Friday, November 11, 2016

Occupancy Rate at Trump Hotels Drops Below 25%

Special to TPN – A former advisor to President-elect Donald Trump has revealed that the real-estate magnate’s properties have suffered in the aftermath of his presidential campaign. The advisor, Punksky Borinskovich, once Russian President Vladimir Putin’s right-hand man, quit the Trump team after Trump failed to pay the $300,000 owed him for services rendered. Borinskovich revealed his frustration in a televised interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Madow: “Who does he think I am? One of his illegals on a job site? I, Punksky Borinskovich [see photo], the best computer hacker in the world! Just ask Putin.”

Trump sidekick, and likely Attorney General Rudy Giuliani, quipped that once Trump is sworn in as President, “He’ll be immune from all lawsuits and monetary claims, since I’ll be the new Attorney General. Look at what the current guy did, covering up the fact that Obama was born in Nigeria, or wherever. Real Americans look like me – white and with an all-American name. 
Giuliani – is there anything more American than that?”

Trump’s sons have a plan in place to boost occupancy in their hotels. Hostesses will be installed in all rooms when requested by an occupant at a small upcharge of $300 to $1,000 per night. Donald Trump, Jr. said, “Hey, my dad had no problem with having a hostess greet him in his penthouse. Hell, he even married a few of them.” 

By Bill Britton

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cheetos to Sponsor Trump TV Station CRUD

By Bill Britton

Special to TPN – Cheetos’ parent company, Frito-Lay, announced that it will be a primary sponsor of President-elect Trump’s TV station, CRUD (Conservative Republicans Under Donald). “It’s a natural fit,” said Vivek Sankaran, COO of Frito-Lay North America. “Trump has been a life-long consumer of Cheetos, as evidenced by his complexion. We believe that tanning creams could become obsolete now that the ‘Cheetos-effect’ on skin tone was determined by researchers at the FDA and verified by the President-elect. Who needs tanning creams or the sun’s rays when you can toss a bag of Cheetos down your gullet every day?”

Shortly after Sankaran’s announcement, Frito-Lay stock rose 16 percent in overnight trading. Wall Street feels that a significant share of the 59 million Trump voters will sign onto the Cheetos bag-a-day habit, even those on salt-restricted diets. Warren Teddumb, a Frito-Lay delivery man from Grand Rapids, Michigan, told our reporter that his truck was broken into and all the Cheetos taken: “Now that the Trump rallies are over, millions of people have nothing to do, and they’re broke after giving all their money to the Trump campaign. I guess they’re just desperate to get the Trump facial look.”

Trump spokesman and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “This is only the beginning. We are in negotiations with the Orange GLO furniture polish people and the Florida Citrus Council. Orange is the new black! To show our commitment to these sponsors, all Trump signage and logos will be changed from gold to orange.”

In other news, another 43,000 Hillary Clinton emails have been released by WikiLeaks. This brings the 8-year daily rolling average of emails sent by her to 648 per day, a new Guinness record.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Selfie Age Rolls On

By Bill Britton

The Self-Love of the Selfie Addict

I apologize to the world of inflated self-esteem, but I have no intention of buying a selfie-stick. It’s not that I’m not the most important person in the world--I am. But to bolster my newly found self-veneration, I decided to take lessons from Donald Trump who recently revised the words to the Chorale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, to wit:

Me, o wondrous spark divine,
Offspring of Perfection,
Drunk with power, I am become
Heavenly me, a godly shrine.
My magic powers sow discord;
My pomposity purposely divides:
Conflict separates man from love,
And off-the-cuff expletives fool the hoard.

I hope I’ve not offended anyone by poking fun at both Trump and selfie-sticks in the same breath. Just don’t poke my eye out with the damn thing--the stick, that is.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Florida Resident Bans Trump from His Property

Used-Car Salesman
By Bill Britton

February 6, 2016 — Inspired by citizens in the UK in their attempt to ban Donald Trump from their country, Vero Beach widower Arnie Tinskin decided to ban Trump from his property. “I ain’t takin’ no chances,” said Tinskin, “He reminds me a’ that used-car salesman what sold me that Nash Rambler back in ‘55—same hair.”

When asked what he would do if Trump knocked on his front door, Tinskin said he’d sic his Jack Russell terrier on him. “I got Ripper pretty well trained. I printed out a bunch of Trump’s picture and smeared them all with rabbit scat. One look and that dog rips ‘em to shreds, just like he done to the UPS guy’s pant-leg awhile back.”

In a televised interview, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow wondered if his neighbors were receptive to Tinskin’s ban. “I’ve had threats from folks here in Verde de las Palmeras, and Gert  next door no longer brings me a casserole on Friday nights. But that’s OK. I’ve had better mac-n-cheese outa the box.”

A number of reporters wondered who Tinskin would vote for in November. “I’ll vote for the one what promises free Viagra for seniors,” he replied. “Since Gert cut me off, I’ve had my eye on that divorcee ‘round the corner. She looks like a liberal in more ways than one.”

Tinskin hopes to make some money by selling “Ban-the-Donald” t-shirts and baseball caps, which will be available at his website, And Tinskin is already at work on his next crusade, which is tentatively named, “Ban-the-Snowbirds.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

Immigration Politics and the Statue of Liberty

By Bill Britton

Do the words of Emma Lazarus (“Give me your tired, your poor . . .”), inscribed on a plaque within the Statue of Liberty’s base, still convey the same power today as when they were written in 1883? Like the title of Lazarus’ poem, “The New Colossus,” the United States has evolved from being a land occupied by Native Americans and scattered immigrants, eking out a hardscrabble existence, into the most powerful nation on the globe.

Just as, in a sense, we are all Africans, having migrated from the original homeland some 60,000 years ago, we are all migrants the world over, no matter how much we might identify ourselves as American, Iraqi, Chadian, Chinese, or any other national or ethnic group, black or white and all shades in between. The end result is a myriad of cultures, some of which consider themselves superior to others because of supposed innate, exceptional qualities. These range from India’s Brahmins, to England’s old aristocracy, and to various other “chosen people,” among others. The most egregious example is Nazism’s mythical Aryan race of supermen.

The tendency of a culture to become exclusionary is exemplified by the anti-immigrant bias exhibited by some in the United States today. Politicians use the issue of immigration when catering to a particular segment of the electorate. Undocumented immigrants are commonly labeled “aliens,” a term that sets them apart from full-fledged Americans. Others describe them as “invasive” or part of an “alien invasion,” something akin to kudzu or zebra mussels. They lose their humanity and become mere objects to be manipulated for political gain.

The basis of most anti-immigration rhetoric is fear, a common emotion in racial rhetoric as well: fear that your job will be lost to a migrant, fear that your home’s value will suffer, or fear that your neighborhood will become crime-ridden—three of the more common assertions of which there are many. The problem is that migrants are rarely the direct cause of any of these realized fears. The direct causes involve a lack of landlord concern, corrupt political systems, predatory and opportunistic employers, and the failure to support infrastructure and support systems in poorer communities and in those migrant enclaves hidden from view.

The one issue that has gained political leverage is the loss of jobs to non-Americans of all hues, documented or not, in-country or offshore. Wal-Mart once emblazoned “Made in America” across its trucks and on its product labels, until it realized that merchandise could be outsourced at a fraction of the cost of goods produced domestically. “Made in China” is now the company’s mantra. The high-achievers in high schools and universities are disproportionately foreign-born or first-generation Americans. Thus, there is an undercurrent of resentment toward anyone who exudes “foreignness” in much of U.S. society, which engenders a “Fortress America” mentality: e.g., build a higher fence along the Mexican border.

Both undocumented immigrants and those with work permits do dominate certain sectors of the workplace: farming, construction, landscape maintenance, and homecare, among others. But most entry-level American workers shun these jobs because they are low-paying and, in their eyes, low-status. When I was in high school in the 1950s, certain of these jobs were gobbled up by me and my classmates—how else were we to buy gas for that old Ford or Chevy? Few of high-school age today will cut lawns or chop weeds, not even in their own yards.

The easy answer, according to some politicos, is to deport the 11 million illegal immigrants and thus free up jobs for Americans, an answer that only gins up anti-immigrant sentiment. Others have proposed a “pathway to citizenship” with requirements like learning basic English and satisfying the conditions spelled out the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Whether trucking illegal immigrants across our southern border, or creating a pathway to citizenship, funds will have to be appropriated by Congress, something many members are loath to do. And so, the endemic inertia that rules Washington will obviate any immediate solution to a problem that has been called a “crisis,” but one which is of our own making, politicized—and distorted—by both Republicans and Democrats. Perhaps the relevant part of Emma Lazarus’ sonnet should be read at the opening of each session of Congress:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Why the Fracking Frenzy?

By Bill Britton

May, 2015—The oil and gas industry gave nearly $250,000 to each of the 62 senators who voted in favor of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project this spring ( The fossil fuel industry (oil, coal, natural gas) made total campaign contributions of $40.8 million to members of the 113th Congress. In 2014, the industry paid $144.9 million to lobbyists; in return, the industry received $15.2 billion in subsidies ( (By contrast, National Park Service funding for 2014 totaled $2.6 billion.) And with the Supreme Court’s obscene decision in the Citizens United case, the floodgates have been opened: witness the Koch brothers pledge of $1 billion toward Republican candidates for the 2016 election cycle.

When Edwin Drake drilled his oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859, the modern oil industry began. Demand accelerated with the introduction of the Model-T Ford in 1908 and led to seven decades of “easy” oil, easy in the sense that it was both plentiful and readily accessed. Similarly, natural gas output ramped up to satisfy demand from power companies, residences, and nitrate fertilizer conversion.

Today, much of that easy oil and gas is gone, which has stimulated the installation of ocean drilling platforms, tar-sands mining, and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” which involves injecting water, sand, and various chemicals under high pressure into shale deposits thousands of feet below the surface. The fissures thus formed provide flow pathways for the trapped oil and natural gas.

To give you an idea of the scale of fracking, the Bakken Shale formation alone, located in North Dakota and Montana, is home to upwards of 15,000 fracking wellheads, with another 20,000 planned. By mid 2014, there were over 1.1 million active oil and gas wells of all types in the U.S. Some form of fracking is now used in 90% of all new onshore oil and gas development, and currently accounts for 60% of natural gas production in the U.S. The following photo is of a large fracking field in Wyoming:

The American Petroleum Institute (API) claims that “There are zero confirmed cases of groundwater contamination connected to the fracturing operation in one million wells hydraulically fractured over the last 60 years,” and that “Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are safely (my italics) unlocking vast U.S. reserves of oil and natural gas found in shale and other tight-rock formations” (API website). However, all extraction methods carry with them certain inherent risks to both the environment and life, as is best illustrated by the 2010 explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf. Flaring of waste gas is not an atypical oil field sight:

Along with the issues of contamination and safety, a third must be included: the water required for the fracking process. Most fracking takes place in water-stressed areas of the world. In the U.S. and Canada, 55% of the wells hydraulically fractured are in areas experiencing drought and 36% overlay regions with significant groundwater depletion; in Colorado and California, 97% and 96% of the wells, respectively, are in regions with high or extremely high water stress (2014 Ceres report).

Each fracked well requires from 3 to 5 million gallons of water. Up to 80% of the water is “flowback” and returns to the surface. The EPA does not regulate fracking fluids (the mix is an industry secret) even when they enter our water supply because in 2005, fracking was given an exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the so-called “Halliburton Loophole” (The Earth Institute, Columbia University). A 2015 EPA report stated that groundwater contamination from fracking is not widespread, but a number of instances have been documented.

Thus, there are three primary sources of contamination: (1) from the fractured shale leaking oil, gas, and drilling fluid into aquifers supplying drinking water; (2) from fracking wastewater discharged at the surface and then into wastewater injection wells, retention ponds, local streams, or treatment plants; and (3) from natural gas (methane) and other volatiles released into the atmosphere (Note that methane as a greenhouse gas is 25 times more potent than CO2). In any case, the fluid stream contains proven carcinogenics, and in some cases, high levels of radioactivity (The New York Times, 02/27/2011).

An emerging problem is the marked increase in the number of earthquakes in oil fields, not from fracking itself but from the injection of wastewater flowback into deep wells. The earthquake hot spots include portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Ohio, Arkansas, Alabama, Colorado, and New Mexico. Until recently, many of these states were among those places least likely to have an earthquake (USGS report; Washington Post, 07/03/2014). This is an Oklahoma church damaged by a fracking quake:

The systemic problem is the lack of uniform regulations, and uneven enforcement, at both the state and federal levels. Too often, the regulators are former industry executives whose interests do not always align with the common good. Plus, weak campaign-finance laws have led to legislative “pollution.” But the overriding problem is America’s insatiable demand for energy and the lack of a national will to move toward alternative energy sources. We seem oblivious to the fact that fossil fuels are a finite resource and will become exhausted in a century or less, given the current rates of depletion. And as the oil and gas industry drills deeper offshore, expands the mining of tar sands, and fracks shallower shale deposits, the risk of environmental disaster can only increase.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Republican Convention to Feature Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Competition

Two Republicans competing
Special to TPN—Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus has revealed that the party’s presidential nominee will be determined by the winner of a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournament. “With dozens of party members having thrown their hats in the ring, the committee felt that an actual ring would be the best place to settle the nomination. In this way, we can avoid confusing the voters and, at the same time, avoid talking about the issues.”

The rules to be followed will be similar to those set by the MMA, although back-biting will be allowed. The biggest departure from MMA rules will have contestants fight until one gives up, has a heart attack, or breaks down sobbing, whichever comes first. Top prize of $1 billion will be awarded by the Koch brothers and deposited directly into the winner’s campaign war chest. The early favorite is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Tickets will be available at the convention venue, the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, or from StubHub. Ringside seats for the earlier brackets will start at $2,500, and for the final round are set at $50,000. Sky boxes will be available at an undisclosed price. Quicken is offering special financing on ticket purchases of $5,000 or more. An HBO package will be offered to subscribers in December, 2016.

To liven up each day’s competition, a prayer breakfast will be co-hosted by Rev. Pat Robertson and popular fundamentalist pedophile Josh Duggar. The Republican National Committee approached the surviving members of the Grateful Dead band to see if they would perform “U.S. Blues,” thinking it was a patriotic song. Member Bob Weir suggested they instead contact Bruce Springsteen to see if he would perform “Born in the USA.”
Democratic cornhole competition

Priebus said that, if all goes well, he sees “no reason why the presidency itself couldn’t be decided using a similar format.” Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, agreed, but suggested that a cornhole competition be held instead.

—Bill Britton

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Presidential Candidate Cruz Says that Tax System Should Be “Voluntary”

By Bill Britton
Senator Cruz when not praying

Special to TPN — Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) followed up his announcement that he was running for President in 2016 with this statement given to Matt Lauer of the Today Show: “I believe the IRS should be eliminated and taxes made voluntary. It works great in the Fundamentalist Holy-Roller Baptist Church in Houston, where I pray for 12 hours each Sunday. We’d just have to pass a second plate for the Federal government. Either that, or we could just give 10 percent of the Sunday offerings to the Feds.”

When pressed concerning the likelihood that such a system would bankrupt the federal government, Cruz shouted, “That’s my plan! You got it! Without enough money coming in, I could do away with the EPA and FDA and all those other useless agencies. Whatever’s left I’ll turn over to the private sector. The Koch brothers will do a great job regulating the coal industry. By the way, let’s subsidize the installation of coal-fired furnaces in every American home. The damn Chinese have pulled ahead of in the area of carbon emissions.”

Cruz went on: “Of course, under my administration, church attendance would be made mandatory, which would ensure that both plates would be filled. It’s all part of my belief that ours is a Christian nation and that the flames of Hell will consume all non-believers and Nancy Pelosi.”

Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, is director of Purifying Fire International Ministry and has said his son is one who is anointed as “king” to take control of all sectors of society, an agenda commonly referred to as the “Seven Mountains” mandate, and “bring the spoils of war to the priests,” and thus guarantee a “great transfer of wealth” from the “wicked” to righteous gentile believers.

When Lauer reminded Senator Cruz that this “transfer” has already taken place, his response was that “You can never do enough for the 1 percent. After all, without them, we wouldn’t have the Kardashians.”

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Koran Written by Mel Brooks Ancestor

By Bill Britton

Special to TPN — In a discovery that will disturb Muslims everywhere, scholars have determined that Islam’s holy book, the Koran (Qur’an), was created by a Mel Brooks’ ancestor, Melali Broukhani. Muslim tradition says that God revealed the book’s verses to a Muhammad in the seventh century. Broukhani’s pen name was Muhammad Shmukheini, later shortened to Muhammad after he gained fame with his dancing camels act, which performed in tents throughout the Arabian peninsula.
Mel Brooks as Moses in History of the World

The critical piece of evidence that led scholars to this finding was a scroll detailing Muhammad’s trip to Mecca. His assistant, Gabriel, thought it might be a good idea to get a Jew to write down rules of conduct for the unruly crowds of Arabs who attended his performances—thus, the Koran. (At the time, Jews were the only ones who knew how to make pencils.) The Jew then ran off with one of Muhammad’s daughters and named their first-born son, Meli Brookman.

Not to be outdone by his grandfather, Brookman became a rabbi and amateur archaeologist, whose diggings on Mount Sinai in the year 679 unearthed the stone tablets listing the Ten Commandments. In tribute to his ancestors, Mel Brooks wrote, produced, and directed the acclaimed 1981 film, History of the World, in which he plays the part of Moses, who received the tablets from God and then exclaimed, “Oy! Ten! Ten commandments for all to obey!”

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Gov. Christie Selects Curses for Swearing-In Ceremony

"It's all muscle!"

By Bill Britton

Special to TPN — Special assistant Goober Flatus announced that New Jersey governor Chris Christie has chosen the curse words to be used in his second inaugural speech following the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, January 21. “The governor has worked extremely hard on this speech,” said Flatus. “He received input from a number of sources, including Dennis Rodman and Keith Richards, but in the end we decided that George Carlin’s list was the best, although the governor might add to it.”

Carlin’s famous seven include s**t, p**s, f**k, c**t, c**ks****r, m****rf****r, and t**s (as a former Christian, this reporter felt obliged to hide the actual spellings). Unlike the governor’s marathon speech explaining Bridgegate, Flatus assured the assembled reporters that it would take not more than one hour.

Once the ceremony is completed, the audience will be allowed to approach Christie and kiss his ring. The governor preferred that a different part of his anatomy be honored but did not want the proceedings to be undignified. A Bob Marley impersonator will sing reggae tunes during a limbo competition to be held in the front of Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, the site of the inauguration. Flatus said that the governor has been practicing the limbo for months and has lowered the bar to 65 inches.

In related news, tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike will be increased by 50 percent on Inauguration Day to cover the day’s cost. Any surplus will be used to fund Christie’s presidential run, once the U.S. Supreme Court lets stand a lower court order to allow this funding source for Teapublican candidates.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Gov. Christie to Compete in NYC Marathon

Christie following a training session
By Bill Britton

Special to TPN — Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey will be competing in the New York City Marathon to be held on November 2, 2014. Contrary to rumor, all lanes will be open on the Verrazano Bridge section of the course, but the center lane will be reserved for Christie in order to accommodate his enormous girth.

Banned from the marathon will be residents of Fort Lee, New Jersey, a community that has been designated a terrorist cell by Christie’s security chief, Pistoffa Obesis. It was Fort Lee that was witness to record gridlock when a Christie staffer had approaches to the George Washington bridge closed after Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich failed to embrace either Christie or his reelection. “I tried,” said Sokolich, “but the best I could do was hug his right leg.”

The governor has begun a rigorous training routine centered at the state capitol, Trenton. The starting point for his morning run is a McDonald’s parking lot on Clinton Avenue, and the end point, a McDonald’s on Cass Street, one mile away. Christie’s initial time was clocked in at 1 hour, 23 minutes, but he has reduced this by a full 2 minutes over the past three months. By October, 2014, Christie plans to complete the circuit between the two restaurants in under 2 hours, not counting a 30-minute break at the Cass Street location, “to stoke the furnace,” in Christie’s words. “The marathon will be a piece of cake, or maybe two pieces.”

In related news, Teapublican darling, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, has continued his campaign to eliminate left turns on all roadways in the United States. “True Americans only turn right,” said Cruz. “just like it says in the Bible.”

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

President Obama to Reinvent the Wheel

Prototypes of new wheel designs

By Bill Britton

Special to TPN — After the resounding success of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), President Obama has decided to launch a new effort to reinvent the wheel. Leading this initiative will be former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, best known for having put Skippy Peanut Butter on the menu for all state dinners.

The announcement came during a routine news conference, when the President emphasized that “The Chinese have been active in this area for several years. We don’t want America to fall victim to a wheel gap, similar to the missile gap that surfaced during the Cold War.” When Chuck Todd of NBC News reminded the President that the missile gap was essentially illusory, the President shot back, “That’s ancient history. Even Senator Ted Cruz has stated that roundness is not the ultimate answer to wheel shape. His subcommittee is to hold hearings on the issue beginning next week.”

Former President Carter will be leaving his post as Honorary Chairman of the International UFO Bureau in Dallas, Texas. “My work here is done,” said Carter. “I’ll be giving a speech at the Roswell UFO Museum, then it’s off to Washington to solve the mysteries of wheel shape. I’ve been around long enough to know that there are no final answers, except for the wisdom derived from that wheel-shaper in the sky, Great God Almighty Himself, or Herself, Itself, or Whatever.”

In related news, Russian researchers are rumored to have found an alternative to “roundness” for wheel shape. Russian president Vladimir Putin will announce the researchers’ findings after the grand opening of the Gulag Workers Resort in northern Siberia but before the Sochi Winter Olympics begin in February. Putin is training for judo competition in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, where he hopes to extend his record to more than 3,000 wins.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Chewing Gum: The New Pavement Protector

Park Avenue at 43rd Street in NYC
By Bill Britton

Special to TPN — Constance Masticar, of the International Chewing Gum association, released data that offered hope for the world’s deteriorating infrastructure: “Chewing gum has been building up on the world’s paved surfaces since it was first used 9,000 years ago. Total consumption reached 100,000 tons in 2013, according to Wrigley research.”

The impact on paved surfaces is dramatic. In New York City, for example, the one-inch black splotches seen on the city’s sidewalks are “merging together and protecting the concrete from the ravages of weather and ice-melting compounds, in particular,” said former mayor Michael Bloomberg, now heading up the Department of Sanitation.

The preferred flavor of most masticators, spearmint, is also favored by the city’s residents. “It adds a minty aroma to the city’s streets,” according to Park Avenue shopper Spittle Patel, a recent immigrant from Pakistan. “In Lahore, it’s all odors of arm pits and fish curry. You can’t even watch a Lollywood film without being assaulted by the smells. At least you can shoot the terrorists.”

The $19 billion gum industry is attracting investors the world over. Abel Chompowitz of Zinger Partners sees a definite synergy between chewing gum and high tech: “Chewing and smartphone thumbing are habits in common. Apple has already begun production of iPhones with plastic cases that give off gum scents. The first model names are the iPhone Spearmint and the iPhone Juicy Fruit.”

In related news, the American Chiropractic Association has warned raised concerns about excessive chewing and thumbing, both of which can lead to repetitive injuries. “We’ve had reports of patients with both problems. Therapy includes a liquid diet for the compulsive chewers, and voice communication lessons for the thumbers,” said ACA spokesperson Ossie Articulacion.

Revised MacDonald's Employee Budget

Recently, MacDonald's came under fire for its suggested employee budget, which listed a second job for a single person to stay above the poverty line. I sent MacD's my revision, which, by adding a third job and the sale of 1 gram of crack cocaine each month, would move employees out of the bottom 5 percent.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bad Breath Ends Senator Cruz’s Marathon Speech

Listerine stock rises on news

Cruz seen apologizing to the media

Special to TPN News — The senate voted on Wednesday to terminate Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) marathon speech. For 21 hours and 19 minutes, Cruz leveled a verbal assault on President Obama’s signature healthcare law. The unanimous vote came after Senators could no longer stand the “incredible stench” emanating from Cruz’s mouth, according to fellow senator John Cornyn (R-TX).
The only coherent part of his speech came when Cruz repeated the text from the Dr. Seuss favorite, Green Eggs and Ham, fifty-eight times. Toward the end of this recitation, a clear majority of senators were seen slumped over sucking on their binkies.
In related news, the Senate voted by acclamation to declare January 10 as National Sardine Day.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Congress to Recess until after 2016 Election

“Grand Bargain” Struck by Pelosi and Boehner

Ted Cruz in a recent campaign photo
Special to TPN — Following a meeting described as “amicable,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and John Boehner (R-OH) announced that Congress will adjourn until after the 2016 election cycle. Pelosi opened a joint news conference by saying, “We both felt that, since nothing was being accomplished anyhow, why not take a long vacation and get away from all those pesky lobbyists and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at the same time?” Boehner chimed in with, “Nan’s got it right. We’re both going to a local tanning spa to iron out details for reconvening in 2016, after which I see almost a thousand days of uninterrupted golf.”

When asked about the prospect of a government shutdown, Boehner replied, “Not to worry. The government’s more or less on automatic pilot anyway. It’s simple. The I.R.S. collects the money and Susie—I think that’s her name—in accounts payable cuts the checks. She’s only been on the job for three months, but I think she can handle it.”

As far as the Senate is concerned, Pelosi said that its members latched onto the idea of adjourning enthusiastically: “Both Harry [Majority Leader Reid, D-NV] and Mitch [Minority Leader McConnell, R-KY] said they logged onto Travelocity as soon as they got the word. Only Mike Crapo [R-ID] voted ‘no.’ He was mad at Rand Paul [R-KY] for making fun of his name.”

Ted Cruz was absent for the vote. He was last seen at Nellie’s, a gay sports bar on Washington’s U Street, attempting to recruit troops for his Teddy Militia, whose motto, “Screw Obamacare,” is thought to resonate with the LGBT crowd. “We advocate the peaceful overthrow of the White House, plus a new paint job for the old building,” said LGBT spokesman/woman Pied Léger. “We believe that rose blush with fuchsia accents would be a better color combo.”

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Florida OKs Hand Grenades for "Stand-Your-Ground" Defense

By Bill Britton
Bombs-4-U Mk-2 "Peacemaker" Grenade

Special to TPN — Florida Governor Rick Scott today signed into law an expansion of his state’s controversial “Stand-Your-Ground” statute 776.013. Those with so-called “carry” permits for handguns will be allowed to conceal on their persons not more than two standard hand grenades for self-defense purposes.

“Our citizen crime-fighters will enjoy a heightened sense of personal security with this addition,” said Scott. “It will be especially effective when used against gangs that enter white areas from the ‘hood.’ Not that I’m profiling African-Americans—after all, if it’s a group of five, they could only be looking for a pick-up game of basketball.”

Reaction from National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre was swift: “I see this as a natural progression from the flintlock firearms that our Founders used to overcome British tyranny. Today, we have the tyranny of left-wing bureaucrats trying to take our weapons away. I applaud Governor Scott for his wisdom and courage.”

Grenades are available online from Bombs-4-U, Inc. ( A two-pack sells for $19.99 plus shipping and handling. For a limited time, the company is doubling the offer to four grenades at the same price. Bombs-4-U president Dudley Petard would not confirm reports that George Zimmerman, recently found innocent of murdering Trayvon Martin in Florida, would be hired as a spokesperson: “Mr. Zimmerman is a hero to the weapons industry. His level head and good judgment is what we need more of on the streets and in the alleys of this great country.”

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Edward Snowden Elected Mayor of Dudinka, Siberia

Picturesque Dudinka
Special to TPN — ITAR-TASS, the Russian news agency, announced that Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor on the run from the American authorities, has won the mayoralty race in Dudinka (Дуди́нка). Dudinka is the administrative center of Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.

The former prison camp has a population of approximately 22,000. Of its 86 eligible voters, Snowden captured 81, Chervi Gryazukha, 4, and Yurine Dripovicz, 1. However, Dripovicz contested the outcome, claiming that Snowden, as an American citizen, is not a qualified candidate. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov quashed this objection by exhibiting a birth certificate that clearly indicates Novokuznetsk as Snowden’s birthplace.

The office of Russian President Vladimir Putin issued the following statement: “We welcome Mr. Snowden back to his homeland. Representatives from Cheka [Russian secret police] are anxious to interview him to see what other American dirty tricks are afoot.”

The citizens of Dudinka hosted a reception for Mr. Snowden complete with a buffet table featuring borscht, carp, and sautéed pig entrails. Snowden was heard to say to one of his new-found comrades, Svetsky Stinkovich, “Святая корова. Это место супер, но где же торговом центре?” [“Holy cow. This place is great, but where's the mall?”] As he turned away, Stinkovich said to his wife Svetlana, “Хороший парень, но он слишком тощий для нашей дочери. [“Nice guy, but he's too skinny for our daughter.”]

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Texas Prohibits Pet Neutering

"Now, darlin', you're the one who wanted to live in Texas."

Austin, Tex. — On Friday, the Texas Senate passed one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign the bill after a Democratic filibuster blocked its passage last month. Buried in the bill is a provision to prohibit pet neutering, or “spaying,” as it is commonly called.

Gov. Perry applauded lawmakers for passing the bill, saying, “Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life [and] tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans, whether they walk on two legs or four.”

The bill was opposed by leaders of the American Congress of Gynecologists, which ran advertisements that questioned the scientific foundations of the legislation and told legislators to “Get out of our exam rooms.” The bill’s author, Representative Jodie Laubenberg, responded to the ads by saying, “Hell, I kinda like being in there. Got all kinds of videos I’ve uploaded to YouTube. Sold quite a few at the local flea market, too.”

Francois Puces, president of the Texas Veterinary Association, expressed shock at the anti-pet-neutering provision: “The legislature wasn’t thinking. This will only encourage ‘back-alley’ neutering.” Madge Geschnitten, chairperson of the Back-Alley Neutering Group (NYSE: BANG) defended her members by saying, “We provide a service. If they can’t get a doctor to do it, we will, at half the price. More BANG for the buck,” she laughed. BANG stock rose 17 percent on the news.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mutant Crabgrass Threatens Corn Crop

Corn field strangled by mutant crabgrass

Special to TPN — Farmers in the Midwest have been plagued by a mutant strain of crabgrass that threatens to reduce the annual corn harvest by 50 percent or more in coming years. The species, Digitaria sanguinalis, is found throughout the world. The seeds are actually harvested and eaten in parts of Central Europe, where it is known as Polish millet.

The mutant grows up to three feet per day in the hotter months and is both drought and frost resistant. To compound the negative effects of this invasive weed, it is unaffected by Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup®. Monsanto (NYSE: MON) has genetically engineered feed corn to be similarly unaffected by the herbicide. It is thought that excessive applications of Roundup® to corn fields for suppressing weed growth led to a “horizontal gene transfer” from Monsanto corn to D. sanguinalis.

Spokesperson Mais Konig denied any culpability on the part of Monsanto: “Monsanto has always maintained the highest standards in the seed corn industry. Farmers trust us explicitly. They have to. After all, we’re almost the only game in town.” Konig also denied that Monsanto has plans to patent the mutant crabgrass, although it is rumored that the Kellogg Company has been in conversations with Monsanto and has registered several trademarks, including Crabola Granola®, Crabby Energy Bars®, and Crabby Pop Tarts®.

Monsanto’s share of the world market for all farm seed is almost 30 percent, of which a major part is for feed corn and corn ethanol. Because of the possibility of a collapse in the 2013 yield, corn futures are up 46 percent, from $5.45 to $7.96 per bushel. Accordingly, Monsanto’s share price fell 14 percent to $84.24.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Forking Dilemma

A Package of Delinquent Muffins

The guiding principle for my life’s conduct has been this choral refrain from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida:

“Isn't your life extremely flat
With nothing whatever to grumble at!”

I certainly do have a plethora of material to inspire such grumbling, including TV’s talking heads, natural and man-made catastrophes, and my Republican friends, among others. But the most recent grumble has been the failure of the Thomas’ Bread Company to properly fork-split their English muffins.

Up until a few years ago, the gentle application of thumbs to muffin’s edge yielded two halves with all the requisite nooks & crannies one could hope for. Sadly, such a bisection now requires the careful insertion of a fork all around muffin’s edge. Those nooks & crannies appear to be unchanged, as is the flavor, and the little pools of butter that fill the furrowed surfaces delight even the most selective of palates.

Samuel Bath Thomas created the Original "Nooks & Crannies" English Muffin through a secret process after opening his own bakery in New York City in 1880. I suspect that “forking” his muffins were de rigueur in the early days. But as mechanization took over, a machine with forking prongs was surely added to the production process.

Could it be that the prongs have worn down? Or has a management team from McKinsey & Company recommended that less forking would yield a better bottom line? The parent company, Grupo Bimbo (ticker: BIMBO—no, I am not kidding), has not responded to my several polite (unusual for me) inquiries regarding their failure to adequately fork-split.

In sum, it is a forking dilemma!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Texas to Auction off WWII Bazookas

By Bill Britton

Special to TP News — Republican Governor Rick Perry announced that 2,500 surplus World War II-era bazookas will be offered to the public in a special auction. These recoilless-rocket antitank weapons were used extensively against the Nazis during the war. Each bazooka will come with approximately 80 armor-piercing rounds.

Texas Secretary of State John Steen said that the auction will take place on the capitol steps in Austin. Asked if a permit would be required to purchase a bazooka, Steen said, “Hell no. As long as you’re white and own a pick-up truck, you’re good to go. Don’t want no illegals thinkin’ they’re Federales who can turn Texas into the thirty-second Mexican state.”

Noppen Doppelkinn, a captain in the 10th Waffen SS Panzer Division, and a spry 93-year old, recalls the terror of his tank being hit by a bazooka shell: “It scared the scheisse out of me. Mine corporal had a weak stomach and was seated right behind me. He surrendered immediately. Somesing about seeing a sister in the Bronx, although he was in the line of fire, so to speak, from mine gesass.” Doppelkinn emigrated to the U.S. in 1947, where he started the national food-store chain, Bratwurst-and-More.

In related news, Governor Perry announced that Texas will strengthen its gun laws by allowing residents to carry no more than six concealed firearms.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vatican promotes Silly Hat Contest

Pope Benedict's entries

Special to TPN — Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, announced that the Convocation of Cardinals assembled to pick a new Pope will liven up the proceedings with a Silly-Hat Contest, which has not been conducted for 1200 years. Now-retired Pope Emeritus Benedict will lead the judging panel of six cardinals.

The winner will be a guest on a special presentation of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Father Guido Sarducci, who will also bless audience members for a small fee. “Waddaya think, I do-a this for-a fun? I gotta nun friend who get take-a-de-out pizza seven nights-a week. It ain’t-a cheap.” Sarducci’s brother, Father Angelo “Hit-Man” Sarducci will be in charge of crowd control.

First winner of the Silly Hat Contest, Pope Stephen VI, who reigned from 896 to 897, was famous for exhuming the corpse of his predecessor, Pope Formosus, and putting him on trial in the so-called "Cadaver Synod." Pope Formosus received honorable mention in that early contest.


Although Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, was invited, he declined, saying that “we want to keep clear separation between church and state in America, unless I can find a good Christian fundamentalist to run for President. He’d be like a Pope, only he wouldn’t have to wear those damn hats.”
TPN cameraman on the scene

Monday, October 8, 2012

Todd Akin To Build “Berghof West” in Missouri

Adolph Hitler’s Residence Serves as Model

By Bill Britton

Special to TPN — Rep. Todd Akin (R–MO) is building a new summer home atop Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point in Missouri. Rep. Akin is known famously as the one who clarified the difference between “rape” and “legitimate rape.” To his credit, he also wants to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and lipstick, the “devil’s paint,” according to Akin.

Modeled after Adolph Hitler’s residence in the Bavarian Alps, Berghof West will be heavily fortified to lessen the risk of invasion by progressives and other fringe groups. A particular threat is Liam Breton, erstwhile candidate for president, who attempted to incite a national rebellion earlier this year (see

Albert Speer, Jr., son of Hitler’s architect and a respected draftsman in his own right, is the lead architect for Berghof West. “There will be no reminders of the good old days,” said Speer. “However, Todd feels that a razor-wire-topped-electrified fence would be appropriate, although he doesn’t want his German shepherd Blondi to be harmed. We might have to opt for guard towers. I saw some nice ones when I was a child.”

Adolph and friends at Berghof

When asked how he received permission to build on state park land, Akin said, “As a U.S. senator, I can do any damn thing I want.” He went on to remind reporters that he can “say anything I want, too. My record’s impeccable on that score. Next week I’m going to clarify the difference between ‘pedophilia’ and ‘legitimate pedophilia.’” 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dante’s Circles of Hell to Be Augmented

Rep. Todd Akin (R–MO) develops initiative for Republican Party platform

By Bill Britton

Satan on holiday

Special to TNP — At his daily news conference, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), claimed that “a new version of Dante’s Inferno is necessary to ensure the long-term health of the country. In fact, I anticipate that it will form the basis of a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that sacred document which was modified so eloquently by the Citizens United case, humanizing corporations. If only I could clone Antonin Scalia and get rid of Ruth Ginsberg, that left-wing troublemaker on the Supreme Court.” (Ed. note: Inferno is the first part of Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It describes Hell as comprised of nine circles for different categories of sinners.)

Rep. Todd Akin (R–MO), the author of the initiative, is famous for the term “legitimate rape” and for telling uninsured cancer victims that “selling their car” would allow them to buy coverage. Priebus provided an outline of Akin’s proposal for the assembled press corps. The format retains the original sinner categories but adds to the punishments:

First Circle (Limbo) for virtuous non-Christians. The punishment is in not being able to rise up to Heaven, the best deal in the Nine Circles. It even has a Happy Hour hosted by Socrates, Einstein, and other notables. To this non-punishment, Akin has added videos of a Michelle Bachmann Fox News interview, thus transforming it into real punishment.

Second Circle (Lust) for those who overdose on pornography and Viagra. Quite appropriately, these sinners are blown about by violent winds. Cleopatra is the most famous celebrity being blown, but Bill Clinton can be seen in the distance. The additional punishment has Dick Cheney targeting the fly-bys with his highly inaccurate 10-guage shotgun.

Third Circle (Gluttony) for those who fail Weight Watchers or buy Oreos in bulk. Gluttons spend eternity lying in slushy poop, which has been favorably compared to the sewage outflow from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Here can be found Nero and Marlon Brando, among others. Akins has added a recording of Roseanne Barr screaming, “You’re too goddam fat. You’re too goddam fat . . . ,” ad infinitum.

Fourth Circle (Greed) for avaricious clergy and misers like Ebenezer Scrooge.  This happy group competes in a never-ending contest involving pushing enormous weights against each other. A popular resident is Pope Leo X who is often pitted against recently deceased securities traders from Goldman Sachs. The new punishment has everyone in this group wearing smiley Bill Gates masks, with the constant drone of “Beast of Burden,” chanted by Mick Jagger, in the background.

Fifth Circle (Anger) for those, for example, who give the “bird” to senior citizens at stoplights. Depending on the degree of anger, sinners battle each other either above or below the surface of a dark marsh. Weapons include brass knuckles and lead fly swatters. From their skiff, various fallen angels accompanied by Cruella De Vil beat down sinners with their oars. Akin has placed Ayn Rand at the helm, who recites passages from her book, Atlas Shrugged.

Sixth Circle (Heresy) for those who do not take the Bible literally, in other words, non-Baptists. Heretics are placed in fiery tombs and subsist on cayenne-flavored napalm spread on burnt toast. The most famous heretics, Martin Luther and Liam Breton, are seen basting the tombs with hot tar. As added punishment, Akin has the image of Tim Tebow at prayer projected onto the sulfurous clouds, while the Grateful Dead sing “Hell in a Bucket.”   

Seventh Circle (Violence) for those who think Hannibal Lecter is a kindred spirit. This is the most picturesque circle, where sinners are either boiled in blood, fed to Harpies, or left in a flaming desert with fiery flakes raining down. Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin are seen dancing to another Grateful Dead tune, “Friend of the Devil.” In future, Akins plans on having Madonna sing in a burned and wrinkled leather bikini that matches her burned and wrinkled skin.

Eighth Circle (Fraud) for used-car salesmen in particular, but also for those who sell holistic medical cures. Punishments include being boiled in pitch, biting snakes, and Akin’s favorite, whipping by demons. Noted fraudsters Jack Abramoff and Amway Chairman, Steve Van Andel, are seen selling condos in Heaven and snakebite remedies, respectively, to suffering sinners. Akin is in the process of developing clones of Fox News’ Ann Coulter to be scattered around the circle, wagging their fingers in derision.

Ninth Circle (Treachery) for those who enjoy both back-stabbing and front-stabbing. Famous back-stabbers include Senator Joseph Lieberman (I–RI), who left the Democratic Party and endorsed John McCain (R–AZ) for president in 2008 (still living, Lieberman has been placed on the waiting list). The most famous front-stabber, of course, is Marcus Junius Brutus, who assassinated Julius Caesar in 44 BC and is on loan from Satan. Akin plans on having wax images of himself, dressed in attire reminiscent of Moses, holding stone tablets that are inscribed with the Ten Commandments, placed at strategic locations around this circle. Like the center of Hell, this circle is kept at absolute zero (−459.67° F), which will allow the wax likenesses to survive throughout eternity.

At the very center of Hell, condemned for committing the ultimate sin, personal treachery against God, rests Satan, encased in ice. On special occasions, Satan is released from the ice and allowed to visit South Park, a small town in Colorado.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Government to Test Cell-Phone Lanes on Interstates

Government to Test Cell-Phone Lanes on Interstates

By Bill Britton

Special to TPN — Chairman Deborah Hearseman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that several major U.S. cities will test the practicality of constructing separate cell-phone lanes on interstate highways.  The purpose of this initiative is to reduce the risk of injury or death to non cell-phone users.

“The National Safety Council estimates that in 2010, 1.6 million car crashes occurred while drivers were talking or texting on wireless devices,” said Hearseman.  “The NTSB believes that it makes sense to segregate these drivers so that non cell-phone users enjoy a higher survival rate.”

Approximately 20 miles of the I-495 Capitol Beltway around Washington D.C., from North Bethesda, MD to Alexandria, VA, will see an additional lane constructed with appropriate barriers installed between the new lane and adjacent lanes.  Caterpillar 908H Wheel Loaders will be placed at strategic points to push incapacitated vehicles into a deep ditch that will be cleared periodically.  A barge terminal is being constructed where I-495 crosses the Potomac River to receive the wreckage.

The All-Thumbs Coalition has been lobbying for a cell-phone lane for years.  President Leon Carpal feels that the I-495 project is “a way to prove that mobile device users can be responsible citizens.  We’ll only have ourselves to blame if an accident does happen.  The one downside is the possibility that we’ll be discriminated against with higher insurance rates.”

In related news, Fox TV has announced a new reality show for the fall season: “I-495 Survival.”