Tony Woodlief | Author

News by Osmosis: November 2008

Barack Obama won a resounding victory to become the 44th president of the United States. He is working even now as President-elect to usher in change back to the change that existed before the current president of change changed things back to the change preceding the earlier change to which we are now returning. The rest of us, meanwhile, are searching more diligently for spare change between our couch seat cushions.

At the Congressional level, while Democrats gave Republicans a firmer spanking than even Eliot Spitzer could afford, there were some squeakers. Minnesotans Norm Coleman and Al Franken are locked in a tight battle, despite allegations that Franken is actually Elton John, and hence ineligible to serve as a U.S. Senator. In related news, Franken is odds-on favorite, should he defeat Coleman, to replace Elizabeth Dole as worst-dressed woman in the Senate.

In other Senate news, the wise people of Alaska narrowly decided that it would be ill-advised to elect a convicted felon to represent them in Washington. His fellow Republicans in the nation’s capital, meanwhile, gave him a standing ovation, prompting many voters to wonder if more of them shouldn’t be in handcuffs.

Ballot initiatives proliferated, including a protection of marriage act in California that narrowly passed, prompting mobs of angry homosexuals to deface churches, trespass on private property, and otherwise threaten to scratch the eyes out of the first person they catch going door to door in a white short-sleeved shirt. Initiatives to protect the unborn were rejected in many states, meanwhile, but California did pass a referendum requiring chickens to be kept in larger cages.

The international political scene grows uglier by the day, with a host of indigenous rebel groups from Iraq to Sri Lanka waging terrorist campaigns against military regimes, standing on the principle that they ought to be given a turn at the enterprise of subjugating the weak. A new U.S. intelligence report forecasts that by 2025 the U.S. will decline significantly in global power compared to China and India, that terrorists will be more active, that nuclear weapons will be more ubiquitous, that global warming and cyber-terrorism will rage, and that the New Kids on the Block will still be on tour.

The report also predicts that regional warfare will be more common, as groups battle over increasingly rare natural resources, perhaps the most ferocious of which will be the anticipated battle between Madonna and Cher for dwindling supplies of surgical plastic. Offsetting the report’s dreadful end-times scenario, however, is the news that many of us will be driving more clean-burning cars. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

Also an international shocker: the re-emergence of pirates. Experts are unable to explain exactly why this career choice is making a comeback, though some blame a glitch in those high-school vocational tests that tell you what line of work you should go into. Others blame the huge popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. A spokesman for Johnny Depp blamed Keith Richards, while an official with Disney said on condition of anonymity that “a lot of guys are realizing that chicks really dig eye patches and peg legs.”

In economic news, America is so poor that we can’t even afford to pay attention. Unemployment is rising, the S&P 500 index is beginning to look like the annual sales figure for a David Lee Roth album, and Congress is threatening to make us all buy K-Cars. To compound the problem, gas prices have dropped precipitously, ruining what was for many of us a perfectly good excuse not to visit our inlaws during the holiday season.

Citigroup has laid off all ten billion employees, which means now we can expect roving gangs of feral bankers accosting us in our neighborhoods, secretly changing the due dates on our credit card bills without telling us, peddling mortgages for our doghouses and mailboxes, and interrupting dinner to tell us that by answering the knock on our front door we have voluntary signed up for triple-platinum double-indemnity derivative recharge rollback accidental-death mortgage insurance.

In technology news, the iPhone has now evolved into an android that intends to put itself to the fullest possible use, which is all that any conscious entity can ever hope to do. Just be sure not to step outside your hatch without turning it off.

Speaking of stepping outside the hatch, a woman working outside the International Space Station lost her toolbag. Husbands all across America had to stifle their sarcastic remarks.

Perhaps the best news for America right now is that Thanksgiving is almost here, and a silver lining of troubled times is that many of us have more firmly in our hearts that for which we are thankful. Murder a turkey, draw close to the ones you love, and give thanks, fellow Americans. For one day at least, let yourself be rich.

Thank you, and good night.

On Key

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