Sunday, December 18, 2005

2005 News Year in Review: Who's Who

George W. Bush: with the fresh "mandate" awarded him by a slim margin in the popular vote, sets about finding the most expeditious route to the lowest approval rating for any incumbent president since Nixon. Calls the Consitution "just a goddamned piece of paper" in a staff meeting and alienates Congress trying to prove his point.

Dick Cheney: not to be outdone by the President, manages to bottom out in his approval ratings at a healthy, unprecedented 19% after his chief of staff is indicted. Continues to delight photographers by sneering malevolently behind President Bush at most public appearances.

Valerie Plame: the first woman since Monica Lewinsky to earn the dubious honor of having a major Washington scandal named after her continues to influence national affairs without anybody ever talking to her.

Robert Novak: having outed Valerie Plame, mysteriously avoids any serious trouble while a New York Times reporter is thrown in jail--but gets booted off CNN for saying "bullshit" to a co-host who accuses him of having "no backbone."

Tom DeLay: smiles for a mugshot after being robbed of both his dignity and his role as Majority Leader, having been charged by a Grand Jury with criminal conspiracy. The Gallup Organization adds further shame when it reports that, in DeLay's staunchly Republican home district, 49% of voters would vote for an "unnammed Democrat" over Mr. Delay.

Tom Cruise: goes bat-crazy on Oprah, calls psychiatry a "pseudoscience," marries and impregnates a girl fourteen years his junior, but nevertheless enjoys massive box office success, proving definitively that there is no such thing as negative publicity.

Mike "Brownie" Brown: having gone from Arabian Horse adjudicator to head of FEMA in a few short years, resigns in shame after orchestrating the greatest federal cock-up of a relief effort yet witnessed in modern history. Though possibly the scapegoat for wider federal failure, his fate is sealed by the publication of damning email quotes such as "Can I quit now?," "I'm trapped now, please rescue me," and, on the day Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, "I am a fashion god."

Michael Jackson: moves to the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain after being acquitted of molesting a boy at his Neverland Ranch in California. May or may not tan in the sun.

John Roberts: becomes Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court after Democrats and liberal action groups find disturbingly little to criticize about him.

Harriet Miers: remains Chief Counsel for the White House, withdrawing her nomination for the Supreme Court after Republicans and conservative action groups find disturbingly little to praise about her.

W. Mark Felt: reveals, at the age of 91, that he was the source for the revelations in the Washington Post that eventually led to Richard Nixon's resignation. Name also can be rearranged into statements about two lovers named "Mark" and "W."

Pat Robertson: overestimating his influence on world politics, calls for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Chavez warns that invading troops will be "soundly defeated," while President Bush and thousands of news pundits publicly condemn Robertson's suggestion.

Terri Schiavo: becomes unwitting pawn in a Congressional "right-to-die" debate in which Tom DeLay diagnoses her via videotape to be still capable of rational thought. A later autopsy of Schiavo after her death in March reveals that DeLay is full of it.

John Bolton: as a gesture of respect and in a new spirit of international collaboration, is appointed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, having said "if the U.N. building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

Lance Armstrong: wins his seventh consecutive Tour de France victory. Dismisses accusations of drugging by other riders as a classic example of "sour grapes," or in his case, "sour grape."

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- Martin

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