Friday, March 27, 2009

Secretary Geithner Proposes Giant Tire-Fire as Financial Oversight

The Obama administration proposed today a new set of policies to reel in control of the US’s financial sector. The head of the newly proposed initiatives is Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, who suggests the rules of the game must totally be revamped in order to both get the economy back on track and prevent a similar melt down in the future. Some of Geithner’s proposals have thrown up serious red flags in Republican camps while other proposals have simply been too radical for either side of Congress to sort out.

One of Geithner’s proposals would establish a permanent tire-fire on Wall Street. The proposed fire would serve to eliminate speculation on Wall Street and foster a “trade only when necessary” attitude among brokers. While Geithner has squabbled with his staff about the number of tires required to achieve the desired result, the principal seems to be a staple of the new reforms.

“Well I know it would change my trading habits, for sure," said Alex Petrovic, a broker who works in the New York Stock Exchange. “I used to speculate and get all sorts of good people into trouble. But with a tire-fire in the streets, I would not get anywhere near Wall Street unless I had a sure fire trade to make.”

April Haddock, a senior member on Geithner’s staff, also explained that many of the district’s brokers would inevitably need days off to recuperate from major respiratory complications and others would simply just die.

“This administration is no longer going to allow ‘business-as-usual’ to destroy our financial institutions,” said Haddock. “These new initiatives should at best be able to achieve the same result, but at least we can say we are doing something differently.”

The area’s Chamber of Commerce is not warming up to the idea of a constant tire-fire driving tourists and their money to other parts of New York, but it thinks that their creative minds should be able to offset the downside.

“I think the chance to throw a fresh tire onto the Great Wall Street Tire-Fire has tremendous potential as an area attraction,” says Jason Soledad, area CoC member. “And, you know, maybe one day people will associate New York City with the Statue of Liberty, the Yankees, and one gigantic tire-fire.”

Though it has not yet been confirmed, speculation is rampant about Geithner’s attempts to require toxic banks like WaMu, Fannie Mae, and others, to operate sulfur mines on bank premises.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Czech Prime Minister ousted for anti-Obama rhetoric

After spouting negative comments about Barack Obama’s economic maneuvers, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek was dealt a devastating vote of no confidence by his parliament. Topolanek, who concurrently serves as EU President, described the American president’s stimulus package as “a way to hell” while preparing for next week’s crucial EU G-20 meeting in Paris. Now the embattled Prime Minister is scrambling to recover before Barack Obama himself comes to Prague for a scheduled visit.

“Mr. Topolanek should have known better,” Jiri Paroubek, head of the opposing party that lead the vote of no confidence, told reporters yesterday. “Europe has a very firm, no-tolerance policy when it comes to slandering Obama. Think back to the months before the US elections. Did you hear any negative talk whatsoever about Barack Obama? No. None. Not in the media, not in the political chambers, not in the drunken hooligan brawls. What was he thinking?”

Paroubek had been trying to oust the Prime Minister for months, and the negative comments gave him exactly what he needed to seal the deal. The Czech parliament voted overwhelmingly in opposition to Topolanek, many of them casting their votes with hot tears streaming down their faces over the “very hurtful things he said about Mr. Obama.”

After hearing the news from his hotel room in Paris, Topolanek rushed home to Prague to do some damage control. However, upon reaching the border outside of the German city of Chemnitz, the Prime Minister discovered that the locks at the border had been changed, and that he had no way to get in. Dejected, he was forced to drive to Berlin and stay overnight at a Youth Hostel to figure things out.

“It was horrible,” Topolanek said today. “The particular hostel I visited had a large group of German backpackers and about a dozen spoiled American study abroad students. They wouldn’t stop harassing me over what I had said about ‘the great Obama.’ Was I scared for my life? No. Everyone knows that these Obama supporters are a bunch of nancies when it comes to fighting. But I certainly didn’t get the sleep I needed.”

US Press Secretary Robert Gibbs informed the media that the previously planned trip to the Czech Republic is now in question. Initial plans are to delay the meeting, but it may be canceled altogether.

“People know where we stand with things like this,” Gibbs said. “Our rhetoric and history shows that we are happy to sit down at the tables of our enemies. But we are less inclined to sit with those who outright insult us. We snubbed Fox News. We snubbed Rush Limbaugh. We will likely snub Topolanek.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More economic woes: Dinosaur fossil industry takes a hit

A recent auction of dinosaur bones, fossils and other such Jurassic antiquities at Western Paleontological Laboratories revealed yet another depressing fact in an already woeful economy: people just aren’t buying dinosaurs like they used to. Paleontologists at the Utah-based institute dedicated to the digging up, cleaning up and marking up of fossilized osseous matter are simply baffled by the loss in market value of their prehistoric treasures.

“This is nothing like it was in the late ‘90’s,” Dr. Bode Rasmussen said while shaking his head. “We used to be able to sell a Compsognathus for well over a hundred grand. Now, we’re lucky to get a T-Rex off of our lots for about 80 thousand—and even then we have to add all sorts of buyer incentives.”

The latest auction was proof enough that prices were falling rapidly, and also that consumers were not about to make any sort of fossil purchase without all the bells and whistles included in the purchase price. A teenage woolly mammoth, for example, was sold at a paltry $60,000 dollars, and only after the auctioneer said that WPL would include a state of the art stereo system and hydraulics upgrades, as well as free installation of the skeleton in the buyers’ home.

Matt Hampton, a California native who gave the highest bid for the mammoth, said that he acknowledges the killer deal he got on the creature, but does not feel he is ripping off the paleontologists. “Yeah, I’ve been eyeing a teenage mammoth for my living room for quite some time,” he told reporters, “but I told these guys straight up that I wasn’t going above 60. I told ‘em I’d walk if they tried to push me above that. I almost walked just now when Dr. Rasmussen tried to sell me an extended warranty.”

Sales are expected to decline throughout the rest of the year, and paleontologists aren’t exactly sure how to weather the storm. Many are considering switching jobs or going back to school to teach, but that just isn’t good enough for Rasmussen.

“Look, I got into this industry for the express purpose of being a dino-digger,” an angry Rasmussen explained. “Just like Dr. Grant in Jurassic Park. That’s me. That’s who I am, and I have no intention of quitting. And people had better start realizing that these dinosaurs aren’t going to dig themselves out. What will they do then? Huh? Dig the bones themselves? I don’t think so. It took me 7 years of higher education to learn how to use a shovel correctly, so if any old Joe schmo thinks he can just go and dig out a dinosaur, he’s got another thing coming.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Obama proposes new airline security measures

In a more or less secretive move this week, the Obama administration has denied commercial airline pilots the post-9-11 right to carry firearms with them during flights. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told a hand-selected group of reporters that the action was the result of the administration’s “Guns scare the hell out of me” policy, and that it was simply a matter of time before pilots were denied this provision.

“Well, let’s be 100% honest,” Press Secretary Gibbs told reporters, “none of us in the administration has ever handled a gun, much less ever owned one for personal protection, and that may be a contributing factor to our unfounded fear of firearms. But policy is policy, and we’re sticking to it.”

In anticipation of backlash from the public, President Obama has already created a new measure for ensuring the safety of domestic airline passengers: Samuel L. Jackson will accompany every flight in the U.S.

“We came to the conclusion that Jackson would be perfect after the President, myself and Defense Secretary Robert Gates watched the movie Snakes on a Plane while on Air Force One,” Gibbs explained. “It was like a revelation to all of us. After we saw what Jackson was capable of on a commercial liner, we all looked at each other with that ‘are-you-thinking-what-I’m-thinking?’ look.”

The actor was thrilled to hear of the news, and although he admitted he would miss acting, he felt a surge of patriotic duty and could not refuse the job. “I’d do anything for Barry,” Jackson told reporters outside of his Hollywood residence. “I’m so proud to have him as my president, and if he needs my help to keep the people safe, you’d better believe I’ll be there without any questions asked.”

Jackson’s presence on airplanes alone is expected to completely nullify all threats of violence and terrorism on domestic flights. The President did feel that an isolated incident might arise every few years, but said that anyone who was foolish enough to go toe-to-toe with Jackson would quickly become a statistic proving the effectiveness of the new measure.

“There will be one major shortfall, however,” Gibbs said. “As there is only one Samuel Jackson, we will have to reduce the number of flights to as many as Jackson can fit into a single day. Now, before you get all angry, please know that we are also trying to get Matt Damon of the Bourne Identity series, Bruce Willis from Die Hard, and Liam Neeson from Taken to also become airline security personnel. This will enable us to have… four times as many flights.”

Shelli Van der Berg, a business woman who travels nearly every other week for her job, was disappointed about the cut-back in flights, but was relieved to learn of an airline security measure that will actually work. “I was an advocate of airline pilots carrying firearms, but knowing that Samuel L. Jackson is on the plane with us makes me feel so much safer.”

Monday, March 23, 2009

NASA Probe in Search of Life Quickly Completes Mission; Returns to Earth

Shock and bewilderment crept across NASA headquarters this afternoon when its spacecraft, Kepler, successfully touched back down after only 16 days in space. Officials slapped each other on the back and cracked open bottles of champagne. Early indications suggested that the spacecraft had completed its mission, namely, locating sources of life in outer space. But jubilation over what at first was thought to be an earth-shattering discovery quickly gave way to frustration over a programming technicality that ruined the entire mission.

Scott Mayberry, who has spent the last seven years of his life working for NASA as the head of the Kepler project, explained that the probe had indeed completed its objective. The probe had in fact found life in space. The only problem was that the probe indicated Earth as the source.

“I guess we all got so caught up in the excitement of the project that we forgot to let the probe know that we already were aware of life on our own planet,” said Mayberry. “But the spacecraft did exactly what it was supposed to do. It located life and then returned home to for processing.”

Kepler’s logs indicated that the spacecraft quickly pinpointed earth as a potential candidate for life. The probe spent the next 13 days testing its hypothesis and then returned home once its analysis was complete. The $18 billion project was seen as an enormous failure, and comes at a time when the Obama administration needs some positive feedback from government spending initiatives.

“Well it just makes you laugh,” says Donald Rodenbaugh, assistant project manager. “You know this reminds me of the time in 1989 when we sent a probe to explore Mars and then we found it four days later loitering around the candy bars in a Philadelphia supermarket. But these things happen and you just have to move on.”

Further examination of the probe's logs indicated that the probe located signs of life on earth but did specify that the life was intelligent. Mayberry was able to shed some clarification on this matter:

“I am pretty sure this is a subtle attempt by the probe to mock the staff and I,” he said. “I have poured my heart and soul into that thing and now the craft is mocking me for making such a technical mistake. But I’ll win in the end because I know where all the blow torches are”

NASA’s next scheduled launch has been delayed over fears that all the Lego’s they used were not properly covered in tin foil.