pageant. Although ten contestants have been able to seek shelter behind Miss New York's big hair, others have not been so fortunate.

Miss Nebraska was swept away to New Hampshire, and several other Misses were blown anywhere other than New Jersey or their home states.

Clay Aiken, the spindly singer from American Idol who was to perform a musical number with the contestants, was blown clear across the Atlantic to Europe. The always-upbeat Aiken, reached at a Paris salon, piped, "It was great! I loved it! I love you, America!"

All of the contestants have been accounted for but one. Miss Kansas was caught up in the funnel of the hurricane and has mysteriously vanished, along with a cow, a house, and a woman peddling a bicycle.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:44 AM in News

September 17, 2003
GOP On Petition Drive To Recall Clark Announcement

The GOP has collected hundreds of thousands of signatures, mostly from Karl Rove, so they can "go to court immediately" to recall Wesley Clark's announcement that he is running for President.

The GOP is being joined in the action by lobbyists on behalf of tort reform, who say that "Wesley Clark will do nothing to stem the tide of litigation that is destroying our country."

Republicans are also exploring other ways to use the courts to block Clark's candidacy. The RNC is seeking a permanent injunction to stop Clark from entering the race, on the grounds that it would constitute an infringement of their alleged trademark, President®.

The White House is considering an action to recover three of General Clark's four stars. A spokesman for the White House declined to say on what ground they were proceeding, except to say, "They're our stars and he can't have them. That's our position."

Another possible tactic would be to increase the highest rank of a General to twelve stars, so that four stars does "not seem like so much of a big deal," said one unnamed staffer.

Karl Rove could not be reached for comment. He was said to be resting his hand.

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 10:42 AM in News

September 16, 2003
Al Qaeda Spokesman Says Spokeswoman Slot Still Open
"Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."

The question of whether it is preferable to be a foot soldier for Bush or a spokeswoman for al Qaeda is becoming highly contested in these days of near-record unemployment.

On the one hand, foot soldiers for Bush are required to hump 60 pound packs across a hundred miles of desert with only hot water and MRE's, stand guard in 120-degree heat while wearing a helmet and a kevlar vest, expose oneself to hails of gunfire, possibly fatal traffic collisions, spend time in Fallujah, and endure unending seperation from one's home and family -- unless, of course, they are posing as "reporters" for Fox News, said a Pentagon spokesman, Mary Strindberg.

Trena Briganti said that reporting for Fox News had its own challenges. "It's not all glamor," said Briganti. "Sometimes it gets a tad hot under these lights and my nose gets all shiny."

The position of spokeswoman for al Qaeda has not been filled, but a recent want-ad denoted the following requirements:

Must live in caves. Ability to travel at night under cover with hundreds of loyal followers required. Must have secret channel to transmit videos to al Jazeera. Complimentary burnooses provided.
A spokesman for al Qaeda said, "We're looking for someone like Aaron Brown, but more feminine."

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:54 AM in News

September 13, 2003
Bush Thanks Troops For Getting Rid Of All The Tigers

Today, President Bush spoke to U.S. troops in Georgia. . . . Although the United States has not found caches of chemical or biological weapons in Iraq, he said, "Because of our military, catastrophic weapons will no longer be in the hands of a reckless dictator."
In a village in Africa, a prominent businessman had begun demonstrating strange behavior. He spent all his time plucking imaginary objects out of the air with his fingers. The businessman's wife called a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist asked the businessman what he was doing.

The businessman said, "I'm picking the fruitflies out of the air to get rid of all the man-eating tigers."

The psychiatrist said, "There are no tigers in Africa."

The businessman smiled.

"See how well it works?"

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 11:32 AM in News

September 12, 2003
Bush To Hunt Down "Servants of Evil"; Good Servants Hard To Find

President Bush today pledged to hunt down some servants of evil, because, he said, "it's so hard to get good help these days."

Bush, who has lots of servants but is master of none, is now looking for a butler of evil, a gardener of evil, a chauffer of evil, a cleaning lady of evil, a valet of evil, a cook of evil, and "maybe a plumber or an electrician of evil."

Bush also mentioned that a side benefit of coralling some servants of evil is that it would make things harder for the "masters of evil," who would then have to do everything for themselves.

"Then they'd be too tired and busy to do any actual evil," Bush suggested.

The first servant of evil that Bush has his sights on is Juana Magdalena Josefina del Fernando, who works for Evil Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il.

The 28-year-old illegal immigrant was surprised to hear that President Bush was after her.

"Man, I don't want to work for no Bush. I got three sisters working for him already."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:47 AM in NewsTop Stories

September 11, 2003
Mysterious Campaign Donations From "Al Kayder" and "Ben Lahden" May Have Influenced Decision To Invade Iraq

The RNC and President Bush have received substantial contrubutions over the past two years from two individuals named "Al Kayder" and "Ben Lahden," who the GOP claim are nothing more than "two used-car salesmen from Scranton, PA."

The two Scranton individuals have funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to the GOP from companies called "Al and Ben's Cars That Have Been Owned By American Peoples," "Joe's Car Parts From Cars Driven By American Peoples," and a company that purports to repackage used car oil and sell it back to car owners.

Lawyers from the American Federation of Campaign Financing Violations Committed By Terrorists found the campaign donations suspicious.

"The President's actions don't really make much sense," said lawyer Marjory Morningstar.

"Among other things," she said, "in the two years since the 9/11 attack, Bush bankrupted the treasury, weakened the military, and created a dangerous terrorist free-for-all in the Middle East where one never existed before."

"He let the Saudis off, let bin Laden escape when 'he was completely cornered,' didn't chase him into Pakistan when he did escape, allowed the Taliban to regroup in Afghanistan, and destroyed the most significant alliances America has had to aid us in the war against terror." (A more complete list is below the fold.)*

"Could there be a connection between the money -- from two men in almost seductively flimsy burnooses carrying cases of used motor oil and loose cash -- and the President's actions?" said Morningstar.

In response to the claim that Bush was at the bidding of terrorists posing under the names of "Al Kayder" and "Ben Lahden," Karl Rove issued a short statement:

There was no influence peddling or quid pro quo for these entirely legal contributions. No evidence exists to suggest anything other than that President Bush accomplished these things all by himself.

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 8:09 AM in News

September 10, 2003
Coffee Stain On Road Map Mistakenly Led Middle East Leaders Over Edge Of Cliff

A coffee stain that was accidentally left on the road map for peace in the Middle East was mistaken for a crucial waypoint. Unfortunately, the coffee stain marked the edge of a cliff.

Condoleezza Rice parked her overfull coffee mug on the road map early in 2002, when it was sitting on the desk of Paul Wolfowitz. The stain was not noticed until recently, when then-Prime Minister Abbas drove the peace initiative off the cliff into an abyss, where it appears to be in ruins, completely out of the reach of any rescuer.

Wolfowitz denied that the road map had not been cared for properly. "We took every precaution to ensure the safety and security of the road map," said Wolfowitz. "It was a carefully crafted and meticulous plan."

White House staffer Hamilton Butt had a different story. "If only we had looked at it a little more closely, we would have seen the coffee stain. You could also see that Karl Rove had eaten an Italian sub with oil and vinegar over it."

Further inquiries have uncovered that the road map had been used to wax Donald Rumsfeld's car, as a handkerchief for Dick one day when he had an awful cold, to buff some of the silver in the White House dining room, and as a dropcloth for painting the Roosevelt room.

"Actually, you couldn't read much of anything on that map," admitted Butt. "I don't know how we could have given it to the Middle East in that state, or how it could have served as guidance for anyone."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:09 AM in News

September 9, 2003
Judge Not Permitted To Know He Serves On Secret U.S. Court

Information Classified, Say Unknown People Who Won't Tell Us Their Names

Retired Judge Darryl Withering suspects that he is serving on the secret court that reviews applications of government investigators under the Patriot Act. However, he has been told that whether he is a member of the ultrasecret body of jurists is classified.

"I suspect I am," said Judge Withering, "because I keep signing redacted orders in response to redacted motions that pretty much have only dates on them."

Judge Withering had been signing the papers because they were brought to him by men driving a van with a Publisher's Clearinghouse logo on it.

Judge Withering contacted the Justice Department, who asked him "What secret court?" and also "If it's so secret, how do you know about it?"

Judge Withering continues to sign the papers containing text that is almost completely blacked out. "Maybe someday I'll get to meet Ed McMahon," he said.

"McMahon or John Ashcroft," he added.

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 11:51 AM in News

September 8, 2003
Rove Shocked That Only 70% of Americans Wrongly Believe Hussein Caused 9/11

"How is it we couldn't reach the other 30 percent?" he demanded. "Where did we go wrong?"

"With all the crap we've been saying about Saddam and Iraq, it should be well into the nineties," Rove added.

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 9:17 PM in News

Department of Homeland Security Moving To Iraq; Misunderstands Dictum Of "Follow The Money"

The Department of Homeland Security, critically hobbled by insufficient funding in its mission to secure the nation, today announced that it would be moving to Iraq in order to "better provide for the security needs of the American people."

"We need money," said Elmer Fishrot, Undersecretary for Begging. "And last night's speech by the President made it clear that there's a lot of money to be had over there. We've been told over and over again that there isn't any lying around here."

The "Bring Your Pocket Change To Us" program has not been much of a success, he added.

"President Bush made clear that the key to American safety is in Iraq," said Fishrot. "And we're taking him at his word."

"Now if we could just raise enough money to move . . ."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:31 PM in News

September 7, 2003
Update on Presidential Address

Tonight, a repentant George W. Bush told the country that the decision to invade Iraq was "wrongheaded," that the failure to get the support of the United Nations was "the largest diplomatic failure in American history," and that his handling of "post-war" Iraq was "disastrous."

Tonight, George W. Bush asked the country for an ungodly sum of money, and told them that everything was going exactly according to plan.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:12 PM in News

Bush Unaware That Big Speech To European Allies Will Be Broadcast Only To Americans

President Bush is to make a prime-time conciliatory appeal to countries that opposed the war in Iraq tonight, apparently unaware that his address will not be broadcast abroad.

"I want all you out there in France and Germany, and the other few countries that did not join our enormous two-country Coalition of the Willing, to know that while we did not all agree on the need to go to war, we can all agree that there is a need to stop the chaos that has sprung from this -- so you say-- unnecessary, arrogant and dangerous war," Bush will say.

Bush is expected to make personal appeals to the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, China, and many others.

"Mr. Chirac," Bush will say, "We like chocolate, and the world thanks you for it. And weasels are an important part of the ecosystem."

It is unclear how Americans will receive the address to the rest of the world that can only be received in their own homes.

Ted Fukes, an insurance salesman in Indiana, was confused: "He's gonna call who a weasel?"

Sally Tendril, a housewife from Michigan, said, "Well, if I were the President of France I sure would give serious thought to President Bush's words and jump right on his bandwagon. And I sure will tell whatever Frenchman is the President of France the next time I meet him."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:14 PM in News

September 5, 2003
Watch out! Democratic Candidates' Debate Causes Homeland Security Alert

The Department of Homeland Secuity issued a terrorist attack advisory due to "a non-spontaneous gathering of Democrats in Albuquerque, New Mexico" today.

"There's no question but that terrorists are far more likely to strike when Democrats are planning to unseat the current President," said a Homeland Security Secretary who wished to remain nameless, Tom Ridge.

"Or during any open debate," added Ridge. "Terrorists love open debate on issues domestic and foreign policy."

"Look, they're planning to hijack our planes!" said Ridge. "Over there!"

Ridge said that he wouldn't raise the terrorist threat level to orange from yellow because he was waiting until September 11 to do that.

"We can't raise it twice in one month," explained Ridge. "Then we'd risk having to raise it past red up to purple or something. Off the scale, anyway."

Reporter Brusque Flatbread of the Mississippi Daily Gamboler asked Ridge how a gathering of Democrats could possibly warrant issuing a threat alert.

"Because of . . . an increase . . . in, uh, chatter. Yeah, that's right. Increase in chatter. Can't say more. "

Ridge then cried, "To the ChickenLittle-Mobile! Away!"

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:18 AM in News

September 4, 2003
New Jersey Man Regrets Villifying French; Wants To Kiss Wife "That Way" Again, Other Things

Frank Durso of New Jersey, who poured 70 cases of French wine into the toilet, hired a dump truck to deposit 500 pounds of dead frogs in front of the French Mission to the U.N., and pulled his son out of french class at school this past February, feels that he may gotten a little "carried away."

"I guess I just got swept up in the whole anti-French thing," said Durso, who, among other things, wishes he hadn't thrown out the 17th century French country table which was the centerpiece of his kitchen.

"I want our hot dog mustard back, our favorite salad dressing, the toast, our Jerry Lewis tapes," he said, wistfully. "I wish I hadn't gotten rid of our poodle."

Durso's 14-year-old daughter is having a hard time forgiving him for legally changing her name from Veronique to Gladys.

"Now I'm Gladys Durso, you bastard," she told him.

Today, Frank Durso practically mourns those lost cases of wine. "I thought I was being patriotic," Durso said in despair. "I was just being stupid."

"I could sure use a couple bottles of that Merlot right now."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:22 PM in News

September 3, 2003
Powell and Kofi Annan Back Together; "We Couldn't Hide Our Forbidden Love," Says Couple

Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan have decided they cannot fight destiny and that they "must be together," said a White House spokesperson today.

"I was wrong to leave you," Powell is expected to tearfully admit when he returns to the United Nations in the near future under the pretense of asking for help in reshaping Iraq.

The encounter between Kofi Annan and Powell is expected to be the most ardent demonstration of affection since Madonna kissed Britney Spears on the lips in a spontaneous, unscripted moment of passion hitherto unseen by MTV fans.

The couple are to meet in a romantic French restaurant in Soho. Powell will say, "How's this for a resolution? I want to bear your love child," and Kofi Annan will order a "double helping of forbidden love."

The love that dare not speak its name: Diplomacy.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:54 AM in News

September 1, 2003
Bush Reassures Nation, Creates One Job

"Things are getting better," George W. Bush told a group of union workers this Labor Day. He then dazzled workers by creating a job right in front of them, announcing the creation of a new position, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing.

Bush then cried, "That's one job today! There it is -- a job, baby!"

Bush then calmed himself and said: "We're gonna create a job today and we're going to work at it, just like this, each day, and every day. Until we have . . . more jobs."

Bush then flew to Philadelphia to address members of the ASPCA on the issue of dog droppings.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:46 PM in News

August 31, 2003
Majority of Americans Now Believe U.S. Has "Lost Its Grip" In Iraq; Confuse "Grip" With "Grope"

A recent poll by CBS News shows that a majority of Americans now believe that America is "losing its grip on Iraq."

"Zis is completely untrue," said Dr. Hendritch Schmock, an expert on grips, and Senior Lecturer at The International Institute of Holding Things in Zurück.

"Ze grip is usually understood as to be having something firmly in ze hand, something in ze control of ze gripper, as it were. In order to lose a grip, one must have had a grip to begin with. Some people need to get a grip, if you know what I mean." Immediately after making this statement, Dr. Schmockman was taken away and sawed in half by a man who, it later turned out, had misrepresented himself to be a magician.

Further polling did indeed show that most Americans had no idea what a grip was and defined it as a "wiggly kind of fleeting and possibly recklessly destructive groping" of an object.

"I didn't mean we had lost our grip on Iraq," Clyde Beducklesdale of Sourwood, Omaha explained. "I meant we had lost our grope."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:43 AM in News

August 29, 2003
A Day At Camp Wachmeebeeyaliberal

Morning
Archery
Usual targets.

Kayaking with Dr. Dean
Mostly upstream.

Sailing
Very little wind in port; when you get past the leeside of Point Rove, small craft warning.

Ballooning
Not really an activity, just a discussion of the deficit.

Hiking
Pathfinding, trailblazing, and fundraising. With the Clintons.

Afternoon
Climbing Wall
Al Gore will climb a treacherous path all the way up to the top, where he'll be pretty much knocked right off by James Baker (from the other camp). Joe Lieberman will deliver the critical blow by allowing an overseas soldier to drop a heavy stack of illegal ballots on Gore when he's hanging by a thread.

See the rest of the schedule by clicking on the "But seriously" link below.

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Posted by Tom Burka at 12:24 PM in News

August 22, 2003
Court Orders Woman In Wheelchair Removed From Ten Commandments Monument

Among Other things, Much Easier To Move

monument2.jpg
The Alabama Supreme Court today reversed its earlier decision to remove a 5,280 pound monument depicting the Ten Commandments from the State Supreme Court lobby and instead ordered the removal of a 220 pound woman in a wheelchair who had parked herself next to the monument and was planning to "live there."

"For one thing, she's much easier to move," said one Alabama Justice. "She weighs less and she's on wheels."

The justices had earlier ordered the removal of the monument because it violated the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.

"But then we realized, the problem isn't the monument, it's the wackos around the monument," said Republican Justice Patrick O'Hurlihy.

Removal of the monument had already been made difficult by Alabama Chief Justice Moore -- who secretly installed the monument in a midnight ceremony that some say involved the sacrifice of several trial lawyers -- in making the monument so heavy that it is virtually impossible to move without causing tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to the courthouse steps.

The court has instead decided to drape the commandments in black velvet and use it as a platform for an expresso bar, which the court sorely needs. "Thou shalt not fall asleep during oral arguments," said Justice Herlihy.

"If only the the separation of church and state meant that we could separate these people from the entire State . . .," said an Alabama judge, Anthony Torantelli, who wished to remain nameless.

"Religious fanaticism," he added, "It's not just for Moslems anymore."

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Posted by Tom Burka at 12:22 PM in News

August 21, 2003
Really Big Malls Seen As Key To Transforming Iraq; Bremer To Be Replaced By Large Indoor Ferris Wheel

Simon Properties, the developer of the Mall of America, America's largest mall, has been named to replace Paul Bremer as U.S. overseer of Iraqi development.

"We've developed 182 million square feet in America alone," said Phyllis Snivvlinnson, Vice President for Foreign Development. "There's no reason we can't effectively develop 437,072 square kilometers."

"Democracy requires good anchor stores," said Dick . "To start, Halliburton is opening a superstore just west of the oil fields, near Kirkuk. Shopping for oil has never been so easy or pleasant."

"You can buy a million barrels of crude, get some cajun chicken at Panda Express or a super cheese steak at the food court, grab some 8x11 medium weight paper at Staples, see a movie, or take a ride on the largest indoor ferris wheel in the Middle East," said .

Orange Julius, Hooters, and the Magic Pan Crepe Stand are among other food vendors who have signed on to "feed Iraq."

"We're very excited about the Crepe Stand," said Snivvlinnson.

Snivvlinnson laughed off suggestions that terrorists might slow down the development of Iraq. "What terrorist would prefer blowing themselves up to enjoying the Lucky Charms Magical Forest or the Trix Fruity Carnival?"

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Posted by Tom Burka at 12:46 PM in News

August 20, 2003
Bush To Declare War On Iraq

Today President Bush said the situation in Iraq had deteriorated to the point where he had no choice "but to declare war on that country."

"I've just become aware that good people are dying out there. Terrorists run rampant, killing people, blowing up oil pipelines, wreaking havoc, maybe just plain reaking. They've got to be stopped."

Bush said that he had recently learned that since May 1, 2003, Iraq has become the "number one nexus of the terrorist activities in the world," and he called it "the nexus of the axis of evil," speaking from his ranch in Texas.

He said that it was a difficult decision but he had "no choice" given the state of the country at this time.

"Whoever is running that country has allowed it to turn into a hornet's nest that threatens the stability of the Middle East, and with it, the safety and security of the United States, and of the world."

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Posted by Tom Burka at 9:48 AM in NewsTop Stories

August 17, 2003
The Day Starbucks Went Dark
a noir memoir

My name's Malone, but you can call me Abalone. I was in the middle of writing my wife a check for alimony, sending it by way of my lawyer Sam Maloney and eating a crow sandwich. Little did I know that in a few moments, we New Yorkers were going to be plunged into a hellish night darker than a double expresso, bitterer than Admiral John Poindexter, and more frightening than a night spent looking at Karen Hughes' family slides.

I knew something was up when the shrill hiss of the machine foaming the milk in my machiatto turned to a sad sputtering whimper and died. Then the sour-faced teen behind the counter nearly broke my heart, telling me that my other favorite coffee-based drink product, a spumanti mocha mocha latte, was unavailable. What was I going to do? The coffee grinders were out so I grabbed a couple of beans of the Sumatran roast (they're mild but full-bodied, with a slight acidity that gives them the perfect edge) and chomped on them as I strode out and paced the steaming asphalt of Madison Avenue. I broke a crown. And I swallowed it. It was Friday and all the dentists were in the Hamptons, hobnobbing with the porcelain inlays of big ticket celebrities.

People say New Yorkers are pampered wimps who can't take one day without a couple of megawatts, but I was just on the prowl looking for the necessities of life: a quick massage, a good movie, maybe a concert, a visit to a great museum, and a night spent browsing video-on-demand, MI-5, and 12 episodes of The Daily Show captured on my DVR. Forget the heat, forget that the natural fibers in my Calvin Klein triple-weave shirt, Armani suit, and pricey clogs were wilting in the 100-degree heat and 90% humidity like a man with a woman when the wife walks in. Things were about to get much worse. I was about to get . . . bored.

I walked past Madame Tussaud's Pools of Wax Museum. I thought about going to the Museum of Natural History, but I heard the heat had put the moves on the Chocolate exhibition and the assistants curators were trying vainly to resuscitate it, performing mouth-to-mouth on the Godivas. It wasn't a pretty picture.

At the Met, Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night looked like a picture of a black cow eating green grass in a meadow underneath a cloudless, black sky, except the cow had eaten the grass and hightailed it out of the canvas. It was like a bunch of zebras that were all stripe and no white playing hide and seek in an oil slick on a night with no moon 60 feet into a ebony cave. You figure it out.

New York. The city that never sleeps was out, out all over, looking blacker than Dick 's heart. I tried to go shopping at Eli's, or to pick up some of the good stuff at Caviarteria, but the darkness and the heat wave had left them emptier than the Federal Reserve.

Usually, Broadway is dark only on Mondays, but tonight you could see the cast of Long Day's Journey Into Night sweltering on the sidewalk in front of the Belasco Theater and cursing the day Eugene O'Neill was born. I leaned against a wall to catch my breath, but I realized, in the poorly lit street, that that was no wall -- it was Brian Dennehy. I didn't wait around for him to find out.

I won't bore you with the assorted details of my sordid tale. Suffice to say the next morning I woke up to my clock radio and through my hangover it was shriller than Ann Coulter's relentless TV talk show gibbering.

I heard President Bush on the radio saying that the blackout was a wake-up call. Didn't he say 9-11 was a wake-up call?

I guess, like me, he just keeps hitting the snooze alarm.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:03 PM in News

August 15, 2003
Bush Reinforces Message to Americans: "I'm Keeping You In The Dark So You're Utterly Powerless"

Homeland Security Department Says Massive, Crippling Blackout Went Exactly As Planned

Tom Ridge excitedly praised Northeast America, including Cleveland, Detroit, New York, all of Connecticut, and many other areas affecting millions upon millions of Americans, for taking part in a complete loss of the Northeastern power grid that went "exactly as we'd scheduled it."

In New York, for instance, gas pumps failed to operate because they could not be operated manually, taxis and buses ran out of gasoline, countless numbers of people were completely stranded, and police officers told pedestrians that "they had no clue what was going on." Officers asked whether buses were running or what routes were best to take said they knew nothing.

President Bush praised the "excellent communication" he had set up to handle emergencies. "These agencies communicate as well as I do," he beamed.

New York Governor George Pataki took an admirable stance as a leader, saying it was all Canada's fault -- "Blame them, we had nothing to do with it," he said at a press conference, unaware that no one else was in the room with him.

Hours after the power outage, fire marshals in a Brooklyn building told workers to "stand by" until they "tracked down" the problem. Everybody had already left.

"I think our people did superbly," said Mayor Bloomberg. "It's like one big party up here. Of course, the fact that this happened after we promised we would insure it would never happen again after 1977 is a cause for some concern."

Tom Ridge was proud of the failure and the response of state, federal and local authorities. "It's nice to know that we don't need terrorists to create a crisis," he said. "We're quite capable of creating our own."

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Posted by Tom Burka at 12:19 AM in News

August 14, 2003
Running on Empty: Bush Shares Sweat With Soldiers

While vacationing in Texas, President Bush occasionally runs three miles in the triple-digit Texas heat. Anyone who runs with him gets a t-shirt. "I wish we had enough t-shirts for the soldiers in Iraq, but we don't, and, besides, you have to run with me to get the shirt." After an awkward pause he added, "You can't do that if you're in Iraq. I'm in Texas."

Bush is running as part of his pledge to share one hardship a day with the troops in Iraq as a gesture of solidarity and goodwill.

"Every day I subject myself to at least one small indignity, in honor of those men out there. Today I turned the air conditioning down," said Bush, smiling and winking at reporters.

Bush is also planning to eat some M.R.E.'s (Meals Ready To Eat, which are as nutritious and tasty as their acronym is grammatical) and stand guard duty next to a burning wreck of a former humvee in his front yard for 30 minutes. "In addition, I'm going to only drink three liters of water during the next thirty minutes," said Bush.

"I'd try being umployed for a day in solidarity with those who have lost their jobs here in America," said Bush, "But instead, I'm just going to stop working for a while."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:33 AM in News

August 13, 2003
Long Weekend: Opinions You Should Have Went to A Fair and Balanced

The management regrets the failure to post a stultifying and breathtakingly funny entry on Tuesday, as is our practice, due to a long weekend unpunctuated by dependable internet access.

We went to a country fair and balanced balls on our noses, imitating seals at the nearby aquarium. Afterwards, we went to a local pub and tucked into the local fare and balanced out the rather heavy meal with a light and wholesome dessert (fresh strawberries). On the way home my wife informed me that her cousin was having an affair and blanched. I was so stunned by this that I drove off the road momentarily, hitting a ditch and knocking my wheels out of alignment. It rained and my tires had to be balanced while fair weather failed to prevail.

We spent more than we should have but to be fair, we haven't balanced our checkbook properly and thought we could afford it.

My cousin, Louisa, is fair but my other cousin, Johnny Hyde Burka, is swarthy and unbalanced.


Oh, Fox News, please sue me.

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:54 AM in News

August 11, 2003
Queer Eye For The Arab Guy

Arabhi.jpgIn an effort to introduce Arabs to American lifestyles, the State Department has funded an Arabic language magazine that it will distribute to Arabs, so that they can "dress better" and "look cleaner," and also -- as a "corollary lifestyle benefit" -- "stop hijacking planes and flying them into large American buildings." The magazine is called "Hi."

The "Fab 5," a group of five gay men who have made a splash correcting the fashion and home decorating faux pas of heterosexual men in their Bravo TV show Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, have signed on as consultants.

"Those burnooses are so tacky," said Carson Kressley, the fashion expert. "Head coverings are generally out. Stylish men prefer a nicely coifed head of hair, not a razor cut and not a clump of hair sheathed in sackcloth. Oh, and can I say this? Please shave."

The magazine also notes that Islamic fundamentalism is a "turn-off," that suicide bombings are not the way to get "hot chicks to swarm around you," and that "moving money for al Queda" is out and "raising bucks for right-wing Christian extremism" is in.

"Hi" magazine also has pictures of the girls it claims populate the Moslem afterlife and notes that "they're, like, total barkers, Arabic dudes."

"Hi" means "Your mother is a flea-bitten goat" in Arabic.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:05 AM in News

100 Days After End Of War, Everything "Hunky-Dory," Says Bush

Recession Over, War Gone, Unemployed Applaud

President Bush took a break from his busy schedule of fishing, napping, and lying on the couch but not napping, to announce that "things" were "definitely better" for average Americans than they were three years ago. "We're making progress in Iraq," he said. "And the economy is healing."

"The recession was over in 2001, and the war was over on May 1," Bush said.

Sally Macaroni, mother of 72 boys from Kentucky, rejoiced. "Maybe that means that my other twenty-two sons will live!" Mrs. Vernon's other 50 sons, all of whom were stationed in , died in "non-combat-related bomb explosions and hails of gunfire," according to CENTCOM.

Eddie Halibutthead, an unemployed insurance salesman in New Haven, Connecticut who has given up looking for work, was thrilled to hear Bush's speech. "Whoa, that is good news," he said. "I mean, we're very lucky."

"As bad as things may seem now," he said, beaming, "Imagine what it would be like if our economy sucked and we were in the middle of a war."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:44 AM in News

August 7, 2003
Gray Davis To Start Acting Career; Will Star In Terminator IV

Will Also Become More Active in Political Fundraising, Musical Comedy

Gray Davis has announced that he is abandoning attempts to battle the recall election against him and is turning to stage and screen, where he claims to have already negotiated starring roles in Terminator IVand a Broadway revival of "Cats," where he will play either Rum Tum Tugger or Grizabella.

"A lot of people are surprised," said Bernie Schmeck, Davis's agent. "Cold and distant as a politician, but warm, emotive, and supremely charismatic on stage -- plus he tap dances like Savion Glover and sings like Ethel Merman. A real triple threat."

Gray said, "I'm looking forward to getting on with my life. I want to appear on The View and The Regis Philbin Show. I want to raise money for some esoteric charities. And, of course, I want to have more of a voice in politics."

Speaking of his upcoming role in Terminator IV, Gray said, "It wasn't easy getting cast. It's much harder to land a solid part in even a B-movie than it is to be elected Governor of California."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:19 AM in News

August 5, 2003
Powell Will Not Serve if Bush Is Reelected; Perfectly Happy To Stay On Otherwise

Secretary of Colin Powell reportedly told President Bush that he would not serve in his administration during a second term if President Bush were to be reelected. He did say, however, that he would be happy to stay on if Bush goes. "That's something I could live with," Powell said.

Powell is alleged to have told Bush that the reason that he would not be able to stay on because of "a commitment he had made to his wife." Pundits speculate that Powell had committed "not to spend one more minute with that bunch of fanatical right-wing a--holes."

"Those people keep asking you to lie, honey, and I won't have that,"
Mrs. Powell is not specifically known to have said, but here's hoping.

Powell later denied that he had ever told the President he would be leaving. "I'm not going anywhere," he said, reading from a series of white cards bearing Dick 's handwriting. He then reiterated that "invading was the right thing to do," and added " had WMD, anthrax, nuclear weapons, ties to al Queda, and herpes."

"And I stand by everything I said in the Waldorf transcripts."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:28 AM in News

August 3, 2003
Scientists Calculate Bush Has Spent No Time Actually Governing As President; May Not Be Able To Run For Second Term Until 2008

Possible Constitutional Crisis Brewing

Scientists adding up the time which President Bush has spent on activities other than governing the country since he took office have discovered an amazing fact: he's spent less than no time governing.

Dr. Rab Scallion of the Geneva Institute For Time Management said, "If you add up all the time Bush has taken vacation, worked out, napped, rested, slept, eaten, run, swam, golfed, relaxed, snacked, watched football, choked on pretzels, nicknamed members of the press corps, and smirked, it adds up to more than the time he's actually been President. He's somehow spent less than no time working in the White House. It comes out to minus two months, give or take three hours."

The discovery marked the beginnings of what may be a unique constitutional crisis. "What do you do," said Scallion, "if, at the time of the next election, you discover that the sitting President has spent no time governing at all? Does a President's term start when he's sworn in or, as some are now arguing, when he starts to govern the country?"

Embracing this argument, some in the Bush Administration are suggesting that, upon review of Bush's activities come November, 2004, he may have four more years of governing to do before he can even run for a second term.

"It's a unique quandry," said Dr. Scallion.

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Posted by Tom Burka at 9:27 PM in News

July 30, 2003
Terrorist Futures Market Scrapped By Wimpy White House; OpYoShHa Opens Trading Market Anyway

It was an idea too good for its time: predicting terrorist behavior by running a futures market for investors. The Policy Analysis Project, part of the Pentagon FutureMap Plan, was canned by Bush Administration officials who were smart enough to endorse the project initially but too cowardly to proceed with its grand vision once a few whiners complained that it was "gruesome" and "a national embarrassment."

We at Opinions You Should Have applaud the White House's continued employment of wunderkind Admiral John Poindexter, a man whose brilliance is only matched by his unchallenged integrity. After all, his perjury conviction for lying to Congress was eventually reversed.

We're not going to let a good thing pass us by. If the White House won't run it, we will.

(Hit the "But Seriously" Button To See Today's Stock Offerings)

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Posted by Tom Burka at 4:51 PM in News

July 29, 2003
Centrist Democrats Suggest Dem Candidate Wear Rubber Clinton Mask

Clinton Formula, Mask Only Winning Option, Says DLC

The moderate Democratic Leadership Council warned the Democratic Party today that it was in danger of leaning to the far left and "not even resembling the Republican Party one little bit."

"If they don't co-opt some of the Republican positions, they lose," said DLC stalwart Darren Schmaggeggi, who claims to have scripted Clinton's wins in 1992 and 1996. "All this talk about antiwar, pro-gay is very dangerous. People are gonna think Democrats are a bunch of pansy homos. Pansy homos cannot get elected in this country."

Of the current crop of Democratic hopefuls, Schmaggeggi praised Joe Lieberman the most. "He knows what he's doing. He's the Jewish Clinton. Except that, if he were to fool around with cigars, they'd be circumsized, I guess."

Schmaggeggi suggested that one of the key issues on the Democratic platform should be welfare reform. He shrugged off criticism that Clinton had taken welfare reform off the table by pushing through the most sweeping welfare reform of the past century. "Welfare reform is always popular. Gives you a chance to paint the poor as lazy folks just hoping for handouts. You get the racist vote, you immediately appeal to wealthy corporate types who think they've worked for a living," he said. "The swing Republicans."

The internal debate amongst party members caused by Clinton's past successes highlighted again the fact that Democrats are simply at a loss as to precisely what formula they should adopt to lose the coming 2004 election.

Later that day, Carley Tisk, a campaign consultant to Joe Lieberman mused, "The rubber mask may be a damn good idea. . . ."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:48 AM in News

July 28, 2003
Wolfowitz Fan Of "Murky" Intelligence

Also Likes Poor Judgment, Lack of Foresight, and Fractured Reasoning

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz Sunday defended the invasion of Iraq as an example of how the United States had to be prepared to act on "murky intelligence" in its war on terrorism. . . .

"The nature of terrorism is that intelligence about terrorism is murky," Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq war, said on the "Fox News Sunday" program.

During the course of the interview, Wolfowitz also championed vague notions, questionable judgment, little knowledge and fuzzy logic. "If we waited around for something better, who know's what could happen," he said. "You have to be reckless and just blindly flail around as a world superpower; take the time to be informed and BAM -- you're toast."

Wolfowitz later said, "I might have regrets -- if only I could be well informed enough to understand the consequences of my actions. . . ."

In other news, Wolfowitz recently fired one of his doctors who he discovered was planning to operate on Wolfowitz on the basis of fogged out, virtually unreadable x-rays.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:47 AM in News

July 25, 2003
Homeland Security Department Almost Ready To Provide Security

Sense of Excitement Is Palpable, Whatever That Means

A line stretched around the building in Washington, D.C., today, as citizens from all the over the country waited to receive rations of domestic security when the Department of Homeland Security starts doling it out sometime in the near future.

Tom Ridge was optimistic that they could open their doors for business "incredibly soon."

"We're off to a fantastic start," Ridge said. "We have a fancy logo and a big building to put it on. We've got a lot of colorful labels and a storehouse full of empty cans. It's only a matter of time before we start producing enough quality, nourishing domestic security to sustain every household in America."

So far the Department of Homeland Security's cannery has produced enough security to fill about 1000 cans, enough to protect the West Wing of the White House.

Skeptics have pointed out that, at current funding levels, Ridge's Department will only be able to produce 100,000 cans a year -- hardly the amount needed to feed the entire country -- and that those cans are currently scheduled to be distributed evenly, without regard to specific need.

For instance, John and Grace Mariano of New York City, who both weigh over 700 pounds, have been waiting on line since before the Department was created. "We're starving," they said. "We need, like, 1000 vats of security." Some say the Department will never be able to fill their needs.

"That's nonsense," said Ridge, smiling. "We're working on genetically altering plants to produce security."

"That's right," he said, beaming. "One day security will grow on trees."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:39 PM in News

July 24, 2003
White House Institution To Be Renamed: National Insecurity Council
Earlier this month CIA Director George Tenet accepted responsibility for the assertion in George Bush's State of the Union address that Iraq had tried to secure uranium in Africa. . . .

. . . [I]t now turns out that yet another administration official -- Stephen Hadley of the National Security Council -- has stepped forward to take a piece of the blame himself. . . .

- Washington Post, July 23
A Memo From Stephen Hadley to Condoleezza Rice

From: Stephen Hadley
To: NSC Director Rice

Thank you so much for pointing out that I had forgotten to wear a tie today. Luckily I keep a spare one in my office -- if I could only remember where I put it.

I wanted to again apologize for my failure to remember the two memos and the phone call from George Tenet last October. Perhaps I've been overwhelmed by our efforts to find WMD in Iraq -- I know, I forgot that we're no longer looking for them. I have instituted a big change in the way I keep track of things -- you saw the big white-board on my office wall? So that I have crossed out Iraq and written SYRIA and IRAN over "Iraq" with indelible blue markers.

I'm sorry about recommending we release those nine pages of the National Intelligence Estimate. I forgot to check whether it had those warnings from the State and Energy Departments in there. I had forgotten about those. I'm sorry I forgot about North Korea, but that really wasn't my fault.

I know I have caused you and the President endless embarrassment because of these mistakes, but I will endeavor to fulfill his recently expressed confidence in me nonetheless.

I wanted to tell you -- I have the feeling that we've all forgotten something very important in all of the excitement about Iraq, but I can't remember what it is.

Something about New York and some building there. And maybe some bearded guy? If this rings a bell with you, please let me know and we can re-brief the President on it.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:39 AM in News

July 23, 2003
53 Days After End of War, Bush Proclaims End of Hussein Regime; Saddam Hussein Rumored to Secretly Attend Announcement

Today President Bush announced that the apparent killing of two of Saddam Hussein's sons constituted an end to the Hussein regime. Bush shrugged off suggestions that Iraqi opposition might still be strong because the head of the regime, Saddam Hussein, was still at large.

"We may have failed to decapitate the regime, but we got the left and right arm," said Bush. "So now the regime won't be able to pick up anything."

A swarthy man with a beret and a bushy mustache, who was wearing a trenchcoat and standing at the back of the rose garden, snorted derisively during the announcement, but managed to slip away from the festivities before Secret Service agents could apprehend him. Several napkins and an ashtray bearing the White House insignia were later found missing.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:40 AM in News

July 22, 2003
Democrat's Ad Calling Bush Misleading Misleading, Says GOP; Populace Confused By Endlessly Recursive Allegations

The GOP told television stations across the country not to air an ad calling President Bush a liar, "because that's a lie."

The GOP also said that any ad calling the President disgusting would be disgusting, and any ad calling the President effective would be effective. "It is what it says the President is," said Tom Bradowitch, a GOP spokesperson.

"Bush is not a misleader," he added, "He is our leader."

The GOP pointed out that the ad, which shows video of Bush telling Congress that "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" was misleading, because Bush was only saying that the British government had said that.

Television broadcasters made immediate plans to pull the ad upon learning of the enormous breadth of the ad's mischaracterization.

Al Tablehead, of KTTV in Peoria noted, "President Bush clearly was telling Congress that the British government is populated by morons. We knew -- the State Department knew, the White House knew, the CIA knew -- that the British Government had it wrong. I think when he said that, President Bush was urging us to attack Britain."

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:28 AM in News

July 21, 2003
Bremer A Beacon Of Astonishing Revelations; Says Sky Is Blue, Other Shockers

Yesterday, Paul Bremer stunned the world with surprisingly detailed knowledge about the situation in Iraq that no one else could ever have guessed. For one thing, Fox News analysts actually fell over when Bremer said that Saddam Hussein was likely to be hiding in Iraq.

He also said that the United States was going to "take the battle to the enemy," which was a great relief to friendly forces who feared that the U.S. was going to take the fighting to them.

Bremer also said that he had concluded that, in order to be succesful in Iraq, the U.S. would have to "overpower" the opposition.

"That's so crazy, it just might work," said former lawnmower salesman-turned-Fox "Senior News Analyst" Suzy Tang.

She continued, "It's leaders like you, Mr. Bremer, that have helped make America what it is today."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:12 PM in News

July 20, 2003
Professor Claims Bush Reading Skills Okay; Nation Is Relieved
President Bush and his national security adviser did not entirely read the most authoritative prewar assessment of U.S. intelligence on , including a State Department claim that an allegation Bush would later use in his State of the Union address was "highly dubious," White House officials said yesterday. . . .

- Washington Post, July 18, 2003

Concerned about the President's poor reading comprehension and the impact it may be having on major U.S. policy decisions, Opinions You Should Have contacted Yale English Department Professor Heidi Stump, who taught the President in all of his undergraduate English classes. Stump said there was nothing wrong with the President's reading and analytical skills.

"He was outstanding. He was always able to single out the key essence of the work that he read." For instance, Bush definitively concluded that War and Peace involved a "conflict in Russia."

Acccording to Stump, Bush was excellent at topic sentences and titles. Of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Bush wrote a paper entitled "You Can't Poison Somebody By Putting Something In Their Ear."

"I was absolutely pleased and surprised at how good it was. In class, he seemed not to have grasped that Hamlet's mother had remarried. He was always asking, what does this dude have against his father? And then he writes this gem."

Of Tale of Two Cities, Bush wrote:

Many folks say that there are runners capable of the worst times, and on other days, the best times. It just depends how their days are going.
Stump noted that it was a wholly original take on the book's famous first sentence.

"For some people, it's fine to see the forest for the trees," Stump said enthusiastically. "Other people," she said triumphantly, "can see that the forest is green."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:24 AM in News

July 18, 2003
New Email Form At WhiteHouse.Gov Permits Only Fan Mail

Complainers Have Computers Confiscated, Crushed, Returned

A new email system at the White House prohibits emails to President@Whitehouse.gov and requires ordinary folks to go to www.whitehouse.gov/webmail and fill out a series of forms, including one indicating whether the writer "supports" the President's policies or "dissents." (Note: This applies only to ordinary people. Corporate CEOs have the President's direct line programmed directly into their cell phones.)

Dissenting emails are routinely tossed in the virtual garbage can, never to be seen again, while agreeing emailers receive autographed photos of George W. Bush giving a thumbs up over the caption "Bring it on!"

A random number of dissenting emailers are selected to have their computers seized, crushed, and returned to them with the note, "How'd you like to be detained indefinitely as a military combatant, buddy?"

Asked what the public reaction has been to the new email system, new White House press secretary Scott McClellan said, "We've gotten one hundred per cent positive feedback."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:06 PM in News

July 17, 2003
Economists Announce Recession Was Over in 2001; Record Numbers Of Unemployed Celebrate

As economists announced that the recession ended almost two years ago, vast numbers of unemployed people all over America celebrated.

"I'm going to open up that can of tuna I've been hording the past two months and really treat myself," said Anastasia Weaver of Michigan.

More unemployed workers celebrated the news than any group of unpaid revelers since World War II. "I'm gonna treat all of my friends to a tic tac" said John Vowel, who was jubilant. "I'm so glad the worst was over way back before I lost my job and had to sell my home and move into a biscuit tin. I had no idea things were so good."

Later that day, John added, "Well, I woulda bought tic tacs. But all the stores around here went out of business."

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:42 PM in News

July 16, 2003
White House Financing Government Operations With Credit Card Cash Advances

Over 49,000 Cards Found In Karl Rove's Desk

It was recently discovered that the White House has been financing government operations from cash advances on thousands of credit cards that it has applied for under the names of dead presidents. Millard Fillmore alone has over 360 credit cards issued in his name.

Abraham Lincoln is now known in the credit industry as a "heavy borrower."

"It is not yet known how the White House has established credit lines for so many dead people," said Isadora Mallomud of the Heightened Curiosity in Economic Affairs Institute.

Cards were discovered when a White House temp was sent into Karl Rove's office to look for a a list of wealthy G.O.P. donors. When she opened a vertical file drawer, thousands of cards poured onto the floor in a heap.

With the new national debt prediction sailing up to a conservatively estimated $455 billion dollars just this year, and $1.9 trillion over the next five, the White House needs to find about 910,000,000 more cards in order to keep the government running in the immediate future.

The White House has not yet formulated a plan for repaying the advances. Senior administration officials are considering soliciting voluntary contributions from citizens. "We'd simply be encouraging citizens to obtain cash advances on their credit cards and send them to us," said an unnamed official, Blubnik Mensch of the Office of Budget and Misdirection.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:11 AM in News

July 15, 2003
Orwell's Estate To Sue Bush Administration For Copyright Infringement

Fear White House Adoption of "War is Peace" Slogan, Among Other Steps

1984.jpgThe estate of George Orwell, the author of "1984," sued the Bush Administration today for copyright infringement. "They've totally co-opted virtually every idea in Mr. Orwell's book," said lawyer Nathanial Hawkins. "They can call it `purging cognitive dissonance' all they want, but we know it's just doublethink® dressed up in a fancy new wrapper."

Orwell's estate was most recently threatened by George Bush's statement that White House statements made the week before, admitting the wrongfulness of including a statement about Niger uranium in the State of the Union address, were wrong. "That's doublethink® if ever I saw it," said Hawkins. "What's next? Thought police?"

"Don't get me wrong," added Hawkins. "I love Big Brother."

"I'm just not that fond of George W. Bush."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:19 PM in NewsTop Stories

Karen Hughes To Head New U.S. Ministry of Truth

Former White House Staffer Karen Hughes has agreed to return from Texas to head up the new Ministry of Truth, a new branch of the Federal Government designed by Karl Rove and Dick .

"I've spent enough time with my damn family," said Hughes, explaining a return to public service which was just as sudden and unexpected as her recent departure from the White House last year.

The new Ministry of Truth's job will be to rewrite history, especially the speeches, statements and positions of the Adminstration, and of Bush himself, both since taking office and during then-Governor Bush's campaign before Bush took office.

The Ministry will also track down print, TV, and internet journalism and redraft past stories so that they "more accurately convey what we're saying the President has been saying the whole time."

"This is not a dramatic reorganization of government," said departing White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. "We're just trying to formalize something we've been been doing all along."

In a press conference today, a reporter asked Hughes about the adminstration's utter failure to successfully pursue Osama bin Laden.

Hughes answered, "We're at war with Saddam Hussein. We've always been at war with Saddam Hussein."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:04 AM in News

July 13, 2003
Opinions You Should Have Responsible For White House Misstatements

Sincerely Regret Misleading Our Great Leader

While CIA Director George Tenet has bravely stepped forward to protect us, the staff at Opinions You Should Have must finally reveal that we encouraged the President to tell the American people that Saddam Hussein had sought to purchase uranium from Africa.

We regret our misguided judgment. Our enthuiasm for the word "yellowcake" completely blinded us to the wrongfulness of making a false statement to the American people.

Our excitement and delight at discovering that there was such a thing as "yellowcake" uranium was so great that we decided to ignore the fact that the Niger documents we were examining were forged. It is with great sadness that we admit we were too busy saying "yellowcake uranium -- that is too cool" to properly advise the President of the blatant inaccuracy of his statement in the State of the Union address.

We also are greatly saddened by our decision to preface the false statement with "the British government has learned" in order to shield the President from any blame for its untruthfulness. We were wrong.

While we appreciate Mr. Tenet's fine, friendly and courageous act, we are happy to clear him from any wrongdoing. We are greatly sorry that our judgment was flawed, although we must remind the public that our error has introduced the phrase "yellowcake uranium" into the public lexicon, a fact for which we must all be grateful.

Moreover, while the purchase of our new H2 Hummer stretch limo with full wet bar, hot tub, and plasma screen television coincides with the release of this statement, the British government has learned that it is entirely untrue that the staff of Opinions You Should Have received a large monetary benefit, among other things, in exchange for our story here today.

buck2.jpg

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Posted by Tom Burka at 8:35 AM in News

July 10, 2003
Fleischer Taunts Reporters With Verbal Prestidigitation; Tries to Make Issue Disappear
"I think the burden is on those people who think [Hussein] didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."

- Ari Fleischer, July 9, 2003
"And while they're at it," added Fleischer, "It would nice if they could come up with some oil."

Fleischer also suggested that from now on, in a criminal trial, any defendant claiming his innocence should show this by proving his or her own guilt.

Fleischer also insisted that "these people" explain how magician David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear.

"And another thing," said Fleischer, building up steam, "those people -- those people -- should tell us where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, they're so smart."

Fleischer then asked a reporter to give him a watch -- "any watch." He then placed Helen Thomas's watch in a handkerchief, hit the handkerchief repeatedly with a hammer, and then opened up the handkerchief to reveal -- Condoleeza Rice, who jumped out of Fleischer's palm and declared, "See? You can't turn back the clock. To say otherwise is revisionist history."

Ms. Thomas's watch was never recovered.

The next day, Senator Robert Byrd questioned Donald Rumsfeld during his testimony before the Armed Services Committee.

"What I'd really like to know, said the Senator," is why "those people" had better intelligence than we did."

rumsfelddodges.jpg





Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ducks, weaves, and prepares to throw a hard left during his recent appearance before Congress.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:32 AM in News

July 8, 2003
Majority of Americans Believe Bush "Stretched The Truth"

Smaller Group Says Truth Was Put On The Rack And Made To Sing "Danny Boy"

Yesterday, PollingReport.com reported that a majority of Americans believed Bush "stretched the truth" but did not tell a lie in making the case for the Iraq war.

scaredgumby.jpgTen percent of Americans stated that the White House had stretched the truth so much that it looked like Gumby after he had been pulled in opposite directions by two teams of Budweiser Clydesdales.

According to the poll, most Americans also believe that:

  • seven to twelve half-truths equal a whole truth;
  • a white lie is fibbing but not really lying; and
  • reckless exagerration constitutes massaging the facts but not maiming them.

Significant numbers of people polled also believed that Saddam Hussein was the direct cause of the World Trade Center attack, that the war uncovered links between Saddam Hussein and al Queda, and that Arnold Schwarzenegger has been the governor of California for the past three years.

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Posted by Tom Burka at 11:26 AM in News

July 7, 2003
Bush Defends Blair Against Claim That British "Sexed Up" Intelligence Dossier

Bush Plays Golf, Too; Uses Nine-Iron

President Bush, commenting on the BBC's claim that Tony Blair had "sexed up" British intelligence reports about 's WMD development, said, "These were not sexy dossiers, and rumors that these dossiers were provided to high level ministers during visits to sperm banks are absolutely untrue."

Bush said, "I know the British are kinky, but they're not that kinky."

BBC's Michael Tottingham-Smythe-Fitzhugh-Byrne stated otherwise: "These were the sexiest dossiers I'd ever seen. They were dripping with black lace. I didn't see all of them but these were the kind of dossiers where what you weren't able to see was covered up in a way which just made you want to see more."

Ari Fleischer stated: "I saw the dossiers and frankly, they didn't do a thing for me."

Fitzhugh-Byrne later remarked, "If they didn't affect him, then he's not a man."

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:55 PM in News

July 4, 2003
White House Decides War Safer than Peace

Bush Seeks New War To Save U.S. Soldiers' Lives

On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush stood on the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and announced the end of the war. However, the ensuing peace has not been kind.

At least one American soldier has died for each day passed since the war's end -- more than 60 deaths so far -- and scores more have been injured. Accordingly, the White House today announced it was searching for a war to start "in order to immediately ameliorate the growing danger to our young servicemen and women overseas."

Iran is a possibility, and Syria could also be a target. White House officials said that where the next war takes place is irrelevant. "The important thing is not to spend a lot of time deliberating about who to attack, but to attack as soon as possible, so we can get this deadly peace behind us," said Donald Rumsfeld.

"It's not a guerilla war that's killing us," Rumsfeld explained. "It's guerilla peace."

"The fact that the majority of these deaths -- almost 40 so far -- come from non-combat related instances, simply shows how dangerous peace can be," Rumsfeld added.

Karl Rove dismissed suggestions that war was safer for President Bush's relelection campaign than peace. "That's simply absurd,' he said, as he watched President Bush happily playing a round of golf.

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Posted by Tom Burka at 11:36 AM in News

July 3, 2003
An Open Letter To President Bush From An Employee
Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Turning to his Baghdad proconsul, Paul Bremer, Bush asked, "Are you in charge of finding Iraq WMD?" Bremer said no, he was not. Bush then put the same question to his Iraq military commander, General Tommy Franks. But Franks said it wasn't his job either. A little exasperated, Bush asked, So who is in charge of finding WMD? After aides conferred for a moment, someone volunteered the name of Stephen Cambone, a little-known deputy to Donald Rumsfeld, back in Washington. Pause. "Who?" Bush asked.

- Time Magazine, July 7, 2003

Dear Mr. President,

I was deeply saddened and disappointed to learn from -- not from a fellow staffer, Mr. President, but from the media -- that you had forgotten who I was and what I was doing in your service. Remember your nickname for me -- "Honker" -- not because I have a big nose (though I do), but because, you said, I am "sniffing out those WMD like one of those big-nosed hound dogs for the U.S. of A.?" And then you laughed a lot. Overlong, really, but I am proud to work for you.

Remember when you asked me to come to the Oval Office recently? Remember how you said you had faith in me but maybe I had better look around the Oval Office and see if I could find "any fricking WMD there because I certainly hadn't found any in Iraq?" In front of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and everybody. I didn't appreciate being forced to crawl around the Oval, looking under the chairs and stuff, or under the sofa cushions, especially with Dick still sitting on them, but I did it, because I understood that you were making a point, I guess.

Perhaps you forgot I was in charge of the hunt for WMD because I had suggested, in what I believed to be a moment of clarity, that someone over in Iraq should be supervising the search for weapons there, as opposed to somebody sitting behind a desk reviewing paperwork about it in D.C. many miles away. Does any of this ring a bell, Mr. President?

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that we haven't found any WMD yet. I didn't mean to sound bitter.

Dr. Stephen Cambone,

Under Secretary of Defense For Intelligence

Read More »


Posted by Tom Burka at 9:38 AM in News

July 2, 2003
Republicans Make Early Gains In Securing Naked Florida Vote; Placing Nudism On GOP Platform

Time Magazine reports that nudism -- that pasttime which challenges Americans to play ping pong and jump around without jiggling or swinging certain body parts -- has resurged in popularity. The force behind the rebirth? Republicans.

Their key issues are tax reform and terrorism; they like Golf Magazine and GMC Safari vans. And most have kids at home.
Republicans have discovered that nudism promotes key family values, said Ray Blipman, a native of Lake Como, Florida, where skin reigns and clothing stains. "When you see your parents naked, it tends to dampen the sexual appetite a bit," Ray said. "Keeps the youngsters chaste."

It's an abrupt turnaround for Republicans, where bad dressing and a lack of transparency in government have long been the norm.

Democrats are at a loss as to how to combat the Republican liplock on nude bodies. Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the DNC, now claims that Democrats' more casual dress style has always been more closely aligned with the goals of naked people. "Look at James Carville," he said. "Hardly ever wore a suit in his life. Sleeps naked."

Needless to say, the image of a naked James Carville hasn't done much for the Democratic party.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:10 PM in News

July 1, 2003
Bush's Talks With God Involve TV, Baseball

Bush Forgets To Ask Key Questions About Assigned Missions

George W. Bush, who recently said that God had told him to fight al Queda, invade , make peace in the Middle East, and "stop smirking so much," revealed that he had forgotten to ask key questions of the Lord and that their discussions usually revolved around old television shows and the state of baseball in America.

"God said I was an idiot to trade Sammy Sosa," said Bush, referring to a poor decision made during his ownership of the Texas Rangers.

Further probing of the nature of Bush's discussions with God puzzled Americans today, particularly God's concern with the stumbling Detroit Tigers franchise. According to Bush, God frequently said, "I gave them some great hitters, but they still can't break .250. What's up with that?"

Particularly disturbing was the revelation that, during his discussions with God, Bush forgot to ask key questions such as, "Where's Osama bin Laden?," "Is Saddam Hussein still alive?," and "What's the deal with Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction?" Instead, he said, "we often discussed Gilligan's Island."

"God was angry about the Mary Anne/Ginger debate," said Bush. "He said people who were focused on which girl they liked best were missing the point."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:51 PM in News

June 30, 2003
Hispanics Officially Named Largest U.S. Minority; Hate Groups Scrambling To Redirect Hate

Prejudiced groups and individuals asked for more time to refashion discriminatory behavior and simple bigotry after an announcement that Hispanics, not African Americans, are now the largest minority group in America.

Justin Flatbean of South Carolina, known for first calling the Hebrew language "Hebonics," needed more time to fashion a suitably derogatory term for the Spanish language. "These latinos are always jabbering away in this other language," he said. "And they don't speak English good."

While some hate groups were surprised by the development, others have been relatively quick to adapt. Brendan Todd, Grand Wizard of the KKK, noted that his group had been prejudiced against Hispanics for a long time already, so they "have a head start."

Republicans were not so fortunate. They were considering redrawing school districts to ensure that Hispanics were forced to go to poorly funded and deteriorating public schools. "This will take a lot of time," said a unidentified Republican Congressman, Tom Delay. "We've got a lot of instiutionalized racism that needs to be overhauled to account for the change. The only step we've taken in anticipation of this was getting a lot of token Hispanics in Republican positions, so I think we're okay there."

Posted by Tom Burka at 1:00 PM in News

June 27, 2003
Wife Wants Husband To Perform Constitutionally Sanctioned Act

Husband Fears Trap

Jefferson Brooks has been asked by his wife, Louise Brooks,to perform a constitutionally protected act upon her sometime this weekend.

Mr. Brooks was skeptical and a perhaps a bit confused. "She wants me to perform homosexuality on her?"

After a bit of frantic whispering between Brooks and his wife, Mr. Brooks appeared less confused, but wary. "This is some sort of wife trick," he said. "The moment I show the slightest enthusiasm, that's the moment she'll find a way to use it against me."

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:36 PM in News

June 26, 2003
Bush Administration Wondering If Fed Can Cut Rate to Negative 1 Percent

Although the Fed has just cut the interest rate down to 1%, the lowest level since 1958, Bush Administration officials are considering other ways to stimulate the economy out of fear that the latest rate cut may fail to give the economy the boost it so desperately needs. The Bush team is accordingly considering pushing a bill that would allow the Fed to cut the rate below zero.

"What could stimulate the economy more than actually paying people to borrow money," said Karl Rove, in a candid interview yesterday. "I mean, the tax cuts have done well, but we want the Fed to have every opportunity to assist these mammoth tax cuts for the rich to stimulate the economy -- stimulate it like a 30-volt blast from a cattle prod in the rear."

Other ideas for stimulating the economy include giving the economy a lube job; taking it out for a really fine steak dinner; and giving the economy a three martini-lunch. Some members of the Bush Treasury Department want to take the economy to a Japanese massage parlor. "That's always worked for me, " Dilbert Herrington Pump IV said anonymously.

Some government officials think the key is to align the country more closely with conditions in 1958. Measures might include:

  • Republishing Leon Uris's Exodus;
  • Relaunching Sputnik;
  • Doing a remake of Gigi; and
  • Exhuming Eisenhower.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:39 AM in News

June 24, 2003
90% of Americans Who Said They Didn't Care About Lying Were Lying, New Study Says

The vast majority of Americans who had indicated to pollsters that they "did not care" that President Bush may have lied about Iraq's possession of WMD's were probably willfully misleading pollsters, according to a study conducted by Truth in Poll Gathering, a Washington-based research group.

Preston Bleener told reporters that, when contacted, 9 out of 10 Americans told TPG that they had falsely informed pollsters that they "liked it when Presidents lie," "liked it particularly when President Bush lied," and "really liked to be lied to about the need to go to war."

"In truth," said Bleener, "We discovered that these same people also told pollsters, it turns out, that `they enjoy bubonic plague' and also `wish that Push, Nevada had never been cancelled.'"

Why lie? George Wendell, a farmer from Tennesee said that he never "feeled the need" to tell pollsters what he really felt. "Here are these folks," he said, as he milked a cow, "They call ya when it's not convenient. And then they want you to tell them things for free that they sell to some other folks. Well, I say you get what you pay for."

Bleener said the study involved over three thousand people from all the country who had been polled on the issue of the President's statements on WMD in the past month.

"Or, at least, that's what they told us."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:45 PM in News

New Test For Supreme Court Nominees Involves Membership In All-White Country Club

Justice Thomas A Member For Past Seven Years

In the wake of a Supreme Court ruling upholding affirmative action, angry conservatives are calling for a new "litmus test" to be applied to prospective nominees to any newly vacated Court seat. The test will measure the potential Justice's position on affirmative action.

"The test is whether they can successfully join the Riverdale Country Club," said John Milk, a senior analyst at the Brookings Institute. The Riverdale Country Club is an exclusive single-race club, where non-whites are permitted to enter -- as waiters and servants.

Willy Loman, an African-American from Chevy Chase, has worked at the Riverdale Country Club for twenty-five years. "I've parked cars, I've waited tables, I've washed dishes. Sometimes I'm just the guy who spit polishes members' shoes in the bathrooms."

Scalia is already a member of the club. Said Loman, speaking off-the-record, "Whenever he comes by, it's a little strange. That Thomas guy goes wherever he does, eats whatever he does, goes to the bathroom when he does, it's like he wants to be some kind of white Italian guy."

Conservatives who oppose affirmative action were "shocked, shocked," at any suggestion race played a factor in Justice Thomas's nomination to the Supreme Court. John Milk said, "I thought it was because he liked milk."

Justice Souter had been a member of the Riverdale Country Club, but his membership was revoked after a series of liberal dissents. Charles Whiteman-Wilson III, director of the club's membership committee, said, "He wasn't rejected because he wasn't white enough for us -- race played no factor in the decision -- it's just -- how I do put it? He's got a really small head. It's absolutely tiny. He looks like a turtle."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:37 AM in News

FBI Arrests Karl Rove On Anonymous Tip By Ashcroft; Guidelines For Use of Tips Subsequently Narrowed

In the wake of news that false terrorism tips have been uprooting the lives of innocent suspects, a recent encounter between Karl Rove and the FBI has come to light.

An anonymous tipster (John Ashcroft) provided the FBI with information leading to the subsequent arrest of Karl Rove as a suspected terrorist about two weeks ago.

Special Agent Hans "Christian" Anderson and partner Martin Asphalt had received a wanted notice for a "chubby balding man with glasses and expensive, ugly ties" who "was up to no good" and "possibly linked to terrorist activities." Several hours after receiving the APB, Anderson and Asphalt saw a man fitting this description lingering over the magazine section at Walmarts, where he was purportedly "fondling a copy of Maxim." (Rove late claimed that the magazine was The Weekly Standard, and that he had not been "caressing" it, as agents had described.)

The agents immediately picked Rove up and transported him to a secret detention center in Arlington, where, during interrogation, Rove repeatedly turned bright red screaming, "I'm the President, you morons."

Agent Asphalt often responded by picking up a copy of The Washington Post and showing him the cover. "This is the President," he would say. Rove blustered in response, "That man's a complete simpleton. I run everything."

Correcting himself later, Rove told the agents that "He was one of the most prominent members of President Bush's staff, and that he worked at the White House," but the agents noted that they had never seen him anywhere. Agent Asphalt later recalled bleakly that he and his partner had laughed "really loud and hard" whenever Rove had pointed out the m that they "were in a world of trouble now." Agent Asphalt is presently awaiting trial on charges stemming from the discovery of over 20 pounds of cocaine found in an FBI evidence bag in his bedroom closet, moments after Rove's release.

Things might have been straightened out quickly if the agents had permitted Rove access to a phone or provided him with a lawyer, but FBI policies prohibited allowing suspects of terrorism to have any contact with anyone in the outside world. As a result of the debacle, president Bush immediately issued guidelines narrowing the use of anonymous tips by the FBI.

One of the changes prohibits FBI agents from arresting anyone who is caught reading Maxim magazine.

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:30 AM in News

June 20, 2003
Rumsfeld Points Out D.C. Crime Worse Than Baghdad's; D.C. Residents Pack Immediately

In the wake of a remark by Donald Rumsfeld in which he noted that the Baghdad crime rate was lower than the District of Columbia's, thousands of D.C. residents packed their bags and readied themselves to leave the Nation's capital for greener pastures.

"We just want to raise our children in a safe place," said Miles Seecars, a former Pentagon pool reporter. "Secretary Rumsfeld echoed what many have of us have said for a long time: D.C.'s crime rate is so awful, I'm just grateful that we have someplace better to go. East L.A. might be better, too, but I prefer Baghdad."

Billy Mickelson, whose bags were packed and was ready to go, had a slightly different take on it. "Why should only U.S. soldiers get to occupy ?"

Posted by Tom Burka at 3:24 PM in News

June 19, 2003
Rumsfeld Unveils Invisible Can of "Whoop Ass" To Take Care of "Crime Problem" In Iraq


At a press briefing today, Donald Rumsfeld pooh-poohed suggestions that anti-American violence by Iraqis was out of control and noted that the Baghdad crime rate was lower than the District of Columbia's. Rumsfled added that he and Paul Bremer had decided to open invisible cans of "whoop-ass" which would quickly take care of the problem.

"I say to the U.S. soldiers in Iraq: your wives and children need not worry," said Rumsfeld, holding up a prototype invisible can for the press. "Whoop-ass is here."

When asked by reporter Miles Seecars why the mysterious cans of "whoop-ass" had not been used in the District of Columbia, Rumsfeld appeared to pull on a invisible tab on the top of the invisible can he was holding, tilted it toward Seecars. Seecars suddenly crumpled to the ground. When questioned later about it, all Seecars would say was that he thought that his ass had been whooped.

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:27 PM in News

June 18, 2003
Following Ancient Diplomatic Tradition, Sharon Will "Hound" Hamas Into Sanctioning Peace Treaty

Most Notable Diplomatic Posture Since Churchill Nagged Stalin At Yalta In 1945

Ariel Sharon joined the ranks of history's finest negotiators yesterday after promising to hound Hamas into supporting a Mideast peace agreement. In doing so, Sharon joined the ranks of the elite few who have successfully nudged the opposition party into signing a treaty -- or even into what some might call "extreme compromises." The tactic has only been used by some of history's greatest leaders.

A few famous examples:

1066 - The Badgering of Hastings: William the Conqueror harangues the Saxons until Harold II agrees to yield the English crown.

1190 B.C. - Odysseus hectors Aeneas into withdrawing from Troy and possibly Helen.

215 B.C. - Hannibal needles Philip of Macedonia, taunting him with elephants until he allies with Carthage.

1865 - Grant bullyrags Lee at Appomattox.

1876 - Custer pesters Sitting Bull at Little Big Horn. (considered to have been a mistake)

1914 - Extreme razzing of Archduke Ferdinand by Slav Gavrilo Princip (could I make this name up?) leads to World War I.

1941 - Roosevelt mercilessly heckles Hirohito until he resigns from World War II. (Some consider dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a factor.)

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:16 AM in News

June 16, 2003
Democrats Divided Over How To Sink Party

Debate Is Whether To Offer Lukewarm Disagreement Or Simply Mimick Republican Position

Democrats, members of the "opposition" party, are engaged today in a disagreement about how to ensure their parties failure in upcoming national elections. The crux of today's debate centers upon how to characterize blatant untruths told by George W. Bush about Iraqi weapons possession during the national "debate" on whether to invade Iraq. Should they be called "lies"? Or should Democrats say, as Senator Hillary Clinton urged, that "serious questions have been raised that need to be answered." Another position backed by Senators Edwards, Kerry and Lieberman was that lying for political gain is perfectly acceptable, as long as it's for a good cause, or on a weekday.

A highly placed anonymous source in the Democratic Party (Terry McAuliffe, head of the DNC) said, in a panicky voice, "What if we say he was lying about WMD and then he finds some? What are we gonna do then? What are we gonna do?"

Only a few, like Sen. Bob Graham, who keeps diaries noting where he scratches himself each day, assert that Americans might be interested in knowing that President Bush induced them to back a war on the basis of completely fabricated notions he reported in State of the Union speeches as cold, hard facts.

While Democrats were wrestling over the issue of whether to point out that Bush told Americans that Saddam Hussein had purchased uranium to make nuclear bombs when it was well known that this never occurred, Bush raised another $50 million in campaign funds.

Or at least, that's what he says.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:41 AM in NewsTop Stories

June 12, 2003
White House Chides Israel For Attempted Murder Of Hamas Leader

Could Ruin Future Photo Opportunities, Say Bush, Rove

The White House, concerned that Israeli attempts to snuff out the life of the leader of Hamas, sent "strong signals" to Prime Minister Sharon today not to try anything like this until after the 2004 election.

"This kind of violence," said Rove, "is absolutely dangerous to the practice of showing photographs of Bush shaking hands of Mideast leaders and claiming to have engineered peace. Any attempted assassination puts us in the position of having to organize another photo opportun-- excuse me, "peace summit." It even endangers our ability to pass around the old pictures and say that they're new ones."

Sharon was unapologetic, and suggested airbrushing any Hamas leaders out of the pictures already taken.

Ari Fleischer, who was in the middle of packing his bags to go on a world wide cruise around America, said, "This kind of violence is a threat of the worst kind to any image that President Bush is actually promoting peace in the Middle East. I am shocked that anyone would consider impeding President Bush's attempts to get elected."

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:15 AM in News

June 11, 2003
Claimed Iraqi Bioweapons Trailers Revealed To be Winnebagos

Leather Bucket Seats Were Key Clue

Independent analysts who were permitted to inspect several recovered trailers which the CIA had concluded were mobile biological weapons factories reported that the trailers were clearly Winnebagos. "I'm not sure which tipped me off first," said Dr. Alvin Irkman of the North Atlantic Biological Confederate. "It was either the spacious living room with custom-designed, sculptured carpet and imported Italian ceramic tile floorcovering or the exclusive Ulti-Bay chassis with multiple slideout floorplan and Storemore � undercarriage slideout storage space. Maybe it was the deluxe bedroom with spacious cedar-lined closet, beautiful wood cabinetry, decorative wainscoting, real wooden headboard, 19" TV and standard rear stereo that I've come to expect from Winnebago."

CIA officials disputed the suggestion that the trailers were anything but mobile bioweapons labs, pointing out that the labs had fermenters for growing germs connected to pipes for siphoning off the "bioweapon slurry" for further processing elsewhere.

"That's a chemical toilet with waste disposal hookup for connection to trailer park facilities," said Irkman. "It's next to the exterior wash station with pump switch, paper towel holder, and soap dispenser."

Bwtrailer2.jpg

CIA drawing of trailer interior.

winnebago.jpg

CIA photograph of trailer exterior.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:53 AM in NewsTop Stories

June 9, 2003
Rice, Powell: Nothing Wrong With Intelligence; It Was Decision-Making That Sucked

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sunday - Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell made the rounds on Sunday Morning television yesterday, stating firmly that there was nothing wrong with intelligence estimates of Saddam Hussein's possession of WMD. Rice commented on recent charges that the intelligence reports were "cooked" to back up political motivations. "This is absolutely untrue," said Rice, appearing on ABC's "This Week."

"The intelligent reports were not tailored or doctored in any way," she said. "It was the speeches and statements of the Administration that were politically motivated. It is revisionist history to say otherwise."

Powell defended the Administration's handling of the intelligence. "It would be silly to put political pressure on the CIA analysts. We don't have to. We're the only ones who get to see their reports. We can say those reports said whatever we want."

Powell was speaking to Tim Russert on "The Sunday Beginning-of-the-Week Propaganda Cycle" (also known as "Meet The Press"). "Everyone knows truth is the first casualty of war. Any misstatement by the Administration regarding the true nature of the threat posed by Hussein was just collateral damage."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:54 PM in News

June 8, 2003
Unemployment Rate Skyrockets To 6.1%; Bush Team Calls It "Great Opportunity for Economic Growth"

Prefers To Call Unemployed "Democrats"

Faced with the longest sustained period without job growth since the period before World War II (that is, since the Great Depression), the White House noted that the enormous number of lost jobs shows that the economy is recovering. White House economists explained projections had been for even more massive job losses: "Frankly," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, "We are encouraged by the pace of the lack of growth."

White House economists pointed to record purchases of flat screen TVs and Playstation 2's with maxed-out credit cards as a sign that the economy is doing well. (One umployed person explained: "There are no jobs out there. Might as well sit around and play Medal of Honor.")

While the White House was toying with a variety of phrases for the unemployed, such as "previously owned workers," and "pre-employed laborers," Karl Rove simply called them "Democrats."

"Typical democrats," said Rove,"losing their jobs and blaming it on the Republicans. Next thing you know they'll be whining that they can't afford adequate health care."

Vice-President Dick added, "I know there are some real people out there who might be in-between jobs, but this is just a phase. "

"After all," he continued, "Everyone I know is working."

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:55 PM in News

June 6, 2003
Bush Performs Faith Healings For Troops; Says "You Are Hee-yalled! Yay-ah!"

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:10 PM in News

Bush Promises To "Ride Herd" Over Peace Meetings; Mideast Interpreters Mistakenly Fired

Some Arab Leaders Privately Tantalized By Suggestion

Israeli and Palestinian leaders could not understand one whit of President Bush's cowboy rhetoric at a recent photo opportunity cum meeting, so they fired most of their translators today, thinking that President Bush's garbled speech and strange Texan turns of phrase could only have been the result of poor translation. President Bush's most confusing statement was his recent declaration that he was going to "ride herd" over them until they came to an agreement. Virtually all of the translators involved in the meetings were fired, replaced, or suspended, or, in the case of some, summarily executed. Part of the problem lay in the fact that the Arabic translation of "ride herd" was, according to one source, "Morrocan and profane."

"He's going to what over us?" said Prime Minister Abbas. "Is that legal in his country?"

Sharon was no less startled by the remarks. "We in Israel ride many things," said Sharon, "but never that."

Some lower level Arab officials were secretly curious about the statement, saying they "were willing to try it," and that it sounded like they might "really, really like it."

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:57 PM in News

June 5, 2003
Constant U.S. Rain, Winds Result of Putin Weather Control Machine

Russian leader Putin has acquired a weather control device that he has apparently used to destroy Spring in America. The thaw in U.S./Russia relations has led to a corresponding wave of bad weather in America which had U.S. officials puzzled until Putin unveiled his device to ensure sunny weather during a parade in Moscow. Then all became clear.

"Ha, ha," exclaimed a gleeful Putin, speaking on the "red phone" to President Bush, "Now you will go directly from a cruel, snowfilled winter to an excruciatingly hot, humid summer without one perfect picnic day!"




Putin recently bragged to a delighted Gerhardt Schroeder at the G8 summit about making spring "werry unpleasant for Americans." He also took credit for the beautiful and sunny days enjoyed by world leaders at the summit. "With this weather device," laughed Putin, "I can control . . . the world!"

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:56 AM in News

June 4, 2003
Martha Stewart's Real Crimes

  • Trying to make us care about doilies;
  • Using the phrase "pillowing" to mean "making a pillow;"
  • Being much, much too excited about wreaths;
  • Urging us to grow, pick, sautee, and create ten-foot tall decorative aspargus spear trees;
  • Possibly committing insider trading while not being the daughter of a Republican President of the United States;
  • Making millions by herself, without any help from powerful rich friends in the oil business;
  • Not making her fortune by using her father's political and business connections to buy a baseball team, finance building a new stadium by raising taxes on gullible Texans, and using the power of eminent domain to grab other people's land and homes that she could develop and sell for a fortune;
  • Not enlisting the aid of an evil genius to install her as governor of a state and engineer her occupation of the White House so that he can advance his own incredibly right-wing, fundamentalist, fanatical neoconservative agenda while putting money back into the pockets of his pals who would then send both of them buckets of cash to ensure that the agenda is never changed; and
  • Not having any of the media in her pocket.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:51 AM in News

June 3, 2003

"Opinions You Should Have" Bought By Rupert Murdoch; Will Now Be Called "Opinions You Will Have"

Barely a minute had passed after the FCC voted to ease media ownership restrictions when Opinions You Should Have was purchased in a hostile takeover by Rupert Murdoch . Mr. Murdoch, who owns 20th century Fox, Fox TV, The New York Post, The Sydney Mirror, Asia's Star television, and is the only media mogul to have created and controlled a truly global media empire, waited not one moment before snatching up the highly prized weblog Opinions You Should Have.

The staff of Opinions You Should Have Opinions You Will Have regrets any impression given by previous articles. While there may be a place for specious juvenilia and left-wing satire,the new management looks upon previous articles as "youthful indiscretions" of a maturing weblog and is willing -- even enthusiastic -- to put such adolescent and bitter parodies behind them. We at the weblog look forward to achieving a sensible maturity with more serious reporting and views more appropriate to the tenor of the media jewel "Opinions" has become.

While members of the Graphics and Research departments will stay on, Mr. Thomas Burka is seeking to ingratiate himself with the new ownership while occupying the temporary position of Coffee Boy, which is a little like a cabana boy but far more limiting.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:02 AM in News

June 2, 2003
Tony Blair, President Bush, Find WMD, Forget Where They Put Them

Today, President Bush announced that he had found WMD in his left pants pocket during a dinner with Tony Blair but that they had misplaced them during dessert and a really fine cup of coffee. The WMD, which Bush swears was discovered somewhere in Iraq and relayed to him by somebody, were almost certainly there when dinner started, although Bush said, "They could be in my other suit."

Blair was unconcerned. "We're going to find more WMD, we're going find them soon, and we're going to keep on finding them." Blair went on to say that he had seen plenty of evidence of WMD and that "sooner or later, at some point, maybe not today, but hopefully by tomorrow -- or as late as mid-summer -- the people will hear about it, and they'll know what we knew and know now but won't tell them because we don't want to tell them now and we have our own truly fine, impeccable, unimpeachable reasons for hiding from them the evidence that we now known -- and have known all along.'

Posted by Tom Burka at 7:30 AM in News

June 1, 2003
"Waldorf Transcripts" Show Straw, Powell, Had Excellent Appetites, Knew How To Pick Wine

The Waldorf Transcripts , transcripts of taped conversations between British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Gen. Colin Powell in New York's lush Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in February just hours before Powell's "big pitch" to the U.N., have surfaced, and some say they don't look too good in daylight. The transcripts have been anonymously leaked to the press by a member of the U.N. Security Counsel who was lied to about WMD in order to gain support -- in other words, Cameroon.

"We not very happy about this in Cameroon," said an unidentified Cameroonian named Jack deBont Ngongo, who drives a white porsche with the license plate JL45-E and lives on East 51st Street in New York. "Just read this," he said, handing over a portion of the transcripts:

[sound of loud crunching]

Straw: More salad?

Powell: No, no but you cant beat those apples and walnuts. Whoever thought of this was a genius.

Straw: Quite, quite. And this sherry is absolutely superb.

Powell: Damn fine.

Straw: Not like those intelligence reports.

Powell: [gunshot laugh] No. [to waiter] Can we get more of these , uh, little crackers?

Unidentified Waiter With Boom Microphone: Of course.

Powell: Nope, those reports don't have the crispness or the fine finish of this 1897 Chateau neuf de pape. Theyre [expletive deleted].

Straw: Quite right, old chap. [talking with mouth full] I wish we had something REAL to present to the U.N. (to waiter) I need a clean fork.

Powell: Im very troubled by it. Damn, this paté is outstanding.

Straw: Croissant?

Powell: Thanks.

Ngongo said, "Listen to that. We met with him just an hour before and we were famished. What did we get? Baloney."

Posted by Tom Burka at 4:47 PM in News

May 30, 2003
Karl Rove Has Orgasm At Tax-Cut Signing Ceremony

Smokes Cigarette Outside Of Oval Office Afterwards

During President's Bush's signing of an enormous $350 billion tax cut bill, Rove suddenly emitted a low moan, gave a gasp of pleasure, and shouted, "YES, YES, YES!" just as the President put his pen to the paper.

After the ceremony, Rove took the bill into his private office for "some quality time."

Rove later claimed that he had had a "religious experience" and refused to talk further about it.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:39 AM in News

May 28, 2003
Bush Fund Raising Letter Asks For Cash, Offers Prizes

President Bush has kicked off his campaign for reelection with an appeal for cash in his first fundraising letter to a million prospective cash wranglers. In the letter, President Bush said that the election "could be close," so he needs piles and piles of money; excess cash, if any, will be raked into excess piles that donors can jump into, a popular mid-November GOP sport.

The letter set out to "incentivise" fundraisers by, among other things, awarding them fancy titles: Anyone who raises $50,000 will be called a "Pathfinder;" anyone who raises $100,000 will be called a "Man of Yale;" anyone who raises $200,000 will be called an "Industry Lobbyist;" anyone who raises $500,000 will be called a "Monopolist;" and anyone who raises more than $500,000 will be called "Kenneth Lay."

Additionally, select photo sets and valuable items will be given to the most successful fundraisers, among these being:

  • Codpiece signed by President Bush in the Lincoln bedroom and worn by President Bush on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln;
  • Codpiece worn by President Bush in the Lincoln Bedroom and signed by Laura Bush on the deck of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan;
  • An autographed picture of President Bush watching football on TV, holding a pretzel;
  • Autographed photo of young W. driving into a ditch in 1976; and
  • An autographed photo of President W. driving America into a ditch in 2003.

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:11 AM in News

May 22, 2003
Homeland Security Department Replaces Vigiliance With Inquisition; Ridge Unveils "Clever New Tool For Rooting Out Terrorism"

Feels Safer Than Ever

"With breathtaking clarity of vision and great ingenuity," Tom Ridge noted at a congratulatory press conference, "Judge William Crosbie has uncovered a sly and ingenious device for the detection of terrorrists living among us. It is with this in mind that I have created the Bureau of Civilian Inquisition.

Tom Ridge was praising a new tool in the fight against terrorism invented by Judge Crosbie, who capably deployed it in his courtroom in Tarrytown, New York.

Judge Crosbie was presiding in Tarrytown's village court when Anisa Khoder, a 46-year-old American citizen of Lebanese descent came before him to challenge the validity of two parking tickets. That's when Judge Crosbie leapt into action.

"Are you a terrorist?" Judge Crosbie asked. He now recalls he may have pointed an accusing finger at her and announced, in a loud clear voice, "J'accuse!"

Khoder fainted dead away, undoubtedly from the shock of having her terrible secret revealed. She was immediately spirited to an undisclosed location for interrogation; whatever her fate, authorities have been careful to point out that she will still have to take care of those two parking tickets.

Ridge, who demonstrated the technique for reporters, will be stocking the newly created Bureau with Will Parker, Beth Parker and Sam Parker, a family known for its great curiosity. The Parkers -- known for their large probosci -- will roam the countryside, asking those they encounter, "Are YOU a terrorist?" Anyone who answers yes or faints dead away will be placed in federal custody.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:08 PM in News

May 21, 2003
Public Service Retirees Discovered to Have Been Spending "More Time" With Wrong Familes

In the wake of Christy Todd Whitman's recent announcement that she was resigning from the Bush Administration so she could "spend more time with her own family," it was discovered that Karen Hughes, who had retired from the White House staff to spend more time with her own family, was mistakenly living with Norman and Brenda Kildare and their three children in Eastern Kentucky.

"We didn't know who she was," said Mrs. Kildare. "But she was just so well organized and everything that we were afraid to ask her to leave."

Rumsfeld and Cheney denied rumors that they were thinking of leaving their jobs.

"The last thing I'd want to do," said Cheney, "is spend more time with my own family."

"And I think they feel the same way," he added.

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:55 PM in News

Terrorists Raise Threat Level To Orange Because Of Increase In Cable News Network Chatter


Anonymous sources from terrorist groups indicated that they had increased the likelihood of committing a terrorist act because of what they called "an incredible rise in the level of punditry and unfounded speculation" detected on MSNBC, CNN, Fox, and the Cartoon Network.

An unidentified source named Hamid Baq-ti-qar Amith, a member of al Qaeda, said, "We cannot take it anymore. This Chris Matthews with his Hard Ball is making us crazy. These Fox news people with their reporting and deciding have us climbing the walls. Someone must silence this Geraldo man. The violence must be stopped!"

Cable news networks declined to comment or speculate about the nexis between 24/7 news "coverage" and any increase in terorrorist activity. However, they did ask Ann Coulter to appear on MSNBC at 7:00 p.m. tonight to discuss the question with Greta Van Susterin, Bill O'Reilly, James Carville, Jeffrey Toobin, a host of former government officials and armed forces retirees, John Gleeson (author of "Cable News Networks, the Five Second News Cycle, and You"), and Jerry Mathers.

Posted by Tom Burka at 9:33 AM in News

War Constant Obstacle to Peace in Mideast

Numerous suicide bombings in Israel are significantly deterring efforts to stop suicide bombings in Israel.

"If this war would just stop, we could get down to the business of negotiating the end of it," said Ariel Sharon today, after he cancelled a planned trip to meet with President Bush to discuss plans to make trips to discuss negotiations for peace with the Palestinians.

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:07 AM in News

May 20, 2003
Bush Committed to "Road Map" For Mideast Peace, Despite Problems "Backing Out of The Driveway"

Rejects "Process," "Plan" "Schedule of Interim Goals," "Itinerary," "Agenda" As Metaphors For "Diplomatic Initiative"

President Bush today declared that he was dedicated to the "road map" as the phrase he will use to connote his otherwise undescribed plan for acheiving peace in the Middle East.

"We talked about a plan," said Bush, "and some other words. But 'Road Map' is much better, because it sounds like we know where we have to go and how to get to it."

Bush added that the stream of rhetorical metaphors which come from the phrase "road map" make it all the more enticing as an emblematic phrase: "We can say 'it's a bumpy road,' we've come upon an 'obstacle' on the road to peace, we're making an 'unscheduled U-turn' on the way to peace, 'there's a signpost up ahead,' that kind of thing. It always sounds like we're making progress -- 'coming a few clicks closer to peace' -- no matter what happens. It doesn't even matter whether we get these guys to meet, or talk, or agree upon anything. We've got a road map. They can follow the route we've charted or they can drive right off the road, but at least we can claim we've shown them the way."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:33 AM in News

May 19, 2003
Ari Fleischer to Resign This Summer; Has "Really Big Steak" To Grill

Ari Fleischer, the erstwhile press secretary famous for his deadpan delivery of Bush Administration bon mots, drollery and outright evasion -- which he comically called "information" -- today announced his pending resignation this coming summer. Fleischer stated that, after mastering the task of saying as many as twenty-eight completely contradictory things in one day, sometimes in as little as one hour, and often going for days answering hundreds of questions without providing even one meager sliver of information, he was either going to take a well-deserved rest, or he wasn't.

Asked about whether he was going to work in the private sector and whether he had yet received any job offers, Fleischer said, "That's certainly a question that we'll all want to know the answer to, and about which anyone would naturally be curious, and I'm sure the information will be made available as soon as we can get that out to you."

Fleischer did say that if it was a really hot summer he might try to see how many eggs he could fry on the top of his head "for a lark."

Although he was seen wearing a "Baghdad Ari?' t-shirt at a recent White House barbeque, Fleischer refused to answer questions relating to the upcoming opening for a Minister of Information in a soon-to-be-formed Iraqi democracy.

"I'll have to get back to you on that," Fleischer told reporters.

Posted by Tom Burka at 6:20 PM in News

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

Iraqis Complain "Nothing To Spend It On"

U.S. forces desperate to stop the tide of Iraqi looting and unrest despairingly offered each Iraqi 40 dollars if they would just "shut up and accept democracy already."

Iraqis complained about the payoff, saying they should hold out for at least a nice DVD player or "quality watch."

Baghdad resident Sahab Sharifi complained that the settlement was not acceptable to him because "the stores have nothing left to buy," and that, in any event, there was no electricity available to run "even the cheapest of toaster ovens." He also mentioned his belief that, in America, you could get more valuable items for opening a bank account. Sharifi said, "This would be true here, as well, if any of the banks were still operating."

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:35 AM in News

May 16, 2003
Dog to President Bush: Walk This

According to U.S. News and World Report, Barney, President Bush's black scotty, refuses to listen to President Bush's commands, and "rarely plays with Bush."

Barney explained, "I am so sick of dubya bringing that damn ball to me, wagging his tail, expecting me to throw it again." Barney continued, "He always has this big goofy grin and slobbers over everything. He disgusts me. It has nothing to do with my being black."

Barney dismissed the idea of spending more time with Bush. "Look, I have better things to do than lead that dope around by the nose all the time. Do I look like Karl Rove?'" Barney sniffed. "I'm very busy. I'm trying to solve this dog longevity thing. There must be a way for intelligent animals like myself to outlive morons."

Barney's ears dropped and his tail was listless. "Life isn't fair," he said. "There are good people with bad hearts who can't afford to get cardiac caths every two years like Dick . Good dogs get worms. When you scratch my belly, no matter how damn smart I am, my leg goes up and down like I have freaking palsy."

Posted by Tom Burka at 10:12 PM in News

May 15, 2003
In Parallel Universe, Professor Richard Cheney Horrified To Discover Other-Dimensional Self To Be Friendly With Rumsfeld

Nobel Laureate and renowned genius Professor Richard Cheney, famed for ending the world's dependence on fossil fuels by inventing the button-sized fusion cell and revered for ushering in an era of world peace and prosperity, today fired up his newest invention -- a device capable of retrieving visual information from what he believes to be alternate and parallel universes -- and was thoroughly stunned to discover newspaper accounts of his longtime friendship with Donald Rumsfeld. Professor 's Cheney's blood congealed as he read about his vice-presidential alter-ego:

It is part of Washington lore that Donald Rumsfeld gave young Dick Cheney his start in government, hiring him as an assistant in the Nixon administration.

But Mr. Cheney revealed today that 35 years ago, when Mr. Rumsfeld was still