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 23, 2006
Headlines in Brief

My guest post, over at LiberalOasis today.

Posted by Tom Burka at 12:10 PM in

Supreme Court Ruling Eviscerates Knock Knock Joke

Humorists Panic

Humorists grieved this week as the "knock knock joke" went the way of the dodo, the Edsel and a truly progressive income tax after a Supreme Court ruling rendered the joke "completely unfunny," according to the American Humorist Association.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that police could enter an apartment after orally announcing their presence, without waiting for the occupant to answer the door. Humorists were horrified. "They got rid of the knock!" said entertainer Wiley the Clown.

Funny people now maintain that the ruling destroys the comedic import of the knock-knock joke and renders it obsolete. "All of a sudden, it's, at best, knock-knock and you have to go right to the punchline. No who's there. It's awful," said Stan Menchnik, a comedian from Brooklyn.

Menchnik demonstrated. "Knock knock. Sam and Janet Evening," he said without a pause. "Here's another: Knock knock. Orange you glad I didn't say banana."

"You see?" he said. "Not funny."

Menchnik said that comedians are attempting to create a new joke, the "barge right in" joke. "Here's how it goes: Police!"

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:20 AM in

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

Guest Blogging and a Book

I'll be guest-blogging on Fridays over at Bill Scher's great blog, Liberal Oasis, along with Avedon Carol of The Sideshow, Frederick Clarkson of Talk To Action, Charley Blandy of Blue Mass Group and Jessica Valenti of Feministing .

scherbook.jpgBill also has a book, to be released in September. "Wait! Don't Move To Canada!" is a primer for liberals hoping to win back America. If the Dems would just listen to Bill, they'd be getting elected all over the place, maybe even in the United States. Preorder it now.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:39 AM in

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