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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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Ugh, This A Place Where Bartenders Wear Bow Tie

PITTSBURGH—Saying they should have known from the moment they walked in the unmarked speakeasy entrance and spotted the extensive wood paneling, customers confirmed Friday that, ugh, this is one of those places where the bartenders all wear bow ties.

U.S. Population At 13,462

WASHINGTON, DC–With the April 1 deadline for returning Census 2000 forms finally passed, the Bureau of the Census announced Monday that the U.S. population stands at 13,462.

Population Per Square Mile (map)

"We at the Census Bureau are shocked by the incredible decrease in the population that apparently took place in the 10 years since the last Census in 1990," Census Bureau director Kenneth Prewitt said. "A 1999 projection estimated the U.S. population at 274 million and set the annual growth rate at .95 percent. Yet from this latest Census count, we find that this projection overestimates the population by a multiple of 20,000."

Despite the sharp population dip, some data remains consistent with previous censuses. New York remains the nation's largest city, with a population of 664. Los Angeles is a close second with 657, and Chicago a distant third with 329. Surprisingly, the nation's fourth largest city is now Elkhart, IN, with a population of 256. Some suspect that the rise is the result of a citywide "Hey, Elkhart, Come To Your Census!" campaign. The most precipitous decline in urban population was in Houston, TX, formerly America's fourth largest city. In 1990, Houston boasted a population of 1,630,553. In 2000, it is 12.

No one lives in St. Louis.

As a result of the low Census count, hundreds of members of the House of Representatives are now departing Washington. Because the Constitution stipulates that the number of representatives is determined by each state's population, these representatives are finding themselves without the necessary constituents to justify their presence in congress.

"I greatly enjoyed my 20 years in the House," said U.S. Rep. William Skene (R-ID). "Sadly, only one person from my state, Hank, answered the Census, so I will have to tender my resignation."

Census Bureau director Kenneth Prewitt.

Yet some changes could be beneficial. The nation's Social Security crisis has been solved, with the nation's 7,204 senior citizens dividing amongst themselves $416 billion in Social Security funds.

"Last week, I was turned away by the local V.A. hospital," said Warren Costello, 88, a Medford, MA, WWII veteran and diabetes sufferer who doesn't have medical insurance. "But now I can afford my very own jet-powered walker."

Similarly, if the Clinton Administration's education budget request passes, the per-child allotment will exceed $2.8 million.

"Gone are the days of 40 children to a classroom," education advocate Marian Wright Edelman said. "Today, the ratio is an estimated 40,000 classrooms to a child."

But despite such optimism, some observers are predicting that the low population count will have catastrophic effects on the national and global economy.

Hank Logan, the population of Idaho.

"Our 13,462 residents will be extremely hard-pressed to match the estimated 1999 gross domestic product of $6.9 trillion, unless each of them works tens of thousands of industrial, agricultural, and service-sector jobs," said Professor M. Russell Harte of Northwestern University's Kellogg School Of Business. "Also, I predict that the importation of foreign goods will plummet by nearly 600,000 percent, and the previously burgeoning consumer economy will experience a violent collapse. And if you consider that most of the Census respondents were aged 65 years or older, it doesn't take long to come to the conclusion that we are doomed."

As experts in countless fields contemplate the potentially disastrous impact the Census results may have on American life, they all arrive at the same question: Why did the American population decline so sharply during the 1990s?

"Many theories have been offered, such as disease, or mass genocide by global thermonuclear war, or perhaps devastation from the killer-bee invasions that were predicted to occur sometime in the '90s," Prewitt said. "Many are even speculating that not everyone sent in their Census forms. But the cold, hard evidence is telling us that it will take us a long time to rebuild our population to 1990 levels. So commence breeding, America."

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