hillary-pumpkin.JPG(ALBANY, NY)  Sound the trumpets.  Bang the drums.  Forgotten upstate New York residents plan massive Bye Bye Bashes in anticipation of Hillary Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State.

Numerous spontaneous grassroots celebrations have sprung up seemingly overnight after the news broke last week that president-elect Barack Obama might tap Hillary for a cabinet position in his new administration.

Although not official until tomorrow, Hamburg, a suburb south of Buffalo, is planning to have a parade followed by fireworks over the fair grounds.  

hillary-ski-jump.JPGMeanwhile, Adirondack celebrants plan to ski a pumpkin-headed Hillary effigy off the high jump in Lake Placid’s Olympic Village. “I can’t wait to see the splat,” said Alfred Granger, a year-round Schroon Lake resident.

Even oft-forgotten and unincorporated villages like Hamlet in Chautauqua County plan a unique carpet bag bonfire Monday evening back of the Methodist Church and katty corner to the cemetery.

hillary-carpet-bag.JPG“We’ve scoured basements and attics for carpet bags,” said Doris Livingstone trying to suppress a smile. “Get it? Carpet bags,” she added, referring to the term used to identify northern politicians who moved south during Reconstruction after the Civil War.

Residents of Big Flats, a village near Elmira, have, as the centerpiece of their festivities, a stepping stone contest. Residents must run atop strategically placed slippery rocks across a tributary of the Chemung river. The fastest resident to successfully cross receives a symbolic boot in the behind from the county tax assessor.

“Hillary planned to revitalize upstate New York,” opined former Webster resident Daniel Stiptick. ‘She said she would help create 200,000 jobs but we’ve lost 20,000.”

“Unfortunately, she did do one thing,”. Stiptick added. “She helped turn upstate NY from red to blue, because most Republicans have moved elsewhere.” Stiptick now lives in Texas.

Canandaigua residents plan a Dying-on-the-Vine Party on Tuesday. Residents must either quickly run through a gauntlet of grapevine thrashing citizens or face stinging pain. No prizes will be awarded.

Obama Heinz(CHICAGO) As Barack Obama’s presidential campaign shifts into panic mode, Obama has reopened secret talks to become the principle spokesperson for Heinz products, pending the outcome of this year’s presidential election.

According to a source close to his campaign, Obama had been approached in early May by the Heinz Corporation shortly after he made his legendary jingle-worthy gaffe on the campaign trail in Oregon: “[W]e’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states.”

His verbal fumble is reminiscent of The Heinz Corporation’s world famous slogan, “57 Varieties,” which the company has used continuously since 1892.

Although Obama turned down the original contract, he approached a representative of Heinz as early as yesterday to see if the offer was still on the table. Recent events have apparently caused Obama to rethink his options.

According to sources, Obama and his inner circle were “literally blown off their pedestal of confidence” by what insiders call “Hurricane Palin,” their euphemism for Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain’s pick for his running mate.

“We don’t know how to run against her,” said Alton Braddock, a self-described Obama insider. “She’s wack.”

Meanwhile, Obama, who later made light of his 57-state mistake, is said to be mulling signing the contract on election day.

The Heinz company was founded by Henry Heinz in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania in 1869.

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Where’s Hillary?
(THE WORLD) Where’s Hillary Clinton? Chappaqua? Washington? Has she returned to Iowa? Has anyone seen Hillary since she endorsed Barack Obama before an adoring crowd of her most ardent supporters?

Philippe Reines, a campaign adviser, says that “she’s enjoying some well-deserved R&R,” but only Hillary knows for sure.

Her sudden and mysterious disappearance has prompted New York publisher Little Brown to announce plans to publish a picture book, Where’s Hillary, modeled after the Where’s Waldo series published in the late 80’s and reissued in the 90’s.

A spokesman for Little Brown says that they hope that the new Where’s Hillary book will track as successfully as its predecessor, a former number one children’s bestseller that continues to sell well in reissued format.

Where the heck is HillaryThe reader will follow Hillary to some of the places she’s reportedly visited around the world and try to find her. Scenes will include upstate New York, the Senate Chamber in the US Capitol Building, and the Lincoln bedroom, among others.

Although the original Where’s Waldo continues to reside on the “100 Most Frequently Banned Books” list of the American Library Association because of a naked breast, Little Brown does not expect the same for Where’s Hillary. Readers can expect Hillary and all the book’s characters to remain fully clothed.

Globall Gore(Washington, DC) Former Vice President Al Gore made tsunami-size waves in a wide-ranging and controversial interview broadcast yesterday on National Public Radio.

In his rambling remarks, Gore linked global warming to a disparate series of events ranging in size and destructive scope from the recent Typhoon in Burma killing tens of thousands, to the trend toward dry air under the capitol dome that has wreaked havoc on Hillary Clinton’s nasal passages.

Regarding the recent typhoon in Burma, Gore stated: “It’s… important to note that the emerging consensus among the climate scientists is that even though any individual storm can’t be linked singularly to global warming — we’ve always had hurricanes — nevertheless, the trend toward more Category 5 storms, the larger ones, and the trend toward stronger and more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming.”

Hillary NosepickRegarding Hillary Clinton’s recent bout with dry nasal passages, Gore stated: “I think that the emerging consensus among ear, nose and throat specialists is that even though the dry nose of a single individual can’t be linked to global warming – after all, many people suffer from dry nose — yet, the obvious trend toward more dry noses, even scabrous nasal passages, appears to be linked to global warming.”

Regarding the 7.9 Earthquake that rocked China last week, killing, at last count, more than 70,000, Gore stated: “I think that the emerging consensus among geologists is that even though individual earthquake like the China quake can’t be linked directly to global warming — we’ve always had earthquakes after all — however, the trend toward more earthquakes, the kind that knock you off your feet, and the trend toward stronger and deadlier earthquakes appears to be linked to global warming.”

The euthanasia of Eight Bells at this year’s Preakness saw Gore at his most animated: “There’s an emerging consensus among sportscasters, among jockeys, gosh, even among the most spirited racehorse fans, that even though any individual broken ankle can’t be linked singularly to global warming — we’ve always had horses put down at the end or even during horse races — nevertheless, the trend toward more viscous tracks, the trend toward stickier and more destructive racetracks appears to be linked to global warming.”

Obama WhitehouseGore’s voice flattened in his discussion about Barack Obama, although in-studio observers noted his repeated sighs which were not readily detectable to the radio listener. “I’ve noted and I’ll note again that the emerging consensus among the political observers is that even though any individual remark by Obama can’t be linked singularly to global warming — we’ve always had politicians say the wrong thing [here Gore laughed] — nevertheless, the trend toward more of these kind of remarks by Obama – that he’d negotiate directly with Iran or Venezuela, and the trend toward more outrageous and more self-destructive remarks as the election nears appears to be linked to global warming.”

Dolphin CollisionReflecting on the dolphin collision at Sea World in Orlando, Florida last month that left 30-year old Sharkey dead after bumping snouts midair with a second dolphin caused Gore to wipe his eyes mid-reflection. “There’s an emerging consensus among zoologists and naturalists across the globe that even though any individual dolphin collision can’t be linked singularly to global warming — I’m sure we’ve had dolphin collision before, but that’s beside the point — nevertheless, the trend toward more collisions, the trend toward more frequent and more deadly dolphin collisions appears to be linked to global warming.”

Chris Matthews(Washington, DC) Medical authorities have failed to explain why MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’s leg hasn’t stopped tingling since the evening hours of February 13 during an acceptance speech given by Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

Matthews first reported his condition in an on-air exchange with Keith Olberman about an hour after Obama swept the so-called Potomac primaries in Virginia, Maryland and DC.

According to MSNBC transcripts: “I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”

matthews-leg-with-electrodes.JPGNBC anchor Brian Williams later joked with Olberman about Matthews’s comment, but it turns out his condition was no joking matter. In fact, Matthews has undergone a battery of tests at John Hopkins University Medical Center in Maryland in an attempt to diagnose what doctors have termed a continuous spasmodic tingle. The condition seems to accelerate with each Obama win.

Although doctors have no conclusive medical explanation, they do note a slight constriction in Matthews’s femoral artery.

matthewss-leg.JPGDoctors have ruled out Restless Leg Syndrome, a medical condition affecting more than 12 million Americans, for no other reason than that Matthews states categorically that he does not find the condition unnecessarily uncomfortable.

In fact, Hans Friendly, an intern for Keith Olbermann, has reported seeing Matthews on the set smirking uncontrollably while not apparently doing anything else but wistfully daydreaming. He speculates that it is at these times Matthews most intensely feels the thrill up his leg.

In other related matters, Democratic Party apparatchiks have sent Hillary Clinton a ‘Dear John’ limerick that is currently making its way around the left-wing blogosphere:

My dearest Madame Hillary
I’ve grown tired of your shillary
My newfound drama
Is that dreamboat Obama
Who gives my left leg a thrillary.

Neither Matthews nor Hillary Clinton could be reached for comment.

Mental Whiplash Contusion
(DES MOINES, IOWA) A middle-age Iowa voter has filed a $12 million lawsuit against both Hillary and Bill Clinton for mental whiplash.

According to papers filed yesterday in Iowa’s Supreme Court, Andrew Wynehart of Spring Hill, Iowa, has asked that the Clintons compensate him for lost wages, medical bills and emotional distress as a result of a series of mental injuries sustained repeatedly over the last six weeks. These injuries, termed “mental whiplash,” have been defined by Wynehart’s lawyers as, “the coherent, unexpected misdirection of the brain leading to cranial blur.”

Wynehart has submitted two MRIs as evidence taken before and after Wynehart’s medical setbacks. “The MRI taken this Friday morning clearly shows contusions to the left and right hemispheres, as well as sponginess in the frontal lobe,” according to Perry Flinch of Dogget Flinch & Armbuster.

In his deposition, Wynehart states that he can no longer walk a straight line since it was disclosed on December 13th that Hillary Clinton is trying to lure out-of-state college students to participate in the Iowa caucuses. A day earlier Hillary had berated Barack Obama, her chief rival, for using the same tactics. “This is a process for Iowans,” Hillary had said. “This needs to be all about Iowa, and people who live here, people who pay taxes here.”

“Now you tell me, what am I supposed to believe?” Wynehart asked.

Although he’s not sure, Wynehart thinks he suffered the worst damage during the Philadelphia debate in October hosted by Tim Russert, at which Russert asked Clinton if she supported New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens.

clinton-russert.JPG“In the space of 3:12 seconds I experienced a sudden extension and flexion of my brain as Hillary answered, didn’t answer, could answer, couldn’t answer, was for it, was against it, took responsibility, pawned off responsibility,” Wynehart explained. “That’s when the headaches, the dizziness, and the spine tingling began.”

Wynehart began to have difficulty swallowing and chewing on November 28, immediately after Bill Clinton said that he had never supported the Iraq war, even though he’s on record in 2002 and 2004 as supporting it. “I think that’s when my condition began to get serious,” he said.

“And it didn’t help that this week Bill was parading around Iowa telling us how much he’s always loved Hillary.” While reclining in his La-Z-Boy, legs extended, neck in a brace, index finger extended, Wynehart asked (in his best Bill Clinton voice): “After all, did he or did he not have sex with that woman?”

A spokesperson for the Clintons stated that he knows a con when he sees one, and called the suit “bogus.”

Mental Whiplash Deposition

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Spacewalk(WASHINGTON, DC) Astronaut Scott Parazynski did more than perform emergency surgery on a torn solar panel on the International Space Station today. At the end of his spacewalk, almost as an afterthought, he reached out with a 90-foot robotic arm and boom extension, and deftly snagged a strand of twine dangling from a mysterious bundle of space debris.

“Yee haw,” was all that earthbound controllers could hear Parazynsky say into his space helmet at that moment. However, Col. Douglas H. Wheelock, giving visual cues to Parazynsky during what officials have termed the most dangerous spacewalk in history, shouted something else: “What the hell does that space jockey think he’s doing?”

“I thought we were going to lose him,” Wheelock admitted, after witnessing what appeared to be a dangerous action. “We’re taught in space school from the get-go that gimcrack stunts costs lives.”

Spacewalk bundleHowever, it was only after the spacewalkers closed the inner hatch, peeled off their space gloves, and opened the provocative packet of papers bundled together with twine that they realized what an extraordinary find they had — a small treasure trove of classified Hillary Clinton documents from the National Archive.

Among them, a letter to Bill Clinton dated January 25th, 1998 in which Hillary writes: “George Bush was right. You’ve turned the White House into the waffle house. Now I’m asking you for the last time, did you or did you not have sexual relations with that woman?”

Also included in the papers was a receipt for the purchase of nine table lamps on August 18, 1998 for the east wing, as well as a letter written by Hillary to nine-year-old Leslie Henderson of Paducah, Kentucky refuting the ingredient-by-ingredient similarities between Hillary’s chocolate chip and Nestlé’s Toll House cookies.

The discovery of these documents comes on the heels of this week’s presidential debate in Philadelphia in which Democratic candidates repeatedly charged Clinton with trying to block the release of While House documents that would give the American people an opportunity to make a judgment about her experience. Under a National Archives ban, communication between Hillary and Bill during their White House years will not be made available to the public until 2012.

Hillary Clinton insists that, “my husband has never blocked a record ever. He has been the most forthcoming of all presidents.”

spacewalk-kucinich.JPGCritics, however, say the timely discovery of these documents in outer space can only add to the controversy. “This issue is not going away any time soon,” said a spokesman for Dennis Kucinich, one of the second-tier candidates for the Democratic nomination.

Officials are at a loss how a bundle of letters from the 1990’s could be found floating in space in 2007. “We’re utterly and absolutely dumbfounded,” said one unidentified NASA official.

spacewalk-letter.JPGHowever, conflicting explanations have come from the Clinton camp, with one calling it a hoax, another admitting that Hillary did indeed buy replacement table lamps on multiple occasions, to a third who speculates that one of the astronauts on today’s mission deliberately jettisoned the packet, a charge which has been strongly denied by both Parazynski and Wheeler.

More than 60 shuttle missions were flown during the Clinton administration.

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(WASHINGTON, DC) DNA removed from black and white hair follicles has revealed the identity of a stray cat found in Iraq as that of Socks, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s White House cat. Apparently, the war-bedraggled tabby was found feeding on scraps outside of a reporters’ compound in Baghdad, Iraq.

In a story that New York Times war correspondent John Burns broke last week, reporters have witnessed young Iraqis regularly feeding as many as 60 stray cats with platters of leftover rice and lamb. Burns is quite sure of the count because, as surging American troops were fighting in Baghdad and al-Anbar province, he tallied “how many cats we had seated for dinner.”

While Burns adopted a stray he’d heard mewing one night in 2005, and saw it through two litters of kittens in 18 months while suicide bombings occurred “even miles away,” blogger Throckmorton Strethers had his eyes fixed on something else, a gaunt, fur-matted black and white cat that seemed to howl louder than the rest of the strays.

cat-gun.JPGStrethers, founder of Two Eyes On Iraq (www.twoeyesoniraq.com), a website dedicated to reporting on the reporters who report on the Iraq war, began noticing a resemblance to Clinton’s famous White House cat, Socks. “As he fattened up, and as his hair grew out, I kept thinking, ‘Isn’t that Socks?’” Strethers said.

The cat’s behavior revealed another clue. “His head was always first in the bowl,” Strethers recounted. “And he had a way of ingratiating himself with the other reporters in the compound by slinking around the legs of the guy who had the biggest leg of lamb.”

During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Socks occupied the role of “first pet,” and was often carted to schools and nursing homes. Critics, however, contend that the Clintons used Socks to soften Hillary’s reputation as an uncaring shrew.

Critics buttress their argument by pointing out that at the end of Clinton’s second term, Socks was dumped on Betty Currie, Bill Clinton’s personal secretary, and, except for a brief photo op with Currie in 2005, hasn’t been seen since.

Strethers says that he hopes to emulate Buckhead, the mysterious poster who exposed as forgeries the documents used by Dan Rather to try to impugn Bush’s service in the National Guard. “He caused Dan Rather to resign in disgrace, and I think that my revelation is going to cover that wicked witch Hillary up to her eyeballs in kitty litter.”

hillary-button.JPGHowever, it’s hard to tell judging by the reaction from potential voters. “I cannot believe for one minute Mrs. Clinton would send Socks to the war in Iraq,” said Sarah Nuttles, who was buying a pro-Hillary button in New York City’s Washington Square.

New York City resident Jonathan Birnbaum disagreed, calling Hillary, in an obscenity-based tirade, “a war monger from the get-go.  She signed on to that EXPLETIVE DELETED Bush’s EXPLETIVE DELETED war and sent our EXPLETIVE DELETED high school dropouts to EXPLETIVE DELETED fight a EXPLETIVE DELETED war EXPLETIVE DELETED Hillary EXPLETIVE DELETED her insides EXPLETIVE DELETED cat to Iraq.”

No one has offered a reasonable theory explaining how Socks came to Iraq in the first place, nor have the Clintons yet come forward to claim him. Socks remains impounded at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC.

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piano legs(LONDON) A decade-long rumor was confirmed today when it was announced that Hillary Clinton has insured her piano legs for $10 million with Lloyds of London.

Until yesterday the public had only known of Hillary’s piano legs through anecdotal evidence because no known pictures of Hillary in a dress exist. For example, in March 2006 Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball called Hillary, “Dukakis in a dress,” and noted that she has better calves than former Democratic Presidential nominee Michael Dukakis.

rudy-dress.JPGWashington pundits speculate that Clinton has chosen this time to insure her legs because she expects Rudy Giuliani to emerge as her probable Republican rival in the Presidential race. Pictures of Rudy in a dress, taken when he appeared briefly in drag in Broadway’s Victor/Victoria, regularly circulate on the internet and show what a Hillary spokesperson calls, “a very shapely set of gams.”

Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic Party, expects Hillary to unveil her piano legs after she secures the Democratic nomination. He speculates that it will generate more buzz than when Hillary revealed her cleavage on the Senate floor this year in front of CSPAN cameras. hillary-cleavage.JPG

According to urbandictionary.com, a reference site widely used by urban hipsters, piano legs are “disproportionately thick calves and/or ankles on a woman with otherwise normal body weight.” It also cites the Democratic presidential frontrunner in its example of proper usage of the phrase: “No wonder Hillary Clinton always wears pant suits. She’s got a humongous set of piano legs.”

Although Lloyds used their press release to heavily promote Hanes® new Hiphugger-High™ support panty hose, a product targeting the aging baby boom generation, they seemed delighted to underwrite a set of legs as famous as Hillary’s. A spokesperson for the Clinton campaign would neither confirm nor deny Hillary’s possible endorsement of the new Hanes product.

Clinton joins company with Betty Grable and Marlene Dietrich, two notables with million dollar legs underwritten by Lloyds. However, all three fall far short of Mariah Carey who insured her legs for $1 billion last year before embarking on an advertising campaign for Gillette.

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(PORTSMOUTH, NH) Dozens of Evangelical groups, meeting for the first time under the umbrella organization Council For New World Evangelicals, have called for John Roberts to step down as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and allow Ruth Bader Ginsburg to assume command.

According to a statement issued today and sent to President George Bush, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be the perfect choice to head a more tolerant and less divisive Supreme Court.”

Pamela R. Falcone, president of Evangelicals For Birth Tolerance, acknowledges Ginsburg’s longstanding support for abortion, but doesn’t find that prohibitive. “I’m getting sick tired of people perceiving us Evangelicals as inflexible,” she said, becoming visibly agitated. “For God’s sake, Christians invented the word ‘tolerance.’ Christ told us to ‘turn the other cheek.’”

Falcone added, “We are in no way pro-abortion, and we’re very committed to children, but we want a solution that doesn’t divide this nation with a sword.”

David Inkster, founder of Evangelicals For The Fairness Doctrine, praised Senator Charles Schumer’s recent announcement that the Senate will not confirm any more of Bush’s nominees for the Supreme Court under any circumstances. “It’s about time,” he said.

Inkster called Bush’s two recent appointments, Roberts and Samuel Alito, “rigid and Roman,” and said that if he could meet with both of them he’d have just one thing to say, “Judge ye not lest ye be judged yourselves.”

Evangelicals For Birth Tolerance and Evangelicals For The Fairness Doctrine are among dozens of groups meeting this weekend for a conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. These organizations include: Evangelicals Against Global Warming, Evangelicals For National Health Care, Evangelicals For The Kyoto Protocol, Evangelicals Against The Border Fence, Evangelicals For Equal Results, Evangelicals Against Faith-Based Initiatives, and The Jesus Group, among others. Their stated goals is to find ways to change Americans’ perceptions of Evangelicals, which Inkster calls “blinkered.”

In recent months, a cross-section of Evangelicals has gone on record for a free Palestinian State and against global warming, which was widely reported by The New York Times. Could this surprising trend indicate that the long-standing affiliation between Evangelicals and conservative politicians is coming to an end?

Amy Allison, spokesperson for Evangelicals For Hillary Clinton, would like to think so. “What once was a tiny fissure is becoming a widening crack,” Allison said. “And we hope it becomes a chasm as great as the one between Lazarus and the rich man,” she added, referring to the Gospel parable. “It’s about time Americans found out that Democrats and not just Republicans believe in God.”

“We all have a similar goal,” noted Thomas Gundy, president of the Council For New World Evangelicals, the event’s sponsor. “We want to disabuse Americans of their entrenched notion that Evangelicals are hidebound and inflexible.”

Gundy, who is also the founder of the Jesus Club, a theatre company out of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, scoffed at charges that these Evangelical groups are comprised of no more than a few members, a fax machine and a paid press secretary, and carry no clout whatsoever with most Evangelicals. “That kind of cynicism is the reason people get turned off of politics.”

Gundy also denied that holding the conference in New Hampshire had anything to do with the upcoming presidential primary. “Our organization is headquartered in Portsmouth,” he emphasized.

Gundy noted that thousands of people in hundreds of churches across the United States are affiliated with the Council for New World Evangelicals. He also stated that every Evangelical pastor in America gets one of their e-mails when an issue of importance is voted on in Congress. “That’s about 80,000 e-mail alerts,” he said.
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An overwhelming majority of Americans believes that Fox News delivers news with a conservative bias, according to a New York Times/National Public Radio poll conducted over a one-day period in July.

A whopping 67% of respondents describe Fox News as conservative or very conservative, with 8% describing it as liberal or very liberal, 24% saying it delivers news without bias, and 1% having no opinion.


The same poll reveals that only 17% of Americans perceive ABC, NBC or CBS news as liberal or very liberal, with 42% believing that their news is reported without bias. 36% say that Brian Williams, Charles Gibson and Katie Couric routinely deliver their news with a conservative bias.


This poll seems to contradict the assumptions of recent anecdotal reports that members of the major news media give disproportionately to politically liberal causes. In fact, an overwhelming 88% of respondents believe that giving to a liberal cause is no indication that a reporter will be biased in his or her reporting. However, 67% believe that a reporter giving to a conservative cause will likely or very likely indicate conservative bias.



National telephone survey of 350-400 adults with a margin of sampling error at +/-27 percentage points and a 100% level of confidence.

(DETROIT) Fearing a backlash after a Fox News microphone picked up a private conversation between Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, the Clinton camp has accused Edwards of trying to sandbag her campaign. Officials fear that Hillary’s candid, unscripted remarks about her Democratic rivals might make hear appear cold and nasty.

Donna Tremaine, spokesperson for Urban Women for Hillary, accused Edwards of deliberately standing near the live microphone and goading Hillary into saying the opposite of what she really meant.

“Hillary has been taken totally out of context,” Tremaine argued, alluding to one particular remark whispered by Hillary to Edwards at a forum sponsored by the NAACP in Detroit. “What Hillary was referring to when she said, ‘We’ve got to cut the number,’ is the number of troops we have to cut in Iraq, not the number of people allowed to participate in upcoming debates for the Democratic nomination.”

Tremaine insists that Edwards, aware that the Fox News microphone was on, deliberately changed the topic of conversation from the Iraq war to the barring of second and third tier candidates from upcoming debates. “Edwards always knows when the microphones are on,” she said.

Gloria Gilchrist, an Edwards spokesperson, disagrees. “Hillary’s in panic mode. She knows exactly what she said and what she meant.” However, when asked if Edwards also meant to try to limit the number of participants in upcoming debates, she responded, “Absolutely not. Edwards believes in being inclusive.”

Campaign watchers know how quickly political fortunes can turn in a profession that is 99% perception. For example, Howard Dean’s presidential campaign tanked after his now famous scream in 2004. A more recent example is Edwards himself, whose poll numbers immediately declined after a report disclosing his $400 haircuts.

An anonymous rep from the Hillary camp accused Edwards of embarking on a 12-city poverty tour to undo the damage from the disastrous haircut publicity. “You don’t think that’s what driving his upcoming 12-city poverty tour?” The rep asked, adding, “Now you know why he’s trying to sandbag Hillary.”

Edwards says he will try to find a solution for the 37 million people living in poverty in the United States. He has pledged not to campaign during this tour.

Edwards could not be reached for comment.

(CONEY ISLAND) Joey Chestnut’s world record shattering total of 66 hot dogs consumed in 12 minutes was overshadowed by Senator Hillary Clinton’s first time participation in today’s annual Coney Island hot dog eating contest.

Mrs. Clinton, Democratic Presidential candidate, shoved down a respectable 49 hot dogs, or one for every Republican in the Senate.

Although most fans were rooting for Chestnut or six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi, his Japanese rival, to win, Mrs. Clinton did have at least one fan, a woman carrying a sign that read, “If you become President, we’ll eat hot dogs every day.”

Although the outcome of the two frontrunners did not become clear until the final two minutes, there was never a doubt that Mrs. Clinton could do no better than third. In fact, if it hadn’t been for a last spirited shove and gulp, she might have come in fourth.

“I’ve been devouring hot dogs since my girlhood days in Illinois,” she said immediately following the contest, stunning the crowd into subdued murmurs. Quickly realizing her faux pas, Mrs. Clinton added, “I have continued devouring hot dogs here in New York, the greatest city in the world, and I will continue devouring hot dogs in the White House.”

Making a Palm Sunday splash on the front page of the New York Times, Matthew Dowd, ex-aide to President Bush, says that because he has lost faith in Bush he must “speak out now.”

Dowd, a former Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat, says that Bush’s my-way-or-the-highway style of leadership has failed “not only the American people, but the Iraqi people and the diverse peoples of the world.”

Dowd, a self-described member of Bush’s inner circle, dismisses the suggestion that he has turned on the President because Karl Rove, and not Dowd, remains the president’s most trusted advisor. Rumors have circulated that tensions between the two began in 2004 over differing presidential campaign strategies in Ohio, which have since intensified.

According to one campaign insider who would only speak anonymously, Dowd wanted to pander to what he called the “marshmallow middle,” while Rove thought the best strategy was to rev up the “red-meat base.” Since that day, our source says, Rove has provocatively and repeatedly poked Dowd in the stomach — often in front of the President — and alternately called him “marshmallow man” or “Pillsbury dough boy,” which makes Dowd seethe.

What’s more, Dowd denies ever telling reporter Brandon Kirk of Roll Call that Rove should have been canned with Donald Rumsfeld, insisting that his lunchtime conversation with Kirk last November was “off the record.”

Kirk says otherwise. “I asked him flat out if I could quote [Dowd] on what he said about Rove, and he said ‘sh** yeah.’ I can’t help it if he had four martinis and can’t remember squat.”

Dowd, whose son is preparing for deployment in the Iraq War, has called for America’s immediate withdrawal from Iraq. In addition, the Times revealed today that Dowd penned a never-submitted “Kerry Was Right” op ed, which agreed with John Kerry’s call to unconditionally withdraw from Iraq.

Dowd bristled at his comparison with Judas as raised by Linda Tico, a FoxNews intern, during this morning’s short question-and-answer session at the Washington Press Club. Dowd admitted that “it never even occurred to me that this was Palm Sunday,” angrily adding, “I’m no more a Judas than Bush is a Jesus.”

Offers for interviews have poured in since Dowd’s announcement, jam-packing an already full itinerary. Besides interviews with CBS, ABC, NBC and PBS News, as well as the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Newsweek, Time, US News and World Report, Harpers, The New Yorker, The Nation and The New Republic, he is scheduled to appear on next Sunday’s Sixty Minutes, as well as having a one-on-one sit-down with Barbara Walters that ABC has scheduled immediately following next Monday’s Dancing with the Stars.

In addition, Paramount Pictures announced yesterday that it has optioned Dowd’s story for a major motion picture in the fall of 2008, with Sean Penn, Robert Downey Jr. and George Clooney as suggested leads.

It was also announced on Thursday that Dowd has been short-listed for a 2007 Peabody Award in the Public Service category.

A short statement from the President’s office wished Dowd well in all his future endeavors.

(HAVANA) — More than a year after Venezuela’s divisive reelection of Hugo Chavez, intelligence sources have confirmed that former President Jimmy Carter chartered a fishing boat from Caracas to Havana to pledge his support for Cuba’s longstanding dictator, Fidel Castro.

Although Carter initially denied the trip, satellite photos proved that he did indeed travel across the Caribbean immediately after declaring Hugo Chavez’s August 15, 2004 election valid.

The meeting between Carter and Fidel, broadcast widely on Cuban television and picked up by receivers at Guantanamo Bay, showed a cordial display of handshaking and backslapping followed by cigar smoking.

Despite the lack of audio, intel lip readers and Spanish translators have confirmed that Carter praised Cuba’s alleged 100% literacy, racial harmony and universal health care. Carter could not be reached for comment.

(SAINT-ETIENNE, France) Lance Armstrong does not think that Sen. John Kerry would make a terrific bicyclist but fears he’ll try anyway.

During his warmup for Saturday’s time trial, the Texan watched the Democrat from Massachusetts who was sitting in the back seat of a black Peugeot limousine under the Eiffel Tower.

Armstrong listed the Senator’s losing qualities. “What made him so awful during the presidential election was the lack of focus, discipline, intelligence and strategic ability– his inability to just take it on and go,” Armstrong said.

Those qualities would not serve Kerry well were he a bicycle racer, Armstrong said. “I think he’d be terrible; he’d be a loser. I just hope he doesn’t race for our team,” said Armstrong, an avid fan of politics.

Armstrong said he had tapes of last year’s acceptance speech by Kerry delivered during the Democratic National Convention last year.

Kerry, who has no plans to retire from the Senate, sealed his historic loss for the presidency last November. He has not ruled out a career in bicycling should he lose again.

Like Kerry haters around the world, Armstrong refuses to wear his hair in the bouffant style, but he did release all his records when pressed to do so, which Kerry has yet to do.

“He’s a loser with an fraudulent personal story, and he doesn’t understand regular folks,” Armstrong said of Kerry’s losing effort. “He’s one of the most pathetic political failures of all time,” he said. “His sheer stupidity is stunning.”

(BROOKLINE) A quick meal with campaign contributors at Tortilla Palace in this upscale Boston suburb turned into a gastric disaster for also-ran John F. Kerry. Forced to comment while doubled over in the restaurant’s parking lot, all Kerry could say was, “It gives new meaning to the expression cut and run.”

(WASHINGTON) CNN puts Bush up by five; Zogby has him up by three; Gallop by eight. What gives? Could clandestine manipulation by the junior Senator from New York have something to do with it? Sources inside the posh Capitol Hill offices of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton say yes.

Phone records turned into Fit-To-Print News indicate frequent daily calls to all three polling organizations, in addition to Rasmussenreports, which also shows the President pulling away in his race against Massachusetts’s own junior Senator John Kerry.

Hillary said privately on Tuesday that the more Bush appears to lead Kerry in the polls, the lower traditional Democratic voter turnout will be. Critics have long argued that Hillary Clinton would prefer to see Kerry lose to make way for her own nomination in 2008, though she has flatly denied it.

“You can see it in her eyes,” our source reports. “She’s like a starved woman slavering over a Thanksgiving dinner. She can almost taste the presidency.”

A witness corroborated, adding, “If she had a mustache, she’d be twisting it like Simon Legree.”

Insiders also insist that a recent press release stating that Hillary’s post-op husband Bill is too fatigued to campaign for Kerry are greatly exaggerated. “I watched him absolutely cream Mary Beth Cahill in a squash match last Tuesday,” our source said. “His sweat had sweat, if you know what I mean.”

(NEW YORK) — In a fiery speech in Harlem’s famed John the Baptist church, Clinton demanded Kerry step down as the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democrat Party.

hillary-and-bill-in-church.JPG“We need honesty from our leaders,” he said, pounding his fist on the pulpit. “And Kerry hasn’t been honest.”

Flanked by his wife Hillary, and Al Sharpton, Clinton excoriated Kerry as a serial exaggerator who fudged on his war-time activities. “He won’t feel your pain like I feel your pain,” Clinton said, paraphrasing one of his more memorable lines. “Because he’s never felt pain.”

Members of the congregation met Clinton’s remarks with repeated “amens,” and “praise the Lords.”

Clinton’s wife, Hillary, now junior Senator from New York, is widely regarded as 2008’s presidential front runner on the Democrat side. Clinton, however, refused to suggest his wife as Kerry’s replacement, should he step down.