In national news, we are out of gasoline. That recent tankful you got will be your last. We are also out of money. Your local bank will soon be converted to a pawn shop. Finally, we are out of food, because everything but corn is poisonous, and all the corn is going to ethanol production. Ethanol is supposed to go into the gasoline, but since we are out of gas, the U.S. government will soon begin stockpiling the ethanol, because the Farm Lobby doesn't want to go back to the outdated practice of selling corn to people who actually want to eat it.
In response to the lack of gasoline, President Bush called for drilling in Alaska and along the coasts. Liberals reply that this won't help because it will take years to bring gas online, by which time we should all be enjoying wind-powered SUVs. Conservatives agree, but say the potential environmental destruction makes drilling worthwhile nonetheless.
Speaking of dried-up commodities, Jesse Jackson, finding himself outflanked on the right by Bill Cosby, on the left by Moveon.org, and on the left and right by Barack Obama, has recently developed a comedic act in which he impersonates a Klansman. This has received mixed reviews.
It has been a rough summer in the entertainment world. Tom Cruise perished in a plane crash. Will Smith died from a heart attack. New Kids on the Block is staging a reunion tour.
This just in: It turns out Tom Cruise and Will Smith are alive and well. A new form of spam email announces the death of someone popular in an effort to trick the unfortunate recipient into opening it. Our News Department apologizes for the error. They also apologize for the fact that the New Kids rumor is, unfortunately, completely true.
On the political front, Hillary Clinton is now homeless. Our man on the street tells us she has alienated her fellow panhandlers by insisting on the best corner in downtown NYC and berating passersby who give her anything smaller than a twenty. She dismisses these allegations as fabrications concocted by the right-wing panhandling machine.
Barack Obama, meanwhile, is furious that the uber-conservative New Yorker magazine's latest cover depicts him as a radical Muslim. Through a spokesman he denounced the image and issued a fatwa against the New Yorker's publisher and cartoonist.
John McCain is not, in fact, dead.
In sports, everyone in the Tour de France is a junkie. In response, Brett Favre has decided to enter the race, riding a yellow and green Huffy.
And for my local readers, Kansas remains hot, flat, and windy, politically schizophrenic, and filled with people who own their own homes and know how to farm. All things considered, at least it's not New Jersey.
Several of you, like me, have forsaken the news as an irritant, but wrote to tell me that you appreciated my recent rundown of the U.S. presidential campaign. So as a public service, I'd like to offer my latest installment of News by Osmosis:
In election news, Barack Obama was discovered to be a member of the Evangelical Church of Farrakhan, but insists that he only mouthed the words during the hymns. Hillary Clinton's camp has also accused Obama of trying to prevent blacks from voting, due to his fear, no doubt, of the tremendous appeal that a privileged, uptight white woman has for African-American voters.
Clinton, meanwhile, reluctantly revealed that she was a Navy SEAL in Bosnia, where she and her daughter Chelsea took sniper fire while rescuing orphans regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or sexual persuasion from danger.
On the Republican side, John McCain has died of old age.
In local politics, New York governor Eliot Spitzer revealed that he's been patronizing hookers, but insisted that this was part of an elaborate sting operation directed against corrupt HMO executives, who are the real enemy here. The scrupulously ethical New York legislature is investigating whether Spitzer used public resources to underwrite his peccadilloes, and why he couldn't use interns like everyone else.
On the economic front, we are in the Great Depression II. From now on we have to call the first one Great Depression I, which means we'll have to change all the history books, which Paul Krugman believes is exactly the kind of stimulus we need to get the economy going. Both Depressions were caused by twelve years of Reaganomics, along with feckless 1960's-era liberal Democratic spending, which is always what happens when Republicans control Congress.
The War on Terror, meanwhile, is a catastrophic failure, and an unmitigated success. Everyone agrees that we should withdraw as soon as possible, so long as we stay the course.
In college sports, four teams are set to play for the NCAA men's national basketball championship in San Antonio. The NCAA wants you to know that all of the student-athletes on these teams are majoring in medicine or engineering, and quite possibly both, and that they are students first and foremost, and that it is these fine student-athletes who are the nation's future leaders. In related news, NCAA schools stand to rake in roughly 100 gazillion dollars this year from media and merchandising revenue, but the NCAA stresses that it wouldn't be fitting to share any of this with the student-athletes, who are, after all, students.
The Olympics, meanwhile, are set to begin in China, which is an open and free country where citizens are encouraged to make their voices heard, so long as they do it quietly and respectfully between the hours of 10:00pm and 10:05pm Beijing time. A few rabble-rousers have tried to disrupt the torch procession, but these are the same people who don't like McDonald's and waterboarding, and given that otherwise we'll be denied thirty-seven straight weeks of tae-kwon-do and ping-pong, they should all just stow it and let the games begin.
In professional baseball, all past players are drug-addled cheaters, but the current crop is squeaky clean.
Your local weather is crappy, with variable crappiness, and possible crap in the very near future. Unless you live in California, in which case the rest of us think you should go straight to hell.
Finally, our ombudsman reports that the major media outlets are unashamedly biased for and against each presidential candidate, which is exactly what we should expect from an unaccountable left-wing cabal of lock-step liberals wholly owned by conservative corporations. Only Fox News can be trusted to give us a fair and balanced argument for an end to universal suffrage and the reinstitution of slavery.
I've come a long way from my days as a graduate student, immersed in thoughts and discussions about politics. Now I avoid political discussions like Michael Moore avoids vegetables. I even let my newspaper subscription lapse, so I could have more time to read what matters.
Political news is unavoidable, however, and so I thought I'd get you to evaluate my osmosis. Here's my ill-informed reading of the status of our national presidential marathon, based on what I've gleaned from airport conversations and the occasional glance at Google news headlines:
On the Democratic side of things, Obama isn't such a bad guy, if we can get him to renounce terrorism and stop-fathering crack babies, which you didn't hear from the Hillary camp. Clinton, meanwhile, is being perhaps a little too feminine on the campaign trail, what with the cleavage and the crying, though his wife remains the shrill, cast-iron harpy we've all come to loathe and fear. John Edwards is dragging his poor sick wife across the country in a quest to improve health care. He stands on principle against any hedge fund of which he's not a partner. The rest of the Democratic field is a collection of sissies, malcontents, and nutjobs.
On the Republican side, meanwhile, Giuliani is a polygamist. No wait, that's McCain. Sorry, I meant Fred Thompson. Mitt Romney? No, he's a hard-working, family-oriented husband of one wife who stands for everything that made America great, except that he's in a Satanic cult. The one-time darling of the Libertarians, Ron Paul, used to own slaves. Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, seems to drive Peggy Noonan apoplectic, which is reason enough to recommend him. Someone just needs to stop him from channeling Herbert Hoover. The rest of the Republican field is a collection of conspiracy theorists, isolationists, and psychopaths.
As for policy positions, as best I can tell, the Democrats want to give most of the southwest U.S. to Mexico, and invite Muslim terrorists to publicly behead everyone making more than a million dollars a year, except for Steven Spielberg and George Soros. Republicans, meanwhile, want to kick anyone with a Mexican-sounding name out of the U.S., and conquer the entire Middle East so that Halliburton will have work after it kills all the porpoises while drilling for oil off the U.S. coast, which will soon be just east of Kansas City, as a result of the Bush-Reagan-Hitler global warming conspiracy.
Both parties are convinced that government is exceptionally skilled at doing things they want more of, and entirely incompetent when it comes to things they don't like. Every candidate is a candidate for change, using the failed ideas of the past, to create a brave new world for the children.