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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.

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"[his] voice most likely carries all the tell-tale inflections of a raving crack-pot." Ken Avidor

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- This Month +

1 Democrats fire Yoko Ono
4 U.S. awaits Tsunami Tuesday primaries
6 Jesus quits presidential race
6 Mariners still waiting on trade with Orioles
7 Romney suspends campaign
9 Russia accuses U.S. of 'new arms race'
11 Huckabee loses Washington Lotto
14 Dear Leader by Kim Jong Il
20 Driving There
21 Satellite shot down
24 Nader buys cat new collar
25 News Roundup
26 McCain returns election matching funds certification to Nordstrom without a receipt
27 Microsoft acquires Europe in hostile takeover
29 Bush cancels meeting with ally

   "Where's the

   Archive?"

Posted February 29, 2008
Bush cancels meeting with ally

Unable to find nickname for NATO Sec Gen

A Leap Day meeting between President Bush and Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer of NATO was abruptly canceled today, due to an inability by Bush to come up with a satisfactory nickname for the diplomat.

"A good nickname is a precondition for getting a meeting with the POTUS. The only thing I can think of is 'Jappy,' but that one's already taken by the king of Japan," said a clearly frustrated Bush, referring to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

"Therefore, I decided to cancel the meeting and go for a bike ride instead."

NATOphiles were quick to express disappointment at the cancellation, in part because the agenda included a declaration making Feb. 29 Annual Jaap de Hoop Scheffer Day. "The president obviously doesn't get the purpose of a Leap Day," said Nate Oh, owner of NATO Village, a small gift shop on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C.

"But still, it would have been nice for NATO enthusiasts to have a day every four years dedicated to raise awareness about everything NATO does for America. Such as protecting champagne and Parmigiano Reggiano from foreign aggression," Oh said.

Bush's failure to meet with Scheffer did not go unnoticed by the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns.

Embattled Sen. Hillary Clinton criticized Bush for another diplomatic misstep. "My 35 years of experience makes me ready to meet with Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on day one of my administration," she said.

Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama also had harsh words for Bush. "‘Jaap’ actually is Scheffer's nickname, his full name is Jakob Gijsbert de Hoop Scheffer. If the president were genuinely interested in world affairs he would know this," said Obama.

Sen. John McCain's supporters denied that Jaap is a nickname, and instead attacked Scheffer for having a name too difficult to informalize. Conservative talk show host Bill Cunningham of WKRP in Cincinnati, Ohio, suggested 'Jaap Hussein Scheffer,' although he readily admitted it is not technically a nickname. But Cunningham questioned why Bush needed to meet with Scheffer at all.

"I can't even find NATO on the map," said Cunningham. "Where is it, near Belgium?"

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Posted February 27, 2008
Microsoft acquires Europe in hostile takeover

Will replace antitrust regs with Competition Wizard

The Microsoft Corporation acquired the continent of Europe late today in a hostile takeover bid. The acquisition takes place the same day the European Commission fined the Redmond, Washington, software giant $1.3 billion for not complying with a ruling that it had abused its market dominance. Terms have not been released.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said Microsoft was happy with Europe overall, and only minor changes to the image and branding of the land mass are planned.

"The European Commission, for instance. No one in America is sure what it is, or what it does," Ballmer said. He said Microsoft may replace the Commission with a number of helpful animated desktop gadgets.

Microsoft also will end upgrades and support for current European antitrust regulations. Ballmer said the company will create a new Competition Wizard, to be bundled with a future update to Windows Vista.

Speaking for Europe this morning in a hastily-called televised address, French president Nicola Sarkozy began by vowing to resist the takeover. But the French text of his speech made the tactical mistake of mentioning 'software' 143 times. Having to utter the phrase "les logiciels informatiques numerique" 143 times required Sarkozy to speak for 9 hours, 42 minutes and 15 seconds -- more than enough time for Microsoft to complete the takeover.

The company's familiar Windows ensign will be hoisted above the EU capital, Brussels, in a ceremony to be held Thursday morning. The Windows startup anthem by Brian Eno will be played by the London Symphony Orchestra, performing by satellite from the Barbican.

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Posted February 26, 2008
McCain returns election matching funds certification to Nordstrom without a receipt

"Wrong color," candidate claimed

These days customer service is thought of as having gone out of style long ago. But it's still very much in fashion at the high-end clothing retailer Nordstrom.

The Seattle-based chain is famous for its focus on service -- sales clerks still write thank-you notes to customers, and stories are still told about the man who returned a set of tires to the store without a receipt. And they were gladly accepted.

So it is not surprising that the latest tale of Nordstrom going the extra mile to satisfy a customer is already legendary -- and it only happened less than two weeks ago.

James Choo, a sales associate in the shoe department of the Tyson's Corner Nordstrom in northern Virginia, is the employee who went that extra mile. Choo is still telling his friends about the encounter: with none other than GOP presidential candidate John McCain.

It was a gray Tuesday morning, says Choo, when the next customer at his cash register was the presumptive Republican nominee. "McCain wanted to return his Federal Election Commission certification of matching funds eligibility, but he couldn't find his register receipt," said Choo.

Continued Choo: "He said his wife gave it to him last Christmas, but he had never used it because it was the wrong color on him."

"It was obvious from the scuff marks that the certification had been used to get him on the ballot in several states, not to mention serve as collateral for campaign loans," Choo said. "And I didn't have the heart to tell him Nordstrom stopped carrying matching fund certifications after the Spring 2004 season. But it's not our job to tell the customer he's wrong."

"Besides, I'm sure an anti-corruption, lobbyist-hating maverick like John McCain would never, ever, deliberately try to evade his FEC obligations."

RNC Chairman Mike Duncan today praised Nordstrom for its customer service. "They represent the best qualities of the American free-enterprise system. And you should have seen the attitude we got when we tried to return the 1996 election to Macy's Herald Square," Duncan said.

Reached for comment on the campaign trail, McCain expressed his gratitude to Choo and his employer. "I appreciate my friends at Nordstrom giving me the benefit of the doubt, as we campaign to bring ethics back to Washington, D.C.," McCain said, adding: "I will always be grateful to Nordstrom, and I'll remember them at the next appropriations mark-up time."

In related news, President Bush has posted the last eight years of his administration on Ebay. "The president feels his administration will bring top dollar, as it is has never been used and is still in the original packaging," said press secretary Dana Perino. Proceeds of the sale will be used to purchase a bicycle rack for the planned Bush presidential library/espresso shop at Southern Methodist University.

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Posted February 25, 2008
News Roundup

McCain calls for research into wife-cloning

Taking advantage of the still-undecided Democratic nomination process, presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain on Sunday gave the first in a planned series of speeches on the issues, highlighting differences in his positions versus an eventual Democratic nominee.

The Arizona senator's first message concerned U.S. science policy, and he called for a crash program in genetic research, a departure for a conservative Republican.

Hoping to win over fundamentalist Christians opposed to research into stem cell research and other entries into god's domain, McCain made an astounding revelation. Conservative scientists, said McCain, had already succeeded in cloning his wife, Cindy McCain.
Science breakthrough
Cindy (Left) and Cindy 2

The clone, called Vicki Iseman, was created in adult form in 2003. She now works as a lobbyist for the firm of Alcalde & Fay, as well as being co-wife with Cindy McCain.

John McCain's strategy is to sell the Republican base on advanced research by showing them it is advanced enough to bring short term benefits.

"My friends," the senator said, addressing a luncheon of biomedical corporation CEOs who have contributed to his campaign, "imagine a future in which America leads the world in a new wife-cloning industry. An industry that will be pro-family, bringing more opportunities for pregnancies, and a higher birth rate."

"My friends, it's still traditional marriage," said McCain, anticipating religious objections. "Marriage is between a man and a woman. This will continue to be the case under my proposal, except with younger versions of the same woman," he said.

"With wife-cloning, there will be more mothers per male-headed family. My friends, if you believe clones and their offspring have souls, it means more souls for Jesus -- something Christians should support." But McCain also indicated he has also considered the other side of the moral equation.

"If you don't believe clones have souls, then what we are creating is a massive zero-wage slave workforce, as well as an unstoppable clone army for the invasion of Iran," said McCain. "My friends, this is a win-win-win proposition."

Democrats who think Cindy McCain would oppose wife-cloning are going to be disappointed. "I consider it a feminist, self-empowering miracle of science," Cindy McCain said. "Do you think I like having multiple plastic surgeries, chasing the latest fad diet, the newest exercise routine that's supposed to keep me looking young? 'Cause, I don't."

"Cloning has saved my life. Having a younger version of myself around, taking the pressure off, has been a tremendous boon," Cindy McCain said.

This morning President Bush also gave support to Sen. McCain's proposal. "Wife-cloning will mean more women with whom OB-GYNs can practice their love," the president said.

U.S. critical of Cuban elections

President Bush today scoffed at the election of Raoul Castro to succeed his brother Fidel as president of Cuba, calling the election "a rubber stamp."

"Do you think it's right for a nation's highest office to be handed off to a member of the same family? I don't see how anyone can support that."

The election "proves that simple paper ballots are Communist," said Bush. He urged Congress to direct states to accelerate the adoption of trustworthy computerized touchscreen voting systems.

Orangutans celebrate 40th birthday

Seattle was abuzz last weekend, celebrating the birthdays of twin orangutans who were born at Woodland Park Zoo in 1968. Towan and his sister Chinta enjoyed fruit treats and hosted 7,600 visitors.

Zoo CEO Deborah Jensen used the happy occasion to forge new connections to the community, long alienated by opposition to plans for a four-level, 700-stall parking garage. Jensen revealed plans for an expanding the zoo's award-winning orangutan habitat.

The expansion will have four levels and space to park 700 orangutans.

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Posted February 24, 2008
Nader buys cat new collar

Meglomaniac hopes to rule world

Saying everything needs to be perfect for his upcoming worldwide satellite extortion broadcast, independent candidate for president Ralph Nader went on Meet The Press today to disclose he has purchased a new collar for his cat, Mr. Wiggums.

Nader, 74, spoke to program host Tim Russert from the command center of Spoiler One, Nader's satellite base located in high Earth orbit.
Nader
With Mr. Wiggums

"We can't disrupt democracy if Mr. Wiggums isn't looking his best, can we Mr. Wiggums?" said Nader, stroking the white Persian cat that has become the icon perhaps most associated with the rumpled narcissist.

The collar is robin's egg blue pleather encrusted with diamonds. Nader was quick to point out the diamonds are so-called 'conflict-free.' They were once pieces of charcoal that Nader transformed into diamonds using only the weight of his own ego.

Asked by Russert to give a preview of his global extortion message, Nader said that if control of the government is not handed over to him, he would override the safeties on his 50 terawatt narcissism reactor. It would go critical and explode, exposing the country to dangerous levels of his self-preoccupation.

"I will rule the world. They WILL bow down before me!" Nader proclaimed grandiosely.

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Posted February 21, 2008
Satellite shot down

2nd hunting accident for Cheney

The Bush Administration is scrambling today to explain how Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot an American spy satellite while on a Pacific Ocean hunting trip.

It was the second accidental shooting involving Cheney. In February 2006 he accidentally shot Texas attorney Harry Whittington during a quail hunt near Corpus Christi, Texas.

An initial report by the Defense Department stated the accident occurred last night as Cheney and a group of friends, including Whittington, were hunting seagulls and albatross from the deck of the U.S.S. Lake Erie, a Navy cruiser.

The party had just downed a gull, and the Lake Erie left its accompanying line of support ships to retrieve it. Cheney spotted an albatross, and took aim. However at that moment the 5,000-pound spy satellite, launched in 2006 by the National Reconnaissance Office, crossed into Cheney's line of fire just as he launched a Standard Missile 3.

The missile missed Whittington, but struck the bus-sized satellite in the rear. A Navy helicopter airlifted the satellite to Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu, where proctologists removed the missile after a six hour operation. The satellite is reported to be in critical condition, but improving.

Vice Presidential spokesperson Stella Artois told reporters that alcohol played no role in the accident, which is still under investigation.

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Posted February 20, 2008
Driving There

When is a bus stop art?

It's time once again for Driving There, an opportunity for you to ask real questions of a real Seattle transportation expert!

Question: Mrs. Thelma K. Frandle has a follow-up about crossing North 85th Street at Linden Avenue North (Driving There, 12/20/07). She maintains there ought to be a crosswalk because people do cross there and not elsewhere -- because there is a bus stop there. "There's even a bus shelter on one side," says Frandle. "This draws people to cross at this location, shouldn't this warrant a crosswalk, and even a signal light?"

Answer: We gave Seattle Department of Automobile Transportation staffer Wade Wince the chance to respond. He laughed for a good five minutes before answering, "it's a common misconception that bus stops and bus shelters attract people," said Wince.
       "In fact, a single bus stop does not qualify as a pedestrian generator, for this simple reason: someone can always go to another one a block away. That other stop might be near a safer crossing, and if not the next one might be," he said.
       "Likewise, people use bus stops whether or not a bus shelter is present, so bus shelters are not pedestrian generators either," Wince said. He advised Frandle to think of bus shelters as sculptures.

Question: Mario Pedali of Wallingford rides his bicycle almost everywhere. "I've been noticing that a lot of the new 'sharrows' painted on streets, such as Wallingford Avenue and lower Stone Way, have a white stripe between the sharrow and the curb," Pedali observes. "What is this stripe for? I thought the city's excuse for using sharrows was because there is no room for striping."
At long last
White stripe means 'safe to park'!

Answer: "This is an example of something I call bike-head, where bikers only think about themselves," says Wade Wince. "In contrast, when I see that stripe I fall on my knees and thank god that -- finally -- parked cars have their own lane.
       "This has been an unmet need for far too long. Come on, there are miles and miles of bike lanes and trails. Let parked cars have this one little victory."
       Wince also reminds cyclists that the arrow part of the sharrow is used to indicate the location of potholes so bikers and drivers can avoid them. "It'll take some getting used to," he said.

Question: Jack Frost of Bitter Lake said he was waiting for the bus on Aurora Avenue North during the recent snow. "There were as many people waiting as usual, but it seemed like half of the buses had their signs set to 'To Terminal,' and drove right by. Why is this?"

Answer: "It's important to show the transit flag during bad weather," says Metro Transit spokesman Art Iculated. "We need car drivers stuck in the snow to see 'uncool' public transit going by, still going strong. "Maybe next time they'll leave their cars at home, reducing congestion so I can drive to work," Iculated said.
       He explains that there are so many places to show the flag, buses can't get to all of them if they stopped for passengers. "Therefore when it looks like snow, half the buses are automatically taken out of service, chained up, and ready to roll to advertise the superiority of mass transit."

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Posted February 14, 2008
Dear Leader
by Kim Jong Il

Dear Leader,
       I'm a member of a small pressure group that doesn't know shit about crap, so we're trying to get the USDA to investigate the elephant conservation program at the Seattle zoo for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
       I know you love elephants too. What do you think are the chances for our brigade of elephantine freedom fighters? Signed, Commandante Zero Grande


Dear Big Zero:
       My recent experience in negotiating with your U.S. Imperial Dear Leader's government has revealed to me that they don't know crap about shit. This is an obvious complementing of your group's capabilities. If USDA is stocked with as many unqualified Bush running dog lackeys as other departments, then I'd say your chances are pretty good. So pull together a lot of selectively filtered and misinterpreted information for your filing, and don't forget the spellcheck! The sooner we get animals off welfare, the better!

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Posted February 11, 2008
Huckabee loses Washington Lotto

Demands recount to reach $30 payoff

Refusing to concede defeat, fading Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee on Monday demanded a recount in last weekend's Feb. 9 Washington State Lottery.

The contest was won by Sen. John McCain, whose ticket had the winning numbers 17, 25, 33, 35, 36 and 40. The pot was $1 million.

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, says both he and McCain gave state GOP Chairman Luke Esser a dollar to buy them each a lotto ticket. Huckabee wants to know if there was a switch involved.

Failing that, Huckabee said today his ticket had the 25 and 33, but a following number was smudged. He demanded a recount that would examine whether that number is 35, 36 or 40. Three correct numbers would allow Huckabee to collect $30.

"Thirty dollars would be a moral victory," Huckabee's state coordinator Pastor Joseph Fuiten of Bothell told Wholly Holy!, 'the magazine for conservative Christian gays who haven't come out yet™'. But he said many alternatives remained to be tried before Huckabee would concede Washington, including the Muckleshoot, Tulalip and Swinomish tribal casinos.

"Mike Huckabee is going to win something in Washington, that I promise you," Fuiten said.

A worker in the Washington state Republicans office tonight told reporters Esser would not be available to answer questions until early Tuesday. "McCain is buying everyone steak and cocktails at the Factoria Keg," the staffer said.

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Posted February 9, 2008
Russia accuses U.S. of 'new arms race'

Plan to use Romney's hair in new hardened silos, Putin says

Outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday charged the United States with planning to base nuclear ICBMs in new hardened silos, made from the hair of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Putin made the allegation in his last major speech to Russia's State Council.

"It's not our fault. We didn't start it . . . funneling multibillions of dollars into developing hair replacement systems," Putin stated. "But Russia has always responded to fashion challenges, and very soon we are going to develop and deploy our own line of purely defensive salon products."

Putin said his successor as President, Dmitry Medvedev, would immediately begin taking high doses of the hair growth medication Propecia.

President Bush, busy stuffing envelopes at McCain For President headquarters, said he wanted to study Putin's speech before issuing an official response. "But for an outgoing president, Putin's statement doesn't sound very outgoing," Bush said.

Putin, who is taking up the position of Prime Minister, said the U.S. possesses experimental new polymers found only in the hair of Romney, the ex-Republican presidential candidate.

"When our military analysts first saw photos of Romney's hair, clearly it was like a helmet," said Putin. "But then we began thinking: what if this premise became silly? What if Romney's hair has military applications?"

Putin described attempts by Russia's Federal Security Service to obtain a sample of Romney's hair to analyze, but was unsuccessful despite multiple attempts. In the end the job was given to Russian astronomers based in the Ural Mountains, who decided to bounce laser light off Romney's head during campaign rallies in New Hampshire.

"It was not very difficult to do, because we were working with such a big target," said Dr. Alexandra Frandlovna, who led the team that did the research. She spoke to Carson Kressley, military affairs correspondent for the Lifetime network. Frandlovna said spectroscopic analysis of the reflected beams revealed the presence of the new polymers.

Frandlovna said missiles placed in silos hardened with the Romney polymers would increase the chances of the missiles surviving a retaliatory strike, effectively giving the U.S. a first strike capability.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger today disagreed that Romney's hair was necessarily strategically destabilizing. He said the contretemps reminded him of a 1970s east-west faceoff, when President Nixon accused Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev of touching off a hairy arms race. That time, the U.S. agreed to share depilatory technology with the U.S.S.R., defusing the crisis, according to Kissinger.

But House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the U.S. should act quickly to insure Romney's hair does not fall into Russian hands. "His head should be shaved and the hair burned," said Boehner. He said the former presidential hopeful should be irradiated and placed in indefinite protective custody.

In a precautionary move, the State Department today placed restrictions on leading U.S. hair stylists, prohibiting them from traveling to Russia or places within its sphere of influence.

When reached for reaction, celebrity stylist Jose Eber commented, "Turkmenistan and the Arctic are not really high on my list of must-see vacation hotspots," Eber said.

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Posted February 7, 2008
Romney suspends campaign

Candidates dropping like flies

The exodus of presidential hopefuls continued today, with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney announcing in Washington, D.C., that he is suspending his campaign for the 2008 Republican nomination.

Romney made his announcement at the CPAC conference of conservative political activists, being held this week at the capital's Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Entering through an open side door of the Omni Shoreham, Romney first moved in wide, aimless circles around the lobby, before a hotel employee shooed him in the right direction with a rolled up magazine.

Romney had trouble gaining entry to the hotel's ballroom where he was scheduled to speak, repeatedly bumping against the plate glass doors. A nearby Buddhist opened the door and he was finally able to enter.

Romney resumed circling as he moved through the ballroom, pausing at trash cans and appetizer platters, eventually taking up a position on a dusty window sill to address his supporters.
Help Romney

"Help me," Romney cried in a squeaky voice while rubbing his legs together. "Help me help John McCain win the White House this fall."

Romney said he would focus on campaigning at dairy barns, state fair 4H pavilions, landfills, and dog parks. He then repeatedly threw himself against the window.

"I'll end my remarks here because I'm feeling very tired," Romney concluded, rolling onto his back, arms and legs twitching.

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Posted February 6, 2008
Jesus quits presidential race

Endorses Methuselah

Jesus H. Christ of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, today ended his quest for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Christ failed to win any states in yesterday's Super Tuesday primaries, a huge collapse for the former front runner who surprised veteran political observers with his 12 point victory in last month's Iowa caucuses.

"Though my campaign has ended, the fight for the poor, the lame and the meek will continue," Christ told a confused crowd of supporters who had gathered at his California state headquarters in San Luis Obispo. They had begun assembling late Tuesday night, wondering what would Jesus do in the face of returns showing him in no better than third place in any of the 24 state primaries.

Christ's momentum eroded during weeks of withering attacks from rivals, who called him too liberal and out of touch with the party's fundamentalist religious base. Especially damaging were the attacks by Gov. Mike Huckabee, the former minister, who portrayed Christ's forgiveness policy as soft on crime. Sen. Fred Thompson insisted on calling Christ by his full name, Jesus Hussein Christ, helping fuel Internet rumors that Christ is a Muslim.

Leading critics, chiefly Sen. Methuselah of Arizona and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, were able to convince the base that more could be done for the disadvantaged by maintaining a presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, cracking down on illegal immigration, blocking universal access to health care, and making President Bush's tax cuts permanent.

Christ had one last surprise up his sleeve, endorsing Methuselah for the nomination.

Staying true to his peacemaker image, Christ today declined to hold a grudge and chose to support Methuselah. If he had merely suspended his campaign, he would have retained control of his delegates, which could have made him the kingmaker at this summer's Republican convention.

"Methuselah is going to be the nominee, and I am happy to give him my support, his 900 years of service gives him the most experience," said Christ. "The tremendous knowledge he has gained in his career will, I am sure, give him the wisdom to adopt many of my core ideas. If not, he can literally go to hell," he said.

Christ said he would assist former Democratic candidate John Edwards in building homes for Habitat For Humanity, then return to his Pennsylvania carpentry business.
It's a miracle
No more clenching

In related news, Jesus healed Methuselah of his painful TMJ.












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Mariners still waiting on trade with Orioles

The Seattle Mariners continue to wait today on word of the trade that would send Adam Jones and George Sherrill to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for starting pitcher Francisco Franco.

"Francisco Franco is still in Baltimore," Mariners GM Bill Bavasi announced today, for the 240th day in a row.

Franco -- nicknamed "El Generalissimo" -- a right winged pitcher out of Ferrol, Spain, has been the object of a tug of war between the Mariners and Orioles since the fall of Catalonia in 1939. Bavasi said today's delay was due to Jones and Sherrill being investigated for ties to the Basque separatist movement.

Seattle has been in pursuit of Franco for most of the off season.

In Spain, Franco had 39 winning seasons while starting for the Falange of the Authoritarian League.

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Posted February 4, 2008
U.S. awaits Tsunami Tuesday primaries

"FEMA ready for any size storm," says Bush

As the remaining Democratic and Republican presidential candidates criss-crossed the country before tomorrow's Tsumani Tuesday primary elections, President Bush today urged all Americans to remain calm but vigilant.
Are you ready?
Tsunami Tuesday Preparedness
  • Keep sporks and other emergency supplies where they can be easily reached.
  • Do not leave your home (registered Democrats only).
  • Have an emergency radio handy, or an iPod. Music is soothing in an emergency, download the president's playlist from fcc.gov.
  • Keep your mother far away from the Superdome.
  • If you see the storm headed your way, pray to god to change its course (Pat Robertson only).
  • Help the economy by maxing out credit cards -- you could die in the tsunami, so you may as well go out in style.


    Source: whitehouse.gov
  • "FEMA is ready for any size storm. All we can do now is wait and see how big the tsunami will be," the president said today during a photo opportunity at the offices of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The event was held to publicize FEMA's preparations for Tsumani Tuesday, and show that the Bush Administration has learned from the federal government's failures in the response to Hurricane Katrina.

    The president learned early in 2007 of the date of Tsunami Tuesday, and took on the preparations as a personal challenge. He designed a tsunami response plan, and ordered FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison to stage supplies of food, bottled water, paper plates, can openers and sporks at strategic locations in the 24 states. "The paper plates can double as toilet paper," Paulison said Bush told him when he gave him his orders.

    At Bush's personal direction, FEMA regional managers have reserved thousands of hotel rooms for those forced out of their homes, and set up 24 emergency response offices to respond to press inquiries.

    "We're going to require the media to embed with our forces, with FEMA I mean," said the president. "If there's one thing I've learned as a war president, it's that you don't let reporters run willy-nilly around the combat zone, freely reportin' things."

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    Posted February 1, 2008
    Democrats fire Yoko Ono

    Dean: artist's role as unity-builder "a mistake"

    Seeking to repair relations between his party's remaining presidential candidates, Democratic National Committee head Howard Dean took the drastic step Thursday morning of firing Yoko Ono.

    Dean called last year's appointment of the famed conceptual artist to head the DNC's unity-building effort "a mistake."

    "I thought Yoko was exactly the sort of outsider we needed, someone who could look at the 2008 campaign with the right side of the brain and build common ground among our candidates," said Dean. "I really had no idea that her presence would lead to such divisive infighting."

    Already Dean's reversal seems to have been rewarded, with Thursday's debate between senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, a veritable love fest. Obama held out Clinton's chair, Clinton relaxed and enjoyed herself, and Obama treated Clinton and moderator Wolf Blitzer of CNN to tapas.

    That cordiality was nonetheless a far cry from the days when the original mop-topped group of Democrats thrilled America with their sound ideas and charmed us with their fresh, winning personalities. There was Joe (the witty, sharp-tongued one), John (the cute one), Mike (the quiet one), and Dennis Kucinich (formerly Dennison Kucinichinsky).

    That all changed last November when Dean -- himself a candidate in the Hamburg days of 2004 -- met Yoko Ono at a Soho gallery fundraiser. They talked for hours, exchanging ideas about ideology and parliamentary procedure. The pair spent that night creating what became the avant-garde sanctions policy, intended to prevent state Democratic organizations from moving their primaries before February 5. In the morning, they consummated the relationship when Dean put Ono in charge of instilling party unity in the famously factional Democrats.

    Things quickly got off to a bad start December 26, when at Ono's insistence Sen. John Edwards announced his candidacy lying in a bed in the front yard of a home in New Orleans. It was a serious miscalculation, with the spectacle overshadowing Edwards' "two Americas" message.

    Soon after, the Democratic field began arguing among themselves, and all siding with Clinton in objecting to what she called Ono's excessive influence on Obama. Ono and Obama became inseparable, with the artist often accompanying him to campaign appearances and even on stage during televised debates. Once, she slept on a mattress under Obama's lectern, waking at random intervals and shrieking unintelligibly.

    This led to Obama's much talked about rift with Clinton. When Chris Dodd left the group after Iowa, a C-SPAN camera crew recorded Clinton yelling at Obama that now they would have to get Eric Clapton to fill in for Dodd. The feuding culminated in Clinton going solo in the January 15 Michigan primary.

    All that seemed like ancient history as Obama and Clinton made beautiful music together during the Los Angeles debate. But the big question on the lips of Democratic fans -- will the original group get back together? -- is at yet unanswered.

    Howard Dean is mum on the possibility, although he does offer this tantalizing morsel: "There's always the convention."

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    There are 4 comments
    February 29, 2008 - 07:32
    Subject: Microsoft acquires Europe in hostile takeover

    Does this mean that irritating little help computer guy is going to the new mascot for Europe? I want to squash that thing and the stupid happy paperclip like bugs.

    Reply to Frogette
    Editor
    February 29, 2008 - 09:26
    Subject: Re: Microsoft acquires Europe in hostile takeover

    I think he would have to be called a 'Senor heureux papier-klipsch' or something like that, in deference to Euro-panculturalism. But yeah, that's the idea. Hey, I just report the "news."

    February 22, 2008 - 02:07
    Subject: Satellite shot down

    The Satellite issued an immediate apology for getting in the way of Vice President Cheney's big gun.

    February 18, 2008 - 04:42
    Subject: Huckabee loses Washington Lotto

    Ya gotta watch those lottery tickets. Cut-throat business that.

    Leave a Comment




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