Likable Republicans a “Low Blow”

By Chris Elliott

In what leading Democrats are calling more Republican dirty tricks, two of the GOP’s most admired party members were featured speakers at Monday night's opening of the Republican National Convention.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, and former mayor of New York City, Rudy Guliani both gave impassioned, positive, relatively attack-free speeches, making opening night of the convention an oasis of intelligent political discourse in a desert of shrill bickering.

“It’s utter trickery,” said Ted Kennedy. “Those bastards (pronounced bah-stahds) know exactly what they’re doing, believe me. There are two remaining adults in the Republican party, and they both bat in the same inning? Don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining.”

If not for the hyper-military video montage at the outset of the evening, there was indeed little for the Democrats to denigrate, though Guliani in the end was was a bit prickish.

“I only wish they had put some of the Republicans the Republicans actually listen to up there,” said Henry Waxman, tobacco battler and really weird but still likable Democrat. “Had Wolfowitz or Perle spoken, it would have more realistically represented the aspirations of the administration. They went with McCain and Guliani, and even though Bush listens to McCain about as well as Charlie Brown listens to his teacher, McCain spoke really well. I have to admit that. Guliani was pretty much an asshole though.”

Al Sharpton was likewise critical of Guliani’s speech. “Guliani more showed the side of him that encouraged the rounding up and dumping off of panhandlers within the view of people with sufficient expendible cash to actually patronize them. This left panhandlers to ply their craft only to other panhandlers. How screwed up is that? I’ve never liked that guy.”

Turn-your-stomach Republicans like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, DeLay, and Army were noticeably absent from this opening night, defining a notable “Chickenhawk” duck to the uber-patriotic proceedings. Guliani capped off the proceedings with a tribute to the administration that hosted his city’s darkest hour.

After Guliani’s speech, a videotape of Frank Sinatra singing “New York, New York” was played on the Sony Jumbotron. Sammy Davis Jr. also having been dead, was not invited to deliver the number. Harry Connick Jr. was uninvited, but more due to commercial sales issues than talent.

“We were attacked on September 11,” said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. “Let’s change the circumstances that led to it. McCain and Guliani are great, McCain moreso than Guliani, but let’s not kid ourselves. This is a top down problem. Bush has to go if we are ever going to defeat terrorism.”

The Republican party will probably enjoy a bounce from opening night, but its heaviest hitters are also its greatest liabilities. With a couple of misunderestimations, Bush could sink the whole thing. Rest assured, he’s practicing like the Hamm twins in June, but he’s always ripe for a mandatory deduction. Stay tuned. The Republicans have insidiously introduced themselves with a soft sell. McCain and Guliani are as human a component as this convention is has to offer. From here on in, it’s Terminator IV, and Schwarzenegger is only the supporting cast.

Chris Elliott can be reached at

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By Chris Elliott

The Democratic National Convention is behind us, and the case has been stated for change. There have been niceties and tributes, and there has been rancor and vitriol. Surely though, the event's highlight was John Kerry's acceptance speech. Kerry touched upon on all relevant points that will determine the election's outcome, and he did so with all of the grace that could have been expected. One particularly high point for me was his pronunciation of the word "nuclear." The "c" was pronounced immediately before the "l" and there was no insertion between the two letters of an arbitrary letter "y." To appropriate a well-worn phrase, John Kerry hit the pronunciation of the word "nuclear" out of the park.

It was awesome. For the first time since Al Gore's campaign four years ago, I was observing a man in the pursuit of our highest office who could pronounce a word that most of us grew up with. The nuclear genie came out of the bottle on August 6, 1945, and as anyone who heard Edward R. Murrow's report of the bombing raids over Hiroshima will tell you, he clearly pronounced the word according Merriam-Webster's suggestion.

Following in the Murrow tradition, Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and other people who ought to know, continued to pronounce the word nuclear with all of the letters in the correct order for the remainder of the century. The three current keepers of the network news broadcast flame, Rather, Brokaw, and Jennings, have likewise all seen fit not to improve on how the word is pronounced. Alongside a dizzying battery of other malapropisms, spoonerisms, and other mispronunciations, however, President George W. Bush has lent his painful erudition to the single word that may yet define humanity's viability.

Chris Elliott
Kerry hit the pronunciation of the word "nuclear" out of the park.

For me, the word's ongoing misuse is amusing only once a year, during the State of the Union speech. In each of the last four years, I have gathered with friends around a television set to play "Nookyuler," a drinking game in which each time the president says the word "nookyuler," everybody does a shot. Hopefully, I've played "Nookyuler" for the last time, as the expense of cab fare is a given on the evening of the State of the Union address, and of course because the environment, the economy, and the safety of our troops can't take another four years of Bush's variously manifest ignorance.

There is no way that at least one of George W. Bush's team of handlers hasn't articulated to him that he is pronouncing the word "nuclear" incorrectly. To quote David Letterman in talking to Ari Fleischer about this very subject, "after all, it's spelled nuclear."

I picture Karl Rove taking Bush aside one day and saying, "'Dubya, you know I love ya, but you're pronouncing the word "nuclear" all wrong. It's not nookyuler. It's nuclear. Noo-klee-er. See?"

"I'm not going to learn how to say that at this point! I've been saying nookyuler my whole life. My Dad says nookyuler."

"No he doesn't. Neither does Rumsfeld. The way you pronounce it is wrong."

"I don't care whether it's wrong or not. I'm going to say nookyuler. I do things my own way, and if people don't like it, well, what is it Dick Cheney says? Oh yeah, they can all go f*** themselves! I'm George W. Bush, and it's my way or the Interstate!"

Nuclear is a grave word, with grave implications, and George W. Bush's intransigence in refusing to learn its proper pronunciation is willfully ignorant. It reflects his towering anti-intellectualism, and his boorish and bullying nature. George W. Bush has extended his belligerence with regard to the rest of the world to the English language itself.

It quite honestly made me warm all over when I heard John Kerry pronounce the word "nuclear" during his acceptance speech. It was as though a yoke had been lifted from my neck, the mere possibility that soon I may no longer have to admit to a world and to myself that my leader is a simpleton.

I no longer want to be ashamed or embarrassed for my president when he speaks. Some may suggest that if all I want out of my president is a good talking head, then I am a shallow and easily duped citizen, but that's not it at all. Eloquence is not all I wish for in a leader, but the basics of elocution are indeed among the minimum requirements for my vote.

Margery Eagan of the Boston Herald likens a citizen watching George W. Bush at a speaking engagement to a parent watching a child at a solo recital, hoping and praying that the child gets through the performance without becoming embarrassed in public. The empathetic parent wants to swoop in and save the day, but cannot, and so must sit on the sidelines hoping not so much that their child will excel, but rather that at the least, he or she won't do poorly. Time and time again though, that child singing Ave Maria is my president saying "nookyuler," or "misunderestimated." I'm sick of it, and I want it to stop.

What's in a word? Perhaps not everything, but at least from my perspective, a great deal resides in each word we choose. In the mouths of world leaders, a single word can imply relative intelligence, relative respect for educational conventions, and whether or not personal dignity on the world stage is even regarded as important. The Bush assault on language is far less criminal than the Bush assault on the community of nations. Still I hope for a rational administration and at least four years without consistent executive misspeak.

After all, mispronouncing a lie doesn't make it true.

Chris Elliott can be reached at


Bush intelligence decision lacks intelligence

By John Breneman

In nominating Rep. Porter J. Goss of Florida to head up the C.I.A., President Bush wisely went for a loyal Republican who has already attacked the intelligence record of the man who is trying to take his new boss's job.

Intelligence experts say the intelligence post nomination is generating a stream of intelligence (or "chatter") suggesting that partisan attacks are likely. It also led to the following exchange at the Tuesday morning Rose Garden press conference:

HUMOR GAZETTE: Mr. President why did you select a man who, according to the New York Times, denounced John Kerry's intelligence record on the House floor in June and whose own work providing oversight of the C.I.A. as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was deemed ineffective by the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks?

PRESIDENT BUSH: "If I told you that, I'd have to kill you. Heh, heh."

"Just kidding," said Bush, whose trademark smirk then turned into a grimace when he was asked how his plan for a national director of intelligence who would assume some of the C.I.A. chief's traditional duties would affect Goss's role.

"Beats me," said the president.

This just in from the New York Times: "The office of director of intelligence has got to be kept out of politics," said Stansfield Turner, director of central intelligence under President Jimmy Carter. "It's already lost a lot of its credibility with the American public over weapons of mass destruction, and this is not going to help its credibility. People will say, 'Is he really telling us the truth, is he really telling the president the truth?' "

But at least Rep. Goss is tough. The Times also reports: "Democrats who serve on Mr. Goss's committee charge that he has ignored legislation they submitted four months ago to reform the intelligence community along the lines that the Sept. 11 commission recommended."

The Humor Gazette has learned that Mr. Goss's secret code name might be "T-Bone," in order to confuse a terrorist who might think he'd be named after a Porterhouse steak.

Other possible code names for Goss, himself a former spy: "Gator," "Hoover," "Stovepipe" and "Albatross," the last a satiric reference to his potential to be a liability at a time of alleged politicization of intelligence, from the threat of WMDs in Iraq to politically convenient terror alerts.

Ridge terror alert smells fishy

Responding to harsh criticism from the New York Times that his Crayola-based terror alert system is more useful to late-night comedians than the American public, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge today announced that he is switching to a fish-based system.

Henceforth, instead of standing in front of a color-coded chart while simultaneously warning Americans to be very afraid and reassuring them about "the president's leadership in the war against terror," Ridge will simply spread his hands apart - close together if the terror threat is minimal, and very far apart if an attack seems imminent.

On occasion, he may use an actual fish. Perhaps one swordfish if the terrorists are coming by land, two North Atlantic salmon if by sea. Three flying fish if the bastards are coming by plane again. And a standard 12-inch parrotfish when bursting onto the scene at politically convenient moments to hail the captain's firm hand at the helm.

Related story:
U.S. at risk of attack by giant pterodactyl

Nostradamus issues terror warning

By John Breneman

Citing new intelligence received from Nostradamus, Tom Ridge today warned all Americans to "hold onto their hats."

Ridge, director of the U.S. Department of Terror, said agents have discovered a new document in which the mysterious 16th-century prophet speaks of a "grave and gathering danger" posed by an unidentified "beast from the Middle East."

The fact that the new terror alert comes on the heels of the John Kerry's rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention is just a coincidence, said Ridge, who nevertheless warned that registered Democrats may be at heightened risk.

"The terrorists hate the word 'democracy' so much they are hoping to kill as many Democrats as possible," said Ridge, who urged all Dems to re-register as Republicans and vote for President Bush "just to be safe."

Ridge, who has been criticized for issuing vague terror alerts timed to counter any Democratic momentum in the presidential race, said the Nostradamus prophecy was fairly specific. It read, in part:

"Some asshole named Mohammed, or maybe Abdul, will try to blow something up. But instead of a metal bird crashing down from the sky, look for a brownish 1989 Toyota SR5 pickup truck loaded with ammonium nitrate."

As further evidence that a terrorist strike may be imminent, Ridge said President Bush mentioned that in his most recent conversation with God, the Supreme Being seemed a little edgy but would not say why.

The fact that a faceless enemy may wipe us off the map at any moment does not conflict with President Bush's claim that he has made America safer, according to Ridge, who confided that Nostradamus also praised Bush for "the president's leadership in the war against terror."

Responding to skeptics, Ridge pointed out that Nostradamus correctly foretold the breakup of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, and rise of so-called "reality programming," which he called simply "mindless drivel." The terror czar hinted there might be some additional Nostradamus "chatter" containing dirt on John Kerry, but did not elaborate.

Critics counter that the visionary Frenchman failed to predict that President Bush would choke on a pretzel, fall off his bike (twice) and respond to the darkest hour of his administration by continuing to read "My Pet Goat" to a group of schoolchildren.

Humor Gazette endorses Kerry

Though primarily a humor publication, the Humor Gazette is run by actual journalists who reserve the right to be serious about important issues facing America and the world. See our endorsement HERE.

John Kerry promised Thursday night to be a commander in chief "who will never mislead us into war." Here is the text of Kerry's speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president. Also, some analysis by David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation magazine and author of "The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception."

Gazette discovers evidence of Iraq WMDs

Humor Gazette investigative reporter Chris Elliott has discovered shocking evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

The smoking gun? A slick Madison Avenue-quality advertisement for a hideous biological weapon called "Kurd Be Gone," described as "the latest in tribe control products from Hussein Laboratories."

The ad boasts that Hussein's genocide product is "a triple cocktail of hanta virus, bubonic plague and strychnine delivered in a fine airborne mist." Elliott found the advertisement in a dumpster in the dangerous Thump City district of Baghdad.

A White House spokesman said there can be little doubt the ad is authentic because it so clearly supports the administration's claim that Hussein actually had weapons. President Bush responded, "See? Told you he had WMDs. Nah nah, nah nah nah."

Saddam pens anti-Bush poetry

(Reuters) -- Saddam Hussein is passing his time in solitary confinement by reading the Koran, writing poetry, gardening and snacking on American-style cookies and muffins…

The Humor Gazette has obtained several of Hussein's poems from a source close to the guy who smuggles in his favorite Oreos, Keeblers and Little Debbie Snack Cakes.

The Iraqi human rights minister who visited him in prison said Hussein, who used to get his cardio workout by butchering people for 30 minutes each day, has put on 11 pounds and is thinking of starting the Atkins lo-carb diet. He is also being treated for an itchy beard and suffers from chronic dictator's elbow.

In addition to writing poetry, the Iraqi rhapsodist spends his days drawing Devil horns on photographs of President Bush and silk-screening his new line of "High-Value Detainee" apparel.


"Ode to George W. Bush"

Bush, you oil-sucking piece of devil dung

You took my country and whacked my sons and yanked me from a rathole
but you are messing with the wrong "cowpoke" my mentally challenged friend

You swore I had nuclear yellow cake mustard gas bombs
and linked me with that Osama douchebag
so when my freedom tunnel is finished
I'm gonna get Mesopotamian on your ass

You killed your own people to take me out
and now you're stuck with my stink forever

Plus, you and your God can shove it cause Allah says you suck


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Dubya got boned
in the butt by Abu


Bubble bubble oil and trouble
Bush is dumber than Barney Rubble


The madman has even tried haiku…

"Camel Dung"

Naked aggression
Mother of all warmongers
Halliburton rules


"Read My Lips"

Daddy Bush missed me
Georgie Junior bagged Baghdad
Mission accomplished


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