After a lengthy and heated debate in both houses of Congress, legislation has been passed that requires the executive branch to deactivate Dick Cheney after a February hunting accident in which long time Republican Party donor and all-around angry looking Texas Lawyer Harry Whittington was shot by the Vice President.
The reason for the deactivation is because Cheney violated the fist rule of robotics - "A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm." The debate in Congress was hinged around the accidental nature of the shooting.
"It's implied in the first law that the intent to harm is what is banned," opined Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens, himself a robot who unlike Cheney has been upgraded with an emotion chip. "Unit DB50a clearly did not intend to cause harm to his organic-life companion. Had he done so, I would support deactivation. But in this case I must insist, no disassemble. No disassemble!"
California Congresswoman Barbara Boxer disagreed with the Senator's interpretation of the first law.
"Nowhere does is state in the first law that intent of harm or malice is what is banned - it simply bans harming a human being, which the Vice President clearly has done, accidental or not. Besides, now that he has violated the first law, what happens if his logic circuits overheat and fry? Do we really need NOMAD or HAL 9000 as the second-most powerful entity in the free world? Human republicans have messed it up bad enough - the last thing we need are robolicans making it even worse."
Of course, passing the resolution is one thing - enforcing it is another. Ever since the debate began, the Vice President has gone into hiding at an undisclosed location. President Bush doesn't even know where his faithful robot sidekick is laying low, but that's really nothing new.
Congress is now debating two separate bills to help find Cheney. The first, sponsored by Joseph Lieberman (D), would appropriate funds to hire Harrison Ford to track down the renegade android. A bill sponsored by Norm Coleman (R), would hire Will Smith.
It's believed that Mr. Cheney is currently in the Washington-Oregon border area, perhaps being hidden by an animal rights terrorist group headed up by a washed-up 1980's actress. The public is urged to call the authorities if they spot Mr. Cheney, but not to approach him directly. Especially if wearing hunter safety orange, near trees, within a two-mile radius from any birds, bats, or gliding squirrels.