Political Situation in America Somehow Still Comparatively Stable

by Mark Saporta, Only Senior Political Correspondent

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Pictured: actual political instability

Despite several years of incessant media coverage (including that by this very publication) of how the political situation in the United States is insane, our political crisis inexplicably remains among the least bad in the world.

While a broadly dysfunctional legislative branch, presidential politics increasingly divorced from reality and a complete lack of public trust in any institution may seem an unbeatable mélange of serious flaws, they scarcely compare to those of pretty much any other country.

For confirmation, one needs only to look at our closest allies. Once bastions of stability, the Western European powers are facing down crises of generational significance left and right (well, mostly right).

The UK has managed to shoot itself in more feet than should theoretically be possible in the last few months by voting for Brexit, catapulting UKIP into a position of actual significance, and putting Labour, its only serious opposition party, under the control of Jeremy Corbyn, an MP so leftist that he makes Bernie Sanders look like Dick Cheney.

France, typically a consistent if unruly stronghold of social democracy, has been wracked both by terrorism and by the xenophobia and Islamophobia that terrorism has created. It now seems disturbingly likely that the far-right populist and scarily well media-trained nutjob Marine Le Pen will place second or even win the coming election.

Even Germany, land of efficiency, moderation, and harsh consonants, is struggling to integrate millions of refugees trying to escape the ungodly clusterfuck that is the post-Arab Spring Middle East. Oh, and AfD, a far-right party, is making gains in regional elections, so that’s, uh, probably not good.

And that’s just the developed countries.

We’ve had a few protests recently here in the good ol’ US of A. We’ve even had a couple of riots. What we haven’t had is several million people out on the streets agitating (successfully!) to impeach the president following terrible economic mismanagement and a massive scandal involving a state-run oil company that has sullied almost everyone in the ruling party. That’s what Brazil has been dealing with for some time now… .and that’s not even getting into Zika.

The list goes on. In South Africa, the once-proud party of Nelson Mandela has become ridiculously corrupt. Mexico is beset by gang violence and, yep, massive corruption. Venezuela literally does not have any food, thanks to the incompetence of Hugo Chavez’s somehow even crazier successor Nicolas Maduro. And of course, North Korea is still North Korea.

So the next time you read a news story, even one written by readme’s very own Senior Political Correspondent, about how backwards or depressing or unreasonable whatever’s going on in America is, just remember: somehow, it’s worse almost everywhere else.

Americans Prep for Annual Gov Shutdown

Mark Saporta, Government Dysfunction Political Correspondent

In what is becoming an annual event, Americans across the nation are preparing to celebrate Government Shutdown Eve this Wednesday, September 30. As always, American families will gather together, throw a party, and watch in awe as their government can’t get its shit together long enough to fund itself. Now that America has entered its fifth consecutive year with one or more major funding issues deferred until the absolute latest point possible and then hastily “solved” (usually by being deferred some more, somehow), many families have begun to adopt traditions that they follow every Government Shutdown Eve. As a special holiday column, readme’s political correspondent decided to look into how observers celebrate the occasion and found three traditions shared by almost everyone:

  1. The ritual sparring match between the eldest unmarried men of an extended family, representing the eternal partisan bickering between the two parties. One man’s face is painted blue to represent the Democrats and the other’s is red for the Republicans. Like the Congressional debate itself, the match is long, arduous, and above all, kind of depressing to watch, and the outcome of the bout is seen as an omen for which party will be saddled with the blame for this particular tedious and completely avoidable crisis.
  2. The reading aloud of the US tax code at the dinner table. Since tradition holds that the entire 70,000+ page tax code must be read before anyone is allowed to eat, guests quickly become restless, hungry, and discontent, and are rarely able to eat before the holiday ends at midnight (or whenever the Senate finally concludes its last-minute compromise talks). In fact, only one instance of successfully reading the entire tax code in anything resembling a timely manner has been recorded, and that was by a professional speedreader who collapsed in exhaustion immediately after reading the final exemption.
  3. The Two Minutes’ Sadness. At the commencement of holidaymaking, all participants are invited to take two minutes to contemplate sadly how our nation’s great democratic experiment has devolved into a mess of hyperpartisan gamesmanship at the expense of good governance. At the end of the two minutes, everyone gives a loud and protracted sigh, and only then can festivities truly begin.

And with that, readme’s political correspondent would like to wish you an unhappy Government Shutdown Eve and a disenchanting New Fiscal Year.

Is it 2016 Yet?

Ted Cruz, president. The idea itself sends shivers down many a spine. Probably because it’s a Hispanic name and therefore associated with illegal immigrants, stolen jobs, and drugs, but that can be overcome. Besides, he was born in Canada, so he can’t be that bad–wait, what? He was born in Canada? And he admits it? Oh, but he’s still a natural born citizen. Sure. Okay. If you say so. As long as he as a birth certificate and isn’t black.

Cruz is likely the bravest, most patriotic man in the country this week. He had the courage to come out and tell us all what everyone was already thinking. Many others have been dilly-dallying, wishy-washing, and in general just namby-pambies, but finally we have a straight-talking, down-to-earth guy who can really open up about his feelings.

And my, what strong feelings those are. Liberty! Liberty for all! Let freedom ring! Freedom for women to surrender their bodies to the state. Freedom for minorities to be disproportionately arrested and shot. Freedom from believing in silly little things like climate change and evolution. Freedom to be required to attend campaign speeches, like the students at Liberty University, where Cruz gave his touching speech. And of course, freedom to wear shirts supporting Rand Paul (a Cruz opponent) at the aforementioned speech.

In addition to such varied liberties, Cruz argued for a repeal of most of the government. A return to the Constitution in its purest form, where blacks count as 3/5ths of a person. Okay, he didn’t specifically mention that part of the Constitution.

When readme went to check out Cruz’s campaign online, they were surprised to see that the website tedcruz.com is actually in support of both Obama and immigration reform. While Cruz does support immigration reform, encouraging us to “imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders,” and a legal system that celebrates those who come here for the American dream, he doesn’t seem to be such a fan of Obama. Because of course, Obama’s a communist Muslim eco-fanatic. readme finally made it over to tedcruz.org, which seemed to be more in line with the whole “Liberty!” thing. However, the occasional link to nigerian-prince.com made readme wonder if the whole thing wasn’t a scam.

Anyways, Cruz is so brave for telling us that he’s ready to make a big fuss until he gets a poor showing in the first (of 50) primaries, in which case he’ll promptly shut up and drop out like they always do. It takes so much courage to re-affirm broad, sweeping generalizations to a captive audience of college kids. We at readme wish him the best of luck on his journey.

People Outraged Multicultural Events Make Them Consider Other Cultures

In recent news, white people are growing steadily more outraged about the greatest threat to American society today. No, not ISIS, and not Obama (this time). According to these white people, the greatest threat to America today is one thing–multiculturalism.

Now, don’t get white people wrong, they love supporting other cultures, it’s just–do there have to be so many of them? And do they have to keep bringing up the fact that they face systemic oppression every day at the hands of America’s white majority? It really makes those poor white people feel uncomfortable.

Take, for example, Rebecca and Charles. Rebecca and Charles are two white parents who pulled their daughter out of school after a school-wide Black History Month performance went horribly awry.

All Rebecca and Charles wanted was to see their daughter perform in a tame, inoffensive show that would let them feel good about how tolerant they were being without actually having to acknowledge that racism continues to exist today. But, to their horror, they found the performance used slogans and images reminiscent of…Ferguson (*cue dramatic thunderclap*).

“It had quite a few different acts that I was worried were going to be quite controversial,” Rebecca explained, because as we all know controversy is only tolerable when you’re trying to teach students creationism. But it got worse: “Everywhere we looked were students, high school students, wearing shirts that said ‘Black Lives Matter, I Can’t Breathe’.” The nerve of those students, wearing T-shirts at her! Can’t they see she’s trying to ignore racism over here!

Her husband Charles was equally concerned. After the performance, Charles attested that his daughter “had serious questions” about police violence and Ferguson. “We really had to have a discussion about current events we should never have had.”

Truly, no parent should ever have to tell their children about current events. Children shouldn’t read the news until they’re married, and schools should teach abstinence-only race education, where students learn the best way to deal with racism is to never talk about it, ever!

But this insidious example of multiculturalism should not be read as an isolated incident. A school in New York recently tried to celebrate national Foreign Language Week by having the Pledge of Allegiance read over the PA system in Arabic! When will these mad multiculturalists realize that just because the point of these national holidays is to promote understanding and tolerance, doesn’t mean you can use them as a platform to promote your twisted agenda of understanding and tolerance!

Students and parents, of course, were outraged by this butchering of the Pledge of Allegiance. “It is Foreign Language Week,” one student acknowledge, but asserted that “[the Pledge] should be in English.” English is a foreign language, right? Another tweeted that the school “could have just said ‘Good Morning’ in a different language each day.” As we all know, speaking entirely in English except for a few gimmicky sayings is a perfect way to show how tolerant you are of foreign languages, and is in no way offensive to the people who actually speak them.

The mild discomfort faced by these poor students, along with Rebecca, Charles, and the other unnamed victims of multicultural education, should serve as a warning to us all. Today it’s T-shirts and PA announcements, but what’s next? Snapchats? Skinny jeans? Stay warned, America. And stay safe.

Recent Developments in “The War on Christmas”

UNSC approves NATO military action against Christmas, citing the holiday’s several acts of preemptive aggression against Yule, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah

 

God Speaks Out: Divine support for the Christmas supporters

Festivus Pole is revealed to subsist entirely on a diet of Christmas trees

 

Santa’s hunger strike at Gitmo enters its third week

 

Russia increases missile-toe stockpiles; President warns of dangers of missile-toe gap

 

Candlelight vigil at the Clock in honor of the horrific casualties suffered by the Salvation Army

 

Obama “Too Lenient” in War on Christmas

 

In strange reversal, conservatives with flowers and peace signs are protesting war efforts


North Pole in Coalition Hands, elf sectarian violence at acceptable levels. “Mission Accomplished.”

Monster Energy Drink Work of the Devil

We in America have a long history of accusing things of Satanism based on the flimsiest of evidence. At this point, it’s practically a national pastime to find ways to link a thing we hate to the devil (ed: ‘666 degrees of Kevin Bacon’?). The latest target is Monster brand energy drink, otherwise known as the only thing keeping you awake through finals.

 

An unknown woman helpfully connected the dots of the drink company’s Satanic ties in a YouTube video that went viral this Sunday called, quote, “MONSTER energy drinks are the work of SATAN!!!”. It’s the multiple exclamation points that really clue you in to the work’s credibility.

 

Her evidence is incontrovertible: the three lines in the stylized ‘M’ logo, the woman claims, each correspond perfectly (and by ‘perfectly’, we mean they’re sort of the same shape) to the Hebrew version of the number 6, making the full logo read as 666. Furthermore, the word ‘MONSTER’ on the can has a hidden cross inside of the ‘O’, which–get this–becomes inverted when the can is turned upside-down. Which is just wow. Talk about a cunning Satanist conspiracy, hiding their upside-down crosses by turning them rightside-up.

 

readme is totally convinced, you guys. Thank you, nameless Christian woman, readme is so grateful to you for opening its eyes. In fact, readme would like to return the favor here by pointing out a few other secret Satanists hidden in your midst. You may have noticed that certain subsets of the population wear necklaces with crosses attached to them. And I know what you’re thinking, those are obviously just Christians, but get this. When those necklaces are turned upside-down, the crosses become inverted. Same with crucifixes! The only safe crosses are the ones physically bolted into an upright position, and even then readme would bet those nails were just put there by the devil to confuse us.

 

It should be noted that Monster is not the only energy drink to be receiving its share of controversy in recent times. Red Bull has been coming under fire after a group of college students levied a lawsuit claiming the energy drink “gave [them] wings”. The FDA’s investigation into the drink’s alleged mutagenic properties is still currently ongoing, but preliminary results do not bode well for the company.

 

But could there be more to this story than a perfectly innocent case of a company turning its customers into hideous freaks of nature just to pull off some overly literal advertising. Could Red Bull really be the work of…THE DEVIL?!?! To find out, readme consulted with its own uber-religious conspiracy theorist, Revelation Jones. “Oh, definitely,” said Jones. “There’s just so much proof. The red bull logo has horns, just like the devil. Also, it’s red, and I’m pretty sure red is an evil color. The evidence just keeps piling up, man.”

China Accused in Data Hack, Again

According to a report on The Washington Post, China was the lead suspect behind the massive cyber attack that leaked EVERY of the 800,000 employees’ personal information, as well as some customer data.

Aside from talking about how USPS has such an insecure system that EVERY single employees’ information is leaked (you mean you don’t have special security protections for your top level executives?!),  let’s pause for a moment and actually examine the original article. The first paragraph is the only place where The Washington Post claimed that China is the lead suspect of this data hack. There is no mention of who made this claim (not even an unidentified senior American official). There is also no mention of any findings that lead to the accusations. And the rest of the article said nothing more about China other than it had the motives, means and “history” of doing so.

But not so fast, Law and Order. Because something smells suspiciously similar to past accusations about cyber espionage from China. In fact, when The New York Times broke a story back in July about how the U. S.  office of Personnel Management system was intruded, it accused China in a similar fashion, only that time quoting an “unnamed senior American official”. And after five months, there has been no update to the original story. And guess what, the public has forgotten about it and moved on to more important things like “15 Reasons Why Pumpkin Spice Latte Is Here to Stay “.

Now back to the USPS hack, notice how conveniently this article is published while Obama is in China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Beijing. Guess who wants to pressure President Obama to bring this topic up in front of China’s leadership? readme’s hunch is that they are the same politicians who, let’s say, won’t give the President an easy pass. But hey what’s the harm with a little lie from time to time that no one is gonna catch?

Student Explains Ukrainian Crisis

Map-of-Crimea

That Ballsack-shaped thing.

So there’s shit going down in the Ukraine. readme spoke to Matthew Swivet, a guy on campus yesterday who was hustling home with a box full of canned tuna, bottles of water and a geiger counter stolen from one of the Physics labs. Swivet agreed to talk to readme provided it be in his makeshift bunker in the bottom of Wean. Once arrives, Swivet began to explain the crisis in detail:

“The Ukraine is a pretty ballin’ place.” He said, pulling a green gas mask over his head. “Back in the last Cold War they was like “Oh man. We gotta be our own damn nation. “ which was pretty cool of them. So the USSR went to shit and Ukraine was a thing and so was Russia and, like,  Ukraine was cool with the US and shit.” explained Swivet while putting on an old vinyl record  of the Beatles’ “Back in the USSR”.“‘Cept they ate up this little place called Crimea–which is this little ballsack-like-thing poking into the Black Sea” he said, pointing to the tattered world map pasted to the wall with camo-patterned duct-tape.

“So Crimea’s got all these kinda Russian people and all these kinda Ukranian people and all the kinda-Russian people were like “Yo, man, dat ain’t cool” when the Ukraine was like “Hey ‘sup you can only speak Ukrainian now. No Russian for you.” and they been protesting and shit and, like, the Ukrainian government don’t know how to deal. They being all like “hey let’s send some rich dudes in to govern” and Russia is all like “no man. Crimea be Russian.” and like, that ain’t cool either.’” Explained Swivet as he piled the canned tuna on the wire racks of his new abode.

“So then the Russians invaded Crimea, which like, wasn’t cool. Some shit about how you can’t invade a sovereign nation. But like, you know, those Russians in Crimea kinda got a point to. So like. I dunno, man.” He shrugged as he placed a gallon of distilled water on the shelf alongside what looked like a lead helmet. “But the U.S. was all like, “hey, man, that ain’t cool.” anyway and told that Putin guy they couldn’t do that shit. And Putin was like, “get out my face, man” and kept goin’. There’s like 60-kay guys over there. And Obama was like “Dude you do this shit you can’t have the G8 meeting thing later” which i dunno what that means , man, but like, we’re probably gonna have another cold war, man, at least according to Fox and I’m gonna be prepared as fuck. I mean that’s gotta be pretty damn serious. Obama wouldn’t even boycott the Olympics for the gays. I mean ice skating versus that shit, man.” Just then, a rather haggard looking janitor came in, glaring at readme and its well-prepared fellow.

“The fuck you doing down here.” demanded the put-upon woman.

“Oh, shit.” exclaimed Swivet as readme swiftly climbed out the low window above the wire racks. “ I’ll give you some of my tuna if you don’t tell Suresh. You’ll need it in when the nuclear winter starts.”

El Chapo – Back From Retirement

prisonball4

 

El Chapo enjoying a day out on the court

Tensions are running high this week between Mexico and the United States as they battle to acquire star prison basketball player Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. Guzmán, a “Michael Jordan” of sorts to basketball teams in maximum security prisons, was a domineering presence both on and off the courts, earned through his brutal foul plays. It was for this notoriety that Guzmán became an essential asset for any roster in the prison basketball scene, a sport where the playoffs usually end in riots and shankings are just another reason to bench a player.

Guzmán broke into the prisonball world in 1993 when he was discovered among minor leaguers in Guatemala. From there, recruiters brought him in as fresh blood for the struggling Altiplano team in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico. During his six year contract, El Chapo went on to win four “Máxima Seguridad, Máxima Baloncesto” titles for his Altiplano team, the last of which they famously won when the entire opposing team mysteriously broke their legs before the playoffs. It was a feat that no cartel leaders in Mexico’s maximum security prison system had ever matched. But like a candle burning twice as bright, the drug lord’s illustrious career was cut short; in 2001 Guzmán announced his retirement from prisonball by escaping prison.

Now, fans everywhere can to witness Guzmán’s rebirth in the chain-linked courtyards. At 6:40 a.m. on February 22nd, 2014, Guzmán appeared suddenly out of retirement to hold an impromptu press conference at his hotel in Mazaltán, Sinaloa. There, he informed Mexican authorities that he would be coming back to the big stage – this time as a free agent for any and all maximum security prison teams.

Almost instantly after his announcement, offers started clamouring in from all sides – most of all from United States’ prisons, whose jail cells still sharply feel the sting of Guzmán’s work. Maximum security prisons in Florida, San Diego, New York, Texas, and Chicago have all made offers for long term contracts with the prisonball star. While nothing has been made concrete, the general consensus among American prison teams is clear: El Chapo should not be wasting his talents on a local level, where a more lax prisonball scene might coax the famed veteran back into retirement. Of course, there are interested parties on all sides. Guzmán’s friends in the Sinaloa cartel have expressed concern for the prisonball star’s health, suggesting that Guzmán would be better off retiring for good and enjoying his various hobbies instead.