September 30, 2004
Bush Has Nervous Breakdown On TV, Wins Debate

After George W. Bush suffered a nervous breakdown during tonight's debate against John Kerry, television commentators unanimously agreed that Bush had won the debate:

Laying his head upon the podium, Bush began to speak in a soft, high-pitched voice. His microphone was able to pick up questions apparently aimed at his father, former President George H.W. Bush, rather than his opponent. "Daddy. Daddy. Daddy, why don't you love me? " Bush whimpered.

Cokie Roberts, in a post debate roundtable on ABC, stated that such actions "clearly presented a softer, sensitive side" of Bush, "that every man in America will identify with."

More from Jazzmaniac of the Daily Kos here.

Update: A couple of folks seem to think I wrote this story. Link to story revised to try to make it clearer that Jazzmaniac did.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:22 PM in Links

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.

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 15, 2004
hand_lg.gifThis Is What Weekends Were Made For

This is why people don't try to do stuff to their websites in the middle of the week. In an attempt to fix the comments (which now take several days to post -- and then in triplicate), and to solve several problems under the hood here, we broke everything. All the comments disappeared, apparently leaving for sunnier shores. So we got them back, but in the meantime I was in a state of non-posting frenzy. My able web guru Sekimori is on the case, however, and I expect a more smoothly functioning site sometime soon.

Below the fold »

Posted by Tom Burka at 5:33 PM in Notices

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' ran a close second, followed by

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 3, 2004
The End Of Hate Week

Brought To You By The Ministry Of Truth

Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals that the Republican Party was trying to achieve. Great areas of it, even for a Republican Party member, were neutral and non-political, a matter of slogging through dreary jobs, fighting for a place on the subway, looking for a parking spot at the mall, eating a corn-dog, watching reality TV.

The ideal set up by the Republican Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering -- a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons -- a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting -- three hundred million people all with the same face.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:40 AM in Commentary

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

hand_lg.gifBest Republican Convention Coverage On The Net

Michael Bérubé's blogging is entertaining and brilliant. Day one here. Day two here.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:30 AM in Links