Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Coke Contest
In a new giveaway, Coca-Cola will use satellites to find buyers who buy special cans of Coke worldwide. The winners will get new cars and other prizes. The multi-million dollar cost of the contest is actually being sponsored by officials at the Pentagon, who are really hoping the first winner is Osama bin Laden.

Do Not Call
President Bush has signed the "Do Not Call" bill into law in hopes of stopping telemarketers and other callers from bothering Americans. The law does not restrict charities and elected officials, along with the following exemptions Mr. Bush added yesterday:

-White House staffers are exempt, but ONLY if they're calling journalists to leak the names of CIA operatives who criticize the President

-GOP fundraisers are allowed to call their biggest donors during dinner, but ONLY to alert them of the latest upper class tax cut

-It's okay for people to keep making that crank call to Hillary Clinton that goes like: "It's 10pm, do you know where your husband is?"

-If your brother is the governor of Florida, you can consistently call him for 37 days in a row if you need him to "fix something" for you

-If you're feeling a little under-confident, it's okay to call the Fox News Channel at any time for a little reassurance and ass-kissing

Monday, September 29, 2003

Football in Iraq
U.S. soldiers in Iraq are now teaching children in Baghdad how to play American football. The only trouble is when the kids actually play the games, all they want to do is throw the bomb.

Baseball Problems
The U.S. soldiers are also having problems teaching Iraqi kids baseball. Here are the top reasons why:

-Kids refuse to steal second out of fear they'll get their hands sawed off

-Every time the managers call for a suicide squeeze, kids strap on explosive belts

-Losing teams refuse to practice harder, they just blame the Israelis and go home

-John Ashcroft keeps using the Patriot Act to confiscate Iraqi bats to check if they're corked

-Worst players keep getting picked up by the New York Mets

WMD Deception
New reports say former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was deceived by his own aides who routinely told him they had developed weapons of mass destruction, even though they had none. Other "facts" Saddam was misled into believing:

-Firing off a shotgun indiscriminately during a parade is a great way to show the world you're a sane, reasonable dictator

-Those are Anna Nicole's real breasts

-It was the neighbors' kids and not Uday & Qusay who broke that picture window in the living room

-Ben and J. Lo actually do love each other and this whole thing is not just a really annoying publicity stunt

-$1.98 a gallon is a reasonable price to charge for gas

-The New York Jets still have a chance to make the playoffs

-If you can get Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, and Jane Fonda on your side, the rest of America is sure to follow

Friday, September 26, 2003

Alaskan Oil Dividend
As part of the state's annual oil royalties program, nearly every Alaska resident will receive a $1,107 dividend check this year. And in Saudi Arabia, every citizen will also reap the real dividends of that country's oil riches... they'll each get their very own terrorist.

Movie Lawsuit
Two moviemakers are suing the Fox movie studio, saying it stole their idea to make the movie "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"... they're also suing the producers of the film "Gigli," for stealing their idea to make a lousy, money-losing movie.

Dangerous Texas Schools
Several Texas high school principals are angry with the state government for labeling their schools as "dangerous," even though no violent acts had been reported. But experts are reminding the educators that for Texas politicians, school kids who are learning to read and reason for themselves truly ARE dangerous.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Newsday Alert!! I'm back in Newsday's "Punchlines" column today! See this link:
Newsday Link

WMD Report
The Americans leading the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq will issue a report saying they have evidence of radiation equipment that could have been used to manufacture chemical and biological weapons. In other words, they found a microwave oven.

Anti-Sleep Drug
Drug makers are seeking Food and Drug Administration approval for Provigil, the most powerful anti-drowsiness pill ever made. The drug is being recommended for late shift workers, surgeons, and people who watch Aaron Brown's show on CNN.

Hurricane Layoffs
U.S. businesses actually fared better and made fewer layoffs last week because of Hurricane Isabel. Economists say it's all because the dangerous weather gave top corporate executives less time to steal their companies' money.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Streisand Songs
Barbra Streisand says she finds listening to her own music "boring and sickening"... so I guess now we know why she only finds it appropriate to sing those songs at Democratic Party fundraisers.

Bush Interview
The Nielsen ratings show the one-hour interview with President Bush on Fox Monday night came in dead last among the six major broadcast television networks. Experts say that's because Americans who like to tune in to something that makes them sick on Monday nights are already used to watching "Fear Factor."

OPEC Output Cut
OPEC-leader Saudi Arabia is instituting an oil production cutback of almost 1 million barrels a day. The Kingdom says it wants to stabilize prices, adjust for more Iraqi oil on the market, and make sure all Saudi oil workers have enough time to attend their Al Qaeda meetings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Bush and the News
President Bush says he prefers to "get the news from objective sources, and the most objective sources I have are people on my staff." Insiders say the President actually does get a balanced view, because for every staffer who tells Bush what he wants to hear, there's another White House employee who's really tired of having to explain the comics to him every morning.

Bush at the UN
President Bush is at the United Nations this morning where he will deliver a 22-minute speech seeking support for his vision of postwar Iraq. Top things Bush could do that would go over much better at the UN:

-20 minute speech

-Instead of having the speech translated, pump a really cool U2 mix into those funky headphones

-10 minute speech

-Just smile, wave, and let Colin Powell do all the talking

-Agree to give French President Jacques Chirac the American pull-out he's really wanted all along... remove all the McDonald's from Paris

Passenger Law Suit
A group of passengers has sued JetBlue Airways Corp. for passing their personal information to a Defense Department contractor. But the Pentagon says the information was essential as it strives to answer the following vital National Security questions:

-Increased leg room, convenience or terrorist-enabler?

-Can very salty peanuts be used as a weapon?

-If you tell everybody beforehand that "Gigli" is the in-flight movie, will that stop potential hi-hijackers from boarding the plane in the first place?

-Who's tougher, a highly-trained commando unit, or 45 passengers who have been forced to wait on the tarmac for 12 hours?

-Who is more effective in the cockpit? An Iraqi air force officer, or the commercial pilot who just had 12 Mai Tais in the airport lounge?

Monday, September 22, 2003

Moseley Braun for President
Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun launched her long-shot Democratic presidential bid today, promising to "heal a divided America"... something she's very likely to do on the campaign trail as she unites the millions of Americans who don't know who the Hell she is with the thousands who already hate her.

Clinton in Israel
At last night's birthday party for Shimon Peres, Bill Clinton appeared onstage with dozens of Israeli and Palestinian teenage girls. Clinton's appearance is a major step forward for Mideast peace, because now people from both communities finally know what it's like to share the same security concerns.

Friday, September 19, 2003

French Offer
France says it wants to join the reconstruction efforts in Iraq by offering to train the nation's new army. But the Iraqis are rejecting the offer, because they're already very good at surrendering.

Kennedy Comments
Senator Edward Kennedy is blasting President Bush for the state of post-war Iraq, saying the administration's foreign policy is "adrift." Taking the analogy further, Kennedy is advising Bush to swim away from the wreckage and tell everyone he can't remember what happened.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Storm Coming
Residents of low-lying areas on the East Coast are busy boarding up their homes and preparing to evacuate this morning... experts say they only have a few hours to get out safely before Peter Jennings and Dan Rather show up.

Grasso's Cash
Top reasons why former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso should return his $140 million salary:

-The best things in life are free... like the love between an ex-Enron executive and his cell mate

-It's not like he'll need the money to pay for an expensive hair stylist or anything

-Now that's he's resigned in disgrace from the financial world, he's sure to get a top job in the Bush administration

-Thanks to him, there aren't any safe places to invest that kind of money anyway

-At least now he'll have an excuse not to go to anymore of Martha Stewart's parties

-He just called Geico and saved a bundle on car insurance!

Cocaine Crop
Thanks to coca field eradication efforts in South America, the U.S. says the cocaine supply will be down by one third this year. The results will be higher drug prices. safer streets, and more movie roles for Robert Downey Jr.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Wesley Clark for President
New presidential candidate General Wesley Clark says he's not inexperienced on domestic issues because he "has the same concerns and experiences as every American citizen." Clark's biggest personal domestic concerns:

-At $2 a gallon, filling up his fleet of tanks every day is getting pretty rough

-Even he worries about keeping his kids well-armed enough to go to public school

-Sure he gets free medical care for life from the Army, but he has to put up with that wise-cracking Trapper John and Hawkeye Pierce every time he goes for a check-up

-It's so hard to find a make-up person who's willing to make him look good for his 35 daily appearances on CNN

-Getting regular work may be hard when the next president decides not to get us into a frivolous new war every year

Show Must Go On
ABC expects the first few episodes of "8 Simple Rules" to grab huge ratings after the death of its star John Ritter. You know, if I were James Belushi or Damon Wayans, I'd be watching my back right about now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Schwarzenegger Quote
In an interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show yesterday, Arnold Schwarzenegger talked about how bodybuilders consider "pumping iron better than coming"... okay, now I'm REALLY gonna wipe off the equipment at the gym before I use it.

David Cleaning
Europe's top art critics are blasting restorers who are forging ahead with the cleaning of Michelangelo's "David," saying the process may ruin the masterpiece. So, some top Europeans say taking a bath can be harmful... man, that explains so much.

Oldest Woman
Kamato Hongo, a Japanese woman believed to be the oldest person in the world, turned 116 today. Hongo is providing inspiration to elderly people hoping to stay healthy, and Boston Red Sox fans who hope to see their team win a World Series before they die.

File Sharing Fight
Verizon and SBC Communications are refusing to reveal the names of their teen customers who are illegally downloading music. The phone company execs say it would be short-sighted to turn in thousands of young students who could one day become their crooked accountants.

Employment Picture
A new survey shows the job market may soon improve. Companies are pointing to the improved stock market, faster economic growth, and the need to replace all the corporate executives who are going to jail.

Monday, September 15, 2003

WTO Failure
The World Trade Organization talks in Cancun, Mexico fell apart this weekend. Delegates say the meetings were derailed by agricultural and investment disagreements and the nightly wet T-shirt contest at Senor Frogs.

Arafat Options
Israeli leaders say they're not ruling out killing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as an option to improve the peace process. Other things the Israelis have been considering doing to Arafat:

-Pretending to be Arafat and have like 25 pizzas delivered to his Ramallah compound every night

-Making Arafat watch the next six days of TV coverage of the Ben Affleck/J. Lo split

-Sending him season tickets to the New York Jets

-Forcing him to go on the brutal, no pita, Middle Eastern Atkins Diet

-Informing the record companies about all his illegal music downloads

Ono Demonstration
Avant-garde icon Yoko Ono will repeat her legendary 1960s performance "Cut Piece" in Paris today, inviting the audience to destroy her clothing with scissors in the name of world peace. Experts say the event will do a lot more good if Ono allows the audience to destroy her music too.

Hacker Charged
22-year old computer hacker Adrian Lamo has been released on $250,000 bail and told to remain at his parents' home until his case is resolved. Lamo's lawyers are claiming victory, especially since Lamo was probably gonna be living at his parents' house for the next 10 years anyway.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Arafat Expelled
Israel's ruling cabinet has voted to expel Yasser Arafat. The Palestinian parliament says it now has no choice but to have him home-schooled.

China Spy Gear
The U.S. now says it's "highly likely" the Chinese were able to salvage top secret spying equipment from that Navy plane forced to land on Hainan island two years ago. Investigators know this because the Chinese now have better surveillance abilities and cheap knockoffs of the plane's gear have been for sale on the streets of Midtown Manhattan since July.

Corporate Life Insurance
The Treasury Department is moving to prevent companies like Enron and WorldCom from honoring huge life insurance policies it granted former managers as a form of tax-free pay. Some top execs got $5 million to $30 million of coverage. But ripped-off shareholders in those companies say they'd be happy to let the policies stand, as long as all those former executives agree to die in the next few weeks.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Newsday Alert! I'm back in Newsday today on page A35 in the City Edition. Here's the link: Newsday Link

Grasso Pay
Outraged over New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso's $140 million paycheck for this year, Senators and Congressmen in Washington are vowing to make some big changes... starting with a bill calling for a $140 million pay raise for themselves.

New reports say Grasso actually decided to turn down an additional $48 million in bonuses earlier this year. Grasso says it was the right thing to do for the Exchange, and it'll probably look good at a sentencing hearing.

In addition to his salary, Grasso also gets a full-time car and driver, use of a private plane and bodyguards, paid memberships in various clubs, and "first dibs" on all the stuff Martha Stewart and the Enron guys forgot to clean out of their lockers.

Ben & J. Lo No-Go
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have decided to postpone their wedding, and fans are taking the news pretty hard... because this means they'll have more time to make another movie together.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Madonna's Children's Book
The first volume in Madonna's five-book series for kids is due out next week. Here are the book titles:

The Very Horny Caterpillar

Goldie Locks and Her Three Male Bi-Sexual Dancers

Where the Wild Things Are... in My Bedroom

The Grinch Who Pans All My Movies

Ex-Mouseketeers are Easy

Airline Stowaway
A clerk had himself shipped from New York to Dallas in an airline cargo crate this week. The man had to do without food or water for 15-hours... but still had more leg room than the folks in coach.

Barbie Banned
Saudi Arabia's religious police have banned Barbie dolls, saying their revealing clothes are offensive to Islam and will corrupt its girls. But the country's leading terrorists are protesting the decision, because they say the doll is an excellent tool for young Arab boys as they learn how to behead and rip the limbs off of Westerners.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

NYPD Smarts
A new report says a large number of New York City police officers are only able to read at or below the 7th grade level. But NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly says this is actually a good thing because to catch the criminals, you have to be able to think like them.

North Korea Parade
Despite much speculation, North Korea did not display a new nuclear-capable missile today at a huge military parade to mark the country's 55th anniversary. Experts say the dictatorship probably decided it wasn't proper to show the weapon while Syria and Iran were still bidding on it on eBay.

Church Settlement
The 542 alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse have reached an $85 million settlement agreement with the Archdiocese of Boston. Most of them will get only about $80,000 each and the rest will go to their attorneys. Now the victims will have to ask themselves a new question: Does it feel worse to get screwed by your priest or your lawyer?

New $20 Bill
A new peach-colored $20 bill is being distributed by the US Treasury Department. Top comments made by people seeing it for the first time:

-This will come in handy the next time I need to buy a hotel on Baltic Avenue

-Damn! This is an intricate design... it's a good thing we switched to counterfeiting fifties a few weeks ago

-Peach-colored? Geez! People really are learning a lot from those "Queer Eye" makeover dudes!

-Great! Now we have a 3rd World currency to go with our 3rd World economy

Monday, September 08, 2003

Abbas Steps Down
Ahmed Qorei has been nominated to replace Mahmoud Abbas as the new Palestinian prime minister. But Qorei says he won't accept the nomination without assurances from the United States because he "absolutely refuses to accept failure." And you can understand his high standards for taking a job as a Palestinian peacemaker, a position where so many have succeeded before.

Abbas will spend the next few days doing radio and TV interviews, talking about what went wrong... which means stepping down as Palestinian prime minister is kind of like getting voted off the island on "Survivor."

Iraq Costs
President Bush told the American people last night that our continuing efforts in Iraq will cost about $4 billion a month. Some of the items pushing the costs so high include:

-We're building 10 new golf courses in Baghdad so all the Halliburton execs can have something to do on weekends

-All Iraqi citizens are being supplied with free food, water, and cable TV's that only get the Fox News Channel

-Massive tax breaks for the top 1% of Iraqi looters

-All pictures of Saddam are being replaced with exact replicas of that 5,300-pound Ten Commandments monument

-$87 billion or $87 trillion... whatever it takes to keep the French out

Friday, September 05, 2003

Unemployment Rate
Critics are attacking US corporations for not creating more jobs despite a rising stock market and other good economic signs. But company managers insist they are hiring thousands of new workers every day... in India.

Depp Recants
Actor Johnny Depp says he still loves America and some harsh quotes about the US printed in an interview he gave to a German magazine were taken out of context. Depp also now says the only reason he moved to France a few years ago was because Winona Ryder kept stealing all his stuff.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Newsday Alert!!! For the sixth time in seven weeks, Newsday's "Punchlines" column is featuring my stuff! It's on page A35 in the city edition or see this link:
Newsday Link

Today's News

Abbas Demands
Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is demanding that the Palestinian Legislative Council give him more political power or he'll resign. Some of his other demands and complaints include:

-Gets paid less than the guy who shaves Yassir Arafat every morning... and that dude isn't even doing a good job!

-Always has to buy the kegs for the Palestinian Authority's monthly mixers with Hamas

-Can't get an official motorcade for any of his visits to Israel and has to take the bus

-Just because he's moderate now, most Palestinians seem to have forgotten about all the cool murders he committed in the past

-Even though he put his name on the "Do Not Call" list, he still gets phone solicitations from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade at dinner every night!

Bullying Study
A new report says there are 3.7 million students classified as "bullies" and 3.2 million students classified as "bullying victims" in US schools. To narrow this disturbing bullies-to-victims gap, US Secretary of Education Rod Paige is encouraging more schools to accept exchange students from France.

Estrada Drops Out
Conservative judicial nominee Miguel Estrada has removed his name from consideration after his nomination was held up for more than two years by Senate Democrats. Estrada says he's going back to private life not because of the political bitterness, but because he's really tired of people coming up to him and asking: "Hey, aren't you the guy who used to be on 'Chips?'

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

New College
Ave Maria University, a new school established by Domino's Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan, opens this week in Florida. The school is making a unique promise to its students: the professors will deliver interesting lectures in 30 minutes, or your tuition is free.

Clarett Suspension
The NCAA is suspending Ohio State star running back Maurice Clarett for the entire season. Clarett plans to use the extra time to focus on his education. In fact, he's promising that this semester he'll actually read some of the term papers other people are writing for him.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Lynch Book
Former New York Times reporter Rick Bragg has agreed to help former POW Jessica Lynch tell her story in an autobiography due out next year. Coincidentally, President Bush is also getting help crafting his version of what went on during the Iraq war by another former New York Times reporter: Jayson Blair.

Music Downloading
In their latest attempt to cut down on illegal music file downloading, the record companies are now appealing to college students' consciences and reminding them that stealing is ethically wrong. But it's not clear how students will respond to a lesson in morality from the industry that brought us Madonna, Eminem, and Marilyn Manson.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Dutch Marijuana Law
Amsterdam has passed a new law that says larger doses of marijuana can be sold at "the most appropriate places," like pharmacies. Dutch pharmacies are responding by placing the marijuana for sale at the "most appropriate places" within their stores: next to the candy bars and potato chips.

Toyota Self-Parker
Toyota's new car that can park itself without the driver having to touch the steering wheel, went on sale in Japan today. The car is expected to sell well in the United States, but New Yorkers will have to pay extra for an optional feature that instructs the car to honk its horn furiously and give the finger when other drivers try to take its spot.