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Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

What Recession? Tourists Swarm Big Apple

In Economy, Uncategorized on November 25, 2008 at 12:15 am

Is it possible that the much ballyhooed recession has yet to arrive?

Travel industry insiders report “unprecedented” numbers of Americans flocking to New York City for the long  holiday weekend.  Bookings for large groups [of 20 or more] are reported to have reached numbers tripling the previous high set during the Shriners’ 75th Anniversary celebration in 1997.  Hotels from Harlem to the Financial District are sold out, and tent cities have reportedly sprung up in city parks and even vacant lots.

Crowd gathers before tour of financial district.

Crowd gathers before tour of financial district.

Many are apparently bargain hunters taking advantage not only of New York’s diverse marketplace but also the multitude of retailers discounting everything from sporting goods to plumbing supplies in order to get an early jump on their holiday shopping.  “We were expecting a slowdown,” said Liam Toomey, manager of The Home Depot on West 23rd Street. “Not only did we not get one, but I’m predicting record numbers for this location.”  A variety of items from many areas of the store are flying off the shelves faster than workers can re-stock them — items as diverse as crowbars, chain saws, plumbing pipe, shovels, hatchets, butcher’s utensils, rags, glass bottles and jars, flashlights and “every flammable liquid we carry,” according to Mr. Toomey, “and Sterno — lots and lots of Sterno.”

His sentiments were echoed by Richard Polyn of The Sports Authority.  “We’ve had to send to other areas for many popular items,” he said. “Most of our city locations are totally out of things like baseball bats, hockey sticks, helmets of every kind, and various camping supplies — especially lanterns, fire wood, and tent spikes and mallets.  I don’t recall ever seeing so many people buying tent spikes without buying tents.  I guess it’s something a lot of campers forget to pack.  There’s also not a slingshot, golf club, or bow and arrow to be had.”

And many tourists plan to do some sightseeing as well.  Mary Travers, head of the City Tourism Board, reported that the Board’s offices have literally been flooded with calls in recent days by tourists seeking travel directions to places like the stock exchanges and even various corporate headquarters.

City Hall spokesperson Eileen O’Sullivan said the Mayor and other city officials “couldn’t be happier to see such renewed interest by so many of our friends from around the country in coming back to New York.  This will be our biggest weekend since before the September 11 attacks, and with all the jobs being lost here, it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.”  Ms. O’Sullivan added that she is “extremely disappointed” that she won’t be around to “share the love that always seems to shine through at times like this,” but added that many friends and family from other parts of the country “literally were pleading with me to get out of town for the weekend.”

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NO REPRIEVE FOR WHITE HOUSE TURKEY

In Politics on November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Tom the Turkey is dead.

His execution took place in the back yard of Number One Observatory Circle shortly after 3 p.m. yesterday following a brief but tense White House ceremony where President Bush refused to bow to pressure that he maintain the long-standing tradition of pardoning Washington poultry in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“You have to draw the line somewhere,” the President told a distraught group of third-graders who had expected to accompany the turkey to a petting zoo after the ceremony. “Too many have gotten fat at taxpayer expense and then turned to this administration to save them when the stuffing hit the fan. I’m here to say ‘No more!’ If this head has to roll to send a message to the banks, the brokerage houses, the auto industry and all my other fair-weather friends and supporters, then so be it. I hereby deny Tom the Turkey’s request for a pardon and order that he be remanded to the custody of the Vice President to be shot forthwith.”

When an angry protester heckled the President after his announcement, Mr. Bush responded, “You can take it up with Dick if you want, but if I were you, I wouldn’t get between him and the bird.”

When quizzed later by a member of the White House press corps as to whether he thought his actions may have traumatized some of the gathered elementary-school children, the President said, “I believe that in the long run I did them a favor. I get briefings every morning on the state of the country and the world, and believe me, these kids are going to have to get used to the idea of finding and killing their own food.”

Later in the day, the President said he expects to announce “in the very near future” a $150 billion bailout plan for the Republican Party.

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Obama Taps Ayers for Homeland Security

In Politics on November 10, 2008 at 11:49 am

‘Practical Experience’ Key Factor in Decision

What is expected to be a flurry of major appointments began with somewhat of a surprise yesterday as President-Elect Obama tabbed controversial education professor William Ayers to be his Secretary of Homeland Security. While reporters and pundits were caught off-guard by the announcement, transition team insiders indicated that Dr. Ayers appointment came as no surprise to “anybody who pals around with Barack Obama”.

In a brief prepared statement, President-Elect Obama praised Professor Ayers, who was named Chicago’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ in 1997 for his work in reforming the city’s education system, not only for his years of public service, but also his “practical experience as it relates to homeland security”.

“Bill Ayers knows how terrorists think,” Mr. Obama said of his longtime colleague and cribbage partner, “He knows what they eat for breakfast. Bill, or ‘Uncle Billy’ as my two girls call him, was part of a group that not only identified, but was also able to penetrate key terrorist targets a full thirty years before the attacks of September 11. That’s the kind of know-how, the kind of expertise we need in Washington. That’s the kind of guy we need on our side. In addition, Bill and I have a long history of working well together, and I know I can trust him at least 90% of the time. It’s not every day you get odds like that in Washington. So I say to you now, let the word go forth from this time and place, to those who would attack this generation of Americans within our own borders, ‘You’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to put one over on William Ayers’.”

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When reached by phone, Dr. Ayers told reporters, “I look forward to working with my ‘bff’ Barack Obama to keep our people safe and our nation secure.  And it’s going to be really cool to prowl the corridors of power without fear of being recognized.”

Obama Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emmanuel, when asked what role, if any, he played in Dr. Ayer’s appointment, told reporters, “The President-Elect had his mind pretty much made up before I came on board, but I couldn’t agree more with his decision and am delighted that William Ayers will be playing for our team. He’s the third guy who was in Grant Park last week who will be attending Cabinet meetings — five more and we’ll break the record set back in 1968.”

When a puzzled reporter asked if his statement indicated that Americans could expect the Obama Cabinet to resemble the ‘Chicago 7′ made famous by their trial on charges of conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Mr. Emmanuel, in the style for which he has become known on Capitol Hill, responded, “Why, would that be a [expletive] problem for you?”

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CALIFORNIA COURT BANS HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE

In Politics on November 7, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Potential Setback for Proposition 8 Supporters

San Francisco, CA — Appellate Court Judge Lance Piersall, explaining, “This is a court of law, not a church – you can’t have it both ways here,” ruled today that Tuesday’s passage of Proposition 8, the ballot referendum banning gay marriage, rendered heterosexual marriage unconstitutional.

The Judge went on to explain his ruling:

“The Court finds all arguments presented in this matter supporting marriage between ‘one man and one woman’ to be faith-based in their nature and inherently in violation of the legal separation between church and state.

The Court sees the only remedy that would permit such faith-based marriage would fall under the ‘equal protection’ statute prohibiting discrimination based on religion. However, the Court also finds this remedy to be rendered moot, as no discrimination exists against heterosexual couples wishing to marry, insofar as they are no longer being denied any rights or privileges afforded non-heterosexual couples.”

He then added somewhat cryptically, “Let’s see how those IRS bastards deal with this one.”

It is now up to supporters of Proposition 8 to make the next move, but they may have to do it without the support of the Mormon Church, which not only encouraged its members to actively campaign for the referendum’s passage, but also contributed $25 million towards the effort.

“I think the prevailing sentiment of the Latter-Day-Saints is to let the Baptists and Methodists take it from here,” said Church campaign organizer Luke Smith, speaking on condition of anonymity, “We’ve gone more than the extra mile in the name of inter-faith unity. After all, it’s not like that ‘one man-one woman’ thing was our idea.”

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NAACP Names President Bush “Man of the Century”

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2008 at 11:56 am

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2009, will mark the occasion will a gala event honoring their newly announced “Man of the Century,” President George W. Bush.

“No one person in the history of our nation has done so much in so short a time to bring about positive change in the people’s perception of race,” proclaimed NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Eight years ago, the possibility of a person of color attaining the highest office in our land still seemed an improbable dream. Today it is a reality, thanks almost entirely to the Bush Presidency.”

President Bush “shattered stereotypes on many levels” according to Mr. Jealous, “from his equal treatment of incompetent officials regardless of race to his physical resemblance to a chimpanzee… When you take a ‘bird’s eye’ look at the Bush Administration overall, you will see the inescapable confluence of factors that led to the country embracing an African-American candidate. He is, indeed, ‘the President I’d like to have a malt liquor with’.”

President-Elect Obama, when told of the honor to be bestowed upon his predecessor, was quick to add his own words of praise. “There is no doubt in my mind that if George W. Bush had never been elected President, I would not be in the position I’m in today. I strongly believe that history will show future generations will derive inspiration from the Bush legacy. Regardless of gender, regardless of race, regardless of background, whether they fly on private jets to exclusive prep schools or ride on the shortest buses to local public schools, children who learn of President Bush and what he has done in these eight short years will believe in the American Dream, believe that even they can grow up to be President.”

President Bush reacted with both surprise and enthusiasm when told of the gala in his honor to be held next April in Montgomery, Alabama. This is a great honor, and I am humbled to have even been considered. And how appropriate that the Cemeterial Anniversary of this great organization will be marked in the same city where that wonderfully courageous colored lady copped an attitude on that bus. I look forward to visiting our great state of Alabama. George Wallace was born there you know. Except for quick campaign stops, I’ve never spent any time there – oh yeah, except of course for when I was in the Air National Guard.”

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McCain Converts to Islam

In Politics on November 4, 2008 at 11:01 am

Accuses Obama of Being an ‘Infidel’

They couldn’t keep this one in Vegas. A source familiar with the Majid Al-Sahir Mosque confirmed today that John McCain converted to Islam on a recent campaign swing through the ‘Mecca of Vice’. The source revealed that McCain, who hoped to keep his conversion private until after the election, took the Muslim name Mahmoud Faisal Qawi and asked members of the mosque to pray for victory over “that infidel, Barack Obama”. An Obama spokesman, while saying he “couldn’t be happier, on a personal and spiritual level, of course” to hear of the Senator’s conversion, nonetheless accused the GOP candidate of “playing politics” with his opponent’s name. “Until now, the McCain campaign has referred to Senator Obama as ‘Barack Hussein Obama’. Now they’re leaving out the ‘Hussein’. They want people to forget the Muslim and only remember the African. First they co-opt the ‘Change’ theme, now they’re trying to steal ‘Muslim’ from us too. It’s shameless. Senator Qawi has crossed the line this time.”

Campaign aides, worried how this breaking story would play on Main Street, were pleasantly surprised by initial supporter response. During a morning rally at Bubba Epstein’s Lodge, a hunting and fishing resort in northwest Colorado, the crowd erupted into a thunderous ovation when ‘Mahmoud the Muslim’ as the Senator referred to himself, shouted “Death to spreading the wealth around!” while firing an assault rifle indiscriminately into the air.

After the rally, a jubilant Qawi took questions from reporters:

Q: “Was your decision to withhold disclosure of you religious conversion politically motivated, and either way, how would you respond to criticism that you weren’t ‘leveling with the American people’.”

A: “I have run this campaign from day one on my record of service to this great country, you know, the whole maverick, POW thing. I thought it would be unfair, or certainly perceived in many quarters as unfair, to gain political advantage from my new-found enlightenment.’

Q. “Do you think the fact that this is all out in the open before most of the country has cast their ballots will affect the outcome of the election?”

A: “I hope not. We’ve come this far without my religion being an issue. And I’ve always maintained that faith is a personal matter. Whatever the outcome, Brother Barack Hussein – and let me make this clear, I was misquoted when it was reported that I neglected to acknowledge his middle name. I’ve used ‘Barack Hussein’ when referring to my esteemed opponent more often than ‘Senator’ – but Brother Barack Hussein has run a strong campaign. If the American people choose to elect him as the next President, I will be the first to reach across the aisle. I’m confident that together we can once and for all eliminate pork from Capitol Hill.”

Q: “Putting politics aside for the moment, how has your personal life changed?”

A: “Well of course it’s been tougher on Cindy. But she’s always been a trooper, or dare I say ‘a jihadist’. [Audible chuckle.] Naturally she’s not thrilled about the change in wardrobe, but I can assure you that she’s looking forward to redecorating the houses. [Another chuckle.] As for myself, I’m still the same guy I’ve always been, just more at peace. I guess I’d have to say the biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is that now I’m the one driving the limo.”

Qawi Campaign Manager Rick Davis brushed aside any concern that his candidate’s conversion to Islam might cost him crucial votes from the large, predominantly elderly Jewish community in the swing state of Florida. “I’ve talked to a lot of these folks,’ he said, “and given a choice between two Muslims, they’ll vote for the white one every time.”

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Bill O’Reilly Endorses Barack Obama

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Cites “Professional Reasons”

First came Warren Buffett, then Colin Powell. Now add Fox News Channel host and commentator Bill O’Reilly to the growing list of prominent Americans coming out in support of Senator Barack Obama’s historic Presidential bid.

“I want to make sure there are no mixed signals here,” said Mr. O’Reilly during his brief announcement, “I totally believe that Barack Obama is an Eastern, Ivy League, elite socialist Muslim who for 20 years attended a radical Black Militant church and hangs around with terrorists and anti-Semites. If he carries Arizona, I will certainly go so far as to accuse him of being the Antichrist. But as any viewer of my show already knows, what’s best for America is not exactly at the top of my priority list. The best candidate for Papa Bear, the best candidate for Fox News, is Barack Obama.”

Smiling and winking at one of his female producers, he continued, “For the last eight years, I, as well as everyone else at Fox, have had to shill for a bunch of buffoons that an even bigger bunch of idiots, just far enough to our left to be palatable to the public, managed to get elected… Having to go to work every day knowing you have to fill an hour of airtime defending the indefensible wears you out. We deserve, nay, we have earned an Obama Presidency. Having an Elitist Pinko Muslim Terrorist in the White House – that’s change I can believe in. And the icing on the cake? We’ll get to abuse a black man on national TV for four years, eight God willing, and not be condemned by the liberal media as racists. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

When asked by a reporter if he believed his endorsement might affect the outcome of a tightening race, Mr. O’Reilly responded, “Well, when you consider the number of automatons walking around this country every day blindly repeating every sound I uttered on the previous night’s show, including the farts, I guess I’d have to say ‘absolutely’.”

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