Thursday, December 12, 2013

New pics reveal what happened seconds after the Prez snapped his selfie

(Upper left) President Obama shares a laugh with Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. (Upper right)The president and prime minister pose for a selfie with British Prime Minister David Cameron. (Lower left) Thorning-Schmidt appears rattled after First Lady Michelle Obama tells them to “stop fidgeting and pay attention or so help me God …” (Lower right) Unable to settle them down, the First Lady makes the President switch seats with her while Thorning-Schmidt texts to her besties about “what a bee-otch the FLOTUS is.”

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Narrowly Untrue" is the new black.

"'Narrowly untrue.'
Damn, that's good!"

I thought for sure National Security Director James Clapper had a lock on the 2013 Joe Isuzu Award for Creative Reality-Bending. I mean, who could top, “So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful or least untruthful manner, by saying, ‘No.’”

Apparently Greg Sargent can. In the latest entry to his Washington Post blog (which he describes as his “take from a liberal perspective), Sargent writes, “[T]he White House could have been clearer in laying the groundwork for this political argument: It wasn’t sufficient to say people who like their plans will be able to keep it, which is narrowly untrue.”

“Narrowly untrue.” Brilliant. As of this morning, the phrase gets about 300 hits on a Google search. I’ve got a feeling that its stock will sky-rocket real soon. So get yours today!

You heard it here first.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Healthcare is fixed. Now let's end homelessness.

No, honey. The president
says it was inadequate.
But now we'll be moving
into a much bigger building
with many, many other
boys and girls."
Healthcare reform has been an unprecedented achievement, demonstrating once and for all that Big Government is Good Government. What if--flush with their historic success--the Obama administration tried to end homelessness in America? 

The following was quilted together verbatim from various news sources. Minor edits bracketed.

WASHINGTON — With the strokes of 22 pens, President Obama signed his landmark [HOUSING] overhaul — the most expansive social legislation enacted in decades — into law on Tuesday, saying it enshrines “the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their [HOUSING].”

Obama has repeatedly pledged that his overhaul of the [HOUSING] system wouldn’t deprive Americans of their current [HOUSING].

“We will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your [HOME], you will be able to keep your [HOME]. Period. Nobody is talking about taking that way from you.”  he declared on June 15, 2009.

But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their [MORTGAGES] under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

That includes 56-year-old Dianne Barrette. Last month, she received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield informing her as of January 2014, she would lose her current [HOME]. Barrette pays $54 a month. The new plan she's being offered would run $591 a month -- 10 times more than what she currently pays.

Barrette said, "[THE HOME] I have right now is what I am happy with and I just want to know why I can't keep [MY HOME]. Why do I have to be forced into something else?"

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that [MORTGAGES AND RENTS] in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those [MORTGAGES AND RENTS] even though they don’t meet requirements of the new [HOMES] law. But the Department of [HOUSE] and [HOME] Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a [MORTGAGE OR RENT] was significantly changed since that date -- the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example -- the [MORTGAGE OR RENT] would not be grandfathered.

Today, White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked about the president’s promise that consumers would be able to keep their [HOMES]. “What the president said and what everybody said all along is that there are going to be changes brought about by the Affordable [HOMES] Act to create minimum standards of [HOUSING]… So it's true that there are existing [HOMES] on the individual market that don't meet those minimum standards and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable [HOMES] Act.”

"The purpose here wasn't to do anything beyond encourage people to make themselves aware of the options available to them," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

Up next: An end to hatred.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Is the "King of Medical Malpractice" also the "Archduke of Awful Advertising"? You decide.

If you subscribe to the pulp version of the Times, Journal or Post, do NOT throw out this weekend’s papers. There's a special advertising supplement—the 30th anniversary issue of Best Lawyers—that is destined to become a collector’s item. And unlike Playboy, this isn’t about the articles, it’s about the pictures.

Of the 23 group photos of law firm partners, 19 of them are what you would expect: the standard two white guys, one white or Asian woman, and one African American (either gender); the grey-haired, hypertensive old guy and his three chubby sons; and the five impeccably dressed, white-toothed, suntanned models, who couldn’t possibly be lawyers because how fair is that?

But the other four? That’s gold, Jerry. Gold!

Meet Jack Olender, “The King of Medical Malpractice,” his associates … and what appears to be a plastic fetus about to be tonged out of its plastic womb by Lesley Zork, “Nurse/Attorney.”

And as fascinating as the staging is, what makes the photo is the expressions of grave concern on the faces of Zork’s coworkers as she performs this delicate Barbie-dectomy. You can tell they really care.

There are three other shots (including a bonus fake fetus photo), but I don’t to wreck the surprise for you. Run and grab your own copy today!

Try the newspaper box … on the corner, over by the phone booth … and bring change. No, change! Quarters! No, there’s no app for that. You know what, forget it. Here, take mine.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The old “Potato Gun in the Files” trick, (and I fell for it). Or how not to do damage control after you Bosch-ed a home invasion

"Sarge, this is personal.
My mother read those

At 4:30 a.m. on August 6, seven heavily armed men in full body armor busted through Audrey Hudson’s Fourth Amendment protection, confiscated her First Amendment rights, then knocked over and damn near destroyed her Second Amendment privileges on their way out.

Ostensibly, these officers from the Department of Homeland Security and Maryland State Police were searching for unregistered guns and a “potato launcher” that might be in her husband’s possession, at least that’s what the warrant said. 

The warrant didn’t say anything about seizing documents. Still, the agents confiscated confidential notes and documents about a number of unflattering stories Hudson had written about the Department of Homeland Security, specifically the Federal Air Marshal Service. Hudson, you see, is an investigative journalist who reported regularly on the sometimes illegal activities committed by the employer of the very men who were rifling through her files … in search of a potato gun.

During the three-hour home invasion, one of the agents, Miguel Bosch, asked Hudson if she was the same Audrey Hudson who had written unflattering stories about the Federal Air Marshals over the last decade. It turns out Bosch was curious because he is a former air marshal official, himself. Small world.

In fact, it was Bosch who called Hudson a month after the raid to tell her that she could pick up the five files of her notes that they stole—the ones that contained the names of numerous confidential sources who still worked at Homeland Security.

When contacted by The Daily Caller, the DC paper that broke the story, Bosch said, “Before I talk to you, I’m probably going to have to run this by our legal department.” No word yet if his dry cleaner ever got that stain out of his slacks.

The Maryland State Police also declined to comment, citing the proverbial “ongoing criminal investigation and the potential for pending criminal charges at the state and/or federal level.” I’m sure the police spokesman meant charges against the Hudsons, but if this story gets legs, he may well be speaking about the thugs who conducted the raid.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Twitter Rage in the Twitter Age: How intoxicating anonymity can derail your career

"No, John. You may NOT use
'I got kissed by a priest'
as one of your sins. Do
I make myself clear?"
It is a fascinating paradox of human nature that we would gladly hold open a tavern door for the person we just tried to kill in a moment of blinding road rage on our way to that tavern.

A lot of our rage behind the wheel is attributed to the anonymity that we enjoy in our cars—that and the fact that this jackhole has been driving 55 in the left lane with his blinker on for the last two miles and I swear to God if I ever get in front of him …

But I digress.

Social media is having much the same effect on our frontal lobes, allowing us to engage in behavior so unsociable that we wouldn’t even confess it to our priest.*

* Another quick digression. Before Monsignor Bulman excommunicated my mom from St. Mary’s for having the gall to find herself divorced(!) from her philandering husband, she used to help us make up sins on the way to confession. It was only a two-mile ride so there was a lot of frantic horse trading in the back of our station wagon.

“I don’t want ‘hitting.’ I didn’t hit anybody!”
“OK, I’ll take ‘hitting,’ Mary Beth. But you gotta take ‘being disrespectful’ and ‘skipping your prayers.’ ”
“But I didn’t skip my prayers.”
“Fine. We’ll give that to Marnie. She needs some more sins anyway. But then you gotta take ‘not sharing.’”
“But I always share!”

And although we never said it out loud, we all knew that making up sins to confess to the priest definitely qualified as one of the sins we should fess up to.

The most recent example of unsocial media that resulted in “career Twittercide” involves one Jofi Joseph, aka @natsecwonk, who was an Obama political appointee to the National Security Council. Protected by the anonymity of his Twitter account, Joseph engaged in a self-described “series of inappropriate and mean-spirited comments” for more than two years.

When he was finally outed as the culprit in a sting orchestrated by White House officials, he was promptly fired, an administrative action that was confirmed by White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Not a good day for Jofi. Not good at all. 

So what can we learn from this, kids? Right. If you need to make snarky comments about your co-workers, your boss, or your employer, don’t do it online, especially if you're a presidential appointee to the freakin' NSC. If you must complain, do it the old-fashioned way—in drunken slurs slumped over your your seventh Jameson’s neat in your favorite neighborhood tavern.

Monday, October 21, 2013

“Don’t put all your eggs in one Honda” and other gems from the Overreaching Files

"Thanks for taking the
wheel. My ovaries are
killing me."
Cleric Sheikh Lohaidan recently cautioned Saudi women about the dangers of driving while female, specifically that driving “automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” which can cause “clinical problems” in children.

Based on that logic, we can safely assume that Sheik Lohaidan’s mom was a long-haul trucker.

The trouble with overreaching—which most of us learned when we kept making that face but it didn’t get stuck that way—is that once you’re proved wrong you not only lose the argument, you lose your credibility.

Here are just two examples of magnificent political overreaching in the past few weeks:

Cruz Control—Led by Joe-McCarthy-impersonator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Lala Land), a merry band of Tea Party Republicans shut down the US government in an effort to de-fund “Obamacare” ... despite the fact that the bill was approved by Congress, signed into law by the president, and upheld by a conservative Supreme Court.

Victims of our own success—The White House, meanwhile, tried valiantly to convince us that the web-based infrastructure of the Obamacare juggernaut collapsed under the weight of all the praise we heaped on it. When they pivoted to the “glitch” excuse, comparing their minor bump in the road to the glitches in Apple’s new operating system, even traditional Team Obama supporters called shenanigans.
  • “Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.”  — President Barack Obama, Oct. 1
  • “If Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as Obamacare’s online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for Tim Cook’s head.” — Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas in The Washington Post Wonkblog, Oct. 4
  • “We’re going to do a challenge. I’m going to try and download every movie ever made and you are going to try to sign up for Obamacare — and we’ll see which happens first.” — Jon Stewart to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on "The Daily Show," Oct. 7
  • The Obama Administration may be heading for a “credibility death spiral” if they can’t fix the crippling problems afflicting the program, according to CBS News Political Director John Dickerson.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Name-Change Game-Change

"Who are you calling
Marion, pilgrim?"
You know you’ve got a serious image problem when you have to change your organization’s name to hide your identity. The American League of Lobbyists recently announced that it is changing its name to the Association of Government Relations Professionals, because “everybody has that misconception that lobbyists are walking around with a pocketful of cash and that’s about it,” according to Monte Ward, the group’s president.

The lobby lobby isn’t the first association to try to hide its stripes under a fresh coat of paint. Following are just a few of the more lame name-change game-changers.

  • The Association of Trial Lawyers of America is now the American Association for Justice. (Apparently, United Ambulance Chasers was already taken.)
  • The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation is now called Marketing EDGE, because how much marketing education does it really take to call people when they’re eating dinner?
  • National Check Cashers Association is now the National Association of Financial Service Centers, which brings them up from the Seventh to the Sixth Circle of Hell in terms of public opinion.
  • The Campus Crusade for Christ is now calling itself Cru because the word crusade “has a negative connotation for lots of people across the world, especially in the Middle East,” according to a Cru spokesman. I’ll bet it does.
  • And finally, but the Phobia Society of America is now the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. I’m not sure what prompted the change, but you know it will boost staff morale.
Got any other examples? Let us know.