Friday, December 29, 2006

Ding! Dong! Saddam is Dead!!!

The former leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, is dead! The “Butcher of Baghdad” was formally executed moments ago in Baghdad, where he was hanged. “Political Fallout” sources have confirmed that Saddam’s defense team called President Bush and asked for a stay of execution, but Bush could not be reached. “The President was not available due to a more pressing engagement, protecting himself from a more daunting threat, Cindy Sheehan,” said a White House spokesperson.

Sources also contend that Saddam requested President Bush’s head for his last meal, but this request was denied by prison authorities.

Political Fallout is standing by to monitor the fallout of Saddam’s hanging, how the Iowa Delegation will respond to his execution, and whether or not Governor-elect, Chet Culver, will use the execution to push a limited-death penalty agenda in Iowa.

Montgomery Burns was caught on camera, releasing Saddam's defense team just before their client's hanging in Baghdad.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Yepsen Suffers from Post-Traumatic Columnist Stress Disorder

Much Adieu About Yepsen: Notes from the Political Waste Land

Having finally succumbed to the day-to-day pressures of writing a political column for the “Des Moines Register,” David Yepsen has taken his first step out of the delusional closet by admitting he suffers from “Post-Traumatic Columnist Stress Disorder.” What pushed him over the edge, you ask? Answer: the War in Iraq. More specifically, it was a combination of the Iraq War and Yepsen trying to enjoy himself on Christmas without having to think about the former, but for those of you avid readers of Yepsen’s column, who needs specifics, eh?

Post-Traumatic Columnist Stress Disorder (PTCSD) is a term for certain psychological consequences of vicarious exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful experiences that a columnist contemplates and/or writes about. The experience does not necessarily involve actually writing about the stressful experiences -- for part of the writing is the brainstorming process -- therefore deep contemplation, Internet surfing, and/or skimming the AP wire about a particular subject may lead to a manifestation of PTCSD.

Symptoms of PTCSD can include the following: incessant ramblings with no clear focus, a detached point-of-view, memory loss, occasional breakdowns and/or lapses in logic, irritability, illusions of grandeur, agoraphobia (wherein columnist is afraid to leave office to research primary sources), inability to decipher fact from fiction, and starting a political blog.

Retrospectively, Yepsen first realized he was suffering from PTCSD when he saw his experiences with the Iraq War as if he were actually in the war, more specifically a prisoner of war being subjected to a contemporary version of an ancient Chinese water torture:

It's like a water torture. The daily drip, drip, drip of it is numbing. For a while, I thought it was just me. After all, I am in the news business, especially the political end of it, and the biggest issue facing the country is what to do about this conflict. So, naturally, I'm surrounded by the debates and discussions all day in the course of my work.

David’s realization was exacerbated when he abandoned Jesus Christ on his Savior’s celebrated day of birth:

I try not to let it get to me. I go through the motions of Christmas, hoping the rituals of the holidays will jump-start the spirit. No luck. My Christmas battery is dead.

Clouded by a state of denial, these initial signs went unnoticed by Yepsen, who in turn projected a barrage of mental “tsk tsks” on unsuspecting Sleepwalkers:

It's not a humbug deal. There's just no "Merry" in front of the word. Instead, I find myself getting irritated with people who act like nothing is out of the ordinary this holiday season.

Next, a state of paralysis ensued, triggering a series of coping mechanisms:

Until you talk to them and discover that, oh, yes, they're aware of the war, are sick of it, but don't know what to do. So they've moved on. Frustrated and at a loss, they look for escapes or distractions. If they are able to find refuge in a shopping trip or a school play, good for them.

Fortunately for David, he has his column to help cope with his paralysis. Good for him. But what about the children?

None of us wants to let the grim news of war cloud a holiday for the children. We take refuge in our own memories of Christmases past and work hard to make good memories for the little ones today.

It’s clear David’s PTCSD has slipped into remission as denial rears its ugly head while he brainstorms for his next column:

They are with a bunch of lonely soldiers far away. They must ache for their loved ones and worry if today will be their day to be dribbled into the grinder of this conflict. I also think of their families at home. How ever do they cope? To hear GIs and families tell it, the folks back home sometimes have more anxiety than the troops in the field. The soldiers at the front are on edge, but they've got their comrades, their brains and pride in what they do to comfort them. (Even when the armor plates are too thin.)

David’s mental wanderings exacerbate a state of seeming paralysis:

Their people back in the States are in the dark, sweating it out, worried sick that the empty spot at the holiday table may become permanent. For a couple of thousand families, it already has. I can do nothing for either, except say my prayers, donate a few bucks to a unit family fund or say a kind word.

Or use your column to analyze and critique politicians and their policies responsible for triggering the PTCSD? Maybe then, the “Merry” will return to Yepsen next Christmas, so he can enjoy the holidays without having to worry about soldiers dying on Jesus’ birthday…


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Following Christopher Big $ Tie-Rants (Take 1)

Rants can’t dance, but he’ll take your money…

Big Tobacco’s favorite Iowa prostitute and political mouthpiece, Christopher Rants (R-Sioux City), still opposes Governor-elect Chet Culver’s proposed buck-a-pack tax increase on cigarettes. As the upcoming legislative session looms for the dispossessed House Speaker, Rants has relied on humor as a coping device to deal with his minority leadership status, joking that Iowans will need the minimum wage increase promised by the Democrats just to pay for the pricier cigarettes.

Poor, poor, Christopher. Stick to what you do best: taking money from Big Tobacco and pretending it has no influence on your decision-making process. Denial is the first sign of political prostitution. Sure, the $60,000 you received from Big Tobacco in 2005 played absolutely no role in your staunch opposition to the tax hike, and I imagine you donated the money to your local adopt-a-minimum-wage-earner program, right?

Just think, your $60,000 donation could’ve helped fully finance 5.6 minimum-wage-earners' salaries in 2006.*

Meanwhile, to help finance a increase in the minimum wage, the Iowa Congress should consider putting a “bad joke” jar on the House floor, requiring members to make a $5.15 donation for every infraction. This should help pay for the minimum wage increase in no time, assuming a "tax on ignorance" isn’t levied by the GOP in the meantime.

*40 hours/week x $5.15/hour x 52 weeks

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Rudolph Giuliani to Guide Sleigh into Iowa

Now that Iowa has become a Blue State, Rudolph Giuliani’s red nose is flashing as he sets to guide his sleigh into Iowa next week and reach out to GOP activists. Despite his support of abortion rights and gay rights, Rudolph hopes the others will let him play in their political games.

In the picture above, Rudolph Giuliani is:

A) Daring the Christian Right to “Go ahead, pull my finger.”

B) Posing for a wax sculpture to be displayed at the Museum of Forgotten Republican Hopefuls*

C) Performing his “Dirty Harry” impersonation, warning potential smear tacticians, “Go ahead, make my day!”

D) Participating in a public confessional: “Got skeletons? Just ask Him!”

E) Other: please add response in comments

*The museum is currently closed for remodeling as curators update the 2000 John McCain wax sculpture.