A recurring theme for the second half of the year is the federal debt, which at its present pace will exceed the $999 trillion mark by the year 2211. The good news is that mathematicians have plenty of time before then to come up with a number higher than a trillion.
In the ’60s (the 1960s, not the 1860s), the late Senator Everett Dirksen, when speaking about the federal budget, was fond of saying “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” At the time, everyone thought this was quite funny and laughed, because the senator was in the late stages of dementia.
Little did they know that one day the government would have to throw away trillions of dollars before it amounted to real money. I often wonder if anyone would notice an item in the federal budget for $1 billion for The Winnebago Research Project “” the study of whether one man could stretch a dollar thinly enough to live the rest of his life on a measly $1 billion.
“¦federal health officials reassure the American public that the large majority of cantaloupes that don’t cause illness or death are perfectly safe.
But that’s enough about July. Let’s move on to August.
Fierce fighting grips the Libyan capital of Tripoli, as rebel forces continue to make gains against forces loyal to the ruthless dictator and fashion icon Moammar Gadhafi. Speaking from an undisclosed sewer manhole, Gadhafi exhorts his supporters to fight on. “Don’t leave Tripoli for the dogs of the fashion industry. In the name of Oscar de la Renta and Liberace, fight on!”
Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, leads other presidential candidates briefly in the polls until it is discovered that he is, in reality, a baboon in a smart-fitting business suit, genetically engineered to appear human.
Fears of another recession rise, worries about the European financial system intensify, the stock market plummets, and the U.S. government’s debt rating is downgraded from AAA (pronounced “Ahhh”) to AA (Above Average). Now the bad news: LSU’s dreams of another national football championship are dashed when its starting quarterback is arrested and suspended from the team after a bar fight.
But there is some good news on the economic front. With scant time to spare, Republicans and Democrats hammer out a last-minute compromise on the federal debt limit, saving the U.S. economy from almost certain catastrophe for at least two more weeks. The complicated eleventh-hour deal calls for President Barack Obama to negotiate with China to refinance the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and Lady Gaga for $15 trillion at a variable interest rate tied to U.S. prime.
If you ate a cantaloupe in September and suddenly became ill and died, you were not alone, because some cantaloupes were tainted with the deadly listeria bacteria. But federal health officials reassure the American public that the large majority of cantaloupes that don’t cause illness or death are perfectly safe.
Speaking of objects that can cause injury or death, in September, Americans in the northwestern part of the United States brace themselves for the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, a dead, 6-ton satellite spiraling out of control like the deficit of a modern industrialized country. Twelve thousand pounds of fiery metal are expected to rain down somewhere, but luckily, most pieces will be no larger than a cantaloupe.
In New York, Occupy Wall Street protesters, calling themselves “the 99 percent,” are forced to flee when swarms of Wall Street executives descend upon their encampment to sell mortgage-backed securities.
Meanwhile, the richest Americans (“the 1 percent”) continue their own loosely organized movement, “Occupy a Congressman.”
Also, a public opinion poll taken by The Associated Press shows that 51 percent of all adults are “less likely to vote for any GOP candidate who participates in and opens his or her mouth during a presidential debate.”
A congressional “super committee” composed of six Democrats and six Republicans fails to agree on ways to reduce the $15 trillion federal debt. Afterward, its members disagree on why they couldn’t agree.
If elected president, Gov. Rick Perry promises to eliminate the first three federal agencies he can think of. Also in presidential campaign news, a sex scandal surrounding GOP candidate and former pizza executive Herman Cain results in his withdrawal as football coach of Penn State University.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vows that Iran will not retreat “one iota” from its nuclear program until the West “stops making computers that put squiggly red lines under my name.” The Iranian leader also reiterates that Iran’s sole intention is to produce nuclear weapons “for peaceful purposes only.”
After a total cost of $800 billion and 4,500 American lives, the last U.S. troops leave Iraq, fulfilling the prophecy of George W. Bush in 2003 when he said, “Mission accomplished.”
Kim Jong Un becomes the supreme leader of North Korea after his father, Kim Jong Il, becomes Kim Jong Dead.
With scant time to spare, congressional Republicans and Democrats hammer out a last-minute compromise on the federal debt limit, saving the U.S. economy from almost certain catastrophic collapse until February. In exchange for Democrats agreeing not to eliminate tax cuts for billionaires for at least two more months, Republicans agree to suspend their embarrassing presidential debates, which have been shown to lower high school students’ standardized test scores by 35%.