Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday 13 May 2005

Washington Bombshell On U.N. Post
Bush Ready To Pull Bolton; Will Nominate Dave Chappelle

Senate Says They'll Vote "Up, Down and Sideways" For Comedy Central Star; Bolton Goes Ballistic

Before the extremely rare procedure of sending a presidential nominee to the floor for a vote - without a recommendation - had all the heads talking, word came out - unofficially - from the White House that President Bush is ready to pull the plug on John Bolton and will send to the hill Comedy Central's no-show star, Dave Chappelle to be the U.S. Ambassador at the United Nations.

This is a stunning setback and embarrassment - twice in one day - for the career diplomat Bolton.

When the rumor reached Bolton, who was dining at a DC restaurant, witnesses say he went 'ballistic', screaming and shouting, tipping over tables before associates could hustle him from the premises.

"He was boiling mad", offered one diner who witnessed the rampage. "He was stomping around, knocking over tables, swearing … It was pretty shocking … As they were pulling him outside, he kept saying 'that bastard Andy Card', over and over …"

In the Senate, both sides of the aisle were surprised, and skeptical, scurrying staff members to track down White House officials to verify the rumor.

The choice of Dave Chappelle, one of Comedy Central's biggest stars, caught senators off-guard.

"I haven't seen his show", admitted Senate Leader, Bill Frist. "I'll have to have them send me some videotape I can review"

Frist was out on bail, following his arrest on violation of the Patriot Act on Wednesday (See The Garlic, 10 May 2005 - Dems Seek Arrest, Charges of Senate Leader Frist, and Others),

Senator Joe Biden, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who voted against nominating Bolton, thought it was "a great choice".

"I watched the show all the time … Hysterical … Very funny young man … I think he'll do a great job up there".

Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), another committee member, who said his "children and grandchildren watch it" predicted the full Senate would vote "up, down and sideways" for the talented Chappelle.

What could be a problem for the White House is Chappelle's contract with Comedy Central. It has been reported the network paid as much as $50-Million to secure the 'Chappelle Show' for, at least, two additional seasons.

Comedy Central just announced last week that they are postponing the start of the show's third season, which had a May 31 broadcast date, primarily due to that Chappelle has disappeared and no one from the show knows where he is.

The magazine 'Entertainment Weekly' is reporting that Chappelle has checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa and that the show has taped a few skits but, with production stopped, they don't have enough for a full show

Sources close to the White House say that, when it appeared that Bolton was going to go down in committee, the Bush team began vetting new candidates and, in selecting Chappelle, have him in a undisclosed DC hotel and will present him to the Senate within the next few days.

Officials at Comedy Central declined comment on losing one of their stars to the United Nations. One anonymous staffer sent an email saying, in part that " … he's now fair game for the 'Daily Show' …"

Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), who earlier in the day, had a "constitutional headbutt" with Senate Leader Frist, over the prospects of the showdown looming over the Bush Administrations judicial nominations was asked how he would vote on the U.N., Ambassador.

"What's that name again - David Chapel?"

Top Ten Cloves: What The Two Pilots In The Cessna Were Talking About During DC Evacuation

10. Wanna reach back there and grab me another beer …

9. I wish they'd have a television show about 'Desperate Pilots' … That's something I would watch …

8. Wow, that's a pretty big helicopter flying next to us …

7. Do you think, if Osama Bin-Laden was a child molester, he'd call it Allah Juice?

6. Did you know that my name is on the "No-Fly" list?

5. Hey, look down there, all those people running … Wonder what's going on …

4. I know the big airlines just make people take their shoes off - Why did you make me take my pants off too?

3. Now what's the lesson our student pilot learned today? … That you don't buzz the Washington Monument, right?

2. Don't worry, you can write this whole trip off - Tom DeLay does it all the time

1. No, I don't mind retiring early … Put in 32-years with United and I got me a great pension

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Thursday 12 May 2005

Mineta Broadcasts Klaatu and Gort Landing For Real
Rumors and Misinformation Add to DC Panic, Hysteria Over Stray Plane

Code Red Highest Since 9/11; President Not Notified for Fear of Another Book Reading

It took well into the late night to calm the nerves and fears of Washington D.C. residents, and politicians, after a mid-day, Code Red, evacuation due to an off-course Cessna airplane straying into restricted flight space near the White House.

As the Capital Police, FBI and FAA investigated the incident, it wasn't the Black Hawk helicopter and two F-16 fighter jets that were
scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, firing warning flares at the pilot and student pilot of the Cessna, that caused the panic, but rather the unbridled hysteria of Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

Mineta, who got early notice of an 'unidentified aircraft' inside the restricted D.C. airspace, became panic-stricken and seized control of the Emergency Broadcast System. He was breathing rapidly and heavily, and begin shouting;

"Klaatu and Gort are coming back! … Klaatu and Gort are coming back! … Run for your lives … Klaatu and Gort are coming to destroy Earth! …"

Mineta, of course, was referencing the intergalactic characters from the classic 1951 Sci-Fi film, 'The Day The Earth Stood Still', starring Michael Rennie as 'Klaatu' and Lock Martin as the gigantic, menacing robot, Gort. The film portrays an alien landing in Washington D.C., with Klaatu telling the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Sources in the Transportation Department, and the Pentagon, tell of Mineta running down corridors, screaming and shouting, even confronting Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, imploring him to "launch the missiles". Other witness say Mineta was wrestling with Rumsfeld, trying to pry away from Rumsfeld, his briefcase.

At the height of the incident, the White House was evacuated, forcing Vice President Cheney to his secret bunker, and First Lady Laura Bush, and Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, in town for a benefit, to a safe location in the White House.

The Capital and the Supreme Court were also emptied, with the judges being led into a nearby underground garage.

President Bush, who was off in Maryland, riding his bicycle, was not notified of the incident until nearly an hour after the 'all-clear, was signaled. No extra security precautions were taken and White House officials defended not notifying Bush

"If we had notified the President", offered White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, "he would have, mostly likely, had the Secret Service rush him to the nearest grade school, so he could do another book reading during a time of crisis …There just wasn't enough time to conduct the logistics and security checks for something like that".

As to Mineta, McClellan indicate that he was taken to the hospital and is resting, comfortably.

Upon arriving back at the White House, and with reporters shouting questions about the days' incidents, including Mineta's apparent meltdown, President Bush waved and shouted back;

"I'm going to watch the movie tonight .. It sounds like a good one …"

Conservatives To Fete DeLay Tonight
Last Chance For Favors In Case House Leader Censured or Expelled

The American Conservative Union will be throwing a bash this evening, honoring the outstanding lack of ethics of House Leader, Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX).

Nearly 1,000 attendees are expected at the $250-per-plate soiree at the Capital Hilton with all proceeds going directly to DeLay.

Though currently under arrest for volition of the Patriot Act (See The Garlic, 10 May 2005 - Dems Seek Arrest, Charges of Senate Leader Frist, and Others), Senate Leader, Bill Frist (R-TN) will deliver a testimonial to DeLay via videotape. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff is expected to give DeLay a gold-plated Cadillac, with diamond bullhorns mounted on the hood.

Numerous House and Senate Republicans are planning to attend, including DeLay's deputy, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-WY), along with the hierarchy of the Republican National Committee.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney were not invited, but will be attending their own, private celebration of their victory in Appeals Court of not having to divulge the names of their Energy Meeting advisors. Reportedly, the energy executive are treating the President and Vice President with a raucous party, under the theme of 'Lighting Up The House'.

Ironically, it is foreign trips arranged and paid for by Abramoff that DeLay took that has lead to a battery of ethics charges against DeLay. Abramoff is facing his own federal grand jury investigation, related to his payoffs and for swindling an Indian tribe seeking to build a casino.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is also looking into Abramoff's ethics, and his consulting fees in that matter. Abramoff is accused of defrauding tribal clients of millions of dollars

The American Conservative Union executive director Richard Lessner said the DeLay gala was meant as a "show of support" for the embattled House Leader but later conceded that "it may be on of our last chances to get the bills we need through the door".

"Let's face it", offered Lessner, "once the Ethics Committee meets, who knows what's going to happen … They can slap his wrists or, they can boot him out the door. He [DeLay] ain't getting out of here tonight without some business being done".

Other conservative parties that have business with DeLay who will be attending the dinner include Charlie Black, a Republican consultant with close ties to the White House; former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, head of American Values; Ed Fuelner of the Heritage Foundation; Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation; Morton Blackwell of the Leadership Institute; and the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition.

"It's kind of", Lessner chuckled "a Super Bowl of conservatives …You'll see Family Values pouring through the walls tonight"

Top Ten Cloves: What Vice President Cheney Told Appeals Court About His Energy Meetings To Win Verdict

10. Argued who had more energy - Six-Million-Dollar Man or Six-Million-Dollar Woman

9. Began formulating plan to develop Ann Coulter as useable energy source (see The Garlic, 29 April 2005)

8. That the energy exec's didn't know how to throw a meeting - lousy danish and weak coffee

7. Decided some meetings with Go-Cart races

6. Free, new cars and lifetime gas for all the judges

5. Energy guys wore masks and were so secret, nobody knew their names

4. Not much meeting time; First Lady stopped in and began telling jokes and that was it …

3. Actually, after all this fuss, it was only acouple of conference calls

2. Discussed all the prime fishing spots in Alaska and marked the map so they won't drill there

1. Some meetings held in Secret Bunker - the one, with cable, waterbed and always a fridge full of beer, that VP friends can use

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Wednesday 11 May 2005

Garlic Exclusive!
Dems Seek Arrest, Charges of Senate Leader Frist, and Others

Say Nuclear Threat Violates Patriot Act; AG Gonzales Opens Investigation

Washington was rocked yesterday with sirens wailing long into the night in Georgetown, as well as Virginia and Maryland suburbs, as groups of local police, FBI and U.S. Marshalls were seen storming houses, leading men and woman out in handcuffs, while other agents carried document boxes and computers.

At the Capitol, flanked by leading Democrats, including Sen. Edward Kennedy, Sen. Patrick Leahy, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called for the arrest of Senator Bill Frist, charging him with being an "enemy combatant" and violating the Patriot Act for his threats of using a 'nuclear option' in the U.S. Senate.

"The President, himself," stated Reid, "has constantly reminded us - all of us - to remain vigilant against terrorist and potential acts of terrorism …When a person threatens to use a nuclear device inside the walls of the United States Senate, than I stand as one vigilant citizen and I call for the United States Attorney General to take this invidual into custoday and charge him with the appropriate crimes".

"This individual" referred to by Reid happens to be the Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate.

Frist has been the lead pit bull in a fierce Republican pack, vowing the end of using filibusters to opose and defeat President Bush, and Republican-nominated judges for the federal bench. For weeks now, Frist and other Republicans have threated to use the "nuclear option", that being changing Senate rules to eliminate filibusters and have judges voted on by the full Senate.

And Vice-President Dick Cheney has promised to break any deadlocks, with a vote for the nominated judges, some considered extremely conservative or too far to the right by the Democrats.

Reid went on, presenting a long list of others who should be charged along with Frist, including Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), former
Senate GOP leader Trent Lott, and columnist Robert D. Novak.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, in a brief statement released by the Justice Deparment, indicated that he is, indeed, opening an investigation of the charges. This lead to the extensive show of force and manhunt last evening throughout the D.C. area.

Reports and rumors have that President Bush, upon hearing the news while on his European trip, called Gonzales from Air Force One and directed him to "get to the bottom of this". Some have seen signs of the White House distancing itself from Frist, and the others, particularly, when the President reportedly told Gonzales that "no one gets a break here".

Inside sources say the President was livid when he heard the news and that Gonzales called the President, asking for advise on how he should handle the situation. The President, according to White House insiders, was "extremely saddened and disappointed in Frist" and also said he'll "miss Novack's column".

Frist was stunned when he heard about the charges. Frist was in his Senate office, reviewing videotapes of some potential medical patients, when word reach him that he may be facing "terrorist charges".

Frist left the office, side-stepping a group of media and made no comments as questions were shouted to him, asking if he was a terrorist and where did he get his nuclear device.

When reached, in Mississippi, Lott, who is credited with coining the term 'nuclear option' was surprised and asked the reporter; "What is this? Am I on that 'Punk's show or something". Lott declined giving a comment and was said to be seen entering the office of his lawyer late last night

A spokesperson for Novack indicated that "he is out-of-the-country" and it was reported that Santorum flew back to Pennsylvania, to be with his family. Sources say U.S. Marshalls out of Philadelphia were on their way to arrest Santorum.

It would be unprecidented to have a sitting, majority leader in the Senate charged with such high-level crimes. However, in the post 9/11 world, and with the Bush Administrations rock-solid stance against terrorism, even a euphamistic comment about using a nuclear device, and in particular, in a U.S. Government building, gets a spotlighted investigation.

If Frist, and the others, are charged with violating the Patriot Act and deemed enemy combatants, they can be held, without access to lawyers, family or friends, indefinitely and would be brought to trial before a military tribunal and not a jury.

Law enforcement specialist say, at this point in the investigation, Frist and the others could just be charged with conspiracy, since no nuclear device or option has gone off in the Senate.

One Justice Departmet attornery indicated that it it "very likely they'll be charged as enemy combatants"

"We have to be sure", the attorney continued, "that there is no plot, no device here .. Something that is going to blow up Washington".

Asked if Frist, or any of the others, would be put in the 'Special Rendition' program, the Justice Department official offered;

"I'm not at liberty to say … But, then again, I heard that Novak is out-of-the-country"

It is likely that those arrested would be booked and held a Quantico and await the next step from the Attorney General and the Justice Department as to interrogations and the disposition of the charges. Reports say that Frist has made a request to submit his answers to the interrogation via videotape.

Speaking for the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney stated that it "was a sad day for the country" and that "it was likely, those judges won't be confirmed this time around".

Top Ten Cloves: Other Things The Courts Are Letting United Airlines Do To Their Retirees

10. Retirees must stop calling male flight attendants "stewardess"

9. Food service on flights not required to give retirees cans of Ensure with their meals

8. Okay to make retirees ride in baggage hold, but must provide them something other than luggage to sit on

7. United Airlines is entitled to 50% of any supplemental income earned by retirees

6. Retirees must fake heart attack to cover long delay in cases where pilot shows up drunk

5. Retirees have to shell and bag the peanuts for the First Class Section

4. United can use their pension money for anything, even a fling on GoldenPalace.Com

3. If retirees owns home, must bequeath it to United Airlines in their Wills

2. Can continue to make retirees stand in O'Hare lobbies and hum 'Rhapsody In Blue' whenever PA system goes down

1. Retirees must use logo and tag line as-is; Not "Fly The Pension-Stealing Skies of United"

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tuesday 10 May 2005

American Idol Spin's Off New Born-Again Virgin Show

All Christian Music Format; Special Segment For Declaring New, Multi-Born Again Status

Desperate to get past its latest scandal, American Idol announced yesterday a new spin-off program that will begin next fall, called AI: Born-Again Virgin Tour and featuring a multi, all-Christian music format and contest.

The announcement came as the allegations that show judge Paula Abdul had a physical, intimate relationship with Corey Clark, a contestant on the program earlier this year.

While being, primarily, studio-theatre based, AI: Born-Again Virgin Tour will have its' debut at the Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, the site of the recent Justice Sunday event. Along with regular host Ryan Seacrest, and judges, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Williams, and an all-star studded line-up from Gospel and Christian Rock will be on-hand.

There will be a special appearance at the mega-church, with former Attorney General John Ashcroft joined by the three-time Grammy Award-winning gospel group, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, for a rendition of Ashcroft's 'When Eagles Soar'.

The program will open, each week with a special video greeting from Senator Bill Frist and other mega-churches and Christian music sites will be integrated into the program. Along with the competition, there will be a "Witness" segment when one of the evening's contestants declares himself or herself a 'Born-Again Virgin' or, just a plain 'Born-Again Christian'

Tony Perkins, head to the Family Research Council, hailed the news of AI: Born-Again Virgin Tour as "return of good Christian values to mainstream television"

Dr. James Dobson, one of the featured speakers at Justice Sunday declared that "It will be the highest rated program in the history of television because Jesus will be watching it"

Producers for American Idol, Fremantle Media and the Fox Network, said in a statement that they were influenced, recently, by the outpouring of faith displayed during the Terry Schiavo situation, as well as the very recent discovery of runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks' fiancé, John Mason, and his declaration of being a 'Born-Again Virgin'.

The statement also indicated that "Christian music is an under-publicized niche of our industry and American Idol is happy to bring it out of the shadows"

Critics of the program, laced with scandals and snafu's in each of its' first three-seasons, believe that American Idol is pandering to the conservative right and exploiting a private, personal family situation. Some are calling for the FCC to take action and revoke Fox's broadcast license.

On the MSNBC news program, 'Countdown', anchor Keith Olberman is still speechless as to the news of someone being a 'Born-Again Virgin' and continues to ask, "when did they change the rules?"

Host Seacrest advises Olberman, and others to 'tune in next Fall to AI: Born-Again Virgin Tour … It will be like nothing you've ever seen …"

Amazon Says "I Do"; Opens Wedding Registry

Offers Free Shipping For Weddings With Over 100 Guests

Amazon.Com, the internet retail giant, is venturing into yet another new market niche - weddings.

Beginning this Friday, couples setting up their nuptials can open a registry with Amazon.Com, giving them a potential gift haul from over 70,000 items - including selling a complete wedding party with church, minister, ushers and bridesmaids.

Amazon, taking on the already staked out cyberspace of and, believes the wedding registry will fit very well with other Amazon services, including it's new A9 Yellow Pages for wedding-related vendors and it's soon-to-be launched DVD service.

"We see a lot of synergy in this" offered Amazon chief, Jeff Bezos.

Bezos declined to project when will turn a profit.

As reported by The Garlic (26 April 2005; Amazon Earnings Due Today; Modest Bump Up). Amazon is targeting 2017 as when the DVD division will come out of the red and kept 2045 for when, overall, Amazon will begin to see profit.

Bezos indicated that many familiar features to Amazon users will be in place with the wedding registry.

Any item, including the complete wedding, can be shipped overnight. Additionally, at the testimonial section will be a place for friends and family to post reviews of the wedding, or, in the case that either the bride or groom was previously married, a section for the former spouses to offer their comments

And, for any wedding member with cold feet, you can also view and review other weddings that you might like to purchase or participate in.

Top Ten Cloves: Other Born-Again Virgins Now That John Mason Is Out

10. Paula Abdul - They told me to say I was one, to help the ratings

9. Mark McGwire - Since this is happening now, and in the future, I can talk about it

8. John Ashcroft - I did cover the statues and, I can redo the song to 'When Born-Again Virgins Soar

7. Paris Hilton - Really, all I have to do is say it and I'm in the clear?

6. Pat O'Brien - Gives me another reason to go on Dr. Phil's

5. Steven Jobs - Hmmm … If this gets hot, do I see a Born-Again iPod coming out of this or what?

4. Jeff Gannon - Nobody believed I was a reporter, so they probably won't believe this

3. Bill Gates - I better do it, before that minister ruins my business completely

2. Martha Stewart - If it gets this damned bloody ankle thing off me, I'll say that I'm anything you want me to be

1. President Bush - Gotta do something to get away from that horse-milking joke

Monday, May 09, 2005

Monday 9 May 2005

Bush In Wrong Countries
White House Blunders On Bush Europe Itinerary

Chirac, EuroDisney Officials Miffed At No-Show

The White Office today has a new entry on its growing list of fences to mend - France and Russia

In a hastily called press conference this morning, White House Press Secretary confirmed rumors that surfaced over the weekend that there was a "human error" in President Bush's travel itinerary.

Instead of attending a long-standing appointment to meet with French President Chirac at EuroDisney, the President was sent to Russia for the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II events.

Bush's strong criticism of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin caught many off-guard and his visits to the Balkan states was known in advance as something that would chafe the Russians.

Meanwhile, in Paris, the newspaper 'Le Monde' screamed at Parisians this morning; 'Bush se lève Chirac; Envoie Underling' (Bush Stands Up Chirac; Sends Underling). The paper quoted Chirac saying; "Il rencontre chacun d'autre, mais pas nous …" (He's meeting with everyone else, but not us)

Chirac, and EuroDisney President André Lacroix stood, with other foreign dignitaries and U.S. Embassy staff, impatiently waiting for over 35-minutes before Under Secretary-of-State Paula J. Dobriansky showed up. Dobriansky coordinates U.S. foreign relations on a variety of global issues.

Dobriansky, and the State Department, offered no public statements on her appearance to meet with Chirac and the U.S. Embassy in France refused comment.

The meeting between Chirac and Bush at EuroDisney had been on the schedule since early January, as an attempt to warm up relations between France and the U.S.

EuroDisney was chosen as the meeting site because, according to McClellan, "the President has been to the Disney parks in Anaheim and Orlando and wanted to see EuroDisney to add to his collection of memorabilia from theme parks".

Putin displayed, visibly and vocally, his unhappiness about Mr. Bush's five-day itinerary in Europe, which includes visits to Latvia and Georgia. The Russians planned for months, with huge billboards all over Moscow, to focus on the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany with a massive celebration in Red Square.

With already contentious relationships with its Baltic states, all former republics and now independent nations, the Russians were virtually distraught that Bush, in a speech in Latvia, repeatedly used the word "occupation" in his remarks to describe Russia's actions in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia after World War II.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as well as other White House officials, spent the weekend making secondary visits with Russian officials and press, in an attempt to soften the President's comments.

McClellan, at today's press conference, referred to the mix-up in travel as "human error".

"Some folders got mistakenly picked up ahead of schedule and the itinerary plans were sent to the wrong offices"

Asked about the President's strong remarks to the Russians, as well as his criticism in his speeches in the Baltics, McClellan indicated that much of the President's speech was "written on the fly". The mistake was not noticed until Air Force One landed in Latvia.

At one point, press aboard the flight, just before the landing, heard the President asking various staff why he didn't see the Eiffel Tower as they entered into Paris. It was at that point, with the jet on the ground, rolling to a stop, did the White Office staff realize the mistake.

When apprised of Bush's comments about not seeing the Eiffel Tower, Chirac responded briskly, and in English;

"Perhaps President Bush was too busy eating some Freedom Fries to notice he was in the wrong country".

Merck Defends Vioxx Tactics

Says "haven't done anything different that what baseball did"

Merck & Co, stung last week with allegations, some released from congressional hearings, that they trained employees to avoid discussing negative studies about Vioxx, shot back at its critics, defending its practices, saying that "… we haven't done anything different that what baseball did …"

'The information on the card was accurate and that detailers were not obligated to discuss details not listed on the drug's label", offered a testy Dennis Erb, Merck vice president of global strategic regulatory development.

Since Sept. 30, the Senate has held numerous hearings on Vioxx and drug safety. Studies have come out with negative information about Vioxx and links to the arthritis painkiller causing heart attacks and strokes.

Reportedly, Merck representatives known as ''detailers" were trained by superiors to "sidestep questions about heart risks" in their interactions with doctors. Merck's Marketing Department prepared a special booklet that stated "Vioxx was eight times safer for hearts than similar painkillers".

The goal of Merck, and their representatives, was to increase the amount of prescriptions for Vioxx

Erb, in defending Merck at a recent press conference, brought up Major League Baseball's recent congressional testimony before Congress.

"Baseball has had a blind eye to steroids, despite known health risks", according to Erb. "He (Commissioner Bud Selig) wasn't handing out pamphlets with that information …"

The booklet that Merck's representatives were instructed to use did not include details from the Merck study, showing a fivefold increase in heart attack and stroke risk with the use of Vioxx, compared with naproxen or another painkillers.

When asked if Merck representatives specifically used baseball tickets as an incentive for doctors, Erb stated that Merck does have a number of 'corporate suites' at various baseball stadiums, as well as season tickets and does "entertain clients" from time-to-time, with these tickets.

One unconfirmed charge the Senate is investigating is the Merck representatives offered doctors prime baseball tickets, in exchange for the doctors writing more Vioxx orders. Adding to that, one doctor reportedly gave testimony that the doctor could "bring to the game, any heart attack patients as a result of using Vioxx" and that they would get "choice seating".

Another baseball-related charge came from doctor, at an earlier Senate hearing, that Merck offered to "send the doctor to Fantasy Baseball Camp".

The Senate is already investigating reports that Merck focused on details of its representatives and their meetings with doctors, such as how long they shook hands, if they maintained eye contact and, based on the age and physical fitness of the doctors, asking if they played baseball.

"They avoid talking about the risk and steered the conversation and meetings to baseball" offered one Senate insider.

Reportedly, Merck tracked the prescription orders much like a baseball box score, listing its' "heavy hitters", keeping averages and attaching bonuses for the best average and "homeruns". The representatives were heavily pressured and very competitive.

"It was kind of a Glengarry, Glenross thing" said another Senate staffer close to the investigation, referring to the David Mamet play on real estate salesman. "First prize was the baseball tickets, second prize was that they were fired"

With the results of the negative Merck study on Vioxx published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Rep. Thomas Davis (R-VA), said that a "''wide-awake physician" would have known about Vioxx's heart risks".

Erb responded to the Davis comment by saying;

"If doctors are having a hard time staying awake, we have a drug for that too".

Top Ten Cloves: Things Karl Rove Did To Help Get Tony Blair Elected Again

10. Got the Swift Boat Veterans to smear Blair's Liberal Democratic opposition

9. Had American Idol Corey Clark record some really bad reggae tunes and distribute in Jamaican districts

8. Placed Ralph Nadar on the ballot to drain votes

7. Circulated Press Releases giving Blair credit for finding Saddam Hussein, with picture of Blair in a flight suit

6. Used same tactic as in Cleveland to create long lines to suppress voting

5. Had the Wendy's woman claim to find finger in fish-and-chips to divert media away from campaign

4. Got Jeff Gannon a job with the BBC so he can ask Blair softball questions

3. Spread the rumor that if Blair not elected, Charles and Camilla would take over the government

2. To promote Family Values of Blair, got Margaret Thatcher to endorse him by announcing she's a Born-Again Virgin

1. Secretly took Laura Bush to London pubs to tell dirty jokes