The Bush Audience
The Hindu

ART BUCHWALD

June 23, 2003

President Bush was giving the most important speech of his campaign at the Round Hole in a Square Peg Co.

He was doing it in the private plane hanger of the RHSP to 15,000 cheering employees.

Off to the side was a Secret Service man code named "Raw Meat" and a White House aide, code named "Blowfish".

They both had binoculars and were scouting the crowd. President Bush was attacking Congress for not passing his taxcut plan and the audience cheered and applauded.

Suddenly, Blowfish said into his walkie-talkie, "Behind the President - in the third row - there is a guy wearing a baseball cap and he isn't applauding. Everyone watching on TV can see him during the entire presidential speech."

Raw Meat said, "I see him now. He's the guy wearing a T-shirt that says 'Give Peace a Chance.'"

Blowfish said, "How did he ever get in the VIP section?"

At this moment, Bush was saying he wouldn't be satisfied until every man, woman and child has a job.

"Look," said Blowfish, "he's sticking his tongue out at the President. What does he think he's doing?" Raw Meat got on his two-way radio. "Raw Meat One to Raw Meat Two, there is an agitator in the third row behind the Prez. Take a picture of him and then get a profile from Homeland Security. Over and out."

The President continued, "I am not responsible for the recession. President Clinton is responsible." Loud cheering.

The man in the third row gave Bush the finger.

Blowfish cried, "Can we get him out of there?"

Raw Meat said into his walkie-talkie, "Raw Meat One to Raw Meat Two. What did you find out? Oh my gosh! You say he is a registered Democrat and he is unemployed?"

Blowfish yelled, "How did that man get his seat? I though the Secret Service vetted all Democrats from their list. Call the White House legal counsel and find out what the penalty is for a Democrat crashing a Republican rally."

Raw Meat said, "The lawyer says it doesn't matter where he sits - he must be given freedom of speech."

Blowfish said, "Call Attorney General Ashcroft and have him change the law."

Raw Meat said, "He is now waving an American flag and I can read his lips. He is saying 'Anyone but Bush.'"

I don't think we should use force unless we have more evidence as to how he's going to vote." Blowfish said, "I want to find the person who handed a jobless Democrat a ticket."

The Secret Service man said, "I'll turn it over to the FBI right away."

Bush was saying, "We have come through some hard times before."

Blowfish said, "Oh my gosh. The man is mooning the President of the United States. Call out the SWAT team!"


Reality
The Hindu

ART BUCHWALD

July 14, 2003

To the class of 2003, congratulations. You will graduate and go out into the real world with hopes, prayers and a $100,000 debt to the Government.

This is your final multiple-choice test. If you pass it, you will be given your diploma.

  1. You find a weapon of mass destruction in your back yard :
    A. You call the Orkin man.
    B. You invite Don Rumsfeld over to tea.
    C. You call the sanitation department and ask them what days they pick up weapons of mass destruction.
    D. You send it back to Sears Roebuck and say you didn’t order it.
  2. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said, “If you have a homosexual affair in your home, you are committing :
    A. Sodomy.
    B. Adultery.
    C. Incest.
    D. Polygamy.
    E. All of the above.
  3. If you do not believe in God, you don’t have to answer the next question. If you do believe in God, which God?
    A. President Bush’s God.
    B. The God of Abraham.
    C. The God of Osama bin Laden.
    D. Thor, the god of thunder and lightning.
  4. Now that you are leaving school, what do you want to be?
    A. A greedy Wall Street banker.
    B. A greedy American airlines executive.
    C. A greedy baseball player.
    D. A greedy newspaper reporter.
  5. You are willing to battle AIDS in Africa by :
    A. Preaching absitence as the only way to fight it.
    B. Just saying no.
    C. Stating that anyone who has sexual intercourse is a terrorist.
    D. Saying condoms should be used only as a last resort.
  6. OK, now a Math question. The Government of the United States is in debt to the tune of $1 trillion and wants to give everyone a tax cut :
    A. The higher the debt, the easier for you to get a job.
    B. The rich will benefit more than the middle class.
    C. It will be our children’s problem, not ours.
    D. Put the White House spin on it so everyone will be confused.
  7. You are the Mayor of a large city. The Federal Government has stripped you of your funds for schools, health programs, fire and police protection and unemployment benefits. You should :
    A. Stop whimpering.
    B. Cut education programs that are a waste of money.
    C. Go to the governor. If he won’t give you any money, go to the President. If Mr.Bush says, “I can feel your pain”, you can consider it a flat rejection.
  8. Bill Bennett believes that :
    A. A family that gambles together stays together.
    B. Gambling is not a mortal sin.
    C. He only went to casinos because that is where he found the real Americans.
    D. He’s a high roller, which means that if he loses more than $100,000, he doesn’t have to pay for his hotel room or his drinks.

Now that you have passed your last final and are ready to graduate, enjoy your adulthood. And don’t forget to wear clean socks when they make you take off your shoes at the airport.


The Media Dictatorship
The Hindu

ART BUCHWALD

July 28, 2003

The people who worked for him knew exactly what he wanted. He was to the right of Rupert Murdoch – a distant cousin, by marriage.

Rupert the First, in an unfriendly takeover, won control of Murdoch’s properties. Rupert the First was a golfing partner of the President and supported him in his call for a pre-emptive war against France, Germany, Russia and Cuba. He made sure anyone who said otherwise would be considered a traitor, and after being investigated by his newspapers, would be called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where they would be held in contempt.

Since he controlled all the media outlets, Congress did Rupert the First’s bidding. If someone didn’t vote with the right wing, his name was never mentioned again in a Rupert the First outlet.

The thing he enjoyed the most was watching his TV commentators make hash of the liberals. They did it night after night, and Rupert never missed a show.

Rupert the First owned the country. He built a place for himself in Pennsylvania Avenue with an underground tunnel to the White House.

Then something terrible happened in the year 2005. Rupert the First died. He chocked on a chicken bone. The doctor didn’t know how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre, but Rupert’s TV station claimed he was killed by a left-winger who belonged to the “Peace Now” movement.

Everyone waited for Rupert’s heir to takeover the vast holdings. He was Rupert the Second. What no one knew was that Rupert the Second hated his father – so much so that he was a closet liberal. Instead of being to the right of his father, he was far left of him. He immediately started changing everything in the company.

He fired all his TV commentators, sold the newspapers so the cities would once again have more than one voice, changed all his radio talk shows to music stations and bricked in the tunnel between his home and the White House. He told the President he could no longer have any contact with him.

The editorials in all his papers called for decent Medicare, the doubling of education funds and long prison terms for anyone who cheated on Wall Street.

There was chaos in Washington. The FCC spokesman said, “When we gave a monopoly to the media, we never dreamed that someday it would be owned by a liberal.”.

They met in an emergency session and voted 3-to-2 to reverse themselves and break up any media chain that owned more than one TV station and one newspaper.

The country reverted back to a democracy and for the first time since Rupert the First took over, the voice of free speech could be heard in the land.


More than a food fight
The Hindu

ART BUCHWALD

August 4, 2003

When war comes in the door, free speech can go out the window.

Americans are now bitterly fighting against each other. I was dining at the Broderick’s the other night. The dinner started off civilly.

Sebastian Decatur said, “When it comes to war, I prefer Katie Couric to Diane Sawyer.”

Hal Barrow said, “Why do you say that?”

”Katie Couric gets twice the salary of Diane Sawyer, so she must know twice as much.”

Then the conversation got nasty.

Barrow said, “I don’t like what Bush is doing.”

Sebastian said, “He is our Commander-in-Chief and we all have to support him.”

Barrow replied, “I’m not criticizing what he is doing in Iraq, I’m talking about his domestic programs and the fact that he’s bankrupting the country.”

Sebastian snored, “Spoken like a left-wing traitor.”

”This is a free country and I can say anything I want to against Bush. I didn’t elect him.” Barrow said, raising his voice.

”Thank God we have homeland Security. Now then I disapprove of what you say, I no longer have to defend your right to say it.”

I tried to change the subject and talk about Michael Jackson’s face, but Sebastian would have none of it. He said to Barrow, “I saw your daughter on TV marching in a protest parade last Saturday on the Mall.”

Barrow got red in the face and sputtered, “She has the constitutional right to protest. Are you calling Mitzi anti-American?”

Sebastian replied, “Well, she was wearing a T-shirt with ‘PEACE’ stenciled on it.”

Barrow yelled, “It speaks for itself!”

I could see Sebastian was ready to pounce. “If she is such a good American, why did she major in French at school?” “We’re lucky she didn’t major in Russian or she would have been recruited by the CIA.”

Sebastian countered, “Not when the FBI develops their film showing Mitzi at the Washington Monument.”

Mrs.Broderick asked, “Would anyone like more broccoli?”

Sebastian said, “If I had known Barrow was going to be here, I wouldn’t have come.”

Barrow said, “That goes double for me.”

Sebastian continued, “I hate him but I believe in the United Nations.”

Spoken like a U.N. bleeding heart. Does anyone at the table believe that if we hadn’t attacked Saddam Hussein, he would have attacked us first?”

The rest of us knew better than to say anything.

Barrow said, “No one know how much it will cost us to rebuild.”

Sebastian shot back, “We can afford it. Bush knows we can have guns and butter, but he doesn’t want the French, the Germans or the Russians to find out about it.”

I said, “Can we get off Iraq and talk about something we all understand, like North Korea?”

Mrs.Broderick said, “Can we talk about North Korea after dessert?”


Rebuilding Baghdad
The Hindu

ART BUCHWALD

August 11, 2003

The news from the home front is that as soon as the war is over, the United States will rebuild Baghdad. It was greeted with joy by urban planners all over the United States.

A man at the Palm Restaurant said, “If they are going to rebuild Baghdad, they will have to rebuild Harlem.”

Someone else said, “And even parts of the Bronx.”

I said, “That’s exactly what Mayor Bloomberg told the president the other day.”

A diner said, “They can’t just vote money for Baghdad without matching it in our urban areas, such as Gary, Indiana, Watts and Washington, D.C..”

Another person said, “It’s not a big deal. Bush has allotted that much for his tax cut, but if they’re going to give Harlem $100 billion, we’re going to have to occupy it for several years.”

Another man at the table became the devil’s advocate and said, “But how can we rebuild Harlem when we never bombed it?”

A lady said, “It looks as if we bombed it.”

I said, “Does it have any weapons of mass destruction?”

The other diner said, “We haven’t found any so far. May be if we could get the Air Force to bomb the crack houses and then send in the 101st Airborne to occupy it, that would do the trick.”

Another lady said, “If Bush is going to give money to Iraq for schools, why can’t he give us money for our schools?”

The first man replied, “He has only so much money in his budget and he has to put it where it does the most good. If he can buy democracy in the Middle East for $100 billion, I think it’s a bargain.”

Meanwhile, up on the Hill, French bashing is increasing by the day.

A boycott is now going on in earnest. Allegra is on the list because it is made by a French company. Chanel, Bollinger champaigne, Christian Dior, Dannon yogurt, Evian, Hennessey Cognac and Roquefort cheese are just a few of the products we must throw in the Frenchman’s face because France voted against us in the U.N..

When congress ordered French fries to be taken off their menus and freedom fries put in their place, all America rejoiced, even after they found out French fries come from Belgium.

But their big move will come when congress passes a law to substitute all French surnames with American ones.

For example, if your first name was ‘Henri’, you would have to change it to ‘Henry’. Jeanne will become Jean. Pierre will be Peter. Maurice would be Morris and Alain would be Al.

The person on the Hill who was working on the bill was very proud of it.

”This is the only way for the French to realize that we mean business.”

”Is Congress for it?”

”They wouldn’t dare not be.” “Do you think Americans will mind changing their first names?”

Why should they mind? It’s the patriotic thing to do.”

”I know a woman whose name is Paris. What can she change it to?” “Sofia – as in Bulgaria.”


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