• Text smaller
  • Text bigger

Note: Michael Ackley’s columns are satire and parody based on current events and often mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.

When the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announces results of its poll titled “Bush Administration Performance Evaluation,” remember: It’s all in how you phrase the questions.

It’s probably safe to assume that when the committee publishes its conclusions, it won’t include the exact wording, though the raw numbers “may be released to the media.”

So, let us share a few of the queries with those of you who haven’t been Democratic Party contributors and thus haven’t been “selected to evaluate the Bush administration’s performance on a range of critical issues” in order to “help shape Democratic Senatorial Campaign and legislative strategies.”

“Do you agree with the Bush administration plan to ‘stimulate’ the economy through tax cuts for wealthy Americans and running the federal deficit up to a record $304 billion?”

You have to love those quote marks around “stimulate” – so subtle.

“Many American families are being squeezed by rising health insurance premiums. How concerned are you that basic health-care coverage could soon be too expensive for your family to afford? Very concerned; somewhat concerned; not concerned.”

We predict that when the Dems publish the data on this one they will report that “90 percent of respondents were from somewhat to very concerned that health-care coverage could soon be too expensive for their families to afford.”

“Do you believe it is important to restore a Democratic Senate majority in order to provide a check and balance against the Bush administration and right-wing legislation coming out of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives?”

Well, this one is rather crude, but most of the document is more sophisticated. Whoever composed this “survey” probably commands a high salary for such verbal contortions – as does any able hooker.



Meanwhile, in the Golden State: A couple of weeks ago I solicited possible slogans for Gov. Gray Davis’ campaign to retain his job. There were several pithy replies, but only one potential slogan.

Jeff Chrzanowski of Marlton, N.J., suggested the following: “I lost billions of dollars of other people’s money and drove the state to the point of bankruptcy. I’m just like the head of a failing dot-com, but bigger!”

Lately, however, I’ve been thinking Davis might want to cite his 2002 election plurality: “Forty-seven percent of the voters can’t be wrong!”



Democrats and their media allies continue to unleash their heavy rhetorical artillery on fields already crossed by the recall troops.

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a lengthy editorial, urging citizens to oppose “recall anarchy.” “Just don’t sign the petition,” it urged.

Right on cue, the recall campaigns announced they had plenty of signatures and were calling off the petition circulation.

Estimates of the cost of the seemingly inevitable election vary, but $40 million seems to be in the ballpark. That would be just slightly more than 1/10th of 1 percent of California’s estimated, $38 billion deficit.

I say the cost will be worth it in entertainment value alone.



It has been months since we selected a Stupid Quote of the Month. As a matter of fact, we’ve selected a Stupid Quote of the Month just once – though not for lack of material.

June, though, saw Rep. Richard Gephardt go over the top with this one: “When I’m president, we’ll have executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day.” (He was talking about the University of Michigan Law School’s affirmative-action challenge.)

Apparently somebody pointed out to him that the Constitution created three, co-equal branches of government, and that the Supreme Court had the final say on constitutional questions, and the congressman proceeded to act like a man trying to wrestle his way out of a pit of syntactic pythons.

Among his “explanations,” was, “It was a basic statement you would make about anything,” a declaration almost as moronic as the first.

That first quote takes the prize, however … unless you have a better nominee.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.