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Ambassador to Outer Space goes off the deep end

Here is some political news guaranteed to sour your milk. Cynthia McKinney, our ambassador to Outer Space and congresswoman from Georgia's 4th Congressional District, has been fined $33,000 by the Federal Election Commission and must reimburse as much as $72,000 more to political donors after accepting excessive contributions in the 2002 election, which she lost to Denise Majette. Majette served only one term before she says God told her to run for the U.S. Senate. McKinney won her old seat back in 2004, proving once again that God should stay out of politics.

McKinney was unavailable for comment. Her spokesperson said she is currently thought to be traveling somewhere between Uranus and Pluto.

McKinney supporters claim that overstuffing their campaign coffers was an innocent mistake and blame President Bush, who they say knew she was raising more money than allowed by law, but chose to remain silent. While they were at it, they also blamed the president for all the hurricanes over the past 10 years, the Franco-Russian War of 1798 and crabgrass.

The state Democratic Party strongly defended McKinney. A highly placed source inside the party said, "Sure, she is a fruitcake, but she is our fruitcake and we have big plans for her. Since the only Democrats left in the state of Georgia seem to be in a five-block radius of downtown Atlanta, we are turning our attention to building the party on Mars. We believe we can turn Mars into a Blue Planet before the next election, and who better to help us accomplish that than our own ambassador to Outer Space? The only problem is explaining this to our spiritual leader Howard 'Yah-Hoo' Dean, who thinks Mars is somewhere west of Oklahoma and Arizona and Oregon and South Dakota."

Even former U.S. Senator Zell Miller, who has been critical of Democrats in recent years, felt compelled to comment on the McKinney controversy from his home in Young Harris. "It don't make no difference if the corn is shucked or the cows are milked," he said angrily. "What does matter is that the hay is baled and the dogs fed." No one has any idea what that means, including Miller. Said McKinney's spokesperson, "If we can ever figure out what the senator said and then decide that he wasn't being nice, we will blame it on George W. Bush."

One anonymous McKinney donor claimed that he was told a $10,000 contribution would get him a seat on the aisle next to the ambassador and an up-close-and-personal look at her annual attempt to wet-kiss the president on national television as he comes to the House of Representatives to deliver his State of the Union address.

Another contributor said he, too, had been deceived into donating to the McKinney campaign. "When the ambassador was at Cornell University between elections, she told me she was coaching the football team there, and for $50,000 I could play quarterback in the big game against Harvard," he said. "In fact, I didn't even get to dress out."

Pundits disagree on what affect McKinney's recent political blunder may have on her future. Some believe that most voters in the 4th District - which encompasses most of DeKalb County, the southwest portion of Gwinnett County, as well as large parts of Jupiter and Neptune - would vote for her just to get her out of town for two years. Others believe she has been a national embarrassment with her goofy and irresponsible comments and that she should come home to run for lieutenant governor, where she will be quickly forgotten because nobody knows what the lieutenant governor of Georgia does, nor do they care.

In the meantime, McKinney supporters have organized a statewide march to protest the FEC's decision. The ambassador's spokesperson said, "This will be an expensive endeavor, and we are seeking major funding. For a $100,000 gift to the McKinney campaign, you will be given a place of honor in the parade and a couple of autographed fruitcakes. You will also be guaranteed a window seat on the ambassador's next trip to outer space. We accept MasterCard and Visa."

Contact Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139. Visit his Web site at www.dickyarbrough.com. His column appears on Thursday.