Cheney Announces Third Term as Shadow President

by Jordan Zakarin

In a video-teleconference with reporters from an undisclosed location, Dick Cheney announced that he will be seeking his third term as Shadow President in this November’s pseudo-elections. In front of a background that appeared to be some sort of cave and/or Naval control center, the 67-year old said that he would begin his superfluous, unseen campaign for the uncontested position on Monday, with a series of biographical high pitched subliminal tones broadcast on major television and radio networks.

“When I assumed this office in January 2001,” Cheney explained, “I had a number of things that I wanted to accomplish for this fine nation. Many of those things, we’ve gotten done, but I’ve yet to impose my will on the American people as fully as I deem satisfactory. As such, I will be serving a third term come 2009.

“Of course, I’ll certainly ‘campaign’ hard for it, but I’m confident that I will be the unanimous choice of those who make the decisions regarding such things.”

After taking a brief break to exacerbate hunger in Rwanda, Cheney described the accomplishments he was most proud of during his seven and a half years in shadow office.

“Well, certainly, the War in Iraq has to be considered at least one of the crowning achievements, if I’m being truthful,” the generally modest Cheney said. “I pulled that one off despite huge opposition worldwide, and the fact that we’ve been able to keep it going despite the abject hatred for it in this country now, really shows how much I’ve grown into this role.”

Boastfulness unleashed, the Shadow President began to rattle off a list of his top conquests, both domestic and international. “Now, of course, we’ve got the sinking economy, outsourcing of millions of jobs, and a little thing I like to call ‘four dollar ten cent a gallon oil,’ which, I won’t lie, feels good. Real good.”

Incredulous that he almost forgot to name it, Cheney then added, “oh, and probably chief amongst all of them, global warming. That’s long been a goal, since the 70′s at least, and we’re definitely on track with that one, I’m proud to say.”

As for the future and his third term as the dark overlord of American government, the Shadow Presidential candidate was hopeful of getting an even longer list of policy goals implemented, though he largely demured when it came to disclosing them.

“I think we’ve seen that the American people certainly don’t mind being left in the dark on most things, so long as we don’t violate certain standards, like four wheel drive and football on Sundays,” Cheney said. “Strong schools, clean drinking water, children playing in the sprinklers during summertime, celebrating Christmas with family and friends. These are the sorts of things that really matter to the American people, so maybe that’ll give you some idea of what I’m looking to do in this third term.”

Boca Hilton Manager Says He’d Vote for McCain

by Jordan Zakarin

Four years after presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain vacationed at a Hilton in Boca Raton, Florida, the luxury resort’s manager says that he will be voting for the GOP standard bearer come November.

In a wide-ranging interview, Roger Daniels says that he came to appreciate McCain over the Arizona Senator’s week long stay at the hotel that he has managed for the past six years, and has no doubts that, from what he saw, McCain would be a perfect fit to lead the free world.

“No doubt in my mind, the John McCain I got to know during those seven days, he’s a man of class and dignity,” Daniels said. “We see so many tourists every year, but sometimes, certain ones stick out, and he was definitely one that had ‘fun in the sun’ written all over him.”

“[McCain] was a quiet, stoic guest, who particularly enjoyed lounging out by one of our two Olympic sized pools or, sometimes, one of three family-themed pools,” he continued. “He didn’t really swim, but, unlike many people relaxing by the water, didn’t get too angry when kids would inevitably hit him with an errant splash here and there. It takes a big man to not allow that to interrupt or even ruin a nap — nothing seemed to ruin his nap, and that’s something that’s a big relief to waterfront staff. Inter-guest disputes are always the hardest to deal with, and in that way, he was very diplomatic.”

Daniels said that McCain also was a dream to have as a diner, as he often ordered the same meal from room service around 4:00 pm, making it easy and efficient for the kitchen and waitstaff to serve such a distinguished guest. “When you’ve got someone of such high stature, you are always stressing about getting it right,” a glowing Daniels explained. “But, God bless him, Mr. McCain was like clockwork, everyday with the asparagus, grilled cheese and pureed carrots. It really just shows what kind of man he was.”

The 18-year hospitality industry veteran also praised the GOP nominee’s easy going nature at nightly events such as family friendly acoustic guitar concerts and arts and crafts. “Now, he wasn’t too successful at the basket weaving, though no less so than his wife, who I’ll admit lodged a few complaints, mostly at the limited selection we had at our on-facility pharmacy, but he really gave it all. One time, a little girl walked up to him and gave him this beautiful door sign she made with his name on it. I think he was at first confused, but then very touched, and it’s that type of person that I think we should be looking for.”

A strong proponent of Florida tourism, Daniels said that he and McCain, long an advocate of Arizona’s desert resorts, often had friendly debates about the merits of the two locales, “but nothing that wasn’t done with total respect for one another. He really just couldn’t stand the humidity, he was much more of a dry heat guy.”

One topic of contention with Daniels were the voluminous reports of towel shortages, late housekeeping and snappy concierge, claims that he vehemently denied. “People like to say certain things to get an leg up in this cat and mouse game that’s played between guest and hotel,” he said. “They think they can earn free nights or room service by making those complaints, and it’s quite a shame.” Daniels pointed to photos of happy customers that were featured prominently on the Hilton’s corporate website, offering them as proof of the terrific conditions at the hotel.

A McCain spokesperson gave a brief comment on the interview during a press conference, saying only that, “while Senator McCain appreciates the support of each and every American who have pledged it his campaign, it is ludicrous what this hotel fellow is saying. There is no doubt that Senator McCain and his fellow vacationers have seen dirty deck chairs, lukewarm jacuzzis and far too few towels than desired. I think it’s clear that the Senator has a long record of straight talk, and so while we acknowledge and agree with the manager’s assessment of Mr. McCain’s character, we obviously have a disagreement about what constitutes luxurious.”

SCOTUS Decision Spurs Minutemen Revival

by Jordan Zakarin

Over 230 years since the first pitched battles of the American Revolution, Thursday’s Supreme Court decision reversing laws barring well-armed state militias has served as the catalyst for the re-establishment of several groups of self-armed, haphazard groups of farmers and masons bent on fighting back against the imperial British.

The split, 5-4 decision was authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, who, joined by  Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Thomas and Kennedy, wrote that the Second Amendment explicitly extended the right to rural freedom fighters to band together to battle for their fledgling nation.

“Despite dissension in our ranks, to me, it’s crystal clear,”  Scalia wrote in his introduction. “Upon reading the actual text of the amendment; ignoring all context; and turning a blind eye to over 200 years of technological, societal and governmental progress; we see that the article’s prefatory clauses connote that the framers intended the citizens of this 13-state republic to have unfettered ability to form small, ragtag groups of guerilla fighters, in order to patrol the woods of the Northeast and instigate skirmishes with the Redcoats.

“Any law, local, state or federal, that prohibits that heroic, patriotic yeoman activity is hitherto found unconstitutional, retroactively and from this moment forward.”

Within moments of the ruling being handed down, the long-retired cowbells summoning the militiamen rang out across the countryside, calling to assembly for the first time since the 18th century the rabble rousing volunteer fighters.

The most prominent of the re-formed militia were the Massachusetts Minutemen, who by three p.m. were assembled in a Cambridge square. Muskets locked and loaded, pitchforks sharpened and farm animals locked in the barn, the newly reassembled colonists, clad in workmans’ clothing and buckskin hunting outfits, began to reacquaint themselves after over two centuries of downtime. Soon, they were once again railing against the Intolerable Acts handed down by Governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage. After a brief break to watch the Red Sox World Series DVD Box Set, they began plotting another successful defense of Lexington and Concord.

Enthusiasm abound, Minutemen spoke excitedly about their reformation.

“Tis a bright day in the sun for this fine nation, this would-be republic under God, wherein we once again come together as brothers in arms to defend our right to a life free of tyranny, to defend our freedom of self-determination,” said Paul Westinghouse, a Boston-area farmer and battalion leader. “We all must thank those brave justices for having the courage to interpret amendment as it was intended when it was first written, with no regard for what may or may not be appropriate in a more advanced, civilized future.”

Similarly, militiamen in all twelve other colonies quickly cleansed the dust off their hunting rifles and gathered for an inspiring reading of Patrick Henry speeches and Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, various reports indicated.

William Fitzadams, an iron worker and member of a Maryland militia battalion, put the day in perspective, declaring that, “now that we have our God given rights back, after so many years of inane state laws banning our very existence, we can once again fight for freedom from armed tyranny and fear of being shot on the streets of our own town. O! Glorious day it is.”

Bush: McCain Best for “Maybe, Maybe Not” Terrorist Attacks

by Jordan Zakarin and Jake Maccoby

President Bush dipped his toe in electoral waters in a speech in Annapolis on Thursday, voicing his confidence in presumptive Republican nominee John McCain’s ability to handle any terrorist attacks that may or may not occur throughout the country late this coming January.

Pressed by reporters for more details, Bush named ten states as particularly at-risk targets, though he was quick to point out that “it wasn’t a total definite.” The President added that, while he could not be sure of the dates these attacks just may occur on, it would probably be somewhere between January 21st and 23rd.

The frank release of confidential intelligence came as a surprise to the audience of military personnel, most of whom were unaware of such a breadth of terror targets. A number of officers in attendance said they were also a bit shocked that not only Bush identified states that could be hit, he divulged which individual landmarks and tourist attractions that had a strong chance of being attacked by terrorists that only John McCain could handle.

Amongst the most prominent targets Bush said he could definitely envision getting terrorized under certain circumstances were Disney World in Florida and the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio.

“There’s certainly a chance that either one, or both, of those iconic tourist attractions could get blasted to oblivion this January,” Bush remarked. “I can just imagine Cindarella’s Castle up in flames, the Epcot Spaceship Earth, you know, that big golf ball, just imploding, shattering everywhere. And then you’ve got that music place in Cleveland — think about all that destruction, all the people that would die. The finest in Americana burnt down. Just a premonition, but definitely something to think about.”

The President continued to rattle off other places at risk for a terrorist strike, next naming Hershey, Pennsylvania as having a bulls-eye on its chocolate producing back. “There is a grave chance that this hub of delicious family fun could be hit by a missile or some small industrial-grade chemical attack,” Bush warned. “I really would not want to see such a terrible loss of life and sweets, so I’m hoping John McCain is elected so he can use his years of experience to stop the attacks, as only he could.”

Bush also pointed to Area 51 in New Mexico as having “definitely a good chance of getting blown up, which is unfortunate since we have so much shit there you people don’t even know about yet.” He continued, saying that, “it would totally wreck our movie industry, though. Imagine a world without Independence Day starring Will Smith. Then we’d probably have no Men in Black, no Ali, no Hitch, and this summer we’d be without that wisecracking, anti-superhero Hancock. Am I getting through to you people yet? No John McCain equals no Fresh Prince, America.”

Finally, rounding out his list of terror targets, Bush mentioned “some corn place” in Iowa, “some cheese or pot place” in Vermont and “some skiing” place in New Hampshire as particularly threatened come January 21st if John McCain is not elected President.

“We all have choices to make, America. Make sure yours is the right one,” Bush concluded.

American Consumer Self-Confidence Suffers Heavy Drop

by Jordan Zakarin

Two reports released on Tuesday pegged consumer self confidence at a 16-year low, a precipitous slide stemming from a number of humiliating recent incidents. The breadth of the drop surprised experts, who, while expecting a brief foray into self-disgust, did not anticipate the level of self-loathing that now informs the public’s shattered ego.

The drop, which saw the personal confidence of American consumers fall from “mildly satisfied with self” to “absolute disgust with pathetic excuse for human,” was the largest since February 1992′s descent into “abject shame”. Several factors led to the dismal June confidence levels.

“This is an almost shocking level of pure venom directed at their sad, sad selves, though I cannot say it is entirely unjustified,” said Stephen Amadeus, a social scientist from Brandeis University. “It’s been a real rough patch, with blow after blow to the collective psyche, so I wouldn’t begrudge them this sinking feeling of unworthiness, of any shreds of self-belief blowing away with the latest indignity.”

American consumers have spent the past nine months red in the face as they struggle financially, unable to make rent and angering their much wealthier roommate, which was always an uncomfortable situation in the first place. This struggle has left a significant mark on the global economy, with consumer heads hanging in shame as the international community points fingers at the growing number of derelict Americans stinking up their pristine markets.

“Imagine, for a moment, you’re at a store, at the checkout counter, with what would be your most prized possession, your status symbol, sitting in the shopping cart,” Amadeus explained. “All of a sudden, you open your wallet to pay, and you simply don’t have enough to cover the cost, because you were swindled into paying more and more as you walked down the aisle. And then when you reach out for help, no one in the store can spot you some cash. So you walk out of the store, cart empty, ready to drive into a bridge abutment. You’d really feel like a jerkoff. That’s America right now. Feeling like a poor jerkoff.”

The embarrassment was amplified early in the month, when the long-ignored gas problem the American consumer was suffering from in relative privacy simmered over in the public eye. With news media from around the country filing reports on the event, the consumer was finally forced to acknowledge the issue and begin to attempt to reconcile and solve it, all in a very public forum.

The self-directed vitriol only increased as, not only did the problem worsen by the day, but self-proclaimed experts offered unsolicited advice regarding how to fix the problem, most with proposals that were dead on arrival. After years of ignoring the issue now leading to it being seemingly ingrained in the very being of the consumer’s life, hope has seemed lost of late, and more and more, the American consumer has stayed home, unable to cope with the gas issue.

Of course, that propensity to not leave the house has been assisted by downtrodden consumer’s unemployment, their job shipped to a Cambodian seven year old and/or an Indian grandmother working for old animal crackers and the promise of freedom from want.

This feeling of worthlessness has affected the consumers’ demeanor and ability to project a positive attitude in its interactions with others, and the world now turns a cold shoulder to its stuttering and stumbles. As the downward spiral continues, there is no telling how dejected the American people may feel.

Bloodied and clinging to any shreds of self-belief that remain, the consumer has signaled it may begin to seek out help, circling the classified advertisements for self-help groups that begin in November. For some onlookers, this may be the final opportunity for the depressed American consumer to right its own ship.

McCain Proposes $300 Million for New Adult Diaper

by Jordan Zakarin

Speaking Monday in Fresno, California, the heart of the Silicon Valley, presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain called on the nation’s leading innovators to put their talents to use for their country, and offered a substantial reward for doing so.

The 72-year old McCain proposed a $300 million prize for whoever can develop a more efficient adult diaper that would be environmentally friendly while making easier the life of each and every American. He said that the sum, a dollar for every American citizen, was a small price to pay for greater size, capacity and comfort.

“For too long we have relied on big government and big business to remedy this problem, and we have yet to see any real results from those years of patience,” McCain said. “We must make the transition to rewarding the ingenuity of our finest engineers and diaper experts to make this important dream a reality. Depends, your monopoly on the market for incontinence insurance has expired, as far as this young, vital presidential candidate is concerned.”

The Arizona Senator outlined the requirements for the new product, which he promised would “change the way each and every person, every single citizen, every man, woman and child of every age in this fine country functions on a day to day basis.

“Middle class and working Americans nationwide know that as they campaign for the Presidency of the United States, they need something they can rely on, something they don’t even need to think twice about.”

First, pointing to leaks that often drain the item prematurely, contributing to unnecessary pollution, McCain insisted it must be safe and self contained, with little chance of spontaneous combustion so that the user may feel comfortable using the new technology.

“This particular aspect is crucial to the design. My friends, any one of my fellow Americans could find themselves a victim to this costly and environmentally hazardous inefficiency at any time, like say when they were shaking hands at a New Hampshire lunch counter, meeting other fellow American citizens that may be interested in what they had to say, or might even want to give them some money. Then, all of a sudden, leaks, pollution, global warming, and the American citizen is left embarrassed on the world stage. We cannot be embarrassed by this any longer.”

Next, the Republican said, the new diaper must be light and require as little energy as possible, creating little to no drag for maximum efficiency in travel. Third, the McCain stipulated that the innovation was quiet and unassuming, a far cry from the large ones on the market today that unmistakably announce their presence.

“We’re looking for something reliable, safe, and not at all noticeable. So unassuming that most people don’t even know it’s there, it just does its job in silence,” he said. “America, there is no shame in asking for change. Or a change.”

Obama’s Conversation with Men’s Room Attendant Spurs Talk of Joint Ticket

by Jake Maccoby

As speculation as to who presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama will choose as his Vice Presidential running mate continues to ramp up, with time edging nearer to the traditional summer selection period, some insiders and pundits believe the Illinois Senator may have already made his choice.

During dinner at the Olive Garden, Senator Obama had a cordial conversation with men’s room attendant Arthur Finklestein, who reportedly told the Senator that he was “planning on supporting” him, perhaps “even doing some handing out flyers if the hip cooperates.” The declaration, believed to be tantamount to an endorsement, had the political classes buzzing as the towel jockey’s pros and cons are weighed in comparison to other entrants in the Veepstakes.

Some believe that Finklestein’s humble background would attract those hard-working Americans, white Americans, that Senator Hillary Clinton largely dominated in the Democratic primaries.

“For someone who talks about changing Washington, this would be a very exciting pick,” said James Carville, who had previously characterized an Obama-Clinton ticket as “a very exciting pick” that would “in no way destroy the Democratic Party and leave the nation a desolate post-apocalyptic wasteland.”

Another factor working in Finklestein’s favor was his breadth of experience. At 73-years old, a year older than presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, the bathroom attendant boasts an impressive resume, having lived through a World War, a Cold War, the Vietnam War and the Olive Garden-Red Lobster conflict of 1992, when the seafood chain moved in across the highway, touching off a fierce battle before the Olive Garden drove it to relocation in May, 1993.

Margaret Carlson, a journalist at Bloomberg News, agreed that Obama’s conversation with Finklestein showed that the hygiene professional was regarded by the Obama Campaign as a “top-teir contender.”

Earlier speculation for the vice-presidency had swirled around New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson after his endorsement in April, former Senator John Edwards after his endorsement in June, Senator Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and, following a successful box-office release, The Incredible Hulk. It is also speculated that if the search drags on, a successful July 18th weekend would see Batman thrown into the mix, as well.

Wolf Blitzer, a CNN reporter and host of “The Situation Room,” was similarly effusive.

“Yeah, we were pretty sure about Richardson, Edwards, Clinton, Gore, [Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck] Hagel, [Ohio Governor Ted] Strickland, and [Virginia Senator Jim] Webb—but Finklestein? This is the guy, for sure.”

When asked whether Finklestein was under consideration for the position, the Obama campaign would neither confirm nor deny the reports.

“Arthur is a dedicated, tireless public servant,” said Obama campaign spokesman David Plouffe. “Naturally, he would be on anybody’s shortlist.”

Finklestein played down the likelihood of his selection, but refused to rule out the possibility.

“Right now I’m happy to serve the good people of Olive Garden,” he said. “I’m not seeking the vice presidency, I’m not expecting to be offered the vice presidency, but if Senator Obama thinks I’m the best candidate, then we’ll have that conversation. Until then, I’ll just go on and on about the pesto pasta and my nominally athletic grandson who scored a lucky goal last weekend in the in-town soccer league.”