Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tiger's Albatross

To date, Tiger Woods has not made a full disclosure about his alleged indiscretions. However, the following discarded first draft of a public apology obtained from seldom reliable sources suggests that one may be forthcoming soon:

Although I originally asked that all this be treated as a private matter, I now realize that I owe my fans an explanation. I consider that to be a fair way to deal with my situation.

As long as I can remember, golf has been my life. No matter how rough the path or how tough the lie, I have always tried to shoot straight and avoid the bunkers.

It is with that attitude that I address you today. While it is true that I recently landed in a few traps, I assumed that I could scramble and avoid further hazards.

I now have to admit to ending up with an unplayable lie. Given that unfortunate occurrence, I was hoping to be granted a relief or at least be allowed to simply play through.

I recognize that what I have done may have been out of bounds. All I can say is that I hope you can forgive me and gimmie a free drop.

I acknowledge that I have let you the fans down. I had a reputation to uphold and I clearly did not read the green properly. Despite my penchant for the double D and holing out, I should have kept my putter true and left my ball at home.

Although I am famous for my long game, especially on the back nine, that’s no excuse for not adopting an open stance. Yes, I like my tip stiffness on the harder side and I can usually be counted on for a spectacular woodie or two each round. But just because someone has an itch doesn’t mean he should scratch it.

I think you’ll agree that I’m known for coming up big when there’s a trouble shot. Whether it’s nailing a wind cheater off the tee or holing a snake from sixty yards, I’ve never been known as a sand bagger.

So these latest accusations sting like a triple bogey on the first hole of a playoff. But please forgive me and I promise that, from now on, I’ll keep my wood on the course and my balls in my bag.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Enquirer Seeks Bailout

In a late breaking development in the ongoing Tiger Woods scandal, "The National Enquirer" has asked for a federal bailout.

"We’ve held off going hat in hand to the government as long as we could," said Managing Editor Frank Lee Prurient. "But we’ve kind of hit the wall on this Tiger Woods thing."

Apparently The Enquirer is not rolling in dough as many thought. Taking on the investigative duties formerly performed by the mainstream media has inflicted a heavy financial toll.

The Tiger Woods story appears to be the straw that broke the tabloid’s fiscal back. Although the initial disclosures did not cause too much of a burden on the paper, the escalating stream of revelations has threatened its ongoing viability.

"Look," said Prurient. "We can handle two, three, maybe even four or five mistresses coming forward. But once we get past half a dozen bimbo eruptions, it’s a real strain on our bottom line."

Luckily for The Enquirer, the federal government recently announced that not all of the huge bank bailout fund will need to be used. That leaves $200 billion or more available for public works, job creation and support for other industries in financial peril.

"I think we qualify on all three counts," said Prurient. "All we need is one or two hundred million dollars," said the managing editor. "That’s a drop in the bucket for the government’s TARP program but it would work miracles for us. Let’s face it; when you’re trying to track down the sexual partners of a billionaire like Tiger Woods, you need all the cash you can get."

President Obama has not commented yet on The Enquirer’s request but is reportedly cool to the idea. An unidentified White House spokesperson has instead suggested some of the bailout money be spent on identifying women who have not slept with Tiger Woods.

"In the long run, we think it would be a wiser allocation of government funds," said the anonymous source. "After all, it’s bound to cost a lot less to find out who hasn’t slept with Mr. Woods than to find out who has."

Thursday, December 03, 2009

What's Next For Oprah?

Let’s have some fun and try completing this sentence: "Oprah ends her talk show in 2011 and decides instead to....."

* Groom Sarah Palin as her talk show host replacement, the new show to be called "Simply Sarah."
* Take on Dave, Jay, Conan, et al. with the first late night talk show hosted by a woman since Joan Rivers’s ill-fated, short-lived run with "The Late Show" on Fox in 1986.
* Challenge Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and T. Boone Pickens to a high-stakes, winner-take-all poker game for financial domination of the free world.
* Open her own bookstore called Oprah’s Book Club.
* Buy Amazon.com and call it OprahsBookClub.com.
* Spend more time with her family.
* Adopt a third-world orphan and give him or her a new life.
* Adopt a small, third-world country and develop it into a member of the G20.
* Eat anything she damn well pleases for the next twenty years.
* Build her own theater in Vegas and perform two shows nightly with added weekend matinees until Celine Dion cries "Uncle!"
* Buy the Chicago Cubs and get them into the World Series.
* Establish a seniors’ home for retired (or should-be-retired) daytime talk show hosts like Phil Donahue, Jerry Springer and Montel Williams.
* Take as much time as necessary to get Stedman to stop calling himself a consultant and get a real job.
* Start calling herself Ms. Winfrey again.
* Replace Joe Biden as the Vice Presidential candidate on Barack Obama’s ticket for 2012.
* Replace Barack Obama on the 2012 ticket.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pardoned Turkey Kills Again

Just when they thought things couldn’t get any worse, White House officials learned that this year’s pardoned Thanksgiving turkey has gone on a nationwide killing spree.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was tightlipped and circumspect in announcing the tragic events. This year’s pardoned poultry, a 45-pound bird named Courage, apparently escaped from Big Thunder Ranch in Disneyland’s Frontierland where he ended up after his stint as grand marshal of Disneyland’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"The White House regrets to announce that the turkey pardoned by President Obama on Wednesday has killed upwards of six people in southern California," said Mr. Gibbs. "And there are reports that he may have injured dozens more."

Investigations have revealed that Courage (a.k.a. Salmonella Sam) was known to authorities for some time as a vicious spreader of various bacteria. Apparently it is not just undercooked turkeys who are a threat to the American people.

"Live turkeys are even more dangerous," said FDA spokesperson Harold Haroldson. "If they manage to sneak into your home, they can spread bacteria without you even knowing it."

The FBI has issued an all-points bulletin asking citizens to be on the lookout for a rather large, white, feathered turkey who is unarmed yet considered to be very dangerous. According to authorities, the bird is not a flight risk although he can flap his wings and travel at speeds of upwards of three miles an hour.

The White House hopes to have the wayward bird back in captivity soon although the President has apparently not yet decided if it will be returned to Big Thunder Ranch or will instead serve as next year’s Thanksgiving dinner at Guantanamo Bay.

Whatever course of action the President ultimately chooses, it looks like Joe Biden has already decided to take matters into his own hands. The Vice President was reportedly last seen on Air Force Two heading east to Istanbul declaring that, unlike the Bush Administration, "this White House has no intention of pardoning Turkey."

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Palin Book Flu

As America continues to battle the spread of the swine flu, it is now facing a new threat: the Palin book flu. Until recently, this novel virus was thought to have been contained and to be relatively mild. But thanks to an unscrupulous publisher, the Palin bug has now been released in the thousands and appears to be spreading rapidly across the country.

The Palin book flu is classified as a member of the political memoir family of viruses. In many respects, it resembles other members of that viral family in that it contains innocuous biographical information. However, it appears to be much more virulent than other such viruses in that it contains large doses of innuendo and character assassination.

The Palin book flu also differs in who and how it infects. Unlike other political memoirs, its readers often comprise the young, the politically naive and others lacking a fully-formed populist bafflegab immune system.

Most political memoirs are released into the general population in December in anticipation of pre-Christmas seasonal sales. The Palin book flu, on the other hand, started appearing much earlier in mid-November which makes it difficult for authorities to take measures to halt its spread.

The Palin book flu also differs from other literary bugs in the pattern of its transmission. Normally new literary creations appear first in major centers like New York and Los Angeles and spread out from there. The Palin book flu’s epidemiological pattern seems to be counterintuitive with most reported cases showing up in Middle America.

In fact, political epidemiologists have labelled this new bug a so-called rogue virus. Its geographical pattern seems to be entirely unpredictable with outbreaks being reported in such centers as Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Columbus and a dozen other swing state cities.

Some high profile individuals have already been hit with this new flu and report that its effects are nasty and long lasting. Former presidential candidate John McCain, for one, is still feeling the effects of the Palin book flu and may never fully recover. Broadcast journalist Katie Couric is another flu victim who is reportedly still suffering from aftereffects such as a bruised ego and falling ratings.

Sarah Palin, the creator of the eponymous bug, has shown no remorse for the damage it has inflicted on the country. In fact, she has actively promoted and encouraged the spread of the dangerous book by enlisting such TV personalities as Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters.

The White House has reportedly taken active steps to halt or at least slow the spread of the Palin book virus. Although officials are not overly concerned about its immediate effect on the population, they are apparently worried about its long term effects. As it is currently constituted, the virus is not too dangerous but it could easily mutate and add presidential aspirations to its genetic makeup.

To this end, the federal government has begun identifying the virus and developing a vaccine. Usually a flu vaccine is created from a dead version of the virus which is used to stimulate one’s immune response. In this case, however, it is believed that a novel approach must be adopted and that, in order to be truly effective, the vaccine must contain a judicious mix of fact, policy and historical knowledge. It is hoped that such a mixture will protect readers from a full-blown infection before the fall of 2012 at the very latest.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Dobbsian World View

It’s official; longtime CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has resigned. The controversial host of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" reportedly felt constrained by his network’s policy of neutrality and impartiality.

"I tried to call things as I saw them," said Dobbs. "Like illegal immigration and foreign-born presidents. But I was always having to ratchet back my true feelings on the issues of the day."

CNN had reportedly urged Mr. Dobbs to moderate his opinions but the popular host apparently chafed under those restrictions. Now, however, he will be free to give full voice to his views on all manner of topics.

"Sure, I came down hard on illegal immigration," the former host said. "But I could only tell half the story. It turns out that illegal Hispanics are not the worst of it. When you really examine the issue of illegal aliens, it’s hard not to avoid the indisputable fact that most of them are true aliens coming from other solar systems."

Pressed to provide further details, Dobbs at first said that he would wait to expand and expound on these new controversial views when he had assumed a new hosting position. In the end, however, he couldn’t resist.

"Let’s just say that true illegal aliens are even trickier and more troubling than those folks sneaking over our southern border," said the former financial reporter. "And once I have nailed down a new TV host position, I’ll be able to discuss the matter in more detail."

Although Dobbs wouldn’t say too much, it appears that he sees more trouble on the horizon for America.

"A lot of folks dismiss the Birther movement," said Dobbs. "But I think there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. If you check into the president’s history, you can’t even find a birth record for him from Kenya. And when you hear the name Barack Obama, it’s hard to place it in any country on this planet. I don’t know what kind of records they keep in the Alpha Centauri star system but I wouldn’t be surprised to find Barack Obama filed right between Banik Oaruma and Bornak Ozckx."

Without giving too much away, Mr. Dobbs hinted that he’s also prepared to demonstrate how John Kerry’s Swift Boat Navy service gave rise to global warming which in turn has secretly necessitated the implementation of death panels.

"It’s not like I’m finding a conspiracy under every rock," said Dobbs. "But I wouldn’t be surprised to find something under every second or third rock."

As for a potential new anchor position for the populist porcine pundit, his initial optimism about landing a new gig may be misplaced. "Yes we’ve had an enquiry," said Fox News’s Glenn Beck. "And we think the world of Lou but, let’s face it, he’s too nutty even for us."

Friday, October 30, 2009

White House Trick-or-treaters

It’s Halloween and that means American homes from coast to coast will be visited by scary costumed trick-or-treaters. And that includes the nation’s First Residence: The White House. Here are some of the frightening visitors President Obama can expect this Saturday night.

The Clintons
Hillary drops by to remind Obama what he can expect in 2012 if he doesn’t give her some more treats. She’s not saying she’ll run against him in three years’ time but she’s not saying she won’t either. But if Hillary doesn’t get what she wants, she may just unleash her sidekick Scary Bill.

The Birthers
They’re back and they’re scarier than ever. They’re the Birthers and now they’ve got a whole new crazy story about Obama’s non-American origins. It turns out that he was really born in the Panama Canal Zone as the love child of Che Guevara and former Black Panther Angela Davis.

Joe Biden
He looks friendly and harmless but once he opens his mouth, he can scare the bejesus out of the president. Dressed as a loose canon, Joe Biden also has loose shoes, loose lips and a loose tongue.

Nobel Peace Prize
It hasn’t gone away and it’s even creepier than before. Now the prize is showing up to remind Obama that he has to come to Oslo in December to accept an award that he’s done little to deserve. Like an albatross hanging around his neck, it looks like this prize will haunt him for years.

Sgt. Joseph Crowley
Recently transferred from the Boston police force, Sgt. Crowley pays a Halloween visit to The White House after receiving an anonymous report of a scary black man trying to break in. Hopefully the president won’t protest or he might be charged with GWB - governing while black.

The Public Option
Just when the president thought it had died, the Public Option is back and it’s as frightening as ever with its scary threats of government involvement and universal access. If Obama can’t drive a stake through its Medicare-shaped heart, the Public Option may kill healthcare reform forever.

Sarah Palin
This year, the former Alaska governor is wearing a new scary costume; she’s coming as a Death Panel. In a frightening ironic twist for Obama, the more he attacks Ms. Palin with facts and logic, the stronger she becomes.

The Campaign Promises
This group of Halloween visitors is the president’s worst nightmare. Whether it’s Healthcare Reform; Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; or The Iraq War, their appearance is a scary reminder of goals unmet. If this gang of trick-or-treaters keeps coming back, Obama may have to find a new residence in three years.

Glenn Beck
Dressed as the Race Card, Glenn Beck drops by to accuse Obama of hating white people. Although the president might protest that the only white person he hates is Glenn Beck, Mr. Beck won’t let truth and rationality defeat his scary demagoguery.

The American Voter
Possibly the scariest visitor to The White House, the American Voter is as crazy and unpredictable as an Oxycontin-fueled, right-wing radio talk show host. One minute he wants change and the next minute he doesn’t. Frightening as it is to consider, this spooky character twice elected George W. Bush.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Brand New Philly Phanatic

Hey Philadelphians. Do me a favor. Do whatever you can to help your Phillies beat the Yankees.

It’s not that I’m a genuine Phillies fan. In fact, if truth be told, I’m still a Montreal Expos fan. That’s right; the same hapless Expos who slunk out of town five years ago to become the hapless Washington Nationals.

In fact, I can’t really say that I owe any one team an allegiance at this point. But there is one thing I do know. Through thick and thin, from my earliest baseball memory to my latest diamond disappointment, there has been one faithful, abiding constant: I hate the New York Yankees.

No matter who wore the Yankee pinstripes over the last fifty years, I disliked them. That encompasses an historical hate on that includes Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter and every pinstripes-wearing player in between.

So when I ask you Philadelphians to do your best to cheer on your team, it’s not because of a soft spot for the Phillies or even a mild preference for National League teams. It’s a request born of something much deeper and stronger: Yankee hatred.

I think most of you understand where I’m coming from. After all, the Yankees are a franchise whose fans are whining because they haven’t won a World Series since 2003. Big deal. You folks know what a real Series-winning drought is and it sure ain’t six years.

Philly fans have experienced disappointment over the years. Despite making it to the World Series seven times, the team has only won two titles and the first one didn’t come until 1980, a Chicago Cubs-sized dry spell if there ever was one.

And when it comes to disappointments, let’s not forget one of the biggest chokes in baseball history, the 1964 6½-game Phold under manager Gene Mauch. That’s the same Gene Mauch who guided the Montreal Expos to their perennial second division finishes for the first seven years of their existence.

Some might say: "Hey, the Phillies won it last year; it’s time for someone else to get a chance." Oh yeah? Someone other than the Yankees maybe. But with the Bronx Bombers, we’re talking about baseball’s richest franchise, a franchise that has won 40 American League pennants and 26 - count ‘em 26 - World Series titles.

The Yankees need another championship like Philadelphia needs another cracked bell. Given your team’s long-suffering history, back-to-back Series victories is not asking for too much. Let those damn Yankees wait for a change. Let them see what it’s like to go decades without a title.

So let me hear you this Saturday when the bad guys show up at Citizens Bank Park. Give them a little taste of brotherly hate and, with any luck, they’ll be run out of town by Sunday night. Not only will Philadelphians celebrate but so will I and millions of other temporary Philly fans.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Obama Re-gifts the Nobel

Ever since the news broke about this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, it’s been pretty clear that President Obama is not that happy to receive it. As with any unwanted gift, there are a number of ways to get rid of it. One of the most popular options is re-gifting as shown by these recently revealed e-mails:

Hillary Clinton
Thanks for offering me the Nobel Peace Prize, Barack. It’s potentially a great honor but I just wouldn’t feel right about accepting it. Those Norwegian guys gave it to you and I think that you should keep it. I’m sure it will be a big plus for you if you ever decide to run for reelection.

Bill Clinton
Thanks for the offer, big guy. I’d really like to take it ‘cause I know that no one has done more to promote world peace and friendly relations than me. But Hillary says I’ll be back in the doghouse if I let you off the hook.

George W. Bush
It was great to hear from you Bobama. Hope all is well in The White House. Did you ever find that extra trillion dollars I hid in the Oval Office? Just kidding; I’m pretty sure I left nothing behind. As for the prize, thanks but no thanks. That middle east mess is all yours now, buddy.

Benjamin Netanyahu
Oy vey! I almost fell off my chair I was laughing so hard. I know you probably don’t deserve the prize but I have to admit that I probably deserve it even less. Plus, it’s kind of a bad luck charm around here if you remember what happened to the last Israeli who got it.

Hamid Karzai
You’re kidding, right? My country’s overrun with Taliban and I can’t even fix my reelection without everybody getting all democratic on me. Believe me, the last thing I need is a secondhand peace prize.

Kim Jong-il
Whoa, whoa! Not so fast. You always giving me hard time about nuclear bombs and rocket testing and all that crazy stuff. Now you want me to do you a favor? How about we talk this over and you tell me what’s in it for me? I was thinking maybe a case of Scotch, a Rolex and a couple of iPods.

Mahmoud Ahmajinedad
Sure, I’ll take it. Does it come with any money or fissionable material?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Unseasonable Election

With all this talk of a fall election, it behoves us to consider the merits of an autumnal trip to the polling booth. Is that really the best time?

Personally, I love the fall. Crisp, clear, sunny days with cool nights perfect for sleeping. But is it a good time for an election?

I would say no. After all, why would we want to take away any days from this delightful season? Given our short summers, it would be a crime to reduce our opportunities to enjoy the fall colors and the fall harvest.

Plus we’re pretty busy this time of year. The kids are back at school, the workplace is in post-vacation mode and Halloween preparations are already under way.

So if a fall election is out, what about a winter election? Who would care if a campaign interrupted our six-month annual hibernation?

Well, I would for one. It’s true that there’s not a lot to look forward to during winter. Our time is taken up with such horrid chores as shovelling snow, changing winter tires, washing dirty cars and endlessly putting on and taking off layers of heavy clothing.

Why would we want to insert another unwanted chore in the middle of this season from hell? Canadian winters are depressing enough as it is without throwing in an election campaign to boot. It’s tough enough to make it to spring without listening to Messrs. Harper, Ignatieff, Layton and Duceppe for five straight weeks.

So what about spring? It’s the season of renewal, of new life, new hopes and new beginnings. Surely those metaphors alone should auger well for an election.

Not so fast. Yes, spring is great. But remember, this is Canada. Spring generally lasts all of five weeks which it just so happens is the typical length of a federal election campaign.

Do you want to remember spring as a five-week, coast-to-coast gabfest by our feckless leaders? I didn’t think so.

Which leaves us summer. A lovely season when it occasionally decides to show up. But not the time to hold an election.

Summer is our one chance to get away from it all. And "all" includes politics in general and elections in particular.

As Vivaldi might have said: "So much for the four seasons." So when should we have an election? Personally, I’d say let’s hold an election any time so long as it’s not in the spring, summer, winter or fall. I think most Canadians would be on board with such a seasonable proposal.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Death Panel Implementation

In his recent address to Congress, President Obama derisively dismissed Sarah Palin’s accusation that the Democrats’ healthcare reform package includes provisions for so-called death panels. But recently leaked White House documents suggest that maybe the former Alaska governor was right.

Memorandum *** TOP SECRET ***

To: The President
From: Some Guy
Re: Death Panel Proposal

Once a final bill has been agreed to by both the House and the Senate, it will be time to start planning ahead for the creation, composition and regulation of the new Death Panels.

First off, I strongly suggest that we change the term Death Panel. Secret polling has revealed that an overwhelming majority of respondents don’t react well to that phrase. We’ve been kicking around a few other names for your consideration and have attached them as Schedule A.

Personally, I’m kind of partial to The Taxpayer Reduction Tribunal. Anything that includes the words "tax" and "reduction" is bound to sound good to a lot of voters.

I also like The End-of-life Planning Board and The Early Checkout Council. Everyone likes to plan and an early checkout suggests efficiency and convenience.

Next, of course, you’re gong to have to set your mind to the board’s structure. We’re thinking literally of a tribunal, as in panels of three so we won’t get stuck with tie votes when it comes to final decisions. The last thing a dying citizen needs is uncertainty when it comes to end-of-life choices.

As for those end-of-life choices, I think we should encourage the tribunal to issue their final decisions with as many options as possible to the prospective decedent. It’s always nice to think you have some say over your final fate even if all of the available choices lead to the same result. In this regard, we’re hoping to get group discount rates on everything from cyanide to handguns to help the public minimize the expense of judgment implementation.

So long as the panel hearing a particular case leaves it up to the individual coming before them to effect the panel’s final ruling, they can’t be faulted for just doing their job. I think we’ll only run into problems when overzealous tribunal members insist on carrying out the final decisions themselves.

Of course there will be difficult cases where applicants may not want to abide by the tribunal decision. Sadly, it may be necessary to assist certain reticent individuals to see the wisdom of the tribunal’s ruling.

As with other government functions, we think it would be wise to consider sub-contracting out the job in such cases to designated, pre-approved "death consultants." I understand that there is already a lengthy waiting list of eager applicants.

Finally, in order to achieve some much-needed "buy-in", we strongly recommend that the Chairperson’s position be paid at a significantly higher level and that a prominent American be appointed. We understand that Governor Palin is currently looking for work. If you could convince her to sign on, we think that could be a win-win-win situation for you, Ms. Palin and the American healthcare system.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dr. Politics

A leaked transcript of a recent D. C.-area therapy session:

DR. POLITICS: Come on in, Mr. Party. Lie down and let’s begin.
G. O. PARTY: Sure, doc, and thanks for seeing me on such short notice.
DR. POLITICS: Not a problem. I always have time for my regular patients. However, I note that I haven’t seen you in over eight years? How have you been?
G. O. PARTY: Not so good. I was doing great for the longest time and then all of a sudden I just lost it.
DR. POLITICS: When you say "lost it", what exactly do you mean?
G. O. PARTY: I mean I lost a majority in the Senate, a majority in the House and the presidency. About all I’ve got left are a few governorships and Rush Limbaugh.
DR. POLITICS: Wow! You’ve certainly been through some rough times.
G. O. PARTY: Yeah, and it’s not looking any brighter doc. What am I going to do?
DR. POLITICS: Now as I recall, you went through a similar experience back in the nineties. Is that right? Maybe we can learn something from how you handled that depression.
G. O. PARTY: Yes I did but that was different. Back then, I sometimes had a House majority and, even though I didn’t have the presidency, I had ways of coping.
DR. POLITICS: Jog my memory, G. O. How did you cope back then?
G. O. PARTY: Well I just kept digging up dirt on the incumbent and calling him out on all his sexual improprieties. It was easy and, to tell you the truth, it was a lot of fun. But these days, that doesn’t work at all.
G. O. PARTY: You see, doc, even though this new guy’s from Chicago, he’s clean as a whistle. I just can’t get any dirt on him. In fact, this time, it’s my friends who keep getting caught with their pants down. It’s downright depressing.
DR. POLITICS: Maybe it’s time to change tactics, G. O. Rather than trying to undermine the other side, perhaps you’d do better if you concentrated on yourself, came up with some new ideas and adopted a more positive attitude..
G. O. PARTY: That’s easy for you to say doc but, honestly, I haven’t had a new idea in years and I’m not sure I’ve got any to offer. How about "More war and less tax"?
DR. POLITICS: No, no, no. That’s not what I meant. Why not hold a policy convention and create a new platform? Or how about working with the other side to come up with some constructive compromises? You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel if you try to help others.
G. O. PARTY: I don’t know, doc. I really miss the Bush years. We got to do and say whatever we wanted to and we didn’t have to be nice to anyone. Why can’t things be like that again?
DR. POLITICS: I’m sorry but I see that our time is up. I suggest we book a series of appointments to work on your issues, G. O. Are you free for the next eight years?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Obama Network


TO: The President
FROM: Rahm
RE: Next week’s media schedule

"The Today Show" - 8:10 A. M.
Live appearance on "The Today Show." Be sure to joke about Al Roker’s weight loss and congratulate him on his new healthy lifestyle. Speaking of health, etc., etc..... Fly back to Washington.

"The Ellen Show" - 10:15 A. M.
Brief satellite feed for "The Ellen Show" from the White House kitchen. Demonstrate for Ellen your healthy recipe for chicken fajitas. Speaking of health, yada, yada, yada.

"The Noon Show" - 12 Noon
Appear live on WDCA-TV’s noon show and guest host the weather segment. Point out current warming trends. Speaking of warming, outline administration’s latest plans to deal with global climate change.

"Movie Matinee" - 2 P. M.
Fill in for host on WETA-TV’s "Movie Matinee" and introduce today’s movie: "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Use spot to tout your plans to clean up politics in Washington. Be sure to stress how much you love Jimmy Stewart.

"Traffic Report" - 5 P. M.
Live feed to Chicago radio station WGN-AM to do their 4 P. M. traffic report. Be sure to note the increasing numbers of domestically produced cars on the road, undoubtedly due to the success of your "Cash for Clunkers" program.

"Dancing with the Stars" - 8 P. M.
Pre-taped appearance on tonight’s episode of "Dancing with the Stars." Thanks to Tom Delay’s unexpected retirement for unspecified dance-related charges, you were paired with professional dancer Cheryl Burke for a performance of the Washington two-step. After show airs, be sure to highlight the two major steps required to implement health care reform.

"Monday Night Football" - 9:30 P. M.
Brief satellite appearance on "Monday Night Football" at halftime of Carolina-Dallas game. Scripted banter with Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski about the difficulties in "quarterbacking" legislation through Congress. Stress how politics, like football, is a team sport and that we all need to be using the same playbook, etc., etc. Remember that new Cowboys Stadium has 20,000 square feet of video screen so go easy on the smile.

"The Jay Leno Show" - 10:20 P. M.
Videotaped segment for "The Jay Leno Show." Scripted jokes stress Jay’s revival after leaving "The Tonight Show" and your upcoming revival after slapping down the Republicans. Comments on Jay’s healthy appearance, his car collection and the temperature in the studio lead to discussions of healthcare, the auto industry and global warming.

(Final reminder: Don’t forget to practice your lines for upcoming cameo in the medical drama "Grey’s Anatomy." Still checking to see if we can change script to include reference to "single-payer public option.")

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Rudies

Rapper Kanye West has apologized for his outburst at the recent MTV Video Music Awards. But it doesn’t look like it will affect his chances of winning a Rudie at the upcoming first annual Rude and Offensive Celebrities Awards show to be held in New York City next month.

"Of course we prefer to see rude incidents untainted by subsequent apologies," said ROCA’s Honorary Chairman Dick Cheney. "But I understand that not all celebrities have the ability to never admit fault and never say they’re sorry. That’s why we try to judge each entrant only on the inherent rudeness of his or her particular performance"

For his part, Mr. West is cautiously optimistic about his chances of winning a Rudie.

"I’ve been disappointed by bad ass judges so many times that I don’t want to get my hopes up," said West. "But I do know one thing; if I don’t win this award, you’ll definitely hear about it."

Just like other award shows, the Rudies provide a wide array of categories for celebrity complainers to compete in. For example, this year, it looked like the Rudest Politician of the Year award was going to be a close contest between former governors Sarah Palin and Rod Blagojevich. But a surprise last minute nomination for little known South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson now appears to make him the odds-on favorite.

"Saying the President lied in front of a joint session of Congress definitely merits consideration," said Dick Cheney. "Particularly when he didn’t. Believe me; I know the power of the big lie and this guy Wilson showed some big time rudeness that deserves to be recognized."

In the world of sports, there are plenty of nominees in each individual category from Barry Bonds to Brett Favre to John McEnroe. But when it comes to overall sports rudeness, the hands down winner this year is likely to be tennis star Serena Williams for abusing not only her racket but also a diminutive U. S. Open line judge.

Serena has promised to show up for the awards show and hopes to graciously accept a trophy in one or more categories. If not, however, she is prepared, as she put it, to "shove the **** trophy down someone’s throat."

This year’s awards ceremony will be broadcast from the Capital of Rude: New York City. Co-hosted by the Kings of Rude, Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck, the show will start at 9 P.M. and finish whenever the organizers damn well feel like it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama the Socialist

Certain conservative commentators have criticized President Obama’s recent address to the students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia as a political attempt to indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda. While some have since backed off from those criticisms after actually hearing the President’s speech, a more careful reading of the text suggests that their initial instincts may well have been right.

Check out the introduction. In it, Obama says that some of the students were probably wishing that it was still summer and that they could’ve stayed in bed a little longer. Isn’t that just typical of our Grasshopper-in-Chief? Stay in bed kids and let the ants do all the work. Don’t worry about the coming winter; the government will take care of you.

Then Obama goes on to say that he knows that feeling himself since he lived in Indonesia for a few years. Indonesia. Isn’t that one of those Muslim socialist states? I’m just saying, that’s all. And by the way, we still haven’t seen that American birth certificate, Mr.-so-called-President.

Obama said he wanted to talk to the students about what’s expected of them this new school year. If that sounds like a call to arms to a new socialist agenda, you’re probably right. What needs changing anyway? The three Rs were good enough for you and me and they should be good enough for a leftie like Obama, too.

Then the President urged the children to not spend every waking hour with an Xbox. How anti-capitalist is that? Since when do we urge our citizens not to buy and use consumer goods? And why would he trash the Xbox and not mention the Nintendo Wii? It sounds like Obama has a plan alright; a plan to allow American children only one government-approved amusement device in their homes.

Some would say his call to students to study so they can become Supreme Court justices is laudable. Think again. All this sinister man is doing is inculcating socialist thoughts into the heads of our students so that some day he’ll have even more left-leaning robots as potential candidates for his Supreme Socialist Court.

It doesn’t take a genius to see what Obama is up to. In fact, you don’t even have to read between the lines. At one point he refers to the thinking skills students can gain from "history and social studies." Social studies? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned, 1950s-style "citizenship education"?

And then he tells our kids to spend more time each day reading. Reading what, Mr. President? "Das Kapital" and "The Communist Manifesto"? No wonder he’s urging our young people to turn off their TVs.

Obama finishes off his speech by urging the students to ask for help when they need it. Help, as in assistance as in social assistance? How un-American is that? You made it on your own and I made it on my own and our kids will make it on their own, too, without any "help" from pinkos like Obama.

Now, as for the President’s address tonight on healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress, don’t get me started.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Money For Nothing

"Cash for Clunkers" is over but that’s apparently not the end of the financial stimulus programs under consideration by the Obama administration. Check out these upcoming initiatives:

Bucks for Bikes
In the same vein as "Cash for Clunkers", "Bucks for Bikes" has been designed to revive America’s moribund bicycle manufacturing industry. Consumers will be able to turn in their ancient Schwinns, Raleighs and banana bikes for snazzy new 18-speed, titanium racing machines and get cash rebates of up to $500. Currently there are roughly zero bike plants in the United States but it is hoped this program will triple that number by next year.

Dough for Doughnuts
Economists have shown that the most effective stimulus is at the basic retail level. And the easiest way to get more bang for the government buck is to subsidize something every American likes: doughnuts. This plan calls for a ten cent discount on every doughnut sold. Not only will this program help out bakeries and doughnut shops from coast to coast, it should also save money by reducing the number of Americans who live long enough to collect Social Security.

Pesos for Pedros
Looking to solve the ongoing problem of illegal immigration, the Obama administration hopes to implement its new "Pesos for Pedro" program. Government economists have crunched the numbers and determined that the breakeven point for most illegal aliens from south of the border is about $4,500. So the feds plan to offer $5,000 and a free bus ticket home to any illegal willing to sign on. Given the current state of the economy, however, there is some concern that there may not be sufficient funds available since many American citizens may also opt for the offer.

C-notes for B-flats
Billed as a win-win program, "C-notes for B-flats" will grant $100 to any music student willing to buy a clarinet, trumpet or saxophone. Not only will the education system benefit, the entire musical instrument industry will get a much-needed boost. If successful, the government hopes to expand the program to include other band and orchestral instruments under related programs like "Hundreds for Horns", "Benjamins for Basses" and "Franklins for Fiddles."

Greenbacks for Guns
Most politicians are loathe to touch the issue of gun control. But the current administration thinks they have the answer in "Greenbacks for Guns." They may not be able to slow the sale of guns but they do hope to stop the spread of weapons by offering cash incentives to Americans to turn in their personal arsenals. At worst, the program will simply give the firearms industry a lift. At best, it might keep town hall meetings gun-free.

Money for Nothing
That’s right; it’s "Money for Nothing." Sounds great, right? But sadly for you, it’s a large-scale program designed only for banks and other financial institutions. Don’t mistake this for last year’s bailout. That plan had strings attached and payback provisions. This one consists of outright gifts. After all, if you can’t trust the banks to use the money sensibly, who can you trust?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Modest Proposal

The national debate over healthcare reform has galvanized the citizenry. From coast to coast, town hall meetings have erupted into angry shouting matches about everything from socialism to universal coverage to so-called "death panels."

Personally, I think the talk of "death panels" is premature. Although health care costs are skyrocketing primarily due to a demographic shift in favor of the elderly, it’s a bit early to consider writing off our senior citizens entirely. After all, the United States is a compassionate country. Americans don’t dismiss an entire generation callously or at least not without trying other options first. Yet, given the costs involved, maybe it’s time to start thinking outside the box. Hence, the following modest proposal.

Since the primary strain and drain on the health care system comes from the elderly, we have to find a way to limit the growth of this segment of society. One way is to encourage our seniors to leave the country.

By significantly reducing social security and Medicare payments, some aging citizens will be convinced to move elsewhere to spend their golden years. Mexico, say, where the weather is more agreeable or Canada where they can benefit from that country’s system of socialized medicine. Given the net benefit to the U. S., it probably makes sense to also use positive incentives like emigration assistance grants to speed the process along.

Another approach is to gradually delist seniors. At a certain age, 85 say, seniors would simply disappear from government records. Attempts to receive social assistance or medical care could then more easily be ignored or denied by providers. As required, the qualifying (or, more accurately, de-qualifying) age would be lowered in successive years to meet ongoing budgetary limitations.

Finally, consideration should be given to reduced sentencing for motor manslaughter charges involving victims over 65. Those convicted would have their sentence set by the formula "65 minus the age of the victim" with special incentive awards given for those scoring less than zero. Not only would this approach reduce the absolute number of seniors, it would also help to ensure that only healthy, agile seniors survive thereby further reducing the strain on the health care system.

None of these measures needs to be permanent, of course. In fact, as a 59-year old baby boomer, I recommend they be implemented for a five-year trial period and revisit the issue then. At that point, it would be highly beneficial to canvass those over 65 to see if the program should be continued at all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Deux Nations: The Reality Show

CBC’s fall television lineup is set and it looks like it’s more of the same. That means more Rick Mercer, more "Little Mosque on the Prairie" and, in keeping with current trends, more reality shows.

Sadly, though, most Canadian reality shows are nothing more than copies of American or British shows. The only new truly Canadian-themed reality offering this fall appears to be "Battle of the Blades" featuring competing teams of figure skaters and hockey players. Rumor has it, however, that the CBC hopes to rectify this deficiency by airing one or more of the following uniquely Canadian reality shows currently under consideration:

The Week the Politicians Went

Based on the popular reality-documentary series "The Week the Women Went", this new show takes a look at what happens in the nation’s capital when all the politicians are called home. Will the local bureaucrats be able to survive without the expertise and guidance of their political masters? Or will anyone even notice?

Deux Nations

Loosely based on the "Big Brother" series, "Deux Nations" features six anglophones, six francophones and one aboriginal person living on the same territory. Drama and comedy ensue as the participants battle it out to see whose language predominates, who gets which piece of land and which of the many possible ways the aboriginal person ultimately gets screwed.

Who Hates Toronto More?

Teams from every province and territory compete to see who hates Toronto more. Each week, a different team is eliminated by viewers voting to indicate which one they feel was insufficiently anti-TO. Ironically, the final competition between the last surviving three teams will be held at Toronto’s Massey Hall.

Constitutional Wrangling

Groups of Canadian politicians, academics and political commentators are holed up in the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa to hammer out a new constitution for Canada. Every week, each group presents its proposed replacement for a different current constitutional bottleneck like the amending formula or the notwithstanding clause. The final episode will feature any remaining Canadian viewers voting on their preferred new Canadian Constitution.


Environment Canada weather guru David Phillips hosts a new weekly quiz show in which Canadians compete to guess when summer will arrive and for how long. Hours of sunshine with above 25 degree temperatures will be tracked for upwards of two months to see who can come closest to identifying an actual Canadian summer. Contestants from Windsor and the southeast mainland of British Columbia are disqualified from competing.

Canadian Content, Eh?

Canadians value their Canadian content in everything from dance to music to drama. But how many of us know what actually qualifies under the arcane rules of the CRTC? Well here’s a chance to find out. Contestants will compete in a quiz show format. They’ll get to watch or listen to different productions and then guess whether they qualify as "Canadian content" and explain why. The entertainment promises to be non-stop.

Minority House

Four teams of ideologically distinct contestants are forced to live 24/7 in a cramped common house in Ottawa. The teams battle one another for an elusive majority yet somehow never seem to attain it. In the end, however, all the residents do have one goal in common: to live in the house at least six years in order to win the ultimate prize - a gold-plated, parliamentary pension.

Seal Club

Inspired by the movie "Fight Club", this show pits Newfoundland sealers against celebrity animal lovers in a weekly no-holds-barred competition. Armed only with their wits and the occasional club, each camp tries to outlast the other and avoid being voted "off the ice floe." Weekly guest stars like Paul McCartney, Brigitte Bardot and Pamela Anderson ensure "Seal Club"will be a ratings winner for the people’s network.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Born in the U.S.A.

In response to the movement that questions Barack Obama’s status as American born, some House Republicans have introduced proposed legislation that would require future presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates.

A lot of people are condemning and ridiculing the so-called "Birther" bill saying its supporters have gone too far. I, on the other hand, think these folks are on the right track. If the truth be known, I don’t think they’ve gone far enough.

If I were advising the House Republicans, I’d suggest that they add a few amendments to their bill to really tighten things up. Amendments like:

* Any presidential candidate over 70 claiming to be born in the Panama Canal Zone must provide not only a birth certificate but also at least three independent expert opinions attesting to his (or her) medical fitness.
* A presidential candidate who subsequently loses the popular vote by more than 500,000 votes but claims an electoral college victory must agree to step down if it turns out that he (or she) really isn’t up to the job.
* Any presidential candidate who served as governor of a state north of the 49th parallel and then resigns before completing her (or his) term should be disqualified as a "quitter."
* No vice presidential candidate may head up a candidate search committee and then claim that he (or she) is the only qualified candidate.
* Any sitting president who starts a war under false pretenses and then triples the national debt will be disqualified from seeking a second term.
* No member of Congress will be eligible to seek the office of President if he (but probably not she) supports family values and then cheats on his spouse.
* Any presidential candidate who claims he (definitely not she) was hiking the Appalachian Trail but neglects to add that he followed it all the way to Buenos Aires cannot run.
* Failure to identify more than ten foreign nations on a map of the world will disqualify anyone as a candidate for president.
* The ability to speak in complete sentences will be a condition precedent for serving in The White House.
* No person who hosts a radio talk show will be eligible to run for any office higher than dog catcher.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Beer Diplomacy

In the wake of his beer summit with Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley, President Obama has applied the lessons learned to other ongoing disputes. Apparently, the "teachable moment" was also instructional for him.

Seldom reliable sources report that the President has already scheduled a meeting this week between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It is hoped that by sharing a beer together, the three leaders can come to some mutual agreement on the outstanding issues concerning Gaza and the West Bank.

Bud Light will apparently again be Obama’s favored brew. Although the two Middle Eastern leaders have not yet confirmed their attendance at the planned suds summit, both have indicated their beverage of choice. Prime Minister Netanyahu has asked for an Expanded Settlements lager and President Abbas has opted instead for a glass of wine, preferably a pre-1967 vintage.

Hoping to expand his new hops-based diplomatic initiative, President Obama has also extended invitations to the leaders of both remaining axis of evil members, Iran and North Korea. Obama hopes his new softer approach will open up fruitful diplomatic channels with the two hardline states.

Neither leader has yet accepted the invitation. However, State Department insiders have revealed that both have let it be known which brand of beer they would like to have. President Ahmadinejad of Iran has reportedly asked for a When Hell Freezes Over stout and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il will have an Over My Dead Body ale.

Obama has also reportedly invited Chinese Chairman Hu Jintao to The White House to engage in some beer-related diplomacy. The President has asked Chairman Hu to bring several billion bottles of beer with him and is hoping to unload an equal number of empties on the Chinese leader.

"We rely heavily on the goodwill of our eastern friend," said Obama. "And we’re hoping he can continue to support our ongoing beer habit. As I reminded the Chairman during our telephone discussion last week, from an American perspective, you can never really buy beer, you just rent it."

And finally, the President is also hoping to apply his new beer diplomacy to the legislative battle for healthcare reform. Unfortunately, it appears that he may have little success on this front.

Not surprisingly, most Republican members of Congress declined to share any kind of beer with Obama and many so-called Blue Dog Democrats expressed a preference for Busch Light. Thus, when it comes to healthcare, it looks like the President may have to forego his usual beer of choice and down a couple of shots of Old Crow instead.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Calling All Governors

The National Governors Association has launched a campaign to find suitable new candidates for America’s state governorships. Starting with a lengthy ad on Craigslist, the NGA is planning a year long drive to recruit qualified men and women to take on the nation’s second tier executive positions.

"It’s not as if we haven’t been trying to find good people to fill these jobs," said current NGA chair Ed Rendell. "But we haven’t had much luck in finding qualified folks and recent events have only underscored the problem."

Pressed to explain himself, the Pennsylvania governor noted that there seems to be a definite trend lately in state politics in America.

"I suppose it’s to be expected that there will be the occasional bad apple in any employment sector," said Rendell. "But we seem to be in the midst of an epidemic of incompetence."

"It’s one thing to have former governors go on to become President and screw up the country," said the Governor. "We’ve gotten kind of used to that what with Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. But this latest rash of scandals and resignations makes it clear that we have a definite problem finding and keeping good people to run our nation’s states."

Rendell was initially reluctant to name names but it became readily apparent that he was referring to the spate of recent fallen governors including disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who faces various corruption charges, former Governor Jim McGreevey of New Jersey who had an affair with his male aide, former Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York who paid a call girl thousands of dollars for sex and current South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford who secretly flew to South America to meet with his Argentinian mistress.

And it appears that the problem is not restricted to male governors. Soon-to-be-retired Alaska Governor Sarah Palin avoided personal sex scandals but somehow couldn’t manage to serve one complete term before resigning.

"We regret that we’ve had to resort to a recruitment campaign to find new governors," said Rendell. "Buy we had no choice. Having said that, I think you’ll agree that our advertisements are simple and effective."

Those who watched a preview of the NGA’s soon-to-be-aired TV commercial generally agreed. The ad features a silhouette with a question mark and a voiceover asking "Can you sign your name? Can you serve a full term? Can you remain faithful to your spouse? If you said ‘yes’ to these three questions, you may have a career as a U. S. state governor. Call the NGA today for more information."

Governor Rendell is confident that the ad campaign will ultimately be successful in recruiting good candidates for the states’ top positions.

"It’s not like we’re asking a lot from prospective governors," said Rendell. "Keep your pants on, sign some bills, don’t break the law and wait until your term’s over. In these difficult economic times, I’m betting that we can find at least fifty people who qualify. And frankly, that’s all we need."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beyond The Palin

"Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska abruptly announced on Friday that she was quitting at the end of the month, shocking Republicans across the country and leaving both parties uncertain about whether she was leaving national politics or laying the groundwork for a presidential run."
- The N. Y. Times - July 4. 2009

I know a lot of you were disappointed by my announcement on Friday. Many of you hoped that I would stay on as Governor, seek reelection and then make a run for The White House. That’s why I think that I owe you a fuller explanation.

I’ve loved serving the people of Alaska and making that great state even greater. But it’s time to move on and take on new challenges. I’m not sure what those challenges will be but let me outline some possibilities.

We’re thinking of leaving Alaska. Of course we love Alaska but we know that other states need us, too. States like New Hampshire.

New Hampshire is suffering right now. There’s high unemployment and folks there could really use our help. So we’re looking into moving to the Granite State sometime in 2011 and campaigning from Berlin to Nashua to help those folks out, especially the Republican ones.

That’s not to say we don’t care about Americans in other states. With Todd, Trig, Tripp, Track, Bristol, Willow and Piper, we could travel this great country of ours from coast to coast helpin’ folks in every state of the union.

We’re thinking of making it a two or three-year tour and not just to New Hampshire. Todd says we should also scope out Iowa, South Carolina, Florida and maybe even California. Who knows? We may just buy a big RV and move wherever the spirit takes us maybe even ending up in Indianapolis, Atlanta or San Antonio sometime in August of 2012.

As you’ve heard, I’ve already signed a book deal. So some of my time in the next couple of years will be taken up with writing the story of my amazing life to date. Or to be more accurate, editing the story of my amazing life to date that’s being written by a very talented ghostwriter.

In order to edit an accurate account of my life, I’m going to have to revisit all those states that I traveled to in the last presidential election. And while I’m there, I’ll of course want to visit all those delegates that I got to know so well and recapture those great times we all had on the election trail.

Whatever I finally decide to do with my life, I know that my family will always come first. In fact, I’m hoping in a few years to make them what I like to call my First Family.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

2009 Asks For A Do-over

At a recent hastily called news conference, the year 2009 called for a do-over. A transcript of the event follows:

Thank you all for coming today. I know that with all the negative things going on recently, it wasn’t easy to get here. So I appreciate the efforts you have made and for those who couldn’t make it due to record-breaking traffic, unprecedented bad weather or imminent plague, my apologies.

I’ve called this press conference to ask for a favor. Like you, I haven’t been happy at all with the nature of recent events and, frankly, I’m tired of taking all the blame. That’s why today I am formally asking for a do-over.

What with the tanking global economy, the ongoing wars around the world and this spreading swine flu business, things have admittedly been pretty bad. Believe me, that wasn’t my intention back on January 1st when I started out of the gate.

Despite the shaky end to 2008, I had high hopes that I could "ring in" the New Year on a positive note. Little did I know that 2008 left me with enough hidden time bombs to sink a whole fleet of ships.

I’m not saying I’m blameless in all that’s happened so far. But you have to realize that I was left with a pretty sad picture. I don’t want to spend all my time trashing those who came before me, but you have to admit that 2008 was pretty bad.

Nevertheless, blaming my predecessor for today’s problems only goes so far. After all, I’ve had my share of surprises that popped up all on their own like those Somali pirates, that new album from Britney Spears and Dick Cheney asking for more transparency in government that I can’t really blame on anybody else. The question is how to deal with what appears to be a deteriorating situation.

If I could just get the temporal equivalent of a mulligan, I think we can get past this unpleasantness and start anew. Otherwise, I risk becoming another 1918, 1930 or 1968 and, trust me, nobody wants that.

So let’s forget this crazy year ever happened. Take two, roll again, replay, start over. How about you let me try again on July 1st? We’ll call that 2009 and I’ll do my best to get it right this time. OK?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jon And Kate Really Grate

It used to be called The Learning Channel and featured educational fare. But now it’s just called TLC and it broadcasts a raft of shows primarily about giant families or little people but so far, thankfully, not both.

TLC’s current ratings leader is the show "Jon & Kate Plus Eight", an inside look at a couple raising twins and a set of sextuplets. While the show has had a solid audience for much of its run, it now outdraws many major network shows thanks to the recent breakdown of Jon and Kate’s marriage.

The latest news from last Monday’s episode is the long-anticipated divorce of the show’s stars. With promo teasers like "Jon and Kate Gosselin have an announcement", "A family in turmoil" and "A relationship at a crossroads", it was expected that more than ten million viewers would tune in to gawk at the latest development in this ongoing train wreck.

But what if the hype had been just that....hype? What if the expected announcement was not the end of the Gosselins’ fishbowl marriage? What if America’s new favorite couple had something else to announce? Something like:

* "The show’s writers (yes, we have writers) think it would be a great idea to have a whole special big family week on TLC," said Kate Gosselin. "Where we join forces with those crazy folks on ‘18 Kids and Counting’." "Yes, I’m really looking forward to it," said Jon. "What with our sardonic sniping at one another and their wacky religious nuttiness, I think the possibilities for fun times, or maybe even religious end times, are exciting."

* "We’d like to announce that we’re planning to expand our TV family next season," said Kate Gosselin. "Given all the troubles that Nadia Suleman, the Octomom, is having with her new octuplets, we thought we’d like to help out and adopt them, at least for the next season or two." "That’s right," said Jon Gosselin. "We figure we can only squeeze so many ratings points out of our marriage troubles and there’ll soon come a time when we need a new twist to keep our viewers interested. And we really like the title of the revamped show: ‘Jon & Kate Plus Eight Plus Eight’."

* "We feel we’ve done a lot for America by opening up our home to viewers from coast to coast," said Kate Gosselin. "But we’re finding that it’s just not as satisfying as it used to be." "I agree," said Jon. "And that’s why we’re planning to move the show to Israel next season. We figure that by showing everyone in the Middle East how the ten of us manage to get along we can bring some much needed peace and understanding to the region. But don’t look for us to build a settlement in the West Bank. Somehow I don’t think that would be very helpful."

* "Television history shows that one surefire way to exploit the success of a show," said Jon Gosselin. "Is to have a spinoff." "I couldn’t agree more," said Kate Gosselin. "And that’s why we’re looking at expanding the marriage breakup theme and debuting two new shows: ‘Jon Plus Four’ and ‘Kate Plus Four’. Or maybe we’ll piggyback on one of TLC’s other popular series and start our own birth control show called ‘What Not To Bear’."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Torture Or Not Torture?

In his latest effort to control the American political agenda, Dick Cheney recently announced that he’ll soon be hosting his own reality show. Tentatively titled "Torture or not torture?", the former Vice President’s TV offering is slated for a fall debut on the FOX network.

"I was getting frustrated with all the negative talk about torture," said Cheney. "So I decided that the only way to get my message across was through a prime time reality show."

Although plans have not yet been finalized, it seems that the weekly program will likely adopt a quiz show format. Contestants will be interrogated by ex-CIA members and will progress from one level to the next.

"We’re hoping to recruit contestants from Guantanamo Bay," said Mr. Cheney. And, if possible, from the Democratic caucus in the Senate. I really think those folks deserve a chance to play the game."

Leaked production notes suggest that the aim of the show will be to test contestants at various levels of interrogation to see if they will reveal a predetermined secret. And once a contestant "cracks", the home audience will be invited to vote by phone to give their opinion as to whether the revelation resulted from torture or legitimate Geneva Convention-approved methods.

"I can rant and rave all day about what’s torture and what’s not," said the former Vice President. "But it won’t mean a damn thing unless folks get a firsthand view of enhanced interrogation techniques in action."

Asked about just what kind of techniques would be used, Cheney was careful not to reveal too much. He did concede that some of the methods will include the use of water, electricity and canines but he refused to elaborate further.

"I could tell you more," joked Cheney. "But then, of course, I’d have to kill you."

Rumor has it that each round of questioning will involve increasing levels of horror-inducing interrogation and more and more frightening apparatuses. Some insiders have even suggested that Cheney wants to make use of the rack.

"That’s absolutely false," said Cheney. "The whole idea of the show is to illustrate to folks that important information can be elicited from prisoners without actually torturing them. I’m not saying we’ll never use the rack but you have my word that there will be absolutely no drawing and quartering or burying up to the neck in sand. Well, at least no drawing and quartering."

The show is slated to debut on September 11th and will run until America is once again finally safe from terrorism.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Apocryphal Briefings

It turns out that top-secret intelligence briefings prepared by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld around the time of the March 20, 2003 U. S. invasion of Iraq had cover sheets with inspirational pro-war Bible quotes presumably designed to appeal to George W. Bush’s born-again Christian faith. What hasn’t been revealed until now, however, is that there were alternate briefings that didn’t get sent, briefings with potentially more useful quotes from the Bible and from some long-lost books of the Apocrypha.

February 6, 2003
"The one called Kolin shall gather all the nations and falsely urge their armies to join together and make war against Babylon." - Letter to the Grecians 8:4-5

February 20, 2003
"And the burning bush signified to them that a connection must be found between the evil one and the more evil one though they be mortal enemies." - 1 Esoch 16:7

March 10, 2003
"Be not afraid for the Sumerians possess weapons but not in mass numbers nor capable of great destruction." - The Book of Lot 3:21

March 13, 2003
"And they celebrated throughout the night with wine and mead and cakes of all description although none of the cakes glowed of yellow." - 2 Esoch 5:15

March 20, 2003
"The sky will rain down flaming weapons and the whole land will be a burning waste of oil and sulfur. The people will empty the cities and towns and museums of all their treasures." - The Book of Sarah 6:21-22

May 1, 2003
"The Lord spoke and said unto them: ‘Be merciful and show kindness to your enemies. Do not disarm them. And do not shame them with banners above your sailing ships proclaiming victory." - The Gospel according to Michael 3:8-9

November 30, 2005
"The time will surely come when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord." - 2 Kings 20:16-17

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

On Beyond Inflation

For years, the only thing consumers had to worry about was a little bit of inflation. But now all that has changed. As world economies rapidly decline, experts warn of stagflation (high inflation in the midst of sluggish growth and high unemployment) and even deflation (a decrease in prices and overall economic activity). But apparently that’s just the beginning as economists scramble to devise new economic terms to deal with ever-evolving modern financial complexities:

The economic rule in place 20,000 years ago. No one cared or even knew about inflation since the primary concern was basic food and shelter.

Autoflation occurs when the repeated buying, selling and transferring of personal investment holdings results in ever-increasing losses. The term can also be applied to any attempts by car company executives to extract money from government.

Unlike deflation where prices go down, antiflation combines the worst of all economic worlds. Prices go down but costs go up and growth remains stagnant.

The vast majority of economists are either proponents of inflation or deflation. Some, however, choose to swing both ways and are said to be biflationary.

In today’s global economy, transflation (see below) can travel from one country to another at great speeds. Circumflation is the tendency for an inflationary trend to circle the globe.

Conflation comprises the inflationary pressures suffered due to the illegal activity of unindicted bank executives. Ironically, rather than receiving prison time, the perpetrators of this phenomenon instead receive seven or eight-figure salaries.

Politicians, especially those in power, have a tendency to minimize or discount economic downturns. Some go so far as to deny the existence of inflation. This pollyannaish, glass-half-full view of dire times is called disflation.

Used to describe the dystopian, post-apocalyptic world where no one cares about inflation. When all commerce is barter, the economy is said to be exflationary. Similar to anteflation.

A vague term used by economists to describe any anomalous financial glitch yet to be experienced. For example, if an economy simultaneously experiences inflation, deflation and stagflation, it’s easier to just call it neoflation.

Most economists believe in one inflation at a time. But a few prefer to be wedded to multiple economic inflationary trends. These scholars are called polyflationists and are most commonly found among the business school faculty of Brigham Young University.

Most economists are extremely cautious about inflation. A few, however, actively support all inflationary trends. These academic renegades are known as proflationists.

Reflation is a personal financial indicator. It’s the increase in value of individual investment holdings that occurs immediately after they’ve been sold following years of losses.

Certain segments of society remain unaffected by everyday economic fluctuations. Instead, they suffer from something called subflation or the complete absence of goods and services. These people are sometimes also identified as the poor and the homeless.

Hyperflation is a very high level of inflation such as that experienced in Germany in the 1920s or in Zimbabwe today. Superflation is a very high level of hyperflation and is marked by the use of paper currency for wallpaper, memo pads and toilet tissue.

Just like viral illnesses, inflation can be transmitted from country to country. Transflation. occurs when a national inflationary cycle jumps to a neighboring country thereby pushing its inflation rate even higher.

This is the decidedly unsettling state where nothing moves. No increases, no decreases, no ups, no downs and no excitement. Unflation is economic anomie.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Chevy Tomorrow

Struggling automobile manufacturers are desperately trying to come up with new cars to save themselves from economic extinction. If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, the question becomes what will today’s failing auto industry produce to meet our perceived needs? Check out these upcoming models for 2011:

The Chevy Tomorrow
It’s tomorrow’s car today - the brand new Chevy Tomorrow. Borrowing from the historically successful Camarro, the Tomorrow is a high-performance sports car. But it’s also an environmentally-friendly hybrid vehicle that combines a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine with a solar-assisted turbine. On sunny days, you’ll be able to motor for hours with fuel efficiency in the 70 m.p.g. range. Not intended for sale in Seattle, Boston or most of Canada.

The Chrysler Micro-van
A worthy successor to the popular minivan, the Chrysler Micro-van combines the roominess of a subcompact car with the flexibility of a small pickup truck. This tiny vehicle features a one-driver cab with a flatbed able to carry up to six children strapped in to a standing position. Perfect for those short daily trips to school, home and soccer practise. Comes with an optional flat screen TV to keep the young ones in the back from questioning their immobile positioning.

The Ford Potemkim
Just because the economy has tanked is no reason to deny people the luxury cars they desire. Maybe few people can now fork out 60 or 70K for a fancy car. But lots of folks will be able to cough up 8 or 10 thousand for a brand new Ford Potemkin. The Potemkin features the latest in aerodynamic styling and interior luxuries. What it lacks in the way of an engine and a transmission, it more than makes up for in appearance. Not for driving, the Potemkin is the driveway car that tells the neighbors that you’ve still got it.

The Dodge Non-Charger Electric
Forget about the restrictions of plug-in car batteries and the limited mileage between charge-ups. The Dodge Non-Charger Electric gives you the freedom of a gasoline engine without the gas. That’s because it runs on a sixteen-pack of double-A batteries. That’s right; just plug in the pack and away you go. After that, it’s as simple as one-two-three. Remove the pack, toss it out the window and plug in a new pack. And with 35 cubic feet in the back seat and another 23 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk, it’ll be days before you have to replace your battery supply.

The Buick Bitumen
Oil supplies are dwindling. So what’s a consumer to do? Look to America’s most plentiful source of power: coal. And now you can be the first in your neighborhood to drive a vehicle powered by nothing but coal. The Buick Bitumen features a steam engine fired by a modern, clean-coal-burning furnace. So long as you’ve got a passenger and a shovel, you’ll be waving goodbye to gas stations in your continuous search for that elusive next coal station.

The Lada Chernobyl
Looking to leapfrog the western automotive industry, the Russian government has underwritten Lada’s new entry into the modern motoring era: the Chernobyl. It’s the world’s first commercially viable, nuclear-powered family sedan. Using the same safe and reliable technology that powered the Soviet Union’s nuclear reactors and submarines for decades, Lada has produced a car that will run for as long as you need on just one fill up. Once Lada has ironed out the bugs in its internal child radiation shields and its spent nuclear fuel rods disposal program, it’s hoping to help the entire world "Go nuclear!"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marx My Words

In a surprising press release, the American Association of Cultural Paleontologists today announced that it has identified dozens of thriving Marxists in educational institutions on both coasts. Thought to be extinct, it turns out that these longsuffering academics were still present in small groups and were simply dormant.

It appears that the once abundant Marxists went into deep decline around about the time of the Reagan era. With the beginning of the new millennium, they seemed destined to disappear altogether. As the engine of capitalism operated at full throttle, the remaining Marxists one by one dropped off the academic radar.

As late as 2005, there were still sporadic reports of the occasional Marxist being spotted at a regional community college or a Manhattan book reading. Some researchers even claimed to have seen the odd aging Marxist lecturing at an Ivy League school but those reports were never confirmed.

Despite being placed on AACP’s endangered species list, the disappearance of Marxists seemed to progress at a geometric pace. Given the general decline of all things left and liberal, it was not unexpected that the Marxist would soon go the way of the dodo, the Great Auk and the Maoist.

"We had all but given up on ever finding a surviving Marxist," said AACP President Fred Engels. "Without an economic recession to feed on or groups of supportive, ego-stroking students to fill their classes, it seemed highly unlikely that any would still have been around."

Well, it turns out that Engels and his lot were wrong. With the advent of the current world economic crisis, cultural paleontologists on both coasts started receiving odd reports about errant professors and lecturers referencing phrases like "the means of production", "the material dialectic" and "the enlightened proletariat."

"Once these reports started trickling in," said Engels. "We started to get our hopes up that the Marxists were not extinct but were still alive on both the east and west coasts and even in select pockets in the American mid-west."

The wishes of Engels and his colleagues have been realized beyond their wildest dreams. Not only is the Marxist not extinct, it turns out that there are dozens of small herds or communities of them in a number of institutions of higher learning.

"What we hadn’t considered," said Engels. "Was that the Marxists - rather than die off - could temporarily change their stripes and survive using only their wits and tenure."

It turns out that, once under threat, the Marxists adopted a very low profile. Chameleon-like, those who survived changed their outer protective covering and appeared to most outside observers as harmless philosophers, socialists or liberals.

"Our mistake was to extrapolate from the evidential record," said Engels. "And assume that just because researchers could no longer find a single academic paper produced by a Marxist that they were no longer extant."

Now that their surrounding environment has become more nurturing, many of the surviving Marxists have begun to thrive. Marxist papers, theses and even op-ed pieces have started to occasionally appear in different locations and some observers are, much to their surprise, reporting the return of Marxist courses and texts. A sure sign of the Marxist’s return to health is their renewed mating cry of "Revolution now! Death to capitalism! Revolution now!"

"It’s truly a zoological miracle," said Engels. "Who would have thought that we would see Marxists not only surviving but potentially repopulating their herds to historical levels?"

"But we must not be sanguine about the future fate of the Marxist," Engels continued. "Even the slightest economic recovery or open, democratic discussion could threaten their continued existence. That’s why we’re proposing setting up protective havens like the one started at Berkeley to ensure that the elimination of Marxists is never again a possibility."

There Might Not Always Be An England

U. S. President Barack Obama has shocked the British Empire from Carlisle to Canterbury by announcing that there might not always be an England.

The proclamation by America’s new president came at the end of yesterday’s press conference and was initially missed by all of the reporters in attendance.

"Frankly, I didn’t really notice," said longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas. "There were so many more important announcements that this one basically fell through the cracks."

In fact, a full twenty-four hours passed before Obama’s statement was spotted on CNN by an 82-year old pensioner in Clotted-cream-sur-la-mer. Once the news was relayed to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, he immediately telephoned President Obama and demanded an explanation.

Obama told Brown that, as far as he knew, England was on the verge of being subsumed within the European Union and was slated to be renamed Monarchyland to better reflect its primary industry as a quaint tourist destination.

Brown conceded that Obama was correct but still registered his annoyance at having his country’s impotence publicly broadcast.

"It’s one thing to say that England is on the downslope," said the PM. "But there was really no need to say that there might not always be an England. That’s just bloody rude."

Obama reportedly apologized and corrected himself by issuing a White House press release stating that there’ll always be an England so long as there are British upper class twits who take offense at the obvious.