JUL/AUG 2001

B U S I N E S S   B U R R O S

CROSSING THE FORD...Due to safety problems, Venezuela plans to ban all foreign made Explorers - unfortunately, five centuries too late.

P O L Y   T I C K S

TO THE N-TH DEGREE...Yale University appears to be suffering from premature indoctrination by giving President Bush an honorary doctor of laws degree after only serving four months in office. More than 150 professors signed a petition protesting the decision, but how appropriate for an honorary president.

FUNNY MONEY...Just when you thought honor and integrity had pulled up in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in moving vans, reality moves in instead. Bushís top political advisor, Karl Rove, owned $100,000 of Intel stock at the time senior executives met with him seeking help in obtaining government approval of a $1.2 billion merger. And Treasury Secretary Paul OíNeill promised in March to sell his stock in Alcoa, but didnít, and now may have earned as much as $62 million after government initiatives helped the stock rise 30 percent. So letís hear it for avoiding the appearance of conflict of interest.... Which means only one thing. If you had any doubt before, itís now pretty obvious: Compassionate Conservatives are really Got-Cash-In-It Conservatives. But then again, werenít they always?

THE TAX CUT BOTTOM LINE...Never has so much been given to so few who have done so little.

A M E R I   C A N A R D S

IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?!?!... It doesnít matter after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana use was just as illegal as any other consumption of a controlled substance. (Yet, I notice they havenít banned medical morphine.) Due to Congressí declaration of no medical benefit from marijuana, doctors canít legally prescribe it for patients. And who better to turn to for medical expertise than Congress? I know when Iím feeling sick I always write my congressman first and see my doctor second. But thatís because my congressman is usually what made me sick in the first place.... Paradoxically this will only fuel the general decriminalization/legalization movement, which seems to be exactly what the court doesnít want. What are they, high?...Letís see if the justices change their tune when they develop glaucoma, or cancer, or AIDS or...

IT DRIVES ME CRAZY...The state of New York is taking the lead in banning hand-held cell phone use while driving due to safety concerns. Now if they could only do something about those morning rush-hour make-overs.

G L O   B U L L S

THE IDIOT ABROAD...President George W. Bushís very first European trip encompassed five countries in five days - which is just like the average Americanís tour package when they travel to Europe for the first time. Protesters in Sweden painted "We Hate Bush" on their asses, which I thought was a missed opportunity to tell it like it is. Why not spell the same message out in neatly sculpted pubic hair? In this day of sophisticated hair styling, we should be able to have erotic topiary.

EURO-TRASHING AND BUSH-BASHING/NATO SAYS NO/YANKEE GO HOME... Remember, although he never mentions it, President G.W. Bush was NOT born in Texas, but rather in the yankee eastern establishment (e)state of Connecticut while his father attended Yale (another eastern establishment that G.W. embraced). Not that European leaders care. Theyíre more concerned with his administrationís "go-it-alone" mentality which was how Dick Cheney explained "unilateralism" to G.W. Whether the issue is Missile Defense/Star Wars, CO2 emissions or bioengineered food, European allies and the European people themselves are opposed to these Bush policies. Yet Bush wonít change his mind. (Which explains why he shifted gears and started talking about the death penalty. Itís opposed by European leaders but supported by their electorates.)... Hereís a tip for President Bush on how to tell when things might not be going well at the summit: your traditional allies thoroughly disagree with all your major proposals and youíre forced to praise how great things are going with Spain and Russia. At a loss to understand his cold reception from European allies, George W. described how much he trusted that Putin guy from Russia. You know, the one who ran the KGB? Call it gut instinct, but Bush got a real good feeling about that meeting.

RETURN TO SENDER...The Chinese government has announced they will allow the U.S. spy/surveillance plane, stuck on Hainan Island since April Foolís Day, to be returned. While they wonít allow it to be flown home, the Chinese have authorized it to be dismantled and crated up along with the next shipment of Happy Meal toys.

V I R A L   C U L T U R E S

CAL RIPKEN ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT... After playing for 21 years for the same team and setting the Major League record for most consecutive games played, Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken - baseballís Iron Man - declared this season to be his last. Which is just like a quitter.

WEASELS RIP MY FLESH IN HELL...Victor Kiam, the entrepreneur known for his Remington shaver commercials, has died at the age of 74. According to a spokesperson, his final words were, "I liked the idea of an after-life so much, I bought the farm!"

POWER TO THE PEOPLE...I think it was a populist schizophrenic who once said, "There are so many voices not being heard."

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