WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the Senate, key negotiators broke up a session Monday, prompting American farm animals to criticize senators from both parties, who they claim "have the taxpayer feedbags on again."
With the protracted debate of health care once more deadlocked between Republicans and Democrats, cows, chickens and pigs across the US say they've had more than enough of both parties.
For instance, they say, President Obama wants a comprehensive health-care bill on his desk by October. Republicans indicated that was probably not going to happen, instead offering to give him "a hamburger today," for which he could "gladly repay [them] next Tuesday."
That's the problem, say animals destined for American plates.
"This is typical - they have a laugh at our expense while our plight continues," says 1,059-pound Angus Bovine, a fairly typical example of middle-American cattle that will soon be steered toward the slaughterhouse.
He says he has a beef with politicians in general. "Wake up, America!! It's time for a two-party system! The 'Republocrats' make it seem like they're arguing over whether private businesses should provide health care, or if the government should. What they are really doing is distracting you while you continue to eat foods that cause heart disease and obesity related illness. And at what cost to us?
"I've got a beefsteak for both parties, right here!" added the half-ton behemoth, lifting one of his back legs a little, gesturing toward his nether regions with one of his horns.
Sue E. Ziffel, a pig from Rutland, IA calls Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, a "mindless drone," and a so-called Patient's Bill of Rights "a joke."
"When you continue to eat foods that cause health problems, you've pretty much thrown out your rights as a patient," says Ziffel. "Schumer says decisions should be made by doctors, not accountants or bureaucrats in Indianapolis. Just the kind of drivel you'd expect from a guy named after a roast! Look, here's an idea, 'Chuck.' What do you say we have doctors, bureaucrats and accountants advise people to eat less animal products and more vegetables?? Huh? What do you say, pal?"
Malcolm "Rooster" X went even further yesterday, addressing a diverse crowd of farm animals numbering in the thousands at a rally in America's heartland.
"All of us have suffered here, in this country, from oppression at the hands of men, suffered economic exploitation at the hands of men, social degradation at the hands of men, and in a handful of bizarre instances, fornication at the hands of men. They take our hens' eggs, yet refuse to feed us a grain of truth... They take our milk, but we never see the cream... They feed us garbage, then make gravy from our drippings...
"I think you'll agree it's time, time for the ballot or the bullet!" he opined to a deafening chorus of clucks, moos, and oinks, gobbles and quacks, even a smattering of whinnies. "I don't know about you, my brothers, but I say it's time we come home to roost. We've got a message for all you peckerwoods: We're tired of this feather-plucking chicken scratch!"
"Rooster" was ruthlessly slaughtered shortly thereafter, a stark reminder of the grim situation in which American farm animals find themselves. To change their plight will require at least some grassroots support from Democratic or Republican voters, which could be hard to come by, say experts.
"Even though we live in one of the richest, most educated countries in the world, diets high in animal products are the number one cause of death," says Victor Stronghart, a prominent 79-year old vegetarian heart surgeon who "occasionally" eats fish and still jogs two miles three times a week.
"People die of heart disease, decades prematurely in some instances, then call it 'natural causes' of all things." Shaking his head sadly, he added, "I just don't get it."
Meanwhile, sales of Wendy McKing in the Box's new "Chicken, Bacon 'n' Sirloin Burger" continued to be brisk, far outpacing even the most optimistic sales projections.
Do you want fries with that?