The Bush Audience
The Hindu


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!"

The Hindu


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


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


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


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.”

The President’s Blackout
The Hindu


September 22, 2003

The President’s White House aide entered the Oval Office. He said, “The latest report is that the blackout cost the East Coast $50 billion.”.


”The Democrats are calling it ‘Bush’s Blackout’.”

It doesn’t surprise me. They always make everything political. I don’t want to lose Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New York. Get the damage control boys.”

The team sat around the President. One said, “What if call the blackout an act of God?”

Another member said, “ I thought we were going to use an act of God for something big – like finding Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden.”

We could use it for both.”.

A man from the Treasury Department said, “I don’t think the people want to know who caused it. They want to know who’s going to pay for it.”.

The President said, “Can’t we take it out of the environmental budget?”

”Possibly. We’ll say the blackout will jump-start the economy and will look like nothing compared to the $4 trillion debt.”

”Could Attorney General Ashcroft announce that the blackout was caused by terrorists and he needs to strengthen the Patriot Law so it can’t happen again?”

The President said, “That’s good. When I signed the Patriot Law to keep America safe, I had in mind blowing all the lights in the Northwest.

Another aide said, “What would be the best place to give a speech defending your position on the blackout?”

The GE bulb factory in New York or the Whirlpool air-conditioning workers’ cafeteria in Detroit.”

What do we say? We have information from the CIA the liberal Democrats sabotaged Niagara Falls?”

”That’s a little strong.”

Because of the blackout, we will pledge to free the enslaved people of Canada?”

”Check that out with Rumsfeld and find out how many troops we have on the Canadian-US border.”

The Treasury man said, “If we liberate Nova Scotia, it will cost us another $50 billion.”

”We just say it”, Bush said. “Once the election is over, I’ll say I misspoke and that I meant North Korea. I’ll say North Korea turned off all our lights when their nuclear test missile missed its target and hit the beach at East Hampton.”

”Mr. President, I believe you are taking this too hard. You can’t be accused of turning the lights off, but you can take credit for turning them on. We could have a TV commercial showing a black screen. Suddenly the lights go on and we see a picture of Dick Cheney, who’s saying, “When it comes to energy, the President knows how to hit a light switch.”

A speechwriter said, “The more I hear this, the more spin I can put on it.”

The President said, “Ok. Wrap it up. To sock it to the Democrats, I’ll say I never met a grid I didn’t like. If it plays in Peoria, we can insert it in my next State of the Union speech.”

State Department Blues
The Hindu


October 6, 2003

I was sitting in the park with J.Clancy Vanderbilt (not his real name), who has a high position in the State Department.

He said, "Besides all the Axis of Evil countries around the world, we now have to deal with the Pentagon."

"They are dangerous?" I asked.

"You better believe it. Rumsfeld is sticking a Black Hawk in Colin Powell's back."

"How so?"

"The Pentagon wants complete control over our foreign policy."

"Why? Doesn't Rumsfeld have enough to do in Iraq and Afghanistan?"

"My theory, but if you quote me, I'll deny it, is that Rumsfeld is a take-charge guy and he has the aircraft carriers to do anything he wants".

Vanderbilt showed me a top-secret cable. It said Rumsfeld had sent Pentagon people to meet with Iranians and a very shady arms dealer several times without telling Powell about it.

"Our intelligence department found out about it from a mole who works in the NATO Officers' Club kitchen. A General revealed that Rumsfeld wanted State to stay out of Iranian negotiations since it might lead to peace".

"Do you think the Pentagon is out to completely close down the State Department?"

"Not completely," Vanderbilt said. "Rumsfeld still wants the State Department to issue passports and give fatcat Bush supporters ambassadorships. But the important foreign policy will be handled by Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle".

"You aren't going to let this happen?"

Vanderbilt said, "How many tank divisions does Collin Powell have?"

I asked, "Where is the President in all this?"

"Our people believe he is on Rumsfeld's side because Bush thinks State is always sucking up to the United Nations".

"And does the President also believe that State is always trying to find a diplomatic solution to a problem?"

"Bush would rather have a military solution to show the world he is not going to be pushed around".

"What about the 16 words in the State of the Union Address that said Iraq was buying uranium from an African country?"

"The White House tried to blame us for that, but they finally made George Tenet, the CIA chief, walk the plank".

"Do you think the Pentagon wants to destabilize Iran by force?"

"The U.S. has a lot of troops over there and they don't want to send them home if there is going to be another war next door".

"So what are you going to do/"

"Hang tough, leak stuff to the press that will reveal what the Pentagon is doing, publicly announce that Iran is also our problem, and see that Powell gets as much time on television as Rumsfeld. If we don't, Defense will turn the State Department building into a hanger for B-52's".

"I will quote what you have just told me and you can deny you said it".

"Good boy".

U.S. Secretary of Defence Mr.Donald Rumsfeld said to President Bush :

“I’ll teach you a tongue twister. By the time you master it without a flaw, the Iraq war will be over. President Bush grinned, ignorant of the irony. Here is what Rumsfeld said :

“There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

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