'HOLIDAY' ON ICE
WASHINGTON, DC –– In need of a new wedge issue to put its enemies’ knickers in a twist while inflaming its flagging far-right fans, the Bush Administration has seized upon expunging the blasphemous phrase, “Happy Holidays” from public discourse. Acting through it’s swollen media organ, FOX News, and commentators like Bill O’Reilly and John Gibson (author of The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday… aw, shit, why waste the pixels to reproduce the whole asinine title) the White House hopes to rally the 85% of Americans who identify themselves as Christian against the insidious threat to their religious freedom posed by politically-correct pagans who incant that godless greeting.
"There is an anti-Christian bias in this country," O'Reilly discovered as a result of intensive investigation, "and it is more on display in the Christmas season than any other time." He also noted a seasonal rise in strains of anti-carolism, anti-elfism and anti-Santyism. Sadly, anti-commercialism experienced only a modest boost. O’Reilly’s revelations on bias did not extend to other religious holidays such as Passover, Ramadan, Diwali, Martyrdom of the Bab or Super Bowl Sunday.
Much of the ire was initially aimed at chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target for substituting the dreaded word “Holiday” for the word “Christmas” on products where the word “Cheapjack” would have been most appropriate. The cold rage soon spread like Vonnegut’s Ice-9, freezing out any utterance or reproduction of the H-word during the blessed season. A certain popular hotel chain is to be temporarily rechristened Christmas Inn, as is the Bing Crosby movie that introduced the standard White Christmas. Jazz songstress Billie X-Mas may not have sung that chestnut, but Old West lawman Doc Christmas would surely have appreciated its sentiment.
Like Rudolf Giuliani on a foggy night, the right-wing reindeer pledged to safely lead Jesus’ sleigh to the roof of the White House this year. Within, Vice President Cheney defiantly masqueraded as jolly ol' St. Dick at the Annual "Holiday This!" Party. “Christmas” Bush sat on his lap and read a lengthy wish list that included a shining beacon of hope for Iraq, a permanent tax cut for the super-rich, a Tickle Me Condi Doll, an English/English dictionary and batteries for Laura's Vibrating Chubby Teaser.
"Maybe Americans can finally understand how the Shi'ia majority in Iraq must've felt all those years while the Sunni minority imposed their 'Holiday' wishes on 'em," offered the President. "Now the Christmas stocking is on the other foot and like the Saddamites our nation's own Sodomites had better get some Yuletide spirit and hit the mall. 'Tis the season."
HOLLYWOOD, CA –– The critical success of the gay-themed cowboy movie, Brokeback Mountain has led to a reexamination of the classic Hollywood Western and its treatment of the love that dare not drawl its name. Budd Buttacher, assistant director on many oaters during the genre’s Golden Age shared some surprising insights into the ins and outs of the so-called Hickory Closet. “Right from the git-go, with the swishily-named Tom Mix in his pancake makeup and lipstick, done up in leather chaps and popping off them phallic pistols, most of the Western film stars were a Jack shy of a Queen-high flush. I’m not sayin’ they all tootled the bugle, but I think part of their essential appeal was to the lizard wranglers in the audience.”
"Whether you liked the ladies or not, the loneliness of a two-month shoot in Monument Valley with an all-male crew and several cases of Tequila would have most any man achin’ to slap leather. I heard a rumor The Duke got his nickname for dukin’ it out –– for havin’ quick fists –– and though he saved his Little Sheriff for the senoritas he did leave many a bit player with the funniest hitch in his gait. Why’d you think Walter Brennan walked so bow-legged? On the other hand, they say Gabby Hayes started off as a Shakespearean actor with the pertiest elocution until he made a B western called The Star Packer in 1934 and played Swallow the Rattler once too often.”
Pudge Schramm, veteran stuntman and the self-proclaimed “tightest Saddle Bum in the West”, remembers the horse opera-lovers he was proud to ride with and on. “These were men’s men, not some Pussy Posse. Yeah, we loved the Purple Sage and Lavender bath beads, but we’d as soon beat a man up as off. Randy, Rock, Tab, Monty, Lassie (that bitch!) –– I remember being backstage with those gay caballeros like it was yesterday. Cinema buffs today look for what they call subtext in the Westerns we made, but in the day we used to cut together alternate versions of those shows with additional racy footage for viewing at private parties. We had a high old time with titles like Broken Arrow, Blood on the Arrow, The Rifleman, The Quick Gun and Naked Spur.”
"It’s ironic, everyone assumed The Lone Ranger and Tonto were sharing a teepee, but despite the stage name Jay Silverheels, the Injun was a straight shooter from what I could see. Now, I’m not saying the so-called Long Ranger was your average paleface with average appetites. Let’s just say he was pals with Roy Rogers and they both loved animals and together they gave new meaning to the phrase “Trigger Happy”,” Schramm added, with a moist wink.
As to the international scene, an unidentified best boy on many notable spaghetti Westerns of the 1960’s said through an interpreter, “due to the nature of libel laws here in Italy I can only say that a certain man with no shame always kept a fistful of Vaseline ready. For a few dollars more I would share the good, the bad and the ugly, but otherwise, my name is nobody.”
WASHINGTON, DC –– Plunging poll numbers for the Bush Administration and its prosecution of the war in Iraq raised hopes that the level of prescription drug abuse in the general US population may not be as widespread as originally feared. Recent results put President George W. Bush’s overall approval rating at about 37% and his negative rating at about 42% (with about 21% expressing support for Geena Davis’ President ‘Bush’.) Meanwhile Vice President Dick Cheney’s approval numbers are hovering around 17% with 66% of Americans categorizing him as “somewhat nefarious” and 83% agreeing that he is "best suited to be Chairman of the Donner Party."
The Iraq War numbers should provide the White House with a particularly unsavory MRE of crow with nearly 57% saying the war wasn’t worth it (proving, yet again, that $300 bil doesn’t buy you what it used to) and only 35% approving of President Bush’s handling of the war (of which only 26% can say the word "Shiite" without giggling.) Approximately 63% wanted most US troops to come home in the next year while 35% believed that troops should stay as long as it takes to train Iraqi Security Forces to mishandle the insurgency as thoroughly as they have. Meanwhile 93% of Iraqis want a timetable for an early withdrawal of “Coalition Forces”, with that number rising to 113% if they promise to take Achmed Chalabi with them.
When asked what factor had changed their minds about Mr. Bush suitability for office only a year after they had reelected him, 37% of Americans cited “mismanagement of the Katrina disaster”, 29% cited “the White House leak scandal,” and 34% cited “no longer receiving telepathic commands from Karl Rove.” In light of these latest findings, a new poll asked, "If the 2004 election were held today and you knew what you know now how would you vote?" with 56% agreeing that they would still acquit OJ Simpson, but not Robert Blake.
Democrats did not escape the poll-ax with 94% finding the party “somewhat”, “kinda”, “very”, “exceedingly” or “un-effin’-believably gutless.” 54% of respondents blamed the Party's criticism of Mr. Bush's handling of the war for being "detrimental" to the morale of US troops. 67% felt that allowing Robin Williams to tour the war zone with the USO was "potentially devastating". Howard Dean received surprising support with 58% of all likely voters and 77% of likely Democratic voters favoring him for the post of Ambassador to Iraq (without bodyguard.)
With these statistical IEDs littering the road to the 2006 midterm election 74% of sentient life forms predicted the President would remove some troops from Iraq before next November to great fanfare. 82% expected the returning soldiers would receive 99% more press coverage than their unlucky compatriots who had preceded them horizontally.
Nailing The Hammer
WASHINGTON, DC –– A funereal pall has descended over the Capitol Dome as the grim reality has set in that Fate may once again deny our nation the services of a great man. Wilbur Mills, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee was laid low (or high or in the back seat) by Fanne Fox, the Tidal Basin Bombshell in 1976. Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright was wronged by an Ethics Committee probe into his violation of draconian limits on fees and perks in 1989 and stepped down. Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was told to “Go, pack!” over mismanagement of his GOPAC Political Action Committee and 84 other ethics charges in 1998. And now, tragically, it is the turn of House Republican majority leader Tom DeLay to succumb to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (though the outrageousness of the fortune has yet to be calculated by prosecutors.)
A small-minded District Attorney in Texas has indicted Mr. DeLay on one count charging that he violated state election laws in September 2002. Arcane House Republican rules require that a leadership figure must step down, if only for a trice, if indicted. Though a conviction on this felony charge could mean two years behind bars, Mr. DeLay responded to the legal action as though he had been invited to vacay at a timeshare in the Bahamas and would return to his post once his tan had been perfected. Others, more firmly anchored in reality and fully mindful of the capriciousness of a public that had been metaphorically gang-fisted by Mr. DeLay and his co-conspirators for the past three years suspect that this was instead the moment when the former exterminator would check in to the Roach Motel, but never check out.
Reaction to the booking and fingerprinting of Sugar Land’s Rogue Elephant recalled the bleak days that followed the cancellation of the series Dallas when the awful realization dawned on the American public that it would never again thrill to the shameless chicanery of JR Ewing except in reruns. At the Watergate Hotel, the Chief House Procurement officer doffed his pimp-cut Kangol cap in deference and the prostitutes gave head in silence. Congressional interns respectfully organized a dead pool in honor of PAC’s Bad Boy with the smart money riding on DOA. Some female aides sobbed softly although more than one listener took the strangled sounds to be titters mixed with sighs of relief. NRA lobbyists held an Irish wake of sorts at Hooters and ended the evening with a 21-gun salute with assault rifles aimed in the general direction of Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol Hill offices.
A group of philanthropic influence peddlers pooled their resources to establish a small tax shelter/slush fund to provide for The Hammer’s family so that they could still enjoy free gifts (key rings, monogrammed pens) and trips (the Smithsonian, the Mall.) Congressman Roy Blunt of Missouri, who courageously agreed to serve as temporary majority leader and “keep warm” Mr. DeLay’s jack boots paid his respects by lowering the flag in front of his home and hanging the lawn jockey at half-mast.
Televangelists decried the fact that a good Christian could be cut down for employing fund-raising techniques that the Lord had approved for their use while an impeached adulterer like Bill Clinton had been able to retain the very office he had defiled. And late at night, along the banks of the Potomac, several dispirited members of Texas’ congressional delegation swore they saw the figure of the late, unlamented political consultant Lee Atwater strumming his electric guitar and singing the blues.
G2: THE ONCE AND FUTURE GOVERNATOR
SAN FRANCISCO, CA –– A press conference announcing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s intention to run for re-election was disrupted today when an emissary from the future — the Governator himself, 20 years older — appeared on stage, warning of the dire consequences that would result from his second term in office.
The governor had just begun his remarks and was expected to confirm speculation about his candidacy. As he smiled and uttered the phrase, “It’s not ah rumah...” the mysterious stranger strode to the podium and grabbed the microphone.
“People of Kulifohnia,” boomed the Governator from the future, a dead ringer for the current Mr. Schwarzenegger but white-haired and haggard, with a nasty scar down one cheek and dressed in tattered leather Mad Max-style biker gear, “Don’t do this!" Staring at the audience with his red, glowing left eye, he continued, "I warn you, death, destruction and deep cuts in essential services will be only da least of it! You must stop me... him... us... whatevah!”
He then addressed Schwarzenegger directly, saying, “I tried to stop you at da primaries next spring, offering to implant you with happy memories of a second term, but you didn’t listen then so I came back to now. After only two years with us in charge, da state is in turmoil and Hollywood Box Office is in da toilet... have your ego and ambition blinded you so completely that you cannot remember that sequels are never as good?”
Although initially startled into silence, Schwarzenegger stepped up to push his doppleganger away from the mic. After a brief struggle, Governator 2 pulled out an enormous chrome-plated hand gun, pointed it at the present Governator and said ominously, “Think of da lamentations of da vimmen! Don’t make me do this, we’ll both regret it!”
Governator 1 made several quick martial arts moves and knocked the weapon from G2’s hand, then fled to his Humvee and sped off. G2 shoved a nearby Highway Patrolmen off his motorcycle, hopped on and gave high-speed chase through the hilly streets of San Francisco.
The two vehicles roared into a steel mill near the Golden Gate Bridge that, although completely deserted, was operating at full capacity. Once inside, the chase continued on foot, with G2 following G1 up several flights of metal stairs to a catwalk directly above a vat of glowing red molten metal.
During their dramatic mano-a-mano fight to the death, a knife, an ice-pick and both Governator's car keys fell into and were consumed by the fiery liquid below.
G1, younger, stronger and not yet worn down by the nightmarish hellscape his second term will unleash, finally got the upper hand and tossed his future self over the railing and into the volcanic stew, shouting after him victoriously, “Tell da future it's history!”
As he sank into the flaming muck, G2 is reported to have raised his fist and declared, “I’ll be back... Ouch!”
Later, Mr. Schwarzenegger blamed the incident on his liberal enemies in the special effects industry. George Lucas denied any involvement and spokespeople for presumptive rival gubernatorial candidates Rob Reiner and Warren Beatty did not return calls.
–– L.K. Peterson
EENY MEENY MINEY MORON
Bush Knows Picks
WASHINGTON, DC –– In response to the recent barrage of criticism aimed at President Bush’s unnatural selection process in naming candidates to governmental posts, the White House announced a bold new policy today. Undertaken by the Nomination Initiative Taskforce (NIT), the strategy –– already tagged Dub Ya’ by wags –– is based on the findings of a study sponsored by the Department of Education, which concluded that a person’s surname is often a powerful predictor of the job for which he or she is most qualified.
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings naturally embraced this judgment, explaining, “Our European ancestors adopted names for their families based upon their line of work. Thus we can assume a Sam Smith shod horses, a Will Weaver made baskets, a Bonnie Baker kneaded dough, a Gus Gold lent it to her at exorbitant rates and a Holly Hooker blew sailors. The skill sets these families passed down from generation to generation predispose their present-day ancestors to excel in the fields encoded in their family names. Look, I don’t know how to say diner in Greek or newsstand in Hindi or deli with week-old hot table in Korean, but you get the idea.”
Reading a two-line summary of the three-year, $30 million study convinced George W. Bush to introduce the third essential criterion of name/job synchronicity into the nomination process. The first two criteria remain: 1) easy familiarity and 2) supine adherence to the White House Code of Loyalty (what the Mafia likes to call omerta.) “We don’t call it a process of elimination, that’s a bit scatological for the President, but he does feel that he, like LBJ before him, should be able to choose folks who he’d be comfortable conferring with even if he were on, y’know, the privy,” clarified Press Secretary Scott McClellan, knowing whereof he spoke.
"We’re not gonna go back and swap out all the fine folks we’ve already appointed, but in hindsight I do wish I had put Condi Rice in The Department of Agriculture, John Snow at The National Weather Service and the EPA’s Steve Johnson at Health where they deal with those nasty STD’s,” mused Mr. Bush. “Chao is fine at Labor, ‘cause there are plenty of food workers under her jurisdiction, but my Chief of Staff Andy Card would’ve probably served me better in Immigration and Naturalization handing out IDs to aliens.”
In one planned Cabinet shuffle Senator Arlen Specter is expected to replace John Negroponte as the nation’s Intelligence Czar, apparently because his name reminds Mr. Bush of James Bond’s organizational arch-nemesis. Mr. Negroponte, he of the Black Bridge, will move over to the Department of Transportation while current Secretary Norm Mineta will try to satisfactorally explain the meaning of his name in Japanese and the fact that he is the only Democrat allowed in the White House. Michael Brown, formally of FEMA, is slated to join the EPA’s Solid Waste Management branch.
Mr. Bush complained, “Let me say, I always resented the talk that this nominee or that was a crony –– it’s just not true, they are not cronies. I mean, Harriet Miers does look a bit like an old hag, but it’s not like she flies into work on a broomstick. I do believe this new process of NIT-picking will assure even bester possible candidates for upcoming job openings because names do matter. Look at mine and how much I like to clear brush on my ranch. Clear brush. Brush? Bush? Get it?”
If Ms. Miers bid for the Judiciary were to be shelved, Mr. Bush is said to be considering Cincinnati Reds’ great Johnny Bench, Beavis and Butthead creator Mike Judge or Bud Cort of Harold and Maude fame as a possible substitute. He is also mulling several candidates to replace the retiring Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan of whom Mr. Bush said, “He was successful ‘cause his name had green in it, though we’d probably have 0% inflation now if it had been Greenback.” Rap star Fifty Cent is apparently on the short list though fears that his low-denomination moniker will fail to reassure foreign markets have insiders giving the edge to rock burnout Eddie Money.
Bill Bennett’s Modest Proposal
WASHINGTON, DC –– Conservative talk show host William J. "Just Call me Bill" Bennett responded to a caller’s question that linked lower crime rates with increased abortion rates by saying, “But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” Noting the spontaneous explosion of his program manger’s head he hastily added that such a Pharaonic edict was, “an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.”
Many assumed that the former Secretary of Education and ex-Drug Czar had swapped his widely-reported addiction to shooting dice for a habit of smoking ice, but a subsequent announcement by his publisher suggests he was merely firing up his literary fan base. A Bigot’s Book of Virtues, a new treasury of instructive tales in his popular series, will be released on October 18, to honor the birth date of former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms. With this volume Bennett hopes to use right-minded stories and poems to, “instill in young people an appreciation of their proud heritage, to illuminate for them the dangers of quotas and to teach them to differentiate between white and wrong.”
Excerpts from Huckleberry Finn (“snippets of Jim’s proto-Ebonic gibberish”), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (“some juicy whippings”) and Little Black Sambo (“just the title is enough”) are interspersed with inspirational Ku Klux Klan tracts illustrated with stills from the stirring silent film classic, The Birth of a Nation. Beloved literary works are supplemented with rare and easy-to-hate screeds that include “Bull” Connor’s Freedom Riders, My Eye, Big Black Athletes by Jimmy “the Greek”, Crowning Rodney King by the LA Police Dept. and Barbara Bush’s Better Than The Shack That Washed Away.
Bennett commented, “I didn’t want to focus solely on the white/black/crime/euthanasia issue –– racial purity is much bigger than that. So we give the kids a little Fagin, a little Shylock, a little Portnoy –– when the character is self-loathing it makes the lesson that much easier.” A Bigot’s Book of Virtues incorporates stereotypes from around the world, from North Africa (Camel Jockey’s Big Race) to India (Flog the Wog) as it seeks to demonstrate the terrors of ethnic diversity. “Sure it’s a sobering message, but I don’t want to be seen as the boogie man, if you’ll pardon the expression,” said Bennett. “Look, would I ever advocate abortion of any kind, for any group? C’mon, abortion? Me?” And then he added with a sly grin, in his best Colonel Klink voice, “Besides, ve heff other methods.”
Brownie Points for Relief Effort
NEW ORLEANS, LA –– The Guinness Book of World Records reported today that Michael Brown of the Federal Emergency Management Agency was not the single stupidest individual to ever head a cabinet-level federal agency. Nixon’s Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, of the “tight pussy, loose shoes, warm place to shit” quip still holds that distinction, but it’s only because George W. Bush had downgraded FEMA to non-cabinet level status and Krazy-glued it to The Office of Homeland Security. In view of his previous experience with the International Arabian Horse Association, Brown was originally considered for the plum post of Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, but the White House decided he would be more useful as Farouk of FEMA, hastening the dismantlement of a quaint Federal bureau. Ironically, sinking that agency worked against him in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and he has since been downgraded to a topical depression and blown out of office.
When Brown was first told "the levees broke" he directed requests for financial aid to B’nai B’rith. He would later evince surprise that refugees from the storm were stranded in The New Orleans convention center –– he said he thought the TV images of huddled crowds were from a cablecast of The Day After Tomorrow (and wondered aloud, “why didn’t they just call it Friday?) Meanwhile, President Bush instinctively realized the mounting crisis called for preternatural calm on his behalf so he cannily continued his Texas vacation for two full days after the storm struck before moseying back to Washington to oversee FEMA’s oversights. He conducted a laid-back low-altitude fly-by over the stricken Gulf Coast en route to DC, at an altitude from which the devastated area looked a bit like Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Water Park.
When he finally touched his toes to the edge of dampness in Louisiana he joked with the media about being “high, though not dry,” in his wilder days on Bourbon Street and then advised a jumpy Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff, “keep your chirt on”. So as not to create panic in a shaken populace that might irrationally fear that the relief efforts upon which their lives depended were being conducted like a Chinese Fire Drill executed by Iraqi Security Forces, Bush commended FEMA's Master of Disaster, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” (he had considered a play on the UPS tagline, “What can Brown do for you,” but thought it a little too tricky.)
Despite Bush’s comforting nonchalance, gale force criticism buffeted the beleaguered agency. Seeking to project a can-do attitude in the face of can’t-do performance, the White House moved to redub FEMA the Federal Emergency Business Lobby (FEBL) and repurpose it with seeking out the silver lining in the cloud of calamity and mining that lining for all it's worth. Bush reasoned, “If we’ve learned anything from the War of Liberation in Iraq it’s that one man’s loss is another man’s profit. Chaos stimulates the economy. It will be FEBL’s job to offer relief to those who rebuild shattered lives. Infrastructures. Other structures. M’favorite James Bond movie was set in New Orleans and had the prophetic title Live and Let Die –– that is what we must do here, today.”
"The storm didn’t discriminate, nor will the recovery effort,” insisted a sober President, adding, “Prejudice against a Halliburton subsidiary like KBR or a corporation like The Shaw Group, based on the insidious bias of small-minded folks against compassionate capitalism will never keep this administration from awarding no-bid multi-billion dollar aid contracts to the neediest multinationals. We must help them who help themselves. To your tax dollars. Some say charity begins at home. I say we give at the office.”
THE 007 CLUB
"Aim higher" Counsels Robertson
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA –– Christian Broadcasting Network’s Good Shepherd, Pat Robertson, is planning a new TV program entitled Crosshairs, to illuminate the spiritual underpinnings of political assassination. On a recent edition of CBN’s popular 700 Club (the cryptic name apparently refers to the viewing audience’s cumulative IQ) he said of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, “We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," which would at least serve to reassure Fidel Jr. by confirming his suspicions. He sensibly added, "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop." The last point was a bit conjectural inasmuch as it’s always hard to predict how a sovereign state will react when a foreign government blows the brains out of its elected chief executive.
Though Robertson initially insisted that he was misquoted and blamed unfair media coverage (CBN did let the cameras continue to roll), he later clarified his statement to insist that he had only suggested that The U.S. “take him out.” Perhaps he was thinking an escorted visit to a church picnic or a Christian Jamboree might straighten out the left-leaning leader. But in Holy Hit!, the premiere episode of his new show Robertson will forcefully reinforce the Biblical rationale for assassination.
He preaches, “The Lord was often giving the order to smite this evildoer or that. The 10 Plagues were a political takedown of Pharoah and when Moses had the Red Sea crash down on Ramses and his horde he might as well have nailed ‘em with an rpg. The story of Chanukah is about the struggle for oil against a tyrant, Antiochus IV (nicknamed Epinames, ‘madman’, an apt designation for ol’ wackus caracas, Chavez) and after the revolt of the Maccabees the dictator was smitten on an expedition against the Parthians. I suggest that Parthian shot was from an assassin’s sling shot, sanctioned by the JIA (Judean Intelligence Agency.)”
"Did anybody actually see Judas hang himself? Maybe he wasn’t alone at that particular necktie party. And it doesn’t take Hemlock Holmes to figure out that King Herod who was reported to have died from a dreadful medical condition had something lethal slipped into his wine. We know Luke was a physician and could tell arsenic from old lace. You show me the forensic evidence that the death of Pontius Pilate was a ‘suicide’ or that the boating accident of the guy with the nasty whip in Mel’s movie was 'accidental'. Even CSI couldn’t have pinned those on Yahweh.”
"Modern scholars now wonder if the translation of the Sixth Commandment, ‘Though shalt not kill,’ which has long been understood to mean ‘kill’ as in ‘murder’ was accurate. Apparently a crack in the tablet obscured a clause that would have followed the word ‘kill’, with the word ‘conservatives.’ You’ll remember the Lord let Martin Luther King (liberal and fornicator) and Robert Kennedy (liberal and fornicator and Catholic) have it, but allowed Ronald Reagan to pull through. We don’t want extreme prejudice against those who terminate with extreme prejudice. We want to take the sin out of assassin. Billy Graham called angels ‘God’s Secret Agents’ –– so let’s issue them an 007 license to kill. Smite makes right, friends.”
SUGE AND SPITE
VMA's Off with a Bang
MIAMI, FL –– Notorious (and pretty b.i.g.) hip hop impresario Marion “Suge” Knight was shot in the right leg in breaking news in the Red Room in the Shore Club in Miami Beach in a party thrown by Kanye West in anticipation of MTV’s Video Music Awards. Colonel Mustard of Miami’s elite CRI (Capped Rapper Investigations) Unit theorized that the weapon was a revolver, but when asked whom he thought had committed the crime, he conceded, “I haven’t a clue.” Other law enforcement officials suggested off the record that Mr. Knight’s involvement in the deadly East Coast/West Coast/Tri-County hip hop feud might, just might, have played a role in the incident. Dubious authorities suspected that fear of reprisals prompted partygoers on the scene to deny witnessing the attack, although it might have had more to do with their smoked sunglasses and the disorienting glitter of bling.
Before the party the Death Row Records’ founder told reporters, “I think it’s real good people are getting along down here,” referring to the fact that Miami had been considered neutral territory in rap’s turf wars, a sort of Run DMZ. Even though his rival Sean “Diddy” Combs (who announced before hosting the VMA telecast that he was simplifying his name further to just “Di”, though he stressed that it was to be pronounced with a short i as in “dim”) is a South Beach habitué as is the artist The Game (who tried to play “Suge” before the BET Awards, y’all), Mr. Knight exuded a Gandhi-like calm prior to the party. Even when a confused reporter asked if he had named his new recording venture Tha Row after Henry David, rap’s Sol Hurok smiled good-naturedly as he instructed his bodyguards to, “get that dumb MF outta’ here.” His mood was noticeably darker when he was rushed to Mount Sinai Medical Center with a shattered leg bone although he apparently rallied sufficiently to quip to the doctors and nurses attending to him in the ER, “I hope you’re all Republicans!” before slipping into unconsciousness.
Rather than putting a damper on the next evening’s celebration of all that is bright and beautiful in the world of music videos, a cap in the knee gave the proceedings a shot in the arm. Attendees squealed giddily like gerbils on crank as gangstas primp’d and pimp’d and the white girlz and boyz tried to act homier-than-thou. One of several animatronic Paris Hiltons graced the white carpet along with multi-hit (reportedly 9 times in a drug-related incident) artist 50 Cent. Homer’s blonde daughters, Jessica and Ashlee, promoted literacy by attempting to read a cue card. Diddy conducted a symphonic tribute to the immortal and oxymoronic Biggie Smalls while Snoop Dogg shnizzled a shnozzle like a shlimazzle smokin’ grazzle.
Some, who gave a shit, theorized that Mr. Knight might have shot himself accidentally and concocted the elaborate cover story of a second shooter because possession of a weapon would violate his parole. Others, with even less of a life, suggested that Suge had somehow gotten in to see rehearsals of MTV’s extravaganza that glorified hip hop’s legacy and only wished he had aimed higher.
The Taming of the Shrewd
WASHINGTON, DC – Once again out-foxing the egg-headed liberal naysayers, President George W. Bush pulled a patented switcheroo by publicly embracing steroid-abusing Baltimore Oriole Rafael Palmeiro. A member of the Texas Rangers when Bush owned a 1.8% share of the team, Palmeiro was recently suspended for 10 days after he tested positive for stanozolol, a powerful performance-enhancer that entered the first baseman’s body through unexplained means. During his tenure with the Rangers, Bush apparently grew very fond of ‘Raffy’ who he described as being “like a gardener to me” and he responded to the initial reports of the failed test by saying, “Rafael Palmeiro is a friend. He testified in public and I believe him. He's the kind of person that's going to stand up in front of the klieg lights and say he didn't use steroids, and I believe him.''
At Congressional hearings in March the Raffish One insisted, "I have never used steroids. Period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never." In his State of the Union Address, the President said, "The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message...I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough, and to get rid of steroids now." Apparently the right signal was to call for a career suicide squeeze with a needle hanging from one's ass.
Ironically, the slugger had joined the 3,000 Hit Club just before taking his 3,000th hit. Nonetheless, the supposed mystery of how the substance was ingested moved President Bush to direct the DEA to launch Operation Loose Juice with the goal of identifying possible sources of accidental steroid infusion. DEA Administrator Karen Tandy theorized, “perhaps the Hall-of-Fame hopeful visited the beach with his family and inadvertently stepped on a loaded syringe washed ashore from a nearby gym and thought it was a horseshoe crab.”
His enemies read Bush’s Fido-like loyalty to an under-oath liar as a lapse of judgment at best, proof positive of bone-ignorance at worst, but a subtler interpretation suggests itself. Wacky self-contradiction forestalls intelligent argument. From the first oxymoronic assertion that he was a compassionate conservative, this President has parsed language with a pitchfork, the anti-Clinton who didn't ask what ‘is’ is, but insisted that ‘is’ ain’t.
This critic-proof approach extends to the staunch promoting of John Bolton as the next US Ambassador to the UN – a 'roid-raging government player ripe for urine analysis – and his eventual recess appointment to that post. And true blue brown-nosing of Turd Blossom One, the redoubtable Karl Rove, in the face of his vengeful outing of an undercover CIA op moved Forty Turd to new heights of unassailable illogic. He amended his initial vow to fire anyone involved with the leak by stipulating that only if someone had committed a crime would they "no longer work in my administration." Far slicker than Willy, GW added the proviso, "Heck, even if someone was caught with his hand in Ms. Plame's cookie jar and convicted of treasonism he could still hang out with me and give me helpful hints all friendly-like and just say he wasn't really at 'work' 'in' 'my administration.' Look, it's August in Crawford, I'm not even workin' here."
SHOP TILL YOU DROP, MAGGOT!
Gitmo to be Converted into Retail Outlet
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba –– The Pentagon announced today that it will shut down the notorious detention center nicknamed Camp X-Ray and reopen the facility at year's end (in time for the holidays) as an Army-Navy Surplus Price Club in cooperation with retail giant Costco. The new megastore will retain the catchy nom de guerre Gitmo and feature blow-out prices on the vast overstock of gear and materiel the military has accumulated since the U.S. Naval Station was first established in 1898.
"Sure, we were taking a lot of heat for supposed abuse of the detainees," explained Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen. Richard B. Myers, "but that wasn't the main impetus for this move. No, this is a synergization maneuver, dovetailing Secretary Rumsfeld's base closure strategy with the need to scare up funds to pay for operations in Iraq. Look, we've got tons of product from decades of over-procurement and a large, captive labor force. Unionization won't be an issue with these workers and teaching them simple responses to customers' queries like "I new here" or "No speakee English" should be a snap."
The biggest challenge according to retail experts will be getting the customer from the mainland to Aisle 1. Planned solutions include a steady stream of brightly-painted PC-1 Cyclone class Patrol Boats zipping 35 avid shoppers at a time the mere 90 miles from Key West to Gitmo (the USS Don't Ask and the USS Don't Tell are currently being converted.) Kids and the young-at-heart can make the trip while being towed in a flimsily-constructed raft accompanied by a trained guide and an Elian Gonzalez lookalike. The Navy will also rerig much larger LPD 4 Austin class ships to sail from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. These vessels will include on-board gambling and Vegas-style lounges featuring favorite USO performers – Tony Orlando sans Dawn has been booked for the inaugural cruise. Shoppers can also opt for puddle-jumping military transport planes, with the more adventurous invited to parachute directly into Gitmo's Aeronautics Supply Department (and receive a 50% discount on all silk items in the store.)
Costco VP Stan Carton said that his company would receive unspecified administrative fees in the deal, but that the majority of sales dollars would go towards funding the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. "We see this as part of our duty to our country," explained Mr. Carton, "and we're confident that there will be plenty of patriotic bargain-hunters who will make Gitmo a retail sensation. We're starting with a brand name recognized globally, pre-paid inventory, free parking, unparalleled security and a location just off the coast of the flea market capital of the world." When asked if the Gitmo brand name might carry negative connotations for some consumers, Mr. Carton replied, "Naughty is nice in retail these days. Everyone wants some edge, some street cred. The kids'll love it."
"Inadequately-armored Humvees, previously-assaulted M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, decommissioned PT Boats – these are classic Big Box items," observed Gen. Myers. "And the boys on the ground tell me they'll be able to offer so much more – an international gourmet shop with the finest freeze-dried Halal meals, a vast liquor store and smoke shop where you can purchase hand-rolled stogies from Castro's private stock. There will be a huge pet supply area with everything for your attack dog. CD's with the hottest tracks (the kind Ali can't stand.) Interrogation-quality lighting, heavy-duty restraints, miles of electrical cord, stylish hoods, soiled bedding, you name it. And anybody who gets the idea that the detainees will be getting off easy in this deal never pulled a double shift at BJ's the week before Christmas."
HOT HEADS OF STATE
Bolton to Be Judged by Jury of His Peers
WASHINGTON, DC –– Senate Democrats have struck a deal with their Republican overseers to expedite the controversial vote on John Bolton as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Reflecting their deep concerns about Mr. Bolton's hard-edged management style and his widely-reported shit fits they will convene a special panel of a dozen of today's angriest men to judge his fitness for office.
The search for openly-enraged high-profile ranters after the last election turned up a disproportionate number of left-leaning candidates. "Howard Dean would be seen as too partisan," explained Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), "but we had about 25 million other guys to choose from. On the right there's a lot of silent rage in the general population, but the celebrities tend to be the Hillary-haters and the gay-bashers." Sen. Dodd denied the smirking implication that he was being redundant.
After much expectedly heated wrangling a consensus was reached on the composition of the testy tribunal. Anchored by Miramax's intern-bashing agent-provocateur Harvey Weinstein, the liberal soreheads include an unpent Sean Penn and Alec, the Baldwin brothers' Moe. Also aboard are Air America's seething self-promoter Al Franken and curdled columnist Christopher "Bitchin'" Hitchens. Despite the fact little is known of his political leanings and though he isn't even a U.S. citizen, Russell Crowe was named jury foreman.
On the other side of the ire-filled aisle are the former CNBC talk show host Dennis Miller (who is looking to revive his program on Channel 16, public access TV in Crawford TX) and failed senatorial candidate Alan Keyes who embodies more than one dictionary definition of mad. Chris Shelton, failed contestant on The Apprentice, Mini-Trump real estate magnate and disorderly conduct arrestee will join the pissed panel. Hollywood will be represented by paranoid biblical epicist "Cecil B. De" Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis, who Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist admitted was, "more sullen, than angry, but we needed some glitz." Rounding out the fraternity is "author" Ann Coulter.
Hearings will begin as soon as possible and the twelve angry men will be charged with rating the nominee on a scale of one to ten, from "peeved" to "ballistic". The Senate's Sergeant at Arms will be joined by reinforcements from the District of Columbia's SWAT unit in case the participants become too belligerent. Anger management professionals will be available for consultation during breaks in the proceedings and all reporters and news photographers will be provided with reinforced hockey masks. A lightweight toy telephone will be placed by Mr. Crowe's seat in case he is gripped with the compunction to hurl it.
"All's we can provide is a balanced assessment of Mr. Bolton's suitability for a diplomatic post in which he must work constructively with a wide range of individuals under often-stressful circumstances," commented Ms. Coulter. She added, "I can only hope the elitist Hollywood baboons like "Phallic" Baldwin and Sean "Free Saddam" Penn will put their dicks back in their pants and friggin' vote to confirm a great American. Monkey bastard scum! Dirty douche rat filth! Poop!"
OAKBROOK, IL –– The McDonald's Corporation has announced an exciting new role for its long-time spokesclown Ronald McDonald. It has recast the epicene mop top as a fitness guru dedicated to inspiring young people to work off some of the excess pounds they packed on while consuming the fast food giant's fatty fare. In a series of ads the newly buff buffoon will try to motivate sedentary kids to kick a soccer ball, ride a skateboard or just get up to switch the channel when a Burger King commercial comes on.
Perhaps wary of the class action suits of weak-willed Wimpies, McDonld's hopes to pump up its image by promoting a lifestyle best achieved by avoiding its restaurants. An animated Ronald will be joined by lettuce-loving The Iceberglar, Mayor McTofu and the lactose-intolerant Couscous in a series of adventures where they visit faraway Vegan Island and the Magic Treadmill, but still get back home in time for a tasty McFlurry. Ronald McDonald House Charities will also open wings at several of its facilities for tykes suffering from diabetes, morbid obesity and chronic sugar rush.
The company has enlisted a number of Cardio Clowns to visit malls with McDonald's restaurants and conduct Wacky Workouts for the chunky youngsters who frequent them. Pumping Quarter Pounders and French Fry Crunches are on the workout menu for overweight toddlers. For the bigger and wider kids, the company has hired celebrity motivators like Richard McSimmons whose Sweatin' to the Jingles will have the plus-size pups reaching towards their toes to snatch a Big Mac from their shoe tops to the strains of irresistible tunes like I'm Lovin' It by Justin Timberlake.
Chapelle Scarily Sane
DURBAN, South Africa –– A team of dramedic psychiatrists who specialize in hysterical behavior have examined comedian Dave Chapelle here at the Weckjoeb Institute and announced their surprising findings. Dr. Springbok, the Head Analyst (“we never say headshrinker around here, particularly in the veldt”) summarized, “We found Mr. Chapelle to be a) not insane, b) not addicted to any illegal narcotics, c) not ‘raking Comedy Central’s nuts over the coals’ and d) only mildly amusing.” His associate, Dr. Swasizulu, added, with a wink, “He’s really a bit of a Boer.”
Then how do they explain his seemingly bizarre behavior in fleeing his successful television program, his homeland and a $50 million contract? Dr. Springbok offered, “He told us he had a revelation – ‘like RuPaul on the road to Las Vegas’– there was a blinding light and he heard a voice reminescent of George Burns’ in Oh God! say, ‘$50 Mil? You? Have you ever watched the DVD?’ He then reviewed the second season of his show with the Rick James gags and the Kotex jokes and the endless string of 'bitches' and he realized, 'my act ain’t worth $50 G’s.’ He told us, ‘If Chris Rock is the poor man’s Richard Pryor, how could I be the rich man’s Chris Rock?’ This is the reasoning of a fundamentally sound mind.”
Mr. Chapelle’s lucidity has sent shock waves through the creative shanty town of American comedy. Chris Tucker has reportedly opted out of Rush Hour 3 and his $20 million payday to be a stunt voice for the guy who makes the funny noises in the next Police Academy. Eddie Murphy announced his retirement from show business to pursue transvestite hookers. No amount of psychopharmaceuticals, however, could compel Martin Lawrence to leave the set of Big Momma’s House 2.
Rationality crossed racial lines as Adam Sandler cancelled press junkets for his new version of The Longest Yard to travel to Langhorne, PA and audition for a gig as The Count at Sesame Place. Jim Carrey announced his decision to donate one half of the earnings from all of his movies since Dumb & Dumber to the Adult ADD Foundation. Robin Williams experienced an awakening and entered rehab at the Funny Farm in Youngstown, OH. Chevy Chase contacted Comedy Central and offered to put on blackface and replace Mr. Chapelle.
For his part, Mr. Chapelle is still vulnerable according to Dr. Swasizulu, regardless of his diagnosis. “He mentioned a possible comeback, returning to his roots by releasing an album entitled That Nigger’s Not Crazy hoping to rehabilitate his image while paying homage to Richard Pryor. Troubling. Remember, in the mind of the comedian, dangerous self-delusion is only a punchline away.”
Jehovah Witnesses Abuse
BROOKLYN, New York –– The reported desecration of religious pamphlets by U.S. personnel at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility has sparked civil unrest here and at least a dozen deaths. The initial allegations surfaced in the Proctoscope section of Newsweek magazine where an item attributed to an anonymous source claimed that U.S. interrogators sought to demoralize fanatical Jehovah’s Witnesses who regularly visited the camp by humiliating them and mishandling copies of Awake! and The Watchtower.
It was reported that the distraught evangelists were regularly ignored as they rang the front door buzzer at the soldiers’ barracks even though they “saw the camo curtains on the windows rustling”. If they were admitted, the U.S. troops would be openly derisive towards them, employing abusive techniques including the extreme eye-roll, the “crazy” rotating index finger and the humming of the Twilight Zone theme. When the faithful proffered copies of their sacred texts they were greeted with insincere thank yous and sarcastic comments like “Gee, just what I always wanted!” and “Oh, this should help me stay Awake!.” In the most notorious incident, an unidentified PFC with a history of acerbity shocked the Jehovah’s Witnesses by accepting a pristine copy of The Watchtower, with the comment, “I’ll make good use of this”, as he headed towards the latrine.
Word of the blasphemous bible-dumping sent shock waves through the Watchtower hierarchy as firebrand leaders called for violent demonstrations in response. Enraged cultists moved through the city streets indiscriminately ringing doorbells without waiting for an answer. The Holy Hoard accosted innocent bystanders with angry cries of “Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt!” after which they wantonly refused to add, “Have a nice day.” Two dozen of the miffed missionaries rampaged through the streets of Long Island City, single-file, shaking their fists and tossing crumpled up pages of Newsweek at parked cars. An eyewitness described the scene as “mildly chaotic,” and added, “It looked like some pallbearers were on strike. They were Jehovah’s Witnesses? No wonder I barely noticed them.”
At a local high school softball field the mob mounted the bleachers and began stamping their feet and chanting, “Give me a J…J!…Give me an E…E!…Give me an H…H!…Give me an O…Ooooo!…” Mid-cheer, the rioting took a tragic turn when a section of the wooden riser collapsed, plummeting twenty protesters to the earth. Though it was a mere six-foot plunge they landed on numerous used syringes that punctured their lower extremities, inducing toxic shock. Their refusal to seek medical aid led to the swift death of twelve martyrs.
The startling wave of sectarian violence moved the Department of Defense to pressure the magazine to retract the story. Secretary Rumsfeld chastised the “irresponsible” journalists, asking, “Who comes up with these crazy stories? Our investigators went over the commodes at Gitmo with a fine tooth comb and the only thing they found hanging on a chain was The Christian Science Monitor!” Editor Mark Whitaker of Newsweek capitulated utterly, withdrawing the story and further amending the magazine’s editorial policy to “prohibit the publication of any story, regardless of its veracity, that might incite a religious lunatic to a fit of pique, let alone violence.” To that end he pledged to purge the magazine’s archives of any item that includes the words choice, stem or cell.
ROOTIN' TOOTIN' PUTIN
MOSCOW, Russia –– Despite sharp differences of opinion on a wide range of issues the leaders of the world’s lone Superpower and its former Super Foe still exhibited signs of deep mutual respect and neurotic co-dependence as they met to celebrate the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.
In a fanciful speech in Latvia, President Bush reimagined history by painting Roosevelt and Churchill as the true villains of WWII for handing over Eastern Europe to Stalin at Yalta. Apparently the Brits had gotten all exercised about this Hitler feller when Uncle Joe was the real threat, and FDR, the closet Pinko, refused to recognize it. As an analogy, or “an analogogy”, the President compared the situation to his own actions in Iraq. “It’s as if we took out an evil dictator, Saddam in this case, and then handed over the Red States to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. For years these people blamed Richard Chamberlain for appeasing Hitler, but I say Churchill and Chamberlain were two appeasers in a pod. The Communists were the evilest force on the planet – until the Terrorists, that is – and Roosevelt just went along with ‘em, even aping them by introducing Social Security when cooler heads were suggesting Personal Investment Accounts.”
Upon touching down in Moscow, Bush spat on the ground, flipped the Kremlin the bird and then embraced Russia’s Tiny Tyrant lustily, referring to him as “m’ best bud” and humming the From Russia With Love theme song. During the course of a backbreaking round of photo ops and “kissing asski”, President Bush, nicknamer extraordinaire, routinely referred to Russia’s Czar Manque as Bo or Bobo (short for Boris, presumably.) President Putin joined in the fun by dubbing his counterpart Dubya C (as in Comrade, presumably.)
Seldom was heard a discouraging word as Bush joined the ex-KGB BFD at a Soviet-style military parade in Red Square. “Least you don’t have to go searching for your WMD,” quipped the U.S. President. Later he reflected on the pomp’s deeper implications: “I heard there were a number of Hammerin’ Cyckles in the parade. Suppose those are Russian motorbikes. Hope they’re better engineered than Bo’s ol’ ’56 Volga we took a spin in. That bucket of bolts ran like the Buick I bombed around in back at Philips Andover Prep. Same smell of vodka, too.”
For his part, Putin looked to add a Borscht Belt in comedy to his Black Belt in the martial arts as he waxed nostalgic over the glory days of the USSR while kibitzing with the U.S. news media. “We will never apologize for protecting our former Soviet Republics like a Mother Bear, but even bears shit in the Caucasus, no? Oh, and how many Chechens does it takes to screw in a light bulb? Who cares, we prefer to screw them in the dark! I am writing an autobiography/cookbook, I will call it Gulags and Noodles. I know what you are thinking – 'Paprikash!' Heh heh. Oh, is your Chicken Kiev getting cold? We'd be happy to nuke it! "
CASUS BELLI FLOP
BAGHDAD, Iraq –– Condoleezza Rice, in her first surprise (surprise, surprise!) visit to Iraq since she became the U.S. Secretary of State, told troops and diplomats assembled in one of Saddam’s old palaces, “I want you to keep focused on what you are doing here.” Apparently some service people had let their minds wander and had forgotten that they were stationed in Hell. She then redefined her government’s Preemptive First Strike doctrine (the so-called “don’t ask, don’t plan” policy) by stating, “This war came to us, not the other way around.”
Perhaps war-weariness and prattle fatigue had permanently dulled her listeners, which might explain why no GI lobbed a hand grenade at the podium upon hearing this jaw-dropping assertion. The Secretary’s staff made no excuses for the hallucinatory claim, although one attaché did mention that, “it was awfully hot in there.” When it was pointed out that seven months before the invasion of Iraq, British foreign intelligence reported to Tony Blair that the Bush administration was dead set on military action and that Washington intelligence was “being fixed around the policy”, another staffer simply smirked and replied, “And your point is?”
Rice’s apologists in the right-leaning media (the so-called Neocondis) stepped in to provide some historical and intellectual context for her bald-faced lie. The Weekly Standard reasoned that, "Pearl Harbor was the moral equivalent of 9/11, ergo Roosevelt (if he had the spine) would have been thoroughly justified in levelling Little Tokyo in Los Angeles in 1942. The justification? Those Nippon sympathizers, like Saddam Hussein, had it coming." Championing the passage of a Provocation Declaration, The American Prospect likened the U.S. position to that of, "an Eric Rudolph, moved to bomb women's clinics and the Olympics only after the enemy had pushed him too far by legalizing abortion and sanctioning 'aberrant sexual behavior'."
The National Review picked up the "they had it coming" rationale as a basis for declaring war. "Even as Travis Bickle so eloquently asked of the hidden enemy, "Are you talkin' to me?", so too, at times, must right-thinking nations pick up the vigilante's cudgels to smite global hooligans. Perhaps Kim Jong-il and Ayatollah Cockamamie in Iran share Saddam's Death Wish. Moreover, with only 1,700 or so U.S. troops dead, the conservative estimate of Iraqi dead set at 25,000 and the current $300 billion cost of the war equivalent to a mere $1000 investment by each U.S. citizen, it's a wonder Dr. Rice need answer her critics at all. Senate Democrats are the ones that owe her an apology for the unconscionable delay in her nomination. Shame on them."
WHAT WOULD JESUS DOWNLOAD?
WASHINGTON, DC –– In the ultimate buzz kill for Apple’s gadget du jour, it was reported that President George W. Bush straps on his iPod and mountain bikes to the country strains of George Jones and Alan Jackson as well as lite rockers like The Knack’s My Sharona and John Fogerty’s Centerfield. News of his surprisingly secular selections had other Beltway Insiders leaking their own playlists.
Vice President Dick Cheney’s iPod boasts an eclectic mix of inspirational speeches by Dr. Robert Schuller, Warren Buffett and David Duke along with unexpectedly gritty tracks like What Up Gangsta by 50 Cent (“I like to call ‘im 4 Bits,” quipped the Veep), Just Don’t Give a F**k by Eminem (“In honor of Patrick Leahy”) and Kill the Poor by Dead Kennedys (“Love the band name, ditto the title.”)
Tom DeLay’s player, that he’s dubbed his iGod, contains quasi-devotional numbers such as Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Jesus On the Mainline and My Sweet Lord (“I assumed it was about Jesus,” vows the House Majority Leader), leavened with pop ditties such as Yakety Yak (“for those filibustering Democrats”) and Hammer Time (“hear that, you left-wing witch hunters: “Can’t touch this!’”)
Condoleezza Rice’s device is heavy on the Motown sound of the 60’s as covered by soulless white artists including You Can’t Hurry Love by Phil Collins, Respect by Reba McIntire and Dancing in the Streets by The Carpenters. Her shuttle shuffle includes My Sweet Lord (“I assumed it was about the President,” avers the Secretary of State) and the decidedly Sapphic It’s Alright by the Indigo Girls (“I assumed they were just upbeat young women of color.”)
Ever the traditionalist, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld still packs a Walkman and on visits to Baghdad he slings on two cassette-laden bandoliers containing martial classics like The Ballad of the Green Berets and, for spiritual uplift, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition sung by The West Point Glee Club. For “buzzing the towel heads” he cues up Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries on his Blackhawk chopper’s 1000-Watt Peavey speakers and flips Iraqi Most Wanted cards out the weapon bay doors.
CRAWFORD, TX –– President George W. Bush raised eyebrows when he greeted Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to an oil summit at his ranch in what some took to be too neighborly a fashion. Employing the so-called East Texas Handshake he led his long-time family friend and patron around his beloved spread. The Crown Prince seemed stimulated by the tour, marveling at the flat, barren wasteland and insisting how much it reminded him of home ("except where are the dancing midgets and the hermaphrodite hookers," he queried in mock consternation.)
Photos of the extremely cordial encounter produced criticism that the President was stroking the OPEC poobah when he should have been pumping him on the issue of oil production. "As we say in these parts," countered Mr. Bush, "Sometimes a lil' baby oil is better than petroleum jelly when you're lookin' to increase output." The expected spurt in crude did have a stiffening effect on world financial markets.
Much of the nasty innuendo and school-boy humor displayed in the media were laid to "cultural ignorance" and "partisan politics" by the mutually-satisfied participants and their mouthpieces. Rashid, the Crown Prince's tongueless spokesman, signed, "In our country such salutations are quite common – members of the Royal Family will Flog the Drooling Slave upon first meeting a distinguished guest. For beloved and esteemed friends like Bush the Junior the Procession of Palms is de rigeur. But always use the left hand." White House Eunuch Scott McClellan, added, "Yes, the President grasped the initiative, and yes, the Crown Prince was happy to see him."