The Continuing Crisis

The Continuing Crisis

By From the October 2010 issue

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August took a powder, and this respected journal of opinion conferred on Our President the title Worst President of Modern Times. A round of half-hearted applause was heard from the camps of President Jimmy Carter and of President Bill Clinton, who could say with pride that he was only impeached. Yet, we never said that the Prophet Obama was ineffectual. He has the country in chaos. No one knows if their taxes are going up or down. No one knows if the economy is going into a second recession or just muddling along. And the farce continues. At month's end the president came back from vacationing in Martha's Vineyard and delivered a 19-minute speech from a Holiday Inn conference room somewhere in the District. The room, done in earth colors, featured a presidential seal and quotations from four presidents and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our president said that the war in Iraq (which he had opposed) was over, though we were leaving 50,000 troops there who now may have to take the Greyhound bus home. On a slightly different note, congratulations are in order for Mr. Thomas Magill, 22, who leapt from the 40th floor of a New York city apartment building and landed in the backseat of a Dodge Charger without injury save for two broken legs. He was saved, according to the car's owner, Mr. Guy McCormack, from more gruesome injuries by a rosary that Mr. McCormack keeps in the front seat of his vehicle. And finally there is good news from that BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently petroleum-eating bacteria that have dined for eons on the meager oil seeping into the Gulf were given a Lucullan repast by BP and are tremendously grateful. Leaving the environmentalists with the glum but irreversible finding that oil spills are good for the environment!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has traced August's vast salmonella outbreak, which has infected as many as 1,500 egg eaters, back to an Iowa farm where some 500,000 chickens do not properly wipe their bottoms. The farm, maintained by the DeCoster family, has for many years been cited for such health hazards as the chickens with their dirty bottoms, a lack of signs enjoining employees to wash their hands before leaving the bathroom, and towering, eight-foot-high piles of chicken manure, which are an awesome sight for tourists but a serious infraction of the law. An inspection by FDA officials cited chickens appearing to play in the manure and employees taking the foul stuff home for their children. We anticipate sanctions. Plans for raising a mosque at Ground Zero featuring such amenities as a bowling alley and pinball machines were endangered when the holy imam, the Rev. Feisal Abdul Rauf, Esq., was discovered to have said on 60 Minutes that America was an "accessory to the crime" of 9/11 and "Osama bin Laden is made in the U.S.A." The Prophet Obama tried to mollify the mosque's critics when he said that it was a religious right to build the mosque. A few hours later he claimed that he was not speaking "on the wisdom" of building it. And at the end of the month he reiterated the first position, wrapped it in the second position, and punted.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his smartly clad all-male entourage suffered a fright when an explosive device of uncertain origin went off as they entered the holy city of Hamedan in western Iran. There are 352 holy cities in Iran, many with indoor plumbing and women to do the wash. President Ahmadinejad, clad in his trademark dirty windbreaker, was not hurt, according to media reports-though his pants were soiled-and everyone went home and had a good laugh. Back in the States, a woman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, claims that while visiting the Epcot Center with her children and boyfriend two years ago, she was molested by Mr. Donald Duck, who squeezed her left breast and apparently paid only limited attention to her right one. Miss April Magolon, 27, suffered "severe physical injury, emotional anguish and distress including, but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder" in her suit against the Disney corporation-more on this later. In culinary news, apparently health authorities in Davenport, Iowa, are unfamiliar with French cuisine. They are fining Chef Christopher Turla after film appeared on YouTube of him kissing and licking two small toads before stuffing them in his mouth in the traditional dans la bouche dans la toilette preparation. Restaurant owner Mr. Yidi When tried to make light of the whole affair by saying that Chef Turla is a "very funny guy," but he is going to have to pay a $335 ticket for his fun.

Expect the FDA to require "warning notices" on crack pipes after a New Mexico man, Mr. Randy Malone, 47, set his prosthetic leg on fire with a pocketed pipe. Deputies say they found Mr. Malone naked along U.S. 70 with his leg in flames after a witness dumped him there for lighting up without the driver's permission. In Cambodia, Mr. Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his failure as commandant of the Khmer Rouge's infamous S-21 prison to allow any of the 14,000 persons tortured there and killed to survive. He is the first Khmer Rouge to be convicted. Miss Paris Hilton was back in the news after a comparatively headline-free summer. She was charged with a felony count of possession of cocaine and has now been barred from Las Vegas's Wynn resort. In Sweden it's official: Mr. Julian Assange is being investigated for rape and molestation. Mr. Assange is the impresario of WikiLeaks, which publishes filched Pentagon documents, so he cannot be very concerned with publication of documents relating to his investigation and might even like it.

In celebrity news, the thunder mug of Mr. John Lennon, the late Beatle, was auctioned off at $14,740 (£9,500). The buyer was not identified, but rumor had it that it was "going overseas," and you know what that means. Someone in Hollywood has a new flower vase. In Caracas, Venezuela, Mr. Gustavo Rojas, an opposition candidate running for a National Assembly position, is raffling breast implants to raise money for his campaign. Feminist criticism does not worry Mr. Rojas, who says, "It's the doctor who will do the operation, not me." British Airways apologized to passengers who were flying over the North Sea en route to Hong Kong when the wrong message was played over the public address system, announcing that the plane was about to crash into the sea and everyone was about to get wet and possibly die. "I can't think of anything worse than being told the plane's about to crash," said Miss Michelle Lord, 32. Well, how about this. Mr. Fidel Castro was at death's door four years ago and God did not want him. Yes, according to the heartthrob of Hollywood, California, "I was at death's door, but I came back," he told the left-leaning Mexican daily La Jornada. And he has to live in Cuba.

The Gallup weekly tracking poll gave Republicans a 51 to 41 percent lead over Democrats, the largest margin in Gallup poll history. Yet Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid remain confident of victory. Vice President Joe Biden is reading chicken entrails daily, despite the salmonella threat. 

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About the Author
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is the author of The Death of Liberalism, published by Thomas Nelson Inc. His previous books include the New York Times bestseller Boy Clinton: the Political Biography; The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton; The Liberal Crack-Up; The Conservative Crack-Up; Public Nuisances; The Future that Doesn't Work: Social Democracy's Failure in Britain; Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House; The Clinton Crack-Up; and After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery.