DC School Book
Educators in Washington, DC are in hot water for using a picture of a gun to represent the letter "G" in a first-grade coloring book. The kids kept refusing to color the page unless they got something with a little more firepower.
A new study shows that surgeons who play video games performed difficult techniques 40% better than their colleagues who didn't play the games. But neither group was able to do ANYTHING well with their hands after filling out all the day's required insurance forms.
White House insiders say the Bush administration is caught off-guard by the escalating violence in Iraq, and may need to send 25,000 more troops to the region, 50,000 more tons of supplies to the friendly militias, and five more negative ads about John Kerry to the TV networks.
Special stuff today!!! A short play and a longer-form article!!
Announcer: And now, let's play America's newest and funniest game show...
Dick Clarke's $25,000 Terrorism Pyramid! (by Jake Novak)
Announcer: And here's your host, former White House Counterterrorism Chief, Dick Clarke!
Clarke: Okay, we have a very special contestant on the show today, someone we all want to see face the challenge of the pyramid... Let's welcome National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice! Condi, are you ready to play the "Pyramid?"
Condi: Well, I just want to remind the American people that there is no precedent for a sitting National Security Adviser to go on a game show, but I could use that 25 grand for some dental work... so let's play!
(LAUGHS & APPLAUSE)
Clarke: Okay, super. Now let's meet your partner who will be feeding you the clues you'll need to climb the pyramid today. Everyone, please welcome Bush campaign coordinator Karl Rove!
Clarke: Karl, I'm glad you've decided to come out and speak for yourself today. Are you nervous?
Karl: A little, I mean we couldn't get Jeb Bush on the judges table and this show isn't being broadcast on FOX News Channel, so this is a little more risk than I like to take. But what the Hell?
Clarke: Okay, Karl and Condi, you know the rules; you need to get 6 topics right in under one minute to get the big prize. So let's play the game! Start the clock...
Karl: Border checks, flight school investigations, warnings to local police...
Condi: Things we should have done before 9/11!
Clarke: That's right! One down, with 52 seconds to go!
Karl: Iraq, Russia, China, Cuba
Condi: Countries we were too obsessed with to do a decent job stopping 9/11!
Clarke: Whoa! you're on a roll! Four to go and 45 seconds!
Karl: Bill Clinton, Iraq...
Condi: Things we blame for 9/11!
Clarke: Halfway there! 40 seconds!
Karl: Book deal, 60 Minutes spot, paid speaker's fees...
Condi: Things you get for blaming fellow Americans for 9/11!
Clarke: Whoa! That's hitting close to home for both of us... but you just need two more! 32 seconds!
Karl: 3 million job losses, Enron, WorldCom, CIA leaks, budget deficit
Condi: Things we gloss over with lots of terrorism warnings!
Clarke: This is unbelievable! Just one more to go with an incredible 25 seconds left!
Karl: UN partnership, long-term planning, admitting you've made mistakes
Karl: Working with local leaders, getting European help, avoiding arbitrary deadlines
Condi: Oh God, I'm blanking!
Clarke: 12 seconds left.
Karl: (desperate) Fighting our real enemies, not leaking names of CIA agents, getting Israel's advice, not joking about missing WMD's!!
Condi: I'm sorry, what?
Clarke: 5 seconds!
Karl: (most desperate) real leadership, stop ignoring Saudi Arabia, tell the American people they will have to sacrifice!!
(BUZZER SOUNDS, AUDIENCE GROANS)
Clarke: Oh! I thought you were going to get it there! So sorry, you had so much time too! What if I said, "grandstanding, negative ads against John Kerry, bombing Iraq at every opportunity."
Condi: OH! "Things to do to really fight terrorism?"
Clarke: That's right, you got it now... but it's too late.
Condi: I guess I got mixed up. That stuff Karl said at the end sounded really strange for awhile. Karl... Where's Karl?
Clarke: Oh, he's off to help arrange some polling problems in Florida and Ohio... he said he's already late.
Clarke: So Condi, you don't get the $25,000, but you do get to keep your well-paid government job, and you'll still be on the cover of every magazine in the country this week, PLUS there will be some nifty parting gifts for you when you leave the administration in January. Probably a cushy University Presidency or better yet, a chair at one of those "think tanks" in Washington!
Condi: That sure sounds good
Clarke: You bet it does, and don't forget to call my book publisher on your way out. There giving me a little commission if you sign up!
(LAUGHS & APPLAUSE)
Condi: Okay, thanks Dick!
Clarke: No problem. Be sure to tune in to the Pyramid tomorrow when our next contestant will be French President Jacques Chirac... And we're just months away from my favorite special show: "Dick Clarke's Rockin' Terror Alert-Marred New Year's Eve!" See ya!
(APPLAUSE & MUSIC)
Al Qaeda Plotting to Unleash New Round of Hearings on Capitol Hill
American Public Already at Breaking Point, say experts
(Washington) Seizing on an obvious new form of terror attack, al Qaeda leaders are now reportedly planning to schedule dozens more 9/11 commission hearings on Capitol Hill.
"We will alternatively bore and embarrass the American people with at least two more weeks worth of hearings filled with political mud-slinging, phony apologies, and 'cover your ass' waffling," said Ayman al Zawahiri on an audio tape broadcast on al Jazeera TV last night.
Counterterrorism experts say both the Homeland Security Department and the average American citizen are ill-prepared for more blustering from Washington.
"The terrorists may not live in open societies, but they know that democracies are very good at creating stifling bureaucracies and long-winded speeches from politicians, they're trying to tap into this weakness, exploit it, and crate havoc with it," said terrorist expert Peter Probst.
Leading Arab journalists agreed with Probst's analysis.
"Why do the Americans subject themselves to so much further abuse every time something bad happens to them?" asked Egyptian writer Fahmi Wuheidi, "why don't they just blame Israel and Jews like we do for everything from crime to bad weather and just move on?" he added.
Word of the alert sent shock waves threw American homes last night as citizens braced themselves for the worst.
"I've already missed way too much of 'Live! with Regis and Kelly' than I want to think about," said Freida Nussbaum of Massapequa Park, NY, "if they keep pre-empting my favorite TV shows for these hearings I think I may never tune in again," she added.
The Bush Administration and leading Democrats in Washington are at odds about what to do about this latest threat. White House spokesman Scott McClellan says the President is setting up a new advisory panel to prepare a report for him to review, while Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is calling for a bi-partisan committee of Senators to hold hearings on the matter sometime this summer.