« March 2007 | Main | May 2007 »

April 27, 2007

eight debate fate in 08

Last night the candidates for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination gathered together for their first debate.

No doubt you are kicking yourself for missing it. “Dammit,” you are saying, “I was so looking forward to that. Maybe I can find it on the On-Demand menu.” 

Not to worry, we not only caught the event, but have a brief synopsis for you below. (Next week: The Republicans debate. Set those TiVos!)

Barack Obama: The Senator from Illinois believes the country wants change and he’s just the guy to bring that change. What kind of change? Health care? Foreign policy? Breaking a twenty? Not even he knows yet, but whatever that change is, he will be very charismatic about it.

Hillary Clinton: The New York Senator continues to display the warmth and sincerity for which both she and granite countertops are well known. Rumor has it that her staff tries to keep her away from events in which she would come into close and prolonged contact with voters for fear that she would leave behind only their desiccated husks. The upside for Hillary? Well, let’s just say the last time she faced a serious Republican contender she gave him cancer. Soft on terror? Not likely.

Mike Gravel: Take Dennis Kucinich’s liberalism, add in Zell Miller’s anger management issues, and you have Mike Gravel, a former politician of some sort. From Alaska. Or Canada. Whichever one of those is a state, that’s him. It’s still not clear if he is a serious candidate or whether his family has been looking for him since he wandered off the grounds in his bathrobe.

Bill Richardson: With his aggressive foreign policy stance, positive NRA rating, and anti-tax sentiments, the New Mexico Governor appeared to have accidentally wondered into the wrong debate. The Republicans are on NEXT week. Talk about an embarrassing schedule mix-up! There must be some red faces over at Richardson Campaign headquarters right about now.

John Edwards:  The former Vice Presidential candidate and self-described common man explained his recent $400 haircut by noting that when he was a kid his father had to make the family leave a restaurant because he couldn't afford the prices on the menu thus prompting every psychoanalyst watching at home to leap across his or her coffee table, knocking the merlot all over this month’s copy of Architectural Digest, all in a frantic attempt to reach for a notepad, a pen, and the DSM-IV manual.

Joe Biden: The biggest surprise from the Delaware Senator was what did not come out of his mouth. When asked if he could control his renowned penchant for verbosity, he simply said “yes” and then broke the 10 mg capsule of rocuronium bromide his campaign staff had given him to temporarily paralyze his vocal chords.

Dennis Kucinich: The Ohio Congressman continues to battle the perception that he is part Dennis Kucinich and part Dennis Kucinich.

Christopher Dodd: The Senator from Connecticut apparently couldn’t make the debate and so unfortunately missed an important opportunity to set himself apart from the pack. Correction: We have just been informed by the Senator’s staff that he was in fact there and that he really “set himself apart from the pack.” Sorry, our bad.

J.

April 27, 2007 at 02:19 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 26, 2007

keith olbermann “do-it-yourself” editorial kit

Are you tired of engaging in thoughtful debate? Has the fun gone out of civil discourse? Do you find discussing how best to achieve the proper balance between competing interests within a pluralistic society as framed against our nation’s traditions of liberty and independence to be just too gosh darn hard sometimes?

Well, relief is on the way. With our handy kit, you’ll be able to create ranting wild-eyed screeds unshackled from societal constraints of reason and decorum (all the while criticizing others for an absence of reason and decorum) just like in a Keith Olbermann editorial!

To get started, you will need to gather the following three items most of which you probably already have lying around your home: 

  1. A computer.
  2. A Word-A-Day calendar.
  3. A permanent sense of moral outrage. 

Now, let’s get started:

“(Republican candidate X) has suggested that we, the American people, would be better off with a Republican president. Better off?  What he's really saying is that if you elect a Democrat you will die. No, not just die, but be actively sought out and murdered by the Democratic president himself who will sneak up on you in your own kitchen and garrot you while you stand there rinsing the arugula. How can a man with any decency say such a thing?”

(Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to make any sense, only be appropriately indignant. Remember, the more deeply you feel something, the more valid your argument is. Just let the rage fly out your fingertips as they dance across the keyboard.)

“This is more than just mythomania (April 24 Word of the Day), but rather a rebarbative (April 2) fulcrum (April 23) with which to absolve (April 19) himself of responsibility.” 

(See how much fun this is!)

“How ... dare ... you, sir?”

(Don’t forget the “…” )

“This is not the mere politicizing of Iraq, nor the vague mumbled epithets about Democratic ‘softness’ from a delusional vice president.”

(It is absolutely essential that you always note at some point that Dick Cheney is a liar/cheat/scoundrel/spawn of the devil/voted for Sanjaya or your core audience won’t take you seriously.)

“This is the language of Osama bin Laden.”

(Hitler would also have been acceptable.)

“We are sick to death of you and the other terror-mongers trying to frighten us into submission. The 9/11 fever has broken.”

(It is absolutely essential that you dismiss any real threat of terror. This serves two purposes:

  1. It shores up your base with those who secretly believe 9/11 was orchestrated by the CIA/NSA/Trilateral Commission/Masons/Fox News/the touring company of A Chorus Line. 
  2. It makes sure anyone who tries to raise reasonable objections to some of the measures taken after 9/11 gets lumped in with the same crowd thereby eliminating the possibility of a change in policy and  thus preserving it as an important source of moral outrage.)

“Franklin Roosevelt’s words ring true again tonight. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’”

(It is very helpful to throw in an historical quote to demonstrate your high level of breeding and education. And best of all, it doesn’t even have to be correct. The rubes will never know. How cool is that?)

------------

Was that great or what? Yes, you could go back to discussing issues based solely on their merit devoid of personal rancor but we have a word for that: Bo-ring! No, it is much more entertaining to work yourself up into an insane lather. Even better if you can get paid for it. 

And don’t worry, while the Keith Olbermann approach is clearly best suited for those with liberal leanings, there’s something for you conservatives who want to get in on the fun:

Ann Coulter.

J.

April 26, 2007 at 12:54 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 25, 2007

your worst nightmare: a beauty queen with a badge.

They’re drop-dead beautiful.

They can sing, dance, and twirl batons. 

They can tell you the carbohydrate content of a 3 oz. serving of tuna dressed with a tablespoon of couscous within two decimal points. 

And they all want world peace. 

Introducing the deadliest crime-fighting force ever assembled-- Miss America: Team Action. 

While Miss America T&A is notoriously secretive, recent high-profile incidents have, if only for a moment, drawn back the curtains exposing who we believe to be the organization’s top two operatives:

Miss_america_1944 Name: Venus Ramey (aka Miss America 1944, aka “The Undertaker”)
Talents: Dancing, Singing, Small Arms, Stunt Driving.
Quote: “If they'd even dared come close to me, they'd be 6 feet under by now.”
Most Recent Action: Shooting out the tires and blocking the exit of the getaway car of a group of intruders intent on robbery.

Miss_america_2007 Name: Lauren Nelson (aka Miss America 2007, aka “Woman of a Thousand Faces”)
Talents: Singing, Master of Disguise, Text Messaging.
Quote: “As many as we caught on that day, there are a lot more out there.”
Most Recent Action: Going undercover as a 14-year-old to nab pedophiles trolling the Internet for underage girls. 

While it is impossible to tell just how far and wide the Miss America crime fighters operate since no one is willing to talk on the record about their encounters with the high society heroines, we did manage to find a handful of people willing to discuss their brief encounters as long as we did not identify them directly.

“J.D.” Police Officer, Boise Idaho: “Look, all I can say is that by the time we got to the scene, all the bank robbers had already been subdued, the money had been put back in the vault, and the hostages released. But here’s the really strange thing. The only sign that anyone else had been there, and this is going to sound weird, but… there was a tiara in the middle of the floor…”

B.T. Sate Prisoner, Indiana Correctional Facility: “I didn’t have a chance. One minute I’m grabbing some lady’s purse, you know, and the next, I’m flat on my back. How do I know it was one of them? The teeth. They were… perfect. I mean, it wasn’t natural. They just went on forever, unblemished, row after row, straight as could be. It still creeps me out.”

It is expected that the members of Miss America T&A will be more discreet in the future so there may be little more that we will be able to learn. However one thing is clear: You should think twice the next time you get the urge to say, “but it’s just a beauty pageant” before an unfamiliar crowd.

Not unless you want to find yourself on the wrong end of a snubby .38 and a flowered sun dress full of attitude.

J.
Tiara_2

April 25, 2007 at 04:30 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 24, 2007

“All I wanna do is use some Charmin…”

"Say goodbye to old man winter... say hello to sweet spring time".... Tim McGraw sings on his new album "Let It Go"... But wait, here we are in Arlington VA, and we’re taking the dogs out late at night in 55-degree weather. Just yesterday in the middle of the day it was 81 degrees. 55 degrees at night and 81 degrees in the middle of the day. That is exactly why it is important we all do something to address global warming. That doesn’t make any sense? It does after you’ve spent two weeks breathing biodiesel bus fumes, whooo!!

And so, inspired by Sheryl Crow and Laurie David’s campaign to save the earth one square of toilet paper at a time, we have put together our own list of small efforts that, when assembled together can add up to a number of small efforts assembled together:

Fork Tines: Really, do you absolutely NEED all four tines just to spear a single braised tofu square or organic macrobiotic chick pea? Won’t three do just as well? Now we don’t want to rob any American of his or her God-given rights but we think we are industrious enough people to make it work with only three fork tines. Think about it, that’s 300 million tines we can preserve for future generations right here in America! It is only the wasteful habits of an overly pampered society that we luxuriate in excessive tineage use anyway.

Alphabet Conservation: We were thinking just the other day what a wasteful, excessive alphabet we use here in the United States. Other countries seem to get by using what seems like a handful  of incomprehensible scribbles so why do we need all these letters? That is why we propose that everyone stop using the letters Z, J, and Q. They’re ust a bunch of uircky letters that make up uite a bit less than 1% of all the words so there is no uestion we can ustify reducing them to ero.

Pick-up Sleeves: We like the idea of not using bags to pick up after our dogs. They are made of plastic and other petroleum-sourced materials and are the height of wastefulness. We have designed a clothing line that has what’s called a “pick-up sleeve.” The design will offer the dog owner the convenience of cleaning up after her pet with her sleeve rather than throwing out yet another barely used plastic bag. We think this idea could also translate quite well to those suffering with an annoying head cold (although you might want to make sure you wipe your nose FIRST).

Annoy People: It’s amazing, but quite a few people who come out for a music concert don’t want to be lectured to about global warming by the rich middle-aged wife of a Hollywood celebrity. But you can’t take it personally, it’s just a stark reminder that social change is a journey, much like the journey Laurie David takes several times a year in her private Gulfstream jet between her over-sized home in Martha’s Vineyard and Los Angeles.

Feel Guilty: Make sure that when you do take your private Gulfstream jet on vacation that you “feel horribly guilty about it.” Next to an elevated sense of self-importance, feeling guilty is the most potent neutralizer of greenhouse gasses which is why the work celebrities do is so essential if we are to save the planet.

You see, whether it’s Sheryl Crow using only one square of toilet paper per bathroom visit or taking up one of our suggestions here, it’s obvious we can all do something.

But even if you don’t adopt these actions to save the earth, there is one message we think it’s important you take away from this:

Never shake hands with Sheryl Crow.

J.

April 24, 2007 at 12:14 PM in Global Warming with CONSENSUS WATCH | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 19, 2007

the true nature of evil?

The Virginia Tech killer did us a great service by mailing videos of himself to NBC News. This has offered us a rare, unvarnished glimpse into the true nature of evil. For perhaps the first time, we know that evil is, at its very core:

Cho_seunghui_colossal_bore


Boring.

And we a™re not talking about the routine tedium that comes from repetition. We are talking about almost supernatural levels of monotony. People are not turning away after watching for a few seconds out of horror. They are turning away, as we did, out of fear that they might lapse into a coma, pitch forward, and impale themselves on their dinner fork.

Hollywood has long portrayed homicidal maniacs and serial killers as fascinating, complex individuals possessed of a kind of diabolical genius. The most advanced level of genius Cho Seung-Hui achieved was to know to attack an institution where non-homicidal maniacs were prohibited from possessing firearms (Thanks Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker!) and where the greatest threat to his rampage posed by authorities would be the "€œcoordinated, prompt and professional" manner in which they sprang into inaction. (To their credit, they did send out an email alert two hours after the initial attack. It'€™s right there in your inbox, after the one about male enhancement but before the one about lowering your mortgage rate.)

People who knew Cho Seung-Hui described him as being "€œquiet."€ We suspect that he was not actually quiet, but rather once he opened his mouth, listeners quickly lost consciousness, waking moments later with no memory of the event, the pure banality of the episode having not engaged even a single disinterested neuron. In fact, we had this very same experience, even after listening to NBC News'€™s repeated airing of the same clips hundreds of times (causing them such great emotional distress that Meredith Vieira may need her own grief counselor)  we can'™t remember a word he said. Something about being anguished. Or maybe textile quotas?

Seriously, we can'™t remember.

There are those who express the concern that airing these videos serve to glorify the killer and may inspire copycats. We prefer to take a more optimistic view. Perhaps other potential homicidal maniacs will see the video and say, "€œWhat? Do I really come across like that? Good Lord, I had no idea. Like that? Really? I need to change some things. Maybe a different haircut. Turn the ballcap back around. Skip the whole murderous rampage thing."€

"œBecause that is just NOT working."€

J.

April 19, 2007 at 11:42 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

April 13, 2007

translating the news

Disgraced Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong:It is my sincere desire that the actions of Attorney General Cooper will serve to remedy any remaining injury that has resulted from these cases.”
Translation: “It is my sincere desire that the actions of Attorney General Cooper will serve to reduce the amount of the many future civil judgments that will be made against me.

Leslie Moonves of CBS Radio announcing the cancellation of the Don Imus show: “In our meetings with concerned groups, there has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society.”
Translation: “In our meetings with concerned advertisers, there has been much discussion of the effect lower revenue like this has on our quarterly earnings, particularly the ones on which our bonuses are based as we try to make our way through the renovations to our beach houses in the Hamptons.”

Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino discussing potentially deleted White House emails: “We screwed up.”(by deleting the emails)
Translation: “We screwed up.” (by not deleting them well enough) 

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine: “Pam Fischer has dedicated her career to traffic safety issues and will be a great leader at the Division of Highway Traffic Safety,” having led the way to making seat belt use a primary offense.
Translation:Laws should apply only to the little people.”

British Sailor Arthur Batchelor, former Iranian captive: "At some points, I did have fears that we would not survive."
Translation: “At some points, I did have fears that I would not be able to sell my story for at least five figures.”

Regulators’ requirement that the Plan B “morning after” contraceptive be provided regardless of personal objections: An individual’s religious beliefs cannot interfere with the normal execution of their responsibilities as an employee.
Translation: Unless they're Muslim.

Japan Times: Alleged Serial Ferret Killer Nabbed
Translation: Alleged Serial Ferret Killer Nabbed

Hey, sometimes there's just no spinning a story.

J.

April 13, 2007 at 01:02 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 11, 2007

outrageous disc jockey says outrageous thing: nation outraged

It was like 9/11 all over again. The numbness, the inability to believe it was really happening even though it was there, transpiring right before your eyes.

Radio shock jock Don Imus said something offensive.

It’s true that he’s made a career out of saying outrageous things and engaging in a kind of absurdist shtick, ridiculing blacks, Jews, Catholics, homosexuals and Native Americans as a kind of equal opportunity offender.

But he made a mistake this time. He went after that one American institution comedians have long known to avoid at all costs, that one subject considered the “third rail” of American humor. 

Women’s intercollegiate basketball.

The resulting firestorm is wreaking havoc across the country:

  • Additional strains are already being felt in the nation’s healthcare system due to an influx of repetitive motion injuries from guilty-feeling whites vigorously patting themselves on the back for acknowledging how very outraged (Outraged!) they are over the matter.
  • Likewise, psychiatric facilities are becoming similarly overloaded as people experience multiple psychotic breaks when reading statements such as “[Imus] clearly doesn't understand the nuances of edgy talk within the black community, especially among black youth. That's why Chris Rock can get away with using the n-word and a guy like Imus can't. Nuances.”
  • The obligatory addition of such words as abysmal repugnant, offensive, nasty, repellent, repulsive, revolting, vile, wretched, miserable, contemptible, and despicable during any discussion of the matter is placing an undue burden on web sites, message boards, and the communications infrastructure in general and may in itself result in an additional 1 degree rise in global warming.
  • The excessive use of the above words is already robbing them of their original impact resulting in serious depletions of these essential expressions of outrage. We must make moves immediately to come up with new words. Our suggestions: “wretchepulsitive,” “miseraspicable,” and “nfft.”
  • Likewise the required media elevation of all publicly-sanctioned victims to “honor students” is now considered insufficient. From now on, all said victims must be deified as “God's representatives.”
  • The entire matter has drawn attention away from the very real battle this nation is waging an ocean away (by which we mean the Caribbean).

If one good thing can be said to have come out of all this, it is the opportunity to once and for all turn our attention away from the long-term concerns and difficult issues facing the nation and instead devote our full time and effort focusing on far more entertaining momentary distractions and passing controversies.

And maybe then we will one day stop treating people based solely on the color of their nuances.

J.

April 11, 2007 at 05:13 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 09, 2007

happy easter!

Or, in "an attempt to be conscious of other people's backgrounds and traditions," Happy Peter Rabbit Day!

Because God knows, er, we mean, Undefined Deity or Deities Who May Or May Not Exist knows, we don’t want to offend anyone with the despotic omnipotence of an Almighty Rabbit, a leaping lepus whose supernatural powers of chocolate egg distribution and religious oppression strikes terror into the hearts of ACLU directors everywhere.

And how did we here at Planet Moron celebrate our Random Secular Sunday?

Paeaster2007 Shivering fearfully in the post-global-warming apocalypse that is modern-day Pennsylvania.

J.

April 9, 2007 at 07:55 AM in Weekend Leisure | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 05, 2007

make peace, not operations

In a memo to fellow Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee, Staff Director Erin Conaton demanded that certain phrases no longer be used in preparing the 2008 defense budget including “Global War on Terror” and “The Long War.” In their place, Mr. Conaton suggested using such phrases as “ongoing military operations throughout the world.”

By ridding the legislative lexicon of the excessively descriptive “Global War on Terror,” lawmakers have provided themselves with the flexibility necessary if we are ever going to get a military appropriations bill passed that truly addresses the pressing needs of our sugar beet farmers.

Oh, sure, it’s easy for you to sit there in your comfortable air conditioned office wearing your fancy Italian shoes eating a cranberry scone partially sweetened with sugar beet syrup and criticize the sugar beet farmers out there risking their lives in “the dirtbox” so you can have access to your precious sucrose-based food sweeteners. Working far away from the coasts and separated for months at a time from any really decent Chinese takeout, these farmers put it on the line so unless you’re willing to go out and sign yourself up or send your own sons and daughters to grow sugar beets we don’t want to hear about it, okay?!

Gwot_medal_4_2 It remains unclear at this point whether the “Global War on Terrorism Service Medals” that were established several years ago to honor the men and women serving in the conflict will have to be altered to reflect this change in sentiment but we’re sure they will come up with something suitably representative.

Regardless, it is expected that the new wording will have a noticeable effect on how our future veterans will one day reflect on their time in the military:

Veteran #1: So, where did you serve?
Veteran #2: I was stationed Throughout The World.
Veteran #1: Hey, me too.
Veteran #2: Were you engaged in any Military Operations?
Veteran #1: Yeah, I saw some Operations.
Veteran #2: You know what really got to me? The part where they were Ongoing.
Veteran #1: Damn our opponents of indeterminate identity and vaguely defined motivations. Damn them all!
Veteran #2: Well, you know what they say, “Operations is Hell.”
Veteran #1: Amen to that brother.

It should be noted that Mr. Conaton is allowing phrases such as the “war in Iraq” and the “war in Afghanistan” to be used, just not the “war on terror.”

Hey, did anybody get today’s paper? Maybe we won!

J.

April 5, 2007 at 04:44 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 04, 2007

we cannot tell a lie. we looked at the cherry trees.

A deadly predator is stalking the famous cherry trees of Washington DC, threatening their very existence.

But it isn’t the bouts of bacterial gummosis that cause the trees to ooze sap. It isn’t scale, an insect infestation that can produce bumps on the bark. It isn’t even the droughts or floods or beavers. 

No, the cherry trees along the Tidal Basin face the one threat nature never prepared them for (cue ominous musical score):

Man.

And woman! (Or, “womyn” for those of you who are taking advantage of an expensive post-secondary education at an accredited university in pursuit of a bachelor of arts degree in learning how oppressed and disadvantaged you are.)

The cherry trees were originally planted as part of an effort by President Howard Taft to beautify the city. But one of the unfortunate downsides of beautification projects such as this is the selfish, short-sighted desire of people who insist on actually seeing the beauty. This has placed the trees under great stress. (Can’t people just be satisfied with a colorful description prepared by professional newspaper journalists?)

What can be done to preserve and protect the cherry trees?

  • Tell Nancy Pelosi that President Bush really really really doesn’t want her to save the cherry trees. Please, anything but saving the cherry trees!
  • Put the CIA in charge of promoting the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival only don’t tell any of the agents where the trees are right away. Tell them they’ll have to find them on their own first.
  • Just chop them all down. After all, they have already been hopelessly contaminated by contact with humans. This isn’t just species-inappropriate, or even phylum-inappropriate. This is kingdom-inappropriate. It would be better to kill the trees than allow them a life of humiliation as mere garden ornaments for our puerile amusement.
  • Don’t worry about it, the melting ice caps and rising sea levels will wipe them out anyway. (Global Warming: Is there anything it can’t do?) 
  • Privatize the cherry trees allowing natural market forces to work their magic thus ensuring the lasting preservation of “Cherry Tree Condos on the Potomac!” (Model homes now open.) Come enjoy a tour and indulge in a slice of complimentary down-home traditional cherry pie (cherries imported from China) while you gaze upon an inspiring vista of construction cranes and earth movers.
  • For every $10 you send us, we’ll promise not to chop down a cherry tree. Hey, it’s not extortion, it’s carbon-neutral!

J.

April 4, 2007 at 05:24 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack