Written by plinth course
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Topics: New York, journalism

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

image for Sign(ing) Statements Explained With Cool Comic.
Unindexed 'sign' to be picked up in next edition.

New York - The American Bar Association (ABA) has written a scathing criticism of the President's Signing Statements. Their work was spurred by an actual investigative journalism report (verified and fact-checked, you can be assured) showing that this president has issued more signing statements than any executive in the history of the world.

Tony Snow shot back to a correspondent at a recent White House press conference, "That's not so!" He huffed and bristled as he held the twisted and torn ABA report in one hand, and pointed his index finger (other hand) at the questioner. He was most angry that the report called on Congress to pass legislation in the name of transparency. "Besides, the President has never made any statement about his signs. Until now."

Snow says that there is "plenty of transparency" in the Administration, but just to further clarify, he trotted out (then passed out - to the reporters, that is) The President's Clarification Pamphlet. "This document," he said, "will clear up the signing thing," as he passed (out) the pamphlets for the sake of clarity, transparency, translucinosity…

More like a Signing Comic Book, the pamphlet depicts the numerous signs the President has used on various occasions, and then uses several panels to explain the sign pictorially. The hero of the comic book is, of course, the President, but Rove (the fixer), Condi (the unsticker), and Cheney (the sharp shooter), among others, play support roles.

Some of the signs, perhaps, are to be expected, others are peculiar to the administration. Consulting the index we find (chosen at random, of course):

The Finger (3rd)
The So-what Shrug
The Nod/head bobbing mode
The Dismissive Glance
The Sneer (right upper lip)
The Smirk (left half of face)
Hand-holding w/ slow-walking
Hats!
Golf-cart Slouching

Each of the indexed signs is explained, but not by any cultural norm or societal protocol. Choosing one at random (bias is right out), we find in the explanatory panels for the ‘So-what Shrug' that it is actually an expression of delight. Snow was asked to confirm this assumption.

"Each citizen will have to read the comic book, I mean, document, for him or herself. It's self-explanatory. I'm not going to stand up here like a retarded redheaded stepchild with unexplained banjo skills and read ‘em."

Snow then began to puff like a weight-lifter, a flush in a brilliant ruby hue sprang into his face (freckles?!), but he showed no ‘sign' of awareness that his hands were taking up a position that seemed to be, to many onlookers, air banjo.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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