Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Walker ignores court order, invades Minnesota

Just before dawn today, Wisconsin national guard tanks, infantry and security forces supplied by Blackwater CEO Erik Prince invaded Minnesota. Soon afterwards several private jets belonging to the Koch brothers bombarded the cities of Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul. They have been making swift progress in penetrating Minnesotan defenses which are heavily outnumbered in artillery, infantry and air power.

“We have it on good authority that people in Minnesota have been sending food and other aid to the workers of Wisconsin,” Gov. Scott Walker said. “Since we are at war with the state’s workers, this is an act of aggression by the state of Minnesota. This morning, our forces have moved against the aggressors.”

The attack comes just one day after Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi issued a second order enjoining the state of Wisconsin from enforcing Walker’s new union-busting law. Walker had refused to abide by the judge’s initial ruling, insisting that he is the Supreme Ruler in the state. Walker had the state Legislative Reference Bureau publish the law, and the next day the state began charging state employees more for their healthcare and pension benefits.

“We’re not going to let some activist judge tell us what we can and can’t do,” said Walker, who appeared to be sporting a short, new mustache. “Elections have consequences.”

Meanwhile, state senate Republicans introduced a bill that would force all middle-class workers to begin wearing yellow badges with pictures of Rosie the Riveter on them. Republicans were seen in the state capital of Madison, putting up flyers depicting the new labor badges, with the phrase: “He who wears this symbol is an enemy of our state’s business people.”

There were also reports of workers being rounded up and relocated to abandoned “ghettoes” in Eau Claire, La Crosse and Green Bay.

Said Walker: “It’s a protective measure, to keep our workers safe from union thugs who want to force them to pay union dues. We’ve put up barbed wire around their new homes so that they don’t have to worry about being bothered by these union gangsters, and they can get a good night’s sleep, which they’ll need because now, without the unions, they’re free to work seventy, eighty hours a week without having to worry that all that overtime pay will push them into a new tax bracket.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

Help Wanted: Sicko

Job posting from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

We want to add some talent to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune investigative team. Every serious candidate should have a proven track record of conceiving, reporting and writing stellar investigative pieces that provoke change. However, our ideal candidate has also cursed out an editor, had spokespeople hang up on them in anger and threatened to resign at least once because some fool wanted to screw around with their perfect lede.

We do a mix of quick hit investigative work when events call for it and mini-projects that might run for a few days. But every year we like to put together a project way too ambitious for a paper our size because we dream that one day Walt Bogdanich will have to say: “I can’t believe the Sarasota Whatever-Tribune cost me my 20th Pulitzer.” As many of you already know, those kinds of projects can be hellish, soul-sucking, doubt-inducing affairs. But if you’re the type of sicko who likes holing up in a tiny, closed office with reporters of questionable hygiene to build databases from scratch by hand-entering thousands of pages of documents to take on powerful people and institutions that wish you were dead, all for the glorious reward of having readers pick up the paper and glance at your potential prize-winning epic as they flip their way to the Jumble… well, if that sounds like journalism Heaven, then you’re our kind of sicko.

For those unaware of Florida’s reputation, it’s arguably the best news state in the country and not just because of the great public records laws. We have all kinds of corruption, violence and scumbaggery. The 9/11 terrorists trained here. Bush read My Pet Goat here. Our elections are colossal clusterfucks. Our new governor once ran a health care company that got hit with a record fine because of rampant Medicare fraud. We have hurricanes, wildfires, tar balls, bedbugs, diseased citrus trees and an entire town overrun by giant roaches (only one of those things is made up). And we have Disney World and beaches, so bring the whole family.

Send questions, or a resume/cover letter/links to clips to my email address below. If you already have your dream job, please pass this along to someone whose skills you covet. Thanks.

Matthew Doig

Sarasota Herald-Tribune
1741 Main St.
Sarasota FL, 34236
(941) 361-4903

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

An Idiot Abroad (and a buffoon at home)

Sarah Palin’s on her big international trip. It’s the first time she’s flown in a plane that she wasn’t allowed to shoot something out of the window. Though the flight attendant had to tell her twice to stop trying to pry it open.

The former half-governor, who now stars in the reality show, “Alaskan Hee-Haw,” first flew to India, where she congratulated the locals on their victory over Custer. She then went to an upscale mall, where nothing cost less than $500. Palin tried on a jacket, but it didn’t fit, so she went back to her hotel.

Ex-Gov. Moosalini seemed peeved at the press coverage, snipping, “It’s just those darn Bollywood liberals doin’ what they do best.”

Palin took time, of course, to criticize President Obama’s action in Libya, telling an Indian audience: "as we travel to foreign soil, we don't criticize our President's foreign policy." She then proceeded to criticize the president’s foreign policy, calling it "dithering." Palin went on to say that, were she president, she would have bombed “Gandalf” a lot sooner.

Then it was off to Israel, where the former mayor of Wasilla prayed at the Western Wall. Palin left a note in the wall, which reportedly read: “Dear Magic Wall: Please let Todd win the big snowmobile race this year, and tell the Supreme Court to make me President. XOXO.”

Back in her home state, Palin’s favorite candidate in last November’s Senate race, perennially 5 o’clock shadowed Tea Partier Joe Miller, who came within a hair’s breadth of being elected, is having to answer questions about his affiliation with 26-year-old Alaska militia foof Schaeffer Cox.

Cox is the leader of the “Alaska Peacemaker’s Militia” -- a bunch of camo-wearing wackos arrested in an insane plot to kill judges and state troopers in the 49th state.

Here’s what Cox and his nutty militia pals were planning, according to court documents:

"The plan would then have the tactical teams going to the target's houses, cutting the power, shooting the inhabitants as they come out to check on their power; then the team would kick the target's residence's doors in, kill everybody inside and set the house on fire. Then the team would lay in hiding and take out the initial responding officer before moving on to the next target."

Making the plot more serious, Cox and his friends are also charged with possessing illegal weapons, including grenades and machine guns.

Miller, whose supporters marched with assault rifles during the campaign, and who’s been called a “close friend and associate” of Cox, says he “only became acquainted with Mr. Cox through Republican party politics.”

Is that supposed to make us feel better about Miller or the state of the Republican (Tea) party these days?

But hey, Greasy Joe’s militia connections haven’t seemed to hurt his popularity with the Tea Party crowd. He’s just signed up with Twenty-First Century Speakers, a bureau that represents, among others, Glenn Beck.

Miller has his first out-of-state gig -- an event in California with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, and Samuel J. “Joe The Plumber" Wurzelbacher. Called "A Night With the Joe's" (a night with the Joe's what, I'm not sure. We can safely assume that it won't be A Night With the Joe's Copy Editor, since they don't seem to have one), the event is scheduled next Thursday at the home of Hollywood director Mario Pellegrini, and is sponsored by an organization devoted to defeating President Barack Obama's re-election.

"I'm excited to be working with Twenty-First Century Speakers," Miller said in a statement. "They have a wonderful reputation, and I'm anxious to be able to meet and speak with people around the country about the sort of change that I believe our nation must make to get back on track."

Like cozying up with militia-monkeys who plot to shoot judges, state troopers, their families and anyone else who gets in your way, eh, Joe?

If the fact that this stubbled buffoon is actually making money spreading his brand of “change” through speaking engagements with fake plumbers isn’t enough to frighten you, then perhaps this is: Miller actually won Alaska’s Senate Republican primary last year, defeating Lisa Murkowski, who then had to wage an unprecedented write-in campaign to beat Miller in the general election. By just 10,000 votes. Ten-thousand more votes, and Joe Miller would have been a United States Senator.

God bless America.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gunfights, hangings reported as state adopts “Code of the West”

Four people were shot dead and eight more wounded in a rash of gunplay across the state after Oregon’s legislature passed a resolution adopting the “Code of the West” as a guide for the state.

In southwest Portland, two men arguing over a parking space faced off in an old west-style gunfight.

“It was amazing,” said witness Helen Schneider of Beaverton. “Like something out of a John Wayne movie.”

The two men, both wearing gunbelts, stood facing each other across a strip-mall parking lot. Then, according to witnesses, 47-year-old paper salesman Bert Ellis drew his pistol and fired at, but missed his target, 29-year-old Wesley Stumpf of Lake Oswego. Stumpf followed with his own volley, striking Ellis in the chest. Ellis collapsed, clutching his chest, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Stumpf, of Happy Valley, was seen later celebrating with friends at a nearby saloon.

“He said I stole his parking spot,” said Stumpf, downing a shot of whiskey. “So I said, let’s cowboy up then, and settle this like they did in the old west. That’s how we do things in Oregon now.”

Meanwhile, in Roseburg, a posse caught and hung Carl Carlson, 38, from a tree after Carlson shot four people, one just for snoring too loud. Two of Carlson’s victims died, while two others remain hospitalized in serious condition.

Shootings were reported in several locations around the state, including Prineville, where Wayne Griggsby, 53, shot and killed 67-year-old Lon Bigbear, and moved into his house.

“He’s an injun,” said Griggsby, speaking from the front door of Bigbear’s house. “And that’s what happens to injuns in the old west. We get to kill you and steal your land. It’s cowboy law.”

The “Code of the West” – a list of 10 old-west-style principles to live by -- comes from former Wall Street investment manager James Owen, who wrote a book titled “Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn From the Code of the West.” To his surprise, the code took off. Oregon now becomes the third state to adopt Owen’s cowboy code as a “guide to live by,” joining Wyoming and Montana.

The 10 principles in the code include: "Live each day with courage." "Be tough, but fair." "Talk less and say more." "Remember that some things aren’t for sale." "Do what needs to be done." "Know where to draw the line." And the puzzling “Ride for the brand.”

“When a cowboy joins an outfit, he throws his bedroll in a chuck wagon. When he does that, he gives his loyalty 100 percent to the outfit. It’s a cowboy thing,” said Owen, who left Wall Street and is now a defendant in a lawsuit connected to Bernie Madoff investments.

The new "Cowboy Code" laws were having repercussions throughout the west, with OK Corral-style gunfights reported in Wyoming and Montana.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, reports of raping and pillaging were widespread after the state legislature formally adopted “The Viking Code.”

“Minnesota has a proud Scandinavian heritage,” said Rep. Tim Olsen, a Republican from Duluth. “We’re Vikings at heart, and by Odin’s beard, I’m proud we’re going back to the old ways.”

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebrity Limericks

Top o’ the moanin’ to ya. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than by havin’ a wee bit o’ fun with celebrities, limerick-style. So sit back and enjoy some of our Celebrity Limericks – or, as we like to call ‘em, Celemricks:

Mr. Sheen, please don’t have any more refills
And stop locking hookers in closets of hotels
Here’s a torpedo of truth
Just drop the vermouth
Cause you’ve only got two-and-a-half brain cells

Mel Gibson is back in the news
But not for his reprehensible views
It’s the women he hits
Or calls “Sugartits“
This time he can’t put the blame on the Jews

Lindsay Lohan acts like a skank will
Many judges in the past she has rankled
She’s been acting quite feckless
Caught stealing a necklace
To match the court-ordered bracelet ‘round her ankle

He lives in a lodge in Sober Valley
Where he claims they have tested his pee
He’s a warlock assassin
But the only thing he’ll be cast in
After this will be Major League Three

This weird-hatted gent named Gaddafi
Says rebels put halucinogens in their coffee
He’s definitely no brainiac
But a megalomaniac
I think I’d rather go listen to Raffi

A lady who wears next to nada
Found a target with her latest saga
Some asked for redress
When she wore a meat dress
What do you expect from a lady named Gaga?

Charlie Sheen’s mind – such as it is -- is a-spinning
At the thought that the trolls are a-grinning
He’s got tiger blood in his veins
And goddesses without any brains
But it still doesn’t look like he’s winning

Lindsay Lohan, your life has imploded
And your fan-base slowly eroded
I know who killed your career
Can’t you just make it through one year
Without driving Herbie fully loaded?

His celebrity defies explanation
He’s got no talent that’s worth emulation
A smirking know-nothing Guido
Who struts around in a Speedo
a very disgusting Situation

For Justin Timberlake, relationships stink
He and Jessica have split – so we think
His social network, a hit took
Will she defriend him on Facebook?
It just doesn’t seem they’re ‘N Sync

Mel’s in deep trouble with Oksana
Then there’s Lilo with her usual drama
Charlie Sheen’s in a nosedive
He’s lost Men 2.5
What’s that called? Well of course, Winning. Duh!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Workers Evacuate Michele Bachmann As Stupidity Leaks Rise to Dangerous Levels

Workers at stupidity-spewing Michele Bachmann temporarily suspended operations and evacuated the Congresswoman’s office in the nation’s capital Wednesday after a surge in stupidity made it too dangerous to remain there. The action dealt a setback to Congress’ frantic efforts to stem a stupidity crisis in the Tea Party favorite’s brain following her most recent explosion of ignorance.

"All the workers there have suspended their operations. We have urged them to evacuate, and they have," Secretary of Stupidity Earl Timmons said.

Timmons said that a surge in idiocy levels Wednesday morning meant workers were unable to continue even minimal efforts at the stricken Congresswoman’s head.

Haz-mat suited workers had been frantically trying to increase the Minnesota Republican’s intelligence level since her latest eruption of stupidity last weekend, when she told a crowd in New Hampshire, “You’re the state where the shot was heard ‘round the world at Lexington and Concord.” After being informed that the battles of Lexington and Concord took place in Massachusetts and not New Hampshire, Bachmann blamed the media for overplaying her “gaffe.”

Some 200 Tea Partiers who attended the event later tested positive for Moronium, a chemical element which is apparently manufactured in Michele Bachmann's brain.

Today’s evacuation was the latest in a series of setbacks at the imbecilic Congresswoman’s cranium that has heightened fears of an intelligence meltdown in the nation’s capital. Workers had been attempting to force-feed intelligence into Bachmann’s brain by reading to her from 3rd-Grade level American History textbooks, but that plan was abandoned when Bachmann began spouting incoherently about “President Obama’s teleprompter.”

The New Hampshire gaffe was just the latest moronic leak from the Republican presidential hopeful, who just a few weeks ago stated that, “The Founding Fathers worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States." This after previous intelligence meltdowns, in which she claimed:

* that Terry Schiavo was “healthy”
* that “there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas”
* there are "hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design”
* that President Obama’s trip to India was costing the taxpayers “$200 million a day”
* that the United States might "move off the dollar" onto a "global currency."
* that there should be an investigation into which members of Congress are “pro-America” and which are “anti-America.”
* that Calvin Coolidge got us out of the Great Depression, while FDR started the depression by passing “the Hoot-Smalley Tariff" (The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was sponsored by two Republican senators and signed into law in 1930 by President Herbert Hoover, a Republican. FDR didn't even take office until 1933.)

The government has ordered some 500,000 people in the vicinity of Bachmann to stay indoors. Some minor idiocy was also detected in Baltimore, 40 miles to the north, and triggered panic buying of books and magazines there.

The Dunce Detection Agency estimated that 95 percent of Bachmann’s brain has partially melted. "We don't know the nature of the damage," said Wanda Mattingly, spokesman for the DDA. "It could be either melting, or there might be some holes in it. The level of stupid is too high for us to get an accurate reading. But we are concerned that, if the wind changes, her dim-wittedness could be scattered over a wide area, affecting millions of people. It could even get into the food supply."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Attack of the 50-foot Boehner

A glowing, 50-foot-tall John Boehner today criticized President Obama for not fully embracing nuclear power and other energy issues. It wasn’t clear whether Boehner’s gigantic proportions and phosphorescent orange glow were the first signs that the radiation leak from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which exploded early this morning, has reached the U.S., or if the House Speaker has simply received too much radiation from overuse of tanning beds.

“The Obama administration has consistently blocked American energy production,” Boehner said while towering above the Capitol Rotunda, his gigantic head smashing through the Capitol dome and bobbing ominously above the building. “They’ve cancelled leases for new deep-sea exploration and imposed a de facto drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, all because of a little accident down there.

“The President has also jeopardized new nuclear energy, which has proven to be a very safe and clean form of power,” added Boehner, even as radiation continued to leak from the Japanese plant, sparking worldwide fears of a meltdown. “He’s even against giving additional tax breaks to the big oil companies that Republicans have been begging for,” said Boehner.

The colossal Speaker then began weeping radioactive tears that splashed down onto the floor of the Capitol building, immediately dissolving the famous Minton tiles. He then raised his enormous head and roared, emitting a giant plume of fire that engulfed the Senate chambers. Boehner then smashed the Capitol with his massive fists and stormed off. He was last seen trampling the Botanical Garden and stomping on the Smithsonian, crushing the venerable museum and research complex into tiny matchstick-sized splinters of unrecognizable debris, before heading off in the direction of the White House.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Walker: Employees Should Pay "Tribute" to Corporate Bosses

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, emboldened by Republicans ability to strip workers of bargaining rights in his state, is pushing a new bill that would force all workers in the state to pay a monthly “tribute” to the CEOs of the companies they work for. According to Walker’s plan, this monthly tribute could be paid in cash, valuables or grain.

“Although, let’s face it," said Walker, "most of the so-called ‘valuables’ these peasants have would be unacceptable pieces of stinky trash to the owners of the larger corporations. I mean, can you imagine David Koch wanting your ratty old couch or your grubby kids’ smudged-up toys? Come on. Let’s get real, here. We want cash. Gold, preferably, or pieces of silver.”

Grain, however, would be acceptable because corporate bosses could then turn around and sell it at exorbitant prices to countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, making a profit, said Walker.

“It’s only right and fair,” said State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican. “These workers who still have jobs are making far more money and have more benefits than most Americans, who are unemployed and have nothing. Compared to the thousands of teachers we’ll be laying off, they’re rich! The serfs should be down on their knees thanking their corporate lords that they aren’t thrown out on the street, where they would die like miserable swine.”

Walker says that the new bill would enable corporate bosses to hire more people. "We've tried cutting their taxes, and that didn't work. 75 percent of corporations don't pay any taxes at all, and they're still not hiring. They need more," he said.

When asked to respond to Democratic charges that the bill is unconstitutional, Walker said: "Then we'll change the constitution. Elections have consequences."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Day That Really Ties the Year Together

Are you employed, sir?

If you answered “Yes,” then you are, most likely, at work today. While that’s far out, man, we here at The Daily Wedgie have declared today a national holiday. A day of rest, if you will. We’re calling it … Lebowski Day. Or Dude Day.

“What’s this day of rest shit?” you ask, adding: “There’s no holiday on March 7th. Am I wrong?”

Well, no, you’re not wrong. But new shit has come to light. And clearly you’re not privy to all the new shit. Plus, obviously, you’re not a golfer.

You see, 13 years ago today (yesterday, actually), on March 6, 1998, the greatest film ever made, “The Big Lebowski,” was released, introducing us to The Dude. And as we all know, The Dude is a lazy man. Quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide. So you can see how being at work on today of all days is verrrrry unDude. So we’re going to need you to drop what you’re doing, go home, put on your bathrobe and pour yourself a Caucasian. Now put on a cassette tape of whale songs – or perhaps some Creedence – smoke a little Thai stick if you’re into that sort of thing, run a hot bath and abide with our first annual Dude Day Wedgie. Or Day of El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

You can start by reading this new shit, which we discovered last night in Van Nuys, lodged against an abutment:

Funny Stuff, Trivia and What Have You

From the book, “Two Gentlemen of Lebowski,” by Adam Bertocci, which retells “The Big Lebowski” as written by William Shakespeare:

The bowling green. Enter The Knave, Walter and Donald, to play at ninepins.
WALTER: In sooth, then, faithful friend, this was a rug of value? Thou wouldst call it not a rug among ordinary rugs, but a rug of purpose? A star in the firmament, in step with the fashion alike to the Whitsun morris-dance? A worthy rug, a rug of consequence, sir?
THE KNAVE: It was of consequence, I should think; verily, it tied the room together, gather’d its qualities as the sweet lovers’ spring grass doth the morning dew or the rough scythe the first of autumn harvests…
WALTER: Indeed, a rug of value; an estimable rug, an honour’d rug; O unhappy rug, that should live to cover such days!
DONALD: Of what dost thou speak, that tied the room together, Knave? Take pains, for I would well hear of that which tied the room together.
WALTER: Didst thou attend the Knave’s tragic history, Sir Donald?
DONALD: Nay, good Sir Walter, I was a-bowling.
WALTER: Thou attend’st not; and so thou hast no frame of reference. … Cast it from thy sieve-like books of memory, Sir Donald; thou art out of thy element.

In the Parlance of Our Times
The f-word and its variations are spoken 281 times in “The Big Lebowski.”

The Dude says the word “man” 174 times in the film.

You Want a Toe? I Can Get You a Toe, Believe Me
A severed toe can last up to six hours and still be reattached successfully; 24-30 hours if it’s placed in a baggie and put on ice.

Careful, Man, There’s a Beverage Here!
White Russian:
2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Kahlua
Half and half (acceptable substitute: nondairy creamer)
Served over ice in a rocks glass

And now, another excerpt from “Two Gentlemen of Lebowski”:

ACT 1, Scene 5
The bowling green. Walter has accused Jack Smoke of crossing the line.
WALTER: Thou cross’st the line, Jack Smoke, O cavalier,
As clearly demarcated in our rules,
In tumbling past the throw. ‘Tis play most foul.
JACK SMOKE: But see the pins struck down in fair play’s course!
Knave, mark mine eight of nine pins; mark it eight. …
WALTER: Smokey, this be not the foul jungles of the darkest East Orient. This be ninepins. We are bound by laws….
JACK SMOKE: Yea, but –
WALTER: Be I wrong?
JACK SMOKE: Thy words are hard; I must equivocate.
Put up thy pen, that I may mark it eight.
WALTER: Nay! I do protest, and draw my sword;
It shall teach thee to disobey my word.
Mark none but none into that bowler’s frame,
Else thou shalt enter into a world of pain.

And now it’s time to see just how “Dude” you really are, with this Little Lebowski Quiz.

1. Are you employed, sir?
A) Yes
B) No
C) What day is this?

2. What do you do in your spare time?
A) Golf
B) Occupy various administration buildings
C) Bowl, drive around, the occasional acid flashback

3. What color is your vehicle?
A) My Hummer is yellow
B) Blue
C) Green, with rust coloration

4. When do you pay your rent?
A) When you own, it’s called a “mortgage”
B) The tenth
C) Far out, man

5. Do you have any Kahlua?
A) No, but I do have some watermelon schnaaps
B) No, I’m fresh out
C) Does the Pope shit in the woods?


What was the subject of Little Larry’s homework?
A) The Constitution of the United States
B) I don’t know, the little prick’s stonewallin’ me
C) The Louisiana Purchase

Mark it, Dude
Now that you have achieved in the modest task that was your charge, it’s time to tally up your score.

For each A) answer, you get 0 points.
For each B) answer, give yourself 5 points.
For each C) answer, give yourself 10 points.

How Dude are you:
0-15: You’re being very un-Dude
16-30: You are the walrus
31-59: I dig your style, man
60: You abide