Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ballot Initiative Roundup

A Crapload of Places, US—The 2008 elections have engendered a saturated media environment obsessed with the presidential election and Democrats’ chances of picking up a filibuster-proof Senate. Lost in the blizzard of coverage are some very important ballot initiatives in several states. Here are some of the sometimes surprising issues voters will be deciding across the United States on November 4.

Idaho: Second Life Initiative

Gives unborn fetuses the right to bear arms.

Supporters: Men.

Chances of passing: 100%

Sticking points: Legal scholars uncertain if fetus has subsequent right to shoot abortion doctor in self-defense.

New Jersey: Proposition Threesomething

This controversial measure asks the state to have a three-way with the waitress. Only, you know, if you’re into it.

Supporters: Those really pushing their luck.

Chances of passing: Depends on how drunk state is.

Sticking points: Waitress known to have slept with Rhode Island.

Massachusetts: Proposition 69

Prop 69 is actually a measure to fund parks and trails restoration, with particular focus on the Berkshires, but neither proponents nor detractors seem to care.

Supporters: Both partners.

Chances of passing: Pleasurably high.

Sticking points: Much debate over whether “it actually works” or if “someone ends up with an awkward angle and can’t enjoy it.”


Arkansas: Measure 2

Measure 2 would tap state monies to fund education for the next ten years at levels guaranteed to keep class sizes limited to 25 students or fewer.

Supporters: Fuckin communists.

Chances of passing: Over many, many dead bodies.

Sticking points: We just gave those kids some money five fuckin years ago, plus the principals are all fags.


Ohio: Initiative 50/50

Locally called the “Split the Difference” Initiative, this measure would once and for all clear up all controversial social issues: Gays can marry but only after a 30-day waiting period to make sure they aren’t just doing it for the sex; abortions are legal in the first trimester but the woman must spend a night in a spooky house on the same block that a sexual predator lives on (the predator must give the block notice if he's going to attack the fetus); handguns are illegal except in the defense of semiautomatic weapons; affirmative action is banned except in professional sports; and taxes can be raised but only for education, and every affected child has to say a prayer in school first, and it has to be a real prayer, not just for ice cream or a Wii or something.

Supporters: Independents.

Chances of passing: Currently 50-50.

Sticking points: What would we get mad about anymore?


Oregon: Right to Lifetime Healthcare

A progressive initiative declaring that healthcare begins at conception.

Supporters: Wacky Portland liberals.

Chances of passing: Sickly.

Sticking points: Vague language might define life as a preexisting condition.

New York City: Measure 86 or the “Third Term Abortion” Initiative

This hastily prepared measure guarantees New Yorkers the right to end an incumbency in the third term.

Supporters: Those New Yorkers not represented by City Council.

Chances of passing: Bloombergian.

Sticking points: Incumbent too small for traditional dilation and extraction procedure.


Las Vegas: Proposition OK

The “Keep Everything As It Is” initiative makes sure nothing will change at all.

Supporters: Whores, escorts, exotic dancers, casino owners, pit bosses, business guys, bachelors and/or bachelorettes, Vinnie.

Chances of passing: Currently 12-1.

Sticking points: Anywhere semen can seep to, and also casino chairs.


New Mexico: Prop 10

This isn’t actually a ballot initiative, just a prop. New Mexicans would get a nice prop to have, perhaps a potted plant or desk lamp.

Supporters: Prop dealers.

Chances of passing: Given that New Mexico has nothing better to do, pretty good.

Sticking points: Placement of prop might affect state’s feng shui, which is VERY important to state’s ability to think clearly and just, you know, feel unified or whatever.


California: Marriage Proposition

Called the “Carla Please” initiative, this measure confirms the intentions of Carla Borghoff and Michael “Mikey” Chandler to get married.

Supporter: Mikey and the 15,000 people he tricked into thinking it had something to do with gays.

Chances of passing: Significantly better than last time Mikey proposed, at an Arby’s.

Sticking points: Carla’s currently dating an NBA player.

Stay tuned to Newsmaker News for more breaking election coverage through the election.

Copyright © 2008 Newsmaker News.

Obama Campaign Picks Up Federal Bailout Tab

Washington, DC—Saying “really, it’s okay, we’re flush this month” and “you got it last time,” presidential contender Barack Obama announced today that his campaign would pick up the tab for the government’s massive $700 billion economic bailout.

When the bailout bill arrived this morning, Obama was in Washington and, according to witnesses present at the table, Obama grabbed it and put his credit card down, saying “I got it.”

“We just appreciate being here with you, and all the hard work you've done,” Obama said later at a press conference here to publicly announce the generous move. “It’d really make me happy to treat you this time.”

Critics argue that Obama’s always picking up the tab, trying to look all magnanimous and cool. He even pays for his wife’s own clothes on the campaign, these critics point out. “It’s an act, don’t be fooled,” said RNC chair Mike Duncan.

Obama's rival John McCain agreed. “He’s measuring the drapes!” the Arizona Republican senator cried after hearing the news on the campaign trail.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said such criticism was all “nonsense.” Citing the impromptu, unplanned nature of the move, LaBolt said, “Here’s a guy who offers to pay for the largest bailout in history, and he gets criticized at for it? That’s rich. Richer than Obama by far.”

At the press conference, Obama was equally contrite about the move. Chided by a reporter, who asked “you can’t just pick up such a large tab on your credit card, can you?” Senator Obama replied, “Yes we can.”

Stay tuned to Newsmaker News for more on this breaking story.

Copyright © 2008 Newsmaker News.

Youth Culture in an Obama White House

Washington, DC—If national and battleground polls are to be believed, Senator Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States, due in no small measure to the enthusiasm and support of young people. Youth culture, shown at left, has been omnipresent in the Obama campaign and is sure to continue during an Obama presidency. Newsmaker News gathered some political experts to examine how this youth focus will affect an Obama White House. The following are some of the changes expected:

  • White House tour guides to wear American Apparel tees and nothing else
  • NEA graffiti grants
  • Every bill sent to Congress updated with “2.0”
  • Anthem changed to Starz N Stripez
  • Oval Office "Red Phone" replaced with Skype
  • Cabinet meetings held in Second Life
  • Everything to be "Gone Wild"
  • Fireside Facebook chats
  • America to save cash by moving back in with Britain
  • Staff to travel Europe before beginning term
  • Air Force One booked via Orbitz
  • Recycling of cans, paper, and Clinton initiatives
  • White House to open TCF Bank checking account
  • Challenging Kremlin to Ultimate Frisbee game
  • Dave Mathews named Secretary of Chillaxin’
  • Washington Mall opened for skateboarding
  • Self protested
  • Waterboarding replaced with legal but even more tortuous "reading"
  • Stays in Lincoln Room auctioned on Craigslist
  • State of the Union speech moved to May, held on quad
  • Internet something or other
  • President’s Ball enlivened with glow sticks, ecstasy
  • Punctuation banned
  • Social Security benefit age lowered to 35
  • Sex. Lots and lots of sex.

Stay tuned to Newsmaker News for more breaking election coverage.

Copyright © 2008 Newsmaker News.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bush Considering Legacy

Washington, DC—According to sources inside the White House, President Bush is reportedly contemplating life after leaving office, and what kind of Legacy he will have. The sources, who wish to remain anonymous due to the sensitive personal nature of the president’s thoughts, are unanimous in their assertions that it is indeed the Legacy that Bush is looking into.

The sources, all close to the president’s post–White House plans, cite repeated online visits to and various musings by the president and his staff about the “image his Legacy will convey” and “not wanting to spend too much money.”

“The President asked me what kind of mileage I get with my Corolla,” one source reported. “And how much brush I could fit into the back seat, if I had some help from the Secret Service.” The source also said the President is “really excited about his Legacy. Karl [Rove]’s brother has one, and he really sees it as being appropriate, especially in this tough economy, when his 401k has really taken a hit.”

The only public acknowledgements of such thinking on behalf of the President came in a September press conference in which he referred to “needing to have head room and some zip, but not a gas guzzler. Something Laura would like. Yep, it’s looking like my Legacy is a go.”

The President, shown above browsing potential post-office vehicles on the White House south lawn, is reportedly leaning toward a black or silver Legacy, with a moon roof and perhaps mountain bike racks. “He really wants an iPod-compatible stereo too,” said an aide.

Sources were not sure the President’s preference as to manual versus automatic. “Probably automatic,” said one staffer. “That seems to be the way he operates best.”

Stay tuned to Newsmaker News for more on this breaking story.

Copyright © 2008 Newsmaker News.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Opinion: Some of My Best Friends are Black Presidential Candidates

Altoona, PENNSYLVANIA—I’m not going to vote for Barack Obama, but before I tell you why I want to make clear that I’m not a racist. My goodness no! I don’t see color in any way, except maybe rainbows, and besides if you knew me you’d know I’m the furthest from the Klan-loving fear-mongers out there. Actually, if you must know, some of my best friends are black presidential candidates.

Why, just the other day I had lunch with my good friend Alan Keyes. We first met at the YMCA when he busted my hump out on the squash court. We’ve had a friendly rivalry ever since. We speak freely and respectfully about all kinds of things, like how much immigrants are ruining this country with their bodegas, roasted corn, and low-cost clean services. Just thinking of Alan makes me giggle.

See, how could I be racist? Even my new pen pal Cynthia McKinney agrees—I met her while on vacation in a Berkeley coffee shop, and when I got home I immediately wrote to compliment her English. I kept a photocopy of that letter, in case you’d like to see it.

I also happen to be very good friends with Lenora Fulani. Didn’t see that coming, did you? I dabble in psychoanalysis from time to time, especially with the wife, and Lenora and I met while I was doing some research at Brown University. We get together for scones and shoot the breeze, mostly shop talk about how badly minorities need psychotherapy. Hint hint, Senator Obama.

Also, I was in the same movie theater with Al Sharpton once.

Now that you know I am no racist, you will understand that my vote for John McCain has nothing to do with race. No way! Get that racist stuff away from me.

No, I’m voting for John McCain because I identify with him. He seems interested in the issues I am interested in, like Joes, robotic phones, and plumbing. I guess I just trust him more—not like Obama, who I’m afraid is out to get my wallet. Why, I’d be perfectly happy to have John McCain as a neighbor. I WISH I could afford one of his gated neighborhoods!

Also, when he stands up straight, Senator McCain is quite presidential. Unlike Senator Obama—for some reason that man looks angry all the time, like you’d better cross the street if you see him coming. Not that he wouldn’t make a good lower-level public servant—I’d hire him as a servant in a heartbeat!

So there it is. I’m going with my intuition, which is the way most people decide whom to vote for. And my intuition tells me John McCain all the way. And not because he’s the white candidate—because he’s the best white candidate.

Stay tuned to Newsmaker News for more “Newsmakers Speak” commentaries.

Copyright © 2008 Newsmaker News.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Opinion: I Hate Painting

God I hate painting so much it’s like the worst thing ever. I don’t hate building a little two-legged table for the dog, nor do I hate cooking meals for people or even cleaning up meals. I don’t hate drywall, nor floor refinishing, nor building a new bathroom from scratch. I don’t hate hanging pictures or wall hangings, nor doing designs on the computer and printing them out on the printer and then buying more ink for the printer. No, I don’t hate any of those things, and many more things I could name too. Like cleaning toilets and putting out ant traps, and cleaning the ants from the dog food bowl which, until I built a table for it, sat on the floor like an ant buffet. 

No, I don’t hate any of those things, but I fucking hate fucking painting.

I hate that little crust of paint that forms around the lids once you’ve opened a can and put the lid back on. Is it wet or dry, that little crust? Let me fucking tell you, it’s always wet!

I hate the sound of the rollers. Why do we put up with this shit? It’s like a squeegee stuck into a pig’s gut, and the pig squeals and the squeegee squeegees up his guts as he’s squealing and it sounds like fucking painting.

And how come the fucking radio never works right when you’re painting? You’re going to deny me Rico and Suave in the Morning on top of the pain of painting? Fuck you.

Tape’s supposed to make it better, but what the hell? The tape always pulls off part of the old paint job, even if the old paint job was like two days ago. That leaves splotches in the corners of the ceiling, and you know how you have to deal with that? Do you? More fucking painting. It fucks you one way, this paint thing, then it fucks you the other way too.

I went to buy the paint, which I don’t hate so much because when I go I get to buy beer too, it’s the rule. And they have at the hardware store this thing that you can give them your phone number and they will enter into the computer what paint you bought and what room it was for so that if you need the paint again, you don’t have to drag the wet lid in or have it matched or be a total fucking Martha Stewart and just remember. So that’s nice, except that when I needed another can, did they have our paint in ther? I had to call home and ask what color it was. Primavera. Prima fucking vera. So now, I hate the fucking hardware store part of painting too.

Oh, and I hate painting without tape, too. Even if you go slow, you see it. I am no good at painting, which is another thing I hate, and so I make mistakes and I hate following behind myself with a paper towel to wipe up my mistakes. You know why I hate that? Because I left the paper towels down in the fucking basement, that’s why, so that when I come back up with them, or even some toilet paper from the bathroom, it’s already dry and you will always know that I painted this room. Me. The guy who hates painting.

Okay, where was I? Oh yes. Hate.

I hate the way the roller splatters paint on my glasses. I paid five fucking hundred dollars for these glasses, and I didn’t pay it to paint them. Also, I hate the rollers themselves, they sound like a pig being squeegeed to death, as I’ve said, and also they just don’t work. Who fucking came up with this idea of putting paint onto a roller and then rolling it on. I get one or two back-and-forths, yops, and then it’s done and I have to add more paint. I’d do better just throwing the paint on the wall and rollering at random. Which I would if I even remotely enjoyed painting or trying to improve the painting process. I don’t. I hate both.

I hate how painting hurts my hands. And my wrists. It hurts. Perhaps it hurts because I don’t know how to paint, you say? Well tough shit because I’m going to bitch about it anyway.

Oh! Oh! I hate the way my fucking wife says I’m being a big fucking baby. I hate it when she says lighten up, it’s for our child’s bedroom, and that this means somehow I am supposed to not hate it so much. News flash: It could be for my dying mother, and I would hate it all the same. It could be for my dying mother, who only wanted a primavera room to die in and I’d be scraping my fingernails of primavera paint and getting drunk in the basement while she dies in her precious primavera room like the Queen herself. M’lady! your precious death room is ready! I hope you enjoy it, since I hated it so much. Happy death, Mom.

I really hate painting.

Okay, let’s see. Dying mom. Radio. Squeegeed pig intestine. Rollering my eyeglasses, which cost five fucking hundred dollars. Oh yes. Oh yes. Oh fuck me yes: The one coat promise. Bull. Shit. If you can do it all in one coat, that means only one thing: you love painting. Why don’t you and the paint can get a room, paint lover? Then you could put your hard-on in the paint can and stir up a new paint color called “Fuck you!”

And the brushes never get cleaned. Ever. They are always like totally stiff when you want to use them again. I mean, do guys who love to paint spend like twenty minutes washing brushes? Because I have, and it still ended up stiff as the hard-on you people who love painting get when you paint. I am a man who will keep a plastic bag and re-use it till Jesus himself reappears, but I throw away a paint brush like it’s toiler paper.

And the heat. It’s like every paint can comes with a fireplace. Ever seen a painter wearing a sweater? Nope, no such luck. Instead you’re standing there in a boiling hot room, with fumy paint on your balls, wearing latex gloves to keep the paint off your hands but not your balls or your glasses, which cost five hundred fucking dollars remember, and your rubbing a roller onto a wall. That’s not home improvement. That’s hell.

And after all that, all the whole fucking shtick you do, which every last drop of it I hate, every bit of it, except maybe the smell and the beer—after all that whole bullshit you do, you know what you have? A new color on a wall. Great. Happy Christmas. Enjoy it, you fuck.

Stay tuned to Newsmaker News for more Newsmakers Speak commentaries.

Copyright © 2008 Newsmaker News.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Treasury Buys Struggling Borders Stores

Ann Arbor, MICHIGAN—Calling the move “extensive, necessary, and urgent,” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced that the government’s $700 billion bailout plan would move forward today with the purchase of struggling bookstore giant Borders Group, Inc. The purchase, intended to shore up an important facet of the commercial paper market, would make the government majority owner of the publicly traded company.

Speaking shortly after President Bush at a glittering mall Borders here, Secretary Paulson said that the security of Borders, “where you can get a nice latte and also a magazine if you want,” will calm jittery markets and inject confidence into an economy shaking with worry about everything, including books.

Mr. Bush also reiterated the need for calm and suggested Americans should take a long-term view of the American economy. “Don’t just buy a book and throw it away or hide it under your mattress,” the President said, “but rather keep it a while. It’s a book—put it on your bookshelf.” The President admitted he was not much of a reader but that he liked "that wizard kid," and books about eagles, “and Borders has plenty of all that, thanks to us.”

The Ann Arbor based book chain has over 1,100 stores and 30,000 employees worldwide, with consolidated sales over $3.8 billion. But recent rumors of a downward spiral sluggish sales, overextended growth, and fierce competition from Barnes and Noble have The government will reportedly pay $200 billion “for the whole shebang,” according to Paulson, “including the fixtures and the Coca-Cola machines.”

Asked about the price tag and the relevant worth of Borders as opposed to companies in the unsteady banking industry, Paulson responded that they can always return it within 30 days as long as Americans don’t damage too many books in the meantime or take them into the bathroom. “Plus,” the President added, “we just put it on the credit card—thanks, Congress.”

News of the “book bailout” sent the company’s stock price soaring to $5.02 a share. Company CEO George L. Jones, showing obvious relief, announced his resignation, adding that he “didn’t like books anyway” and that as his last official act he was trying to arrange a reading and signing for Paulson at the Washington, D.C. store.

Stay tuned to Newsmaker News for more on this breaking story.

Copyright © 2008 Newsmaker News.