Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Obama and McCain Deal With the Age Issue

This year’s Presidential election presents a number of striking contrasts. Barack Obama is a black, liberal Democrat whereas John McCain is a white, conservative Republican. But perhaps the most striking difference between the candidates is their age.

Soon to be 72, John McCain is even older than Ronald Reagan when he first became President. And that presents problems for the Republicans in attracting the youth vote in the upcoming election.

On the other hand, Barack Obama is only 46. Some are questioning whether a candidate that young and inexperienced is ready to take over the Oval Office.

Both candidates, however, have a plan to deal with the age issue.

"First of all," said Senator Obama. "I won’t be the youngest President ever. Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton were all younger than me when they took office. Not bad company, if I do say so myself."

But just to be safe, Obama is considering other tactics to give his candidacy a touch of gravitas and seniority.

"I’m going to start talking in a lower voice," said Obama. "And, if possible, I’ll be speaking even slower than I do now. I may even start pretending to forget a few words here and there."

If that doesn’t work, the Obama campaign has some other aging tactics available. Look for the freshman senator to start wearing bowties and suspenders and to sprinkle his speeches with phrases like "when I was a kid", "they don’t make ‘em like that anymore" and "hey, you young punks, get off my lawn!"

Working from the opposite pole, John McCain has a few tricks up his aging sleeve as well.

"You’re only as old as you appear," said the presumptive Republican nominee. "And I aim to appear a whole lot younger by picking a really old guy as my Vice Presidential running mate."
While McCain’s plan has merit, it may be difficult to implement given the paucity of potential candidates older than him.

"West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd would be great," said McCain. "He’s 90 and would make me look like a kid. Trouble is he’s a Democrat and a former Ku Klux Klan member."

"I could always choose that 84-year old Alaskan nutbar Ted Stephens," said the Arizona senator. "But then I don’t look young, I just look crazy."

"When it comes right down to it," said McCain. "If I want to capture the support of young people in their fifties and sixties, I’m just going to have to be more with it, more hip, so to speak."

In order to court that essential youth demographic, McCain is heavily lobbying organizations that might be able to help including the AAA, the AARP and the Arthur Murray dance studios.

"If I can just learn their favorite music and their trendy new dance steps," said McCain. "I’m a shoe-in for The White House. I hear a lot of them like the Beatles and that crazy new dance - what’s it called? - oh, yeah, the Twist."

Luckily for McCain, he still has two years left in his current Senate term.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Epistle From Steve

Christians have long been relying on the Book of Revelations for signs of the coming apocalypse. But a recently discovered apocryphal text entitled the Epistle from Steve may be a more accurate guide to the future as shown by these eerily predictive verses:

Chapter 1, verses 6-7
"When will we know that the time has come?" cried the people. But Jesus would not answer them directly but spoke only in riddles.
"You will know that my return is at hand when you have twice elected the one who should not be elected," said Jesus. "And you have finally repented and learned the error of your ways."

Chapter 2, verses 2-4
And Jesus said that the signs of his return would be many. "The world will be fraught with confusion," said the Lord. "You will not know if an apple is an apple or a phone. You will no longer see through all Windows. And a Facebook will be neither face nor book."

Chapter 3, verse 4
And it came to pass in the eighth year of the reign of W that there were two men vying for the king’s chair, one an ancient senator with white hair and hot temper and another who was half American and half African yet not African-American.

Chapter 6, verses 11-12
And God gave the people a sign to know when the time of reckoning would be nigh. He would send a prophet to the twice-named city by the sea. And the prophet would hold a Rod in his hand and would kneel before the Madonna. Yet the Madonna would not see the Rod.
One named Peter would fall from grace and become estranged from his wife named Christie. His sins of the flesh would be many and would be broadcast to the assembled multitudes.

Chapter 7, verses 16-17
Verily, the sound of the markets falling was deafening. And even though the rulers intervened, the marketplace could not be saved.
Lo, behold the ones that have failed the Lord for they will be buried beneath the rubble of the marketplace. Their names are legion but chief among them are Fannie and Freddie. And God spoke unto them and said: "A house of subprime mortgages cannot stand."

Chapter 9, verses 22-24
And the crowd gathered before Jesus and begged him to anoint them with oil. And Jesus did anoint each of them in turn because the oil was cheap and plentiful.
"Be this your blessing," said the Lord. "But beware that the day will come when the oil will be rare and only those of wealth will be anointed."
But the people laughed and could not believe what Jesus was saying for surely the oil would last forever.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cheney Wins 2008 Election

NOVEMBER 4, 2008

It’s official. Dirk Cheney has won the 2008 U. S. Presidential election. Contacted at his home in Lexington, Kentucky, Mr. Cheney expressed surprise and dismay.

"I really don’t know what to say," said the retired back-hoe operator. "I didn’t even know I was running. I sure hope this don’t affect my pension."

Apparently Mr. Cheney’s unexpected victory was the direct result of the no-bid contract given last December to Haliburton to provide the electronic voting machines for this year’s election. At a hastily called press conference, company spokesperson I. M. Rich did his best to explain the surprising turn of events.

"Without prejudging Dirk Cheney’s qualifications for The White House," said Mr. Rich. "It does seem a bit odd that a heretofore unknown retired construction worker could be elected to the highest office in the nation."

When asked to comment on the strange coincidence that the new President-elect’s last name is the same as that of the current Vice President, Mr. Rich replied with a terse "No comment."
The fact that Dirk Cheney tallied roughly twice as many votes as both John McCain and Barack Obama has raised suspicions even among the news media.

"Something seems fishy," said CBS anchor Katie Couric. "Although I can’t quite put my finger on it."

FOX News has so far been silent on the issue although Sean Hannity reportedly is warming to the idea of President Dirk Cheney.

"So long as it’s not that jerk Obama," said Hannity. "I’m OK with just about anybody else."

Apart from the news media, speculation is rampant that Haliburton may have rigged the electronic voting machines to allow for an automatic write-in vote for Vice President Cheney. Mr. Rich denies that this happened but a recently leaked company memo suggests otherwise. The memo in question is marked TOP SECRET and details plans to alter the configuration of the voting machines to allow for every second vote to automatically default to "Dirk Cheney."

But for the minor typo, it appears that Vice President Cheney might have won the election in a landslide. However, all is not lost for the Vice President since he has reportedly placed a call to his namesake Dirk Cheney offering to fill the second spot in the new Administration.

"Hell, who needs to be President," said Dick Cheney. "So long as I’m Vice President, I can still run the country."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Alberta's New Plate Motto

Albertans tend to be opinionated, ornery folk. And if there’s one thing that riles an Albertan, it’s somebody trying to change the slogan on his license plate.

Premier Ed Stelmach’s government is apparently looking to change the province’s plate motto from "Wild Rose Country" to "Strong and Free" which is the English translation of the official provincial motto "Fortis et Liber." But a recent survey indicates most Albertans want to stick with the current phrase.

Perhaps Premier Stelmach and his advisors should have considered other options that might have been more popular. Options such as "Oil’s Well With Us", "Crude to the Last Drop" and "Because We Can." They’d likely even garner more support for candidates like "Ottawa Sucks", "Freeze in the Dark" and "We Still Hate Trudeau."

But why restrict this exercise to Alberta? Other provinces need an update on their license plate slogans, too. How about these new provincial plate mottos?:

Newfoundland and Labrador: Cod Help Us
Nova Scotia: Canada’s Pogey Playground
New Brunswick: Just Passing Through
Prince Edward Island: Spuds ‘N Suds
Québec: Canada’s National Province
Ontario: We Know Best
Manitoba: Wheat, Water & Winnipeg
Saskatchewan: Even Tommy Douglas Left
British Columbia: Everyone Ends Up Here Eventually

And while we’re at it, let’s give an overhaul to our national motto as well. Let’s face it, "a mare usque ad mare" is definitely outdated. Not only is it in a dead language, it’s not even accurate since we’re bordered by three seas, not just two.

Forget the Latin slogan. Instead, let’s come up with something new, something jazzy, something more reflective of our national identity. Like one of these candidates:

* We’re NOT Americans!
* One Nation Underdog
* Canada: The Committee-Created Country
* Corn Flakes / Flocons de Mais
* We Ì Asymmetrical Federalism
* The 19th Century Belongs to Us
* We’re Number Two!
* We Actually Like Curling
* Peace, Order and Lots and Lots of Government
* Two Loonies Make a Twonie
* Canada: The Dysfunctional Mosaic
* Mounties, Maples and Medicare
* Skates, Skis and Ski-Doos
* Ten Provinces and a Lot of Empty Space
* It’s Not So Bad, Eh?
* Two Months of Tough Sledding
* Deux ou Trois Nations
* The Defederated Federation
* Alberta Plus

Friday, July 11, 2008

Do You Remember When?

Every few weeks I get a "Do you remember the 50s?" e-mail. You know the ones. They’re paeans to the good old days when men were men, women were women and life was always better. But where are the realistic fifties e-mails? The ones that tell the rest of the story. Ones like this:

If you’re old enough to remember Nehi grape soda and Studebakers with tailfins, you probably grew up in the fifties, the absolute best time there ever was in the whole wide world. As a child of the fifties, you’ll remember:

* Swimming in the neighborhood city pool on hot, sweaty summer days except, of course, for the times the pool was closed during the polio epidemics.

* Eating at the drugstore lunch counter where you’d get the chololatiest chocolate malted milkshake you could ever imagine and you never had to worry about sitting next to one of those pesky Negroes.

* Riding in your uncle’s ‘57 Chevy convertible with the top down, feeling the wind in your hair and the dashboard crashing into your head since no one worried bout silly things like seat belts.

* Drinking as much beer as you could hold and then driving your friend’s car as fast as you could because no one made a fuss about something as common as drinking and driving.

* Listening to the song stylings of singers like Pat Boone, Bill Haley and Elvis Presley without being concerned about the black original artists who they stole from.

* Watching Billy get into trouble at school for throwing spitballs and then getting the strap from the teacher until his knuckles bled.

* Laughing at stupid Bobby until he cried because he could never read properly and nobody knew what a learning disability was.

* Watching the Army-McCarthy hearings on your black and white TV and being thankful that Senator Joe McCarthy was protecting America from those godless commies including the ones who wouldn’t name names.

* Listening to Father McGuire preach about love and respect after he had just molested one of the altar boys in the sacristy.

* Making fun of Steve and calling him a fairy, a pansy and a homo and not even feeling sorry after he committed suicide because no one cared about gays.

* Smiling when little Susie said she wanted to grow up to be a doctor because everyone knew it was silly to think a girl could do that.

* Calling kids funny names like kike and spic and wop because they were different and it was a fun thing to do.

If you can remember any or all of these things, then you remember the fifties and, if you gave it a moment’s thought, you’d be glad those "good old days" are over.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Less Filling v. Tastes Great

The conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court has once again moved the country to the right. In a surprising 5-4 split decision, the Court struck down a Washington, D. C. law banning handguns. Less noticed were a spate of other conservative split decisions which will likewise dramatically transform American society.

First up on the docket was Coke v. Pepsi, an ongoing dispute that has threatened for years to irreparably divide the nation. In a 5-4 split decision, the Court narrowly ruled in favor of the traditional pause that refreshes. Writing for the conservative majority, Chief Justice Roberts cited Coca-Cola’s longer history and distinctive bottle shape in ruling for the Atlanta-based beverage.

"It may not be as American as apple pie," wrote the Chief Justice. "But it’s clearly the next best thing. Plus, as far as I’m concerned, things really do go better with Coke."

In another leading beverage case (Less Filling v. Tastes Great), the Court again split along ideological lines in favor of the appellant. Voting 5-4, the Court wasted little time in reversing the lower court’s ruling in favor of Tastes Great.

"It’s light beer," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia for the conservative majority. "I’m not saying it tastes bad but it would be a travesty of justice to hold that it tastes great."

Boldly tackling the leading pop music issue of the day, the Court also handed down its decision in ‘N Sync v. Backstreet Boys. Given the proliferation of boy bands, it was essential that the nation’s top jurists give direction to this current musical trend.

In yet another 5-4 decision, the Court ruled in favor of ‘N Sync. Citing earlier precedents in Lettermen v. Crewcuts, Four Tops v. Temptations and Beatles v. Dave Clark Five, Mr. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, cited ‘N Sync’s superior harmonies and boyish good looks as determinative.

In the world of fast food, the Supreme Court took on the thorny case of Domino’s v. Pizza Hut. Again splitting along ideological lines (the conservative "eat-ins" vs. the more liberal "take-outs"), the Court ruled 5-4 for the respondent.

"We know Pizza Hut. We like Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut rules," wrote Justice Clarence Thomas for the majority. "And therefore we rule for Pizza Hut."

Given its heavy workload, the Supreme Court was unable to hear a number of other pressing matters of popular interest this term. However, it is likely that space will be cleared on the upcoming fall docket for such important cases as Leno v. Letterman, Fahrenheit v. Celsius and Smart Bush v. Dumb Bush.