WASHINGTON- Lifetime Network is once again gunning for the head of beloved matriarch and divine goddess of the western hemisphere, Oprah. The depressing and low-budget television network has launched a large scale war against Oprah insisting that she has monopolized the industry of brainwashing lonely, depressed, middle-aged women.

The industry has been ravaged by prolonged conflict between Oprah, Lifetime and the producers of Brokeback Mountain all of whom are vying for a piece of this impressionable cake.

“It’s a niche market really.” said television analyst Rupert Merblock, “A given middle-aged woman can only consume about 8 hours of television a day.”

It is believed that the conflict brewing between Lifetime and Oprah is the result of sectarian differences between separate factions of women who prefer to watch different types of crappy day-time television. Each group is so devoted to their respective brand of television that it has sparked violent clashes between them.

The market for soulless, depressed women who’s lives have been consumed by a repetitive cycle of neglect, delusion and emotional void is a well researched one. At this point all programming directed at this audience can be categorized into the following well-defined spectrums.

Love: Nothing tugs on the heartstrings of a lonely, middle-aged woman like a love story. In fact, the only thing that gets a lonely woman going more than your traditional love story is an awkward nonconformist love story. Gay couples, people falling in love with ghosts and animals, etc… are all fantastic examples of the nonconformist love story.

Someone Got Raped: Regardless of how many times a middle-aged woman hears a rape story, it never gets old. Defying all scientific evidence that this kind of repetition would wear out its welcome, woman seem to never get tired of seeing and hearing about how each other got raped. The ratings are even higher on shows where the rape is shown via graphic reenactment.

Overcoming Adversity: Despite having little to no adversity in their own life and living a content life doing absolutely nothing, middle-aged women love to hear about how other people are doing the complete opposite. Babies born with shark tails and people in wheel-chairs are just a few examples of people overcoming adversity that these women will never face. It’s still a mystery why this kind of programming is so loved by void, empty, women all across America.

The Blame Game: Going hand in hand with Overcoming Adversity, the Blame Game is a trademark of the middle-aged woman’s daily life. This kind of programming takes a social problem, finds an unreasonable scapegoat and blames it for several hours. By feigning outrage and possibly cheering while stepping up and down on their Wii Fit, middle-aged women can bolster their feeling of inclusion and prove their loyalty to Oprah by hating the things she hates.

While many psychologists insist that the list of things that could suck a woman’s mind in are vast and endless, this list is the most common forms of programming currently being fought over.

As of late August the confrontation between Lifetime and Oprah had come to a boiling point with Oprah’s national army, “The Oprahnites” sieging several broadcast towers owned by the Lifetime networking and taking several of Lifetime Network CEO’s hostage so that they could express their feelings to Oprah on her daily show.

The women involved in the sectarian assault on Lifetime’s staff would later be caught in a Starbucks where they were all reading romance novels and crying on each other’s shoulders.

Authorities have neglected to give an official statement on the war but have said that they believe the majority of this is “Just a bunch of chicks PMS’ing.”

Have you been reading the Wall Street Journal like good little capitalists or did you waste your time with the free USA Today the hotel dropped at your door? Take our weekly Biz Quiz and show us your inner Bernanke.

1. Owners of The 99 Cents Only Store report that the chain is hurting from inflation. Your 99 cents now gets you:

  1. a half-dozen eggs instead of a dozen
  2. a dirty look
  3. a chance to buy a franchise

2. Starbucks announced it will begin offering healthier breakfast options like bran muffins, oatmeal and a fruit-and-nut bar in an effort to:

  1. compete with McDonald’s
  2. sell more dry stuff that needs to be washed down by coffee
  3. force customers to use its new pay toilets

3. Kellogg’s signed Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps to promote its cereals because:

  1. he likes Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes
  2. the Chinese women’s gymnasts are still on Pablum
  3. he can hold his breath long enough to down an entire bowl of All-Bran

4. Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association, replaced its CFO and two other top executives because:

  1. the company is still hurting from the mortgage crisis
  2. they refuse to vote for John McCain
  3. they were caught with strippers named Fannie and Mae

5. Southwest Airlines, the most profitable U.S. airliner, announced it will drop more than 196 daily flights on January 11 because of:

  1. rising fuel costs
  2. competition from people who ride-share
  3. no more cheap planes available on eBay

6. Toyota Motor Corp. cut its sales forecast for 2009 from 10.4 million vehicles to 9.7 million, thus delaying its chance to:

  1. become the world’s first automaker to sell more than 10 million vehicles a year
  2. make Prius the most popular name for baby boys
  3. turn GM into a BM

(correct answers: 1-a, 2-a, 3-a, 4-a, 5-a 6-a… duh!)

Shoebox, your admninistrative assistance

For anyone who loathe doing the paperwork, Shoeboxed is the perfect companion.

Atlanta, Ga. – Airlines in the United States rejoiced upon receiving an intercepted recording from the terrorist group al-Qaeda, according to reports from government and flight industry insiders.

Details of the message’s content were sketchy but included a statement from high-ranking officers in the terrorist organization that claimed the group was “finished trying to hijack planes” and that the add-on charges for flight amenities and overall stinginess of the airlines were the main reasons for their new policy of “never flying again”.

“This is awesome!” Delta spokesperson Tammy Fisher crowed. “By removing all the expensive and exhausting security procedures from ticketing and boarding procedures, we can finally afford to treat our passengers with dignity again.”

Members of the Islamofascist network were angry but resigned to the realities of the faltering industry, which continues to be weakened by rising fuel costs.

“In the name of Allah and all that is holy”, shrieked Muhammad El Shabaz, Osama Bin Laden’s number two man, “the increased fee for carry on bags alone is enough to question Jihad.”

Despondent suicide-bomber/pilot Kaliph Mustafah also chimed in, “I was all set to bring my vengeful fiery wrath upon the decadent western infidels but, c’mon, $2 for a Diet Sprite?! America truly is the Great Satan.”

Continental Airline executives were ecstatic, issuing a press release stating, “Our policy of ‘frill-free’ flying and charging customers for the pettiest of conveniences has finally paid off. Through our lack of foresight and unwillingness to listen to our customer base, we have joined George W. Bush and his administration’s winning vision in this great battle against terrorism.”

WASHINGTON, DC — In an attempt to avoid having to borrow money from the Treasury Department to see it through an expected wave of bank failures, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (motto: “It’s F-D-I-C, not fadick … OK?”) is offering scratch-off lottery tickets with a top prize of $100,000 to depositors who agree to waive withdrawing funds insured for up to $100,000 in the event their banks go under. “It’s our way of saying “Thanks for kind of believing in us,”” said Sheila C. Bair, Chairman of the FDIC.

Each FDIC Mega-Bail Lotto ticket has a cash value of $1, which will be deducted from the $100,000 deposit FDIC is insuring. There will be one $100,000 prize and numerous lower prizes, ranging from $5 to $1 to coupons for free checking with approved credit and proof of no gambling addiction.

“This does not mean we can’t cover deposits of up to $100,000,” said Bair. “Its just a fun way to introduce bank customers to the world of high risk investing that our more well-to-do customers enjoy.” While it can’t compete with huge prizes offered by multi-state lotteries, Bair is hoping that FDIC Mega-Bail Lotto’s miniscule odds will keep people from wasting their money on these other lotteries with worse than miniscule odds. “It’s like Vegas without the topless showgirls,” said Bair. “Although a nice tip from a $100,000 prize winner just might convince a cute teller that she’s actually counting money at Hooters.”

Customers of failing banks are asked to schedule appointments to pick up their FDIC Mega-Bail Lotto tickets in order to avoid misleading lines outside the bank. All tickets must be scratched away from the teller counter with the customer’s own coin or FDIC-approved scratch-off device (no foreign coins, knives or lucky animal hooves of any kind are allowed). Customers not cleaning up their own scratched-off litter will be subject to a $2 fee — $3 if the scratching was done with an ATM card from another bank.

Lucky $100,000 winners will be paid at a rate of 1.5% of the total per month, or they can choose to receive a lump-sum payment of 50,000 FDIC Mega-Bail Lotto tickets. “Come on down and scratch your way to solvency!” said Bair.

Representatives from Google and Disney held a press conference today to announce their new joint venture. Club Google will begin developing a number of products designed to capture the innermost thoughts and feelings of the highly sought after tween demographic. Production has already begun on the Google Princess Diary.

Stories and preferences will be fed via satellite directly from the strawberry scented pages simultaneously to Disney marketing and story development where they will be fed into a sophisticated algorithm and transformed into products, bands, movies, and television shows with guaranteed appeal.

“I don’t know why we didn’t think of this sooner,” said a Disney writer. “This whole ‘no privacy’ thing is going to make it so much easier to come up with new story lines!”

“There isn’t any privacy, get over it,” Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf told reporters. “Like that little lock and key ever kept anyone out anyway.”

Hot on the heels of purchasing Anheuser-Busch, beverage giant InBev has reached an agreement to buy eight-year-old Jimmy Forrester’s Lemonade Stand for $113.48, ending weeks of speculation about a possible hostile takeover and ouster of Forrester, company CEO.

The deal, paid in the form of a contribution to Forrester’s college fund plus a copy of Madden NFL 09 for the Nintendo Wii, adds yet another iconic brand to InBev’s stable of beverages, including Beck’s, Budweiser and Stella Artois.

From humble beginnings as a converted cardboard box that once housed the Forresters’ new refrigerator, Jimmy Forrester’s Lemonade Stand rose to become the leading citrus-based beverage producer of Wedgewood Street in South Sioux City, Nebraska. Initially, local patrons reacted strongly against the purchase of this family-owned company, founded in the early days of summer vacation in June. Forrester tried to diversify his brand, adding sugar-free lemonade to his menu in an effort to drive stock prices out of reach. However, the company’s principal shareholders, Forrester’s mom and dad, finally consented to the purchase once their son had to return to school for the fall.

Terms of the deal include amending the name of the company to Jimmy Forrester’s Anheuser-Busch InBev. In addition, Forrester will be given a seat on the board of directors. However, his ability to participate in meetings during school hours is pending approval from his new third-grade teacher, Mrs. Stinchley, reputed to be “a real witch,” by a source requesting anonymity.

NEW YORK, NY – U.S. News & World Report (motto: “Longest Name Of The Leading News Magazines”) has followed up its popular annual U.S. News America’s Best Colleges issue with a controversial report that should nonetheless attract many new readers to the news weekly. U.S. News America’s Best Degree Mills ranks the top 100 places in the U.S. to purchase a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree in any discipline. “Most of these diploma factories will sell you a cheap-looking mass-produced fake sheepskin for under a hundred bucks,” said Mel Grizflore, the U.S. News journalist who headed up the survey. “My staff spent an entire year analyzing these places of lower learning to help Americans make an educated decision when lying about their education.”

At the top of the U.S. News America’s Best Degree Mills list is Hardvard University, the ironically-self-proclaimed “Yale of Unaccredited Colleges.” Based in a storefront near the actual Harvard University in Massachusetts, Hardvard offers high-quality counterfeit diplomas in all subjects, online fake records and reunions every five years based on your purchase date – all for $5,000. “For another $1,000, they’ll provide school newspaper clippings of your feats on the football team, a letter sweater, fraternity pins and a picture of you receiving an award from a dean,” said Grizflore. “It’s actually a Photoshopped image of you and James Dean in a beard, which makes it legal.”

Students on a tighter budget can purchase a degree from Florida A&B, a non-accredited fine arts school and bait shop near Miami. For about $500, Florida A&B provides a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, a picture of you in the school production of “Hamlet” and a certificate verifying that you paid off your student loan. “Florida A&B is the party school of degree mills,” said Grizflore. “Every degree is delivered with a free six-pack and a photo of you passed out on a dorm room floor.”

Regular subscribers of U.S. News & World Report are aghast at the new report, but that doesn’t faze Griflore or his editor, Margaret Ashbirch. “It’s no secret the magazine industry is hurting,” said Ashbirch. “It was either this or those smelly aftershave inserts, and our readers aren’t the Old Spice types.”

Other leading national magazines are watching U.S. News & World Report closely. If the U.S. News America’s Best Degree Mills is a success, Forbes plans to do special edition in the fall called The Forbes Top 100 Companies Led By A CEO With A Fake Degree and Fortune is considering a survey of the best fake resume writers.

“With the rising fuel costs, gangs are going to jog-by shootings. That means their members need to be in tip top physical shape,” says BCBS spokesperson Emma Johnson. “More and more of the gangs are requiring physicals before you join and we want to tap the market while it’s hot.”

“Yeah, we tried rolling in a Prius but there ain’t even enough room up in there for a dozen AK-47-s. Man need a rocket launcher, he can forget about it,” gang leader Smokey D told us. “Now we got a weight room and some souped up treadmills. We just grab a gun and some Nikes and we’re ready to rumble.”

Then new True Blue Gangsta physicals will include cholesterol screening, a high blood pressure and diabetes check and a thorough cardio screening for half the price of a normal physical. The thing that makes the new plan so affordable is that there will be no testing for drugs or STD’s. “Our customers will only be paying for the services they need,” stated Ms. Johnson. “It’s a win-win situation.”

BCBS is currently offering this pilot program in Los Angeles and New York City only. They anticipate a 32% increase in sales this quarter and an even bigger jump next year when they will offer their program to gangs in all 50 states.

INFOMERCIAL – Already nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, the “Africa Strategy” is being heralded as one of the greatest concepts for curbing national inflation, expenses and food prices ever conceived in history.

The plan was laid out early last week by reknowned scientist, Dr. Kabutu Alfonzo, already a recognized expert in the field of hungry peoples. He has been credited with the invention of the “Five Dollar Footlong” and the “Dollar Menu”.

“The idea came to me as I was studying starving children in Africa. It’s amazing how these children can sort of survive on almost no food.” explained Alfonzo. “These people in Africa, they are skinnier than any super-model or celebrity in the United States, and they spend almost nothing on food. A mere 10 cents can feed them for a week.”

Despite this incredible evidence, some people remain skeptical. The most outspoken person against this plan is the lead singer of the rock band U2, Bono. Bono claims that the African people are not happy with their incredibly skinny bodies and would much rather eat every day and weigh more.

Bono also suggested that the concept of “Not Eating” for long periods of time may have negative health effects on human beings.

Dr. Alfonzo quickly refuted Bono’s claims in saying, “It’s ridiculous to think that these people are not happy. They wear even less clothing than Americans at all times just to show off their incredible figures. Bono is clearly backwards in his logic, in the United States people die from eating too much, not too little.”

Alfonzo’s statements were largely backed by people with science degrees who supported his findings and released the following statement after conducting their own independent study:

“After extensive testing and several viewings of the movies Blood Diamond and Tears of the Sun, it is our conclusion that starving in Africa is a safe and smart method to obtain weight loss and inflation curbs. The long term effects of starvation include, looking sexier, spending less on food, and possibly shooting the hell out of African rebels in some totally righteous action sequences like Bruce Willis.”

After the release of the Scientific Community’s findings the President and his top advisors also gave their support to this new motion and voiced their agreement in saying, “We have also viewed Tears of the Sun and the provided evidence and agree that Bruce Willis is a badass.”

Congress is expected to follow trend and vote largely in favor of this initiative taking immediate effect. The most recent polling suggests that 70% of Congress currently feels that Bruce Willis is a badass and the other 30% feel that Blood Diamond “totally sucked”.

“Simply applying this plan is not enough.” warned Dr. Alfonzo, “We need to instill these lessons in our children. We need to teach them that eating often and weighing over a certain amount is not okay in our society. They need to fear their self-image like we fear terrorist attacks. They’re equally dangerous.”

Dr. Alfonzo was also quick to point out that in other countries, such as France, the food portions are vastly smaller than in the states. “They eat just as often we do, but they eat a lot less. Usually half the amount of food that we do. It’s a step in the right direction.” Alfonzo insisted that the French eat less than us because they are assumably all homosexual and against freedom.

“Africa and France have always been in league against us.” he explained. “They’ve known that starvation and eating less can make you look fantastic. The gay community is years ahead of us in terms of sexy and anorexic sciences. I would go so far as to say that Africans and Gay Frenchmen are 90% of the economic hardship currently crippling our country.”

The United States as a whole largely agrees with this sentiment. In a poll of polls it was found that 99% of Americans would like to believe that “None of this is our fault.” and only 1% felt like it was our fault, but we should still blame everyone else.

Thus it appears that the entire country is onboard for the United State’s most recent Military Campaign known as the “Franco-Homo-Africano War to Fix Our Economy And Global Warming”. The support is tremendous and the secrets of the third world countries shall soon be ours.

HOLLYWOOD, CA — Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s comment during a discussion on values that his definition of rich was having an income of $5 million has had a surprisingly negative effect in a seemingly recession-proof industry – game shows. “Why couldn’t he have said $1 million?” asked Meredith Vieira, host of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” “All of a sudden, we’re having a tough time finding guests willing to be humiliated for the chance to win a mere million.” Industry experts say “Millionaire” and many other shows which currently offer million-dollar prizes are being forced to up the amount to $5 million or be canceled.

That’s the situation on “Deal or No Deal. “You’d think 25 women in miniskirts with a combined million dollars in boob jobs would be enough to attract contestants,” laments host Howie Mandel. “Not to mention the chance to bump with a huge megastar like me.” The show, which just recently gave away its first million-dollar prize, is also hurting because the in-house banker recently had to be bailed out when a case that should have held $100,000 contained an IOU instead.

Regis Philbin, host of “Million Dollar Password,” is furious. “I just had some more gold-embossed business cards printed up with the show’s name on them. You can’t just use liquid paper to change a gold one to a gold five. Letterman is going to eat me alive on this one.”

McCain’s comment is having a different yet equally distressing effect on “The Price Is Right.” While no prizes on the show approach $1 million in value, new host Drew Carey is demanding that his salary be increased from $1 million per week to $5 million. “I can go back to “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”” threatened Carey. It’s a lot easier to host and there’s no risk of getting hugged to death by a 200-pound grandmother from Detroit.”

The Obama campaign has picked up on this problem and is using it against McCain. “If I’m elected, I will force Hollywood to add new game shows and lower the top prize to $250,000 so that all Americans have chance to be rich, which I define as having an income of $250,000 a year” said Obama in a press release. “I will also force shows like “Jeopardy” to have harder questions for rich people to level the playing field.”

John McCain has so far refused to back down on his comment to bail out the game shows. “My friends, what happened to those good old shows like “What’s My Line?” And “Truth or Consequences,” he asked at a recent town meeting. “And besides, the American people don’t need to be competing on game shows to get rich. That’s what lotteries, oil futures and single heiresses are for.”

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