Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Garlic Year In Review: 10 Most Popular Posts

The votes are in. Thanks to all our fans and readers, those that commented, sent emails, telegrams, cards and letters, made telephone calls and punched out instant messages.

The soon-to-be-year-old The Garlic: All The Cloves Fit To Peel has been a growing success.

Listed below are the 10 Most Popular posts of 2005, in descending order.

Again, many thanks to all for visiting, and enjoying, The Garlic


Top Ten Cloves: Things The Vatican Has Done To Make Good Friday Even Better

Jackson Offers Embattled West To Be Mayor of Neverland

Felt Admits To Being 'You're So Vain' Target

Apple Takes Blog Ruling As New Club On Criticism and Dissent

Zellweger Says Bad Salutation Caused Break-Up; Chesney's Greetings A Turn-Off; "He Didn't Get Me At Hello"

Stymied By Publishers, Google To Digitize Bazooka Joe Comics

Bush May Tap Coulter For Energy Source

Special Sing-Along: Dick, The Magic Vice Prez

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons Why Hewlett Packard Stopped Selling the Apple iPod

McCain Says Abducted and Grilled By Cheney; Won't Budge On Torture Ban

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thursday 5 January 2005

Fox News Agrees With Letterman; O'Reilly Factor Now Only 40% Fair and Balanced

New Spots To Reflect Correct Spin; Corporate Orders Review of Hannity & Colmes; Other Programming

Fox News Network Head Honcho Roger Ailesannounced this morning that "he agrees with David Letterman" and has ordered new promotional spots for the Fox News Network that will brand Bill O'Reilly's "The O'Reilly Factor" as only "40% Fair and Balanced".

"I have been watching the program lately," said Ailes, in a free-wheeling press briefing with reporters. "And I have to say, Letterman was right … At least 60% of what O'Reilly spews out is crap."

Appearing on "The Late Show with David Letterman" this past Tuesday evening, O'Reilly and Letterman exchanged barbs on Cindy Sheehan, the War In Iraq and O'Reilly's War On Christmas.

At one point, Letterman said to his guest;

"I'm not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling, I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap. [audience laughter] But I don't know that for a fact. [more audience applause]."

Music Director Paul Shafer questioned Letterman with "60 percent?" to which the host replied "60 percent. I'm just spit-balling here."

O'Reilly meekly defended himself, telling Letterman that "Listen, I respect your opinion. You should respect mine … Our analysis is based on the best evidence we can get …"

Air America Radio Host, author, comic and rival to O'Reilly, Al Franken commented that "I think Letterman was being generous … I put O'Reilly's bullshit meter at 80-or-90%, easy …"

In rebranding "The O'Reilly Factor" as only "40% Fair and Balanced", Ailes has ordered a complete review of all other Fox News programming, in particular, citing the programs "Hannity & Colmes", "Big Story with John Gibson" and "Special Report with Brett Hume" as likely seeing adjustments in their "Fair and Balanced" levels.

"I've been so busy building up the network," confessed Ailes, "that I rarely watched any of the programming. Over the holidays, I took the time and I was astounded …Where do these guys come up with this stuff? … I mean, we played hardball politics in my day but this is over-the-top … Blowing up San Francisco? … A War on Christmas? … Building walls along the Mexican border? … It's like Rush Limbaugh on steroids … Well, maybe that's not a good example but I think you know what I mean."

O'Reilly could not be reached for comment, and it is unknown if he is aware that his program is now being rebranded as only "40% Fair and Balanced".

O'Reilly's staff indicated he was out, fighting the war on Little Christmas, as well as researching and preparing material for his new war, to be announced soon, on Valentine's Day.

"He's afraid," said one production manager on background, "that with the popularity of Brokeback Mountain, the liberals and Hollywood Democrats are going to turn Valentine's Day into some kind of gay cowboy holiday."

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard In White House Meeting of Former Secretaries of Defense and State

10. Doesn't Madeleine Albright look like Walter Mondale in drag?

9. I thought he'd juice us alittle and have the meeting in Cheney's Secret Bunker

8. Screw charities - I'm going to Vegas to burn off my Abramoff money

7. I think we should wait until after the meeting to see if he can get us some primo property in New Orleans cheap

6. Nice play by Cheney, putting Chalabi in charge of the oil

5. I give it ten-minutes when Al Haig gets up and says he's in charge

4. When Bush gets in here, we pin him down and don't let up until he tells us if he's wiretapping us or not

3. Nice touch with the Office Pool … I got Rove being indicted by March

2. Look at this … Donuts and bagels … Rumsfeld's still the cheap son-of-a-bitch he was 20-years ago

1. Hey George, with all these war chiefs, you want to bump up your approval ratings 15-points, invite that Cindy Sheehan woman in

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wednesday 4 January 2006

Bushapalooza Planned As Abramoff Plea Has Bush, GOP Citing Bad Intel, Reclassifying Donors

Pioneer Status Earned Only If Not Indicted; Charities Battered By Pols To Accept Tainted Money

The White House today defended President Bush accepting donations from Jack Abramoff, citing "he had the same intelligence as the rest of the GOP" but indicated that "steps will be taken" to reclassify donors.

Already putting down the shoe leather, to sell his reasoning for starting the Iraq War, and defending his usage of domestic wiretapping and eavesdropping, the White House, with the aid of the Republican National Committee, are in the early stages of planning another media and speaking blitz by the President, tentatively titled Bushapalooza: Strategy For A Scandal.

Bushapalooza will lead up the State-of-the-Union Address by the President later this month, and, if necessary, go well into the winter and early spring.

"The President was as shocked as most of you were, I'm sure," stated Scott McClellan, at a White House Press Briefing this morning. "The 2004 Bush-Cheney Campaign had no idea of the practices of Mr. Abramoff. He was considered a loyal party member and energetic fundraiser."

"We had the same information, the same intelligence, as everyone else in the GOP," McClellan added. "It's our understanding, that key members of the GOP Executive offices were briefed as to Mr. Abramoff and his activities."

Abramoff, 47, the lobbyist of lobbyists on K Street, pleaded guilty to three felony counts - fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials - and negotiated a plea arrangement with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against congressmen, lawmakers, Bush Administration and GOP officials.

Abramoff has been in exhaustive and extensive discussions with government lawyers and federal prosecutors for months leading up to yesterday's plea.

Abramoff lavished his targets with luxury trips, such as golf outings at St.Andrews in Scotland, skybox seats and fundraisers, campaign contributions, jobs for their spouses, and meals at Signatures, the his upscale restaurant in Washington, D.C.

"The corruption scheme with Mr. Abramoff is very extensive," Alice S. Fisher, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, said at a news conference with other high-ranking officials of the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI as reported by the Washington Post. "We're going to follow this wherever it goes."

The RNC issued a statement this morning, supporting the comments of President Bush, as to receiving the same information, and also announcing changes in their donation policies.

Beginning immediately, those that raise $100,000, or more for the GOP, and were bestowed with the honorary title of "Pioneer", will now have to wait for the recognition, "at least three-years and incumbent upon their not being indicted, or convicted of any illegal fundraising activities."

"The RNC," the statement offered, "will continue to accept donations in one door, and dole them out another to registered PAC's and elected officials. We want to be clear of that distinction."

When reached for comment, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman indicated that "we're looking at a number of new titles for our legitimate fundraisers, something to tide them over until they can be called pioneers."

Mehlman also confirmed that "we're not slowing down at all" when it comes to fundraising.

And neither is the White House.

After announcing last month the extension of the President's speaking tour, Chief of Staff Andy Card came up with the "Bushapalooza" idea during the holiday break.

"I think," said Ed Hutcheson publisher and editor of "K Street Kings - K as in Thousands", the monthly publication that tracks lobbyists, "Andy looked at the plummeting approval ratings, the argument over the war, the intelligence leading up to the war, DeLay's upcoming trial, Libby's indictment, Rove's pending indictment and now this drops on them. They had to do something big."

Card, reportedly, doesn't have any worries about rolling out a new program in January.

Bushapalooza will have new stage props, with a high-tech lighting show, and, according to Hutcheson, Christian rock bands. Other politicians and GOP officials will get stage time, mainly to pound home the talking points, pitch the Iraq War, the wiretapping and the passing of the Patriot Act (accompanied by a "dazzling fireworks display").

Christian Conservative groups are signing on to Bushapalooza, to provide a tent, and run classes on Intelligent Design.

For the young children of Republicans attending Bushapalooza, there'll be a retro tossing game of throwing a softball, but instead of knocking over milk bottles, they'll be aiming a plastic replicas of the heads of Senator Jack Murtha (D-PA), Senator and Minority Leader Harry Reed (D-NV) and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

It's not confirmed yet, if Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) will join and tour with Bushapalooza.

"If it hasn't shown already," said Hutcheson, "with the Strategy For Victory In Iraq rollout, there'll be no mistake with Bushapalooza. It will be a full-throttle, campaign-style happening."

In a related matter, the White House also announced that they will be donating the money given by Abramoff to charity, in this case the American Heart Association.

Charities have been reporting today a deluge of offerings from Washington politicians.

A spokesperson for the American Cancer Society said that it has been overwhelming.

"We had House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill) pounding on our doors at 3AM this morning, cash-in-fist, demanding we take his donation."

Bushapalooza is planning to pull out all the stops in selling the President's vision and agenda, as well as looking to get the Administration and GOP as far away from the Abramoff Scandal as possible

Top Ten Cloves: New Tag Lines Rejected By Intel For New Logo

10. Just Do It … With Intel!

9. Intel: You Got Electronics, We Got Your Back

8. Intel: We've Outted Ourselves!

7. Things Go Better With Intel!

6. Intel: We Be A Jumpin' and A Leapin' Fools!

5. Intel Used To Be Inside Here, Now Where Everywhere!

4. Intel: We've Got 18, So What's One More Logo?

3. Intel Viiv: You Want Spelling or Do You Want Power?

2. When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be Intel

1. Intel's Around Here Somewhere

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Tuesday 3 January 2006

Schwarzenegger Said To Be In Furious Hunt For Another Stadium Naming

Bowl Games Badgered; Staff Says "Any Large Structure Will Do"; May Take Hollywood Sign By Eminent Domain

The California Governor has more than flooding rains and mudslides on this mind these days.

Sources have told The Garlic that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his staff, have been on a furious mission to secure another stadium naming for the Governor.

This follows the action last month, of Schwarzenegger's hometown of Graz, Austria, in a protest against the the Governor's refusal to issue a pardon for convicted murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams, of taking down the letters from the stadium named in honor of their famous resident.

Schwarzenegger, a former bodybuilding champion and Hollywood star before turning to politics, trained at the stadium as a young man. It was renamed in his honor in 1997.

According to sources, Schwarzenegger was "enraged" when he heard of the action to be taken, and fired off an angry letter "demanding" that they take his name off the stadium. The Governor also returned a "ring of honor" that he had been awarded by city officials in 1999.

"This was done before his staff could fully digest what was happening," said one source.

When heads cooled down, the Governor "was frantic", and reassigned his entire staff to "go out and get me another stadium".

Through the Christmas holiday, staff members telephoned, emailed and flew to all parts of the country seeking out a stadium deal.

Official for the major college bowl games - the Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Orange Bowls - all confirmed they were contacted by someone from the Governor's staff.

"They were unrelenting," said one Rose Bowl official. "They wouldn't stop, They wouldn’t take no. They kept offering all kinds of ridiculous things. They even wanted to offer us pardons, in advance, in case we committed any crimes."

Only the University of Michigan made an offer, that the Governor could use Michigan Stadium - The Big House - for one day.

Officials in New Orleans were contacted, but, with the city still in a state of emergency from Hurricane Katrina, and the status of the damaged Superdome still not determined, Schwarzenegger has told his staff he doesn't not want to wait.

Another unconfirmed report has Schwarzenegger and staff members flying to Brazil, and having heated talks with officials there about renaming their famous Sambodrome in Rio De Janeiro. Talk broke down when the Brazilians refused, offering only a junior league soccer stadium on the outskirts of the city.

With other pressing matters, the Governor's staff has been concentrating on companies like Boeing, McDonald-Douglas and all the major airports, inquiring if they could bestow naming a hanger for Schwarzenegger.

"It's not Arnold's first choice, offered a Sacramento watcher, "but there in a mode of any large structure will do."

There have been rumors that Schwarzenegger has been "pleading" with his wife, Maria Shriver, to talk with her family, the Kennedy's, and get their approval for renaming RFK Stadium in Washington.

If the Kennedy's turn down the Governor, many believe his staff will turn to the Supreme Court ruling last year on Eminent Domain and Schwarzenegger will seize the famous Hollywood sign on the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, in Southern California.

"It has 40-foot letters and it's a world-wide icon," said another source. "I believe Arnold will take it, but he'll likely put up 80-foot letters and he'll still push for another stadium deal."

With his name off his hometown stadium, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is said to be poised to take the famous Hollywood sign by Eminent Domain

News In Brief 3 January 2006

Walmart To Appeal $172M California Fine

Workers Will Have To Continue To Go Without Meals While Case Stays In Courts

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, announced today that they will appeal last month's verdict, leveling them with a $172-Million fine for not providing, and/or compensating, its' workers with meal breaks.

Wal-Mart, and Sam's Club stores, in California lost the class action lawsuit brought on by Jessica Grant of the Furth Firm of San Francisco. The suit charged that the chain violated state law more than eight million times from Jan. 1, 2001, to May 6, 2005, and impacted more than 116,000 hourly workers.

Last month, a Alameda County Superior Court jury found for the plaintiffs and awarded a judgment of $172-Million.

Wal-Martis facing similar cases in about 40 other states.

In appealing the verdict, Wal-Mart, and Sam's Club, workers will have to continue to go without meal breaks, or be compensated for them, while the case remains in the court system.

In a statement released, Wal-Mart indicated that they would "try to accommodate" the workers, however, they "expected full compliance with the judicial system" and "have every expectation that workers will continue to work their assigned shifts".

The company stated that they may allow "water and a small snack" at a workers' station "provided it doesn't interfere with completing the work or servicing Wal-Mart customers".

Top Ten Cloves: New Year's Resolutions President Bush Is Likely To Break

10. Ending the prank calls to Joe and Valerie Wilson from clean phone in Situation Room

9. Giving Press Secretary Scott McClellan accurate information to discuss at briefings

8. Stop picking on Helen Thomas at press conferences and briefings

7. Meet with Cindy Sheehan, in the Oval Office, on live television

6. He'll change the name of RFK Stadium to Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium

5. Will stop being nervous whenever Dick Cheney walks into the room

4. Stop giving No-Bid' contracts to Halliburton

3. Rescind the order to take Jack Abramoff's name out of the White House phone logs

2. Won't order new elections in Iraq if a government is formed that he doesn't like

1. If indicted, he'll drop Karl Rove faster than Apple can issue new iPods

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year! … And Vote for The Garlic!

Feliz Año Nuevo! … Bonne Année! … Nuovo Anno Felice! … Ano Novo Feliz!

Here's to a wonderful, indictement-less, non-wiretapped, prosperous and healthy 2006 for all The Garlic fans and readers!

And we're off to a good start

The Order of Brilliant Bloggers has recognized The Garlic: All The Cloves Fit To Peel and nominated this humble blog for a nod as Best Comedic Blogstie Excellence Award for the month of December.

Click Here and throw a vote to The Garlic. No fame or riches come with this, and, with a win, I will still have to pay $2.50 for a cup of coffee. However, in the spirit of it all, it doesn't hurt to get alittle bump like such.

Again, Happy New Year To All!


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