Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alito Goes a Long Way

Now that the Senate has confirmed Judge Samuel A. Alito to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's spot on the bench, the Bush Administration is secretly planning sweeping changes to take advantage of the new balance of power on the court.

Along with justices Thomas and Scalia, Alito is an "originalist" who believes the founding fathers did not intend the Constitution to be altered or modified in any way. As a result, all amendments beyond the original 10 in the Bill of Rights are now considered moot.

The Bush administration has announced the following changes in law:

  • Starting with the elections in November 2006, only white male landowners will be allowed to vote.

  • The historically maligned institution of slavery will be revived. Detailed genealogical searches are already underway to enable the offspring of slaves to be returned to their rightful owners.

  • Men will be required to wear powdered wigs and knee-high breeches in public gatherings, and will be encouraged to beat their wives with impunity.

  • The minimum wage will be reduced to 15 cents per hour, and child labor laws will no longer be in effect. However, the Bush administration will issue a recommendation that children achieve a minimum age of 4 years before being sent to work in coal mines.

  • Funds for building roads, bridges, and other public works shall be halted, and whatever environmental laws still remaining on the books are now declared null and void. Republicans plan to celebrate by dumping a vat of nuclear waste into New York's East River.

  • Finally, all individuals identified as Liberals will be required to sew the letter L into their garments, which must be worn at all times. Anyone refusing such orders may be a) thrown into the stockades, or b) burned at the stake.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Photos Reveal Bush-Abramoff Meetings

Perplexed White House responds, 'Jack Who?'

Associated Press
23 January 2006 -- 20:28 GMT

WASHINGTON, DC -- Time magazine is reporting that it has seen a half dozen compromising photos showing President Bush meeting with controversial GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

White House spokesperson Dan Bartlett acknowledged that the shadowy influence peddler attended a handful of official functions and "Hanukah celebrations" at the White House, but insisted Mr. Bush and Mr. Abramoff did not have a personal relationship.

"He did not engage in lobbying relations with that man," declared Bartlett.

Though Time has not released the images to the public, informed sources reveal that the photos include the following:

  • Mr. Abramoff performing an emergency briss in the Roosevelt Room;

  • The president wearing an Indian headdress while playing craps at one of Mr. Abramoff's tribal clients, the Winnalotta-Wampum Casino;

  • Mr. Bush and Mr. Abramoff water-skiing together behind one of his SunCruz gambling ships, which Abramoff purchased with the help of a forged wire transfer for $23 million; and

  • Both men sharing a cigar in an unusually intimate fashion.
The White House spokesman also denied rumors concerning the existence of a blue presidential suit sporting mayonnaise stains from Abramoff's Signatures restaurant. The suit allegedly disappeared after being sent to the dry cleaners last March.

Despite Abramoff's close ties with key members of the White House staff, and his status as a "pioneer" who raised more than $100,000 for Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004, the White House has publicly condemned the lobbyist.

"Mr. Abramoff has admitted to outrageous wrongdoing," said Bartlett. "The president would never admit to anything like that."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Republicans Propose New Ethics Rules

They promise to be good this time--really, they mean it

Associated Press
18 January 2006 20:44 GMT

WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressional Republicans today proposed a series of tough new ethics rules to clean up a city still reeling from a massive influence-peddling scandal.

"From now on, no more free lunches," intoned House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), accompanied by his imaginary spokesperson, Winkie.

Under the GOP's proposed rules, members of Congress could accept no more than $20 in free meals from lobbyists. However, legislative aides would still be allowed to consume a more expensive meal, then regurgitate it into the member's mouth.

Lobbyists would be prohibited from paying for Congressional travel, though piggyback rides and foot massages would still be acceptable under the new proposal.

Congress would also have to comply with stiffer disclosure rules. For example, members would be required to disclose the serial number of every dollar bill slipped into a stripper's G string, regardless of the stripper's breast size.

Former members would be prohibited from becoming lobbyists for a period of two years after their term has ended, and their salaries would be capped at $2.2 million dollars for every year served in the House or Senate. Those who were forced to sit near Dick Cheney would be eligible for an additional $200,000 a year.

Strangely, the new rules did not address the millions of dollars funneled annually to Congressional campaigns through lobbyists and their intermediaries, or corporate lobbyists' unfettered ability to dictate legislation favorable to their clients.

"Some things are not so easy to fix," concedes Winkie. "Rome wasn't corrupted in a day."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Tom DeLay Denies All Charges (As Told by Dr. Seuss)

That Abramoff!
That Abramoff!
I do not like that Abramoff!

"Would you like to play some golf?"

I do not want to play some golf.
I do not want to, Abramoff.

"We could fly you there for free.
Off to Scotland, by the sea."

I do not want to fly for free.
I don't like Scotland by the sea.
I do not want to play some golf.
I do not want to, Abramoff.

"Would you, could you, take this bribe?
Could you, would you, for the tribe?"

I would not, could not, take this bribe.
I could not, would not, for the tribe.

"If we strong armed corporations
Into giving you donations?
They'd be funnelled to your PAC.
Would you then cut us some slack?"

I would not, could not, cut you slack.
I do not care about my PAC.
I do not want to play some golf.
I do not want to, Abramoff.

"A plane! A plane! A plane! A plane!
Would you, could you, for a plane?"

I could not, would not, for a plane.
Not for a bribe, not for the tribe.
Not for donations from corporations.
Not for my PAC, not for some slack.
Not from any schmoe named Jack.

"Would you help us buy some ships
Perfect for quick gambling trips?
Talk to people in the know
For a little quid pro quo?
Oh come now, don't be a snob.
Let us give your wife a job."

I will not help you buy some ships.
I do not wish for gambling trips.
My wife does not need a job
Even if she is a snob.
We do not like bribes, can't you see?
Why won't you just let me be?

"You do not like bribes, so you say.
Try them, try them, and you may.
Try them and you may, I say."

Jack. If you will let me be
I will try them, then you'll see.

Say.... I do like playing golf!
I like it, I do, Abramoff!
I do like Scotland by the sea.
It's such a thrilling place to be!
And I will take this bribe.
And I will help the tribe.
And I will take donations
From big corporations.
And I will help you buy some ships.
And I will take quick gambling trips.
Say, I'll give anyone the shaft
As long as it involves some graft!

I do so like playing golf!
Thank you! Thank you,

Monday, January 02, 2006

2005: It Was a Very Weird Year

It was a hell of a year for blogging (though not so good if you lived in Iraq, New Orleans, or one of the Red States). Here are some of the high- and low lights. Happy New Year!

January 20: The Reverend James C. Dobson reveals that children's television star, Sponge Bob Squarepants, is gay. The beloved cartoon character denies all allegations of sexual conduct, but admits that he finds himself strangely attracted to David Hasselhoff.

Bush approval rating: 49% (lowest of any president entering his second term).
SpongeBob TV ratings: 2.4 million viewers (#1 regularly scheduled cable program).

January 26: A former male escort turned conservative reporter is discovered lurking in the White House press gaggle. Later news stories reveal that Jeff Gannon (aka James Guckert, aka "Bulldog") visited the White House more than 200 times over a two-year period, including a handful of overnight stays. White House spokesmodel Scott McClelland says it's perfectly normal for gay male hookers using fake names to gain access to the White House by pretending to be reporters. He also admits to being hot for Hasselhoff.

March 21: After a dramatic late-night flight from Texas to Washington, President Bush signs a bill authorizing the federal courts to intervene in the case of coma victim Terri Schiavo. Dr. Bill Frist becomes the first medical professional to offer a video diagnosis from the Senate floor, saying Schiavo appeared to respond to stimuli (despite being both blind and brain dead). The attempt at resurrection ultimately fails when a federal judge allows Schiavo's feeding tube to be removed. A secret GOP memo later reveals the entire Schiavo charade was concocted to boost support among its conservative base, more than two-thirds of whom are also brain dead.

Percentage of Americans who say the President and Congress should stay the Hell out of private medical decisions: 82

Percentage of Americans who believe Schiavo charade was all about politics: 74
(CBS Poll - March 23)

April 1: The top two CIA officers during the runup to the Iraq war deny any knowledge that the primary source for intelligence on Iraq's biological weapons program just made all that shit up. Despite repeated warnings from German and US intelligence officials that "Curveball" was a pathological liar, "evidence" he coughed up found its way into major US speeches leading up to the war. The CIA quietly orders an immediate review of intelligence gathered from sources named Goofball, Screwball, and Hairball.

May 31: VP Dick Cheney declares that the "insurgency is in its last throes". Disappointed insurgents pack up their bombs and go home.

Average number of insurgent attacks per day:

May 2003: 10
June 2004: 52
May 2005: 70

August 6: Cindy Sheehan and several hundred of her closest friends begin camping out near El Rancho Bush in Crawford, Texas, to protest the Iraq war. On several occasions the presidential motorcade speeds by and lobs empty bottles of Mr. Pibb out the windows. The protestors consider roasting President Bush in effigy but decide to roast weenies instead, since they're virtually the same thing.

August 28: Hurricane Katrina nearly wipes a great city off the map. President Bush cuts his 35-day vacation short to attend fundraisers and photo ops while Americans die on TV. After arriving in NOLA he praises FEMA chief Mike "Heckova Job" Brown and sheds a tear for the loss of Sen Trent Lott's Mississippi home. Millions of Americans -- and the media -- finally begin begin to appreciate what a Bozo this man really is. Meanwhile, First Mother Barbara Bush discovers she enjoys chillin' wid da homies in their new crib, the Astrodome.

September 28: During the space of 10 days, Tom DeLay is indicted for conspiracy and money laundering in Texas, Sen. Bill Frist comes under investigation for insider trading, and White House aide David Safavian is arrested in connection with the Jack Abramoff scandal. Republicans suddenly rediscover the concept of "innocent until proven guilty," which they had apparently mislaid on September 12, 2001.

October 28: Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicts vice presidential hatchetman Lewis "Scooter" Libby on five counts of perjury and obstructing justice in the Valerie Plame scandal. He hints at more indictments to come. Karl Rove goes on a crash diet, determined to be tanned, rested, and ready for his upcoming court appearances.

November 30: In a major address, President Bush details his plan for victory in Iraq, which appears to consist largely of being photographed in front of signs with the word "victory" on them. At the same time the White House releases a document titled "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." Bloggers soon reveal the document was originally titled "How to weasel out of Iraq with our last remaining shred of dignity," but the title was later edited for "clarity."

December 16: The NY Times reveals that President Bush ordered the NSA to spy on Americans without a warrant, in direct violation of federal law. Bush first denies the report, then defends it. His supporters argue that the divine right of presidents allows him to suspend the Constitution when he feels like it. The "I" word is finally muttered by Democrats on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice opens an investigation into the leak, which may prove to be the only investigation the Bush White House willingly cooperates with.

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