UnNews:U.S. Presidency becomes a two-"man" race

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U.S. Presidency becomes a two-"man" race

Democracy Dies with Dignity

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11 September 2016

What is Aleppo?

It's funny how a campaign can just go up in smoke.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Hopes of United States voters to have some alternative to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were dashed last week, as the nation's fringe-party candidates kicked a ball apiece into their own goal.

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson irreparably damaged his own campaign — primarily by his consultants' decision that he should go on MSNBC, the inventor of the "Gotcha!" question. Interviewer Mike Barnicle, who has recovered from his own bout with faking a news story much faster than NBC's Brian Williams, promptly hit Johnson with a trick question. "Sooo...What about Aleppo?"

Johnson is heard to say, "What's Aleppo?"

In fact, MSNBC scurrilously edited the tape, as it often does to candidates it disfavors. Johnson's actual first reaction was, "Who's Aleppo?" Johnson would admit, later in the Green Room, that he was in sort of a Marx Brothers mood, and "was thinking Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Aleppo, typa thing. But, no, got it. We're cool."

Barnicle sneered, "Don't you mean, where's Aleppo?" At that point, the candidate dug himself a much deeper hole. The former Governor of New Mexico guessed that Aleppo was that ghost mining town on the back road to Albuquerque that the hippies had taken over. Barnicle then came clean, and identified Aleppo as a city in Syria, the epicenter of the crisis that has supplied 10,000 of what Joe Biden has called "serious refugees" — Biden being too serious for MSNBC to ridicule. UnNews interns, even now, are scouring maps of Arabia to try to fact-check Barnicle's assertion.

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Johnson was grief-stricken over flubbing the question. But his campaign said it is actually a positive that Johnson does not know who, what, or where Aleppo is, because it uniquely qualifies him to not get America stuck there for four more years, especially as Vladimir Putin seems perfectly willing to do the heavy lifting for the United States.

Jill Stein

Over here on the left, Stein spray-paints her own campaign.

Meanwhile, over on the left, Green Party candidate Jill Stein did comparable damage to her own campaign, mostly, like Johnson, by the inept selection of a venue — in her case, North Dakota. To add insult to injury, the Presidential candidate then spray-painted a campaign slogan onto a bulldozer at a pipeline construction site, vandalism that rendered the bulldozer's plow unusable. She faces arrest if she returns to North Dakota — only, who would?

Advocates for Hillary, Trump, fracking, and perpetual Middle East war, have declared the fringe candidacies ended. Johnson, however, said he hopes that the foreign-policy faux pas will finally return the debate to the key question for the United States: the legalization of marijuana. "Dope, yeah," he said. "People should smoke more dope. Aleppo, damn!" However, Johnson's running mate, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, was drinking whiskey, and Johnson showed no reticence when Weld offered to spring for a double.

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