Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Horn Will Not Blow at Midnight, But Every Other TV Special Will

EDITORIAL (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- New Year’s Eve is almost upon us. As the CEO of San Narciso’s premier radio station, I don’t focus a lot of attention on television. Moving images take away from the sound spectra that surround us, the chords and frequencies and timbers and harmonics. But old films, the classics, now that’s where it’s at. Where it’s always been, right? Where the writing mattered. Where it was about the words, people, not the visual distractions. And it seems the only time we get to partake is around the holidays. So what the hell is going on here?

I’m speaking to you, Rolf Funch, president of RJ Fletcher Communications. What kind of world makes us sit through Dick Clark’s loathsome post-stroke aphasia during every New Year’s Eve special from now until the End Time out of some misguided notion of tradition? Yeah, I know he's "dead," but I've become convinced that Dick Clark was capable of regenerating into new, uncomfortable bodies like a Time Lord. Now he's masquerading about in his new incarnation as Ryan Seacrest. Regardless of which form he takes, or what pseudo-dignified personality he decides to pair with Kathy Griffin, the spectacle remains one of those horrific and intolerable moments where I'm forced to feel embarrassment for another human being. But it's a tradition. An American tradition.

You know what else is a tradition? An American tradition? “The Horn Blows at Midnight.” Surely you remember? Jack Benny? Alexis Smith? Made in the year of your lord Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Five?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Santa Claus Blames Target Credit Card Breach for Disappointing Christmas

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- According to the nation's retailers, frugality seemed to be theme this year among holiday shoppers. Despite offering aggressive discounts to entice consumers, with some sales events beginning on Thanksgiving evening, retailers found little more than coal in their stockings as their dismal year-end financial reports bore out analysts' bleak projections. Merchandisers are now hoping post-Christmas sales will help them salvage something from 2013's disappointing figures. A spokesperson for North Pole Distribution Operations Ltd. (NPDOL) said Santa Claus attributed the lion's share of the problem to a Target security breach that gave hackers access to over 40 million credit and debit cards.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa Claus Tells Reporters He Doesn't Believe Children Actually Exist

But does Santa believe in you?
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript)-- With just hours remaining until his annual goodwill mission, Santa Claus admitted Tuesday that for almost two hundred years he's harbored growing doubts about the existence of children. St. Nick opened this morning's global press briefing on a surprisingly somber note, offering reporters a rare glimpse into the philosophical and spiritual conflicts that have troubled his soul since the end of the 1950s, when he first recognized his budding crisis of faith. Kris Kringle said: "I've been reluctant to talk about this, but I feel the time is right. A lot of dubious claims have been made, creating myths that just can't be justified in my mind. I've tried to rationalize them for years, but I can't continue living in a delusion." He then revealed that, among other things, no postal agency has ever delivered a single piece of mail to the North Pole.

Friday, December 13, 2013

NRA Responds to Colorado School Shooting by Urging Lawmakers to Reinstate Duels

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- As the nation prepares to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children were murdered by gunman Adam Lanza, a student at a Colorado high school opened fire on campus Friday, allegedly seeking to confront a particular teacher. NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has been tirelessly pressing lawmakers to stop tightening the screws on gun owners, noting that the fear of weapons bans and spartan restrictions have hobbled responsible owners. Today, his dire warnings came to pass again as a pupil at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., shot two students and then killed himself, according to officials. "We have offered proven remedies, but all are met with unreasonable new laws that take guns away from people who can protect their loved ones," LaPierre said. "And so many of these killings seem to arise from interpersonal disputes, as we saw in Colorado today. Instead of weakening our Constitutional rights by banning weapons, we propose reinstating a tried-and-true American institution, embraced by our Founders, with well documented successes in conflict resolution: the duel."

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ruthless Banker Saves Bedford Falls from Shady Subprime Lenders

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has closed 465 banks. Prior to 2008, only 10 banks had failed. Regulators shuttered another 23 failed banks in 2013 alone. On Wednesday, TFC National Bank said it will close 37 branches inside Jewel stores by March, A day later, still plagued by the fallout from the ruptured housing bubble, Bank of America agreed to pay the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) nearly $132 million in penalties to settle an investigation connected to the sale of two intricately convoluted mortgage securities sold to investors through its Merrill Lynch division. The news has been neither surprising nor welcoming. But the announcement that regulators seized the assets of the famed Bailey Savings and Loan in Bedford Falls -- a privately owned and cherished institution that never received bailouts -- rocked the nation's confidence. This time, however, a corporate banker named Potter, whom the town previously considered a ruthless and malevolent cad, has emerged as a potential savior.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New NSA Offering Intercepts Children's Christmas Lists and Sends Them Directly to Santa

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Last Wednesday, The Washington Post obtained documents indicating that the National Security Agency (NSA) gathers nearly five billion records each day that track the locations of users around the world, including some Americans. The data was provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. His revelations continue to expose a domestic surveillance operation far more widespread than the public was initially led to believe. But the NSA wants you to know that these data-mining expeditions serve a greater, more benevolent good. So as a special holiday treat, the NSA, free of charge, will send Santa Claus the Christmas lists of every child whose records were intercepted by government systems through an automated process that "promotes immediacy, assured delivery and overcomes challenges with illegible letters, improper postage or incorrect addressing that often occur when silly liberal children are allowed to correspond with the North Pole directly."

Monday, December 9, 2013

Disgraced Homemaker Exposed as Fraud, Admits Fruitcake Not World Famous

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- To Bennington Vale locals, homemaker Emmeline Kuchenkoch needs no introduction. Chances are, if you've dined at Piers Addleson's Pea House and ordered a cake, the heady Linzer Torte or the bemusing marzipan characters inspired by the Passion of Christ, then you've sampled Kuchenkoch's wares. The Addleson family has been reselling her delicacies for over 40 years in their restaurant. But scandal rocked San Narciso County Tuesday when rivals at the struggling Hearth Attack bakery discovered damaging information that pressured Emmeline Kuchenkoch to confess, "My Christmas fruitcake is not actually world famous."

Thursday, December 5, 2013

GOP Removes Celebratory Tweet After Learning Nelson Mandela, Not President Obama, Died

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- After another haphazard and hasty rush to promote Republican Party messaging on Twitter, the GOP removed an offensive tweet only hours ago that read: "Free at last! Kenyan-Muslim-socialist-Madrassa-food stamp-crazed dictator dies." The post was deleted by administrators of the RNC (@GOP) account on learning that iconic South African peace activist Nelson Mandela had died Thursday, not U.S. President Barack Obama. Defending the confused Mandela-Obama tweet, RNC spokespeople confessed to poor judgment but explained that the similarities between the two groundbreaking presidents led to an error "any reasonable person could have made when the news broke."

Nelson Mandela Dead at 95, Rest in Peace

San Narciso County 2013 Christmas Parade Rules

SAN NARCISO COUNTY PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT -- The Annual Bennington Vale Christmas Parade is scheduled for Saturday, December 7, 2013. Sidewalks CANNOT be reserved with personal property, which includes unattended children and the elderly, until 5:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. if center medians are used. The parade route spans Maxwell Street, Cape Horn Avenue and Tragic Courier’s Way, ending at Lake Inverarity’s Fangoso Lagoons. The estimated duration of the event is three hours. The placement of personal items along the parade route -- including your children, pets or virtually incapacitated senior citizens -- has in the past created pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic issues, in addition to numerous problems for local businesses. In an effort to prevent accidents or injuries, and in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, personal property or family members serving as human placeholders along the parade route prior to the street closures will be confiscated at the discretion of the San Narciso Police Department and taken to the Heritage Heights Library for pick-up after the event. Please note that all costs incurred from the caring of and cleaning up after your children or elderly will be cited back to you by the City.

The public is also reminded that the law strictly prohibits the following activities on City property, and appropriate action will be taken against anyone in violation. Please observe these rules during the event.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chamber of Commerce Accuses Retailers That Refused to Open Thanksgiving of Treason

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- In January, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's foremost conservative business lobby, announced its annual ranking of the worst companies in America -- those organizations that consistently failed to embrace the true spirit of bottom-line capitalism. To make the prestigious list, companies had to demonstrate their failures to seize opportunities for maximizing profit potential by refusing to cut corners, reduce overhead, eliminate employer-sponsored benefits and perks, replace full-time workers with temps or automation, and outsource jobs to foreign nations with cheap labor pools and abysmal records of human rights. This Wednesday, just days after the biggest shopping day of the season, the Chamber upped the ante by accusing several of America's foremost retailers of un-American activities for their refusal to open on the holiday to champion the values of free market enterprise that define the morality and might of the nation.

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Thanksgiving Feast Actually Last Meal Before Execution, Historian Says

"The first feast, so to speak, may also have been the nation's first Last Meal." -- Abel Wharfinger

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Although the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition in America traces its roots to the seventeenth century, historians believe earlier celebrations existed on the continent as far back as 1598, when Spanish explorers in Texas gave a feast of thanks at San Elizario. Similar events were also documented in the Virginia Colony. Abel Wharfinger, the dean of History at San Narciso College, said the Pilgrims "likely witnessed a type of Thanksgiving feast prior to their journey overseas while they were staying in Leiden. There, annual services were held to observe the end of the 1574 siege. This event probably served as the influence for the holiday we now celebrate. Although our Thanksgiving is not entirely original, we've recently discovered something about it that is."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Racists Aren't Racist, Say Racists Richie Incognito and Richard Cohen

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Racists aren't actually racist, say two prominent racists embroiled in recent controversies over comments they made about people of varying ethnic and racial backgrounds. For the past week, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, whose public shaming has made him anything but incognito, has suffered at the epicenter of a scandal that involves allegations of hate speech beyond the already questionable hazing rituals in the world of professional sports. Then Richard Cohen, The Washington Post's reliably gauche and humorless columnist, candidly explored the "conventional" American's vomitous reaction to miscegenation, which endures in this century as a sort of societal emetic.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Florida Men Invoke 'Stand Your Ground' and Zimmerman's 'Skittles Defense' in Halloween Shootings

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- George Zimmerman's fatal shooting of an unarmed teen named Trayvon Martin in 2012 sparked national outrage, a federal investigation, a reaffirmation of America's timeless love affair with the Second Amendment, and legal recognition, at least in the state of Florida, of candy as a legitimate threat to the nation's health, which must be put down through the exercise of extreme force. Zimmerman maintained that he gunned down Martin in self-defense, believing his life was in danger at the time the teen menacingly brandished a bag of candies and a dubious looking bottle of iced tea. A jury agreed and acquitted Zimmerman in July. On Wednesday, eight men invoked both the "Stand Your Ground" law and Zimmerman's "Skittles Defense" for their parts in the shooting of over 20 children on Halloween.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sources Leak Rand Paul's Heartfelt Rebuttal of Plagiarism Charges

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Over the last week, the mainstream media has maliciously attempted to discredit presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) with claims that he plagiarized a number of speeches and entire sections of his books. Although Paul has responded with only terse denials and the suggestion that slander should be grounds for justifiable homicide under the rules of the duello, The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript has obtained an unreleased draft of a speech he is expected to give later this week. We are told this is not an apology, only a formal statement and defense on the matter.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tea Party Sponsored Haunted House Closed for Being Too Scary

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- For a third year consecutive Halloween, the San Narciso County Chamber of Commerce was forced to shutter the community’s annual Haunted House Spooktacular, which opened Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in the Lake Inverarity Social Hall. As in years past, the event drew more police and paramedics than Halloween thrillseekers in its three short hours of operation. Signs posted around the county by event organizer Francis Baldhamer warned: "If you can't afford to have your pants scared off, don't wear any!" While only a few inappropriate teens took Baldhamer's message at its word, the problems arose when parents failed to exercise caution by bringing along children under the age of 12. The theme for this year's event was "Death Panel: American Nightmares," a politically charged horrorshow that envisioned a chilling apocalypse of socialism and forced euthanasia unleashed by a mysterious Kenyan serving as a U.S. president.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Activist Male Judge Overturns Female Approved Texas Abortion Law, Dealing Blow to Women's Rights

"Glaring proof that American men are allowed to make decisions regarding a woman's body and her choices."

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- "Power mad" was one of the pejorative phrases used by female voters in Texas to describe District Judge Lee Yeakel's ruling to strike down limits on abortion after state lawmakers passed them during a legislative session this summer. Yeakel declared two key provisions to the health and safety code unconstitutional for restricting women's access to pregnancy termination clinics and undermining doctors' rights to treat patients according to their best medical interests. Janis Lane, the outspoken leader of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, attacked the ruling for considering only a patient's medical interests, not her moral interests. State Representative Jodie Laubenberg and Senator Donna Campbell -- two female lawmakers in Texas who helped drive the pro-life bill that passed by 62 percent, including a majority of Texas women -- called Yeakel's decision a "huge setback for women's rights" and "glaring proof that American men are allowed to make decisions regarding a woman's body and her choices."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Obamacare Website Glitch Caused by Death Panel Option

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The development team responsible for the Obamacare website,, faced tough questions from a House oversight committee Thursday over the problematic online enrollment portal. Republicans and Democrats alike expressed frustration with the slipshod deployment of the site, which remains inaccessible to countless users. Since its October 1 debut, the online health care marketplace has been plagued by problems. Exasperated lawmakers grilled Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president at CGI Federal, the primary contractor, for over three hours without determining an expeditious fix for the issues. "If there was a silver bullet to answer that question, I'd give it to you," Campbell replied. According to Rep. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Obamacare's silver bullet is precisely the cause. The unexpected volume of Americans seeking to end their suffering through the Death Panel option, the underlying purpose for the Affordable Care Act, is crashing the site.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Republican Defeat Over Government Shutdown Frees Democrats to Pursue Obamacare Death Panels

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Just after midnight on Thursday morning, President Obama signed a bill to reopen the federal government and raise the debt limit after the Senate reached an eleventh-hour agreement Wednesday, following a nearly three-week shutdown. If the goal of the maneuver, as many Republicans stated, was to benefit taxpayers by curbing spending and bolstering economic growth, the House seemed to have missed the mark. The loss of government services could siphon $3.1 billion from the gross domestic product, according to economists. In reality, tax reforms and spending cuts were merely the public-facing facades for a deeper ideological battle over repealing Obamacare and environmental regulations. "We fought the good fight. We just didn't win," Speaker Boehner told reporters, beaten down and frazzled by his party's failed attempt to hold the president's health care reform to ransom. Now, seizing momentum with a major mid-term victory, Democrats are eager to deploy their insidious Death Panel initiative with "renewed vigor and aggression."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

House Abandons Effort to Reopen Government, Says Permanent Shutdown Will Save Economy

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- As the government shutdown lumbers into its 16th day, pushing the United States precariously close to defaulting on its bonds, House Republicans abruptly scrapped plans Tuesday evening to vote on a revised budget and raise the debt ceiling before Thursday's deadline. The Senate had already been close to finalizing a proposal that would have prevented the default while keeping the government functioning until 2014. The House, however, announced that it was drafting its own resolution. Speaker John Boehner's failure to submit the conservative-friendly alternative is seen as a severe blow to his standing and authority. But shortly after House leaders officially called off their efforts, Boehner surprised reporters by admitting that ranking conservatives had no desire to reopen the government. Ever. "After considering everything in detail, we believe that leaving cumbersome elements of the federal government closed indefinitely will actually save our economy by doing away with unnecessary, financially prohibitive regulations."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Political Protests by Liberals and Tea Party Threaten Columbus Day Celebration

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Today, many U.S. citizens observe the arrival of Christopher Columbus to American shores, a voyage that concluded on October 12, 1492. The holiday has been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century, and officially in various areas since the early 20th century. In San Narciso County, the annual Columbus Day reenactment ceremonies have bolstered the local economy with an influx of Southern Californians who gather at Kinneret's Battersea Field to enjoy a variety of beverages, delicacies and the Integration of the Indigenous Peoples commemoration. This year, however, Mayor Manny DiPresso has increased security after receiving word that a group of demonstrators plans to protest the ceremony.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

K9 Unit Attacks Increase Among Latinos and Blacks, Police Tell Critics Dogs Aren't Racist

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The most recent semiannual report released by the Police Assessment Resource Center showed a steady increase in the number of minorities bitten by canine units with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department over the last few years. Although the report cited a lack of adequate supervision from canine handlers, critics and civil rights advocates have accused the department of racially profiling minorities, evident in the prevalence of attacks against non-Caucasians. San Narciso County Police Department spokesperson Ren Williams scoffed at the allegations of racism. "There is no proof whatsoever that dogs have a sense a race, or even comprehend discrimination based on race," he said. "It's a ridiculous and unreasoned attack against these animals."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Phone and Internet Providers Report Huge Spikes in Calls and Emails During NSA Furlough

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Despite reassuring rhetoric from both sides of the political aisle in Congress, which has grown from a fissure to a continental divide, the government shutdown now entering its second week has halted more than so-called nonessential services. Intelligence officials have expressed concerns about national security with 70 percent of NSA employees furloughed. "The damage will be insidious," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Each day that goes by, the jeopardy increases." The situation, however, appears to have taken a turn for the ironic with telecommunications and Internet service providers reporting dramatic increases in subscribers making phone calls, sending emails and posting on social networks.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Alex Jones Reveals Tropical Storm Karen as False Flag Operation by Obama Administration

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Government watchdog Alex Jones has been an instrumental force in journalism, exposing President Obama's conspiracies to uninformed Americans and forcing Congress to take remedial action against agencies that are caught red-handed trying to perpetrate false flag attacks. As news spread Thursday of a firefight near the U.S. Capitol building, Jones immediately recognized the shootout as a feeble tactic by a desperate White House: "They're pulling a big distraction on us," he said, alluding to the event as a staged diversion to shift attention from the federal government shutdown over Obamacare. He also warned the public to "look for them to stage a bunch of stuff… Everything the globalists do is falling apart right now." On Friday, with FEMA personnel furloughed and tropical storm Karen raging toward the southern coast of Louisiana, Jones accused the Obama administration of engineering the hurricane to condemn brave Republicans for their refusal to accept a socialist health care policy, even though it led to the shutdown.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

House Republicans Brave Shutdown, Assure Worried Supporters: "We'll Manage to Put Food on Our Tables"

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The shutdown of the federal government by House Republicans will enter its fourth day on Friday. Congress has yet to resolve the fiscal impasse with Democrats, despite a flurry of legislative activity this week. The frustrating inaction, which has led to furloughs and hundreds of thousands of government workers bereft of pay, was further complicated Thursday when a woman attempted to breach security by driving through blockades surrounding Capitol Hill. President Obama singled out House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the primary impediment to progress, accusing the GOP of treating the American people as "pawns in some political game." House Republicans retorted that they too are among the countless Americans now out of work, and bravely reminded their constituents not to worry: "It's tough being unemployed, but like you, we'll find a way to keep the lights on and put food on the family table until this job situation turns around."

Monday, September 30, 2013

Discovery of Tourettes Rocks Amish Community, Fuels Obamacare Criticism

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The small Amish enclave in the Kinneret Hills surrounding San Narciso County was rocked this week by the discovery of Tourette's syndrome in one of its teens, according to reports from the community newspaper and a local physician who resides near the area referred to as "Amish Acres" by neighboring residents. Tourette's is a congenital neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by physical spasms and peculiar vocal tics, which can include profanity, derogatory remarks and socially unacceptable outbursts. Elders within the reclusive Amish community said the "grave spiritual impurity" came to light Thursday after Tobias Verschmutzt, 12, disrupted school services by asking his teacher for a "gosh darn" pencil sharpener. The schoolmistress, a 22-year-old spinster, swooned with shock and fainted before her pupils. She remains unable to work and will need to convalesce for at least another week. In an interesting corollary, conservative politicians in the area are exploiting the incident to reveal the fatal flaws of social welfare programs like Obamacare.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ted Cruz Bravely Gives Up Congressional Benefits to Protest Obamacare

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) relentlessly nattered his way into the history books Wednesday after a 21-hour talkathon that has been labeled a "fauxibuster" because it did not serve to stop a vote, as a filibuster is intended to do. Inconsequential as his rant may have seemed, the Tea Party darling managed to portray himself as a conservative folk hero for the far-right fringes of the Republican faction. During the bizarre monologue, Cruz regaled the Senate with a recitation of Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham," dramatically altering the moral of the story, discussed his fondness for White Castle burgers, contemplated the "Star Wars" franchise and confidently invoked Godwin's Law to caution voters against the perils of Nazism, which he believes will present themselves as the New World Order in the United States should Congress prevent the defunding of Obamacare. As conservative political experts understand, providing a nation's people with affordable and universal health coverage inevitably leads to the extermination of millions within an arbitrarily chosen ethnic or religious group. But Cruz wants his constituents to know that he is not all talk. On Thursday, he boldly renounced all of the socialist, Hitler-esque, taxpayer funded benefits he receives as a member of the U.S. Congress.

Friday, September 20, 2013

House Republicans Propose Bold Cuts to Prevent Obesity and Government Shutdown

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Obesity rates have more than doubled in U.S. adults and children since the 1970s, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. And while recent estimates suggest the overall figures have plateaued or even declined, Americans are still too fat; two-thirds of U.S. adults are considered overweight or obese by established health standards, having a body mass index of 25 or higher. But a bold majority of House Republicans sought to end this disturbing trend Friday by proposing radical reforms to dietary subsidies and health care. In the process, the budgetary proposal would simultaneously prevent a partial government shutdown, which neither party purports to want. "We're literally killing all the birds with one stone," Speaker John Boehner announced with pride.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NRA Demands Military Spending Increases to Provide 'Woefully Unarmed'' Troops with Guns

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- On Monday, a military veteran working as a civilian contractor opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12 people. The incident, one of several mass shootings over the last 24 months, set off waves of panic at the military installation, which sits just a few miles from the steps of the Capitol. FBI agents identified the shooter as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a former Navy Reservist from Fort Worth, Texas. Although Alexis had passed a background check in Virginia to purchase his weapon, his discharge paperwork illustrated a past history of gun-related trouble with authorities. Conservative lawmakers, officials with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and leaders of Gun Owners of America expressed outrage at the massacre, demanding to know why trained soldiers were unarmed within the walls of an Armed Forces facility. "We allowed our troops to be picked off like sitting ducks," one exasperated NRA representative told reporters.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Academy Cancels 65th Emmys, Allows 'Breaking Bad' Cast to Take Whatever Awards They Want

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced Monday its decision to cancel the broadcast of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards that was planned for this Sunday, September 22. Citing a projected drop in attendance and lackluster ratings from an increasingly distracted and disengaged audience, a representative for Academy Chairman Bruce Rosenblum told reporters: "Why waste everybody's time and money? Many of the shows nominated are officially off the air now, the others have grown stale and predictable, we can't allow Netflix to gain any more ground on our allies in broadcasting, and we're pretty sure America's feigned adoration of 'Downton Abbey' will run its course next year when the viewing public gets too bored and tired to maintain the pretext that they relate to any of these stodgy Brits, at which point they'll return to the familiar comfort of Honey Boo Boo. Honestly, it's destined to become the BBC's 'Nurse Jackie.'"

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

President Observes 9/11 Islamic Terror Group Attacks After Pleading Case for Attacking Sovereign Islamic Nation

Photo courtesy AP

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- President Obama honored the 12th anniversary of 9/11 this Wednesday during a solemn memorial service in which he remembered the 3,000 victims who perished during al Qaeda's September 2001 terror plots in New York and D.C., but then forgot them moments later by indirectly urging public support for a U.S. strike against Syria to "defend our nation" against enduring threats, though different than the ones faced by the nation in 2001. Analysts warn that U.S. involvement in Syria could reignite anti-American sentiment among militant Islamic terror groups.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Florida Police Rush to Protect George Zimmerman from Wife

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted in July for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a dangerous teen armed with Skittles and iced tea, was taken briefly into protective custody by police after his estranged wife turned aggressive. "He's in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun and keeps saying step closer and he's gonna shoot us," Shellie Zimmerman told a 911 operator, panting and agitated. Police units responded immediately and sheltered George Zimmerman, 29, in their patrol car to "protect him from Shellie, whom he described as the aggressor in the incident," according to Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney. O'Mara insinuated that the attack against Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, could have been a racially motivated hate crime.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Stymied by Advanced Encryption Protocols, NSA Asks Public for Help

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Beginning in 2000, after recognizing the pivotal role the Internet would play in the lives of every individual, the National Security Agency (NSA) began investing billions of dollars into a clandestine initiative to extend its domestic surveillance programs across the World Wide Web. The decision to embark on a covert campaign came at the close of the 1990s, when the NSA failed to garner public support for introducing a backdoor system into all encryption protocols that would guarantee the agency access to any files it deemed necessary. As revealed in documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA has since run a highly effective effort to view the private records of all Americans through a complex process of hacking, supercomputer implementation, secretive court orders and strong-arming telecommunications providers. But Snowden's published files also show that the NSA remains stymied by some advanced encryption, hindering its efforts to protect vital American interests through eavesdropping. That's why the agency is appealing to the public for help in carrying forward its national security endeavors.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dennis Rodman Visits North Korea to Seek Kim Jong-un's Advice on Relationships

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Two seemingly unrelated stories out of North Korea converged Tuesday to reveal a disturbing link, as former NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman announced another bizarre visit to Kim Jong-un immediately after an English language newspaper in South Korea, citing unnamed sources, broke a jarring story that claimed the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had ordered his girlfriend executed by firing squad. When asked about the reason for his third trip to Pyongyang, Rodman, whose life is riddled with legal problems from his failed marriages, said he planned to seek Kim's wisdom and advice on resolving complicated matters of the heart.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Zack Snyder Explains Ben Affleck Casting: "I Needed a Batman People Could Despise"

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Batman fans, at least those of the film variety, have endured a roller coaster ride of terrific highs and pitiful lows as various directors have taken the helm. Tim Burton's two-picture outing with Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader breathed a fresh and decidedly darker life back into the cowled vigilante, who had been familiar to most moviegoers as only a campy 60s icon -- much to the dismay of diehard comic fans accustomed to a grittier hero. But that franchise suffered mightily when new directors took over and reintroduced, by slow and painful degrees, the campiness of Adam West via Val Kilmer and the stiletto-nippled George Clooney. But just when all hope seemed lost, Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale crept from the celluloid shadows and transformed The Dark Knight into a cinematic triptych of nouveau noir art and sincere passion. Unfortunately, history is cyclical. Zach Snyder dropped a bomb Friday when he revealed Ben Affleck as the next Batman. After three days of incurring incessant hate from fans, Snyder defended his decision on Monday with a surprising confession: "I chose Ben because I needed a Batman people could despise."

As Civil War Threatens Labor Day Oil Prices, U.S. Considers Military Strikes Against Syria

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- After more than two years of condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the bloody conflict his regime launched in retaliation to the rebel uprisings in March 2011, the U.S. government finally threatened military intervention on Monday after al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians became incontrovertible. The catalyst occurred on August 21, when snipers targeted U.N. weapons experts on their way to investigate an alleged chemical attack. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that President Obama is now seeking to hold al-Assad accountable for deploying "the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people." And those vulnerable people, according to Edward Kraftstofflieber, a senior analyst with the State Department, are consumers living in oil-reliant nations to the West. "For the first time, the Syrian conflict seems poised to disrupt oil transport," Kraftstofflieber warned. "With gas prices soaring and the Labor Day holiday fast approaching, we must act now."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Russia to Arrest Cosmonauts for Discussing Non-Traditional Orientations During Repair Mission

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Now that the slaying of an Australian baseball player in Oklahoma has become old news, the contentious debate of gun rights has once again given way to the contentious issue of gay rights. Much of the uproar stems from Russia's renewed sense of homophobia, which has resulted in the passage of recently ratified anti-gay laws that threaten to disrupt the 2014 Winter Olympics being hosted in Sochi. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin shocked the global community anew by announcing that two cosmonauts would be arrested under the law upon their return to Earth for "propagandizing non-traditional sexual actions" during their attempts to repair a camera on the International Space Station.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

After Oklahoma Shooting Death, NRA Expresses Outrage and Disgust at Problem of Bored Youth

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- A mass shooting spree was averted Wednesday when a bookkeeper at a Georgia elementary school notified police of an armed gunman on campus and eventually talked him into surrendering. The one-on-one conversation, in which the employee sympathized with the would-be killer's psychological troubles and offered assurances of help, was captured on 911 tapes. This incident followed the tragic and unconscionable shooting death of Christopher Lane, 22, in Oklahoma on Friday. The Australian baseball player, in the United States on a sport's scholarship, was gunned down in cold blood by three teens who told authorities their only motive for the murder was boredom. Representatives from the National Rifle Association (NRA) expressed "absolute disgust" and outrage over Lane's death, calling for the U.S. government to "stop ignoring the serious and deadly problem of bored youth in the nation."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Citing Anti-Gay Law, Russia Eliminates Several Events from Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Russia's stance toward LGBT rights has been checkered and tenuous throughout its history. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the new Russian Federation decriminalized male homosexual acts in 1993, but laws protecting people against discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation remain nonexistent. Same sex unions are also unrecognized in the country. In June 2013, Russia took another step backward in defending and promoting the rights of gays by passing a federal bill that bans the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" to minors, using heavy fines, threats of imprisonment and overly broad interpretations to punish violators. The new law, signed by President Vladimir Putin, will be enforced during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The announcement provoked outcry from athletes around the world. On Thursday, the situation soured further when the Russian Sports Ministry declared its refusal to allow a series of traditional events at the competition.

Friday, August 9, 2013

AARP Outraged at Time Warner's Blackout of CBS, Mobilizes Members to Action

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The dispute between Time Warner Cable and CBS, which led Time Warner to drop the network on August 2 around 5:00 p.m., has now entered its eighth day. The blackout has directly affected subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. As of Friday, neither side displayed any signs of progress in negotiations nor made any overtures toward ending the dispute. The acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission told the press that her agency "will continue to urge all parties to stay and resolve in good faith this issue as soon as possible. However, I will affirm to you that I am ready to consider appropriate action if this dispute continues." But leaders at AARP, a non-governmental interest group that advocates for CBS' predominant demographic, say they can't afford to wait for the FCC to act. "Our members simply don't have time to see if the government will step in and end this devastating stalemate," complained Morris Irving Harolds, an AARP representative from California. "Literally, some of these people have only days left to live."

Justice Department to Take Over Editorial Duties for Associated Press

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- founder Jeff Bezos made headlines this week with his $250 million purchase of The Washington Post, one of the nation's most revered newspapers. Before that, Rupert Murdoch expanded his own global news empire when he took over The Wall Street Journal. Such purchases by corporate magnates are neither new nor particularly rare, but the Justice Department's revelation that it will soon assume the editorial duties for the Associated Press is unprecedented. Lorraine Kiesch, a senior linguistic analyst with Justice, made the announcement Thursday. She will be heading the AP after the acquisition and has assured the public that the DOJ's actions were undertaken solely in the interest of saving the not-for-profit news cooperative from ruin.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bezos Vows to Reinvent The Washington Post as the of Journalism

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Jeffrey Bezos, the billionaire founder of, purchased The Washington Post this week for $250 million. The 135-year-old paper has a storied history in the annals of American journalism, which includes the groundbreaking reporting by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Watergate scandal during the 1970s. The duo uncovered what is still considered the biggest story in U.S. politics, exposing a complex system of "dirty tricks" and crimes from the highest levels of power in Washington. Their tireless efforts led to the indictment of over 40 administration officials and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon. But that's old news to Bezos, whose success selling online books and then popularizing e-books helped Amazon blossom into one of the world's most thriving retailers, ultimately proving that print is dead. Bezos said he wants to reanimate that corpse as a 21st century cyborg, and promised to innovate The Post with key elements of Amazon's business model. His first step will be to rebrand the paper using the Brazilian-themed naming conventions commonly found in components of his online megastore. The Post will soon be christened A Fofoca, following this tradition.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

NSA Relieved and Encouraged by Death of Historic, Troublesome Whistleblower Charles Varnadore

Photo by Ken Murray 1992
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Many Americans may not know Charles Varnadore, who died this March at the age of 71, but his actions in the early 1990s laid the groundwork for the U.S. government's aggressive initiative to suppress and destroy an increasingly irritating crop of whistleblowers who have made life difficult for corporations and politicians over recent years. Varnadore had formerly worked as a technician at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, a federal nuclear research facility that assisted in the development of the atomic bomb. After raising the alarm about serious but expensive-to-correct safety violations at the plant, he was relocated by his superiors to an office polluted with radioactive waste. His death was brought to national attention two days ago by The New York Times. On Tuesday, an NSA spokesperson issued a press statement expressing the tremendous relief of the agency and its leaders, even suggesting that this victory could result in the government reducing its reliance on warrantless domestic surveillance programs.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Texas Officials Declare Crisis as Lethal Injection Drugs Run Out, Request Meeting with Zimmerman

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Last July, Texas officials declared a statewide crisis that presaged the need for a radical overhaul of their existing penal system, once touted as a national model of cold, streamlined efficiencies to rival any assembly process used in the country today. A spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice told reporters at the time: "We have exhausted our supply of pancuronium bromide needed to perform lethal injections. Soon, we'll be left with only pentobarbital. When that runs out, Lord only knows what we're going to do." Texas depleted its stores of sodium thiopental just months later, forcing executioners to rely on a single-drug cocktail. On Friday, the state's worst fears came to pass as experts announced that the remaining supply of pentobarbital would run out in September. Curiously, sources say officials have requested to meet with George Zimmerman, who was pulled over last weekend for speeding in the northern part of the state.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Justice Antonin Scalia Surprisingly Agrees with Pope About Not Judging Gays

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Pope Francis' visit to Rio on Monday, where three million people gathered on the sands of Copacabana to hear the new pontiff, was met with enthusiasm, curiosity and rapturous applause. Using language uncharacteristically candid, Pope Francis delivered a radical vision about the future governance of the Catholic Church -- a blueprint for progress and change that his predecessors would never have dared to consider. He called for young people to push the old guard from its comfort zone and take the "Church to the streets." But the most memorable moment came during a casual conversation with reporters when Francis declared, in disarmingly direct speech, that gays should not be judged. The statement elated many, confused others and led to outright dissent from the far-right faithful. The biggest shock, however, was Justice Antonin Scalia's enthusiastic agreement on Thursday: "Pope Francis is correct -- judging gays and their rights has just made the problem worse."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Prince Harry Vows to Ensure Royal Nephew 'Has Fun,' Queen Orders Supervised Visits

Getty Images

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Last Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the newest member of the Royal Family into the world. William and Kate's son, christened George Alexander Louis -- Prince George of Cambridge, was born at the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington. At that time, Prince Harry was given permission by the Queen to "cuddle" the infant. But four days later, when Harry vowed to make sure his nephew "has fun" growing up, the 87-year-old monarch ordered Palace Guards to supervise all visits between Prince George and his wild uncle.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Queen Relieved as Royal Baby Ensures Another Generation of White Heirs to British Throne

Photo courtesy Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Straight out of the pages of a fairy tale, and painstakingly planned to be that way, Catherine "Kate" Middleton wed Prince William at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. With William second in the line of succession to 16 sovereign states within the Commonwealth, the marriage was seen by the Royal Family as imperative to preserving the bloodline and The Crown. But the union, despite the flawless execution of the nuptials, was not without its internal controversies -- the foremost being the Queen's displeasure with William's choice of a commoner as a bride. On Tuesday morning, with the birth of a new prince, those concerns seemed almost ancient history. The 87-year-old monarch joined jubilant Britons in welcoming the youngest addition to the Royal Family and breathed a sigh of relief in knowing that at least one more generation of white heirs will ascend the throne.

Monday, July 22, 2013

George Zimmerman Rescues Family, Hires PR Firm to Reinvent Him as Superhero

Contributing Writer and Lead Reporter: Michael Livingston

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- George Zimmerman, who has not been seen in public since his July 13 acquittal in the slaying of Trayvon Martin, emerged from the shadows last week to rescue a family trapped in their vehicle after it overturned on a Florida highway near his home. The Sanford police captain said one of the crash victims identified the former neighborhood watch volunteer and killer as the man who pulled him from the wreckage. The deputy responding to the accident reported that four passengers -- two parents and their children -- had been rescued by Zimmerman and another Good Samaritan by the time he arrived. Before leaving the scene, Zimmerman informed the deputy that he had noticed the suspicious vehicle and followed it: "It seemed out of place. It was a black or very dark brown, something like that -- not the kind of color we typically see around here." Zimmerman told reporters Monday that recent events have inspired him to become a real-life superhero.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Conservatives Seek Impeachment as Obama Compares Himself to Zimmerman's Attacker in Threatening Race Speech

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Conservative lawmakers in the House of Representatives announced plans to file articles of impeachment against President Obama no later than Monday following what they called a "loaded statement by the president" that implied "aggression toward Caucasians." President Obama made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room Friday to address, on a more personal level, the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. In his most extensive public discourse about race in five years, Obama declared that "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." The comment whipped conservatives into a furor of fear and panic. As legal experts pointed out, Zimmerman's not guilty verdict under Florida's Stand Your Ground legislation demonstrated that Martin was deemed the aggressor in the confrontation. By extension, Obama equating himself to the slain teen could be interpreted as an implicit threat, as it was by white attendees at the conference.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NRA Says Jesus Would Have Lived if He'd Had a Gun

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- It's been more than a year since the FBI reported no findings of evidence to substantiate racial bias in George Zimmerman's history or his shooting of a black Florida teen, Trayvon Martin. Yet Attorney General Eric Holder has tasked the Justice Department with trolling for email tips on the newly acquitted neighborhood watch volunteer from Sanford, Fla., as it considers a federal civil rights case against Zimmerman. Critics say Holder is bowing to pressure from Democratic lawmakers, civil rights leaders and organizations such as the NAACP. The National Rifle Association (NRA), which has spent large sums lobbying for lax gun controls and Stand Your Ground laws, blasted the Justice Department's efforts, stating that self-defense is a "fundamental human right," which ostensibly trumps the rights to life and liberty, as well as walking down the street with Skittles and iced tea. NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre went so far as to posit, "Jesus Christ would be alive today if he'd had a gun."

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