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Holiday Regime Change 

I'm Dreaming of a White House Christmas

Under an obscure provision of the Patriot Act, the Attorney General is empowered to name his choice to serve as Santa Claus each year. For 2003, John Ashcroft has selected Ebenezer Scrooge, recently retired Chief Financial Officer of Halliburton Corp., the same company over which Vice-President Dick Cheney once presided -- and which has, truth be told, made out like bandits through their no-bid federal contracts to rebuild Iraq.

Scrooge/Santa wasted no time in issuing a number of directives that will profoundly alter the Christmas holiday season as we've come to know it, reversing many of the liberal-inspired rules that have corrupted the true, traditional meaning of the holiday. Here's a sample:

Affirmative Action: Scrooge decided that all reindeer must compete on an equal footing to guide the sleigh on Christmas Eve. No longer will preference be unfairly given to those of the red-nosed persuasion.

The same policy will be applied to hiring elves. According to Scrooge, those who are not vertically challenged are entitled to the same job opportunities as smaller folks (Will Ferrell fans, take note).

Making A List: Working closely with the security experts at Homeland Security, Scrooge/Santa was able to clearly identify those who have been naughty and they will be punished appropriately. For reasons of national security, those deemed naughty can be held indefinitely, do not have to be informed of what they did and can be punished without appeal.

After a reporter asked Scrooge whether many Al-Queda members, religious Muslims all, were likely to observe Christmas, the reporter disappeared and his whereabouts are not known at this time.

Getting Government Out of Christmas: Under the Scrooge regime's newly issued guidelines, there are no longer any limits on reindeer emissions. The newly designated tightwad Santa explained, "All the leftist, overly restrictive Clinton-era limitations increased the cost of delivering toys and hurt the economy. On this grandest of all religious holidays, it's just not right to interfere with the divinely inspired free market. Plus, what kind of, umm, Scrooge wouldn't want the air filled with reindeer droppings on Christmas morning?" When a reporter questioned whether it was appropriate for a government-appointed Santa to call one religion's celebration "the grandest" holiday, Scrooge responded, "You don't like it? Then move to a pagan country, I don't care. And watch your ass, news boy -- ever heard of Guantanamo? Next question."

Santa's Sweatshop: Scrooge announced that those pesky wage and labor laws that have slowed down America's profit-making would be suspended for the brief period starting December 24, 2003, until further notice.

Some controversy erupted when Scrooge fired several elves for disloyalty. These elves, small in stature, were allegedly seeking to organize a labor union to fight for higher wages and better working conditions. Scrooge said, "I know what's best for the little people. Hard work never killed anybody -- well, anybody who could work two 24-hour shifts in a row. Plus, who cares about sweatshops at the North Pole? You'd think they'd be grateful for the extra body heat."

Who Gets Gifts: Scrooge put conservative ideology into effect by dictating that only those who could afford presents would receive them. He said, "Giving gifts to the poor sets a bad example, people expecting to get something for nothing. We have to let the free market work its magic, no matter who gets left out."

The news conference was marked by one heartbreaking moment when Scrooge/Santa admitted he couldn't satisfy the request of one nice boy. "I tried, but there's no way to get little Georgie Bush those weapons of mass destruction he's been talking about. I just couldn't find any in Iraq, no matter how hard I looked. I'm still trying to get him Osama or Saddam for Christmas, but that's not looking too promising, either."

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