The Halliburton Company announced today that it had won a $42 billion no-bid contract from the U.S. government to reconstruct the reputation of Vice President Dick Cheney.
While Halliburton has been known for massive reconstruction projects in such war-torn nations as Iraq, the $42 billion contract represents the first time that the company has been employed to put its reconstruction expertise to work on one embattled human being.
At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan defended the $42 billion price tag for the reconstruction effort, telling reporters, "Given how much work Dick Cheney's reputation is going to take to rebuild, at the end of the day that $42 billion contract is going to look like a bargain."
Mr. McClellan likened the state of Mr. Cheney's reputation to conditions on the ground in Iraq, "only worse."
But even as Halliburton began gearing up for the daunting task of reconstructing the vice president's reputation, an unlikely critic of the plan, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill), questioned the wisdom of even attempting to rebuild Dick Cheney.
Rep. Hastert said that based on what he had seen of Dick Cheney's reputation in recent days, it reminded him of the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, making him wonder whether the vice president could be rebuilt at all.
"It looks like a lot of Dick Cheney could be bulldozed," Rep. Hastert said.
Elsewhere, breaking with a longstanding tradition set by his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered his first economic report to Congress in English