HOLIDAY CHEER FROM THE BLAGOSPHERE & THE INTERNETS
Candidates in Final Push to Place Their Stamp on Voters
WASHINGTON, DC –– As the seconds tick down to the merciful end of a presidential race that felt like a New York City Marathon that circumnavigated the globe a few dozen times (and could've been won by a wiry Kenyan), the combatants are frantically trying to polish off their final to-do lists. The Obama camp hopes to:
1) Sue to have their opponent's name appear as John W. McCain on the ballot in as many states as possible, and to have the legend Grand Really Old Party affixed to all his campaign literature, by invoking truth in advertising laws.
2) Acquire a plumber's license for running-mate Joe Biden, and have his face appear on the bottles in six-packs of Delaware-brewed Dogfish Head Ale.
3) Remind loyalists to not get overconfident by citing the Bradley Effect –– the phenomenon of white voters who tell pollsters that they will vote for an earnest candidate of colorlessness like former presidential hopeful Sen. Bill Bradley, but then do not show up on Election Day due to boredom.
4) Deny that the Senator and his wife Michelle were "measuring the drapes in the White House", and insist, instead, that Cindy McCain had already chosen pale yellow curtains for the Lincoln Bedroom, and that her curtains don't match her carpet.
5) Pray for a 2,000-point rally by the Dow…on Wednesday, November 5.
Team McCain is desperately trying to:
1) Sue to have the colors on the news networks' electoral maps switched, claiming blue for the "real American" Republicans and arguing that red is far more appropriate for "socialist" Democrats. They also want the votes of the Electoral College scored like golf where the lowest tally wins.
2) Persuade The New Yorker to print another slyly satirical cover depicting their opponent as Obomber.
3) Promise that Sarah Palin's official vice-presidential appearances will be regularly guest-hosted by Tina Fey.
4) Tie Obama's U.S forbears to John Wilkes Booth, Sacco & Vanzetti, and the Rosenbergs, while linking his African ancestors to that black Bond villain in Live and Let Die.
5) Woo Democrats by promising to throw turncoat Sen. Joe Lieberman under the Straight Talk Express bus if McCain receives more than 10% of their vote.
THE VETTING PLANNERS
TWIN CITIES, MN –– McCain campaign operatives are privately gloating over the media maelstrom whipped up by their candidate's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate. "The free publicity is virtually Lohanesque," smirked strategist Charlie Black, "and the elitists in the press don't get it, as usual. Every aspect of this nomination process was carried out with the tactical precision one would expect from an American war hero like John McCain who was shot down over Vietnam. There was one, and only one crucial goal –– the energizing of our base…and the appealing to Hillary Democrats. And the adding of some sex appeal."
Some critics have suggested it would take multiple defibrillators and a boatload of crystal meth to energize the ultra-conservative Republican base that the McCainaanites covet –– those who have thus far exhibited stubborn wariness towards the maverick 72-year-old whippersnapper. The Arizonan's team feels certain that Ms. Palin, the Thrilla from Wasilla, will warm their fluttering hearts. Some critics have wondered how the revelations that Ms. Palin's unwed 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, that she was involved with the Alaskan Independence Party which advocated secession from the Lower 48, that she is being investigated for abuse of power over the firing of a public safety commissioner who refused to execute a family vendetta, and that her husband was once arrested for drunk driving might appeal to so-called values voters, unless what those voters value is TMZ.
Now a secret memo produced by McCain's AmVets squad that was ramrodded by Washington lawyer Arthur Culvahouse to thoroughly investigate the backed Alaskan's history and credentials has been leaked to the media, and it seems to support their contention that they were fully aware of potential pitfalls, but still envisioned a campaign trail Gold Rush. The memo lists some of Ms. Palin's strategic strengths as:
1) Con Christians will love that she supports her daughter having the baby and will force redneck b-friend to wed. Need pix of Bristol barefoot in front of stove. (Can she be induced and give birth in Bethlehem, PA stable the Sunday before Election Day?)
2) Smokin' hot! Appearance along with Mrs. McC and Laura B. at Convention will so outshine DNC's Denver duds, Michelle, Hillary and Biden's old lady. Style tips: drop "egghead" glasses and try low-cut camo camis.
3) Ignored medical tests for Down's Syndrome in her own child –– blind faith huge plus on Iraq War and global warming.
4) As Wasilla Mayor tried to ban books at library and advocated creationism –– makes McC look genius.
5) Husband's DUI –– worked for W, should've been her. (Note: check if she ever pulled a Laura B. and ran down ex.)
6) Kills moose, skins w/own hands, washes down w/Mrs. McC's beer! NRA will go off full-cocked!
7) Supported her own mother-in-law's rival in a mayoral election because she was soft on abortion –– sweet! –– but can we say she considered turning in her parents for letting her smoke weed?
8) Stood up to Big Oil –– nobody's perfect.
The memo includes some talking points to employ with adversarial journalists that will "have the bloggers blowing their tubes", including: a) Alaska borders Russia and there's never been an invasion on her watch. b) She has more ovaries than Obama and Biden combined. c) You like salmon? Crab? Herring? Then don't piss Alaska off. d) We support our vets, not vetting. e) She's a MILF now, but after the grandkid, we're talking GILF.
NEW YORK, NY –– In a grim reminder of the violence that erupted throughout the Muslim world in the wake of a Danish newspaper publishing cartoons deemed to be disparaging to Allah, the repercussions from the notorious Obama Osama cover of The New Yorker continue to reverberate from Broadway to the Beltway. Initially, the cartoon, depicting Michelle Obama as an Angela Davis-like black militant fist-bumping the Jack Davis-like caricature of her husband in Muslim garb standing before a portrait of bin Laden hung above a US flag-burning fireplace, aroused cries of calumny from Obama's defenders and the sour scrutiny of pundits on an extremely slow news day.
Now the controversy has sparked cancelled subscriptions, top ten most offensive magazine cover lists (not featuring photos of Tom Cruise), calls by Ralph Nader for his own offensive cover, summer camp counselling for postracial stress disorder, increased sales of Galabiyaa, boycotts of The New Yorker's online Cartoon Caption Contest, and petitions for minimum sentences for reckless irony. More extreme responses include Rep. Rahm Emanuel's call for a fatwa against Condé Nast's Executive Board and the reported stoning of Eustace Tilley by a mob of enraged Obama campaign volunteers.
David Remnick, the magazine's editor, defended the cover as an attempt to satirize not the candidate and his wife, "but, in fact, to hold a pretty harsh light up to the rumors, innuendos, lies about the Obamas that have come up…", and he rejected the idea that the average reader would not appreciate the joke, saying, "I don't think that this notion that only Upper West Side Manhattan elitists get satire is the case at all." Whether or not that last assessment was meant as another impossibly droll jape, it makes one wonder what image a Hillary Clinton nomination would have inspired. A chubby, bereted female intern bumped ugly by both the Presidentrix and First Man in front of Satan's portrait over a fireplace wherein burn the remains of Vince Foster?
Though Obama himself told Larry King that he "had seen worse" (does he subscribe to The Weekly Standard?), his campaign's rapid response to the perceived potshot makes it clear that they will brook no sarcasm. His official website, includes a Fight the Smears page which aims to debunk damaging rumors about the candidate and his wife, including his phantom birth certificate, her digs at "Whitey", and his unwillingness to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Will they confront the other devastating claims concerning the sixth toe on his left foot, her addiction to black licorice, his infatuation with muslin shirts, her refusal to sing It's a Grand Old Flag, and his dangerous lack of a sense of humor?
HOO-HAH! FOR THE RED WHITE AND BLUE
Tout le monde is merrily gearing up for the celebration of the US of A's 232nd Birthday on July 4th. As the GNP sinks and the GPA's shrink the rest of the world is finding it harder to stay mad at the weakened bully––the once greatest superpower that is slipping into late middle-age like a punch-drunk Muhammad Ali. Some foreign citizens do still resent the bellicosity of America (most don't even get too riled if you say America anymore, like there is no other North or South) and prefer to mark the Grand 198th this 4th, counting down the days left in George W. Bush's presidency. Here's a rundown of some choice commemorations by and for Lady Liberty's allies –– willing and unwilling –– and foes:
• In Baghdad, US troops will throw a jamboree for the imams of the Sunni and Shi'a sects hoping to unite the fundamentalist factions with a concert by Amy Winehouse and a BBQ featuring suckling pig, baby back ribs, pulled pork and all the Bud you can drink.
• Russia's Vladimir Putin will honor the heroes of the American Revolution by reenacting the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Colonial Army's first defeat, against rebels in Chechnya.
• China will lend the US $4 billion, at an annual interest rate of 17.76%, to purchase red, white, and blue paper products from China.
• North Korea will sponsor the First Annual Pyongyang Hot Dog Eating Contest, in the sporting and toy groups.
• Hugo Chavez will distribute festive variations on the Molotov Cocktail to Venezuelan citizens for an all-night firelight vigil –– the Jefferson Cocktail will consist of a lit, oil-soaked US flag stuffed into an empty Coke bottle. Thousands of them will illuminate the huge DIck Cheney piñata that will hang in Caracas' Plaza Bolivar.
• India has volunteered tech support operators to answer emergency calls relating to fireworks injuries so that their unemployed US counterparts who had their jobs outsourced need not worry that a cheap M-80 might permanently disfigure their child. The operators in Bangalore, however, will only have one phone number to refer patients too –– a private clinic in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The US caller will likely be without health insurance anyhow, so that the chief benefit will be a barely comprehensible expression of sympathy.
• Tiny Monaco, the nation with the world's oldest population, will mark In Depends Day with a special bingo afternoon at the Grand Casino with all the sparkling apple cider and pureed lo-fat caviar you can gum.
• Zimbabwe's freshly-reelected President Mugabe will offer a tip of the hat to his harsh critic by allowing jailed opponents to choose waterboarding or a Roman candle enema for their punishment.
• An exultant Saudi Arabia will set off skyrocketing oil prices.
• And staunch friend Israel remains mum, but is rumored to be preparing a surprise fireworks display somewhere in the Persian Gulf.
POPE ON THE ROPES
VATICAN CITY, ROME–– With His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI happily returned to his sanctum sanctorum and his Popemobile safely parked once again in the Pope Cave, the less-than-divine reviews of his just-concluded U.S trip have begun rolling in. Of course the mantle of the papacy itself confers gravitas and an air of sanctity on any individual –– let's be honest, you could slap the papal mitre on an ex-Nazi and people would treat him like a holy man –– and that brand recognition alone usually excites intense fan interest. But despite wall-to-wall coverage and the breathless beatifying of suddenly pious pundits, the Pope's presold bonafides did not, according to The Houston Gazette, "make for must-See TV."
"He's no John Paul Deuce," huffed The Washington Times. "Sure, his English is a little better, but would it kill him to get off a plane in the the greatest country in the world, and drop to his hands and knees to kiss the tarmac?" The San Francisco Chronicle slammed his eco-unfriendliness, carping "How many Hail Marys to the gallon does that Heavenly Hummer of his get? Does he think it runs on holy water? We heard he let out quite a Latin invocation when he had to get it filled up in New York CIty." The Boston Herald sqawked about his steering clear of their own troubled "Boy's Town", under the headline, "Pontiff Hymns and Whores on Pederast Priests."
His coziness with Washington DC's Bushian hawks after his harsh condemnation of the Iraq War had the Burlington Times News admonishing him to, "practice what you preach, Papa. Primates shouldn't pander to primates." The Houston Chronicle noted, "Not only was Benedict upstaged by Warren Jeff's wacky polygamists in El Dorado –– he can't convince his own nuns to stay married to Jesus." Even the Catholic League's Bill Donohue jealously groused, "The degree of nutty devotion inspired by imams like al-Sadr in Iraq, makes you wonder why His Holiness can't issue a fatwa against Bill Maher."
The New York Sun reported that the positive press the Dalai Lama has been receiving for indirectly inspiring anti-Beijing Olympics torch snuffings, "had the Vicar of Christ set his staff on fire for a three-block-long stretch of his 5th Avenue Parade to create some excitement. To no avail. Next time he should bring a Virgin Mary float."
SWALLOW OR SPITZER?
Will Gov Lover Blow Town?
ALBANY, NY –– The call girl scandal that has embroiled New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is the latest sordid proof that mixing sex with politics can only lead to broken promises, soiled reputations, and sniggering headlines (see above). The revelation that the "Client 9" who solicited "Kristen" in wiretapped conversations collected by Feds bent on cornholing the Emperors Club VIP prostitution ring, was actually the crusading Spitzer, has led to indignant calls on the street for resignation and punishment ("things that, like, you might not think were safe.")
"I don't see how a respected pubic servant can survive the damage to their rep," offered Cool B, noted whorologist. "I told my ladies that they was going to lose credibility if they was going to get all political. The proof's in the puddy." Many suggested that "Kristen" would not be able to survive the stigma of consorting with a known elected official and would have to "step down from orifice" and find another line of work. Unsolicited, Madame C, offered, "I warned my girls about that sort, always talking minimum wage –– look how he got her rate down. And they're sloppy–– they'll stain your good name, and your Manolo Blahniks."
History does seem to suggest that politico hos suffer fates fouler than their John Q. Public Servants. Arkansan Congressman Wilbur Mills' Fanne Fox Follies ended with public humiliation and the snuffing out of the "Argentine Firecracker". Jerry Springer was consigned to the purgatory of a daytime Dante's Inferno after his gubernatorial bid in Ohio was kiboshed because he canoodled with a Cincy strumpet, but, afterwards, she wasn't even able to get her car pimped. Rep. Barney Frank was reelected repeatedly, but his disgraced bad boy toy couldn't get his ass grabbed at a Fire Island Ecstasy Festival. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana just issued an apology, but the D.C. Madam he frequented lost such face in giving head, that even Spitzer wouldn't hire her, instead importing "Kristen" from New York for his Washington rendezvous. Spitzer faces possible charges under the antiquated Mann Act for his cross-border solicitation, but at least he can claim that he was boosting his own state's economy.
"Why don't they just do celebs and businessmen?", wondered "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss. "Charlie Sheen goes on to become the highest-paid sitcom star and I do a day in prison, some community service, get a documentary made about me, and then open a legal male escort service in Nevada called The Stud Farm. Not so bad –– if you don't count Tom Sizemore." And where might the shamed "Kristen" find future employment? Hillary Clinton's campaign is looking for interns, and the drug lobby would likely be happy to have her as a spokeslut.
SHIFT IN AFRICA
On Dark Continent Bush Sees Light
MONROVIA, Liberia –– Pausing from pounding the millet and pressing the flesh of delighted tribal leaders, President George Bush announced a major change in his administration's global policy objectives. "I stand here in the proud land of Libreria, where they obviously embrace book-learning, to say it's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. I've been to Bening, like the actress, Tarzania, named after the Lord of the Jungle, Rwinder and Goner on this trip. Proud lands. And aside from explaining to those fine folks the advantages of the U.S. military bringin' them peace, prosperity and blue jeans via the AFRICOM program, like we did in Iraq, I also learned the lesson that free elections are not everything they're cracked up to be. Let me put it to ya' simply ÐÐ democracy sucks."
The evolution in the President's political philosophy seems to have been shaped in part by analyzing both the unrest over the disputed election of Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, and the corrupt administrations of African strongmen like Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Yar'Adua of Nigeria. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, in Kenya, offering the President counsel and good juju, elaborated, "In light of the recent Pakistani election in which Pervez Musharraf was soundly rebuffed, and after disappointing votes in The West Bank, Iran, Spain, Italy, throughout South America, and in the Wisconsin and Hawaii primaries, all of which elevated enemies of the U.S., the President has had to reconsider our push for democracy abroad. An advanced society like our own may be able to thrive under the precepts of Compassionate Conservatism, but we now believe most of the rest of the world is better off with Moderate Monarchy."
The State Department has initiated a massive public relations offensive to underscore the downside of democracy as they trumpet the delights of despotism. A circular translated into Swahili, Ubangi, Borg, and several other native tongues lists the numerous pitfalls of free elections including: voter fraud, broken promises, germ-laden ballot boxes, mud-slinging, highly infectious jingles, voter's remorse, dashed hopes, and chafing.
They also circulated a pro-potentate PowerPoint slideshow inspired by Africa's jolly warlords with their resplendent feathered headgear, and the oil-rich royal sheikhs of the Middle East. Bulleted blessings of tyranny include: fewer lawyers, simplified tax system, more holidays (including all the princes' birthdays), more parades, no slo-mo attack ads, juicier scandals, humongo palaces, and glitter.
"I think we oughta' go back to a simpler time," commented President Bush, as a court attendant swatted flies from his forehead, "a day when America could send a chunk of change to a King, Queen, Shah, Tsar or whatever, and expect to get back in return a fair share of stability, a few dozen drilling contracts, figs, precious metals, and the ocassional gold-plated tchotchka."
SUPER WEEK PEAKS, POLS PLOD
MONOWI, NE –– After the roller-coaster thrills of Super Bowl Sunday, the unbearable anticipation of Manic Monday, and the ultimate adrenaline rush of Super Tuesday, an exhausted yet exhilarated American public prepares to face the rest of the week. Below are to-do lists that the presidential campaigns have released leading up to So-So Saturday which includes a primary in Louisiana, and caucuses in Washington, Nebraska and Kansas.
Clinton –– Throw out pizza boxes, Chardonnay bottles. Feed Bill Xanax-laced leftovers. Spin tie as victory. Practice tearing up.
Obama –– Throw out pizza boxes, Colt 45 bottles. Send effusive thank-you note to Oprah, sarcastic form postcards reading "Thanks for Nothing" to Ted Kennedy, Maria Shriver, Janet Napolitano.
McCain –– Throw out pizza boxes, Kaliber bottles. Paint "Front-Runner" across side of Straight Talk Express bus. Send Limbaugh stinkweed bouquet.
Romney –– Throw out white pizza boxes, root beer bottles. Praise Grand MassachUtah Alliance. Stress Romney has same number of letters as Reagan.
Huckabee –– Throw out lo-fat pizza boxes, holy water bottles. Position self as Southern Savior. Send Romney pink flip-flops as gag.
Paul –– Save pizza to feed staff for week, alter box lids with markers to make into placards ÐÐ You've Tried the Rest Now Try Ron Paul.
Clinton –– Polish stump speech. Starch pantsuit. Send John Edwards Valentine's E-card. Practice sniffles.
Obama –– Memorize word "change" in dozen languages, esp. Spanish. Make John Edwards #1 Friend on MySpace page. Bulk up on pork rinds.
McCain –– Work out details of "100 Years in Iraq Plan."
Romney –– Rehearse line "There you go again" in mirror one last time. Suspend campaign.
Huckabee –– Challenge McCain to "dunk-off" –– see who can stay under longer in simulated Baptism.
Paul –– Fly to Guam to lay groundwork for May 3rd caucuses.
Clinton –– Hunt for New Orleans Saints cap. Try to find Monowi, NE with GPS. Practice catch in voice.
Obama –– Burnish military affairs credentials by releasing scores for PS2 game God of War. Consider joke for Washington caucuses, "Do all these wins make me Caucasian?"
McCain –– Take "B12" shot in the caboose. Woo conservatives with new poster reading "Us or Them?" with pictures of Obama and Clinton.
Romney –– Shelve search for black Mormon to appear with at Louisiana rally. Kick back with grape juice and mayonnaise on white sandwich.
Huckabee –– Remember to not say Katrina was God's punishment for sinfulness.
Paul –– Announce Vice Presidential running mate William Hung.
THE BARD OF BAGHDAD
One of the odder revelations provided to 60 Minutes by George Piro, the FBI agent who interrogated Saddam Hussein after his capture in 2003, was that the deposed dictator wrote poetry daily. Now several of these poems have been translated and the harsh assessment of Mr. Piro –– "Most of them were actually terrible…some days I thought I didn't get paid enough to listen to them" –– may need to be reconsidered. Despite some of Saddam's technical limitations, they do shed light on the inner man, and, just perhaps, on our own humanity.
Apparently inspired by a Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme, he writes of one of the darkest episodes of his reign with a surprisingly light touch:
Little Mustapha sat in Halabja,
He was a Kurd and must pay,
Along came a cannon,
All loaded with sarin,
Which blew that damned Kurd away.
Experimenting with the limerick form to tease one of his detractors, he seems to lose some of his metric discipline in the last line when he, like many neophyte poets, allows his passions to run away with him:
al-Sadr, a loon from Najaf,
Was more than a little bit off,
The throngs he'd delight,
Were like him, full of shi'ite,
I'll solder his nuts to a…steel beam and beat him to death with it.
He dedicates this somewhat jejune couplet to George W. Bush on Valentine's Day:
Roses are red, violets are blue,
Your old man sucked and so do you.
The brutal deaths of his two sons in a standoff with U.S. troops triggers these lines of profound regret:
Uday, Uday, you horse's patootay,
How could you have let me down so?
Qusay, Quasay, you have no excusay,
Could you find yourself no spider hole?
Alone, facing a sentence of death, he contemplates his own mortality in the rigorous haiku form:
brave on the scaffold
the world will say that, at least,
he was quite well hung
BUSH: MEDDLE LEAST IN MIDDLE EAST?
Walks "In Footsteps of Jesus" –– Steps in Camel Patty
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia –– The reviews are in and President Bush's recently-concluded visit to the Middle East is being hailed as "groundbreaking", "breathtaking", and "earth-shaking" according to the U.S. State Department. A senior spokesman for Sec. Condoleezza Rice enthused, "I think the President was masterful as he went down his lengthy agenda and ticked off each item on the list. He ticked off "Palestinians", he ticked off "Israelis", he ticked off "Iraqis", and "Emiratis" and "Egyptians" –– I tell you, he ticked off everybody!
I know some critics questioned the purpose of the trip, but his objectives were crystal clear: 1) campaign for democracy in the Arab world, 2) convince its neighbors to shun a dangerous Iran, 3) promote our alliances with some Texas-style charm and 4) persuade our oil-producing buddies to up production. We called the strategy Stump, Dump, Hump and Pump. Of course, a little Bump in the polls wouldn't hurt, either."
Despite skepticism at home, the Administration provided numerous media snippets from the region to bolster its claims. "Not since Camp David has the prospect for peace between Arab and Jew seemed brighter," trumpeted a caller identified as "Dick" on Voice of Palestine Radio. "The President called for a permanant Palestinian State and the Israeli right to bomb it. The ability to balance two opposing ideas simultaneously is a sign of genius!"
A flyer recovered from a gutter in Baghdad heralded, "Votes for Goats! Prepare for the Tikrit Caucuses in 2012!" A helped wanted ad in Dubai's Riyal Saver newspaper promised Pakistani construction workers on a new 50-story skyscraper "free rice, Russian girls, clean sheets, better treatment than Bangladeshis, 8x10 of George Bush". In a Tehran men's room the words "Bring Back the Shah" were scrawled inside a toilet stall, next to the legend "For a Bad Time call 10-23-4556 and ask for Mahmoud."
In response to a plea for assistance with oil prices soaring past $100 a barrel, the Saudi Oil Minister helpfully announced: "We will raise production when the market justifies it, this is our policy." Then added, playfully, "Blow me." The $20 billion arms sale tent-warming gift Bush provided his Saudi hosts drew raves in Boeing's Corporate Newsletter which commended the magnanimous offer under the headline "Nothing Says Peace Like 900 Joint Direct Attack Munition Bomb Kits." Shortly after he completed his "Jesus Jog" pilgrimage along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, Bush took time to reassure his Jewish hosts that they should not get "meshuggah" over the Saudi deal. "Wolfowitz explained to me how you folks are real big on education," he revealed, "so we made sure the bombs we sold you are a whole lot smarter then the bombs we sold them."
"Free elections, women's rights, fighting terrorism, recognition of Israel…, the President bravely mumbled all of those phrases to Saudi sheiks or the wait staff during a string of high-level banquets," reports U.S.-funded Alhurra satellite TV network. At a concluding meeting at Sharm el Sheik in Egypt, where Bush pressed democratic reform and his "freedom agenda", Sky News claims President Mubarak listened respectfully and told him, "That's all very nice, George … you come back next year, after the Inauguration, and we can talk."
A CLEAR AND PLEASANT DANGER
STRAITS OF HORMUZ –– Further startling details have emerged concerning the recent encounter between three U.S. Navy war ships and five Iranian speedboats in the Persian Gulf this past weekend. The Pentagon insists that the speedboats might have come within "two football field-lengths" of the cruiser, destroyer, and frigate at speeds that "showed a callous disregard for indigenous marine life", placing the ships if not "in harm's way" then, at least, "in harm's neck of the woods."
A tape of the near-skirmish included a disembodied voice attributed to one of the hostiles threatening, "I am coming to you…You will explode after a few minutes." Critics claim the following line, "No, really, just kidding, you dudes got any cocoa butter on board?", was edited out. Eyewitnesses report that several of the sinister sailors looked to be armed, or maybe just carrying way-cool Super Soakers, and that a few spelled out "Bush blows" in semaphore.
The Iranian news agency Fars (pronounced farce) proclaimed the tape a fake and asserted that the boats were actually pleasure craft from the nearby Cap'n Jihad's Rusty Scupper that strayed a bit off course. They insisted it was a further effort to stir up hostilities with their country as President Bush was embarking on a visit to the Middle East. "The Great Satan, wanted a "Remember the Maine" moment, but instead manufactured a Fake Pearl Harbor," chided a government spokesman in Tehran, adding the surprisingly blunt assessment, "These jerkoffs lost no seamen, only face."
But the Bush Administration has kept up the Iranophobic drumbeat by revealing several other recent incidents of "provocative behavior" that include:
1) the brazen challenge to The Simpsons Movie by the Iran-set Persepolis for Best Animated Feature at The Annie Awards
2) the brutally sarcastic "Congrats on Iraq, Genius" bronze plaque sent to President Bush by President Ahmadinejad
3) the wanton castigation of the "Central Incompetence Agency" over the report that the Islamic republic abandoned nuclear weapons development in 2003
4) the shameless insistence that not only did the Holocaust not occur, but neither did the Alamo nor Superbowls V through XXII.
Pollsters Push Pollution Solution
WASHINGTON, DC –– Jade with jealousy, the Republican Right is moving to regain lost ground in The EcoCulture Wars. These Neoconservationists covet the praise that's been garnered by Nobelist Al Gore for his global warming warnings, and the viridian votes tree-hugging Democrats have reaped in the polls. After claiming for years that climate change was due solely to Tipper's hot flashes, and throwing lots of greenbacks at "eminent scientists" to study the coming Ice Age, these newly-kelly conservatives are going for the other Green in a big way.
In answer to An Inconvenient Truth, Ex-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has published A Contract with the Earth, a pro-business approach to environmentalism (which is like a pro-gun approach to child-rearing.) The title invokes the heyday of the 90's Republican Revolution when Gingrich's Contract with America gave license to the corporate mob to put out a Contract on America –– axing jobs, icing unions, stealing billions. Newt's now thinking global as he evinces a tender and abiding love for Mother Nature even as he suggests ways to pimp her for profit and then get the old girl to lie back and enjoy it.
California's Gov. Schwarzenegger is pumping hard for a Green Old Party, but his Left Coast credentials unnerve the old guard. "Arnold's not the most potent 'roid in the hypo," complains an unnamed RNC operative in Sacramento, "he thought Waterworld was a documentary. Besides, for all his charisma, he panders to Hollywood and the Kennedys." Secretly, right-wingers are said to be chartreuse with schadenfreude over the recent wildfires that swept the state. As EPA chief Stephen Johnson puts it, "See, you try to make friends with the Earth, and it burns your bony ass."
Nonetheless, the current crop of Presidential hopefuls need to pay lip service to eco-friendliness. As Hillary Clinton woos polluter and pollutee with equal aplomb, Rudy Giuliani is set to announce his 9/11 Mean Streets 9/11 Clean Streets initiative. It calls for a new Green Berets Special Forces Unit to patrol major U.S. cities, cracking down on lawless litterers, spitters, squeegee men, and other eco-terrorists. He insists, "The public should feel safe on our streets from a carelessly thrown gum wrapper, or, God forbid, the debris from another terror attack like the one we suffered on 9/11!"
Mitt Romney is calling for a massive Recycling America program which will provide sturdy mountain bikes (but not licenses) to illegal aliens, who will earn the minimum wage and valuable Green Card Points by riding from town to town collecting used cans, bottles and metal scraps. The reclaimed items will be used in the construction of a 20-foot-tall fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Fred Thompson would seek to cap hazardous methane emissions that are depleting the ozone layer by directing the National Guard to "shoot every gassy little critter that you can grind into a patty."
Mike Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, is proposing weekly national prayer vigils beseeching God to spare the (straight) sinners and the building of the USS Arkansas, a $100 billion Ark made from repurposed Navy aircraft carriers. Tom Tancredo has directed his volunteers to collect as many old bottles and cans as possible, and to return them to recycling centers for the 5¢ refund which should see his campaign through until the end of next week.