adBlockCheck

Politics

Can Trump Follow Through On His Campaign Promises?

President-elect Donald Trump made a variety of lofty promises during his campaign as part of a pledge to “make America great again.” The Onion looks at several of these promises and evaluates whether Trump will be willing or able to follow through on them.

What You Need To Know About The Dakota Access Pipeline

Construction is currently stalled on the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would connect North Dakota’s Bakken Shale development to oil tank farms in Illinois, by protests led by members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The Onion provides answers to key questions about the project.

What Can Americans Expect Under A Trump Presidency?

With two months until the inauguration of Donald Trump, many Americans are wondering what his term will look like and what his administration might accomplish. The Onion answers some common questions about Trump’s upcoming presidency

James Comey Quickly Reopens Clinton Email Investigation For Few More Minutes

‘Nope, Looks Like It’s All Good Here,’ Says FBI Director

WASHINGTON—In a letter addressed to Congress that was quickly followed by a second message retracting the first, FBI director James Comey is said to have briefly reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails for several more minutes Friday.

Pollsters Admit They Underestimated Voters’ Adrenal Glands

WASHINGTON—In response to widespread criticism that they had failed to predict Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, analysts from polling organizations around the nation admitted Thursday they had underestimated the influence of voters’ adrenal glands on the presidential race.
End Of Section
  • More News

Gore Reprimanded For Failure To Look Busy

WASHINGTON, DC—The embattled Clinton Administration found itself engulfed in still more controversy Wednesday, when The Washington Post reported that Vice-President Al Gore has been formally reprimanded by a federal grand jury for failing to look busy.

Al Gore, defending himself against charges that he failed to uphold his vice-presidential duty to appear occupied.

According to the Post report, Vice-President Gore first came under scrutiny on April 14, when he sat unproductively at his desk for more than three hours, surfing the Internet, playing Tetris and bending paper clips into animal shapes. All the while, the report stated, Gore made no attempt to conceal his inactivity from White House supervisors.

Despite the flagrant, prolonged nature of Gore's idleness, the supervisors—accustomed to such behavior from the bored vice-president—looked the other way, pretending not to notice and accepting his feeble excuses.

At approximately 4:15 p.m., however, when Gore allegedly began playing the song "The Old Gray Mare She Ain't What She Used To Be" on a tissue-paper comb at a volume loud enough to be heard by a White House tour group several rooms away, the supervisors had no choice but to bring formal charges before the grand jury. Last Friday, the jury issued Gore a reprimand in the form of a written pink slip, along with a verbal warning to "get cracking."

"I'm shocked the vice-president would allow this to happen, especially now," said U.S. News & World Report editor James Fallows, referring to the highly publicized controversies involving Whitewater, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky that have plagued the administration of late. "Al Gore is an accomplished statesman and public servant, and he must be aware that looking busy is one of the most important duties of his position. Not looking like you're doing something halfway productive on the taxpayer's clock is one of the most serious crimes of which a vice-president can be accused."

Fallows acknowledged that, since there is very little for a vice-president to do in the course of an average day, it can be difficult for a man in Gore's position to consistently appear occupied on a long-term basis. Nevertheless, he said, Gore's failure to keep up appearances during this time of intense scrutiny for the Clinton Administration "has to be considered a major gaffe."

Not surprisingly, Republicans are pressuring the president to follow up the grand-jury reprimand–which some have derided as "a mere slap on the wrist"–with more substantive punishment, including a mention in Gore's permanent file at the White House personnel office.

U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY), one of the leaders of the Republican charge against Gore, called the vice-president's behavior "inexcusable."

"Is it any wonder so many Americans have lost faith in government when a high-standing elected official like Al Gore doesn't even bother to look like he's doing something useful?" D'Amato said. "I'll admit, I've slacked through some pretty uneventful days during my time in Congress. But at least I always made an effort to conceal my inactivity, either by spreading a bunch of official-looking papers across my desk or having my computer on. The American people deserve at least that much."

While Gore has maintained a calm public persona throughout the crisis, Beltway insiders say he is outraged that the humiliating reprimand—which was supposed to remain confidential—was leaked to the press. An anonymous source in the Post article quotes Gore denouncing the leak as "a direct violation of company confidentiality policy as outlined in the official employee manual."

Lawyers for the vice-president are blaming the release of the supposedly confidential reprimand on congressional Republicans, a charge Senate Ethics Committee Chair Robert Smith (R-NH) strongly denied.

"We did not leak this reprimand, and we do not know who did. But what I do know is that this kind of misconduct is completely unacceptable from Vice-President Gore," Smith said. "A mandate to look busy is clearly outlined in the job description he was given and required to sign when he was first hired for the position. And the vice-presidential instructional videos Gore was required to view as a trainee further underscore the importance of looking like you're getting something done at all times. You can bet we'll remember this infraction at Gore's next scheduled employee evaluation, and I for one will be outraged if he doesn't receive a below-average job-performance assessment."

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close