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Mr_Blog's Left Turn
A Seattle-based journal of Left-wing musings on local, national and world affairs, as well as baseball, pop culture and technology.

<This Month>

4 Doomsday cult perplexed at arrival of 2009
5 Seattle commute snarled
8 Gazans unionize
9 PI's Connelly slams flood response
12 Bush urges aid to "New Poor"
14 Bush helps Obama
15 Bush cites pro-life legacy
26 GOP strips presidential vocabulary from bill
28 Bob Woodward preferred over Massengill, Summer's Eve

   "Where's the


January 28, 2009
Bob Woodward preferred over Massengill, Summer's Eve

Rumormongering called astringent, refreshing

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward may become known for more than being a muckraker, if the personal health products industry is able to capitalize on the startling results of a scientific study into internal feminine hygiene washes.

Woodward, a Washington Post Associate Editor, was preferred by 323, or 64%, of the 506 women participating in the study by the National Alliance for Internal Research (NAIR), a feminine products trade group.

The study surveyed women about their normal hygiene regimens, and then replaced the internal feminine hygiene wash they normally use with a video of Woodward alluding to unspecified, yet-to-be disclosed scandals in the Obama administration.

"Wow, what a douche," study participant Jane F. said after watching the video.

"Woodward works just as well as Massengill, old-fashioned vinegar and water, or even Senator McCain's views on the economic stimulus package," she said.

This opinion was echoed by Melinda K., another study participant, who prefers Summer's Eve. "I'd have to say Bob Woodward's tabloid-style rumormongering leaves me feeling refreshed," said Melinda, who went on to say that she would cleanse with Woodward's reporting all the time if fragrances are added.

NAIR spokesman Max E. Wing said his organization is excited at the prospect of making the study's findings available to its members, which include Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, and the Heritage Foundation. All hope to offer new Bob Woodward-based douches by this fall.

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January 26, 2009
GOP strips presidential vocabulary from bill

Boehner cries

The Obama administration suffered a setback today, when Congressional Republicans succeeded in stripping reauthorization for new Presidential vocabulary from a Fiscal Year 2009 Federal supplemental budget bill.

House Minority leader John Boehner of Ohio said the victory sets the tone for his caucus agenda in the 111th Congress.

"President Obama's extravagant wordiness is the wrong message to send in these times of belt-tightening," said a visibly emotional Boehner.

"Republicans oppose the new administration's uneconomical use of nouns, verbs and modifiers. When the American people voted for change, they didn't mean a government that started wasting words like a drunken Shakespearean actor," Boehner said.

"They want their president to be a man of few words. People were always saying to me that President Bush should talk less."
A lot of chopped onions went into legislative win.

"We know what the people want, and it's small words, limited vocabulary, and vague and undetailed pronouncements," he said. Overcome with tears, aides draped Boehner's shoulders in a velvet cape, and helped him to the House cloak room to rest.

A snap poll conducted by pollster Stan Dardeviasian Research showed the GOP position on Obama's vocabulary to be popular among the party's largely monosyllabic base.

Word came almost immediately from the White House that President Obama accepted the loss of new vocabulary in the budget, and would not resubmit the proposal this year.

However, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters the president's vocabulary would not be affected.

"There is a huge accumulated surplus of unused presidential vocabulary left over from the previous administration, enough to last decades," Gibbs said.

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Posted January 20, 2009

Warren shocks; Cheney escapes

Barack Hussein Obama took the oath of office today to become the 44th President of the United States, making history by becoming the first Hawaiian to hold the office.

Obama's words, "so help me god," rang out in the crisp morning air, his hand on the same Bible used for the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln.

The controversial invocation delivered by controversial pastor Rick Warren, controversially invited by Obama to participate in the inauguration ceremony, turned out to be controversial -- but for unexpected reasons.

Warren called upon god to give the new president the wisdom to lead the country in these difficult times.

He said America would maintain its greatness by continuing to embrace the values of god, country, and love for all it has adhered to through its history.

The pastor of the Saddleback Church then shocked the audience and dignitaries by demonstrating the value of love with his wife, Elizabeth. The couple made out -- with tongue -- until driven from the dais by boos and catcalls. "Jeez, why the uproar? Haven't you people seen second base before?" Warren yelled to the crowd.

"It's OK, we're married," Warren chided them. Aretha Franklin quickly stepped in and performed Son of a Preacher Man.

Then Obama was sworn in, with Chief Justice John Roberts administering the oath.

For his inaugural address the new president returned to his message of hope, starting with the economy. "I am full of hope today. Hope for the health of the commercial credit market. Hope that other countries will continue to patronize U.S. Treasury bond auctions, and view our bonds as safe investments," said Obama.

On foreign policy and the environment: "I have hope that Israel won't blow up the world before we can halt the rise in its greenhouse gases."

On the concerns of average Americans: "I hope, along with you, my fellow Americans, that there are enough portable toilets provided for all of you here today."

Obama also voiced his hopes for outgoing President George W. Bush. "I hope President Bush has not concealed a tunafish sandwich somewhere in the Oval Office," said Obama.

"About President Bush, there can be no doubt that, of all the presidents, he was one of them."

"I know you share these hopes with me, and I know that you join with me in asking not what your government can do for you, but what Harry Reid can do to break a filibuster," Obama said, evoking President John F. Kennedy.

After concluding his speech, Obama turned and embraced new First Lady Michele Obama, and then Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill.

Then the new president shook hands with President Bush and Laura Bush.
Seconds before disappearance

But when Obama attempted to shake Dick Cheney's hand, the ex-Vice President -- wheelchair-bound after injuring his back while moving out of his official residence -- pivoted and made a break for a nearby romanesque column. Flipping open a hidden panel, Cheney pushed a red button concealed there. A hidden door slid open momentarily, and Cheney and his white Persian cat rolled inside before anyone could think to hold it open.

Seconds later, the estimated 2 million in attendance saw an anti-gravity escape pod rising silently from a copse of trees. It assumed an eastward trajectory, and accelerated. Then it was gone.

U.S. Air Force F-22 fighters based in Europe tracked the pod, but the pilots lost it near a Cheney-shaped island in the Aegean Sea.

This afternoon, Fox News Channel representatives filed a Freedom of Information Act request on the Bible used in today's ceremony. "Just to make sure," explained Hannity & Hannity host Sean Hannity.

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Posted January 15, 2009
Bush cites pro-life legacy

Is carrying 3rd trimester fetus

President Bush continued to polish his administration's legacy today, choosing in his final public appearance as president to focus on pro-life policies he has enacted.

"I am proud of what my administration has accomplished in defending the sanctity of life," Bush told the country in the nationally televised address.

"For without life, there would be only -- you wouldn't have any life. There would be a lack of life, non-lifeness. In other words, no life," he said solemnly.

Bush listed a number of accomplishments as successes, including: preventing Mary Kay Letourneau from telling her husband about birth control; stopping evil scientists from turning snowflake babies into cancer vaccine; 'conscience rights' allowing medical workers who object to health procedures on moral grounds, to refuse to file the patients' records and take an early lunch.

The outgoing president also tied the pro-life issue to energy. "It's wrong that we're 5% of the world's population but use 23% of its energy. Obviously, we need to increase the U.S. population. That's why I've advocated tirelessly for, I'm really proud of this, increasing teen pregnancies by mandating abstinence-only sex education. That's lots of future energy consumers."

Bush admitted only to one disappointment: the failure to win personhood for stem cells. "Imagine the deductions," he said.
Happy Trio
President Bush proudly shows off his baby bump as a delighted Laura Bush looks on.

However, Bush saved his best news for last -- and also made history -- by announcing that he is in the third trimester of pregnancy. Bush said he underwent the procedure -- the implantation of a fertilized egg into his abdominal cavity -- at the National Naval Medical Center last June.

"I believe this is the best way, now that I'm not going to be working everyday, to walk my pro-life talk," he said, stepping from behind his lectern to display his bump.

Bush's enthusiasm for the historic experience was unreserved, saying, "I feel great. I urge all American women to try this."

"Nine months, and then the baby's delivered by a big bird. It'll be the easiest thing I ever done," he said.

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January 14, 2009
Bush helps Obama

Asks Congress to release blue tarp funds

President Bush yesterday agreed to a request from President-elect Barack Obama to ask Congress for the remaining $350 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) fund. Sources with Obama's transition office explained Bush has been asked to take the action so that the bailout money would be available when Obama takes office next Tuesday.

Moving quickly, the White House made the request Tuesday afternoon. In a message to Congressional leaders attached to the request, Bush asked the House Financial Services Committee to release "the second half of the tarp funds."

"Dear Snaggletooth," the message began, with Bush using his nickname for Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA).

"By releasing these funds now, the people of New Orleans will be able to purchase more blue tarps to keep the rain out of their homes, and give them a chance to bail out the rain water," wrote Bush.

"Anything I can do to help my successor make his job more easier, so release them funds now please, thank you," Bush concluded.

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January 12, 2009
Bush urges aid to "New Poor"

New 1040 check-off fund will help ex-rich

In one of his last national weekly radio addresses, President Bush urged the American people to take time in the new year to help former giants from the worlds of banking, Wall Street and insurance who are newly less fortunate.

"Think of your fellow citizens who have trickled-down on the rest of you for the last three decades," Bush said on Saturday.

"These are the good people who brought you lower pay, fewer manufacturing jobs, stagnant income, inferior health insurance, business consolidation, weaker unions, oil dependence, subprime mortgages, and the most expensive weapons systems money can buy," he said.

The president went on to say that it would be wrong to forget the ex-rich, but is confident the country will help those impacted by the financial crisis. "Americans are the most generous people in the world. If they are half as generous with their money as my administration has been, this will be our country's first suffering-free depression."

"I know my fellow Americans will step up and help. Therefore, under the authority vested in me as taxer-in-chief, I have issued an executive order creating the Federal Fund for the New Poor."

Bush said the fund will enable 95% of the American people to continue transferring their wealth to the remaining 5% beyond the end of his presidency.

The president announced that, on his instructions, the Internal Revenue Service has created a new system to collect revenues for the new fund.

Under Bush's plan, a new option will appear on taxpayers' 1040 and 1040EZ tax returns, underneath the familiar Presidential Election Campaign Fund check-off. The new option will read, simply:

Welfare For The Rich Fund: Check here if you, your traditional marriage spouse, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren -- you get the idea -- want $1500 to go to this fund. Checking a box below will not definitely affect your tax.
On Friday, President Bush flew over the U.S. economy to get a sense of the devastation.

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Posted January 9, 2009
PI's Connelly slams flood response

"Should use paper towels"

A Seattle Post-Intelligencer op-ed writer is criticizing government responses to swollen rivers and mudslides that have closed highways and commuter rail lines.

"They should use paper towels, it's so simple," the PI's Joel Connelly writes today in his regular tri-weekly column.

"Transportation officials have blown it again, just like they blew it with their failed snow policies. Haven't they heard of Brawny? Or Bounty? Jeez, it's even quilted," Connelly wrote.

Last month Connelly was among the first local opinion makers to lambaste Seattle for not using salt to clear roads of 12-18 inches of snow, due to environmental concerns. "I'd like to see one scintilla of evidence that a couple of applications" of salt would harm salmon, he wrote on December 25.

Now rain and snow melt is resulting in flooded roads, and Connelly is again on the warpath. "Road crews should be sopping up water and mud with paper towels," he advises.

"What sort of absurd political correctness prevents laying down absorbent, multi-ply paper on major streets?" Connelly asks rhetorically.

"I'll tell you, it's this crazy belief that forest-based paper products shouldn't be wasted. Only in Seattle."

Connelly challenged transportation agency directors to go before members of the public, and take the Bounty Paper Towel Challenge. "I have the two bowls of colored water, and a couple rolls of paper towels. We'll see if the bureaucrats have the guts to show up."

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January 8, 2009
Gazans unionize

Israel must provide daily 3 hour break

Hopes for a solution to the situation in Gaza rose today, on news that Palestinian residents had approved a vote to form a union, a United Nations agency, the International Labour Organization, has announced.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon hailed the vote as a breakthrough. "At last, an opportunity for Mideast peace that my bureaucracy can deal with," said Moon.

By creating the union, to be called United Fodder, Gazans will finally gain basic protections, said ILO spokesman Juan Ponce Trabajador.

Most important of these are the right to a daily three-hour break, said Trabajador. "It's only fair that Israel sit its high-tech war machine once a day, and Gazans have that time to dig out, clear rubble and seek overstretched medical services," he said.

Surviving union officers are scheduled to meet with Israeli negotiators in Cairo next week on a range of other issues, including disability, life and funeral insurance plans. The plans will be presented by the regional representative of AIG Insurance, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Israel government sources in Tel Aviv expressed guarded optimism at the vote. "A union with popular backing might be something we can work with," said one source. Progress would have to be shown on issues important to Israel, such as the lack of parking for tanks in Gaza City, the source said.

In Washington, the Bush Administration welcomed the vote, but urged caution. "We cannot allow unions to drive up costs of the impending Rapture," said press secretary Dana Perino.

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Posted January 5, 2009
Seattle commute snarled

Road crews respond to snow with ground black pepper

Critics of the City of Seattle's snow response policies received more ammunition today, as morning rush hour traffic was brought to a crawl by road crew errors that compounded conditions created by snow that fell yesterday afternoon and evening.

Motorists expecting a smooth commute into downtown Seattle on roads cleared with salt, instead encountered snow-covered streets treated with tons of ground black pepper.

Mayor Greg Nickels had only last week changed the city's policy to allow use of salt. It was a reversal of the policy against use of salt due to concerns that salt would mix with stormwater runoff and be carried into Puget Sound, harming salmon and other marine species.

Nickels spokesman Mario Batali called the use of pepper accidental, and said city trucks were reloaded with salt as soon as the error was discovered. However, Batali noted that salt and freshly ground pepper, when combined with a planned February release of Liquid Smoke™ into the storm sewer system, would result in "naturally seasoned and smoked salmon."

Seattle Department of Automobile Transportation spokesman Wade Wince said his agency is proud of how hard its crews worked in response to last night's snow. "But we haven't used salt in a long time, a learning curve and a few mistakes are to be expected," Wince said.

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Posted January 4, 2009
Doomsday cult perplexed at arrival of 2009

Survivor searches for answers

(Waco) Days into the new year, a Texas doomsday cult today admitted its preparations for the end of the world on December 31, 2008 were erroneous. Ezekiel Frandle, spokesperson for the group That's All, Sinful Folks, said the group will hold a reassessment process to determine the reason for the world's continued existence.

However, it will be a big job. Frandle is currently the only remaining That's All, Sinful Folks member, due to the congregation's December 31 mass suicides.

Frandle, who is also the group's founder and chief financial officer, did not explain his reasons for not joining his fellow believers on their premature journeys to the hereafter.

However, Frandle was upbeat in his hope that an explanation will be found for Earth's non-termination. Possible reasons include a deus ex machina event, a time-space fracture, and metric-standard conversion errors.

Frandle said the explanation could be mysterical or commonplace. "I have to be open to any possibility. Charles Manson once ordered a mass suicide, but called it off after seeing a secret message contained in an edition of American Bandstand," he said.

The outcome of the reassessment will be an important part in the cult's return to prominence. The final report will be a major piece in a planned nationwide membership drive, Frandle said. "We'll need at least 300 new members before we can try this again," he said.

In Waco, local merchants are pleased That's All, Sinful Folks will have a continued presence in the community.

"They're my biggest non-corporate customer," said Danielle Bigg-Lott, manager of the Sam's Club. She said the disciplined group's regular doomsday drills meant they were frequently buying replacement supplies.

"Thanks to Frandle and his followers, I've been the biggest seller of Kool-Aid in the southwest for five years running," Bigg-Lott said.

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