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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

USAU Seizes Power During Gov't Shutdown. Institutes Sweeping "Format Changes."

In a bold and unexpected move Tuesday morning, USA Ultimate took advantage of the current political crisis, stepping into the power vacuum created by today’s government shutdown and seizing control of the legislative branch of the United States government.  
"It's time to put the 'USA' in 'USAU'"-- New Senate Majority Leader Mike Payne

USA Ultimate CEO and Speaker of the House Tom Crawford delivered a prepared statement from the steps of the new USAU headquarters at the Capitol in Washington, DC.  

“As of 9:00AM this morning, October 1st, 2013, USA Ultimate has taken control of Congress, for the greater good of the American people” said Crawford. 

“The American people deserve leadership that will be courageous in its vision and assertive in its decisions,” continued Crawford.  “It has been long since Congress met that description. 

“We believe wholeheartedly in Spirit of the Game, and we know at our core that bringing SOTG to Congress will bring about exactly the legislative and deliberative competence that this country so desperately needs in the face of constant politicized bickering and grandstanding.”  

Crawford did not take questions, but USAU immediately distributed a list of sweeping “Format Changes” that the organization will be implementing through its new position in Congress.  All Format Changes take effect at start-of-business on Thursday, October 17th.  
Governmental "Format Changes"
  1. Congressional delegations will be split into Flights, according to yearly performance and effectiveness.  The worst delegations will be relegated (looking at you, South Carolina).
  2. Each state will get one auto-senator.  The remaining 50 senate seats will be allotted based on the election-year performances of the respective state legislatures (bad news for North Carolina and Texas).
  3. Championship matches in Congress will now be broadcast on ESPN3 instead of C-SPAN.
  4. Close Congressional elections will be decided not by a runoff, but by final “regular season” polling results, taken on the last day prior to the election.
  5. The Panda Cam will be reactivated immediately.
  6. The tax code will now be simplified, but self-officiated.  The responsibility will be on each individual citizen not to cheat. 
  7. Debate on contested bills can last for no more than 60 seconds before the bill is sent back to committee for a do-over.
  8. After each session, representatives will be required to assign spirit scores to all 434 of their colleagues.  The scores will be published to shame the least-spirited representatives into better behavior (all eyes on Charlie Rangel).
  9. To encourage political parties to back viable female candidates, every congressional committee and debate will now be required to field either a 4-3 or 5-2 gender ratio (offense dictates). 
  10. A new Congressional Medal of Spirit will replace the Presidential Medal of Freedom as the government’s highest civilian honor
  11. To curtail filibustering, members of Congress standing within three meters of a speaker who has gone off-topic during a filibuster will be able to announce “delay of game” and initiate the stall count.
  12. Canadians will now be eligible for Social Security and Medicare, even though they already have their own system.  


USAU Vice President and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Gwen Ambler addressed funding concerns at a press conference immediately following Speaker Crawford’s announcement.  

“This is not a spontaneous decision,” said Ambler.  “We have been planning this for years, carefully hoarding bid fees, membership dues, sponsorship funds, and donations from USAU members and supporters.  We have enough funding set aside to run the government for weeks if necessary while we ensure the peaceful transition of power and re-start the governing process.” 

Asked how USAU managed to hoard such vast sums of money without anyone noticing, Ambler replied, “Honestly, whenever anyone asked what we were doing with the money, we just did a bit of hand-waving and said something about ‘youth initiatives,’ ‘women’s development,’ or ‘coaching clinics,’ and nobody ever really followed up on it.  We relied on the generally trusting nature of ultimate players and the laziness of our largely-collegiate membership.

“We feel a little bit bad about keeping everyone in the dark, but national security priorities mandated discretion. Among our membership, email questionnaires indicated a high level of support for a USAU-led coup, so we felt confident that we were using the funds in a way that would appeal to the majority of members, not to mention US citizens more broadly.”  

Initial Gallup polling suggests that Ambler may have a point.  Gallup finds that, as of this moment, 63% of Americans approve of the USAU-led takeover of Congress, approval numbers not seen in the legislative branch since the passage of the 19th amendment. 

President Obama will address reporters at noon from the White House, where he is expected to announce, among other things, a partnership between USAU and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity.  

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