Lieberman Pledges To Gloss Over The Boring Issues

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Vol 39 Issue 40

Deep Down, Woman Knows She's Watching Entire Trading Spaces Marathon

WINNSBORO, LA—On some level, college professor Lynnda Dale, 48, knows she'll watch this Saturday's entire 12-episode Trading Spaces marathon, Dale almost acknowledged Monday. "Hey, I sorta like that stupid show," said Dale, when she spotted the row of listings for the TLC home-makeover series. "I've got a lot to do, so I'll just watch one episode. But on the off chance that I get sucked in, I can do those lesson plans the next day." Dale said that if she does tune in to the marathon, she won't pay close attention to the show, but will only keep it on for background noise as she does housework.

God's Gift To Women Returned

TUCSON, AZ—Moments after unsuccessfully propositioning all of the female patrons at the Kon Tiki Lounge, God's gift to women, 31-year-old Patrick Roland, was returned to his maker Monday night. "That Pat guy was cute, but he sure was pushy," said Debbie Werner, a fellow Lounge patron. "He kept trying to buy me Cosmos, but I told him to buzz off. A few minutes later, he stumbled out the door and got run over by a bus." Werner said she hopes that next time God's feeling generous, He gives women something more useful, like money.

79-Year-Old Still Saving For Future

OLATHE, KS—Frances Buntz, 79, continues to work diligently as a file clerk at Kansas State Insurance and save any extra money she can, Buntz said Monday. "When my husband had a stroke eight years ago, all of our savings went to bills," said Buntz, momentarily resting her weight on her cane. "Since then, I've been trying to build up a little nest egg." Buntz said she hopes to someday invest in a nice little place to settle down, or some medicine.

MacArthur Genius Grant Goes Right Up Recipient's Nose

ALBANY, NY—According to friends, the $500,000, five-year, no-strings-attached MacArthur Fellowship awarded to Jim Yong Kim earlier this month went right up the 43-year-old scientist's nose. "Kim's efforts to eradicate drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis in Russian prisons and Peruvian ghettos amazed everyone—as did his appetite for top-grade cocaine," Marisa Amir said Monday. "As soon as that first check arrived, Kim was on the phone with his dealer, and two hours later, he was in a hot tub full of strippers." His first installment of money gone, the scientist then returned to the task of developing a whole-cell cholera toxin recombinant B subunit vaccine.

Bush Disappointed To Learn Chinese Foreign Minister Doesn't Know Karate

WASHINGTON, DC—While he still plans to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, President Bush was disappointed to learn that the dignitary does not know karate, White House adviser Karl Rove told reporters Tuesday. "I told George that karate is an ancient martial art of Japan, not China," Rove said. "I told him that in China, many practice kung fu—but I recommended that he stick to the more vital issue of relations with Taiwan and North Korea." In spite of Rove's suggestion, Bush plans to ask Zhaoxing to "do some of that Jackie Chan action."

No Prison Can Hold Me, As Long As I Have My Imagination

Why, hello there! Come and have a seat next to me on the sand and gaze out over the ocean at the beautiful sunset. Listen to the caw of the seagulls! Hear the lapping of the waves against the dock! Take your shoes off, if you like. What's that you say? I'm sitting on my bunk at the Pelican Bay Correctional Facility? I'm sorry, but inmate #454336 doesn't care to limit himself to sitting inside these four walls. You see, while I'm doing 60 years to life for stabbing three elderly women to death, I can go anywhere my imagination takes me!
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Lieberman Pledges To Gloss Over The Boring Issues

HARTFORD, CT—Eager to distinguish himself in the nine-member field of Democratic candidates, presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) pledged Monday to "gloss over any and all issues boring to Americans today."

Lieberman tells Hartford voters he'll be brief.

"Are you sick of politics as usual in Washington?" Lieberman said at a campaign fundraiser held at the downtown Hartford Hilton. "Are you sick of politics in general? Well, I can see why. Politics, frankly, is boring. In this campaign, I promise to slide past the tedious issues and get to the point: I want to be your next president! Vote Joe in 2004!"

"Endless details, mathematical proposals, and tax plans," Lieberman continued. "Why should the nation as a whole have to tolerate all that?"

Lieberman, among the most politically moderate of the Democratic hopefuls, first delivered this new stump speech in New York on Oct. 3. On that day, he promised a group of factory workers in Buffalo that all future speeches would focus on his ultimate goals instead of on the intricate workings of his actual proposals.

"Americans are very busy, and I won't bore them with the details of my positions," Lieberman said. "I think George W. Bush is doing a terrible job as America's chief executive, both at home and abroad. I'd do much better. I'd keep America safe. It's all very complicated when you get into it, so I'll spare you the boring legislation-this and appropriations-that. All you need to know is that I'm on it."

To growing applause, Lieberman quickly ran through a list of issues important to voters.

"The economy? I'll make it better," he said. "Reconstruction of Iraq? No problem. International relations? I'll patch those up in my first 100 days. Poverty? I got a plan."

"World trade? Women's rights? Education? Yes, yes, and yes," said Lieberman, who spent the next 45 minutes discussing the Red Sox.

Reached by phone at his office Tuesday, Lieberman re-emphasized his commitment to instituting change, rather than talking about the mechanics of instituting change.

"This great nation needs a leader who's willing to roll up his sleeves," he said. "Exactly what I'm going to do, and how I'm going to do it—ack, forget about it. Unlike some of my opponents, I solemnly pledge not to annoy you with endless status reports in the process."

This new message marks a change for Lieberman, who relied on hard-to-understand, fact-riddled positions during his unsuccessful bid for the vice-presidency in 2000.

"I'm the same Joe Lieberman I've always been, just a little easier to tolerate in long stretches," Lieberman said. "I haven't changed on the issues, though—just look at my voting record. Actually, don't waste your time. Those things are really dense."

When pressed for more information, Lieberman sighed.

"Well, you asked for it," Lieberman said. "I'm pro-business, pro-national-security, and pro-health-care. I'm a bit more conservative than some of the other Democratic candidates in this race. But I'm a lot less boring. That's the last time you'll hear all of that."

A reporter asked Lieberman for his stance on Chinese currency valuation after Monday's speech.

Lieberman shook his head. "Listen, I know that the renminbi has been pegged within a narrow band around 8.3 to the U.S. dollar for nearly a decade, and that China refuses to revalue it despite increasing international pressure," he said. "But everyone else in the country doesn't need to know that. If there's a problem, I'll do everything in my power to fix it. Now, back to the real issue: I can and will skip right past the whoozits and whatsits. Not just during the election, but throughout my entire term as president."

While he acknowledged that some critics see Lieberman's pledge as simplistic, campaign director Craig Smith said it demonstrates the senator's understanding of the average voter.

Lieberman's web site is only one page long. It features a short bullet-point list of his stance on issues—pro-business, pro-national-security, and pro-health-care—and two helpful charts of "Joe's Likes" and "Joe's Dislikes."

Many voters have responded positively to Lieberman's campaign promise.

"I liked his speech. It was nice and short," said Carol Meadows, 45, of Lancaster, PA. "He said he'd fix everything that's wrong, and then the music started playing again."

Some critics have dismissed Lieberman's concise message as a vote-grabbing ploy, launched in response to the record-breaking fundraising of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark. But Lieberman's press secretary, Jano Cabrera, insisted that the senator's campaign strategy was intended to benefit the public, not the campaign.

"Let me ask you this: Would the average American rather read the Financial Times or People?" Cabrera said. "Joe Lieberman is finally giving the people what they want, while other candidates just go on and on and on and on."

"It's like, next campaign stop: Yawnsville," said Cabrera, who then pretended to fall asleep standing up. "Wake me up when Howard Dean's done talking."

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