Ghosts Organize in Alton, Illinois

McPike Mansion

Alton, Illinois — Spirits of the dead in the river city of Alton, Illinois, voted last night to organize as a union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Everett Johnson, a lawyer representing the ghosts, says he will begin negotiations with the town’s haunted house tour guides, spirit shops, and even owners of haunted properties.

“The living have been exploiting these tortured souls for decades,” Johnson told Hennessy’s View. “The exploitation has gotten significantly more pronounced in recent years, though.”

More than 20 Alton companies capitalize on the town’s reputation for hauntings. Some of the small firms generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in the weeks surrounding Halloween alone.

Mavis Carter, proprietor of Mavis’s Haunted Alton Tours and Spirit Fest, says she may be forced to shut down as a result of the ghost’s action.

“Look, we’re a tiny business. We employ a couple of people year round and few more during Halloween season. I barely make a profit on this as it is. If I have to pay the ghosts, too, I’d be better off taking it easy.”

Mike Edwards of SEIU Local 67 in Alton says tour operators like Carter deserve to go under.

“These tour operators are modern-day slave traders. They exploit the dead for profits, invade their private residences, and give nothing back.”

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office would not respond to requests for information on the legal standing of ghosts in Illinois, but an employee in the AG’s office spoke with Hennessy’s View on condition of anonymity.

“I’ve been an attorney for twenty years, and I think it’s long past the time for something like this,” the anonymous source told us. “Human rights of privacy, property, and a living wage don’t end when you die.”

According to Edwards of the SEIU, there are about nine thousand known and exploited ghosts living in and around Alton. While his union represents only a half-dozen of the more prominent hauntings, he hopes to organize all the ghosts in the river town by end the 2015. But Edwards admits the task won’t be easy.

“A lot of these ghosts died before the labor movement really got underway in the late nineteenth century,” he said. “There’s a lot of Confederate Civil War dead in Alton. When they hear ‘union,’ they think ‘Yankee invaders’ not organized labor.”

“For me, it’s a matter of posthumous social justice,” Edwards said.

Elizabeth Warren Performs “Indian Rain Dance” To Quell Dispute


Cambridge, MA—Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren donned a pink headdress and performed, what she called, an “authentic Indian rain dance” during a press conference today.  Ms Warren was hoping to convince skeptics of her claims of Native American heritage. She also hinted that her preference for bison meat to beef indicates her heritage.

“My pepaw taught me this Elizabeth Warren Demonstrates Her dance when I was a little girl,” Warren said during a short session with reporters at a high school gymnasium in Cambridge, MA. “It was during that huge draught back in the late fifties in Oklahoma.”

“And I was eating bison burgers when most white men considered it poison,” she said. “I actually prefer bison to beef, in fact.”

Last week, the Boston Herald reported that Warren once listed herself as Native American on Harvard’s faculty information form.  Later, the woman who hopes to unseat Republican Senator Scott Brown, stopped claiming minority status.

Since the story broke, each of Warren’s attempts to explain her 1990s claims of minority status have raised more questions than they answered

“I’d be offended, but I think she’s embarrassing herself far more than she’s embarrassing native peoples,” said Ben Silverhawk, president of Native People’s Defense Fund.  “After this, no one will try to exploit Natives for political or professional gain, I’m pretty sure.”

Warren hopes to end the controversy later this week when she holding a free screening of Dances With Wolves at AMC Loews Harvard Square Theatre.  Show times and ticket availability have not been announced.

Coincidentally, the National Weather Service calls for a chance of showers today but clearing skies tomorrow with highs in the upper 50s.


U.S. Holds Auditions for New Terrorist Mastermind


Washington, DC–Reeling from the backlash over a campaign ad that paints President Barack Obama as Osama bin Laden’s sole assassin, the White House today announced open auditions for a new global terrorist mastermind.

Last year's White House auditions for press secretary

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters “the world needs a dangerous, evil character to worry about . . . and, frankly, so does the President.  Reagan had the Evil Empire; Bush had the Axis of Evil.  The Tea Party just isn’t frightening enough to serve as Obama’s nemesis.”

Irving Crowder, professor of political science at University of Delaware, said that arch-enemies help incumbent presidents. “They give us all a common enemy to rally against. At election time, the president can simply announce a new threat posed by this person or this country, what have you, and get a quick bump in the polls.”

The auditions are open to men and women capable of playing a character over 40 who has killed at least one thousand people. Middle Eastern or Eastern European features a plus.  Auditions will be held May 8 through 10 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC, with call backs the following week.

“We’re looking for someone who’s menacing, sure, but human. Audiences won’t buy a ‘total evil’ villain,” said Carney.  “Sophisticated audiences in the US expect their bad guys to have a softer side, too.”

James Carville, Contessa Brewer, and Snoop Dogg will be the celebrity judges. The White House may release audition videos through the Obama campaign’s YouTube channel.  “It depends on the quality of the auditions,” said Carney. “Whether they have any political or comedic value–or if they just scare the crap out of people.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement, “I look forward to bringing to bear the full power and ingenuity of the State Department against any enemy of the United States developed through this innovative process.”

Auditioners should prepare a one to two minute monologue and dress in clothes comfortable for movement.  Singing will not be required, but you may be asked to demonstrate movement with simple choreography. Bring your resume and four 8×10 black and white portraits with your name, address, phone number, email, age, and weight on the back of each one.  Actors Equity or SAG membership required if cast, but not to audition.

White House Unveils Unemployment Strategy

WASHINGTON, DC:  The White House unveiled a new strategy to lower the nation’s unemployment rate, currently standing at 10 percent. 

In his weekly radio address Saturday, the President announced that he will use remaining funds from the failed Stimulus bill to take advantage of little known variable in the unemployment rate factor:  “discouraged workers.”

Pointing out that “discouraged” workers are excluded from the unemployment calculation, the President explained that the government will encourage the unemployed to simply give up hopes for finding work. 

“Discouraged workers are those who’ve essentially given up trying to find a job,” the President explained from the Oval Office.  “These people are able-bodied and working age, but they have lost hope of finding a job.” 

“Discourage workers can do more to help our economic statistics than Green Jobs,” Obama explained.  “For every 100,000 unemployed workers who simply give up,” he said, “the unemployment rate drops about one-tenth of one percent.”

“In December, for example, over six hundred thousands patriotic Americans lost hope of ever finding a job. Without their sacrifice, our unemployment rate would stand at 10.4—the highest rate since the Great Depression.”

In the next two weeks, the Labor Department will send millions of brochures entitled “Yes You Can Give Up” to homeless shelters and those receiving unemployment benefits.



Obama Accepts Reid’s Apology

WASHINGTON, DC — Saying, “The Senate relies on dingy-skinned white men, especially ones without a cracker dialect,” President Barack Obama accepted Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) apology for words Reid used in private in 2008. 

According to the forthcoming book, “Game Changing,” Reid described Obama a “light-skinned” black man “with no Negro dialect . . . unless he wanted to have one” during the 2008 presidential election. 

In his apology, Reid said, “I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words, but it’s mighty white of the President to accept my sincere apology.” 



The Other Shoe Drops

For months I’ve been echoing the warnings of Peter Schiff and others:  when China stops buying American debt, we’re in deep, deep trouble.  The possibility for hyperflation, prices rise by double-digits on daily or weekly measures, becomes palpably high.

Even though this article from IHT failed to suprised me, I have a sick, frightened gnawing in my stomach:

China has bought more than $1 trillion in American debt, but as the global downturn has intensified, Beijing is starting to keep more of its money at home – a shift that could pose some challenges to the U.S. government in the near future but eventually may even produce salutary effects on the world economy.

Thanks to Hank Paulson’s Bailoutpalooza followed by Obama’s promises to pile on more bailouts and $1 trillion or more in stimuli, the US single-year deficit for 2009 will be between $1.2 trillion and $2.5 trillion.

There are three ways to finance that deficit: tax, print, or borrow.

A tax increase, as we have been told, could push us into a deep depression.  We don’t want that.

Printing $2.5 trillion in new cash would lead to hyperinflation.  Unless you want to buy bread for $3,000 a loaf, that’s not good.

Borrowing delays the reckoning.

One way or another, we will deal with depression, hyperinflation, or–like Germany in the 1930s–both.  At least in a depression with deflation, cash will save you.  In hyperinflation, it’s every man for himself.

Breaking News: Philadelphia Set Voting Record

Philadelphia, PA– Philadelphia today saw the most votes cast in the city’s history as measured by percentage and raw numbers.  Oddly enough, only about 4,000 people actually showed up at polling places to cast votes.

"It was remarkably efficient," said Philly Mayor Nutter (D).  "We managed to break voting records without forcing people to leave work early or find the polling places.  This is a model for the country."

For the numbers, 127 percent of the eligible voters were represented in the final number, and nearly 1,800,000 votes cast. 

The 4,000 voters were exhausted by the time polls closed.  "The early voting helped a lot," said Malcolm Evers, a 22-year-old man who described himself as a "community organizer." 

Evers and his fellow voters cast all 1.8 million votes.  Since they had filled out the ballots well in advance of election day, today’s efforts involved only stuffing the ballots into the slot.

Obama Plans to Register Jews

Cleveland, OH — Citing concern for their safety in an increasingly anti-Semitic USA, Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama today announced a plan to provide Jews with additional protection.

The plan, called “HOPE . . . We’ll Protect You,” requires urges Jews to register with their local Social Security Administration office.  After filling out a short form, SSA will photograph the citizen and implant a small microchip on the Jew’s left arm.  The chip, about the size of a pencil lead, will allow authorities to quickly identify Jews killed or injured should anti-Semitic violence increase.

Our Zionist friends deserve the best protection our government can provide,” said the Illinois Senator.  “But we can’t protect them if we don’t know where they are.  I think these chips are a wonderful idea, and I can’t wait to see how this program gives our Jewish citizens a renewed sense of security.  I mean, their government will be watching them 24/7.”

Because some Jews may be reluctant to register, the form will also allow volunteers to provide names, addresses, and telephone numbers of their Jewish family and friends.  The information will be used only to encourage their friends to register — for their own protection.

MSNBC News pundit Keith Olbermann hailed the program.  “This is the kind of security American Jews have always needed,” he said on his nightly program.  “With Obama’s government watching them, they won’t need to worry about what happens to Israel.   Der Juden will always be welcomed here.”

The Anti-Defamation League released a statement in response to Obama’s executive order plan:

“While we welcome protection against anti-Semitism, we find Senator Obama’s plan unnecessary.   Too . . . fascist.”

Next week, Obama plans to announce a similar program to protect conservative bloggers and talk radio hosts.

Hot Stock Tip: Hormel

St. Louis–One company expected to surge amidst the economic chaos about to plague the planet:  Hormel Foods, makers of the famous poverty meat, Spam.

"I like Hormel," Wachovia food analyst Walter Crimsin told Hennessy’s View.  "Families that are lucky enough to avoid the soup kitchens will be looking for value in their animal protein purchases.  Spam has been a staple poverty food since before the last Depression, and I think it’ll outperform the market in this one."

Spam is a "mystery meat" which has some of the color and approximate texture of meat, but tastes like a pliable sort of goo. 

In related business news, Wall Street analysts project the burgeoning carbon credit industry will collapse as the world faces actual problems.  Industry expert Len Wilson of Bank of America:

"Bill, we all enjoyed playing the carbon credit markets when the economy was booming and no one had any real concerns, unless of course you had a kid in Iraq or somewhere.  Now that we have a real problem, though, investors won’t have an appetite for simulated crises like global warming."

Concern over increased rates of obesity are also expected to recede as Americans return to physical occupations and have nothing to eat but Spam and similar potted meats.

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Senate Passes Economic Rescue Plan–Reward Points Galore!

Washington, DC–As economists and taxpayers began to dissect the Economic Rescue bill passed by the U. S. Senate tonight, many experts were surprised to learn that tax payers are in line for trillions of reward points.

Reward points are a popular perk used by banks, hotels, airlines, and retailers to encourage consumers to use their services and credit cards.  What legislators failed to realize when authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to assume billions of dollars of bad debt was that the reward points associated with those loans transfer to the U. S. government.

“If we’d have known this from the outset, my guess is that public support for the resolution would have been overwhelming,” said Missouri’s junior Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO).  

House Democrats immediately demanded that the majority of the of the points go to low income families, single mothers, minorities, and, if anything’s left over, veterans.

“President Bush wants to give all these points to the wealthiest one percent of Americans just because they pay half the taxes,” said New York Congressman Charles Rangell (D-NY).    “Well they got rich because of all the points given to them by the Wall Street fat cats who caused this crisis.  Let’s give these points to my people and let them go to Jamaica for a week.”

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that he does not plan to personally keep any of the 98,708,289,098,133,289 points and miles that will immediately be transferred to his name if the House passes the bill. “I have plenty of miles with the airlines, and government rules prohibit me from using them, anyway,” Paulson told Hennessy’s View.

To deal with administrtion of the points and creation of merchandise catalogs and travel packages, the Bush Administration asked Congressional leaders for emergency authorization to create the world’s largest rewards management program.

“These points will begin expiring soon, depriving millions of Americans their rightful free gifts and memorable vacations in exciting destinations throughout the world–unless Congress acts immediately and resolutely.”

Illinois Senator Barack Obama reportedly phoned the McCain campaign offering to pool his share of the points with McCain’s as a gesture of national unity.  “There’s an old Kenyan saying,” Obama told supporters in Boone’s Lick, Missouri,  “‘One man’s points will get you to Nairobi, but one man’s points pooled with another man’s points can take you all the way to Washington DC.'”  A campaign spokesman asked to explain Obama’s remarks said he had “no idea” what the Senator was talking about.  

The points can be redeemed for select merchandise or travel and cannot be combined with any other discount or offer.  Employees of the federal government, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Bear Sterns, and any other defunct bank are ineligible.  Many of the points are subject to travel blackout dates and expiration.  The IRS recommends checking with your tax advisor regarding tax liability incurred by accepting the points.