Bush Requests Funding for Disaster Photo-Ops

by Jordan Zakarin

President Bush, speaking in his weekly radio address on Sunday in the wake of disastrous floods in the Midwest over the last three weeks, requested that Congress pass an emergency spending bill that would provide ample funds for photo opportunities in Iowa as well as potential other natural disasters that strike this summer.

“The good people of the Midwest have been devastated these past few weeks, with whole towns and farm communities destroyed,” Bush said. “Billions of dollars worth of damage has taken place, and they need to have the peace of mind that comes with thinking their President actually gives a damn. This money will provide them that, as well as fund other photo sessions in devastated areas still to be determined. It’s the least I can, and will, do.”

As heavy rains caused rushing rivers to crash down on the region, 24 levees, long considered to be in disrepair, ruptured, flooding small towns and valuable farm land. Factories, town squares and homes were destroyed, and experts say that as much as five million acres of valuable corn and soybeans cropland was destroyed. For the 40,000 people who were displaced from their homes, in addition to the tens of thousands more who saw their livelihoods disrupted or even washed away, Bush said he believed the best cure was “a brief stop-by, a stirring little speech and some photos of me huggin’ sad ladies on the cover of USA Today.”

Noting the juxtaposition between what many felt were his finest and his lowest hours in office, Bush insisted that this was the right course of action.

“Look what we were able to do with that rubble pile on September the 11th,” he said. “For so many, me grabbing that megaphone, swearing revenge, putting my arm around that old guy, it made them think, for at least a little while, that things would really be okay, that we’d get the guy responsible. Then with that hurricane or whatever a few years back, we were late on getting on the scene with that speech and the photos, and we still haven’t stopped hearing about it.”

The President defended preemptively in his address against those who might say his funding request was too pricey, noting the expenses that went along with both travel and a professional-level photo shoot were no small sum of money.

“There’s just so much involved, so much that goes into a staged photo-op like this,” Bush said. “First, they’ve got to drain the local airport and town square enough for me to even step down there. That’s a lot of cleanup, I hear. Then you’ve got to worry about things like lighting, and sometimes that requires rearranging buildings and temporary trailers so that the sun hits me just right. I like a soft lighting, gives me a bit of an angelic feel, and that’s tough to maintain when you’ve got 100 different photographers snapping at me.

“These things cost money, you know,” he continued, “especially if you want to do them real last minute, as so many of these events have to be, unfortunately. We’re working on that, too.”

Some of the funds would be allocated to a photo session next week in California, once firefighters were done putting out the hundreds of forest fires that have broken out across the state. The rest would be put aside, ready to dispense for headline grabbing photos as natural disaster season rolled through the summer.

“We’ll probably have a bunch more fires, and definitely a bunch of tornadoes in the Midwest,” Bush noted. “And with hurricane season coming up, it’s supposed to be a doozy this year, so we need to be prepared this time to be anywhere on the eastern seaboard, especially Florida. Luckily I have some friends down there, so that can keep costs down, but still, if I’ve learned one thing over the past seven years, you’ve gotta be prepared.”

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Bush Agrees to Pretend to Care What Democrats Think Before Disregarding Them

by Jordan Zakarin

In a major victory for House Democrats on Thursday, the White House and party leaders came to an accord that would, for the first time, require the President to act as if he was considering the opinion of the majority party before blatantly disregarding it and continuing on his desired plan of action.

The agreement, which came as part of the House’s bill to extend and legitimize the FISA wiretapping program, was a significant win for the Democratic leaders, who passed the bill by a wide majority early Friday afternoon.

“Frankly, it took every last bit of leverage and courage that we had,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland. “This was a hard fought victory for us, and really only came as a result of some extraordinary circumstances coming together at the right time.”

The compromise now provides that the only avenue for wiretapping is a warrant supplied by a FISA court, which can be done retroactively and issued in blanket for large numbers of phone taps. That law, Democrats and the White House officials agreed, would be easily overruled by advise from Bush’s personal legal team, who will assert “inherent power” whenever they deem necessary.

Perhaps more significantly, through intense pressure, Bush agreed to have a judge decide whether or not the upwards of 40 lawsuits against telecom companies involved in the illegal wiretaps should be immunized from any responsibility. The embattled telecom companies must provide a note from the Bush administration telling them that it was legal to cooperate with the wiretaps, placing the probability that they will be freed from judicial action somewhere between 100% and definite.

Hoyer, celebrating the victory with cigars branded with the Verizon logo and talking on his brand new, complimentary iPhone, pointed to an October poll that found that nearly two thirds of respondents were opposed to warrantless wiretapping of Americans, saying that they strongly believed that the government should be required to get a warrant for each wiretap. The poll, Hoyer said, also showed that a majority of Americans were opposed to giving amnesty from lawsuits to telecom companies that illegally spied on Americans at the behest of the Bush administration.

“Given that overwhelming public sentiment, the fact that the President is down to a 25% approval rating, and our 30+ seat majority, we were really able to put the pressure on. Score one for the Dems,” Hoyer said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was a bit less emphatic, saying that although the bill was not perfect, it was certainly a step in the right direction for her caucus. “Sure, we’d like to have maybe gotten [the President] to say, ‘I see your point and understand your concerns, but I respectfully disagree,’ before he blatantly disregarded us, but as a whole, this is definitely a good stepping stone measure for us.”

Huzzahs broke out across the Democratic Congress, who spoke out jubilantly on the House floor before Minority Leader John Boehner cracked the gavel and ordered that the majority return to their seats.

“We really got them this time,” New York Democrat Charlie Rengel said. “I’m really going to boogie down for the next sixteen seconds, my allotted time on the floor before Boehner moves on to the next issue on the day’s agenda.

“I think this will really help us combat the Republicans and maybe chisel away at their massive party identification disadvantage come November,” said Oklahoma Dan Boren, a member of the Blue Dog caucus.

In Startling Turn, GOP Criticizes Black Man For Rejecting Federal Dollars

by Jordan Zakarin

Eschewing the tradition established by spiritual leader Ronald Reagan of fabricating demeaning stories and perpetuating racial stereotypes, the Republican Party on Thursday lashed out after a middle aged black man declined a substantial government handout.

“It’s an insult to the droves and droves of people who do accept that money, who take advantage of what the system is offering,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan. “What is he, too good for that money? Here we are, trying to make sure the playing field is even, no one has an advantage over anyone else, and he says ‘thanks but no thanks.’ This isn’t the America I know and love.”

Duncan was just one of many GOP leaders to hit out at the grossly unappreciative African American. One top House staffer remarked that the man could have bought “so many darn Cadillacs” with the money, but “apparently that just wasn’t enough.”

“Here we have absurdly rich white men, playing within the rules, Medicare working so well for them. And this guy goes and declines our giveaways,” the staffer continued. “We designed the system to work, and it worked so well for so long. Now, this black [sic] guy wants to actually try to get ahead, have more than what the government is offering?

“Looks like, when we get control of Congress again, we’ll have to really increase the amount that the federal government gives out, to bring them back into the system, make sure no matter how much more potential you have, you stay on the same level as everyone else.”

Perhaps most outraged by the African American’s refusal to take advantage of the government’s money was syndicated radio show host Rush Limbaugh, who had been vocal for years about his disdain for those who participated in the welfare state. Now, he concentrated his ire on the man’s willingness to actually work for every dime he earned.

“The audacity of this man, to get on the road and work every day to pay his bills and reach his dreams, it enrages me,” Limbaugh commented during his show on Thursday. “Folks, America is under siege, and those of you in a certain twenty two states that are currently polling two candidates within five points of each other in the Presidential race and have either large African American populations or voters dissatisfied with the economy, you’ll soon feel the impact of this affront to the tried and true American welfare system.”

Limbaugh became impassioned as the rant went on, continuing until he was nearly in tears. “It’s just not fair. Now guys like me are going to have to work extra hard, more than ever, to make sure those the playing field is even, thanks to those ingrates.”

Bush, McCain Call for End to Moratorium on Terrible Ideas

by Jordan Zakarin

In a speech Wednesday in the White House Rose Garden, President Bush joined John McCain in requesting Congress lift the 27-year old ban on terrible ideas as the two work to promote a number of horrific non-solutions to the nation’s energy crisis.

“I agree with Senator McCain that the only way we can address these skyrocketing fuel prices is by doing what we do best,” Bush said, “which requires maximum leeway in crafting, promoting and implementing idiotic, senseless policies that will do little if anything to help the American people while causing further damage to our environment and economy. As such, I’m asking Congress to make sure we have the greatest opportunity to do so.”

Bush’s call for terrible ideas was prefaced with his statement of support for John McCain’s assertion that the United States should begin “environmentally safe oil drilling” in waters close to major tourist hot spots and nature reserves. Bush snickered at the silliness of his friend’s idea from the podium, as reporters noted that not only would the oxymoronically-termed drilling undoubtedly pollute valuable vacation beaches and poison already endangered sea life, most estimates say that it would be over twenty years before any significant impact in oil production or prices was felt.

When the questioning was over, Bush chimed in, making sure reporters “don’t forget that it would do nothing to further the cause of alternative energy research or have any sort of impact in the fight against global warming,” which is believed to be caused by carbon emissions, mostly from burning oil. He also was quick to point out that the main beneficiaries of the idea would be already flourishing oil companies. “So let’s not shortchange this idea.”

Beyond the preposterous oil drilling proposal, Bush said he had a number of other “real winners sitting in the back of the ol noggin, waiting for their chance before I mosey back down to Texas this winter.”

Among his most favoritest, Bush said, was further deregulation of the mortgage industry, targeted tax cuts to hedge fund managers, coining quarters and dimes from mercury and plutonium, bar codes on squirrels,  and a restriction on apple juice sales to illegal immigrants. Asked to justify his proposal for further deregulation of the mortgage industry, the President insisted that he believed that, “those people function best without the man breathing down their neck. That’s when they can be creative and really solve problems.”

In a joint response suggesting that the President had never allowed the wishes of Congress to stop him before, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that “The Iraq War, tax cuts for the rich and No Child Left Behind have proven that the President took little heed,” in what the legislative branch had to say.

Not entirely true, Bush replied.

“It’s true that in my first six years, I had a bit of a looser leash, and look, we got a lot of things done, everything we wanted to accomplish. Now, thanks to the obstructionist tactics of this Democratic Congress, the past year and a half has seen precious little progress on a number of our top priorities. This is simply a way to remedy that situation and get started again with our big, shitty plans.”

Not to be overshadowed by the man he is trying to replace, McCain went one further in his plans to come to a horrible solution to the energy crisis, calling on the United States to create 100 new nuclear power plants in the coming years. “Why not?,” McCain said. “I was there in Nagasaki, that shit was awesome. No downside.”

McCain Accuses Obama of Having July 3rd Mindset

by Jordan Zakarin

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain accused Democratic Rival Barack Obama of having a “July 3rd mindset” during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, touching off a war of words between the two candidates that played out through the media.

“With all due respect, I frankly believe that Senator Obama is living in a pre-July 4th world,” McCain said. “Perhaps he does not quite grasp the gravity of what occurred on that otherwise quiet summer day in the summer of 1776, but I do, because I was there.”

Continuing his attack, the Arizona Senator said that he believed that Obama was guilty of naïvely underestimating the threat that is facing the United States. “What my opponent does not understand, is that we must remain on the offensive, ever vigilant against the unrelenting desire to destroy our democracy that drives King George’s fanatical Red Coats.”

Obama fired back at the GOP standard bearer, saying the accusations were both false and a sign of the McCain campaign’s weakness. “Let me say that, I respect John McCain’s service to his country. He displayed bravery all those years ago. But for him to accuse me of being naïve, that just smacks of desperation. He wouldn’t be attacking me if he didn’t think his record could stand on its own. We all know he’d just be a continuation of King George.”

Later in the day, McCain responded with a defense of his foreign policy and military credentials, a resume that he hopes to turn into a cornerstone of his campaign. He hammered Obama for not meeting with the top generals in charge of the Continental Army, saying he was in close contact with a number of Colonial military leaders.

“Perhaps Senator Obama does not truly understand the situation we are in because he has not taken the time to meet the heroes that are waging this war against the King’s forces,” McCain charged. “I have known Generals Washington and Morgan for years, having served with them in the French-Indian War. Horatio Gates and Lafayette are also close personal friends of mine. And I’ve visited with all of those great men on the battlefields of this war, amidst the fog of the muskets and cannons, and the bayonets breathing down our throats. So don’t tell me I don’t understand this modern day enemy.”

A short time later, McCain made his most piercing remarks, echoing President Bush’s speech in Israel last month that suggested that Obama was appeaser in the vein of Neville Chamberlain.

“My opponent likes to talk about hope, but my friends, my most sincere hope for this country is that it is not taken down from the inside by Tory loyalists and tea-tax sympathizers,” a now impassioned McCain said. He continued to hammer away at Obama, whom he called “someone who apparently believes Bunker Hill could have been avoided if we had all sat down together and ‘talked’ like nice colonists.”

“Now, for all the talking the Senator from Illinois likes to do about judgment, let me remind my fellow Americans that are unsure of the distinction between the two of us, that I was the first to go out on a limb, bucking both Federalists and Jeffersonian Democrat-Republicans, in calling for a change in strategy in the war. Now that the strategy I advocated, General George Washington’s strategic retreats through New York, is being utilized, I believe we have taken a significant turn in this war.”

Obama had the final word, at a late-night rally in Michigan, where he insisted that McCain was too entrenched in an outdated politics to make an effective commander-in-chief. “Today, we are in need of a new kind of politics, a hopeful foreign policy, and I’m afraid John McCain is stuck in the past, fighting the same old battles that Americans and British alike are ready to move on from.”

Supreme Court Reverses Gore Endorsement, Awarding it to McCain

by Jake Maccoby and Jordan Zakarin

Mere moments after formally announcing his backing for Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama in an email to supporters, former Vice President Al Gore’s endorsement was blocked and reversed by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, handing the Nobel Prize winner’s full throated support to Republican nominee John McCain.

Writing for the majority, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that regardless of who Gore intended to support, a strict constructionist reading of his statement made it clear that, from a legal standpoint, his endorsement must be awarded to the GOP candidate.

“It is plainly obvious, by reading Section One, Clause Four of Article Two, that the framers, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton, were firm in their resolve, that in the 2008 Presidential election, 219 years after ratification, former Vice President Gore, who the constitution also stipulated must lose the 2000 Presidential election regardless of the voters’ wishes, would be required to hand his endorsement and considerable public influence to John McCain, who was himself one of the original framers of Constitution,” Scalia wrote.

Seconds after the ruling, Charlie Black, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, said that “Senator McCain is gratified and humbled by the support of Vice President Gore, and he urges the American people to unite behind him for the good of the nation.”

Black also called any possible attempts by Gore to challenge the ruling “extremely divisive,” stating that “any type of debate or divergence would be extremely dangerous in the face of the impending election this November.”

Constitutional scholars have been abuzz since the decision was handed down, heatedly debating whether the court had the authority to overturn a personal opinion. Mercer Archwell, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said that he thought that the court was well within its jurisdiction to do so.

“Of course they have every right to do it,” Archwell wrote in an op-ed column that ran in Tuesday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal. “This country was founded on people telling other people what to think and say. I think that the court was simply basing its decision on the best available precedents, from the Salem Witch Trials of 1693 to the Joseph McCarthy hearings of 1954. This is just pure American tradition.”

Not so fast, said constitutional scholar Jason Derek. “This is an absolute outrage, a preposterous abuse of power that is not even endowed upon them by any document, constitution or legal doctrine otherwise. That this country now has a court that disregards the laws it is sworn to protect, it just sucks. I wish there was something we could do about it, but I guess we’ll just take it on the chin again.”

In response to Derek’s allegations, a spokesperson for the court noted that the judges had seen precedent in a 2000 case that established judicial review over all actions taken by Al Gore. The former Vice President was unavailable to comment, as aides say he was in Greenland, eating ice cream sandwiches before they all melted.

In addition to Gore, thousands of elderly Jewish residents of Florida were dismayed at the news that they had each inadvertently issued endorsements of Pat Buchanan.

Jesus Demures on Obama VP Talk

by Jordan Zakarin

The Lord Jesus Christ, during a brief appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday, was characteristically vague and coy when the topic of conversation turned to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his ongoing vice presidential vetting process.

When asked to address speculation that he may be on the Illinois’ Senator’s shortlist of running mates, the Christian Messiah said that he was unaware of the rapidly spreading chatter around the capital.

“Of this, I know not,” Jesus remarked, a slight smile cracking across his face as he finished his answer. “I have faith that the Senator will find what he’s looking for on this journey, if my father wills it, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg can run a successful search team despite her inexperience doing so.”

While Christ himself was demure about the possibility that he would end up on the ticket with Obama, some Democratic insiders insist that, regardless of what he said during the interview, the Savior was well aware of the chatter. One Democratic operative, with knowledge of the VP search, said that Jesus was hesitant to jump into the fray of this November’s election.

“He’s concerned with a number of things,” said the operative. Amongst his most prominent fears, he said, the Son of God was afraid he would be overshadowed by Obama throughout the campaign. “The guy [Obama] is hot right now, with a real massive following, and I don’t think Jesus wants to get lost in the shuffle.”

Another veteran Democratic strategist, on condition of anonymity, speculated that the perfect manifestation of the Holy Spirit was wary of the vaunted Republican attack machine. “After the whole Roman trials ordeal, which took a while for him to overcome, you can understand why he might be unsure of going toe to toe with Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge,” the strategist said.

Party officials and campaign advisers are torn on what His Holiness would bring to the ticket, with some believing he would more helpful than harmful, and others thinking Jesus Christ would be a liability for Obama.

Those advocating for Christ on the ticket note that he is a strong speaker on the stump, and reinforces Obama’s campaign theme of hope and change. In addition, he can boast a resume of experience, which can help shore up one of the main criticisms of the largely untested Illinois Senator.

Democrats wary of Obama choosing the man who died for our sins as his Vice Presidential nominee are fearful that, as an outspoken advocate of peace and understanding, Jesus Christ would be painted as way too liberal and too much of a dove by the Republicans, who will try to build an advantage in the debate on national security.

“If you listen to his speeches, the amount of welfare this guy advocates for, the kind of medical care he thinks everyone is entitled to, then with the strict anti-war stance, I don’t know who we’re kidding if we don’t think he’ll get creamed by the right wing smear machine,” said Democratic Strategist Bob Shrum.

Then there are others who are more pragmatic about what an Obama-Christ campaign would look like. “Listen, we understand that there are just certain people out there that won’t vote for us, regardless of who is on the ticket or what kind of platform we take up,” said one DNC official.

“The so-called ‘values voters’ from the South and Midwest stick out among them. What we need to do is appeal to the center, where the bulk of America is. Perhaps we’ll see soon whether or not Jesus can do that.”