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What’s At Stake In New Hampshire

With the New Hampshire primary election Tuesday poised to impact the course of the 2016 presidential race, The Onion examines what’s at stake for the candidates

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.
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Report: Nation Not Ready For This

Maybe 10 Years From Now, But That's A Big Maybe

WASHINGTON—According to an extremely wary congressional report issued Monday, the nation does not need and is not at all ready for this right now, though it might possibly be worth considering at some point in the future.

The report goes on to state that 10 or 12 years from now would be the earliest anything could be done about this, but even that is probably a stretch.

"Now is simply not the time," said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who heads the joint subcommittee that commissioned the report. "Setting aside the countless practical obstacles and prohibitive expense, we just don't know enough about this to justify moving forward at the present time."

Many policy experts have maintained that between slow economic recovery, the climate crisis, childhood obesity levels, and two ongoing wars, this—no matter how beneficial it might be in the long-term—should be entirely out of the question for now. It is also widely agreed that this will likely have to take a backseat to more pressing issues that we can actually wrap our heads around and try to do something about.

"Even if we could afford it right now—which we can't, by the way—it's totally untenable in a nation as polarized as ours," said Dr. Travis Shapiro, a professor at Georgetown University. "Suppose, hypothetically, that we could convince half the American people that this is something worth at least taking a look at. Then maybe— maybe—we could get the ball rolling on this in the next five years. But realistically, that's just not going to happen."

Some officials say the media has already done too much to sensationalize this.

"Not with the banking and auto industries in the states they're in," he added.

Leaders in nearly every field, including economics, entertainment, pharmacology, philosophy, macrobiotic nutrition, Jungian psychology, finance, robotics, oncology, and animal husbandry concurred with the report, saying that the worst course of action would be to enter into this too hastily without being fully prepared.

A Rasmussen poll conducted last week found that 53 percent of Americans are not optimistic about this being an option in the foreseeable future, 13 percent believe it's likely the nation will never be ready for it, and 27 percent are still trying to figure out what led up to this, never mind talking about a time frame for it.

The remaining 7 percent of respondents refused to answer any questions about it altogether.

"To be totally honest, I want this as much as any other reasonable person," Cleveland-area contractor Henry Dickson said. "But you have to face facts: No one's really ready for this yet—not the military, not African-Americans, not big business, and certainly not teen mothers."

However, a small but vocal minority has come out in favor of getting this under way as soon as possible.

"As the wealthiest, most powerful nation on the planet, we should be taking the lead on this," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). "Our projections show the Chinese may be ready for it in as few as three years. If we, as Americans, don't take responsibility and change our attitude, we're going to get caught with our pants down."

"We can't afford to get left behind on this," Durbin added. "The stakes are too damn high."

But Eric Riordan, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, believes that policy makers have gotten way ahead of themselves by even talking about it.

"I can't believe people are already considering the cost and logistics, as if we're anywhere close to that stage yet," Riordan said. "Frankly, it's irresponsible to be discussing this when you consider the fact that our real problem is already here, staring us in the face, as we speak, and it's not going away anytime soon."

At press time, the White House released a statement indicating the president would approach this with extreme caution, knowing full well the historical examples of the Persians, the Romans, and the British, all of whom got into this carelessly and paid dearly for it.

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