Sunday, October 29, 2006


President Bush Will Host New Game Show

The Bush Administration announced the creation of a new game show, Gut the Constitution, which will both remind voters of the possibility of another terror attack on U.S. soil and give contestants a chance to win prizes as they find a way around the provisions of the Bill of Rights.

The President himself will act as the show's host.

"We want to remind voters that the Republicans are the get-tough party of choice when it comes to the hobgoblins who threaten our way of life. We may not fund Homeland Security or provide plans to protect our water and food supplies, but no one can erode civil liberties like we can," said a Presidential panderess Karen Hughes, who will serve as the show's announcer.

Under the colored buttons lie the various amendments to the Constitution. They will flash randomly until they land on a particular amendment. Contestants will then be asked hypothetical questions on how to circumvent the amendment and asked to select the most Republican of the multiple-choice answers provided.

A sample question might be, "It is acceptable to torture trick or treaters when (a) they are over fourteen years of age (b) they are wearing masks deriding Republican officials (c) they refuse to allow examination of the contents of their bags (d) all of the above."

The answer is still being debated by the President's advisors as they vet questions before a variety of fundamentalist focus groups.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Bring 'Em On... but Not Till My Product Line Debuts

I find myself oddly stimulated by President Bush's statement on our troops' presence in Iraq: "If we leave, they will follow us here."

I don't see such possibilities as problems; I see them as merchandising opportunities. I had thought that the Department of Homeland Security would step into the breach with a fund raiser that would replenish the coffers after our generous tax cuts and all-out nation building in Iraq. The government does seem to be distracted with all its wars, present and possible. It's said that the only people using the terror level warning system are airline employees (who want to know whether or not to make you surrender your tubes of K-Y jelly at the security screening area) and the terrorists themselves.

Ever the patriot-entrepreneur, I stand ready to pitch a series of fashion imperatives that will remind us daily of the terrorist threat and provide us with a series of opportunities for accessorizing (with additional tax cuts available to me as my income soars):

Terror alert socks--What better way to familiarize yourself with the system and remind your friends and neighbors that at any moment we could be blown to smithereens or inflicted with deadly pustules than to wear socks color-keyed to our terror level du jour?

Terror alert scarves and neckties--Offset those sox with neckwear that exhibits your commitment to living in terror.

Terror alert bracelet--Global warming has those temperatures soaring, and you've abandoned shirts and shoes. Stay terrified with our handsome all-weather wristbands. Waterproof!

Terror mood ring--You like subtlety, don't want to follow the crowd, yet you spend each day wondering whether it will be your last. The terror mood ring comes in several styles, from rose cut solitaire to handsome, understated band. Contact us about group rates for your graduating class!

Terror tees--Perfect for P.E. classes and intramural sports! Shred 'em, slash 'em, stomp 'em, wear 'em with jeans or with blazers, or both. Strut your fear! Plain or with our terrorist hunting permit (above). Monograms are $5 extra.

Terror pashminas! Don't let a night out on the town deprive you of your opportunity to remind your fellow revelers of the danger that stalks us at all times. Throw on a pashmina with the alert color of the day and step out into the bright lights of the big city. Never forget!

I can only say to President Bush, you have underestimated us. We stand ready to confront the terrorists, to educate our friends and neighbors, and to make the money that heretofore has been principally directed to Halliburton and Bechtel. With hard work and old fashion Yankee ingenuity, we will welcome the terrorists to our shores and fill them with fast food, anchor them with mortgages, and swath them in patriotic fashion statements, before exporting their jobs to their countries of origin.

God Bless America!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Santorum Pilots Political SurvivaBall for Halliburton

Embattled Senator Rick Santorum is sporting a new image in the final weeks before the election, and it's courtesy of his special friends at Halliburton.

Called the SurvivaBall, it's designed to allow all negative publicity to roll right off Santorum. Santorum also will be able to roll with whatever punches dealt by his opponent.

"It's actually Halliburton's response to global warming, but I said, hey, we can use it long before Philadelphia begins its final meltdown," said Santorum. "When they read that I was considered one of the country's top corrupt politicians, they decided to let me pilot it for political purposes. After all, there's billions at stake here."

The inflatable suit comes in Cross-Burning White, Dress Navy, and Summer Seersucker.

Santorum hopes to exploit any positive connection between himself and the Pillsbury Doughboy, though he refuses to adopt his trademark giggle.

"A little too Tinky Winky for my base," he explained.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Rummy, Condi Make To Bold Trip Beyond Iraq's Green Zone

Stung by criticisms that he has placed troops in areas where he himself has never gone, Secretary of Offense Donald Rumsfeld has decided to venture outside the Green Zone during his next trip to rally soldiers in Iraq.

"True, I'll be in unconventional camouflage," Rumsfeld conceded, "but the wearing of camo has a long, proud military history." The Secretary will also carry a bullet-proof Koran.

With Rumsfeld will be Secretary of Shoes Condoleezza Rice, who will don similar but more fashion-conscious camouflage for her task, which is to record the many positive strides that are being made in the new democracy.

"My message to Iraqis will be to Shop Iraq," declared Dr. Rice. "I am looking forward to stimulating the Iraqi fashion economy. She fingered her blue veil. "Does this make me look like Amara bin Al-Rehman?"

Dissembler-in-Chief George W. Bush has encouraged Rumsfeld and Rice, who do not particularly like one another, to use this time to develop their bond. He expects that the camouflage will reduce tension between the two.

"At least I won't have to smell his stinking breath," commented Dr. Rice.

"At least I won't see her pick her teeth," retorted Rumsfeld.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Bush, Hastert in Successful Political Surgery for November Contests

Political impressario Karl Rove took his skills in a new direction yesterday when he smuggled embattled Republicans George W. Bush and Dennis Hastert into the old Walter Reed Army Hospital for what the President/Hastert later called "electoral surgery."

"See, we didn't have to have it, which makes it electoral," said Mr. Bush from atop Mr. Hastert's portly frame. "Karl calls it 'cogitive dissidence,' 'cause it's gonna mess with voters' minds."

The two had insisted on wearing lab coats rather than patient gowns for the surgery, declaring that the latter garment failed to cover their asses.

"Always gotta cover your ass," the President declared.

Mr. Hastert was elated to be the recipient of Mr. Bush's body. "Think I'll take a bike ride," he remarked, adding that the massive doses of testosterone in the President's frame would put his wife and concubines in shock.

"Dennie's definitely getting the better part of the deal," confided Mr. Bush. "But I'll get tongues waggin' in Illinois, that's fer sure."

Democrats attacked the move, saying that the Republicans were pursuing the same old moves.

"Nothing's changed, except now Laura gets to be as grossed out as Mrs. Hastert."

Laura Bush was vacationing behind a smokescreen of a carton of Newports and was unavailable for comment.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Stewardship as Sacred Task

Don't mistake this post as an endorsement of theocracy, but I am glad to see an increasing number of Christians show some interest in the environment.

For too long it has seemed that the preoccupation with end times has obviated any need for a focus on the environment for many of the most vocal Christians. There's been a tendency for the Christian Right to flog the "behold, I give you dominion over every living thing" clause in Genesis to imply God's permission to use (and abuse) the earth in any way one pleases. It's that old SUV sense of entitlement.

With an increasing number of Christians, cleaner air, water, and skies are becoming a greater priority. Suddenly, they want the Polluter in Chief to advocate for a reversal of the present trend. I'm sure he'll make some empty gesture to pacify the base. (It'll be abandoned, of course, when no one is looking.)

Still, the tension between God's pretty blue planet and its ultimate Biblical undoing is interesting. It's too bad that Genesis didn't anticipate the Neanderthal reponse of its readers and put an addendum, in Biblical terms, not to fuck it up. No less than Ronald Reagan's devout Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, declined the challenge of stewardship for the environment, because "there was so little time left." Reagan's similarly apocalyptic view may have conttributed to his "you see one redwood, you've seen 'em all" sense of the natural world.

Theologian Kenneth Cracknell says that the idea of stewardship is built into the idea of humans made in God's image. Since God creates and cares for his creation, so must his human offspring. Stewardship is part of the essential task of being human. Kenneth, who reads scriptures in their original languages, says that replenish is a part of the divine injunction. "That means," says Cracknell, "You cut down a tree, you plant a tree. You use the rain forest, you replace it."

May the Christian Right and the rest of us find some common ground in the health of the environment. For 2000 years faithful Christians have been waiting for the return of Jesus and the end of the world. There have been some interesting, even hilarious, false alarms.

In the meantime, we're all in this together.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Through Their Eyes

We attended a showing of Deborah Scranton's new film, The War Tapes, last night at Dartmouth.

Scranton put digital video cameras into the hands of ten members of the Charlie Company of the New Hampshire National Guard before they left for Iraq. She then took the footage shot by three soldiers and turned it into a most devastating look at what Bush has wrought.

These aren't hand picked mouthpieces for a particular political point of view. The cameramen selected themselves. We watch them making snow angels stateside before their deployment, bidding difficult farewells to the women in their lives, and putting their lives on the line for what two of the men freely admit is less about democracy in the Middle East and more about oil and money. We see them swerving IEDs, chatting up the local kids, buying and rebuffing local hawkers of wares.

The real villains of the film are the insurgents who threaten the soldiers' lives in over 250 enemy engagements and the so-called service providers who put them in harm's way, particularly Halliburton and its subsidiaries, who insist that they occupy the most vulnerable spots in their trucks on their endless convoys and charge the government $28 per styrofoam-packed meal. That's $56 per meal if some hungry soldier picks up another one for later, one of the men observes. That this war is primarily a money maker for Cheney's cronies is not lost on them.

If the chow is expensive, the government does implement a series of cost cutting measures, mostly for the safety of the troops and the international workers who have come over to work for the independent contractors.

There are the inevitable incidents that will feed the nightmares and flashbacks that will accompany the troops back home. There are the inevitable callouses that grow over the tender, the broken places in their spirits.

"He's changed," confide the wife, the girlfriend, the mother
, to the camera about each returnee. There is a new sense of apartness wrapped around each member of the relationship: the soldier with his unimaginable experiences, and the loved one who has negotiated the sixteen months without him.

When one of the guys returns to work, he notices that people don't know what to say to him. They ask to see his pictures, but when he produces them, they look at a couple and then blow him off. "If ya ask to see the pictures, you oughta look at the damn pictures," he says with a shrug.

We ought to look at the damn pictures. It's the least we can do.

See the trailer at

Then go.

Friday, October 06, 2006


If This is Fair and Balanced, Then I am Rex the Wonder Horse.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Foley Explains "Huge Misunderstanding": Thought He Was IMing Bush

Former Congressman Mark Foley offered an explanation to Republican leaders regarding his sexually explicit emails: he thought he was instant messaging President George W. Bush, a man he describes as a "buff hunk, and certainly of the age of consent."

"It's all a huge misunderstanding," said Foley to reporters. "The immature phrasing, the social awkwardness in the messages--I thought it was the Commander in Chief."

Foley said that he was drawn to the President's butch appearance, which sources say is attributable to the Chief Executive's ingestion of massive amounts of testosterone. "I thought he'd be up for some real guy talk, you know, about being hard and horny and ready for action. I had no idea I was IMing a teenager. Talk about embarrassing."

"I do think of the President as totally hot, and I would love to hold his towel for him any old time," Foley added, referring to the message that he thought he was sending to Mr. Bush. In the meantime the Department of Justice was looking for a legal basis to charge Foley with triggering bipartisan revulsion.

The President, who was on a 25 mile bike ride, was not available for comment.

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