November 27, 2003
Bush Pays Surprise Visit to Space Station

(2003-11-27) -- U.S. President George Bush today followed his unexpected visit with the troops in Iraq, with a spur-of-the-moment stop at the International Space Station (ISS) in Earth orbit.

After a rousing speech to the troops in Baghdad, Mr. Bush ordered Air Force One to take an unplanned detour to Baikonur Cosmodrome in Russia where the President boarded a Soyuz rocket.

The ISS trip was so top secret that the few in NASA or the Russian space agency were even aware of it until the President passed through the airlock and began squeezing out the tubes of turkey paste to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the crew.

The White House had arranged a cover story about a "crunching" sound that the crew allegedly heard, but which was really the sound of the President's Soyuz docking. News organizations around the world carried the fake story.

Mr. Bush spent about 45 minutes in orbit before returning to Earth for his traditional family dinner of turkey and so-called "fixin's" at his ranch in Crawford, TX.

November 26, 2003
Hinckley Gets Unsupervised Trips with Conditions

(2003-11-26) -- John Hinckley, the man who shot President Ronald Reagan and his Press Secretary James Brady, will be allowed to leave a mental institution for unsupervised visits with his family after undergoing a criminal background check, a 72-hour waiting period and the installation of fingerlocks on his hands to prevent him from "accidentally" pulling the trigger on a gun.

Mr. Hinckley, who was acquitted of the assassination attempt because he thought he was doing it to impress a movie actress, said, "I'm just another innocent American being persecuted by the state for a mental condition beyond my control."

Since 1999, Mr. Hinckley has enjoyed dozens of supervised trips with his parents to restaurants, bowling alleys and other public places.

In related news, James Brady's request to make unsupervised trips to public places without his wheelchair was denied.

Hillary to Sing in USO Show for Troops

(2003-11-26) -- U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton announced today that, as part of a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan and Iraq, she would sing in a USO show to entertain American troops.

New York's junior Senator is scheduled to make a cameo appearance to sing a medley of patriotic favorites like 'This is My Country,' 'America the Beautiful' and 'God Bless America'.

A spokesman for the touring USO company said, "Mrs. Clinton's sole reason for making this trip is to encourage our men and women fighting for freedom from tyranny and terror. We were thrilled to honor her request to sing for the troops. Rumor has it that her voice is a dead ringer for Kate Smith."

Bush Converts to Islam, Declares Fatwa on Iraq

(2003-11-26) -- U.S. President George Bush today converted from Christianity to Islam, declared himself to be a Grand Ayatollah and issued a fatwa, a religious edict, against those who have slowed the transition to democracy in Iraq.

The move comes as the Bush administration faced increasing criticism that it was trying to impose its brand of American democracy upon Iraq. The Washington Post reported today that Coalition transition efforts had faltered because an influential cleric had declared a fatwa against allowing foreigners to write the new Iraqi constitution.

"It's good to see that the Bush administration finally understands how to get things done in Iraq," said one unnamed member of the provisional Iraqi Governing Council. "All of this 'cultivating stakeholder buy-in' may work at IBM, but we Shiites wait until an influential ayatollah tells us what to do."

In Mr. Bush's first official statement after the Rose Garden fatwa-signing ceremony, Islam's newest Grand Ayatollah said, "Death to the infidel Baathists with their shoulder-fired rockets. Their blood will turn the sand red, God be willing. May God show them His wrath and give them what they deserve."

November 25, 2003
Medicare Bill Passes, Holiday Renamed Tranqsgiving

(2003-11-25) -- Moments before the Senate voted to approve the Medicare reform bill, including a new prescription drug benefit, Republicans added a provision renaming the Thanksgiving holiday in recognition of the historic new entitlement program.

According to the language of the bill, "Tranqsgiving, a new official holiday, will be celebrexed for 86,400 priloseconds (24 hours) starting in the fourth week of nexium Navaneber (2004)."

The passage of the bill is a major victory for pharmaceutical companies, whose lobbyists helped to write the Tranqsgiving provision.

"These are halcion days for us," said a drug industry spokesman.

DNC: Exploding GDP Threatens Economy

(2003-11-25) -- The American economy is threatened by a "massive boom" which could ruin the hopes and dreams of many Americans in 2004, according to Democrat National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe.

The ominous prediction comes on the heels of an upward revision by the Commerce Department of third-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to 8.2 percent. That's a full point higher than the preliminary estimate.

"The economy is swelling like a tsunami out at sea," said Mr. McAuliffe, "and unless we increase tax rates fast, it will flood the stock market with buy orders, and a shockwave of consumer confidence will ripple across this great land. We must take action now to stop this or millions of Americans will be doomed to another four years of George Bush's failed economic policies."

Wanted: Unmolested Lawyers to Defend Catholic Church

(2003-11-25) -- The Roman Catholic Church in America announced today that it needs more lawyers to defend itself against allegations of sexual abuse by priests, and coverups by bishops.

In a help wanted advertisment placed in papers around the nation, the Church said it specifically seeks attorneys with a lack of experience.

"We're looking for top-notch legal minds who have a sense of compassion," said a spokesman for the Galveston-Houston Diocese. "We need lawyers who can empathize with a man who has suffered 20 years of guilt, shame and thoughts of suicide...and then tell him that the Church is willing to pay for a few months of counseling if only he will sign a confidentiality agreement."

The Church is not looking for "experience in this field," he said. "In other words, lawyers who are themselves victims of priestly molestation need not apply."

The spokesman acknowledged that it may have to hire "outside of the faith" in order to find enough lawyers who are "suitably compassionate and inexperienced."

November 24, 2003
GOP Replaces Controversial Bush Ad

(2003-11-24) -- The Republican National Committee (RNC) has halted broadcast of a controversial advertisement portraying Democrats as soft on terrorism in contrast to President George Bush's philosophy of strong pre-emptive self-defense.

The RNC decision follows criticism from top Democrat leaders that the ad made them look unpatriotic in a Republican attempt to "stifle dissent."

The 30-second TV spot, which began airing in Iowa last week claimed that Democrats "are now attacking the president for attacking the terrorists."

In order to maintain Mr. Bush's commitment to political civility, new TV ads will begin airing later this week. In them, the President is seen talking directly to the American people. Below is the full text of the ad.

PRESIDENT BUSH: "I believe that pre-emptive self-defense is the only way to deal with terrorists. Many Democrats oppose me in this and think that we ought to go to the United Nations and ask France and Germany to pass more resolutions designed to bring the likes of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein to the bargaining table.

Now, I would never suggest that these Democrats are unpatriotic. The right to disagree is one of our basic freedoms. So if my Democrat opponents want to burn the American flag on the steps of the United Nations, they can do so. That's the American way. And they can support governments who oppose us. Heck, if the Democrats want to wear blue helmets and drive BMWs while eating French Fries -- that's their prerogative. It doesn't make them any less patriotic.

My Democrat critics are great American patriots. Don't let anyone tell you different. Just look at how they support our military, even though they say our troops are risking their lives to defend a lie. Democrats are stalwart American patriots whose only concern is that we have full employment, so that every office and cubicle will be occupied the next time a hijacked plane slams into a building.

Did I say that, or just think it?"

NARRATOR: President Bush -- defender of Democrat patriotism, champion of political civility.

November 23, 2003
Officials Say Homeland Security Funds Not Wasted

(2003-11-23) -- Millions of dollars earmarked by Congress for anti-terrorism efforts in the Washington D.C. area were, in fact, spent on items critical to defending the Homeland, according to local government officials.

The announcement comes after a Washington Post story alleged that local agencies "spent millions on pet projects" with little relevance to Homeland security.

Below are some examples of items purchased and their relevance to national security.

-- Leather jackets for police officers: The jackets were actually made of pigskin to ward off Islamic terrorists.
-- A $350,000 custom-made fire boat for a small volunteer fire company: This boat was designed to extinguish the river if terrorists were to set it on fire.
-- A security system for the Prince George's County prosecutor: The first line of defense against terror is to protect the file cabinets, computers and office supplies of law enforcement agencies.

Although the utility of such expenditures is debatable, the main concern in Congress today is that of the $324 million allocated to local governments in the wake of 9/11, nearly 40 percent remains unspent.

"The inefficiency of local government is stunning," said one unnamed House Democrat. "If we had maintained control of those funds, we would have spent that money twice by now."

Exclusive: ScrappleFace Interview with Chinese Premier

(2003-11-23) -- In his second major interview with an American news organization in as many days, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sat down Saturday with a team of reporters and editors from On Friday, The Washington Post had interviewed Mr. Wen at a Ming Dynasty pavilion in Zhongnanhai, which is the Communist Party headquarters. The ScrappleFace interview took place at a nearby McDonald's restaurant.

Below is a full transcript of that interview, edited for clarity, length and obscenity.

SCRAPPLEFACE: Mr. Wen, first of all we want to thank you for taking the time to meet with us, and for buying the Happy Meals for everyone. What we would like to know first is do you speak English?
WEN: No.

SCRAPPLEFACE: Okay, then we'll conduct this interview with subtitles.
WEN: Fine.

SCRAPPLEFACE: China has made great advances toward a more democratic form of government. For example, allowing the people to eat at McDonald's restaurants. How soon will you hold direct elections for the top government offices?
WEN: We already have a democracy. As you can see, our people can make choices that affect their daily lives. They may order the #2 Value Meal, and they may even have it Supersized.

SCRAPPLEFACE: That is impressive. How about direct elections?
WEN: Thanks to our Communist school system, the people are too intelligent to participate in direct elections. They could not be fooled by the empty promises of politicians. They would boycott the elections, thus leaving the current leadership in power. We have decided not to waste money on such a charade.

SCRAPPLEFACE: Speaking of democracy, how will you react if Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian continues to move his people toward a referendum on independence, and a re-writing of the constitution?
WEN: The people of Taiwan are free to do anything they wish.

WEN: I'm sure they don't fear our nuclear arsenal, nor our massive army and track record for dealing swiftly and effectively with dissent.

SCRAPPLEFACE: Are you threatening Taiwan?
WEN: We don't need to threaten Taiwan with total annihilation, turning that beautiful island into a charred wasteland, bereft of all life forms. Threats are not necessary. The people of Taiwan are eager to maintain Chinese unity.

SCRAPPLEFACE: The U.S.-Chinese trade imbalance is now more $100 billion in your favor. To what do you attribute this?
WEN: Three little words: Made in China.

SCRAPPLEFACE: Yes, of course, but the Bush administration claims you are artificially propping up the value of the Chinese currency, the renminbi, to keep your export prices low. Is that fair?
WEN: I don't know. You'll have to ask the American garment and electronics companies who outsource their labor to China then reap the profits.

SCRAPPLEFACE: President Bush last week slapped limits on American imports of bras, sleepwear and knitted fabrics from China. What would it take for American garment workers to regain their competitive edge.
WEN: It will happen just as soon as American women are willing to pay $900 for a bra, and $1,400 for a pair of pajamas. The ladies garment workers union could compete effectively at those price points.

SCRAPPLEFACE: But who is responsible for propping up the value of the renminbi?
WEN: No, Hu is not in charge of currency valuation. Hu Jintao is the president and Communist Party chief. I personally oversee issues of national finance.

SCRAPPLEFACE: So, you're personally keeping the value of the renminbi from falling?
WEN: As your own Harry Truman said, "The renminbi stops here."

SCRAPPLEFACE: On May 19, 1989, the Communist government brutally cracked down on student protestors who had gathered in Tiananmen Square to call for democratic reforms. You and Zhao Ziyang, the Communist Party chief, visited the square and were perceived to be supporting the pro-democracy movement. Mr. Zhao was ousted from his post and has been in jail 14 years. How were you able to avoid similar treatment?
WEN: To quote another American president, "I don't remember. I don't know. I'm not sure. I have no idea. I don't recall. I don't have any specific recollection."

SCRAPPLEFACE: Some skeptics might infer that you betrayed Mr. Zhao, or reneged on your own commitment to democracy for the sake of your own political survival. How would you answer them?
WEN: You've hardly touched your french fries.

SCRAPPLEFACE: We're on the Atkins diet. Did you betray Mr. Zhao?
WEN: Hot apple pie?

SCRAPPLEFACE: Mmmm....pie. Uh, no thank you. Now, what were were talking about?
WEN: I believe you were asking about how proud China is to be hosting the Olympic games in 2008.

SCRAPPLEFACE: Ah, yes. Well, how proud are you?
WEN: We're quite proud. We plan to demonstrate the supremacy of Communism to a world hungry for better government.

SCRAPPLEFACE: Since North Korea is one of the few remaining Communist dictatorships, and was propped up for years by China, could your government be doing more to ensure that the Korean peninsula is free of nuclear weapons?
WEN: We don't know if Kim Jong-Il has nuclear weapons. He could have done almost anything with the aluminum tubes and plutonium that China helped him to acquire.

SCRAPPLEFACE: But what do you think is the main obstacle to peace on the Korean peninsula?
WEN: The problem is South Korea and its petty obsession with so-called freedom and democracy. Mr. Kim is simply protecting his people from that.

SCRAPPLEFACE: Do you have a favorite candidate in the 2004 U.S. presidential race?
WEN: Yes, but she hasn't announced yet.

SCRAPPLEFACE: One final question. We ask this on behalf of America's young citizens: Do you prefer Mac or PC?
WEN: If that question represents the intelligence of young Americans, no wonder you're stuck with such a primitive form of government.

SCRAPPLEFACE: Actually, CNN suggested we ask that.
WEN: Figures.

November 22, 2003
Memo: Medicare Bill Part of Bush 'Hyper-Funding' Plan

(2003-11-22) -- A new leaked memo reveals that President George Bush has a sweeping plan to reduce the size of government by overfunding government programs. The memo helps to explain the continued growth of the federal budget under a Republican administration, with Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

The House last night narrowly approved the largest Medicare funding increase ever and expanded the program to include a prescription drug benefit. Mr. Bush has lobbied hard for the bill which passed despite vigorous Democrat opposition.

In the leaked memo which circulated among top White House officials, a senior administration official defends the so-called "hyper-funding" strategy.

"It's the only way we can get things through Congress," the unnamed official wrote. "To get public school accountability we boost the funding levels so high that Democrats and liberal Republicans can't resist. To get private competition in Medicare, we lure them with cash and drugs. A bigger government program with a dope-dependent electorate is the siren song for professional politicians."

Conservative Republicans in Congress expressed shock at the contents of the leaked memo, and said they're concerned that the hyper-funding initiative may be what one called "a box canyon."

"I'm not sure that the Bush administration has thought this all the way through," said one unnamed House Republican. "What's the exit strategy?"

However, the memo does map out a so-called "end game" for the hyper-funding plan.

"Government is so inefficient," the official wrote, "Choking bureaucrats with money will foster waste, mismanagement and greed that will eventually reach critical mass and destroy the programs. It's all part of compassionate conservatism. We could have just cut spending, but that would have made us look less than compassionate. Don't worry, we'll get to the conservative part later."

November 21, 2003
First AP-NYT Ingenuity Prize Goes to Iraqi Insurgents

(2003-11-21) -- The first annual Associated Press-New York Times Award for Ingenuity will go to Iraqi "insurgents" for their "clever" use of animal carcasses, donkey carts, children and blackmailed civilians in their rebellion against the "U.S.-led occupation."

"We were just charmed to death by the ingenious ways these freedom fighters have found to make their political statements," said a spokesman for the AP-NYT award committee. "Their surprising tactics are reminiscent of the Taliban and the Palestinians. The Iraqi insurgents render homage to the creators of the genre, without being mindlessly derivative. It's refreshing to read of their daily innovations."

DNC Urges Michael Jackson to Seek Presidency

(2003-11-21) -- Insiders at the Democrat National Committee (DNC) have reportedly urged Michael Jackson, the composer, choreographer and international statesman, to consider a White House bid.

Mr. Jackson has near-universal name recognition, which would immediately place him at the front of the Democrat pack.

"Based on the media coverage, we have determined that Mr. Jackson is the major public figure of our time," said an unnamed DNC official. "While George Bush was making a landmark foreign policy speech in London and al Qaeda was bombing Istanbul, the headlines were all about Michael."

Mr. Jackson is scheduled to make a major policy address to next month.

"Although we don't know where he stands on the issues, that's no obstacle" the DNC source added. "We have Democrat presidential candidates right now who are still developing their strongly-held beliefs. The important thing is that people know Michael Jackson's name, which would make him unique among the current field. It's been a long time since a Jackson has occupied the White House, and we think the time has come again. Jesse tried, but we think Michael will make it."

U.N. Inspector Says Iraq Had No Donkey Carts

(2003-11-21) -- Former United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said that as late as February 2003 Saddam Hussein's government had no donkey carts like the one used in today's attack in Baghdad. The carts served as mobile weapons platforms from which terrorists launched 10 rockets that hit the Iraqi Oil Ministry, and two hotels early this morning.

"We found no evidence of donkey carts, nor of donkey cart research and production facilities," said Mr. Blix. "I can only assume that the carts were smuggled into the country after the war started."

Mr. Blix said that Coalition forces must act quickly to confiscate or destroy Iraq's remaining donkey carts to prevent similar attacks.

Bush Administration Rolls Out 'Bizarro War' Strategy

You'll find this ScrappleFace story at The Daily Standard, the daily online version of The Weekly Standard, which is a periodical that comes out weekly yet has a web site which features new stories daily, such as this ScrappleFace story which you can read if you click here.

November 20, 2003
London Freed from Tyranny, Bush Statue Toppled

(2003-11-20) -- Citizens of London streamed into the streets, filling the air with cheers and celebratory gunfire as a crowd toppled a statue of the infamous tyrant George Bush.

The exuberant mob gave vent to the long suppressed hopes of a people who had suffered for almost three years without freedom under the iron fist of Mr. Bush and his puppet, British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"I can now speak freely," said one Londoner through tears. "It is like a great darkness has been lifted from us."

The search now begins for the British torture chambers and mass graves which the Bush-Blair regime kept full during their reign of terror. The hunt is also on for the two despots who were last seen entering Mr. Blair's underground bunker at No. 10 Downing Street.

And while leaders in the jubilant crowd called for the immediate institution of democracy in England, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged caution.

"We welcome the fall of these tyrants," said Mr. Annan, "but it is a well-known fact that English-speaking peoples are not advanced enough to rule themselves."

Al Qaeda Diplomat Petitions U.N. for Reform

(2003-11-20) -- The Turkish ambassador from al Qaeda, the Muslim humanitarian agency, today petitioned the United Nations for help in ending the repression of Muslims worldwide.

"Our people are suffering from discrimination and lack of opportunity," said the al Qaeda diplomat. "We call on the U.N. to treat these peace-loving religious people as equals in civilized society."

The appeal came by fax to the U.N., after the original copy was destroyed in an explosion in Istanbul which killed at least 15 people, and injured hundreds.

"Our courier was on his way to the U.N. embassy when something went awry with his vehicle," said the ambassador. "And this isn't the first time we've been victims of an untimely accident. This is the kind of danger al Qaeda diplomats face every day in the name of peace and freedom."

November 19, 2003
NARAL to Pay Half of Scott Peterson's Legal Fees

(2003-11-19) -- The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) today announced it would pay half of the legal fees for the defense of Scott Peterson, who is accused of killing his wife and unborn son. Mr. Peterson was bound over for trial in California yesterday after an 11-day preliminary hearing.

"We don't know whether Mr. Peterson is guilty of killing his wife," said NARAL President Kate Michelman. "But no matter what he did to the fetus, it's okay because the fetus is not a human. It's an outrage that the court is putting Scott Peterson on trial for something that America's fine abortion doctors do legally hundreds of times every day."

California Applies for Consolidation Loan

(2003-11-19) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today went online to apply for a $15 billion debt consolidation loan for California from

"I have heard that you can borrow up to 125 percent of the value of your property," said the new Governor, "We'll combine all of our monthly bills into one easy payment."

Mr. Schwarzenegger said that California would then go on a strict budget, setting up a system of manila envelopes for each category of expenditure -- public schools, highways, police.

"When we get money, we put it in the envelopes," he said. "When an envelope is empty, we can't have any more of that service until we get more money in the envelope."

The Governor also said he would cut up the state's credit cards.

November 18, 2003
Mass. Court Protects 'Consensual Commerce Relations'

(2003-11-18) -- The Massachusetts Supreme Court today ruled that so-called "consensual commerce relations" are protected under the same privacy rights granted to people who get abortions or engage in consensual same-sex sodomy or homosexual civil unions.

The high court immediately nullified the Commonwealth's 5 percent sales tax, and the 5.3 percent income tax since both of those levies interfere with citizens' rights to do as they please in the privacy of their homes and businesses. The decision also grants private businesses the same rights enjoyed by non-profit agencies.

"We conclude that people have a right to earn and spend their own money, and to be protected from confiscatory discrimination by the state as they engage in consensual commerce relations," the justices wrote. "Our Massachusetts constitution calls for ensuring the 'safety, prosperity and happiness' of our citizens. To do that, we must get the hand of the Commonwealth out of the pockets of the people."

New Medicare Plan Shows Compassion for Neediest

(2003-11-18) -- A compromise Medicare bill moving through Congress would demonstrate President Bush's "compassionate conservatism" by giving billions of dollars to the neediest among us -- physicians, pharmaceutical companies and health insurance providers.

"We're moved by mercy and compassion," said an unnamed Republican Congressman. "Have you ever looked into the eyes of an executive who has just learned that he's lost five percent of his incentive bonus because competitive market pressures forced price reductions?"

"If we don't subsidize prescription drugs," the Congressman added, "think of the pharmaceutical salesman who will be out on the streets, hustling for a buck as dropping prices make it harder to pay for the Lexus."

U.K. Police Gear Up for Peace Protestor Terror

(2003-11-18) -- During U.S. President George Bush's four-day visit, London's police force will more than double to guard against the "inherent danger" of tens of thousands of peace protestors in the streets.

"Little is more terrifying to police than mobs of people eager for world peace," said a spokesman for Scotland Yard. "They're a threat to elected officials and to life and property in general."

The British government will spend up to £7m "to prevent the peace advocates from performing horrible acts of violence," the unnamed spokesman said.

"The media have been saying that we're spending millions of pounds to protect President Bush," he said, "as if the expenditure is Bush's fault. From whom do you think we're protecting him? It's amazing how easily terrorists can slip into a crowd of peace protestors. They're indistinguishable from each other."

November 17, 2003
DNC Leader Sorry for Fundraising Story Gaffe

(2003-11-17) -- Democrat National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe apologized today for mistakenly sending out a news release which indicated that the campaigns of Howard Dean and Wesley Clark had raised an astonishing $52.9 million over the weekend, with Mr. Dean edging out Mr. Clark by $1.5 million.

"It turns out that those numbers were actually box office receipts from this weekend's two top movies," said Mr. McAuliffe. "I apologize, especially to Howard, for the error."

The hastily-written news release apparently was sparked by media reports that "Elf" took in $27.2 million this weekend, followed by "Master and Commander" with $25.7 million.

Guilty D.C. Sniper Gets Unusual Death Sentence

(2003-11-17) -- John Allen Muhammad, convicted today of murder in the 2002 D.C.-area shooting spree, will receive the death penalty "to be administered by a firing squad at some unspecified time in the future."

After sentencing, Mr. Muhammad was released from custody, given a car, $20 in cash and instructions to stop at a local gas station on his way home.

The four-man firing squad carrying high-powered rifles left the courthouse shortly after Mr. Muhammad and appeared to be following his car.


Chewable Contraceptive Comes in Feminist Shapes

(2003-11-17) -- The new chewable birth control pill approved by the FDA today will soon be marketed in the caricatured shapes of famous women like Kate Michelman and Senators Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton.

"We got the idea from the Flintstones vitamins," said an unnamed spokesman for Warner Chilcott, Inc., of Rockaway, N.J., the company that will market the pills for manufacturer Bristol Myers Squibb. "We wanted to pay tribute to some of the women who have devoted themselves to eliminating the scourge of unwanted children from the planet. And this was a fun way to say to young girls that it's okay to be sexually active, but make sure you take one spearmint-flavored feminist everyday."

November 16, 2003
British Poll: Bush is 'Stupid Evil Genius'

(2003-11-16) -- A new survey of Britons indicates that a majority believes that U.S. President George Bush is a "stupid evil genius."

"The results indicate that Brits don't think Bush is smart enough to put his right boot on his right foot," said a spokesman for the polling company. "And he's so clever that he tricked the entire U.N. Security Council into thinking Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who sponsored terror. He's a stupid evil genius."

According to the poll, people in the United Kingdom now fear that "Mr. Bush will accidentally trick Prime Minister Tony Blair into doing something even more ingeniously moronic in Iraq."

PR Firm Hires Defense Dept. to 'Generate Buzz'

(2003-11-16) -- A top public relations firm has hired the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to "generate buzz" in the news media. Under the terms of the deal, the PR firm's clients will be mentioned in top-secret Defense Department memos.

"We've noticed that the best way to get the word out about something is to 'hide' it in a classified DoD memo," said an unnamed spokesman for Fleishman Hillard. "The only thing that can generate more buzz is sending the memo to the Senate Intelligence Committee. That way, the whole world gets the message. You can't buy publicity like that."

Announcement of the unusual arrangement comes after The Weekly Standard published lengthy excerpts of a top-secret memo from the DoD to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding connections between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. A Defense Department spokesman said, "the memo in question didn't exist, or wasn't really from DoD and shouldn't have been leaked because it contained no new information even if it's true which we can't confirm or deny."

November 15, 2003
Judge Rejects Plea to Return Power to Americans

(2003-11-15) -- A federal judge today rejected an appeal on behalf of the American people to restore so-called 'sovereignty' to the citizens of the United States. In a 12-page ruling the unnamed judge said, "the United States is governed by laws, not by men, and must therefore be ruled by those appointed to interpret the laws, not by the elected representatives of the people."

The plaintiffs, emboldened by the Bush administration's decision to more rapidly return power to the citizens of Iraq, had cited the so-called Declaration of Independence and Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution to justify their contention that government derives its power from the "consent of the governed" through their elected representatives. They also alleged that Article III, Section 2, calls on the courts to decide cases under the laws created by Congress, rather than to create law using cases brought by activists.

However, the judge found neither of those assertions compelling, and ruled that "the United States will continue to live under the sovereignty of the judiciary until such time as the people are ready to govern themselves."

November 14, 2003
Clark to Accept Public Financing, Food Stamps

(2003-11-14) -- Wesley Clark announced today that during the presidential primaries his campaign would accept public financing, food stamps and government-issued cheese.

"Our fundraising is going so well we don't need taxpayer help," said Mr. Clark. "We're only accepting this public assistance to demonstrate that Wes Clark is a true, blue Democrat. It's woven into the fiber of our party that taxpayers should have to pay for the personal choices others make."

Mr. Clark immediately criticized rival Howard Dean for his decision to refuse public financing.

"One could reasonably wonder whether Mr. Dean is even a Democrat," said Mr. Clark as he nibbled a cube of government cheese. "There's a mean streak of unilateralism in Howard."

Candidate Kerry Makes Another 'Tough Decision'

(2003-11-14) -- Democrat presidential candidate Senator John Kerry made another "tough decision" this morning just days after firing his campaign manager.

"Mr. Kerry decided to eat oatmeal for breakfast today, rather than eggs," said his new chief spokesman Stephanie Cutter. "These are the kinds of tough decisions that he'll have to make in the White House. He could have ordered the eggs, but he didn't."

According to the Washington Post, Mr. Kerry said the termination of his campaign manager, Jim Jordan, illustrates that he "as a chief executive made a tough decision." He added that he barely knew his former chief spokesman, Robert Gibbs and deputy finance director Carl Chidlow, who both quit early this week.

"You have to admire the boldness of a leader who hires and fires people whom he doesn't know," said Ms. Cutter. "Sure, Mr. Kerry could have enlisted a campaign manager who agrees with his philosophy and a spokesman who's loyal to him. That's what a weaker candidate might have done. But future President Kerry learned to make the hard choices in the trenches of Vietnam -- where, by the way, he served with valor."

November 13, 2003
Feds Raid Wal-Mart HQ, Arrest 'Migrant Accountants'

(2003-11-13) -- Federal agents raided the Bentonville, Ark., headquarters of Wal-Mart today and took into custody 37 illegal aliens whom they described as "migrant accountants." The arrests came as Wal-Mart anounced third quarter earnings slightly below analysts expectations despite strong sales.

"When we saw the Q3 numbers, we suspected something," said an unnamed spokesman for the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office. "So we busted into the accounting department, and sure enough -- it was nothing but undocumented Mexicans from accounts receivable all the way to accounts payable. Every morning they've been hauling in loads of them in pickup trucks."

A spokesman for Wal-Mart said the accountants all came from a temp agency. An attorney representing the migrant Mexican accountants immediately filed a class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart, accusing the giant retailer of "offering the migrants a substandard Employee Stock Ownership Plan and mandating a oppressive office dress code."

Dean to Bush: More Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

(2003-11-13) -- Democrat presidential candidate Howard Dean today asked President George Bush to push for more tax cuts for wealthy Americans so that when Mr. Dean is president he can repeal them.

"I have proposed billions of dollars in new spending," said Mr. Dean. "And I'm going to pay for it all by repealing the Bush tax cuts. But when I added on my latest $7.1 billion college funding proposal, I realized we'll need to repeal more tax cuts than Congress has passed so far. We're tapped out. So, I'm calling on Mr. Bush to announce a new round of tax cuts for the rich."

Justice Moore Overturns Order Ousting Him

(2003-11-13) -- Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore today overturned this morning's State Court of the Judiciary ruling which had stripped him of his job. Mr. Moore cited the ouster ruling as precedent for his reversal of it.

"They said that I had placed myself above the law," said Mr. Moore, "and I'm here to say 'You got that right!' The State Court's decision is vacated. I'll be back in my office 8 a.m. Monday morning."

Mr. Moore had been suspended from his $170,000 per year elected office since August while the court decided what to do about his refusal to remove a 10 commandments monument from the state courthouse.

FBI: Hate Crimes Down, 'Crimes of Indifference' Surge

(2003-11-13) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported today that hate crimes decreased in 2002, and so-called "crimes of indifference" surged during the same period.

"We're excited to report that criminals just don't care who you are anymore," said an unnamed FBI spokesman. "Today's perps indiscriminately hurt people without a thought to the race, creed or color of the victim. It's really a tribute to the civil rights groups that have fought so hard to end discrimination, and to hate-crimes laws which have scared criminals into respecting diversity."

Bush, Frist Busted in Prescription Drug Deal

(2003-11-13) -- President George Bush and Senator Bill Frist, R-TN, were arrested today during an alleged prescription drug deal in Washington D.C.. Insiders said the deal involved billions of dollars and pills and "intense levels of dependency on both."

The drug bust comes just days before conservative talkshow host Rush Limbaugh is scheduled to return to the air after a month of treatment for his own prescription drug addiction.

Senator John Breaux, the Louisiana Democrat who offered the deal to the Republicans, said, "Prescription drugs appear to be the Achilles' heel of conservatives. They can't resist them."

Police have accused Mr. Bush and Mr. Frist of being part of an elaborate drug ring which intended to trade prescription medications for votes with millions of Americans.

Time-Life to Release 30-Hour Senate Debate on DVD

(2003-11-13) -- All 30 hours of the marathon Senate debate on the confirmation of judicial nominees will be released on DVD by Time-Life just in time for the holidays.

"Many people didn't get a chance to see this entire historic event," said a spokesman for Time-Life. "We've captured all the drama. You'll be on the edge of your seat wondering which Senator will say, 'Will the Senator yield for a question?' And you'll marvel at the valiant efforts of the Democrats to talk about almost anything but the judicial confirmation process."

The collection will include an additional 30 hours during which C-Span TV personalities will discuss the debate as it proceeds. The DVDs will also feature bios of the filibustered nominees and a game called 'Cloture' in which the players are part of an outnumbered team that is still able to impose its will on opponents by changing the rules of the game.

Time-Life will offer the 20-DVD collection for $5.95 and expects to sell several dozen.

November 12, 2003
Republicans Already Distracted During 'All-Nighter'

(2003-11-12) -- Republican Senators, who intend to "pull an all-nighter" debating judicial nominees, were already showing signs of distraction early Wednesday evening.

"They keep fidgeting," said one Senate aide. "They try to stay focused, but then they need more coffee and it minutes to get the cream and sugar balance just right. Then a couple of them start talking to each other about how tough it is to pull an all-nighter but how they really need to do it. Next thing you know two hours are gone and they haven't accomplished anything."

One veteran lawmaker said he was just resting his eyes for a little bit, and not really sleeping. A few minutes later he proposed that a short nap would improve his mental acuity.

Another Senator told a colleague that he was "real jittery" because he doesn't ordinarily drink coffee. He then dropped to the floor and did 15 quick pushups, got up and went to get more coffee.

Kerry Beats Hillary in Hypothetical Debate

(2003-11-12) -- Democrat presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry today claimed that he has defeated Sen. Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical debate. The announcement comes after Mr. Kerry said last week that one poll shows him beating Mrs. Clinton by 15 points in a hypothetical head-to-head race for the party nomination.

"In the debate, she was gulping for air as I overwhelmed her with my charismatic presence, razor-sharp wit and innovative ideas," said Mr. Kerry. "I might also mention that in a Fantasy Football league, my team beat Mrs. Clinton's in a hypothetical matchup."

Kerry Hires 3rd Staffer from Kennedy Team

(2003-11-12) -- After Sen. John Kerry cherry-picked two staffers this week from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to replace his campaign manager and press secretary, Mr. Kerry decided to complete the overhaul of the top of his team by replacing himself with Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Kerry has come under criticism from fellow Democrats for running as if he were entitled to the presidential nomination, allowing Howard Dean's insurgent grassroots campaign to blindside him. The idea to put Mr. Kennedy at the head of the ticket came from the new Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill.

"No one in the DNC is more entitled to the nomination by dint of his long years of service and rich family tradition than Senator Kennedy," said Ms. Cahill. "Would Democrats rather nominate the junior senator from a small northern state who married into wealth, or the senior senator from that same state who was born into wealth? Watch out Howie --we're going to redefine insurgency."

November 11, 2003
DNC Slams Soros: 'Special Interest Fat Cat'

(2003-11-11) -- The Democrat National Committee (DNC) today condemned billionaire George Soros as a "special interest fat cat" who's dodging campaign finance laws and buying influence by contributing $15.5 million to activist groups trying to oust George Bush from the White House.

"He's an affront to everything Democrats stand for," said DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe. "The McCain-Feingold law was passed to protect Americans from his brand of soft-money influence. But since he can't give millions to the DNC, he's donating huge sums to and other liberal activists organizations. That's just not right, and if we could do anything to stop Mr. Soros from using this loophole, we surely would."

An outspoken Bush critic, Mr. Soros, 74, became a multi-billionaire by speculating on international currencies. He has publicly called for "regime change" in the White House, and believes laissez-faire economic theory no longer works since no global shared-values exist as a check against human greed and fallibility.

Saudi Arabia Applies for al Qaeda Refund

(2003-11-11) -- The government of Saudi Arabia today applied for a full refund from al Qaeda, the social services network, claiming bait-and-switch tactics had cheated it out of its investment.

"The service is not performing as advertised," said an unnamed spokesman for the Saudi government. "This is a breach of contract. Al Qaeda was not supposed to deliver its services on Saudi soil, among our Muslim brothers. We paid for one thing, and we got something else. We demand restitution."

A customer service representative for al Qaeda said, "We're sorry if we caused any inconvenience to Saudi Arabia, and we'll be glad to refund the full amount, less shipping and handling, as soon as they present the receipt."

November 10, 2003
UN: No Evidence Iran Producing Nukes, Oil

(2003-11-10) -- The United Nations today announced it had found no evidence that Iran is producing nuclear weapons or crude oil.

"We have been told this by Iranian government officials," said a U.N. spokesman, "and if anyone ought to know, it's them. They've been cooperating with us in a most congenial manner."

After an exhaustive inspection process, the U.N. also said it found no evidence that anyone in Iran practices Islam, wears a burqa or speaks Farsi. A team of United Nations experts continues to search for evidence of kebab.

Wal-Mart Vendors Protest Chip-Tracking Illegal Workers

(2003-11-10) -- Wal-Mart's janitorial services vendors expressed outrage today at the discount chain's insistence that sub-contractors mark every illegal alien they employ with a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. Wal-Mart said it will scan all janitors, and then load the undocumented ones on pallets for shipment back to their native lands.

"We're being sued by nine illegal aliens we didn't even know about," said an unnamed spokesman for Wal-Mart. "From now on, we're going to know what's in our stores, whether it's Pert, Pop-Tarts or Mexicans without papers."

Al Gore Arrested, Detained at Guantanamo

(2003-11-10) -- Federal agents this morning arrested virtual-president Al Gore, duct-taped him into a C-130 transport plane and whisked him to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo, where he is being held without charge as a "suspected enemy of the Homeland".

The arrest comes just hours after Mr. Gore gave a speech criticizing President George Bush for using the USA Patriot Act to clamp down on civil rights while failing to effectively prosecute the war on terror.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said, "Mr. Gore's dissension is tantamount to rebellion against the Bush regime. American freedom depends upon the silence of the minority. Perhaps this will serve as a lesson to other traitors."

Kerry Electrifies Voters Again by Firing Campaign Chief

(2003-11-10) -- Democrat presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry continued to electrify Americans last night by firing his campaign manager. It's all part of his "really radical" campaign strategy, according to sources close to the Massachusetts junior Senator.

Mr. Kerry's non-traditional approach to politics has stunned the pundits and forced rival Howard Dean to scramble to play catchup.

"He's been attacking President Bush, courting wealthy liberals, acting like a man of the people and touting his military experience while opposing the war against terror," said the unnamed Kerry associate. "The political world has never seen anything like it. He is absolutely rocking the vote."

Experts say the replacement of campaign manager Jim Jordan, as Mr. Kerry is riding a wave of popular support bordering on idolatry, is destined to be a watershed in the annals of political strategy.

Experts: Ordinary Muslims May Cause Terror Attacks

(2003-11-10) -- Since Saturday's devastating bombings at a housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, experts now believe that ordinary Muslims may be the hidden cause of terror attacks.

Many of the same experts had believed that American cultural imperialism and arrogance causes deadly strikes by fundamentalist Muslims. But Saturday's bombings hit a residential area populated largely by citizens of 25 Arab nations. So, the latest theory suggests that Islamic militants are motivated by the steady "drip, drip, drip" of ordinary Muslims going to work, attending worship, playing with their children, breathing in and out.

"The first question that came to mind after the attacks was 'Why do the terrorists hate ordinary Muslims so much?'," said one unnamed expert from the Institute for the Discussion of Islamic Organized Terror. "If we can answer that question, perhaps we can soothe the rage that consumes these peace-loving religious devotees and turns them into martyrs. After all, they must have a good political or moral reason for blowing themselves up."

November 09, 2003
Dean Ditches Democrats, Joins GOP

(2003-11-09) -- In another radical gambit destined to shake up the race for the White House, Democrat Howard Dean today announced he would switch party affiliation and run directly against George Bush for the Republican nomination. The move follows Mr. Dean's decision to refuse federal campaign funding, and thus spending caps, for the primary battle.

"It suddenly occured to me that turning away from the political welfare of taxpayer-financed campaigning is an eminently Republican thing to do," said Mr. Dean. "Why should I steal money from you to try to defeat the guy who probably stole your job by ruining this economy?"

Mr. Dean also said he expects it will be easier to run against one opponent for the nomination, rather than eight.

"We polled our grassroots supporters online," he said. "And they don't care which party I'm in, as long as I still hate George Bush. Being a Republican will allow me to focus all of my fury on Bush."

Mr. Dean immediately picked up the endorsement of the Union of Log Cabin Republicans for Peace, Universal Health Care and One World Government (ULCRPUHCOWG).

Democrats Blame Bush for Lunar Eclipse

(2003-11-09) -- Senate Democrats today blamed President George Bush for last night's lunar eclipse, which shaded the entire visible surface of the moon and left large swaths of earth considerably darker.

"Bush has something to hide," said one unnamed Senate Democrat. "There's something going on up there that the President doesn't want the American people to know about."

Other Senators speculated that the President may have ordered clandestine exploration of helium-3 in the lunar soil. The non-radioactive isotope may be useful in the future for generating electricity by fusion.

"We know that Bush hides behind executive privilege," said the Senator, "Last night, he hid behind the shadow of the earth. But there's no object in the solar system that can keep his deceptions hidden forever."

Senate Democrats called for an investigation of last night's eclipse starting in September 2004.

Matrix Directors Warn New Movie 'Not Real'

(2003-11-09) -- Larry and Andy Wachowski, directors of the Matrix movies, warned audiences today that the new movie 'The Matrix: Revolutions' is "not real, but rather a vicious piece of computer-coding treachery written by whoever it is that creates this reality for us."

"We're still working on the real movie," said Larry Wachowski. "The script for this impostor sounds like it was written by Agent Smith or one of his clones. It's flat, and dull and pointless. You can tell it was made by the machines because it's almost nothing but special effects. Our real movies are deep, and meaningful and human. Our fans are being deceived by the architect of the know, the real matrix that we all live in...or at least we think we're alive."

Andy Wachowski added that, "the great danger of watching the faux 'Revolutions' is that the viewer will begin to believe that the whole Matrix series was nothing but a bunch of vacuous pseudo-spiritual mumbo-jumbo -- sci-fi B-movies with a huge budgets from Time Warner. We urge viewers who find themselves trapped in this alternate reality to run to the nearest ringing telephone. You have to get out of that theatre to free your mind."

November 08, 2003
Federal Judge Blocks GOP 30-Hour Debate Marathon

(2003-11-08) -- A Federal judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an injunction blocking a planned Senate debate marathon which Republicans have scheduled to focus attention on the Democrats efforts to block approval of President Bush's judicial nominees.

In a three-page ruling, the unnamed judge, a Clinton apppointee, wrote, "Senate Republicans have overstepped their bounds by trying to force an up-or-down vote on Mr. Bush's nominees. The role of the Senate in judicial nominations is advice and consent. Since there's no way that the Democrats will give consent to such conservative nominees, then the Republicans must settle for giving advice to Mr. Bush, such as 'Why don't you nominate some liberal judges?'"

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-TN, said, "What can we do? The judiciary is sovereign in our system of government. The Republican-controlled Senate can only do as much as the most liberal federal judge allows us to."

Gephardt Campaign Staffers Strike for Higher Wages

(2003-11-08) -- Workers on Rep. Dick Gephardt's presidential campaign staff went on strike today, protesting a wage reduction that Mr. Gephardt blamed on union organizers who this week announced support for rival Howard Dean.

Strikers paced the street before Mr. Gephardt's St. Louis, MO, campaign headquarters carrying handmade signs which read "Gephardt Mishandles Handlers," "Fair Wage for Hacks & Flacks" and "Will Spin for Food."

"I blame the unions," said Mr. Gephardt. "Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) endorsed Howard Dean. We've taken a big financial hit. As I've always said, unions are killing American competitiveness."

France Outraged Over New U.S. Nickel

(2003-11-08) -- France today lodged a formal complaint at the United Nations over the new design of the U.S. nickel. The reverse of the new nickel commemorates the bicentennial of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, when the U.S. bought 800,000 square miles of French territory for four cents an acre.

"The government of the United States is taunting France," said French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin (who is man), "They think it is très drôle that they put one over on us. I will remind the jackals that in 1803, four cents was real money. One could take his girlfriend to a movie, buy popcorn and share a Coke for four cents."

A spokesman for the U.S. Mint said the coin was not meant to mock France, "although you can't help but think that if it were 1803, and you dropped one of these nickels in a French vending machine, you would get more than an acre of land."

November 07, 2003
Dean Condemns Bush for 'Leisureless Recovery'

(2003-11-07) -- Democrat presidential candidate Howard Dean today blasted President George Bush for fostering an economic recovery that deprives thousands of Americans of their leisure time. The attack comes on the day the Labor Department reported that payrolls grew by 126,000 last month, more than twice the number economists had predicted.

"Work, work, work," said Mr. Dean, shaking his head in evident disgust. "Is that the America you want to leave for your children? Do you want to live in a nation where GDP and productivity and the stock market continue to rise? Where's the balance?"

Mr. Dean accused Mr. Bush of stealing eight-hours per day of leisure from these newly-employed Americans, and of ruining the future for countless children.

"Kids will grow up without knowing the comfort of government assistance programs," he said. "And think about all the young Democrats who dream of being President. Because of Mr. Bush, they may never get that chance."

Judge Terminates Unwanted Law in First Trimester

(2003-11-07) -- A Federal Judge in San Fransciso today decided to terminate the new partial-birth abortion ban law in its first trimester.

"It's an unwanted law," said the unnamed judge. "I'm exercising my right to choose to end it. Besides, even though Congress passed it and the President signed it, it's only a couple of days old and one could argue that it's not technically even a law yet."

The judge said his decision is correct because two other federal judges -- in Nebraska and New York -- agree with him.

Pentagon Staff Soon to 'Fly Amtrak'

(2003-11-07) -- Pentagon officials, traveling on government business, will be required to use Amtrak trains rather than airlines if Congress approves a measure introduced by a Senate Republican today. The bill comes in response to a General Accounting Office (GAO) report which alleges that Pentagon staffers have spent millions of dollars on first-class and business-class airline tickets when government regulations call for flying coach.

"Amtrak loses about $1 billion of taxpayer money each year," said the legislation's author, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, "If our top military planners need to travel in style, there's nothing more elegant than the train. Let them fly Amtrak. Not only will they get to their destinations refreshed and ready, but they'll get to see vast swaths of this land they've pledged to defend."

Mr. Grassley noted that a typical Amtrak trip from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, CA, takes only about 75 hours.

An unnamed Pentagon spokesman said the GAO report was unfair, since Pentagon officials were simply trying to help revive the airline industry after 9/11 by purchasing high-margin seats.

November 06, 2003
Penn State Strikes Deals with Napster, Budweiser

(2003-11-06) -- Just hours after signing an agreement with Napster to provide free music downloads to Penn State students, the university inked a deal with Budweiser to supply free beer as well.

"Our students have been illegally downloading music," said Penn State President Graham Spanier. "Since we can't stop that, we've decided to buy the music for them. The same applies with the beer. Illegal drinking is rampant at Penn State and we can't stop it. We used to just run public service announcements about how cool it is to be sober. Of course that didn't work either. So from now on...the beer's on us."

Mr. Spanier will be featured in an upcoming Budweiser advertisement as part of the brewer's "Real Men of Genius" series.

Congress Considers Abortionist Reparations Bill

(2003-11-06) -- Republicans in Congress today introduced a bill to compensate abortion doctors for losses caused by the new law banning partial-birth abortions. The bill was sparked by a NY Federal Judge's order blocking implementation of the ban because of the economic impact it would have on members of the National Abortion Federation.

Under the terms of the bill, abortion providers will be 'means tested' to assess how many partial-birth abortion procedures they would have performed, and then receive $2,000 for each procedure not executed.

"We pay farmers not to grow tobacco and other crops," said an unnamed Congressional aide. "Why not pay abortionists to refrain from the harvest as well? If we don't do something to help, these abortion doctors will be out on the street, reaching into vending machine coin-return slots for money."

The law banning partial-birth abortion took eight years for Congress to pass and the President to sign, and roughly 24 hours for NY Federal Judge Richard Casey to block.

PETA to NPR: Reject McDonald's 'Blood Money' Bequest

(2003-11-06) -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) today called on National Public Radio (NPR) to reject a $200 million bequest from Joan Kroc, the recently-deceased widow of the McDonald's restaurant tycoon, Ray Kroc.

"NPR must turn away this blood money," said PETA spokeswoman Ingrid Newkirk. "We call on Americans to boycott NPR programs since they will be bought with the slaughtered carcasses of billions of sentient beings."

PETA will begin an anti-NPR campaign this week featuring radio commercials recorded by naked celebrities.

Because the bequest amounts to about twice NPR's annual budget, public radio stations will cease fundraising during NPR programs and Congress will withdraw all taxpayer funding.

If Only Saddam Hussein Had Called 411

(2003-11-06) -- The New York Times revealed today that Saddam Hussein desperately tried to avert the Coalition attack on Iraq in March but could not find the phone number to the White House, or No. 10 Downing Street.

The Iraqi dictator reportedly wanted to offer sweeping concessions, and even "unconditional terms", but his intelligence officers could not find a way to directly contact Prime Minister Tony Blair or U.S. President George Bush.

"What we have here is a failure to communicate," said retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who is running for president as a Democrat. "The Bush administration didn't do enough to publicize the White House phone number. This New York Times report clearly shows that Saddam was contrite and ready to cooperate with any and all U.S. demands. We have no one to blame but George Bush for overthrowing this repentant man."

According to the Times story, Saddam Hussein attempted to contact the White House by...
-- sending Hassan al-Obeidi, chief of foreign operations of the Iraqi Intelligence Service,
-- to speak with a Lebanese-American businessman, Imad Hage,
-- who spoke with Michael Maloof a Lebanese-American working as an analyst in the Pentagon,
-- who introduced Mr. Hage to Defense Policy Board member Richard Perle.

Eventually, Mr. Hage met with Tahir Jalil Habbush, the director of the Iraqi Intelligence Service who offered, among other concessions, to turn over al Qaeda operative Abdul Rahman Yasin, an indicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said his office had monitored Mr. Hage's contacts with Saddam's government, but eventually rejected the information as unreliable.

"After all," said Mr. Rumsfeld, "Everyone knows that Saddam had no ties to al Qaeda or any other global terror network."

Rebel Flag Pickup Coalition Endorses Dean

(2003-11-05) -- Democrat presidential contender Howard Dean today picked up his first significant endorsement below the Mason-Dixon Line when the Rebel Flag Pickup Coalition (RFPC) voted to support him. The coalition is comprised of Southerners who display the Confederate flag on their pickup trucks. Last week, Mr. Dean said he would court such voters and bring them in to the "big tent" of the Democrat party.

"This is the first time we've ever been specifically mentioned by a presidential candidate," said an unnamed spokesman for the RFPC. "Most politicians try to pretend we're not here, but Mr. Dean has reached out to us and empowered us and made us feel like full citizens again. With Howard Brush Dean in the White House we will be marginalized and oppressed no more!"

The RFPC plans to mount an organized 'get out the vote' drive on Election Day 2004, in an effort to "put wheels to their words" in support of Mr. Dean.

"You'd be surprised how many voters one can pack into the bed of a Ford F-150," the spokesman said.

November 05, 2003
Howard Dean Courts 'Mean People' Vote

(2003-11-05) -- Democrat presidential contender Howard Dean today announced that he wants to be the candidate of so-called "mean people." The remark came just after Mr. Dean refused to apologize for courting voters who display Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.

"I've seen the bumper stickers disparaging mean people," said Mr. Dean, "but the Democrat party has to be a big tent. Mean people need to vote their economic interest."

Although the former Vermont governor acknowledged that some of his best friends are mean people, he said he's not sure he would want his daughter to marry one.

Allegheny County Race Portends Doom for Bush '04

(2003-11-05) -- Democrat Dan Onorato's victory in the race for Allegheny County executive portends doom for George Bush's re-election campaign.

The eyes of the nation were on Pittsburgh, PA, the proven predictor of presidential party preference, as Mr. Oronato overthrew incumbent Republican Jim Roddey 58 percent to 42 percent to assume the throne of this western Pennsylvania county.

"We ran against Bush's failed economic and foreign policies," said Mr. Oronato. "We tarred Roddey with the Bush brush, and it stuck."

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe said, "This was the race everyone was watching. We are champing at the bit to give George Bush the Oronato treatment next year. I've never been more confident that a Democrat will occupy the White House in 2005."

November 04, 2003
CBS Evening News Moved to Showtime

(2003-11-04) -- Just hours after deciding to sell the planned CBS miniseries 'The Reagans' to the Showtime cable movie channel, network chief Les Moonves announced that the 'CBS Evening News with Dan Rather' would also move to Showtime starting in December.

"It just doesn't work," Moonves told staffers. "Listen, we are not afraid of controversy, we'd go out there if it came in at 50-50, pro and con, but it simply isn't working. It's biased."

According to an unnamed CBS insider, "He made up his own mind after seeing it. He's made a brave, decisive move."

'Finding Nemo' DVD Includes Helpful Features

(2003-11-04) -- The DVD of the Pixar blockbuster 'Finding Nemo' hits store shelves today, along with two DVD-only bonus films: 'Filleting Nemo' and 'Garnishing Nemo'.

"Few people realize that it was originally a trilogy, like 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Matrix'," said an unnamed spokesman for Pixar Animation Studios. "'Filleting Nemo' is really a director's cut of Nemo, and 'Garnishing Nemo' answers some questions raised by the first film, including which wine goes best with tropical fish."

AT&T; Must Buy Dinner for Do-Not-Call Plaintiffs

(2003-11-04) -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today ordered AT&T; to buy dinner every night for a year for 29 families the company continued to solicit after the consumers asked to be placed on a do-not-call list. The families will also receive the home phone number of AT&T; CEO Betsy Bernard, and can call her anytime they wish.

The company plans to pay for the meals with money from its $3.5 million government contract to develop the National Do Not Call Registry.

Sri Lanka Dumps 'Wacky Names' to Draw More U.S. Aid

(2003-11-04) - The government of Sri Lanka (which is a nation) today announced it would "ditch the wacky names" in a bid to attract more foreign aid from the United States. Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, now receives a few million dollars annually in U.S. aid, and has been torn by civil war for 20 years.

"Our focus group studies show that Americans would be more interested in our plight if they could pronounce the names of our top government officials," said President Chandrika Kumaratunga. "From now on, please call me President Chad."

Yesterday, President Chad fired her defense, interior and media ministers while Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was visiting Washington D.C. in preparation for a meeting with President George Bush on Wednesday.

"The ministers refused to change their names, so I fired them," she said. "Can you imagine George Bush trying to pronounce the names of Defense Minister Tilak Marapone, Interior Minister John Amaratunga and Information Minister Imthiaz Bakeer Markar. I would love to be a fly on the wall in Bush's meeting with Ranil Wickremesinghe."

President Chad said she had also renamed Sri Lanka, which will now be known as Sanka.

November 03, 2003
Iraqi Finger, Ear, Tongue Counts All Up

(2003-11-03) – The average numbers of fingers, ears and tongues per Iraqi citizen have all increased in the months following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi Ministry of Health reports that among the nation's 22 million citizens the number of fingers per capita is now up to 6.8, ears have increased to an average of 1.75 per person, and there are .89 intact tongues for every man, woman and child in Iraq.

This is the first official release of a body-part count since U.S. President George Bush announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq on May 1 from the deck of an aircraft carrier standing in front of a banner which read: "Mission Accomplished."

Experts attribute the average increases to a combination of natural population growth and a sharp decrease in the number of fingers, ears and tongues being cut off by Saddam Hussein's agents.

Jay Leno Declares End of Major Combat Operations

(2003-11-03) -- Tonight Show host Jay Leno stood on the deck of the U.S.S. Johnny Carson last night and declared an end to "major combat operations" in the late night comedy war. 'The Tonight Show' recently expanded its ratings lead over 'The Late Show with David Letterman' to an average of two million viewers per night.

"I want to thank my viewers," said Mr. Leno. "This mission has been accomplished because of your refusal to switch channels after NBC's primetime lineup and your willingness to not be as 'hip' and cynical as Letterman's audience."

Mr. Leno warned that the late-night time slot is still a "dangerous place" and he is on guard against "sniping" from the Letterman crew.

Meanwhile, on the Late Show set, David Letterman read from index cards the "Top 10 Reasons Why 2 Million People Watch Leno Rather Than Me."

10. Remote control lost -- TV stuck on NBC.
9. Fond memories of when Leno used to be funny stand-up comic.
8. Hoping for peek at Arnold.
7. Hoosierphobia.
6. Boycott against Canadian music director, Paul Shaffer, a suspected Chretien-Chirac sympathizer.
5. Letterman viewers tell Nielsen they watch Leno just to screw up ratings.
4. Leno viewers too slow to keep up with Letterman running gags.
3. Tonight Show viewers still think Johnny's coming back.
2. Viewers fear Letterman might stroke-out or flatline on air.
1. Two Words: Receding Hairline.

Homosexual Bishop Robinson Sued for Infringement

(2003-11-03) -- Following the weekend consecration of the Episcopal Church's first openly-homosexual bishop, another bishop has filed an infringement suit against Bishop V. Gene Robinson.

"All the other bishops know about my lifestyle," said the plaintiff bishop, who wished to remain anonymous. "I'm not only homosexual but I'm also promiscuous, which is something our new golden boy apparently can't claim."

The bishop said his homosexual profligacy "demonstrates the love of Christ to sinners and also that I'm the one who should get any future book and movie deals."

November 02, 2003
Democrats Call for Boycott of American Products

(2003-11-02) -- Faced with the unexpected prospect of running against George Bush during an economic recovery, the Democrat National Committee (DNC) today called on Americans to boycott American products and services.

"If consumers continue to spend money and business owners continue to ramp up production," said DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, "then there's nothing to stop a second Bush term. And we all know how bad that would be for the economy. The only way to save this economy is to boycott American products and services so we can elect a Democrat to the White House."

The DNC said it will devote about $100 million to the boycott campaign, using consultants and talent from other countries as much as possible.

"Most of our ad dollars will go to NBC, by virtue of its merger with Vivendi, the French company,"" said Mr. McAuliffe. "We regret that some Americans will benefit from our 'Boycott America' campaign, but with this global economy it's really hard to completely avoid financing the Bush economic recovery."

November 01, 2003
Rumsfeld's Mojo Found in White House Closet

(2003-11-01) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's mojo has been found in a third floor White House closet in the President's personal quarters.

The mojo was discovered in the same closet where, in 1993, a secretary had unwittingly stored copies of Hillary Clinton's Rose Law Firm billing records.

A spokesman for the President said Mr. Bush had borrowed Mr. Rumsfeld's mojo to use at recent public appearances where reporters questioned the effectiveness of his administration's economic policies, and the war on terror.

"The President placed the mojo in the closet for safe keeping, and then it just slipped his mind," said White House spokesman Scott McClelland. "It was actually Laura Bush who spotted the Time magazine article about Rumsfeld losing his mojo. She said, 'George, didn't you put that mojo in the Hillary-Rose closet'?"

The Defense Secretary expressed gratitude at the return of his mojo, since he had been relying on a temp-mojo lately which didn't work as well.