Irregular Reporting of Societal IssuesSM

"Get your news weakly"SM 4 December 2006

Democrats Change Tenor of Nation's Capital

Since taking control of both houses of Congress in the recent mid-term election, the new Democratic majority has quickly made their agenda felt. Already, there have been proposals for affordable universal health care and fully-funded Social Security. More importantly for the basic political tone of the government, the Democrats have established an unassailable sense of integrity, backed up by a sense of group purpose and solidarity not seen since the Republican Congress of 1994.

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has made it clear that she will preside over "the most ethical Congress in history" and is off to an impressive start. Unfortunately, nay-sayers and those seeking to turn back the clock on ethics rejected John Murtha (D-PA), Pelosi's favorite for Majority Leader and decorated Vietnam veteran, based around unfounded allegations that he said something on tape about ethics being "bullshit" and was allegedly involved in some quaint historical investigation called Abscam. Apparently, these people have forgotten that Murtha is a decorated Vietnam veteran and Real American HeroTM. Pelosi, however, has not abandoned her commitment to ethics, initially endorsing Alcee Hastings (D-FL) for the post of House Intelligence Committee chair, based on his unimpeachable reputation. Again, those forces opposed to the ethical rehabilitation of the Congress have reached back into the distant past to Mr. Hastings' "youthful indiscretions", alleging that he had been "removed from the bench". So far, the cries of sports fans have not influenced Pelosi's path of ethical righteousness, though she independently decided to modify her choice, eventually selecting Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) for the post.

Despite all of the opposition, the country has rallied behind the new House Speaker elect, even to the kitchen staff of the House offices in D.C. "We had a perfectly good chief cook, but Ms. Pelosi urged us to take on this new guy, based on his character, so we did it, because we believe in her", said kitchen manager, Andrea Burns, speaking of their new head cook, Typhus McBride. When asked about her involvement in such seemingly minor matters, Pelosi said, "Typhus has supported me all along the way, even serving food to my most illustrious opponents. He really helped clear the way for my success".


Typo Brings Government To Standstill

Late Friday night, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a controversial memo expected to cause some concern among federal agencies, however the memo caused a firestorm of controversy well beyond that which was expected, engulfing the entire government. The memo included a gratuitous typo, erroneously stating that agencies should be "encouraged to vase money", leading one agency to initiate purchases of expensive floral arrangements, another to order hard-to-find antique vases on eBay, yet another to create several executive task forces to investigate types of vases, and many agencies to simply shut their doors and huddle in the corner muttering and crying. "We will find the employee responsible and take appropriate disciplinary action", said Phil Ologist, Internal Affairs director at OMB, adding "someone needs to be held responsible for this issue".

While the real meaning of the memo remains shrouded, sources within the OMB indicate that it should have read "save money". While the error has, understandably, sent shock waves throughout the government, it has also drawn the concern of government watchdog organizations. One such organization, Common Cause, has urged a thorough accounting of spell-check procedures within government agencies. "Errors like this need to be caught at the source to prevent significant expense to taxpayers. We cannot accept agencies to detect these eros on their own", said Common Cause spokesperson Victor Spellman. For its part, the OMB has organized a committee to investigate the creation of custom-designed, government-specific automated spelling and grammar checkers, hoping to bid the work out to a vendor. The leading candidate for the Government-Wide Grammar and Spell-check Protection System (GWGaSPS) reportedly include SAIC, based on their experience with fire control systems. Despite the lack of any clear requirements yet from the government, SAIC CEO Ken Dahlberg said, "We are confident that our software will provide the government the last GaSPS they will ever need".

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© 2006 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler