Saturday, November 29, 2008
The two turkeys pardoned by President Bush in the traditional holiday ritual remain caught in a legal limbo 6 days after the White House ceremony announcing that they were being spared their Thanksgiving fate. Lawyers for the turkeys, named May and Flower, have filed a writ with the D.C. District court seeking a prompt release of their clients. The Justice Department, however, continues to claim the right to detain the turkeys indefinitely as unlawful enemy combatants. “The pardon applies solely to the capital charges associated with being a turkey. It was never intended to override the U.S. rights of preventive detention for unlawful combatants.” Lawyers for the turkeys have for months been seeking a habeus corpus hearing to challenge those charges, noting they are based solely of the testimony of the rival barnyard factions who turned the turkeys over to authorities. Said one lawyer, "The leader of the rival clan Henny Penny has a well-documented history of wild claims" (see “Panic Ensues after Report of Falling Sky”, NY Times, May 1989). Further complicating negotiations has been difficulty finding anyone willing to accept the released turkeys. The home farm for the turkeys has refused to take them back for fear they may foment unrest among the remaining turkeys. “No turkey has ever returned from the “Truck to the Promised Land” that arrives every November, said Red Barnston, owner of the farm. “It could cause complete havoc.”
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Cream Valentino jacket – size 8 – Bought by RNC. Donate
6 pair girls’ underwear saying “True Love Waits” – these are Bristol’s. Keep
“I’d Tap That” T shirt (oil derrick logo), brown, size M – this belongs to John. Return
4 White T shirts – “I’m with stupid” – Nicole Wallace ordered these for my staff – please discard.
Red Manolo pumps, size 7 – I have already had these resoled with Vibram soles. Keep
Women’s underwear, embroidered with “Drill, Baby, Drill” – gift from Todd. Keep
Flyer’s Hockey Jacket, with mustard stains – gift. Note to self: No more hockey gigs without checking local voter registration. The Philadelphia owner must have been the only Republican in that crowd.
Camouflage pattern nightgown – gift from Todd. Keep
4 silk Hermes scarves – I am pretty sure the Wasilla town council gave me these when I was elected Governor. Keep
2 pair white long underwear – Not sure how these got here – Return to Mitt.
Kevlar bustier – gift from NRA. Keep
Dashiki size 44 – Todd bought this for his Jeremiah Wright Halloween outfit (please remove tube of “black face paint” from pocket). Keep
Apron with logo -- “A women’s place is in the House (and in the Senate)” – gift from Alaska Republicans – Please donate to charity (damn you, Mark Begich)
Monday, November 17, 2008
The request for a bailout has caused a strong debate in economic circles. Some feel that without fundamental restructuring of the GOP, a bailout will simply delay the inevitable declaration of intellectual bankruptcy. "Look," noted one analyst, "they keep hoping the models that sold well in the 1980's will make a come back. They haven't updated their basic design and styling to create a package that meets the needs of the American consumer." The GOP did create a temporary buzz at the 2008 summer autoshow with their radical concept car, the Palin, a stylish gas guzzler, but consumers turned on it after a number of highly publicized accidents raised questions about it's basic safety and durability. Foreign competition, incuding the U.K. -made Cameron, has generally outperformed the American models in the conservative marketplace.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Federal authorities are investigating possible housing fraud over the sale of a choice Washington property to an Illinois senator. After a 20 month bidding war against powerful Washington insiders, the Senator finally won out at a price reported to be in excess of $750 million dollars, but not before ugly threats had been leveled at the family, the first black homeowners in the neighborhood. After signing a four-year lease, the senator discovered a host of unpleasant surprises: due to a lack of maintenance for the past 8 years (even while the seller was spending lavishly abroad) the basic infrastructure of the house is at risk of collapsing and neighbors have been complaining of unpleasant odors. The buyer is soliciting help in repairing the historical property to its former glory.
Friday, November 7, 2008
- Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan
- Trainer for the new White House puppy
- In charge of selling Sarah Palin’s clothes on eBay
- “Joe the Plumber’s” media advisor
- Pre-marital counselor to Bristol Plain and Levi Johnston
- Monitor receding of Antarctic ice sheet at Vostok Station
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Stimulating the economy
The presidential race has been estimated to have cost upwards of $2 billion, and the combined election costs including all House/Senate/states races are pegged at a total of $5.4 billion. This infusion of cash has helped prop up a sagging economy, employing a vast array of campaign managers, media consultants, precinct captains, advertising firms, and Web designers, not to mention pizza delivery men, sound techs, bus drivers, sign-printers, plumbers-turned pundits and sales-staff at Neiman Marcus. At a time when bastions of white collar employment like banks and insurance companies are imploding, the campaigns provided the one area of steady growth. This is leaving aside the vast secondary economy that depends largely or entirely on the election: cable news channels, political commentators, bloggers, and late-night-television comedians. Barring a recount, don’t be surprised to see CNN, MSNBC and Comedy Central following GM’s example in announcing major lay-offs come mid-November.
Elevating public discourse
Sure, there has been a lot of gnashing of teeth about the “politics of fear” raised by silly accusations about “palling around with terrorists”. But have we forgotten what we were arguing about before the election – whether Brittany Spears should be committed and whether Scott Peterson killed Lacey? Do we really want to go back to non-stop coverage of the latest co-ed disappearance? When was the last time before 2007 that there was a serious discussion about race, about double standards facing successful, high achieving women, or the merits of the progressive income tax?
Bolstering unemployment figures
The number of people employed by the campaigns goes well beyond those who have some slice of the $5.4 billion spent on ads and campaign infrastructure. For every dollar spent by the campaigns, there are untold dollars of “in-kind” work provided by an army of volunteers. For thousands of recent college grads, the promise of a free couch to sleep on and unlimited pizza (not to mention “campaign sex”) was enough to convince them to devote their last 18 months to working to realize the promise of “Change” (the Kind We Can Believe In or The Kind We Need, depending on your political bent). They were spared having to slink home to live with their parents in a declining economy, plus they didn’t showing up in unemployment statistics. Are we really ready to watch unemployment climb to 9% as they re-enter the labor market just as Starbucks is cutting jobs?
Distracting us from our problems
Face it, just like Seabiscuit during the Depression , the excitement of this election was a welcome distraction from our real problems. Without fivethirtyeight.com to check into every few hours, we might be tempted to check on the status of our retirement fund (depressing) or the war in Afghanistan (scary). It gave us a constant supply of things to talk about with friends or family or to tease our neighbors about (“Hey Bob – how’d you like your gal’s interview with Katie last night?”). With so many more states in play this year, it is as if half the country had a team in the pennant race (think wild card on steroids). Most important, we have largely forgotten that we still have a President in the White House who only a one in four of us supported, and which over half of the country actively loathed.
Paying attention to the whole country
Say what you will about Sarah Palin’s attempts to divide the country into “real America” vs. “fake America”, other than during election season, you would be hard pressed to find ANY attention being paid to small towns in Western Pennsylvania or to farm communities in the prairie states – unless you count the occasional Hallmark classic, the “Deerhunter” (now 30 years old) or Paris Hilton’s old reality show). Is it so bad to remind the two coasts that there are lots of places where people still make a living growing our food? And that Anchorage is not the capital of Alaska? How many people even knew where the 2d congressional district of Nebraska actually is, let alone that there are enough Democrats in Omaha that it might throw a single electoral vote to Obama?
To prevent the sever shock that a sudden loss of all these tangible and intangible benefits would provide, I offer:
A modest proposal
1. Suspend the vote count. Decided voters can vote as planned on November 4th but their votes will be sequestered with the rest of the "early voters”.
2. The remaining 5% of undecided voters (and anyone not able to vote because of long lines/electoral purges/challenges, etc.) will postpone voting until January 9th in return for releasing their identities to the public. McCain and Obama will continue to campaign until then, including holding some town hall meetings made up exclusively of the remaining undecided voters. Candidate ads could be narrowcast at individual voters – “Obama – wrong on taxes. Bad for Bob Smeldenburg. Wrong for America.” Think of it as a combination of “Swing Vote” and Obama’s 30 minute infomercial.
3. Cable news, pundits, campaign workers will analyze daily tracking polls of the ups and downs of these individual undecided voters. Candidates could set up shop in nearby foreclosed houses so they could provide personal outreach to such voters, holding daily coffee klatches about their healthcare proposals and trade policy. (Sort of comes full circle back to the retail politics of the New Hampshire primaries.
4. On January 9th, ten days prior to inauguration, those voters would drive to the polls (the cable channels could track them in helicopters real time like OJ) and cast their ballots. The small number of votes could be tallied quickly and the winner would be announced in prime time EST that evening from the Kodak Center in LA. No more waiting up until midnight on the East coast for the results from Oregon; nor more heading to the polls in California and hearing the election that had already been decided. Both Obama and McCain would have to attend to accept the result, forcing them to maintain a stoically upbeat demeanor when the camera bore in on them as their opponent was announced the winner. The winner would bound up to accept the award to the sounds of Stevie Wonder or Hank Williams Jr., while pretending not to have prepared an acceptance speech in advance. Thirty-five minutes into their thank yous, the band will strike up the campaign theme song and pretty models will escort them offstage.
5. Everyone will disband to post-election parties sponsored by FoxNews, DailyKos, MSNBC and the Club for Growth. David Plouffe will get drunk and fall into a pool to be rescued by Steve Schmidt (or vice versa). Entertainment Tonight will dissect the different dresses worn by Hillary, Sarah, Cindy and Michele. And Michael Moore will punch Bill O’Reilly in the nose, making him cry.
1. A Drudge Report story that $10,000 in charges to “900 - Sarah is a Hottie” phone sex line was traced to Obama's Chicago residence.
2. An AP report that Obama was injured along with 4 campaign workers when 20-foot-tall pile of money collapsed at campaign headquarters.
3. An internet rumor that DNA analysis revealed him to be the love child of Bobby Seale and Patty Hearst.
4. A forged note from William Ayers' house pledging “Bill – be my BFF, love, Barry”.
5. A Fox ticker claiming he had been discovered partying in hotel room with Marion Barry and Redskins cheerleaders.
6. Republican-initiated robocalls in Scranton claiming to be from Obama and urging voters to “stick it to Whitey on November 4”.
7. A post on Ed Morrisey claiming that Osama bin Laden had been captured in Alaska after being shot by Sarah Palin, who mistook him for a wolf on an aerial hunting trip
8. A tape where Obama purportedly celebrates the endorsement from Colin Powell calling him “my main Niggah”
9. A police report that Obama had suffered a serious groin injury in tussle with Jesse Jackson after speech to NAACP in August about family responsibility.
10. A release by McCain of a broad, coherent plan for dealing with economic crisis, appealing to voters’ better natures by asking for shared sacrifice (this last one’s just a wild joke).
Sunday, November 2, 2008
30 Rock – In the 30 Barack episode, Obama guest stars as a rising young political candidate who guest hosts the show. Will Tracy Jordan follow Barack’s advice to clean up his act and establish a charity for urban youth? And what will happen as Liz and guest star Oprah compete for attention from this dynamic leader?
Desperate Housewives – A beer-distributor heiress moves into Wisteria Lane and buys up 6 houses. Rumors abound about a past history of drug abuse. And where is her husband, a rising political star, who seems to be spending a lot of time with his attractive new running mate?
Sarah Connor Chronicles -- Sarah travels back to Florida in 2000 to redesign the "butterfly ballot". Gore/Lieberman win Florida and the election. In 2008, VP Lieberman is sailing towards the nomination until the Hubble telescope picks up images revealing that that in an alternate universe he is a Republican weenie. Obama jumps in to win the nomination and defeat Jeb Bush after Terri Schiavo sends text messages from heaven saying Bush was "unChristian" for keeping her stuck on earth.
House – A powerful elderly politician is admitted for diagnosis of his increasingly erratic behavior. Initial concerns focus on his past history of melanoma and possible post-traumatic distress syndrome but House recognizes signs of early cognitive troubles that might doom the politician’s career. Sparks fly when the first and second wife fight with the running mate over whether to make him DNR.
The Office – Joe Biden drops in on Dunder Mifflin during a campaign swing in Scranton. He inspires Michael with his advice “Champ, when life knocks you down, get up.” Dwight organizes a “Yes We Can” sing-along for staff.
What Not To Wear – Stacey and Clinton are tasked with remaking an Alaskan mother who favors fleece and outdoor clothes. Despite advice that she go with moderate and understated clothes, she goes overboard at Neiman Marcus and Saks, blowing her budget on pumps and a $2500 Valentino jacket. Suffice it to say she isn’t pleased with their advice to rethink her beehive hairdo!
Political strategists feels some of this may account for the strong showing in some polls for the Republican ticket, especially VP candidate Sarah Palin. "You have to admit", said one strategist, "a lot of people tune in to watch her because you never know what kind of misstatement or mangled fact might come out of her mouth. Her Katie Couric interview has a lot in common with Sanjaya’s rendering of ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’ People will miss that if she loses. Plus she IS kind of hot.” Other campaign watchers echoed similar sentiments. “Look, the economy is going to suck whoever gets elected,” said one. “Why not have something entertaining to divert you from the misery?"
Saturday, November 1, 2008
This is John McCain and I approve this message:
The recent economic downturn is causing regular Americans like yourself significant pain. Although the causes of this disaster are clear – my opponents vote for that $3 million overhead projector for the Chicago planetarium -- now is not the time to point fingers. Now is the time for real solutions like my 6-point plan for economic recovery:
1. Restore incentives for savings. A McCain administration will immediately begin awarding free toasters to anyone opening a new savings account with at least $100 (a blender for $200). To further spur economic activity, I will instruct Ben Bernanke to revive the S&H green stamp program, which, for every purchase, awards stamps that can be redeemed for really cool gifts, such as fondue pots and Lava lamps.
2. Win the war in Iraq. People who complain that Iraq is costing the US taxpayer $5 billion per week are applying the wrong calculation. They are omitting the fact that it has already cost us $500 billion. Therefore, if we win in Iraq, we can immediately move that $500 billion from the minus column into the plus column on our budget books. Result: a net improvement of $1 trillion in our overall budget picture.
3. Barack Obama needs to come clean about his pal Bill Ayers. Alright, I recognize this doesn't have anything to do with the economy but it really steams me up.
4. Stop greed. Under a McCain-Palin administration, greed will no longer be allowed on Wall Street. All CEOs will be required to sign a pledge not to be greedy. Their annual filings will have to attest, on pain of imprisonment, that any profits they made were absolutely necessary and that they did not try to increase profits just because they like money. Anyone found to have been greedy will be publicly flogged.
5. Expand savings opportunities for younger Americans -- Cindy and I save hundreds of dollars a year on the “early bird” discounts available to seniors for eating before 6 pm. We will make this available to Americans of all ages.
6. Promote sensible energy production -- Thousands of Americans are sitting atop valuable oil deposits but are deterred by taxes on oil profits. We will make “drill-your-own” kits available to any willing taxpayer, and suspend any royalty payments for two years on any new oil discoveries. Note: City dwellers should consult with their superintendent or coop board before beginning any drilling.
Remember, in scary times like this we can’t afford to entrust this country to people offering “new ideas” or “hope”. Now is the time for faith in the old familiar ideas that were good enough for your parents and their parents before them.
McCain Makes Closing Argument
John McCain’s campaign is narrowing in on its closing argument as the campaign enters its final days. Advisers close to the campaign revelaled that McCain’s final days will focus on the following arguments as to why he is better qualified than his Democratic opponent:
- Do it for an old man who doesn’t have much time left.
- Are you forgetting that Obama’s black?
- Admit it – aren’t you a little curious to see how this Palin as VP thing would work out?
- Only I know how to salvage something from colossal screw ups
- Not only did I frequently stand up to Bush, I have never been able to stand the insufferable smug bastard.
- Oh, another thing -- Obama is not white.
- I promise I’ll forget to run again in 2012.
- Snoop Dog vs. Abba – you pick.
- You do NOT want to make Sarah Palin mad – she has guns and knows how to use them.
- Lots of people have endorsed me – if you give me a minute many of their names will come back to me.
- Where will you put all your “Bush anger” if Obama wins?
Obama Makes Closing Argument
As the campaign of Barack Obama enters the final few days, they have outlined a few main themes that will form their “closing argument.”
- This campaign has never been about me. It’s always been about you. Are you so self-hating that you would vote against yourself?
- If you don’t elect me, I may just keep running ads for 3 more months. Believe me, I can afford it.
- Don’t you just want to see Dick Cheney’s (Neil Cavuto’s/ William Kristol’s) face on November 5th when I win this thing?
- If you are not comfortable with the black thing, vote with a friend. One of you can vote for my white half and the other can vote against my black half.
- Joe the Plumber as the Secretary of Labor. Enough said.
- Some poor single mother out there could really use Sarah Palin's $2500 cream Valentino jacket and the $800 Manohlo pumps.
- It will completely change Michele's opinions of "whitey".
- Has there been a cooler black man since Nat King Cole?
- Bruce Springsteen or LeAnn Rimes. You pick.
- If I don’t win, all the little animals in the forest will weep quiet tears of disillusionment.