Thursday, December 25, 2008

Girl Scouts Seeking Bailout Package of $100 trillion

With the U.S. economy in a downward spiral and all sectors feeling the pinch, it seems no organization has been left unscathed. First it was the financial industry, then the auto industry. Now, it appears, it will be the venerable Girl Scouts of America.

Girl Scout spokeswoman Candy Twirl announced on Christmas Eve that the Girl Scouts have prepared a request for assistance to present to Congress shortly after the New Year. "This is a step that we have considered for some time," Ms. Twirl said in a prepared statement. "The economic tsunami that has swept our nation--and the World--has left us searching for help."

Though reluctant to discuss the organization's finances, Ms. Twirl noted that the economic crisis had hit the group's annual cookie sales particularly hard. "Sales are down," Ms. Twirl admitted. "There's no way to sugar-coat it. The only division to show increased revenue was the Tagalong Peanut Butter cookie division. That simply won't cut it. We need some relief and we need it soon."

As evidence of the hard times facing the all-girl organization, Ms. Twirl held up a beaten and torn green uniform worn by members of the group for nearly a century. Words seemed unnecessary.

"We put off this decision as long as possible," Ms. Twirl commented as she gently folded the tattered uniform. "The truth of the matter, however, is that the Girl Scouts affect nearly 300 million people in the United States in some fashion. The collapse of the Girl Scouts would be catastrophic not only to the national cookie economy but also to the cultural fiber of our great country. We cannot allow that to happen. That is why we will be requesting assistance from Congress."

Though declining to specify a figure, Ms. Twirl did not deny that the Girl Scouts intended to request a congressional aid package in excess of $100 trillion. "I am not, at this moment, at liberty to discuss the specific details of our planned request. I will just say, however, that our request is in line with what other industries have requested and is based, in part, on the number of people that can be expected to be impacted by the assistance. So, yes, the number will, by necessity, be large."

Ms. Twirl was quick to rebuke suggestions that a request for such assistance sent the wrong message to little girls raised under the mantra of independence and self-sufficiency. "This is exactly the right message to send to our young leaders," Ms. Twirl snipped. "This is all about self-sufficiency--meeting the needs that one has identified. This is just one of many ways to do just that."

Ms. Twirl also noted that the request was consistent with the organization's policy of "developing financial literacy skills." "This is nothing but a positive move for the Girl Scouts and those who participate in girl scouts. We could not be more proud of our decision," she said, concluding her remarks.

Shares of rival cookie maker Nabisco fell sharply on news of the Girl Scout's impending request.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McCain Calls Obama "More Republican"

In an attempt to jump start a flagging presidential campaign, Senator John McCain has launched a new series of campaign ads aimed at characterizing what he calls the "true Barack Obama."

The ads, showing Obama standing next to the American flag, while holding a greased pig under one arm and wrapping his other arm around the shoulder of President George W. Bush, "clearly show that Obama is more Republican than am I," McCain said, raising one eye brow as the pigment in his face flushed red. "That guy--he's the true Republican," McCain urged. "I'm a maverick."

McCain shook his head as steam rose from behind his ears as his peered around at the gathering of suspicious news reporters.

"Look, my friends, what we have here is one guy, me, who is not at all like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, and another guy, Obama, who is. It's really that simple," McCain said as he tapped the hammer and sickle lapel that adorned his red wool sweater.

McCain fidgeted for a moment, groping for his next words. "My opponent, I hate to say," McCain started as he shuffled his feet, shook his head while looking at the floor to avoid eye contact, and offered a nervous laugh as he gripped the podium tightly.

"My opponent wants this campaign to be about anything but the issues. And do you know why, my friends?" McCain asked. "It's because on the issues he's got it wrong. Yes, wrong! Obama wants to help the wealthy earning up to a quarter of a million dollars--that's right a quarter of a million dollars and Obama thinks those folks need his help. That's pie in the sky, my friends. Pie in the sky."

"Obama's spending proposals look more and more like Bush's failed economic policies every day. He's even proposed taxing children for any welfare benefits that they receive through their parents and quadrupling medicare costs for the elderly. That's the Obama that wants you to vote for him," McCain cautioned. "That's the Obama that looks a lot more like Bush than even Bush. Tell him 'no.' No to four more years of the same Bush policies and the same failed economic plan. Just say 'no!'"

"My friends," McCain went on, wrapping up his brief appearance, "you have an opportunity to do what is right and good and American in this election. You have the opportunity to vote for a failed Republican platform endorsed by Senator Obama, or a maverick, me."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

McCain Pledges to Fill Cabinet with American Mavericks

This weekend, Republican Presidential hopeful, John McCain, took time out from his late morning and early afternoon naps to address media questions regarding how he plans to fill out his executive cabinet, should he be elected President. Unlike his pending selection of a Vice-Presidential candidate, McCain was relatively eager to discuss his criteria for selecting officers to some of the highest and most important posts in the land.

"I will be looking for people with integrity, experience, and, above all else, for people committed to putting country first--for people who want to reform this great country and return it back to the people. You all say, I guess, that I'm looking for more Sarah Palins'" McCain said, smiling at the press corps, "those are your words. I'm just looking for proud Americans who are willing to serve the greatest country in the World at the highest level."

Pressed to name his prospective nominees for Secretaries of Treasury, Defense, and State, McCain drew a deep breath. "Of course, I am not presently at liberty to discuss those nominations in detail," he said, "but I will tell you that we have vetted several possible candidates--many at length--and we do have a pretty good idea who we prefer."

Asked whether he could identify the front-runners for the three vital positions, McCain again shook his head. "As I said, I cannot specifically name potential nominees at this point. I can tell you, however, that all of them have the qualities that we look for in people who we will ask to serve this great country in such high capacities."

Within hours of the completion of his initial press briefing, McCain crawled out of his late afternoon slumber again to address the media. "I thank everyone for gathering on such short notice," McCain said, wiping sleepies out of his eyes. "I realize that this is not an easy time of the day for everyone to stay focused. We have coffee in the back for those who need it," he sympathetically offered to the gathering masses of reporters, columnists, and syndicated bloggers.

"Earlier today, we met and I informed you all that we--that I--had ideas for filling my cabinet," McCain started. "At the time, we did not think it prudent to identify those candidates. I have since been informed that now is as good of a time as any."

The startled media throng stood in silence, mouths agape, pens and recorders at the ready, prepared to record the remarkable pre-election announcement of McCain's likely cabinet members.

"It is with great pleasure that I announce to you my nominations for Treasury, Defense, and State," McCain continued. "I think you're really going to like each of these nominations," he smiled through a yawn.

"At Treasury, we will have one of the brightest people who I've ever had the privilege of spending five minutes speaking with," McCain continued. "Drayne D'Coffers has both the experience and the commitment to leadership that this country so desperately needs right now. With several years experience working in the mailroom at one of the nation's up-and-coming internet start-ups, Drayne understands well the difficulties of working within a system and responding to needs within the system. The transition to Treasury should be seamless.

At Defense, I will be nominating Gettusein Quaqmier, the nation's first Austrian woman Defense Secretary. A native of New York City, Gettusein has considerable experience in the arms race, frequently fending off large rats--and I mean large--in her one-room Bronx tenament. She knows what I'm talking about," McCain laughed. "She's quite a gal."

The final cabinet nominee that I will be divulging today is Badi Plomacy. Badi nearly earned his bachelor's degree in independent studies from High Point College before dropping out to pursue his own independent studies. That experience, alone, truly sets Badi apart from many of the other fine candidates that we considered for the post at State. Like Drayne and Gettusein, Badi is an independent thinker in times that call for independent thinking."

McCain momentarily paused and furrowed his half-missing white brows before grabbing the podium for support and peering back at his audience.

"As you know," McCain said, apparently confused about to whom he was speaking, "the liberal media is already attempting to spin these selections as bad for America. They don't like independent thinkers because those thinkers make their job more difficult," he added without elaborating as he stared at the press corps in front of him. "But let me tell you this, Drayne, Gettusein, and Badi each have more experience doing what we will ask them to do than does Barack Obama. Like Sarah, they love their country, they support the rights of all Americans, born and unborn, they all have respect for the outdoors and the animals we hunt, and they all have a healthy fear of the creator.

Now, I'm not saying that Barack is a Muslim, but when I was being held captive in a North Vietnamese P.O.W. camp, Barack was still in school, learning how to read and write. I think Drayne, Gettusein, and Badi know how to read and write, but I'll let you all determine that."

As McCain finished his announcement, dragging himself back off the stage to a waiting cot and leaving the press to scurry for additional details on his nominees, former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, praised McCain's nominations as thoughtful and courageous. "These are the best picks for the positions," Giuliani gushed. "Obama wants to raise taxes, end a just war that his own party started, and tell banks to give away homes to people on welfare. From that standpoint, and from the standpoint of experience, these picks just make sense."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Republicans Contend Palin Has Bigger Penis

In another challenge to Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama, McCain supporters today began making the rounds on local and national television with a startling revelation. "We have proof," Carly Fiorina bluntly stated, "that Sarah Palin has a larger penis than Barack Obama."

Taken aback by the startling claim, Barbara Walters asked Fiorina whether she had misspoken. "The facts are the facts," Fiorina blurted.

Across town, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who earlier in the week had contended that Palin "would have handled the 9/11 crisis in New York just fine," reiterated Fiorina's stance. "Look, you know what we are saying. We are saying that, measured in inches, Sarah has a longer penis. That's just a fact. You can slice and dice it however you wish, but that's not going to change the fact from what it is," Giuliani said, appearing to feign indignation.

"Are you saying that Sarah Palin has a penis?" The ever-probing Katie Couric asked.

"Listen, what I am saying is--yes, what I am telling you is that, not only does she have a penis, but she has one that is much, much longer than the one that Barack claims to have."

"Claims to have?" Couric interrupted.

"Well, yes, Katie," Giuliani mockingly replied. "Have you seen Barack's penis? I mean, have you seen it? I haven't. We don't even know if he even has one. What we do know, Katie, and I mean this sincerely, is that even if Barack has a penis, it is much smaller than Sarah's--much smaller. There's just no question about it."

"Not to be impolite," a stunned Couric replied, "but have you seen Sarah's penis?"

Immediately, Giuliani shot back, the smug smile disappearing from his face. "That's a cheap shot," Giuliani admonished. "Sarah's personal life is her personal life. It's completely off limits in this campaign. If you have a real question, ask it. Otherwise we're done."

Only moments after Giuliani's appearance with Couric, news began circulating that Palin is also blacker than Obama, a point some leading Republican strategists had only heretofore hinted at.

Monday, September 1, 2008

McCain Drops Palin, Adds Mystery Candidate With Extensive International Experience

In a stunning reversal, Republican presidential candidate John McCain dropped Alaska Governor Sarah Palin from his ticket. The decision, quietly announced in a McCain campaign news release, came in the wake of revelations that Palin's seventeen-year-old daughter is five months pregnant with a child conceived out of wedlock.

A somber McCain admitted that the decision to drop Palin from the ticket only days after announcing the startling addition of the moose-meat eating mother of five was a difficult one. "Sarah has been a beacon in the night the past few days. I will miss her charm, her charisma, and, of course, her emu stew. There are no happy endings here," McCain added, oddly smiling as his voice wistfully trailed off.

Asked about his plans to replace Palin, McCain surprisingly announced that he had already made his decision.

"You're really going to like my new running mate," he said, beaming his now famous square-jawed grin. "Though we unquestionably will miss the executive experience that Sarah brought to the ticket as a mother of five charged with balancing household bills--in addition to presiding over the 50th largest state economy in the United States--we've incredibly, remarkably really, found someone not only with Sarah's executive experience but also with the vast international experience that some, rightly or wrongly, found lacking in Sarah."

McCain added that it was difficult to fight through the liberal media bias that suggested that Palin's residency in Alaska, a state that borders on Russia, Canada, and a vast Ocean, did not significantly mark her as experienced on international matters. "The salaciousness of those attacks notwithstanding, there is no question that my new running mate, whose name I am not yet at liberty to divulge, will put to rest any and all concerns regarding international experience on this ticket."

Queried as to what that international experience might be, McCain was forthcoming. "She has considerable international experience. I think there is no question but that that is true. She's flown across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, she comes from a state well-known for importing Russian caviar, her ancestors came to this country from another country, she's eaten at several Italian restaurants--and a Mexican one, if I'm not mistaken. . . I could go on. But the point is that she has clear international experience."

As McCain finished dropping hints as to who his new vice-presidential candidate was, reporters hurriedly scurried off, each attempting to be the first to put the pieces of the tantalizing puzzle into place.

Friday, July 25, 2008

President Bush Takes a Stab at Defining Administration's Torture Policy

This week, documents obtained by the ACLU suggested the Bush Administration's modus operandi for interrogating suspected terrorists. In carefully crafted language, assistant attorney general, Jay Bybee, informed CIA operatives that they would not be guilty of torture if the acted "in good faith" in interrogating suspects. Bybee noted that the "good faith" requirement would be met if interrogators acted without the intent to cause the type of pain that one would endure were one dying or suffering organ failure.

Responding to the wording in the documents, President Bush confirmed that the Administration has taken a new position on interrogations that is consistent with the U.S. commitment not to engage in acts of torture. "We don't mess 'round with that. . . uh, uh," Bush said. "That--those things. . . We just don't," he added.

What it was that the Administration did not mess 'round with was unclear, particularly after Bush attempted to clarify the U.S. policy on interrogations and torture.

"We have a very firm--very firm--and very fair policy," the President said as he adjusted the crook in his tie. "It's, it's a policy that is just very firm and very fair--I don't know how else to say it."

When pressed to try, Bush offered that "the test, the litmus test, if you will, is in the pudding."

Responding to one reporter's suggestion that his reply made no sense, Bush screwed up his eyes, turned his head so that his cheek was parallel to the podium, and replied, "Who? What? Come on now, Sally. That's like we say down in Texas--it's not how you finish but what the person before you said--or something like that. You print what you want--I know you're gonna anyway." [President laughs, press corps chuckles nervously, President grabs podium with one arm and rights himself as his suit bulges on one shoulder and pinches on the other].

Appeased, the reporter sat down only to be followed up by a more serious looking reporter from the White House press corps. "What does it mean to be like death or organ failure? What are the symptoms? How would one know when to stop? And is this policy still in place? If not, what is the current U.S. policy aimed at discouraging the use of torture in interrogations?"

"Sam, Sam," Bush replied, half-smiling as he picked at his molars with his tongue attempting to dislodge a jelly bean that he had eaten a day earlier. "You know that that's all whatever we make of it, right?"

"Ah, I don't follow you," Sam answered, wanting to jot down the response but unable to move.

"It's just like I said, it is what it is," President Bush answered. "It's pain--it hurts. We all hurt, Sam. But that's a good thing. Not bad. People say, 'Mr. President, why is gas so expensive? Mr. President, why are we still in Iraq? Mr. President, why is the economy faltering?' That's not me, that's them. Heck, Sam, I don't know. It's because it is good. And the Democrats, they want you to think that everything is bad. That nothing is good. But ask them if they've passed my off-shore and refuge drilling bill."

Defeated, Sam sat down. Nobody followed.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Airlines Tout New Consumer Friendly Measure

In an effort to meet changing consumer needs, Northwest and Delta Airlines earlier today announced that they will be changing service on many of their longer routes. The changes will be mainly in the form of what the airlines have termed "reduced mileage overage," or RMOs. In layman's terms, the RMOs will result in passengers being jettisoned from the plane while in flight.

Responding to initial inquiries about the RMOs, Northwest Airlines' CEO Doug Steenland stated that the ancillary purpose of the program was to reduce the number of "heavy" miles flown by the airline, thereby cutting sky-rocketing fuel prices, but that the move is really more about being customer conscious.

"When we really thought about what makes our business grow, it was a no-brainer," Steenland said. "Rather than hauling significant quantities of weight over long distances, RMOs will allow us to haul less weight over shorter routes."

Steenland took exception to suggestions that consumers might respond negatively to the the new measures. "I guess that remains to be seen," Steenland shot back. "Our initial data suggests that this is a service that many passengers want. Until now, those desires simply have gone unmet by the other airlines. We look to be leaders in this area. We believe this puts us at the forefront in responding to customers' needs."

Steenland quickly added that the lighter loads should help the airlines arrive on time with a higher frequency. "We think that's very important," Steenland said as he thoughtfully stared at the golden parachute in the corner of his office. "Customers care about timeliness and, while we may have lost our way in that respect over the last decade, this signals our re-dedication to being on time. We think it's a win-win-win."

Delta officials echoed Steenland's buoyancy. "This is just a great day for the Delta/Northwest family," beemed Delta Airline's CEO, James Whitehurst. "We will be a faster, more viable, more consumer-oriented airline with this move."

RMOs are not without their critics. Leading the charge against RMOs is PETA CEO, Ingrid Newkirk. "Today marks a dark day in the airline industry," Newkirk somberly stated as she stood with picket in hand, protesting outside Delta's headquarters in Atlanta. Dressed in an all-peanut shell tutu, Ms. Newkirk argued that Northwest and Delta had ignored PETA's repeated requests to examine the strong likelihood that deaths would result from the implementation of RMOs. "They don't want to hear it, because they know it is true," Newkirk sobbed. "The ducks, the geese--land animals living over drop areas--they all mean nothing to the airlines. It's all about dollars to these companies."

Steenland and Newkirk rejected Newkirk's criticsim as unfounded. "There simply is no credible, rigorously tested, scientific evidence to suggest that dropping humans from a plane at 10,ooo-30,000 feet poses any risk to wildlife," the CEOs agreed. "The simple fact is that the vast majority of drops will be over substantially deep bodies of water, thereby reducing what we believe to be the very remotest of possibilities of collateral damage to animals and birds."

There was no immediate word from other major airlines on whether they intended to follow Delta and Northwest in implementing RMOs.

Wall Street cheered the news, sending shares of Delta and Northwest up $2.40 and $1.75, respectively.