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John Edwards Was Actually Kerry's Fourth Choice for VP
From: The Office of Representative Walter Jones, R-North Carolina
DETROIT, MI (Ant Farmer's Almanac Newswire) — General Motors is resurrecting the Chevrolet Corvair, made infamous by Ralph Nader's 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed.
It was Nader's exposé of the auto industry's willful and callous disregard for passenger safety, and the design and engineering flaws of the Corvair in particular, that made him a household name and Chevy's rear-engine compact a thing of the past.
The announcement that Nader will again run for the presidency is believed to have sparked the plan.
"If Ralph Nader can be so clueless and irresponsible as to make yet another pointless, Quixotic run at the presidency," said a spokesman for GM, "Then, we contend that it's probable he's been wrong about pretty much everything else he's ever done, including his harsh — and, we believe, terribly unfair — criticism of the Corvair."
Sporting an air-cooled, rear-mounted engine and styled to evoke the original — in hopes of competing with the retro look Volkswagen Beetle, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Ford Thunderbird — the New Corvair will go other nostalgia-mobiles one better.
"In the interest of period authenticity, we're dispensing with air bags, shoulder and seat belts, ABS brakes, safety glass, padded dash and steering wheel, crumple zones and reinforced passenger compartment as well as power steering, power brakes, power windows — pretty much power anything, really." said GM's spokesman. "All of this will enhance the retro driving experience," he continued, "Also, we're considering leaving off several nuts and bolts and over-inflating the tires."
The introductory limited edition New Corvair's standard features will include an 8-track tape player, a metal dashboard with sharp, pointy chrome knobs, asbestos brake pads, and be offered in six "metal-flake" colors — in lead paint — not available since the late sixties.
GM also announced that it will roll back the safety features of all its 2006 vehicles to 1965 standards.
A spokesman for his campaign dismissed any link between Nader's presidential run and the New Corvair, saying, "This is a cynical grab for free publicity by a desperate car maker scraping the bottom of the Baby Boomer nostalgia barrel."
GM's spokesman retorted, "If Nader was really all that concerned with the American public's well-being, would he be screwing up another presidential election? We don't think so."
The "gap" in George W. Bush's military service — May, 1972 to July, 1973 — closely coincides with the Rolling Stones' North American and Pacific/Australia tour that ran from June, 1972 to February, 1973.
Our proposition: During George W. Bush's "absence" he was the co-pilot of the Rolling Stones' fabled tour plane (with the legendary "Sticky Fingers" lips logo emblazoned on its tail), having been planted there by high ranking U.S. Government officials to keep an eye on the British rock band and possibly even as an agent-provocateur, encouraging behavior that might cause the band to be arrested, thereby aiding the re-election bid of President Richard Nixon.
Given the number of creative, cloak-and-dagger-loving dirty tricksters working for Nixon, it's no stretch to imagine that some especially clever CREEPer (Committee to RE-Elect the President) connected the dots between the following disparate facts and came up with a plan convoluted and outlandish enough to make Ian Fleming envious:
1) J. Edgar Hoover routinely sent FBI agents undercover to infiltrate organizations he deemed subversive. These undercover agents would frequently incite the organization to perform illegal activities intended to lead to members' arrests, and to discredit or neutralize the group. By the early 1970s, hippie peacenik agitators topped Hoover's list of the dangers facing America.
2) Nixon's need to stroke Hoover — who loathed him — in order to gain access to the FBI files on his political "enemies" thereby gathering enough ammunition to undermine any serious competition in the upcoming election. Major points with his hardcore supporters could also be scored if he could come up with a way to deport some noisy, long-haired, foreign-born troublemakers.
3) It was on this tour that the Stones first used their own private jet, a McDonnell-Douglass DC-9, rather than regularly scheduled commercial flights, and they needed a flight crew that would pass FAA muster.
4) The Chairman of the Republican National Committee, George Herbert Walker Bush, had a son, George W., with solid bona fides as both a pilot and a party animal.
5) It was well known that the Stones' tour would be filmed, and it wasn't all that much of a leap to believe that filmmaker Robert Frank might record — however unintentionally — ample enough evidence of the Stones' drug use and debauchery to allow the U.S. Government to deport them.
This would explain why there's no record of George W's service in "Alabama," except for pay-stubs (a bonus extra for CREEP that W was already being paid by the Texas Air National Guard), and the forms requesting a transfer. It would also explain why no one in Texas or Alabama saw him the whole time. They couldn't have. He was partying down with the "Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World", while simultaneously spying on them so deeply undercover for the U.S. Government that no file of his daring mission could be allowed to exist.
But what of the infamous, incriminating film, you ask? The documentary made of the tour, Cocksucker Blues, is virtually banned owing to decades-long lawsuits, court orders and government red tape. Why? According to those who've viewed bootleg copies, the Stones' flight crew frequently partakes in the mile-high debauchery and would have been subject to any criminal prosecution aimed at the band.
So, why did this brilliant plot fail? Clearly, the flight crew's enthusiastic misbehavior didn't help, but that could have been got around. The bigger question is why there isn't even a rumor of a record of such an intriguing and audacious act of political skullduggery? Hoover died in May, 1972 just as the mission was getting underway. Nixon was soon caught up in Watergate, and whatever files there were on this long-shot sideshow got fed to the nearest paper shredder and any conversations about it became gaps in White House tapes. Bush Sr. went to the CIA and learned how to stonewall so well even he doesn't know what he knows. The documentary film has been kept under wraps owing to the incriminating footage of W, and possibly other government ops, "keeping up with the Stones".
As for what W knew and what he remembers of it, well, he spent nearly two decades after his bacchanalia with the band on a howlin' hell-raise, so you can't really blame him for not remembering his whereabouts for a few months — Mick and Keith sure don't — and Robert Frank isn't talking.
And did Hoover and Nixon's nefarious plan to ruin the Rolling Stones really fail, after all? I mean, have you heard what they've recorded since Exile on Main Street?
BRIGADOON, New Hampshire (Ant Farmer's Almanac Newswire) — As the morning after the New Hampshire primary dawned, workers were already rolling up this little town's sidewalks.
Workman were busy disassembling the storefronts all along Main Street — the diner, the barbershop, the Starbucks — and carefully packing the pieces into storage crates, leaving this 220-acre parcel of land empty and cordoned off until 2008.
Well, 2007, to be exact. "We'll start rebuilding the town again Labor Day weekend before the next primary," says Willis Ryan, construction manager of Brigadoon, and familiar to observant television news viewers as the town's colorfully quotable constable Albert Bingham. "We like to have the place up and running before the ground freezes and make sure everything is in good working order and camera ready before any advance people show up."
If this all sounds a little strange, that's because it is. Sort of. Despite the "Welcome to Brigadoon" sign's claim that the village was "est. 1768" this "town" has only been as much of a reality as it is since the late 1960s. "The idea first came up in '64 but we didn't get it together until the '68 primary," says Ryan. "We just backdated the town's founding by exactly 200 years from then. It seemed like a nice touch."
"It started as something of a joke on the national news media and the candidates," Ryan admits. "You know, they barge in and disrupt our lives for week or so every four years pretending to give a rat's ass about us, so we decided, 'Hey, right back at ya,' and created a town that exists only as often as they show up and only for as long as they're in it."
Asked if the candidates or the press are troubled by this elaborate deception, Ryan responds sharply, "Given the megatonnage of crap they unload on us while they're here, putting up a temporary, theme park version of a typical New Hampshire town full of folks willing to stop and listen to whatever BS they're selling this time is more self-defense than deception."
The scheme seemed risky at first, concedes Ryan, "When a couple of reporters first figured it out in '76 we thought there'd be trouble, but since 1980, nobody's even raised an eyebrow. And the candidates love it. They can come and settle in for a few days, which is a big relief for them after schlepping all over Iowa. The media's happy because the whole place is so photogenic, we modeled Main Street on Norman Rockwell paintings, but we update it periodically to stay current. There's not a bad camera angle in town. Plus, we've got electrical outlets every ten feet, breakaway walls for tracking shots, excellent acoustics, internet access and the catering is always outstanding — Paul Prudhomme did 1988, '92 was Wolfgang Puck, Martha Stewart was here in '96, that "Bam!" guy... Emeril Lagasse did 2000 and this year we had Nigella Lawson."
And how do the citizens of the Granite State feel about this quadrennial Disneyfication? "Oh, they think it's great," insists Ryan. "It's a useful diversion, like San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, New York's South Street Seaport Museum or Santa Fe, New Mexico," Ryan continues, "It provides a passable facsimile of the real thing intended just for visitors who can't tell the difference — presidential candidates and the media, in our case — while leaving locals free to go about their daily business without the crowds and traffic. We picked this spot because it was so out-of-the-way. Everybody wins, really."
Brigadoon's inhabitants — "Dooners," as they're called — are picked by a lottery system. They must be New Hampshire residents and registered voters to qualify. Most are workers at nearby factory outlet stores for whom the last weeks of January get slow enough that they can afford to take two or three weeks off to shake hands with candidates and cough up folksy, down-to-earth comments for reporters.
"It's like jury duty," shrugs Roy Bascomb, Brigadoon's municipal snow-plow driver for the past three election cycles, "Except that you get to be on TV, and get your picture taken with maybe the next president. It's kind of fun, actually." Dooners also receive a small stipend for their time and any out-of-pocket expenses they incur are tax-deductible.
Its "primary purpose" complete, by the time the candidates and media horde have descended upon their next destination, the only trace of Brigadoon will be the very tip-top of the water tower emblazoned with its name, peeking above the tree line and just barely visible from the interstate, three miles away.
We are pleased to announce that as of noon today we have submitted the necessary legal documents and tax dodge forms to establish a political action committee called Anybody But Bush Again 2004 and hereafter known as and commonly referred to by its acronym ABBA 2004.
First off, we wish it to be known that ABBA 2004 is in no way associated with any political party — major, middling, minor or fringe — currently running, planning to prepare or preparing to plan to run a candidate for the presidency of the United States in 2004. Our purpose is simply to closely track, and periodically publish our opinion on the likelihood of electability among the emerging contenders. We will quantify our opinions, and lay odds when appropriate. We do this free of any party affiliation, ideological baggage or agenda beyond assisting in the defeat of George W. Bush in the upcoming presidential election.
On a lighter note, our legal department insists that we state publicly and for the record what surely must be clear to everyone else. Despite the purely coincidental resemblance of our acronym to the name of the 70s Swedish pop combo ABBA, we are in no way associated with them — either individually or collectively — their record label or any of the dozens, it turns out, tribute bands and websites devoted to them and their music, and we do not have, seek or imply their endorsement for our use in any manner or for any purpose that could bring us financial or material gain.
You'd think this would all be obvious, but you know legal departments, a couple of threatening letters from Scandinavia and they get their briefs all in a bunch.
With the necessary legalities out of the way, we can proceed to our first order of business: choosing an appropriate theme song.
"Take a Chance on Me" and "So Long", both from the self-titled 1975 album "ABBA", each got lively responses from some staffers, but the former was deemed 'Awfully risky' by Gil in accounting and the latter 'A bit presumptious, maybe' by Ellie and Gregg, who never agree on anything. Gil thought that "Take a Chance" was 'Upbeat and optimistic', but he has a huge crush on Jennifer, who suggested it, so his opinion is a little suspect. "S.O.S.", also from 1975's "ABBA" was met with some initial enthusiasm but on further discussion was dismissed as 'Kinda desperate'.
Jason thought that "Waterloo" from the 1974 album of the same name had potential, but it was decided that the historical reference was probably too 'oblique' (Jennifer's word), and would be lost on too many people to be worth it; Matt said it was 'Like, totally lame', and, even though nobody else in the room expressed such a strong opinion, there was a lot of me-too headshaking when he said it. "Watch Out" from that same release got everybody pretty excited until we realized that all we remembered about the song was its title, and until Matt fixes the 8-track tape player in his El Camino, we can't give it a listen. "Hasta Mañana", also from "Waterloo", had a few boosters, but was ultimately thought to be too similar to Schwarzenegger's famous "Terminator" catch phrase 'Hasta la vista, baby' and would confuse people. "The King Has Lost His Crown" from "Voulez-Vous" came up a couple of times but it might be better as a victory song, should W actually be unseated, and even then not entirely appropriate.
All in all, "Move On" from 1977's "The Album" brought the fewest objections, if only lukewarm enthusiasm.
Clearly, we're still far from a final decision, and in the spirit of grassroots democracy and interactivity (our website, abba-2004.org, should be up by Christmas), we invite your thoughts and feelings on this matter. Your vote counts!
We look forward to keeping you up-to-date and informed about our progress and opinions with press releases, editorials and announcements of events throughout the coming months.