Saturday, September 17, 2005

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves 17 September 2005

Wolf Blitzer, host of CNN's new Situation Room, was rushed to the hospital this morning with an unexplained illness. Unconfirmed reports coming in say he complained of being unable to sit down.

"Man ... Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job ... That was a good one Mr. President ..."

After saying he will seek re-election, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger stunned his supporters with the announcement of a new Lt. Governor

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Bush took time out for a dinner of Mexican food, at an undisclosed Washington restaurant, wearing new, kevlar ponchos

To boost sagging circulation, USA Today launched a program of 'News Concierges'. Clad in orange jumpsuits, the hosts will deposit your coins and retrieve your USA edition for you.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday 16 September 2005

Santorum Backs Vatican On Hunt For Gay Priests

Says Church Can Lead Return To Family Values; Suggests Boston As First To Be Cleaned Up

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) announced yesterday that he "fully supports" the new Vatican initiative of rooting out gay seminarians and priests.

The Vatican has assigned investigators for each of the 229 Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States for "evidence of homosexuality" and for faculty members who dissent from church teaching. The review, called an apostolic visitation, will interview over 4,500 students. The last such review began about 25 years ago and took six years to complete.

The Vatican's action is a response to the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in 2002. A study commissioned by the church found last year that about 80 percent of the young people victimized by priests were boys.

Santorum, back in 2002, wrote an essay, 'Fishers of Men', for Catholic On-Line and in it, made the charge tying Boston's "liberalism" with the Roman Catholic Church pedophile scandal.

Earlier this year, when given the opportunity to retract of clarify his position, Santorum stood by his remarks and added to them, blaming, in part the Boston Red Sox winning the 2004 Word Series as evidence of the problem.

"This is a city that has believed in a curse for 85-years", stated the junior senator, who is chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. "It's probable that they cursed themselves into the that type of sexuality"

A 12-page document with instructions for the review and distributed to seminarians and faculty members was obtained by the New York Times. Among the questions are;

"Do the seminarians or faculty members have concerns about the moral life of those living in the institution? (This question must be answered)."

"Is there evidence of homosexuality in the seminary? (This question must be answered)."

The questionnaire also asks whether faculty members "watch out for signs of particular friendships."

Santorum believes this is a "good first step" in returning morality to the country and, in turn, family values.

"I think once we clean-up the church", said Santorum, "There's some other institutions we can apply this to. That could mean we look at the Congress as well."

Santorum indicated that he is in preliminary talks with Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council and James Dobson, head of the Focus On Family group, about having a 'No Gay Priests Sunday' rally in the near future.

"Let me say Senator, I believe that, with a runner on third, two outs and your clean-up natter coming to the plate, in my opinion, I would let him hit away ,,,"

President's Speech Lets Millions See St. Louis Cathedral For First Time

On-Line Maps Jammed; Help Lines Flooded With Searches For Landmark On Bourbon Street

As President Bush spoke to the nation last evening in primetime, from Jackson Square in New Orleans, millions of viewers who had visited New Orleans in the past, saw St. Louis Cathedral for the first time - including the President himself.

On-Line maps, such as Google Maps and MapQuest, where jammed most of the evening for searches of 'Bourbon Street' and 'Cathedral on Bourbon Street'. Help lines were bombarded with frustrated users, unable to find St. Louis Cathedral on Bourbon Street, or believing there was an error when it showed up in Jackson Square.

Sources close to the President said he was 'confused' when driving to the location of the speech, and his SUV glided past Bourbon Street. It is reported that he interrupted his conversation to ask the driver if "he knew where he was going".

St. Louis Cathedral, built in the 1720's as a tribute to France's King Louis IX, is located on 615 Pere Antoine Alley, approximately two-blocks from Bourbon Street. Andrew Jackson, for whom there is a statue in front of the cathedral, supposedly laid down his sword on the altar in thanks for his victory in the battle of New Orleans.

In more recent times, St. Louis Cathedral was the location of the marriages of local resident and jazz pianist Harry Connick Jr, as well as former mayor, Marc Morial.

An informal survey by the on-line map help lines show that over 87% didn't know the name or location of St, Louis Cathedral and over 73% never heard of Jackson Square. Of those calling the help lines, 100% knew of Bourbon Street.

Top Ten Cloves: Questions On The Vatican Probe To Weed Out Gay Priests

10. Do you like to sew and cook?

9. If having to make a choice, which would you see first - A Bette Midler impersonator or a Judy Garland impersonator?

8. What color would you like to see the rectory painted? If purple, or pink, explain.

7. Do you special order your civilian clothes and shoes from exotic catalogs?

6. Should the Catholic Church have a 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy? If yes, explain.

5. Do you, and the others in the seminary, watch 'Will and Grace' as a group?

4. Has an older priest every flirted or made a pass at you? If yes, how did you respond?

3. Do you really enjoy doing the flower arrangements for the Easter Services?

2. Upon being ordained, would you want a parish in Greenwich Village, New York, or in Topeka, Kansas?

1. Which 'Sex In The City' character do you most identify with?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thursday 15 September 2005

Bush To Announce War On Hurricanes
Prime-Time Speech Hints At Ties To Al-Qaeda

In his prime-time, national address scheduled for this evening, President Bush will announce a new 'War On Hurricanes', based on new intelligence chatter, and the devastation in the country's Gulf region two-weeks ago wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

In a draft copy of the speech obtained by The Garlic, the President briefly mentions the horrific federal response to the catastrophe but firmly voices support for the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that oversees FEMA, the center of the controversy over the relief efforts in New Orleans, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The new 'WOH' will be a joint operation, shared between DHS and the U.S. Military.

Citing new intelligence chatter, President Bush called for new action to fighting hurricanes.

"We need to fight these storms where they are, not on American soil."

The President also firmly links the new 'WOH' with the on-going fight against terrorism.

"Some of our enemies may already have access to these weather systems. Some are attempting to purchase them on the Black Market. As we saw on our televisions these past few weeks, a hurricane, clearly, can be a Weapon of Mass Destruction."

The President, in his speech, gives no specifics on how he will wage his 'WOH', or the budget allocation it will need. Aides to the President indicated the he will be meeting in the days ahead with the National Security Council and senior Congressional leaders to lay out the strategy.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield confirmed this new operation.

'Goodness, why wouldn't we want to fight a hurricane? The raw power of one of these things can be awesome but we have more than the appropriate capabilities to deal with them. Not only can we deal with them, we should be dealing with them. Heaven's, I don't want to go through again what I saw last week."

A senior Pentagon official stated that, to-date, no hurricanes have been found in Iraq.

"We have details .. Small units … that are still searching for the WMD's and last week, we added hurricanes to the orders. Nothing has turned up yet."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered brief comments, stating that "Mushroom clouds are not the only clouds we are looking at presently."

In his speech, the President also cautions other countries about the use of hurricanes.

"I expect that our allies will support this new war. It is in all or our best interests to wage a fierce battle, to plant the seeds of calm weather and make our lands safe for all our citizens. We will look warily at any country that harbors hurricanes for use against another country and we will respond to that threat immediately and will use all appropriate measures."

"With the WOH, we have the capability to just take these hurricanes like this and just crush them ... Make them completely irrelevant ..."

Top Ten Cloves: How Martha Stewart Would Have Responded To Hurricane Katrina If She Ran FEMA

10. Ways to spice up those MRE's with two commonly-found ingredients

9. A whole show on the benefits of Hydro-Farming versus regular In-Ground Farming

8. Warn of the dangers of doing any illegal stock deals during the crises; They'll catch you!

7. Can really experiment and play with the potpourri to ward off the foul smells

6. Chance to scold viewers for not making those jars of preserves last year

5. Has a design, in three, easy steps to turn your blown-off roof into a garden patio

4. Show how the people in the Superdome could have used the fabric of the seat covers to temporarily repair roof

3. Would have had National Guard wear lightweight cotton outfits for better ventilation and coolness

2. Six ways to make your new tent home opulent and inviting

1. Launch a new line of Martha Stewart Waders and Flood Gear

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wednesday 14 September 2005

Robertson To Ballmer: "I've Got Your Back"

Looking to Strike Deal With Microsoft Chief For Help With Offing Chavez

In a scenario right out of Alfred Hitchcock's 'Strangers On A Train', inside sources tell The Garlic that 700 Club Host Pat Robertson has sent a private message to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that read, in part, 'I've got your back", and "you help me with Chavez and I'll help you with Google."

Robertson ignited an uproar back in August, when on his 700 Club television program, he suggested United States should "assassinate" Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another 200-billion-dollar war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Robertson later apologized and toned down his remarks, saying it was an "adlib" but sources close to Robertson say he has been "obsessed" with Chavez and has sought out others who could help him "eliminate" him.

His outreach to Ballmer comes on the heels of courts documents released last week, in which Ballmer unleashed a torrent of invectives aimed at Google CEO Eric Schmidt, when advised that one of his senior engineers was leaving Microsoft to go to work at Google.

Robertson is said to have sent the communication to Ballmer via private courier.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that Ballmer has spoken with Robertson, but offered no information on the substance of their discussions.

Sources inside Microsoft say the Ballmer remains "highly agitated" over the defection of employees to Google.

Yesterday, in Seattle, a King County Superior Court Judge ruled that former Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee can work for Google, but in a limited capacity.

Ballmer, allegedly, went on a rampage in the company's parking lot, smashing windows, setting off a cacophony of car alarms that drew a response from the local fire department. Witnesses say that Ballmer was "enraged" and "swearing a lot". Most of the automobiles damaged belonged to Asian employees of Microsoft.

The U.S. State Department, in a statement released yesterday, stated "they have no information on any conversations between Mr. Robertson and Mr. Ballmer".

Chavez has had an icy relationship with the United States, and, in particular, the Bush Administration. He has been critical of U.S. foreign policy and his position in OPEC has irritated the administration. The Bush team has continually refused to recognize Chavez, favoring the government of Pedro Carmona.

A spokesperson for Google indicated they were looking into the matter.

On Monday, Google announced that they were omitting Microsoft from their search results. The spokesperson stated that, if there any "any substance" to the charges, "Google will likely drop the 700 Club from the algorithm as well".

"You guys sure you're cool with the apology? I mean, are we square now? Do I have to come down here anymore?"

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons President Bush Took Responsibility For Federal Response To Hurricane Disaster

10. Has a bet with Andy Card it will put him on the cover of Time Magazine next week

9. Thought about blaming Kofi Annan but that ship already sailed

8. It's part of his 12-Step Program

7. Figured by doing it, he won't have to launch investigation

6. The "higher father" told him to do it

5. Needs to keep Chertoff around to blame for next hurricane

4. Rove told him his approval rating will bump up by, at least, five-points

3. If he gets sued, knows soon-to-be-Chief Justice Roberts will get him off the hook

2. Can't have Cheney do it; Would blow the doors open on all those Halliburton deals

1. Heard a rumor that Tony Perkins and James Dobson were planning 'Bush Screwed Up Sunday'

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tuesday 13 September 2005

Schumer, MLB Call For New Roberts Probe

No Records Found Of His Work As Umpire; May Have To Abstain From Potential Steroid Cases

Following his opening statement, beginning the Senate hearings for his confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice and taking the role of Chief Justice, John Roberts will face new scrutiny from Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).

"I got a call last night from Bud Selig," offered Schumer. "Telling me that there is no record of John Roberts being an 'umpire' or, for that matter, ever working in baseball."

In his statement to the Senate Judicial Committee, Roberts stated;

"Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them … The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules … But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire."

In closing, Roberts remarked that "I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat."

Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball, released a statement last night that read, in part;

"We brought to the committee's attention that Major - and Minor - League Baseball has no records of John Roberts serving as an umpire, a player, coach or in any manner, being an employee of any baseball franchise."

Schumer plans on question Roberts as to his baseball reference.

"It wouldn't be the first time an appointee embellished his resume," stated the Senator.

Judicial Committee Chairman Arlen Spector (R-PA), dismissed Schumer's probe as "a waste of time"

"The man made an analogy to demonstrate his intent towards impartiality. I don't believe he was, literally, telling us that he was a baseball umpire."

Schumer countered back to Spector, saying that "with the potential of more steroid hearings and charges, anti-trust legislation, it's an issue that the Supreme Court could face".

"If Roberts is confirmed," said Schumer, "I would expect him to dismiss himself from any baseball-related cases that reach the high court."

Schumer plans on a hard-line of questioning to Roberts, as to his baseball reference.

"It wouldn't be the first time an appointee embellished his resume," stated the Senator.

Senior members of FEMA await the announcement of R. David Paulison as the new, temporary director of the crisis-ridden agency

Bush Taps 'America's Fire Chief' As Temp FEMA Honcho

Paulison Takes Helm During Crises; Calls For Pronto Shipments of Duct Tape and Plastic

With uncharacteristic speed, President Bush accepted the resignation of Michael Brown as Director of FEMA and quickly named R. David Paulison as temporary director of the crises-ridden agency.

Paulison comes with the credentials of a career in fire and emergency services, unlike Brown, who previously managed an international show horse association.

Paulison is the former Fire Chief of the Miami Fire Department and earned kudos for his work during Hurricane Andrew. Paulison, was named Florida Fire Chief of the Year in 1993, and is a past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs

Shortly after September 11th, 2001, Paulson has been the head of the National Fire Administration, a division within FEMA.

In brief remarks, Paulison did not criticize the outgoing Brown, or FEMA, but focused on the job ahead.

"We still have a big job ahead of us," stated Paulison. "I've ordered the immediate shipment of duct tape and plastic covering to the Gulf area. These people are still vulnerable and need the protection."

Paulison, in 2003, following the raising of the terrorist alert to Orange by former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, urged Americans to stock up on supplies, including duct tape and plastic covering for windows, in the case of a biological attack.

As being named temporary director, Paulison will not require Senate confirmation.

"David Paulison is well-respected and someone who is a familiar face to the White House, having previously been through a Senate confirmation," said Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, after the announcement on Monday.

Top Ten Cloves: What Mike Brown Is Going To Do Now That He Resigned

10. Since he's already done horses, look for a Dog Show he can hook on with

9. See if that guy in Mississippi still want to sell his land; Good spot for a new casino

8. Make a note, with his next job, to pay attention to what's on television

7. Check if any of the Voodoo people are left in New Orleans to put spells on Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin

6. See if he can get on that new Martha Stewart Apprentice Show

5. Make a Video Resume and use the clip where Bush says "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job …"

4. Take lessons on talking loud, ignoring people with opposite view and apply to Fox News

3. Crash at VP Cheney's Secret Bunker until he gets back on his feet

2. Go out for some more Mexican food and margaritas

1. Can stop writing his explanation to President Bush on why the levees broke

Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday 12 September 2005

Patronage Group Protests Brown Demotion

Says President Knew of No Qualifications; Three Association Rules Broken

The Political Patronage Association (PPA), a non-profit organization based in Chicago, has condemned President Bush for his demotion of FEMA Director Michael Brown and plans on filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor over the action.

"We're extremely disappointed with the President," state PPA Director Joe "Lazyboy" Warchenski.

"Not since Ronald Reagan has a President been so committed to stocking his administration with political appointees, friends, donors … We're very upset with this action by President Bush."

The PPA claims to have over 200,000 members in the U.S. and over 500,000 worldwide and was formed in the mid-1960's, by a group of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daly's cronies.

The PPA represents everyone, from political appointees, political hacks, No-Show employees and generations of relatives hired for government positions in which they are not qualified.

Brown, whose background was that of being director of horse trade group, has been lambasted over the slow response to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina demolished and flooded the area.

Last Friday, Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security Director, and, as Warchenski pointed out, also a PPA member, removed Brown as the on-site leader in New Orleans, sending him back to Washington, replacing him with Coast Guard General Thad Allen.

General Allen is not a PPA member.

"It's true," Warchenski offered, "that most of our members don't like the glare of the media."

Warchenski claims that the President should have done more to shield Brown from the criticism.

"The President fully knows that Brown wasn't qualified for the job. To leave him hanging out there like that, that is against, at least, three of our guidelines."

Warchenski indicated that the PPA is monitoring the situation very closely and plans on filing a complaint with the Department of Labor. Should Brown end up being fired, the PPA will work with him to find another position, in either local, state or federal government.

"We have a high percentage of getting our members paychecks," said Warchenski.

Warchenski refused to comment if President Bush is, or ever was a PPA member.

The White House is denying charges that President Bush was late in reacting to Hurricane Katrina because he mistakely flew to Cape Canaveral, believing there was a disaster there.

Google Fires Back At Ballmer

Microsoft Omitted From Searches; Google Maps Highlight Home

After having its' CEO threatened by Steve Ballmer, Google announced this morning that they have updated their main search algorithm so that it wipes out any search results for Microsoft and all Microsoft products, services and news, excepting court cases in which Microsoft has lost.

Court documents opened last Friday reveal that Microsoft CEO Ballmer threatened to "kill" Google CEO Eric Schmidt, after a senior engineer advised Ballmer that he was leaving Microsoft to go work at Google.

The courts documents show that after Mark Lucovsky, back in November 2004, told Ballmer he was leaving, Ballmer reacted angrily, including hurling a chair across his office.

The sworn statement says that Ballmer launched into a tirade about Google and CEO Schmidt.

"I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again … I'm going to fucking kill Google."

Microsoft sued to keep Lucovsky from joining Google.

In addition to taking Microsoft out of their search program, Google has also programmed their 'Google Maps' to highlight, with address and phone number, the home of Ballmer.

Schmidt decline to comment on the threat or actions taken by Google.

Google released a statement, that said in part;

"We realize that the omission of Microsoft from our searches will have little impact on their financial performance, we do regret that it may cause problems for Microsoft OEM's and resellers. We believe that falls into the area of who you choose to partner with and the consequences of those partnerships."

Microsoft, so far has refused to comment on the situation.

Insiders say that they expect Microsoft to use their considerable resources and respond to Google in some fashion.

"Ballmer's hot," said one analyst. "This isn't going to go away soon."

It is expected that Google Print will have an announcement this week, indicating that they will drop any and all Microsoft printed matter from their digitization program.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reportedly repeated his threat to Google CEO Eric Schmidt. At a recent conference, Ballmer said; "I'm going to kick his ass and then knock his teeth out for mumbling about it".

News In Brief 12 September 2005

EBay Purchase of Skype Prelude To Apple Announcement

Internet Phone Company Key to iPhone Deal and Millions in Resale of Calls

The Associated Press is reporting that EBay Inc. will purchase the internet telephone company, Skype Technologies SA, for about $2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock.

The widely-speculated purchase is viewed as a prelude to a planned announcement of a partnership between Apple and eBay, for Apple's new iTunes cell phone, Rokr.

Apple debuted the Rokr last week, and, in a twist, stated that the users of Rokr will need to download their telephone calls from iPhone, the new Apple cell phone service, in partnership with Motorola and Cingular Wireless.

When downloading their calls, Rokr users can also download an accompanying iTune song at a discount rate.

It was been rumored that Apple and eBay have been in talks, to allow eBay to set up a program on iPhones that will allow Rokr users to sell their telephone calls, at whatever price the market will bear.

The acquisition of Skype is viewed as allowing eBay to run a similar operation on their own site, independent of Apple, and the required iTune-compatible program and equipment.

Top Ten Cloves: Tough Questions The Senate Will Ask John Roberts

10. Are there any laws that can be applied to R Kelly for the awful MTV Award Show performance?

9. Who's his favorite Desperate Housewife?

8. Does he know the location of Vice President Cheney's Secret Bunker?

7. Has he ever seen President Bush in denial?

6. Did he ever use steroids and, does he know of any other judges on steroids?

5. Any truth in the rumor that he wants to change the Court's start date to First Monday in February?

4. Would he uphold the conviction if the Bush Administration goes after Kayne West?

3. Has he ever considered an operation to prevent him from smiling all the time?

2. Did he have to promise to overturn Roe v. Wade
in order to get the Chief Justice spot?

1. Was he surprised the levees broke in New Orleans?