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Because life's too short
The Daily Muse
presents

Great Houdinis

     Noted with more than a passing interest a few sorry souls who managed to get away with one thing or another in recent days:
     
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibibababum" Netanyahu,who escaped persecution by the hair on his chinny-chin-chin. Takinga cue from US VP Al ("Wired as Hell and Proud of It") Gore, Netanyahu (whose last name is not to be confused with a worldwideweb-famous search engine), said he didn't do commit a crime, but promised nevertheless to quit doing it. Whatever you say, sir...
  • House Tweeter Newt Gingrich, who finally put his past behind him, shed yet another layer of skin and moved into the future as a Great Leader of Mice and Men. Amazing what a quick trip to a Bank of Bob ("Pay Us When You Can") ATM will do for one Rep.'s rep...
  • Gene Roddenberry and Timothy Leary, who finally went where no dead men had gone before (save for the recently departed Heaven's Gate crashers), their ashes rocketing into space to join Walt Disney's freeze-dried body in a post-life parallel universe...
  •      To all a hearty salute, well-done and so long...


    Coughing it up

         You're in a hurry and so are we. Together let's see what we can see:

  • So Philip Morris and R.J.R. Nabisco are said to be in secret talks to settle decades-long smoking suits for a cool $300 billion. Details were hazy as the talks were being held in a smoke-filled room...
  • Speaking of which, ever wonder who works for those wacky-tobacky companies? The job requirements are stringent: When you apply, you have to submit a resume--and chest X-rays showing you've smoked a pack a day for life...
  • President Bill didn't waste time taking credit for the apparent settlement, saying he always said smoking was bad for your health. "I never smoked. At least I don't recall doing it, but if I did, I know I didn't inhale..."
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on the verge of being indicted for fraud and breach of trust. Something about political appointments and favors. Seems he picked up a few pointers in his tete-a-tete with his US counterpart...
  • Clinton-Netanyahu meeting


    It's Form 1040, do you know where your life is?

          While queuing patiently at the Post Office to mail your tax return (leaving you simultaneously at the mercy of your two favorite government agencies), consider your plight ever so tiny compared to:

  • President Bill. His former business partner James McDougal is jail-bound, though on a reduced sentence, meaning he's probably spilled the beans on the Prez and the First Missus in that Whitewater mess back in Arkansas.
  • President Bill, again. Even though he's The Most Powerful Man in the World, his wife still out-earned him (not counting his coffee-serving tips...) three to one with her "It Takes a Village" book residuals. (She's donating the proceeds to her favorite charity: The First Lady's Defense Fund...)
  • Newt Gingrich. He's so desperate for attention, he'll propose anything that even remotely sounds good. One day it's an end to estate taxes (people are dying to qualify for that break), the next it's a one-year tax amnesty. If any of this passes, watch out for a fine-print amendment giving House speakers a $300,000 break on late-filing penalties.
  • Janet ("damned if she does, damned if she doesn't") Reno. Refusing to bow to Republican pressure (she was last seen in a head lock administered by the Newtster), the attorney general says she won't appoint another independent counsel to probe the Prez (who appointed her), AlGore (who could re-appoint her) and other Demos for improper fund-gathering techniques. The latest revelation: Democratic officials wanted the Bubster to promise ambassadorships and other government posts to BIG contributors. (Yea, George Bush did it too, but at least he waited until donors' checks cleared...)
  •      Now, don't you feel better?


    Muse briefing

         You're in a rush, so we won't waste your time. Let's get right to the day's developments:

  • President Bill appointed a commission to check out HMOs after learning doctors operated on his wrong wounded knee...
  • Ex-President GeorgeherbertwalkerBush is still bragging about his successful parachute jump the other day: "I took a bigger dive than Clinton and both my knees are just fine."
  • It's hardly surprising O.J. Simpson wants a retrial in his civil case. Now that his house is being repossessed, he needs a place to say. So what better than the cozy courthouse (his second home for the past 2 years)?
  • The White House was forced to issue Chelsea Clinton an embarrassing apology after Chelsea Clinton, on a trip to Tanzania, jokingly compared a hippo to conservative Rush Limbaugh. "What a big fat idiot," the First Daughter said, according to unreliable sources. A spokesman said she didn't mean to call the hippo big, fat or an idiot...


  • Trials and tribulations

         We're in a hurry so, as usual, we'll give you the short take on recent events:
         
  • Senior Clinton administration officials (Easy to spot because they're in wheelchairs--No, wait, that's the president...) say one reason Tony Lake pulled out of the running for CIA chief is they didn't want senators to rifle through his personal FBI file.
         So it was OK for the White House to check out all those FBI files, but not so peachy for one of their own to get the same treatment?

  • Accused Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh's trial will go on despite attorney Stephen Jones' arguments that published confessions (including a Playboy interview given in exchange for a free subscription) make a fair hearing impossible.
         Guess Mr. Jones should have picked his client a might more carefully...

  • Pilot Linda Finch seeks Linda
Finch, no plane Jane to recreate Amelia Earhart's historic final flight 60 years later. Of course, Finch, who will be flying an identical plane, agreed to do it as long as the journey did not end in quite the same way...


  • Random
          It was bound to happen. Eileen McGann--Mrs. Dick Morris--has left the ex-Clinton political adviser and filed for divorce. And who could blame her? She probably got a better book deal, too.
    Muse
          Harry Helmsley has gone to the big high-rise in the sky. Let's see what Leona manages to do on the estate tax front...
    Random
          Jacksonville and Carolina are one step away from a Super Bowl face-off. What's next? The Muncie Gnats and the Boise Beavers in the World Series?
    Muse
          An advisory panel recommends giving Social Security program particpants a choice in how to boost returns on their retirement money: Put it in stocks, stuff it under their Beautyrests or use it to buy lots of lottery tickets.
    Random
          Our final offer:
  • French Elmo Ticklers--30,000 francs
  • Nintendo 64, half price--32 bits.

  • Random
          Honk if you think the Pentagon made up the ice-on-the-moon discovery just to get us to spend a heap more money to go back there and find out it was nothing but liquid remnants of Neil and Buzz's great adventure...
    Muse
          Who says this isn't a great country? Just ask Charles Keating (Favorite saying: "Three more senators and we coulda had a baseball team!"), who just got away with the great American swindle by having his thrift-looting conviction overturned over jury misconduct. (The jurors later turned up on the O.J. case...)
    Random
          In another interesting ruling, a judge said it's OK to be happily married in Hawaii. In allowing marriage licenses for gay couples, the court apparently hoped to boost the state's flagging honeymoon industry...
    Muse
          No word yet on whether the three Columbia U. students charged with using a color copier to print $80,000 were trying out for a Clinton fund-raising gig...


    Muse briefs

    Distilled spirits
         The liquor industry's decision to resume TV and radio ads so soon after Halloween brings to mind this old phrase: "Candy may be dandy, but liquor's quicker (and more profitable)."

    Ancient man I
         Scientists have discovered that we're older than we think. There's new evidence life on earth existed thousands of years before Bob Dole was born, they said. (Oh, leave him alone already...)

    Ancient man II
         David Brinkley is retracting his let-your-receding-hair-down comments that President Clinton's a "bore" whose speeches are full of "goddamn nonsense." The ABC legend says he was referring to commentator George Will.

    Service with a frown
         Texaco, Denny's and Mitsubishi Motors have embarked on a unique partnership. They're forming a one-stop shopping chain for bigots and sexual harassers. (Help Wanted: Only racist white leches need apply.)


    Stop clowning around
         The White House wasn't the only party upset by Bobdole's comparison of Clinton and company to a "bunch of Bozos." The National Association of Clowned Persons is also demanding an apology from the Republican candidate.

    Please be seated
         The judge in O.J.'s civil trial is so desperate to seat a jury, he's even willing to take folks who admit to believing O.J. was guilty. The latest member of the jury of O.J.'s peers: ex-L.A.P.D. Detective Mark Fuhrman.

    Think quick
         Here's a poll question for people with extremely short attention spans: Are you better off today than you were 4 days ago?

    Trouble brewing
         The main issue in the strike against GM by its Canadian workers: You guessed it--16 vs 20 oz. Molson's at lunch breaks.

    Random
          "This will be a different Congress. Therefore, as speaker I'll probably function a little differently," Newt Gingrich declares upon his nomination to lead the House for 2 more years. (A deeper bass, more virbrant midtones and truer treble?)
    Muse
          President Clinton, on a trip to Australia, said folks shouldn't be too quick to judge him, scandal-wise. The Bubster then compared himself to another great American: Richard Jewell, the unfairly skewered ex-Olympic bombing suspect. (Not to mention the recently departed Alger Hiss...)
    Random
          Speaking of Hiss, newly unearthed Nixon tapes reveal the late president ordered a LARGE pepperoni pizza the night of the Watergate break-in. (But he did not have Coke with that...)
    Muse
         FDA Commissioner David Kessler quit suddenly after officials caught him smoking in the boys room....
    Random
          John Huang, the controversial Democratic superfund-raiser, reportedly visited the White House at least 78 times in the past 15 months. That works out to about once a week or so. Clinton operatives say there's nothing curious about that since the visits were often on Friday (Read: payday). They say Huang was just making regular deposits at the Clinton Savings and Loan (1600 Pennsylvania Ave. branch--where ATM stands for All The Money).
    Muse
          Ross the Boss wants to debate Bill Clinton real bad. Says he wants a showdown Election Eve to discuss Clinton's ethical problems. Chief Democrat Chris Dodd calls the offer "strange" (a word commonly slung in Perot's vicinity). The real reason the Prez won't do it: He'll be too busy counting his foreign money.
    Random
          Richard Jewell turned from hero to villain to victim in the Atlanta Olympics bombing. Now that he's been cleared of wrongdoing, the FBI is the subject of investigation because of the way it handled the case of the security guard and one-time suspect. The FBI promises a fair and impartial probe of itself (just like Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc.). We're sure they'll take a good look in the mirror and love what they see.
    Muse

          Muse Briefs     Muse Briefs      Muse Briefs     Muse Briefs

    The judge in the Whitewater trial has spared Bill Clinton the trouble of flying back to sweet home Arkansas to testify. Instead, The Prez will be allowed to deliver his sworn statement on a TV screen (where he's used to existing as a figment of our collective imagination). We hear the same guy who put out O.J.'s video is hankering to mass distribute this one as soon as he figures out what to call it. How about "sex, lies and videotape"?

    Meanwhile, Hillary is willing to leave the comforts of the White House. She's packing her bags for Bosnia to visit the U.S. troops. (Apologies to Talking Heads:) Because she's changed her hair style so many times now, she doesn't know what she looks like, it should come as no surprise if she dons olive greens and a buzz cut to blend in with our brave men and women over there.

    According to Michael Jackson's contract with a Saudi prince on a multi-faceted, multimedia deal to promote "family values" worldwide, the King of Pop will be limited to one crotch-grab per show. In addition, MJ may only use the gloved hand to do it.

    Help us with the math. If Patrick Buchanan, the party of the third part, and Ross Perot, the party of the fourth part, each run as third-party candidates, how many parties must we attend come November?

    Legendary lawyer F. Lee Bailey was ordered to jail on contempt charges in Florida. Former client O.J. Simpson immediately promised to visit him in his cell every day. No word on whether ex-L.A.P.D. Detective Mark Fuhrman would also come by.

    Television's top executives emerged from a meeting with President Clinton and vowed to impose ratings on their programs. Issuing a joint statement after the White House session, the execs said they were "shocked" to learn there was so much violence and sex on TV and they promised to cut it out right away.

    The folks who give out those shiny Grammy Awards really went out of their way this year to recognize cool, cutting edge artists like Alanis Morissette. But we were really amazed that one more little old lifetime achievement award couldn't go to this wonderful artist.

    "Insert 25 cents for the next 3 minutes, please." --What users round the world will hear when AT&T starts hooking us all up to the Net?

    Hoping to knock Bob Dole down further in the polls, the president's spokesman
    says Steve ("Richie Rich") Forbes "talks a lot like Bill Clinton."
    Funny, we thought Forbes was more like Al Gore--charismatically speaking.

    A small boatload of anti-Castro activists was pulled over recently near the Florida Keys by U.S. Customs. Allegedly found aboard were a semiautomatic pistol with silencers, six blasting caps, ammunition for rifles and pistols and parts for making explosives.
    Deciding they were armed less heavily than most of South Florida's boating public, officials let the men go.

    Back on the election trail, could Farrakhan-Gadhafi be the ticket to beat in '96?

      Muse Briefs     Muse Briefs      Muse Briefs     Muse Briefs


    ...With all the major players dropping like flies on the lawn, will the world-famous match change its name to Wimpledon? And will the ball boys and girls be the ones taking Center Court for the championship titles?
                Random
    
    ...Now that Filegaters are starting to take the Fifth, it's only a matter of time before this game enters the penalty phase.
                                                Muse
    
    ...Predictable but what the heck: The recent fire at the U.S. Treasury building brings new meaning to the phrase "money to burn"...


    ...Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott (up already) was "good at the beginning." Now she's simply misunderstood...
                Random
    
    ...President Clinton, offering to stop all the election-year political name-calling if the Republicans would do the same, couldn't resist and described the Congress as a bunch of dumb "loggerheads"...
                                                Muse
    
    ...The council in Normal, Illinois, (where Mitsubishi's car plant is the focus of sexual harassment charges) voted against a gay-rights measure so it could keep the town's name...


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