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Bush's New Dentist Faces Tough Confirmation Hearing

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Monocle-Wearing Oil Baron’s Cigarette Holder Splinters In Clenched Teeth After Hearing Bernie Sanders’ Environmental Platform

GREENWICH, CT—Leaving him visibly seething as he sat in his tufted leather wingback chair in his study, monocle-wearing oil baron Frederick Porter Harriman’s ivory-inlaid cigarette holder reportedly splintered between his clenched teeth upon him hearing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders outline his environmental platform during Thursday night’s Democratic debate.

Biggest Campaign Gaffes So Far

The road to the 2016 election has seen its fair share of blunders, miscalculations, and poorly worded statements, all captured by an eager news media that’s always on the lookout for political missteps. Here are some of the biggest campaign gaffes of this election cycle so far:

How The Iowa Caucuses Work

The votes cast in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night mark the official beginning of the 2016 election season, but the specifics of the state’s selection process can be confusing to voters who don’t live there. Here, The Onion answers the most common questions about how the Iowa caucuses work:

Iowan Comforts Sobbing Jeb Bush At Town Hall

DES MOINES, IA—Slowly approaching the distraught, trembling presidential candidate before embracing him in a gentle hug, 42-year-old single mother Holly Sullivan comforted a sobbing Jeb Bush during a town hall forum, sources confirmed Friday.

Dazed Marco Rubio Wakes Up In Koch Compound To Find Cold Metal Device Installed Behind Ear

‘Hello Marco, We Will Now Begin The Program,’ Says Soothing Voice

UNKNOWN LOCATION—The brightly lit, stark-white room gradually coming into focus as he regained consciousness, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio reportedly awoke in the Koch brothers’ secret compound Thursday and reached suddenly to his throbbing head to discover a cold metal device implanted behind his left ear.

Hillary Clinton Relaxing Before Debate With Few Hours Of Debate Practice

GOFFSTOWN, NH—Describing it as a much-needed escape from the hype and pressure surrounding the event, aides from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign confirmed that the candidate has been taking it easy and kicking back ahead of Saturday’s Democratic debate with a few hours of intensive debate practice.

Terrified Jeb Bush Beginning To Fade From Visible Spectrum

LAS VEGAS—His voice slowing during his response to a question about immigration as he struggled to comprehend what was happening to him, a visibly terrified Jeb Bush reportedly began to vanish from the visible spectrum while on stage at Tuesday night’s Republican debate.

Koch Brothers Get Each Other Same Election For Christmas

WICHITA, KS—Chuckling and shaking their heads as they described their annual family gift exchange to reporters, Koch Industries executives Charles and David Koch confirmed Wednesday they had unwittingly gotten each other the same election for Christmas this year.

The Pros And Cons Of Political Correctness

A key issue currently driving a wedge between political parties in the U.S. is the question of so-called political correctness, or the avoidance of language and actions that could be construed as exclusive, oppressive, or marginalizing of minority groups. Here are the pros and cons of political correctness in our national discourse:

Rand Paul Escorted Off Stage After Falling Below 2.5% In Middle Of Debate

MILWAUKEE—Interrupted midway through answering a question about how he would reform the nation’s tax code, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was reportedly escorted off stage roughly an hour into Tuesday’s GOP primary debate after falling below the minimum 2.5 percent polling threshold necessary for participating in the forum.

Fact-Checking Ben Carson’s Claims

GOP presidential frontrunner Ben Carson is currently under fire for claims he’s made about his past in books and interviews, many of which journalists have alleged are fabricated or skewed in the candidate’s favor. The Onion breaks down what’s truth and what’s fiction.

Republicans’ Demands For Upcoming Debates

Following last week’s contentious debate in Colorado, Republican presidential candidates are formulating demands for future debates in the effort to reduce perceived media bias and foster a more productive, policy-focused discussion. Here are the GOP’s demands for upcoming debates

Top Issues For Voters In The 2016 Election

With the presidential race well underway and the pool of candidates narrowing, Americans will soon have to choose their next leader based on how well they speak to the issues. Here are the top issues that matter for voters in the 2016 election

Winners And Losers Of Last Night’s Debate

The top 10 leading GOP presidential candidates met in Boulder, CO for their third debate last night, hosted by CNBC and featuring a number of contentious moments concerning alleged liberal media bias, frontrunners’ contradictory statements, and more. The Onion breaks down who won and who lost the debate

Ben Carson Tormented By Periodic Rational Thoughts

SAN ANTONIO—Calling the disturbing incidents a persistent source of anguish, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson told reporters at a Monday campaign stop that he has been tormented by periodic rational thoughts for the past several years.

How Democrats Are Preparing For Their First Debate

The first Democratic presidential debate will be held Tuesday, and the candidates are expected to battle it out over issues as wide-ranging as gun control, climate change, and wealth inequality in America. Here’s how the candidates are preparing for the debate

Group Of Christie Campaign Deserters Found In Forest

SHAMONG, NJ—Huddling together around fires of burning yard signs while sipping small rations of soup from mugs adorned with the phrase “Telling It Like It Is,” a ragged encampment of advisers, pollsters, and volunteers who deserted Chris Christie’s presidential campaign was reportedly found living deep in a New Jersey forest Friday, authorities confirmed.

Sight Of 400 War Elephants On Horizon Marks Hillary Clinton’s Arrival In Swing State

WHEELING, OH—Feeling the earth shake beneath them as they watched the procession climb over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains toward their village, sources along the Ohio border confirmed Thursday that the sight of 400 war elephants marching on the horizon marked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s arrival to the critical swing state.

Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence

CEDAR FALLS, IA—Describing her shock and embarrassment upon learning that her personal struggles were shared with an entire campaign rally audience, 37-year-old Allison Kilpatrick, an unemployed single mother that Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio mentioned in a recent stump speech, informed reporters Thursday that she told the candidate about her problems in confidence.

Obama Scrambling Around White House Kitchen Before State Dinner

WASHINGTON—Darting back and forth from refrigerator to sink to prep table while hurriedly preparing 350 hand-carved radish rosettes, a visibly agitated President Obama reported Friday that everything must be absolutely perfect for tonight’s state dinner in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Voters Look On In Horror As 3 New Republican Candidates Appear In Place Of Scott Walker

MADISON, WI—Overcome by a profound feeling of dread and helplessness as the GOP field multiplied before their eyes, voters at Scott Walker’s press conference yesterday, in which the Wisconsin governor announced he was exiting the presidential race, reportedly looked on in horror as three new Republican contenders appeared on stage in place of the former candidate.

Top Snake Handler Leaves Sinking Huckabee Campaign

LITTLE ROCK, AR—Dealing yet another blow to the former Arkansas governor’s presidential hopes, Dalton Hobbs, one of Mike Huckabee’s top snake handlers, has decided to leave the sinking campaign, sources reported Thursday.

Aides Rush On Stage To Rotate Scott Walker Back To Direction Of Audience

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Upon noticing that the Wisconsin governor had become disoriented during one of the moderator’s questions and begun delivering his response while facing the set’s backdrop, several of his aides rushed on stage during Wednesday’s GOP primary debate to rotate Scott Walker back in the direction of the audience.

GOP Debate Stage Manager Pulls Ladies’ Podium Out Of Storage For Carly Fiorina

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Having rummaged through a cluttered backstage closet for nearly half an hour in an effort to locate its elegantly curved lavender form, stage manager Paul Guzman is said to have finally pulled the GOP’s official ladies’ podium out of storage for Carly Fiorina ahead of Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate.

Who Is Kim Davis?

Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday after being jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on religious grounds. Here’s what you need to know about the defiant public servant:

Obamas Decide To Stay In White House Until Daughters Finish High School

‘We Don’t Want To Uproot Them Just For Our Jobs,’ Say Parents

WASHINGTON—Saying it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt their lives after seven years in the same school district, Barack and Michelle Obama this week announced their plans to stay in the White House until their daughters graduate high school.

Frenzied Trump Supporters Admit They’d Be Just As Happy Tearing Him To Pieces

‘We’re Just Mad And Want To Destroy Something,’ Say Candidate’s Backers

WASHINGTON—Saying they simply needed something to direct their anger toward, the nation’s frenzied Donald Trump supporters admitted Thursday that, if circumstances were different, they would be just as happy tearing the Republican frontrunner to pieces.
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Bush's New Dentist Faces Tough Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON—The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Monday that, after five days of intense questioning, internal debate, and outside testimony, it is no closer to confirming Dr. Richard J. Applebaum, President George W. Bush's controversial nominee to be the 73rd presidential dentist in U.S. history.

Applebaum—a Howard University College of Dentistry graduate, owner of the private practice Gentle Dental, and close friend of the Bush family—faced a seemingly unending battery of questions during the first week of his confirmation hearing, with the committee's 19 members grilling him on issues ranging from tooth decay to tartar control to the divisive "brushing side-to-side or up-and-down" question.

According to committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), however, the most important matter is restoring honor and dignity to the dentist's office.

"We cannot stand by and allow the Republicans to rubber-stamp another dentist," Leahy said on NBC's Meet The Press Sunday. "We need someone with integrity. Someone who will not ignore untreated abscesses in the posterior region of the mouth. Someone who will not simply be told that Mr. Bush flosses daily and blindly accept that as fact. Someone who is tough on plaque, yet gentle around the gums."

Applebaum's testimony thus far indicates that he has always been a vocal proponent of mercury amalgam fillings, which does not sit well with some of the Democrats in the Senate. He has, however, earned bipartisan approval for his policy on latex gloves. In addition, he has shown a commitment to featuring a wide selection of toothpaste flavors—including pina colada—and, with the exception of two occasions in the summer of 1992, has consistently consulted patients beforehand as to their favorite flavor.

His stance on fluoride treatment is unknown.

Although Applebaum's testimony has revealed a philosophy largely in line with current dental thought, his record is not unblemished. An FBI investigation launched shortly after his nomination revealed conflicting viewpoints on the issue of brushing.

"Dr. Applebaum, according to our records, in March of 1999, you told a patient by the name of Bev Kaplansky that it was advisable to brush twice a day. Yet just two years later, in February of 2001, you told one Mr. Grayson Peters that brushing should occur after every meal," a transcript of Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-IL) questioning read in part. "Well, which is it, Dr. Applebaum? Two times a day, or after every meal?"

Applebaum's refusal to answer Sen. Durbin's question has led many Democrats and some Republicans to declare that they will not support his confirmation, claiming that they do not want "another Dr. Cesario."

Dr. Samuel Cesario, Bush's previous dentist, served for a tumultuous two years before resigning in October amid accusations that he politicized the position by handing out free toothbrushes and floss dispensers to the president, that he was pro-gingivitis, and that he ordered the illegal torture of several U.S.-held detainees.

While most agree that Applebaum represents a significant upgrade from Cesario, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) was disappointed that Bush did not select the senator's own dentist, Dr. Harry Gellert, whom Specter has long championed as "a very nice man."

The media, meanwhile, has often portrayed Applebaum as a beneficiary of nepotism, as both his father and grandfather worked in the dental profession. Some critics have been even harsher. In a recent segment that has been highly circulated on the Internet and within the political blogosphere, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann called Applebaum, 52, a "spineless hypocrite who is being called on not to clean teeth, but to obsequiously kowtow to the Bush administration."

"In a 1987 checkup with a young child who shall remain nameless, you purportedly discouraged the consumption of so-called 'sweets,' but just moments later, sir, you rewarded that same child with a lollipop from the office treasure chest," Olbermann said during a "special comment" addressed to Applebaum on the program Countdown. "Are we to believe that you do not classify lollipops as 'sweets,' sir? And more importantly: Is this really the man we want scraping the gums of the leader of the free world?"

Though Bush, who is said to be suffering from a severe toothache, has urged a swift confirmation and even threatened to name Applebaum as a recess appointment, there is speculation that the Democrats may attempt to filibuster the nomination, as they did to 1968 chief justice appointee Abe Fortas and 2003 White House plumber nominee Dave.

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