Monday, October 10, 2011



In a groundbreaking report issued yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission conclusively revealed the reasons behind America's persistent economic woes.

"Basically, sellers are not hawking, peddling, pushing, scalping and mongering enough," explained Commissioner Jon Leibowitz.

"But sellers aren't the only ones to blame," he continued. "Buyers, too, have critically failed to haggle, bargain, dicker and lay out cash. Combined, these selling and buying behaviors led to today's catastrophic economic climate."

Economic experts expressed shock over the report. "For several years now, we thought that the Great Recession resulted from risky loans, rising debt levels and an imploding housing market. Now, however, we see the real reasons for our hard times: A colossal failure to hawk, hock and dicker," wrote eminent economist Paul Krugman. "This is really mind-blowing news."

Commissioner Leibowitz pointed out that economic recovery will not happen until people understand why the economy failed in the first place.

"People need to see that we face a multifaceted problem. We are not just talking about mongering and haggling. True, we need car salesmen to monger more and first-time homebuyers to dicker more. But just a little mongering won't cut it. We need full-scale mongering and hawking, as well as nonstop dickering to get moving in the right direction. Americans need to start driving bargains again; and that means that sellers need to start stepping up their hawking game, too."

President Obama praised the Commissioner's report. "I'm glad we have a sense about where we need to go with our economy," he said. "For all this time, we've been quarreling about stimulus, job creation and spending limits. But now we see that what we really need to do is get people dickering again. I'm confident that Americans will be able to put country before party and really start mongering, pushing, scalping and laying out cash. This is America. We have a long history of haggling, bargaining, hawking and peddling. We have been doing these things since our earliest colonial history. We know how to hawk and haggle. We even know how to hock and pawn. This is the greatest country in the world because we have the greatest peddlers and dickerers. It's time to find our stride again."

According to the Commissioner's report, economic progress depends on more than increased mongering, haggling, bargaining and hawking. Instead, other factors will play a role, namely, behaviors within the financial services industry.

In analyzing the Recession's causes, the report also noted that reduced mongering, haggling, bargaining, hawking, pushing and scalping were matched by rampantly negative bank practices, including chicanery, hoodwinking, bamboozling, hornswoggling, rooking and wheedling. The report also observed that banks repeatedly pulled contractual wool over customers' eyes between 2004 and the market collapse in 2008.

"Put simply, our financial crisis involved unprecedented hornswoggling," Mr. Leibowitz explained. "While our free market economy has always provided ample room for hoodwinking and bamboozling, banking practices between 2004 and 2008 saw a meteoric increase in hornswoggling and wheedling. Combined with lower levels of consumer dickering, haggling and mongering, this created a perfect economic storm. We just couldn't handle it."

Despite the gloomy analysis, Mr. Leibowitz expressed hope for the future. "Understanding a crisis is necessary to solving it. Since 2009, the Federal Government has taken steps to eradicate rooking in the financial industry, and data show that wheedling has fallen dramatically. The Commission has also set up a special department to decisively root out hornswoggling. Once we eliminate that, we are confident that consumers will return to robust dickering and mongering levels."

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner concurred with the Commission's findings on the financial industry. "As a former Wall Street banker, I know that hornswoggling was the straw the broke the camel's back in 2008. When we eliminate it, I am certain that the banking industry will return to customary--and acceptable--hoodwinking and bamboozling practices."

Republicans disagreed with the Commission's analysis, claiming that hornswoggling is absolutely vital to job creation.

"I come from a background in business, and I can tell you that uninhibited hornswoggling is what made us strong," said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "You can't run a business or make money if you tie a manager's hands behind his back. In business, you need the freedom to hoodwink, rook, bamboozle, and most of all hornswoggle in order to deliver the highest quality goods and services. And if a business doesn’t make money, it can't create jobs."

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann objected to the report on liberty grounds. "We're a nation of liberty and laws, and you can't take away liberty from people," she explained. "People in business need more liberty than most, because they're job creators. And to be a job creator, you need all the liberty you can get. That includes the liberty to hornswoggle, hoodwink, rook and bamboozle. When government starts taking away those liberties, it's trampling our free enterprise spirit. The bottom line is that hornswoggling creates jobs and pays a lot of salaries. And it's flat-out tyranny when the Federal government says it's going to take it away."

Texas Governor Rick Perry disagreed with the Commission's findings in less abstract terms. "Look, I don't believe a word that comes from any Federal agency, least of all a Federal agency controlled by President Obama. It was President Obama who made the economy bad, and it's President Obama who has to pay for it. Simple as that."

Overall, markets responded well to the Commission's report. The DOW rose 1.9% on data indicating a modest rise in dickering, a strong rise in haggling, an encouraging rise in hawking and a remarkable rise in bamboozling.

For their part, consumers expressed hope for the future. "If all it takes for me to me to help the economy is to haggle and dicker a little more, I'm willing to do my part," said freelance handyman Willie Williams of Ozone Park, New York.

Thursday, September 15, 2011




By : David Petraeus, Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Last week, our Nation marked a significant milestone with the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. We can be grateful that we escaped the event without incident. Thanks to the tireless efforts of State and Federal law enforcement, America foiled any attempt to mar the memorial ceremony with violence.

As a Nation, we have come closer this year to defeating terror than at any time since 9/11. We have killed Osama bin Laden. We have al-Qaeda on the run. And we have created a culture of security that keeps Americans safe from terror.

Despite these encouraging developments, we cannot let our guard down. While the Central Intelligence Agency understands that Americans simply want to live without fear, we cannot yet afford to quell the alarm.

In fact, we regret to inform the public that al-Qaeda has unleashed a frightening new weapon: Ghosts.

Generally, we here at the Central Intelligence Agency do not speak directly to the American people. Circumstances, however, mandate that we reveal critical new information that impacts all Americans. Public safety is acutely in danger, and we must advise appropriate measures to cope with the risk.

Today's threat is elusive. It does not involve bombs, guns or gas. It does not involve suicide attackers. It does not even involve living human beings. No, it involves something much more frightening: The vengeful spirits of slain al-Qaeda leaders returned from the grave.

This is not a hoax. Our agents have credible, reliable and confirmed reports that al-Qaeda intends to make supernatural war against New York City, especially the Ground Zero site. According to top agents, it appears that the angry ghosts of al-Qaeda leaders are currently on their way from the spirit world to wreak havoc on Lower Manhattan. Agents also inform us that these spirits have recruited ghouls, goblins, wraiths, specters, poltergeists and even zombies to spread fear in New York.

Understandably, we are taking these threats extremely seriously. Supernatural warfare cannot be taken lightly. We have already received initial reports that al-Qaeda ghosts are both extremely scary and difficult to pinpoint. And most disturbingly, intelligence indicates that conventional weaponry is useless against ghosts. Bullets, bombs and airstrikes simply cannot harm these terrifying spirits. After all, ghosts are already dead: Killing them again is no easy matter.

It is not entirely clear how al-Qaeda ghosts will operate. Some experts believe that terror ghosts can manipulate electronics. This poses a devastating threat to the national economy. Ghosts could ostensibly haunt iPads, iPhones, NASDAQ and the internet. Communication and commerce would break down, imperiling a fragile economic recovery.

Just imagine what would happen if an angry al-Qaeda spirit corrupted the Nation's computers? Web browsing, timekeeping, online bill paying, social networking and E-Harmony would collapse. Chaos would follow. It is a horrifying thought.

Worse, intelligence also indicates that ghosts can change cable channels without warning, take over flight controls, scare away workers and terrify small children. Finally, ghosts represent a very real danger to seniors and persons with cardiac difficulty: Seeing a ghost can easily cause heart failure.

In short, we face a serious crisis.

But it is essential to maintain calm. While we acknowledge that al-Qaeda ghosts are certainly scary, we are already taking action against them. In our battles with al-Qaeda, we have learned how to cope with terror. We know how to foil attacks, and supernatural attacks are no different. Put simply, we can defeat anything al-Qaeda throws at us, including ghosts.

Together with military and law enforcement authorities, the CIA is hard at work securing Lower Manhattan against the expected spectral onslaught. Thanks to improved interrogation methods, we have confirmed that the ghosts of Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Mustafa al-Yazid intend to float into the area around Ground Zero within the next 48 hours. We will be ready for them.

Authorities will lock down Lower Manhattan to quarantine the ghosts as soon as they land. Regrettably, these measures will entail some inconvenience for New Yorkers. All citizens will be subject to search and detainment to verify that they have not been haunted by al-Qaeda. And all citizens may be required to surrender their personal property--including their clothing and underwear--for inspection to determine whether a spirit has not hidden within it. After all, we are talking about ghosts. They can easily hide in backpacks, socks, panties, boxer shorts, water bottles and even cell phones.

While we appreciate citizens' concerns for their liberty, dignity and privacy in these matters, we reiterate that security against terrorist ghosts requires strong action. Comprehensive security is the only way to successfully defeat ghosts.

We recognize that New Yorkers simply want to get back to normal after 10 years of terror. But we cannot afford to give up now. We face perhaps the most frightening battle we have yet faced in the War on Terror. We are all afraid of ghosts; but al-Qaeda ghosts are especially bad. Worse, this is no ghost story. This is a specific, credible and confirmed threat.

Still, Americans do not back down. We can defeat terrorist ghosts just as well as living terrorists. We all must refuse to give in to fear. Go to work. Go on vacation. Go to a movie. Go buy a car. Go buy a home. Go about your business as you would any other day. If a ghoul accosts you, tell him you're an American and you are not afraid. Sure, he might haunt you or even steal your handbag, but that is no reason to bend to terror.

We here at the CIA will do our part to keep the public informed as we obtain new reports. Until that time, we advise full cooperation with law enforcement. If you are detained, remember that your sacrifice is absolutely necessary to prevent al-Qaeda from haunting America. You will be released as soon as competent authorities determine that an al-Qaeda ghost has not hidden somewhere in your clothing or on your body.

In this age of heightened security concerns, we all must be prepared to make the occasional sacrifice. If we do not, the ghosts win.

Thursday, September 8, 2011



Exasperated following months of fruitless partisan gridlock in Washington, President Barack Obama has officially requested foreign aid to reverse America's economic downturn.

"Please bomb us," the President begged world leaders during a live television broadcast.

Noting that a foreign attack or invasion is the only way to divert public attention from a stagnant economy and despicable political infighting in Washington, President Obama took his case to the world stage.

"We cannot create jobs or spur domestic development unless we get the American people to rally against a devious foreign enemy," the President remarked. "I've tried my ass off to make economic changes peacefully, but I've broken my head against the wall one too many times. We need someone to bomb us ASAP."

President Obama observed that Americans need to hate someone other than him in order to balance the budget, reduce unemployment, overhaul health care and curtail spending.

"I've tried to solve our problems by letting the American people hate me," the President explained. "But the simple fact is that the American people need to hate a foreigner in order to really get the economy rolling again. The bottom line, my friends, is that we're never going to get below 9.2% unemployment unless one of you motherfuckers steps up to the plate and bombs our ass. Please, if you care about America, attack one of our naval bases without delay. We've got tons of them all over the world. Take your pick. It's on us."

President Obama appeared confident that his plan would work. He cited historical precedent to support his position.

"Look, FDR did all he could to reduce unemployment in the 1930s with domestic spending. But he didn't really beat the Great Depression until Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and people started really hating the Japs. And George W. Bush wasn't going anywhere until Osama bin Laden bombed the World Trade Center and people started really hating Muslims. Once that happened, Bush got to do whatever the hell he wanted. I am confident that if you would be so generous as to launch missiles against a military installation of your choosing, America could easily solve its economic woes."

President Obama insisted that his plan was not just another greedy American power grab. "I understand that many of you may suspect a selfish motive in my request for an attack on us. I assure you, however, that if you bomb us, you, too, will benefit. After all, by bombing us and saving our economy, global markets will strengthen. When the US economy thrives, so does the world economy. Thus, if you bomb us, your economy, too, will improve. And everyone loves good economic times."

"True, we might flatten a couple of your cities or overthrow your government. But all benefits have their price," the President concluded.

President Obama also pointed out that favoritism played no role in his decisionmaking. "America does not discriminate," he said. "While some of you might think that we only go to war with Muslims, brown people or communists, the time for stereotypes is over. We are perfectly willing to allow Caucasians to bomb us, too. We just need somebody to help us out."

Speaking directly to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the President pleaded: "Come on, Angie, blow up one of our air force bases. They're right on your territory. You have no idea how much that would help. Please, I'm begging you."

Despite the President's confidence in his plan, Republican leaders remained unconvinced.

"It wouldn't work," responded Tea Party candidate Michelle Bachmann. "We won't rescue our economy without completely eliminating all government spending and abolishing taxation once and for all. If an enemy attacks us, we'll have to spend money and raise taxes, so I can't support the President's plan."

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney agreed. "No way. If the President drags us into another war, that just means more job-killing regulations. It doesn't matter if we're the ones who get attacked. War means regulations, and regulations kill jobs."

Sarah Palin was more specific in her response to the President's plan. "Nope, wouldn't help," she said. "To fight a war, you need government. And we're not going to solve our problems until we get rid of all government for good."

For their part, world leaders were split on Obama's request. Fidel Castro said he would love to attack the United States, but that he wasn't willing to expose his people to retaliation that would devastate his country.

Vladimir Putin praised the President for his wisdom, but refused to commit Russia to an invasion because he knew war with a foreign enemy would strengthen America, just as Obama predicted.

"Their own economy will kill them. There's no need to hasten that by risking Russian troops," Putin concluded.

Chinese Premier Hu Jintao summarily rejected the President's request. "Absolutely not. If we attack you, we'd never collect all the money you owe us."

As of press time, President Obama still held out hope that other powers--such as Turkey, Uzbekistan or Somalia--might decide to attack the United States.