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for complex times.


Archive for February, 2009

Sen. Vitter named First Dog – Trainable and doesn’t shed

February 28, 2009 By: ERITAS News Service Category: Humor, Politics, Satire No Comments →

The dog that President and Mrs. Obama promised to daughters Malia and Sasha during last year’s election campaign has been chosen. White House sources say the First Family has nominated Senator David Vitter.

Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, will move into the White Dog House in April, according to the office of First Lady Michele Obama.

The Obamas were reportedly impressed at the way Vitter was trained by Senate GOP leaders in 2007, after he crapped all over the party’s image after his patronage of a high-priced escort service was revealed.

Vitters have many enthusiasts. Brandy Cherie Frandlaise, an independent hospitality contractor from New Orleans, is a big fan of the breed. She says the Obamas will be getting great family pet. “Vitters are smart and discreet. They’re fiscally conservative, but still know how to show a lady a good time,” said Frandlaise.

“Plus, Vitters really love being on the leash, and are obedient to their mistresses,” Frandlaise said.

White House spokesperson Harriet Spaniel said trainability was an important consideration in the selection. “The last thing we need is a dog who’s going to hump the legs of visiting heads of state, for instance. Hopefully Vitter has been cured of that.”

Also important was Vitter’s full head of hair. “Clearly he doesn’t shed,” Spaniel said.

The Obamas had also considered adopting former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. But Vitter was picked in a nod to bipartisanship, as well as Sasha and Malia’s lack of interest in hairless dogs.

iNews Friday, 2/27/2009

February 27, 2009 By: ERITAS News Service Category: Humor, Media, Politics, Satire, Society No Comments →

From the iNews 9000 wi-fi headline translator —

Headline: Obama Has Much to Juggle in Coming Week
Translation: Sean Delonas focus-tests words that rhyme with ‘juggle’ – ‘jungle’ leads ‘bungle,’ ‘muggle’

Headline: US advisers secretly training Pakistanis
Translation: Islamabad to have fastest baristas in South Asia

Headline: Alan Keyes stokes Obama birth certificate controversy
Translation: Ambassador Keyes called away on diplomatic mission to Pluto

Headline: Microsoft To The Laid Off – Please Send Back Part Of Your Severance
Translation: Have you tried turning off your income and turning it back on?

Headline: Activists take food protest to door of eatery – Clash centers on foie gras menu item
Translation: Diners voice concern – Urge activists not to force-feed themselves flavorless soy-based items at protest wrap party

Headline: Microsoft on extra severance – Never mind
Translation: Ballmer will make it up out of his tax refund

Headline: P-I owner warns it might sell, close San Francisco paper
Translation: Hearst plans to be first media-free media company

Headline: Bobby Jindal, the anti-Kingfish, takes the national stage
Translation: Jindal does well in GOP response to Obama – Doesn’t vomit on self

Headline: Octuplets mother offered $1M porn contract
Translation: “That’s not what we meant,” say Pro-Life activists
Translation (Turbo mode): Does medical plan cover birth control?

Headline: US Is a Vast Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels
Translation: Going out of business sale! Our prices are so low we must be crAAAAAzy!

Headline: Governor Jindal, Rising GOP Star, Plummets After Speech
Translation: Geese sucked into Jindal’s engines

Headline: US Senate backs ban on media ‘Fairness Doctrine’
Translation: NBC goes for it! Greenlights “Last Templar” sequel

Headline: GOP on display at CPAC
TranslationAmericans sickened by more tainted nuts

Headline: Recall – Smith & Wesson pistols
TranslationDefective handguns fail to kill

Headline: Was Jindal’s Katrina Story Accurate?
Translation: “Hey, I never said it was a TRUE story”

Smart cars, stupid people

February 26, 2009 By: Frogette Category: Commentary, Transportation No Comments →

Boy does it apply this week. I don’t know if you’ve heard but President Obama recently appointed a task force to take on the reformation of the auto industry. Great idea, right? Here’s the catch. Turns out most task force members not only don’t own American cars, the imports they do own don’t meet America’s CAFE standards. That’s right they get an average of 23.4 miles to the gallon a full 4.1 miles lower than CAFE standards demand. And these are the people chosen to clean up our auto industry people. You thought that auto execs were the only stupid people in America? Not even.

“Gee whiz, ain’t America neat-o?” Jindal tells America – Transcript

February 24, 2009 By: ERITAS News Service Category: Humor, Politics, Satire 2 Comments →

This evening Gov. Bobby Jindal gave the Republican Party’s response to President Barack Obama’s Message to Congress.

Good evening. I’m Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and gee whiz — ain’t America neat-o?

Tonight, in the very chamber where Congress once voted to abolish slavery, our first African-American president stepped forward to address the state of our union.

Regardless of party, all Americans are moved by the president’s personal story. But what about me? Look at my face. I’m a Republican and a Southerner, but that doesn’t mean I’m a cracker. As the son of Indian immigrants, I’m more properly called a ‘naan-er.’

To quote Ronald Reagan’s favorite comic: “America — what a country!”

I praise the positive spirit of our citizens in weathering these tough times. But the existence of positive spirits means, logically, that there also must be negative spirits that require solutions. Republicans are ready to work with the new President to provide those solutions, and the best one is exorcism.

I look forward to sitting down with the President and his administration, assess which of them are possessed by minions of the horned one, and then cast out those satanic entities so that America can get back on the road to prosperity.

Next, we should not be spending precious tax dollars on useless job creation. Instead, we should be fighting government waste.

Waste like federal health insurance for children — those children should get full time jobs with employer-provided benefits.

Maybe those children can find work in one of the new alternative nuclear power plants we should build. Who knows — given enough radiation-induced genetic damage, maybe the next generation will be literally green.

And if government insurance for unproductive kids is wasteful, we really can’t have any federal bureaucrats stand between Americans and their doctors. Everyone knows it’s actuaries who should control access to health care.

We must cut waste like the National Hurricane Center and FEMA, whose existence unfairly raised expectations about the Bush Administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

More examples of waste are our public schools, which should be privatized and run the Republican way. We need to deregulate the schools and abolish the Department of Education. Then we sell failing schools to Bank of America and Chase, and bundle good schools together with securitized high risk assets.

Above all, America’s economy will recover if we all take more personal responsibility. Unemployed? Sick? Uneducated? Urban liberal? We can only help you if there’s anything left after we help the banks.

In other words, it’s every man — and barefoot, pregnant woman — for themselves.

I look forward to meeting with the President to discuss the many challenges facing our country, as well as to compare original birth certificates.

Thank you. May god bless you, the state of Louisiana, and the South shall rise again!

Bush Named Goodwill Ambassador – Ex-prez called “perfect symbol of post-prosperity America”

February 23, 2009 By: ERITAS News Service Category: Commerce, Economics, Humor, Politics, Satire 1 Comment →

Former President George W. Bush has completed his transition to private life — by returning to public service as a Goodwill Ambassador, literally. Bush’s office announced today that the 43rd president has agreed to be the new U.S. spokesman for Goodwill Industries.

The well known used-goods retailer, which also provides training, employment and a host of services to the disadvantaged and physically and developmentally challenged, will provide those services to Mr. Bush in exchange for his public relations duties, according to Goodwill spokesman Willy Frandle.

“Goodwill has long been known as a seller of quality used merchandise at hugely discounted prices,” said Frandle.

“Now that America is entering a period of severe economic dislocation, Goodwill wants to market itself to a wider audience. Goodwill needs an ambassador to reach that audience. Who better than George W. Bush to be the symbol of the post-prosperity America he helped create?” he said.

“In exchange, Goodwill help Mr. Bush reenter civilian life, helping to educate him in some basic life skills such as interpersonal communication and how to handle money.”

The former president said he is excited about his new role, and looks forward to the life skills classes. “Imagine what the last eight years might have been like, had I known how to handle money, when it was the wrong time to crack jokes, and not to give the German Chancellor a shoulder massage,” Bush said.

Frandle unveiled two Bush-associated marketing tools, the first a reworking of Goodwill’s logo that incorporates Bush’s likeness.

The second are lifesize cardboard cut-outs of Bush. The cut-outs will be placed in all Goodwill stores nationwide to greet shoppers. A computer chip will play a recording of Bush saying, “Sorry you can’t afford regular-price retail anymore. Sorry you can’t afford regular-price retail anymore…”

Goodwill to Bushwill?
Respected nonprofit updates familiar “Willy” logo

Yelp Decides On Extortion As A Commerce Model

February 22, 2009 By: Kvatch Category: California, Commerce, Economics 2 Comments →

OK, I admit that I like Yelp. Whenever I’m going to try a new restaurant I always check out what the Yelpers have to say. I’ve even found a new physician based on her Yelp profile. (Still trying to get over the fact that she folded up her practice 5 months later, but that’s a story for a different post.)

There is no question though, that where yelp is concerned, you have to take some of the most complimentary, and most heinous, reviews with a grain of salt. Interestingly, it appears as if Yelp wants to help restaurateurs do something about those negative reviews…for a price. Buy a whole bunch-o-advertising, and those negative reviews will magically disappear.

Extortion as a commerce model? Makes one wonder how those negative reviews floated to the top in the first place, or even if they’re legit…at all.

AMEX: All Your Text Will Come From Us

February 20, 2009 By: Kvatch Category: Commerce, Rights 9 Comments →

Nowadays, the cost of doing business isn’t merely a total that you subtract from your gross income to get your net income. It’s a burden to be shifted onto the backs of your customers. Take American Express, for example. This miserable excuse for a company has decided that you should have to pay for their telephone marketing and service calls, even if those calls are to your cell phone.

Their new card-member agreement reads, in part:

You authorize us to call or send a text message to you at any number you give us or from which you call us, including mobile phones. You authorize us to make such calls using automatic telephone dialing systems for any lawful purpose, including but not limited to: suspected fraud or identity theft; Account transactions or servicing; offers of American Express products and services; and collecting on your Account. You authorize us to place prerecorded calls in connection with the status of your account, or security and identity theft matters. You agree to pay any fees or charges you incur for incoming calls or text messages from us without reimbursement.

No way of opting out of their ‘you pay for our marketing’ scheme—which happens to be illegal, by the way. And no mention of the fact that, if you explicit tell them not to call your mobile number, federal law prohibits them from doing so. The fine for violating that particular statute? $11,000 per instance.

Maybe if American Express has to pay $11,000 for each and every customer they piss off, they’ll stop this sort of bullsh*t. On second thought…probably not.

No Refunds? No God-damned Taxes!

February 17, 2009 By: Kvatch Category: California, Government, Protest 10 Comments →

About three weeks ago, as California’s budget crisis deepened, the state announced that it was going to stop paying income tax refunds. On Monday, Kansas announced that it would do the same.

Now let’s be absolutely crystalline clear on this issue: A tax refund is not some kind of bonus. It’s not a stimulus check. Not welfare! It belongs to the taxpayer. In fact, it’s not much more than a loan that the unwitting taxpayer has made to their state, and as such the government HAS NO GOD-DAMNED RIGHT TO THE MONEY! Any state that decides to hold back income tax refunds is engaging in fraud, and that state’s officials—from the governor on down—should be arrested, tried, convicted, and thrown in jail!

Of course jail-time for our elected thieves isn’t likely. So may I humbly suggest that a state that engages in that kind of fraud doesn’t deserve our tax dollars, and we should all simply stop paying our taxes. “But Kvatch,” you might say, “…I don’t want to end up in jail myself!” Quite right!  And with that in mind I present (once again) Kvatch’s handy dandy tax protest methodology:

Start by submitting a new W-4 listing 100 allowances. (That’s for federal taxes. You’ll need an additional form for your state.). The effect of this is to reduce you tax withholding to practically nothing for the remainder of the year. You should then take all that saved money and invest it in some conservative monetary instrument like a CD. Then…in January of the following year make one “quarterly” payment that covers your entire tax burden for the previous year and use your capital gains to cover any penalties.

Though claiming excessive allowances is not illegal—many taxpayers must do it to get their withholding set correctly—it’s also not exactly legal. The idea is to cause a steep, temporary drop in revenue, the kind that will throw your state’s comptroller into a tizzy.  A second advantage is that, if you get really pissed off at your state’s shenanigans…well…you’ve still got a hold of all that money and can decide if you want to pay your taxes at all.

The Day The Muzak Died

February 16, 2009 By: Kvatch Category: Economics, Media 7 Comments →

As The Consumerist points out, the… “Ever acoustically bankrupt, Muzak,the makers of elevator music, have declared themselves financially bankrupt by filing for Chapter 11.” Not at all surprising in this economy, I suppose. But what is surprising is that Muzak stated over the weekend that they would continue operating and planned to emerge from bankruptcy sooner rather than later.

So the question I’m pondering is: Emerge from bankruptcy to do what, exactly!? With just about every period, genre, and style of music available for streaming over the Internet, why would anybody choose the musical equivalent brussels sprouts—at overinflated prices no less?

On a more somber note, it looks like Sirius/XM is going down as well unless a deal is reached with Liberty Media, the owners of DirecTV.

Ford & GM vindicated downunder

February 15, 2009 By: Cartledge Category: Satire 5 Comments →

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels

It is official, the top rated vehicles in Australia are Ford Falcon and the GM Holden Commodore range according to car thieves. The two ‘big car’ giants have outstripped every other maker by a wide margin according to industry statistics.

Motoring magazine, Hot Wheels, has reported that the ‘hot wire’ choice is a clear indication the big V sixes and V eights still rules the roost. “These are the real experts,” Hot Wheels editor ‘Jump’ Cables insists. “Face it, “ he said. “These guys don’t leave a carbon footprint, they drive everywhere…”

GM maintain they are the clear winners in the fight between the two car giants. A spokesman told Hot Wheels that the majority of GM cars were recovered and were just taken for the hell of it. “A full one third of the Fords were never recovered and were obviously needed for spare parts.”

Car security for these late model vehicles was so good that invariably thieves had to steal the car keys to steal the vehicle. But Hot Wheels insists that Aussie car thieves are so impressed that are more than willing to go the distance. “What’s a set of keys between friends?”

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