The Zeitgeist Checklist

Zeitgeist Checklist, Extra Articulate Edition

What Washington is talking about this week.

Resolved: Pigs Should Not Be Flightless Congress. The Senate nears agreement on a bipartisan resolution declaring that President Bush should not send more troops to Iraq. It’s working on future resolutions declaring that Lindsay Lohan should not drink so many cosmopolitans, that the Super Bowl should not be so overhyped, and that the Senate should not waste so much time on toothless resolutions.

His Cult Is Losing Followers, Too
Iraq. In the holy city of Najaf, soldiers following a delusional leader who claimed divine inspiration for his hopeless mission engaged in some of the bloodiest gun battles since the start of the war. But this time, those U.S. soldiers were victorious, mowing down 350 fighters from the Soldiers of Heaven religious cult.

We Know Who Isn’t Articulate
2008. Sen. Joseph Biden kicks off his second presidential campaign by plagiarizing a speech by Michael Richards, describing Sen. Barack Obama as “clean” and “articulate.” Seriously, if America really wanted a pompous Democratic windbag who couldn’t keep his foot out of his mouth, wouldn’t President Kerry be running for re-election?

This Is What Passes for Intelligence
Intelligence. The long-awaited National Intelligence Estimate warns that Iraq is spinning out of control. The report is careful not to reveal sources or methods, but some analysts deduce from the unusually gloomy conclusions that the CIA may have finally purchased a television set. But once again, the report does not make any policy recommendations, except that Lindsay Lohan may want to think about laying off the cosmopolitans.

We Beat This Dead Horse Every Week
Death. After concluding that he was too lame to do anything productive and that his condition would never improve, Barbaro’s doctors put him out of his misery. But they say they are not authorized to do the same to the Bush administration. Some critics wonder why a horse would get so much more attention than ordinary Americans do, but Barbaro was obviously no ordinary American: He had excellent health care.

“Distinguishing Characteristics”: Still Funny!
Hillary! In an Iowa appearance, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton apparently compares her husband to “evil men” like Osama Bin Laden, serving notice that she will require her own weekly category in the Zeitgeist Checklist. With its echoes of the Monica Lewinsky affair, the episode raises questions about what will happen if the Clintons return to the White House. Such as: Will the Zeitgeist still get paid for jokes that write themselves?

It’s Still Better Than Scooter
Crime. The I. Lewis Libby perjury trial takes a hilarious turn when Ari Fleischer takes the stand and swears to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Later, an FBI agent testifies that she had trouble getting Libby to reveal what his first initial stands for. Cut the guy some slack; it wasn’t easy being a kid named Insincere.

Then Again, the Redskins Haven’t Been Hot in Eons
Climate. A report by the world’s leading climate scientists finds that man-made emissions are the “very likely” cause of global warming. It also finds that Lindsay Lohan’s alcohol binges are the “very likely” cause of her drunken stupors. Meanwhile, global-warming skeptics are stunned when Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow on fire.

What Does He Know About the Oil Business?
Corporations. Speaking of global-warming skeptics, eco-scofflaw Exxon Mobil posts a record-breaking $40 billion profit for 2006. Outgoing CEO Lee Raymond, under fire for his $400 million severance package, is now complaining he got fleeced.

They’re Not Even Thinking About It
Iran. Despite some stepped-up rhetoric, and a second aircraft carrier en route to the Persian Gulf, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the Bush administration is “not planning for a war with Iran.” And we all know the Bush administration would never start a war without planning!