Saturday, February 17, 2007

McCain Hides Behind Name, Skips Iraq Vote

"Ducking this issue calls for real leadership." (Mayor "Diamond" Joe Quimby,“The Simpsons”)

Leading GOP Hawk, Senator John McCain, decided to play hooky from his senatorial obligations today, taking refuge in the Hawkeye state. According to a Senate truancy report filed by Senate majority leader Harry Reid: “In lieu of joining his comrades in a Republican filibuster of the procedural vote to advance a nonbinding resolution criticizing Bush’s call for a troop escalation in Iraq, it appears Senator McCain had fled to the Heartland.”

After the Senators voted 56-34 to invoke cloture and proceed to a floor vote on the resolution, Senator McCain, the biggest supporter of Bush’s call for troop buildup, was nowhere to be found -- despite Reid’s repeated calls for the missing Senator McCain on the Senate floor: “Johnny, come out, come out wherever you are? Oh Johnny…”

Concerned for Senator McCain’s safety and welfare, Reid issued a “Political Amber Alert” for the missing senator, who was reportedly last seen hiding behind his name in D.C. – a political ploy that has become a namesake for the McCain Campaign.

Update: Iowa Senator "Grassley Chides McCain?"

Naughty, naughty, Johnny... What's it going to be, Mr. McCain: 20 lashes across the knuckles or 3 days out-of-state suspension?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Rep. King Exposes “Iraqnophobia,” Blames Pirates for War

During the U.S. House debate on the resolution disapproving the president’s proposed troop surge to Iraq, Iowa’s Political Master of Horror, Steve King, used his five-minute bit to expose laden signs of “Iraqnophobia,” blaming the War in Iraq on Barbary pirates.

Famed Barbary Pirate and founder of Fundamental Terrorism, Aruj Barbarossa, was last seen pillaging oil in the Caspian Sea and selling captured Christians to insurgent forces in Pakistan. Intelligence reports that he's extremely dangerous and not to be fooled by his pirate charm.

Iraqnophobia is a specific strand of Xenophobia (fear or dislike of foreigners) which denotes an abnormal and irrational fear of Iraq. The fear is based on the irrational notion that Iraq is the gateway to Armageddon and that an epic battle for Democracy must be waged until the very end, or the “war on terror” will spread worldwide, toppling Democracy and freedom everywhere in its path. Iraqnophobia is, in many cases, the result of a traumatizing encounter with a fundamentalist religion in one’s early childhood, when one is indoctrinated with a rigid adherence to a set of principles and intolerance of all other views. One view held in “evolutionary psychology” is that sufferers might gain some survival edge by avoiding the dangers of their phobia’s source, regardless of the actual. Iraq, for example, is relatively small in the global scheme and didn’t pose a major terrorist threat until the U.S. intervened, but an Iraqnophobe will do anything, sparing no effort to destroy the source of its phobia.

Based on this definition, it’s clear Steve King is suffering from Iranophobia. As a means of attempting to destroy the irrational fears precipitated by Iraqnophobia, King has made yet another desperate cry for help.

His latest plea came on the House floor when he attempted to make the case for the War on Iraq by trying to connect the dots all the way back to 1786 and the Barbary Pirates:

In 1786, two diplomats, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, went over there to meet with them, and their idea was, we will be able to talk them into peace.

Well, they talked to them all right, and the representative of the Barbary pirates, Mr. Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, responded to them, and this is in the Congressional Record from Thomas Jefferson’s report. He asked him, why do you fight us, why do you attack us, why do you kill us?

We have done nothing hostile towards you. His answer was, It is founded on the laws of our Prophet. It was written in the Koran. All nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found and to make slaves of all they could not take as prisoners, and that every Muslim who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

Aaaarrrggg, I knew it was those cursed Barbary Pirates who started the War in Iraq.

A group of good Christians abducted by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery pose for a Barbarian Pirate video. The captives were forced to display an emblem of their captors, recite passages from the Koran, renounce Christianity, and urge Congressional delegates to end the War in Iraq.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

FOX-News Comedy: “Fair and Oxymoronic” (Laugh Track Here)

FOX News Channel appears to be pushing the oxymoronic envelope by delving into the Underworld of comedy. If Fox News wasn’t oxymoronic enough, producers have decided to add “comedy,” so when Fox cancels out News, television viewers will at least be left with comedy – FOX’s new golden parachute. FOX News Channel has leaked its new version of the “Daily Show” -- “The Half-Hour Comedy Hour,” (laugh track here) on the Internets (laugh track here) via YouTube (see clip below). The show is scheduled to debut this Sunday night. Don’t worry loyal fans of satire, FOX wasn’t moronic enough to pit the new show up against the “The Simpsons.” Although, I do hope the producers were smart enough to equip their chutes with rip-chords, because “laugh tracks” can cushion the blow only so much when you’re falling 35,000 feet at 32 feet per/second squared -- only to crash and burn a horrible, Nielson-rated death (laugh track here).

Unfortunately FOX producers forgot about one significant oxymoronic variable: “funny Republicans.” Don’t get me wrong here, I have a friend who is funny and Republican (no that there’s anything wrong with that), but whenever he attempts to combine the two, he’s often left behind, laughing to himself. Maybe the Republicans should consider a No Republican Child Left Behind Laughing to Him or Herself Provision to the NCLB Act when they start toying with it over the next couple of weeks (cue laugh track). Part of the provision should target Republican children, subcategorizing those who think they’re funny. These kids should wear “laugh trackers” around their ankles to help monitor their comedic attempts while simultaneously cuing a barrage of pre-recorded laughter. The latter will help spur laughter in small groups, or at least indicate that the targeted child was trying to be funny, thus cuing those around him to laugh (laugh track here).

(WARNING: please view clip at your own risk. Side effects of watching this are irreversible and may cause viewers to order cable just for the FOX channel, or worse, vote Republican.)

The Fallout: Trust me, if you had to watch this clip more than once to tease out the satiric intent, you’re not alone. If you watched it at work in mixed company, those who laughed aloud are either Republicans, closeted Republicans, or still subscribe to “Mad Magazine.” The most painful part about this leaked clip, other than the comedic and satiric miscues, is the canned laughter. The laugh tracks were not only physically painful (and not from laughing too hard), but they helped make the show a parody of itself. Whoever came up with the “laugh track” idea should be killed (laugh track here), although I’m sure he’s already dead, laughing away in his grave (evil laugh track here).

The tragic irony of this new show is that it probably will appeal to its target audience. If Republican audiences thought Ted Sporer’s joke about “Osama Obama” was funny, this show may titillate (…uh huh, uh huh, he said “titillate,” Beevis…) their funny bones.

Related Recommended Reads:

Step Away form the Jokes, Fox News, Before You Hurt Yourself” by Bob Cesca (Huffington Post)

“Why Aren’t Conservatives Funny?” by John McQuaid (Huffington Post)

“‘Dreadful’ comedy, fair-and-balanced.” (Think Progress)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mitt Romney Wins ‘Fallout’s Second “Duh” Award

To help illustrate the great economic divide and the “Two Americas,” John Edwards announced his candidacy in Katrina’s wake, New Orleans. To help emphasize Lincoln’s abilities of bringing together a divided nation, Barack Obama announced his candidacy in Lincoln’s birthplace, Springfield, Illinois. To help illustrate America’s innovation abilities, Mitt Romney announced his candidacy at anti-Semite’s Henry Ford’s Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. (Note: Ford's newspaper, "The Dearborn Independent" didn't just espouse anti-Semitic attitudes but spread the wealth, capturing the anti-immigration, anti-labor, and anti-liquor sentiments of his time.) “Duh. What were you thinking?”*

Without further adieu, we would like to present to you the second winner of the Political Fallout “Duh” Award:

Winner: Mitt Romney

“Duh, what were you thinking?”: For officially announcing presidential candidacy at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The move was criticized by the National Jewish Democratic Council, who “noted that Ford was an outspoken anti-Semite who was ‘bestowed with the Grand Service Cross of the Supreme Order of the American Eagle.” (see right)

According to the council’s executive director, Ira Forman, “Romney has been traveling the country talking about inclusiveness and understanding of people from all walks of life. Yet he chooses to kick (off) his presidential campaign on the former estate of a well-known and outspoken anti-Semite and xenophobe."

Despite the council’s pre-emptive attack on Romney’s decision to make his announcement at the Ford Museum, the campaign stuck to its Lugars and made the announcement at the museum anyway. "Governor Romney believes our country needs to put innovation at the forefront if we are to ensure a stronger, safer and more prosperous America," said Romney’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom. "The Ford Museum embodies that bold, innovative spirit."

The Romney Campaign had also considered other places known for emboldening the innovative spirit:

1. Atop the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California...

...but Romney put the kibash on this idea when he heard Stephen Spiellberg and Barbara Streisand were supporting his Democrat contenders.

2. The Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota...

Romney had a change of heart when he just recently heard about the massacre at Wounded Knee.

3. Springfield...

Romney changed his mind when he heard Obama was making his announcement in Springfield.

*Political Fallout has established the “Duh” Award, which will honor people, politicians, groups, political factions, or any other entity whose actions merit a “Duh, what were you thinking?” response from any member of the blogsphere community. Another factor that will be considered during the “Duh” Award vetting process is how the candidate responded to the controversy, especially if the nominee acts genuinely surprised. “Duh, what were you thinking?” has been adopted and trademarked by Political Fallout as one of its official catch phrases. Anyone who uses this phrase, without thoroughly compensating Political Fallout, will be served papers from the Political Fallout legal team, suing them for “unfair use." (“Duh, what were you thinking?”)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Incomplete Idiot’s Guide to Amending the Iowa Constitution

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” (Mark Twain, 1882)

Thanks to the undisclosed lobby efforts of the Penguin Group publishing company, the Iowa House has opened Pandora’s Idiot-Box by proposing a joint resolution that would amend the Constitution of the State of Iowa. The House wishes to amend Section 5 of Article II, which disqualifies persons from voting who are “adjudged mentally incompetent to vote or a person convicted of any infamous crime shall not be entitled to the privilege of an elector.”

Much to the delight of the Penguin Group, publishers of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide Series,” the proposed amendment to the resolution “removes the words ‘idiot’ and ‘insane’ from the constitutional provision and substitutes the phrase ‘mentally incompetent to vote.’” A spokesperson from the Penguin Groups, who wishes to remain anonymous, cited record-low sales of its guide, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to American Government” (see left) as the main reason spearheading their lobby efforts. “Since Iowa’s constitution bars ‘idiots’ from voting, we’ve had a hard time selling the guides to our target audience. It would be like trying to sell the ‘Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Along With Difficult People’ on Capital Hill in D.C. (‘Complete Idiot’s Guide to Figurative Language’) There’s simply no interest for our product in these markets.”

Opponents to the proposed resolution argue that, much like the amendment itself, the changes cannot be adequately enforced at the polls and begs the question: Where do you draw the line distinguishing between who is and is not an idiot? An amendment would definitely change poll watcher’s strategies for challenging votes, but without the addition of an idiot-proof fail-safe plan, who would be watching the poll watchers?

Federal opponents, including the federal constitution purists, “The Constitutional Literalists' Society,” argue that if there’s no amendment restricting an idiot from running for President of the United States, there should be no restrictions placed upon idiots voting for such a candidate.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Stoopin’ Lower than the Real Sporer: “The Horror, the Horror…”

In a time when our public schools are expected to raise the academic bar and students are being held accountable, shouldn’t the same level of discourse be applied to raising the level of political discourse?

And shouldn’t the expectations hold true in the world of political humor? Especially by political leaders? This begs the question: How far, or low, will one go to get a laugh in the world of politics?

Last Satuday, Polk County chairman Ted Sporer (left) lowered the bar for political humor when he introduced presidential hopeful, Tommy Thompson, to a crowd gathered at Pagliai’s Pizza in Johnston: "How would you like to have to vote for someone running whose name rhymes with 'Osama'?" The political humor joust, presented in the form of a rhetorical question, prompted a burst of laughter form the audience. Oh I get it, Osama rhymes with Obama. Very clever indeed.

Well, I’ll be darned if Political Fallout is going to stand by and let Ted “The Real” Sporer lower the bar with a cheap shot at Barack (which by the way rhymes with Iraq (laugh track here)). Now’s your chance, dear reader, to do the low-brow limbo. All you have to do is take the following standardized quiz to help gauge where your political humor acumen falls. Be sure to check your answers when finished:

Political Humor of the Fourth Grade Nothing:

Part I: Names that rhyme with notorious killers

1. How would you like having a House Minority Leader whose name rhymes with Ted Bundy?

How would you like to have to vote for a presidential candidate whose last name rhymes with:

2. Saddam Hussein?
3. Charles Manson?
4. Benito Mussolini

Part II: Names that rhyme with human byproducts:

5. How would you like having a Senate Minority Leader whose name rhymes with poopy pants?

How would you like to have to vote for a presidential candidate whose name rhymes with:

6. Poo’ Stain?
7. Poop-Shoot Torpedo?
8. Fecal Bagel?
9. Duck ‘n Pee?
10. Brownback?

Answers: 1. Mary Lundby, 2. John McCain, 3. Tommy Thompson, 4. Rudy Giuliani. 5. Christopher Rants, 6. John McCain, 7. Tom Tancredo, 8. Chuck Hael, 9. Mike Huckabee, 10. Sam Brownback

If you scored a 7 or higher, you’ve passed the quiz and are either well versed in your GOP leaders/presidential contenders and/or your affinity for potty humor. If you scored 6 or below, you probably thought Ted’s Osama bit was a real hoot. (laugh track here)