The Vulture Watch
Y2K Conspiracy to Extend Term Through 21st Century
Proposes Merger with DOJ
Surveyed on Campaign Finance Reform
Staff Fears Pat Has Y1K Bug
Team Gore: Can Alpha Be More Than A Zero
Senate Race Drives Up NY Suicide Rate
Granted. No one ever thought of Kansas as a hotbed of intelligent thinking. After all, this is a state that repeatedly elected Bob Dole to Congress, not to mention one where the Kansas Board of Education mandating the teaching of Creation science in the schools. Still, observers were shocked at how quickly state lawmakers enacted new legislation declaring public displays of intelligence a hate-crime against faith-based Christianity.
Originally given little chance of passing, this bill, carrying life sentences for three-time thinkers and a minimum of ten years in jail for first offenders, sailed through the state legislature. Bowing to public opinion, and realizing that the lawmakers had enough votes to override his veto, a reluctant Governor rejected the intelligent approach and immediately signed the bill into law.
"A mind is a terrible thing to use," said State Senator Adam Bailiwick, beaming proudly when the Governor handed him the pen used to sign the bill as a memento of his efforts to shepherd the bill through the legislature.
No sooner did the bill become law than did six Kansas sheriffs, backed by SWAT teams, raid the homes of sixteen biologists, placing them under arrest and seizing mounds of "hate" literature, including books by and about Darwinism, DNA treatises, and in one case a Ph.D. thesis about molecular recombinations.
As word of the arrests soared across the Internet, armed teachers union locals were spotted heading towards the lengthy mostly-unguarded Kansas-Nebraska border, hoping to get their before the Nebraska caucuses choose vote for Presidential candidates. One fleeing pedagogue, carrying an assault rifle and an unregistered pistol, told reporters that he was prepared to shoot his way across. The Governor immediately called up National Guard reserve units and stationed them along the Kansas-Nebraska state-line, but some skeptics wondered how effective the reserve units might be if asked to fire on friends and relatives. As one political commentator noted, many of the reservists were the sons of politicians anxious to avoid military combat.
The National Education Association, citing the Second Amendment, urged all college-educated Kansans to take up arms , fake illiteracy, and move underground. "We are not going to let the proponents of leviathan government disarm us," she said. "Our forefathers and foremothers put the Second Amendment in the Constitution just for this purpose, to enable teachers to resist tyrannical religious governments." In the meantime, one professor of mathematics who has taken charge of an underground resistance group within Kansas State University, and calls himself Commandant Pythagoras, placed a message on the Internet claiming that he has accepted offers of help from two Arizona and four Montana militia units. He said a joint attack on several government facilities was in the works and warned all government employees to avoid government facilities or face the deadly consequences. The farm-based Montana militias have been suspected of stockpiling large amounts of explosive fertilizer for just such an occasion.
Among other rapidly occurring developments, the editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists said the next issue of their journal would back a nuclear first strike on the Kansas State capitol if no other means of settlement were available. Mensa, a national organization of people flaunting high-IQs, has vowed to establish an Underground Railroad to rescue intelligent people caught in the Kansas crossfire. And the Wichita Ayn Rand Study Group has called on all people of the mind to go on strike, to withdraw their intelligence from the service of altruistic parasites and witch doctors.
A spokesman for the Governor announced that just because some intelligent Kansans might make it across to Nebraska or Missouri, doesn't mean they are off the hook. They committed serious felonies in this state and other states are bound to respect our request for extradition. But twenty-seven Governors, including all those from the states bordering on Kansas, said they would grant safe haven to any intelligent Kansans making it into their states, provided they demonstrated at least a fifth grade reading ability on standardized education tests. But Commandant Pythagoras denounced the testing scheme as a basis for refuge, saying that good test results could be used as evidence of intelligent thought patterns in a Kansas prosecution.
A constitutional expert on the Governor's staff, fearful of sounding like a wise guy, spoke to this reporter only on condition of anonymity. He said that the actions of the Governors were immaterial, that Kansas can force extradition in the Federal Courts. Citing the Dred Scott decision, which held that a Missouri slave remained a slave even though he lived for a while in the free states of Illinois and Minnesota, the aide said that the same underlying principles applied here. Even though slavery has been outlawed, the Constitution requires each state to give full faith and credit to the laws of other states, and education remains a state concern. However, he added, he himself wasn't smart enough to handle such a case.
The aide's actions underscored an unanticipated side effect of the new legislation. As a handful of somewhat intelligent government employees fake stupidity, many fear that utter imbeciles would administer the state. The Governor proposed an amendment to the new law allowing government employees to think while on the job, but hard-core proponents of the "anti-thinking law" said such an amendment was unnecessary, as most Kansans on the government payroll were already complete idiots.
Unconfirmed rumors of gunfire and shootouts have flooded Internet sites but so far nothing has been confirmed. Reporters across the country, caught by surprise at the swiftness of the reaction, are donning flak-jackets and heading towards the battle zones with camera crews.
Don Skagmeister, head of the lobbying group "Ignorant for Jesus" (or "I Jesus" as they call themselves), which was responsible for pushing through this legislation, said it was about time that poorly educated Christians could sit proudly in any school room or walk into any movie theater without being made to feel foolish about their choice to remain uninformed. Skagmeister said his group has urged the State Police to get search warrants for publicly funded libraries and root out all the books that violate the new state law. In response, a group calling itself Team 451, believed to have ties to a militant chapter of the Kansas City Comic Books Fan Club, called the Kansas Times this morning and vowed that if a single book was forcibly removed from any library, blood will flow. The Times' editor said he was unsure what the significance of the "451" was, but he thought it had something to do with a story by Ray Bradbury. "Not that I would actually read any books," he added, "We can't break the law, you know. I'm just repeating gossip and innuendo."
In an interview with The American Wasteland Skagmeister traced the Ignorant for Jesus movement to the biblical account of Adam and Eve. "God," he said, "warned Adam not to eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge or face death. When Adam violated God's demand for ignorance, all of mankind suffered for Adam's sin. Jesus died to give us a chance at become ignorant again, and if we can start purging our minds of intelligent thoughts, become as ignorant as Adam before he ate the apple, we can redeem mankind, become immortal, and rejoin our Lord after the coming of Armageddon.
Asked what his next project would be, Skagmeister replied, "Mandatory English throughout the world. If English was good enough for Jesus, its good enough for all of us." When reminded that Jesus spoke Aramaic, he replied, "that's simply not true. Only scholars think he spoke Aramaic. We have neither tape recordings of the actual sounds he made nor any of his original writings. His words were translated into Greek from English, not Aramaic. God gave him the ability to speak English and his apostles the ability to understand him as a sign of his power. It's all there in Matthew and Mark, or one of those books."
Where this story is going is uncertain at this time but The American Wasteland will keep you up to date as events unfold. This much is certain, though. Violence will come; blood will flow. Kansas will bleed once again.
Secret documents uncovered in the course of a Judicial Watch lawsuit against the Clinton administration reveal that the President planned to use the Y2K computer bug as a way to extend his term of office to the end of the twenty-first century.
According to one of the memos, Clinton arranged for the Army Corps of Engineers to take charge of all Y2K compliance plans for all government computers, but they were forbidden by Executive Order 3704 from eliminating the bug by updating the software. Another memo, written by the White House Counsel's Office, argued that Clinton's term officially ended in April 2001 but that if official government records showed that we were only in the year 1900, then Clinton couldn't officially be removed from office because his term had not yet officially ended. The legal brief said that by law, all official time-keeping methods are geared to the Atomic Clock at the U.S. Naval Observatory, which is controlled by a sophisticated computer model kept under wraps for purposes of national security. Until that clock shows that we have crossed into the year 2001, Clinton continues to be President. That computer is one of the ones under the control of the Army Corps of Engineers, and which pursuant to the Executive Order may not be updated.
Republican leaders immediately charged that this was a violation of the President's Executive Authority and that if he didn't vacate the White House and Executive Office Building on the first day of the new Presidential term, that the House would issue new impeachment charges. "Make my day," said Dick Gephart, Senate Minority Leader, who pledged that Democrats would never allow legal technicalities to interfere with Clinton's Constitutional right to remain in office for as long as he can hold out. Besides, he noted, if previous proceedings against Clinton are any guideline, it would probably take at least five or six years to complete the investigations, effectively extending the President's term by that amount of time.
Legal experts weren't so sure that the President's plan would ultimately succeed on the Supreme Court level and thought he was on shaky ground. But as one Constitutional expert pointed out, the Clinton administration has never been shy about pressing idiotic legal arguments all the way to the Supreme Court, as long as it delayed the final obvious result for a sufficient length of time. Given the novelty of the arguments and the administration's notorious delaying actions, the experts believed that Clinton could stretch out the Court proceedings for about five years, and remain in office during the litigation.
The records were found in a small rarely-visited chamber at the top of the Washington Monument, buried under a cache of long-missing records subpoenaed by Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch, a conservative organization that has sued the administration on behalf of hundreds of Republicans whose FBI files illegally found there way into the hands of Clinton staffers. The discovery was a fluke. A news reporter for the Washington Post, working on a feature about the monument for the Sunday edition, asked the curator to take her on a tour of the building. In the course of the reporter's visit they came upon this out of the way chamber, off limits to the general public, and she asked if she could look inside. When she went in, she noticed the box and while looking through it realized that she had a bigger story than when she started out.
White House spokesman Joe Lockhart immediately denied that there was any Y2K conspiracy. He said that the memos were simply part of an overall review of all possible problems that might come up in case of a Y2K crisis, and, just as you war game all possible scenarios, some junior staffer must have tossed this one into the pile. He also denied that the Army Corps of Engineers was in anyway involved in the Y2K compliance scheme and argued that the Naval Observatory wasn't under Army control. He said the copy of Executive Order 3704 was just part of the gaming scenario and not an official document. He did decline to respond to questions about whether the President had the authority to order the Army to seize the Naval Observatory, dismissing such allegations as wild-eyed fantasies from the black helicopter crowd.
When asked how come these long-missing records were placed in a small chamber at the top of the Washington Monument, Lockhart said that it was a simple misunderstanding with no deceptive intentions. Executive Office file cabinets, he explained, had been filled to capacity and we needed some temporary storage spaces, which were found in various government facilities. We simply forget we put a couple of boxes in the Washington Monument. This kind of thing happens all the time, he noted. Just the other day, for example, we found some missing nuclear launch codes sitting on the lap of Lincoln's statue in the Lincoln Memorial. If some visiting Chinese military experts hadn't accidentally found them while taking a public tour of the monument, they would probably still be missing. There's no conspiracy here. Just an occasional case of bureaucratic malfeasance.
Klayman, who had subpoenaed the missing records, said he found the White House explanation somewhat incredible and that he would seek contempt citations for all White House officials involved in hiding the records. He also announced that he had just obtained a new subpoena for all communications between the White House and the Army Corps of Engineers. Subsequently, the White House announced that the Army would be holding routine military exercises in around the Naval Observatory.
Behind the scenes top-secret negotiations between Bill Gates and the Department of Justice prosecutors have entered into a new phase, with a possible settlement looking more certain every day. The American Wasteland has managed to get its hands on documents that outline the potential agreement. At the core of the resolution is a proposed merger between the computer giant and the Department of Justice. Gates, who has long been known for his uncanny ability to identify weak spots among his rivals, has keyed in on a fundamental need of the DOJ, encryption technology. Justice and the FBI have been desperate to establish hegemony over computer encryption in order to invisibly move laundered money from lobbyists, foreign governments, and international drug cartels, into the soft-money coffers of the Democratic National Committee.
The appointment of Judge Richard Posner, the bench's chief expert on anti-trust law and leading proponent of cost-benefit analysis in analyzing legal disputes, is seen as a sign that some form of merger is in the works. Precedents for such a solution already exist. A private company has been given permission by the U.S. Post Office to sell electronic postage over the Internet, but so far the existing software runs only under the Microsoft browser, a clear indication that the government recognizes a bureaucratic need to standardize communications around the Microsoft protocols.
According to secret e-mail memos accidentally left on the DOJ computer mail program, and retrieved by an American Wasteland informant, Microsoft disclosed that its browser software contains a secret information tracking system that can monitor the contents of all computer transmissions over the Internet but that special encryption keys are needed to access the information. Microsoft, the world leader in encryption technology, proposed that in return for turning over the encryption keys and providing access to the information tracking technology, the Federal government would mandate the use of Microsoft's browser on all computer systems, including Apple Computers. In addition, DOJ will be responsible for marketing the browser and it will spin off the DOJ Anti-Trust Division into a private legal entity jointly owned by DOJ and Microsoft.
As part of the plan, DOJ will drop its action against Microsoft and initiate a new suit against the AOL-Netscape cartel for predatory practices in the marketplace. Also, President Clinton will be given an undisclosed number of shares in Microsoft, while Microsoft will be given joint rights on all electronics and communications patents issued over the next fifty years. The plan has presently been submitted to the DNC and Chinese embassy for evaluation, but both sides expect a quick resolution once a few small details can be ironed out. When asked for comment, Netscape officials said they have been out of the browser loop for some time now, and had no comment on the proposed settlement.
[Editorial note.] Although campaign finance reform has gotten short shrift in the current political debates, The American Wasteland has interviewed several current and former presidential candidates and found a wide range of fascinating and interesting reform proposals. Herewith, some of what we learned.
George Bush: Well, that question wasn't asked on the Yale admissions test, which I took a long time ago, so I can't be expected to be up to speed on this right now. But as you know, I have a top-notch staff of advisors who are constantly reformulating my opinions as the tracking polls come in. So I think its fair to say that my position on campaign finance reform is consistent with that being developed by my advisors. As soon as they tell me what it is, I will be happy to make it public. But let's not rush to judgement here. The voters deserve a thoughtful response and my advisors are very thoughtful. Now, do you want to ask me who my favorite politician of the millennium is? I have a good position paper on that one.
Alpha Gore: I am definitely in favor of limiting all campaign spending and contributions. As you and I well know, limitations on raising and spending campaign funds make it difficult for insurgents to mount a challenge to incumbents, and when you are Vice President you can dominate the news coverage and drown out attention to your opponents. That's why we waited until after the Democrats captured the White House to make an issue of campaign finance and spending. So, I can definitely say, no one should be allowed to raise or spend any money for presidential campaigns as long as the media allows me to dominate the news cycle. Do I sound authentic, here?
Liddy Dole: Are we allowed to raise money? Oh! I didn't know that.
Ross Perot: Hah! That's easy. Just got to get your hands greasy with a little lemon juice. I just happen to have a color chart here that explains the whole reform process. This diagram on the right tracks the distribution of Moose chips in Patagonia over the last twelve years. Just about says it all right there. If that don't put the silo in the crankcase, I don't know what will.. . .What do you men you don't understand the relevance of this chart? Galloping green duck buckets, man, are you blind? Can't you read? It's all spelled out, Moose chips, Patagonia, campaign reform. What more is there to say. Damn, I'm good.. . .No! I'm not going to explain it again. This fox has danced around that Dairy Queen one time too many. Just a moment. . . . I recognize you now. You're no reporter. You were part of that Republican hit team that tried to screw up my daughter's wedding? Weren't you. I'm pulling out of this interview before you try to ruin her anniversary party, too.
Stephen Forbes: Campaign fund-raising should be completely abolished. It absolutely corrupts the political process and leaves Americans disenchanted with the political system. Candidates should be restricted solely to spending the money they inherited or earned, paying for everything out of their own pocket. This is America and anyone can become rich if they have what it takes. That means anyone can ultimately be rich enough to run for President. This way there can be no occasion for financial corruption. Some might say that this favors the rich but I say it favors the industrious. It's the American way. Why should some snot-nosed Yalie raise big bucks from the grass roots in order to challenge my manifest destiny? After all, he'll be beholden to those masses that support his campaign, while I, with no supporters, will be free to do what I think is right.
Pat Buchanan: You ask me what I think about campaign finance reform. I'll tell you what Pat Buchanan thinks about campaign finance reform. He's for the American working stiffs trying to protect their jobs from illegal immigrants. So right away, I would make it illegal for anyone with non-European ancestry to contribute to political campaigns. And I'd restrict all those millionaires, you know, the ones hanging out at the Amen Corner, and I'd prevent them from making donations. And if we are going to end the grip of the Republicratic party, we should prohibit registered Republicans and Democrats from making contributions to candidates of those parties. After all, those candidates just pander to the abortion crowd, and who would miss them, anyway? How many millions did you say I would get if I got the Reform Party nomination?
Dan Quayle: Well some candidates need some special help to level the playing field. Not everyone is smart enough to run a well-financed political campaign. So I would restrict the amount of money that can be raised by people with an I.Q. over 75 and increase federal financing for those of us who come in under that cut-off point.
Donald Trump: I had an interesting idea along those lines. I did some calculations this morning while eating breakfast with the incredibly beautiful model I slept with last night in one of my extremely expensive estates, and it occurred to me in a flash. The Presidency is all about wheeling and dealing and putting together financial packages and coalitions. Who better to do that than experienced financiers? So what I propose is that we auction off the Office of the Presidency to the highest bidder, with competing cartels putting together their best financial packages and letting the voters choose which financial deal looks best. This way we can eliminate all taxes, and run the country off of the winning bid. The economy would go through the roof, literally, I mean it. In return for underwriting the government, the winning cartel would get to rip off anything they could get through the Congress. Checks and balances would keep the sell-offs to a minimum. Pretty neat, huh?
Bill Bradley: I say we should eliminate all this financial groveling. It's embarrassing to the candidate and demeaning to the country. I say let's simplify the process. How about games of hoops, one-on-one, round robin, until all competitors but one are eliminated.
With the coming turn of the millennium, members of Pat Buchanan's campaign staff have privately voiced concerns that their candidate suffers from a Y1K millennial bug. While many computers will be affected by the Y2K bug, in which a programming glitch will cause many computers to roll back their date-counter an entire century, Buchanan's people fear that the date-counter in Buchanan's brain will roll back an entire millennium, to the year 1000.
Pundits pointed to a number of clues hinting at this state of affairs. The most obvious was the recent coalition between Buchanan, who spent his entire political career as a crackpot right-winger, and the leader of a lunatic caucus of communists within the Reform Party. Many backers thought that this might be evidence that Buchanan was losing his mind, but other supporters observed that many of Buchanan's views made no sense. To be fair to Buchanan, though, his press secretary pointed out that Pat and his new found allies both shared a tendency towards anti-Semitism, an issue around which radical populists of the left and right have often coalesced.
Some commentators have also pointed to Buchanan's recent book, A Republic, Not an Empire, which contains a somewhat fictional account of the events leading to World War II. This suggests to many that much of the history of the twentieth century has already faded from Buchanan's memory, and events of the last one hundred years are mostly a jumble in his mind. A Buchanan spokesman dismissed the allegations, pointing out that Pat was using the popular historians' device of inserting himself into the history as a fictional character with a fictional history. In this case, Buchanan took on the role of Franklin Roosevelt and had to take a few liberties with the facts in order to maintain his intellectual integrity. Buchanan found that the more he thought about World War II the more trouble he had understanding what it was all about. This fictional device enabled him to grasp the broad picture, even if it projected a false image. Historians, he said, do that all the time.
Nevertheless, worried staffers have noted a few strange eccentricities in his campaign and worked hard to put a positive spin on them. About a month ago at a Virginia fundraiser, Buchanan told a loudly cheering crowd that he stood foursquare behind General Lee, that Virginia had a right to secede, and that he wouldn't surrender a single inch of slave territory to the Union. And in a recent campaign schedule released to the press, there appeared a rather strange stopover in Jamestown, where Buchanan planned to attend the baptism of Virginia Dare.
Only last week, one member of the inner circle disclosed under the condition of anonymity, Buchanan sent off a letter to the Pope asking him to stop King Ferdinand from financing the Columbus expedition to the New World. The letter noted that Saint Brendan had already claimed the New World for the Vatican almost a thousand years earlier. This new mission, he wrote, was being undertaken at the urging of militant Zionists who hoped to resettle the recently dispossessed Spanish Jews in the New World, thereby undermining the Papal claim to this potentially lucrative territory. Columbus, he reminded the Pope, had Jewish blood, and you know what that would mean if we give him first shot.
Concerned members of the inner circle have openly debated whether to jump ship or keep covering up the candidate's eccentricities. For now, as long as Buchanan sticks to his guns on abortion, they are prepared to overlook his lack of reason. But, as one key player noted, if Buchanan orders us to send the Templars into Jerusalem one more time, he was out of there. And, he confided, many others would abandon the Crusades with him.
Political bottom feeders were shocked to learn that Al Gore has paid big bucks to a bubble-brained feminist whose job will be to transform Al Gore from an Ur Geek into an Alpha lesbian. It is not so much her wacky ideas that bothered Team Gore--she believes, for example, that public schools should teach young girls how to perform oral sex on Democratic candidates--most of his supporters already buy into that agenda. Nor were they concerned that he was paying her huge amounts of money to give him/her such lessons--Gore has a long history of trying to shovel money down the sewer. After all, he noted, that's what Democrats do. Rather, it was the sense that Gore didn't know who he was after all these years, and if he didn't know who he was, how could they know what he could be bribed to do. When lobbyists and lawyers throw mucho moola at a Democratic candidate, it's no time for the recipient to bug out. What kind of changes can we expect from the embryonic new Gore campaign? The American Wasteland decided to tag along for a while and find out.
The first thing we noticed was that a tough new Gore had decided to put distance between himself and the President, or "What's his face?" as the candidate is now fond of calling him. For the first time since the Clinton-Gore team went to Washington, Gore announced that he would no longer serve as the nation's official Christmas tree, a role he took on with relish to avoid harming "our wooden brothers" and emphasize his commitment to environmentalists.
White House Secretary Joe Lockhart was apparently thrown for a loop by Gore's sudden decision. "Millions of Americans," he said, "look forward to the annual tradition of decorating Al Gore in lights and tinsel and having him stand glowing and twinkling in front of the White House for the last three weeks of December. We're still hopeful that the Vice President will continue to bring joy to the nation in that role, but it's his campaign and he has to make the tough calls. We still stand by him and look forward to working with him. Fortunately, we still won't have to chop down any of our trees. Lanny Davis has agreed to stand in for Gore, if necessary, and try to fill a big pair of shoes."
Lockhart , though, seemed more troubled, though, by another of Gore's actions aimed at putting daylight between him and the big guy. "It's with a heavy heart," he said in a somber tone, "that I have accepted Al Gore's resignation as official White House Butler. The President has come to depend heavily on Mr. Gore's household advise, and he has been handed more White House domestic duties than any other Vice President. He has performed them all well. He will be sorely missed, especially for his ability to maintain the Lincoln Bedroom in such excellent condition for rich guests. I wish he would teach me how to do hospital corners on the sheets."
But a spokesperson from Team Gore was less teary-eyed about the separation. "Let the President pick out his own damn ties," he said. "And if someone has to undress him at night, well, that's what interns are for."
Gore has also learned to criticize Clinton form time to time, to show his independence. "I am very disturbed," he said, "about the President's activities with Monica Lewinsky, although I must add, I don't know what those activities were, and the President has declined to say what they were, and he deserves the benefit of the doubt. So maybe I'm not that disturbed yet. But I'll check with Mr. Clinton to see if it's anything I'm supposed to be disturbed about, if he'll see me, or tell me. Whatever."
In another set of changes aimed at shoring up his support among key constituencies, Gore announced that he was renaming his four daughters. "From here on," he said, "they will be known as Thelma, Louise, Moesha, and Tawana." While such small cosmetic changes are expected to play big in the Democratic core womens' and young Africans caucuses, another upcoming change is a bit more risky. Tipper, who made a big effort to impose massive censorship controls on the entertainment industry, has been considered a strong negative in the Hollywood circles that fill Democratic coffers. Such donations have been noticeably sparse and many of those dollars have been going to the Bradley camp. In an effort to stop the financial hemorrhaging, Tipper announced that she would be shaving off her little black mustache. Also to eliminate the social discomfort between her and the Hollywood A-list, she has stopped referring to herself as Al Gore's wife and now refers to herself as his "significant other," a move she hopes will minimize her image as a sexual prude. She has not, however, said anything about abandoning her totalitarian impulses, which may continue to hurt Al among the free-speech set. But, he pointed out, he should gain among the larger group of politically correct voters who value censorship of thought.
On the campaign trail, he has taken the dangerous tact of adopting the speech and cultural patterns of the various groups he addresses. This could easily backfire, as it almost did in a recent appearance before the Memphis Abyssinian Baptist Church, a mostly African audience. When introduced by the minister, he got up on the stage, shoe laces untied and wearing pants with a low hanging crotch, and began to bounce and strut across the stage squealing in a high pitched voice, "I de man, Das Righ', I de man." Shocked and embarrassed audience members audibly gasped at the display, and some mothers were seen covering the children's eyes and/or ears. Sensing that the routine was losing the crowd, he stopped in mid-strut, high-fived the minister, and reminded the audience of how he introduced Martin Luther King to the principles of non-violence.
On other occasions, the trick seems to work well. Speaking in a Jewish synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, someone asked him about Hillary's stony silence when Ms. Arafat lied about the Jewish people. Instead of following the ridiculous White House line about not wanting to disrupt the peace negotiations--as if Yassir himself wouldn't have wanted the old bag to be taken down a notch or two--he simply slapped a hand against his cheek, rocked his head left and right, and with a smile uttered a simple "Oy vey!" The audience lapped it up, clapping and cheering loudly, as if he had actually made a contribution to the discussion
Later, he reminded the audience that as a Senator, he advised the Irgun on military tactics aimed at winning Israel's independence from England and was the first Senator to vote to recognize Israel as an independent nation. When someone pointed out that Gore was not yet born when either of these events occurred, the Veep said, "You know, you're right. I was confused. Its been a hectic day. I must have been thinking about the time I helped Moshe Dayan win the six-day war." Again the audience applauded.
In other efforts at countering his image as a gray-suited wooden dunce, he has taken to campaigning in ill-fitting sports clothing, leaves his hair uncombed, and never finishes a speech without first doing a couple of Texas Two-steps. And, at each campaign appearance he has been signing and giving out copies of the official campaign biography, Love Story, written by historian Edmund Morris under the pseudonym of Eric Siegal.
And in an allusion to rumors about media darling John McCain, Gore recently declared, "You think he's nut?," Then making funny faces and messing up his hair, he shouted, "you should see what Nam has done to me. Wooo! McCain, he was just a prisoner of war. Me. I had to write newspaper copy for half-illiterate doped-up GIs who didn't understand a word I said. Know what that can do to an intelligent guy like me. Whoa! Don't get me started.""
Still, endless Dan Quayle style gaffs continue to haunt his campaign, such as the time he couldn't identify the bust of George Washington, or his inability to recall whether or not he ever had positions on the Viet Nam war or Operation Desert Storm. But while reporters continue to howl at his bloopers, they try to keep them under wraps for fear of undermining his campaign. Nevertheless, the goofs reassure his key supporters that he is still the pliable lunkhead they know and abuse.
The Senate campaign between Rudolph Giuliani and Hillary Clinton, two of the most repulsive creeps ever to slither to the top of the political garbage heap, has had a devastating effect on the morale of New Yorkers. Sociologists involved in grief counseling have reported a substantial increase in the number of clients who claim their spouses have committed suicide immediately after listening to television news reports about the two candidates.
The Zogby Poll, well known for its accurate vote tracking, notes a steady climb in the number of respondents who express sheer hatred for the two candidates. More than a third of the electorate has expressed utter contempt for both, with another thirty per cent utterly detesting at least one of the candidates. And a full one hundred and fifty per cent has admitted to having nightmares at the prospect that one of them might actually get elected. (The explanation for the more than one hundred per cent poll result, according to Zogby, was that several respondents threatened the interviewing pollsters with bodily harm if they didn't put down two or three extra replies.)
Not surprisingly, Howard Safir, Giuliani's police commissioner, denied any such suicide impulse among voters and explained the rising death rate in New York City as the result of police interrogation of jay-walkers and police assaults on African street vendors, all due to regrettable but unavoidable accidents. Still, police statistics show the city has recently experienced an unexpected rise in the number of murders this year, after several years of declining homicide rates. While the Police Commissioner had no explanation for the rising number of murders, an inside source at the NYC Criminal Justice Agency, which has responsibility for producing crime statistics, has told The American Wasteland that the agency has been doctoring the death statistics, directing its staff to record several apparent suicides as homicides. Although the informant had no information on the reasons for the suicides, the City's Medical Examiner refused to make any comment on the allegations and referred all questions to the Mayor's Office.
When asked why it was that New York voters seemed so repulsed by her candidacy, Ms. Clinton replied, "My husband never had sexual relations with that woman." Giuliani also declined to comment any further on the issue, noting that the Police Commissioner has done all he can to obfuscate the investigation, and further questioning would be of no use.