Lone Wolf Ashcroft Given Rookie Partner

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Vol 40 Issue 18

Willie Nelson Spaces On Holding Farm Aid

SPICEWOOD, TX—Country-music legend Willie Nelson completely spaced on holding a Farm Aid benefit concert this year, the singer admitted Monday. "Man, I've been doing the damn thing for 19 years, but somehow the plight of the American farmer slipped my mind this year," Nelson said. "We'll never get a venue by September now." Nelson added that John Mellencamp or Neil Young could've called to remind him.

Masturbatory Prose Style Fails To Reach Climax

NEW YORK—Writer Terrence Hendrie's debut novel I, Me, Eye, with its lengthy sentences and elaborate footnotes, failed to result in a climax, sources reported Monday. "Hendrie really works himself into a frenzy, massaging his love for obscure vocabulary," bookstore owner Robert Silvers said of the 385-page novel, which opens, "Adam, his serpentine ponytail flapping freely in the wintertide dithers, frostbitten grapewine bouche pursed around a smoldering Camel, hands gripping a Dachshund-eared copy of Hesse's Demian, which he recalled borrowing from his Cambridge roommate Geoffrey—young Geoffrey, how Adam chided him for his nostalgie de la boue." "Then, after 385 pages, the wanking-off ends abruptly, leaving the reader unsatisfied." Silvers added that the book's attempts at humor were too dry.

Herpetologist Names Son After Famous Herpetologist

CORAL GABLES, FL—Herpetologist Linus R. Bolton and his wife Kareena announced Monday that they are the proud parents of eight-pound, five-ounce Archie Carr Bolton, named after famous Florida herpetologist and biologist Archie Carr. "It was Dr. Carr's work on the life cycle of the sea turtle that inspired me to pursue the study of reptiles and amphibians," Bolton said. "This is my way of honoring him." Bolton and Kareena, a Chinese chef, have two other children: Ginger, 4, and General Tso, 2.

Mass Grave Blasted For Lack Of Diversity

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA—Members of the International Coalition for Equality criticized a newly unearthed mass grave Monday, saying it lacked religious and racial diversity. "The funereal pit is brimming with Croats, nearly 300 of them, without a single representative Serb," ICE spokesman Jacques Marchand said. "Exclusionary burial practices like this send a negative message to the world. Corpses of all races and creeds should be tossed together to decay in harmony." Marchand acknowledged that the grave did, at least, have a sprinkling of women and children.

Vladimir Putin Begins Second Term As Whatever He Is

MOSCOW—After winning a landslide re-election in March, this week Russian leader of some sort Vladimir Putin begins his second term as whatever he was during his first term, U.S. sources reported Tuesday. "We would all like to wish Putin continued luck as the Russian premier or prime minister or czar or... you know," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "Well, I'm pretty sure it's not 'president.' Does 'President Putin' sound right?" McClellan added that he wishes Mr. Putin, or Herr Putin, or Comrade Putin, or The Monsieur, the best.

The Social Security Time Bomb

Experts continue to urge Congress to cut the growth of Social Security, warning that the nation faces unsustainable deficits if action isn't taken. What do you think?
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Lone Wolf Ashcroft Given Rookie Partner

WASHINGTON, DC—John Ashcroft, the tough, no-nonsense U.S. attorney general famous for his refusal to take orders, was assigned a rookie trainee Tuesday.

Ashcroft hits the streets with his inexperienced new partner, Burnhard.

"John's taking it well," President Bush said, introducing Ashcroft's new partner, Deputy Attorney General Nate N. Burnhard, to the press. "He threw a couple chairs around the office, and he broke the two-way mirror in the Department of Justice squad room, but I'm sure it won't be long before he comes around to the idea of showing Burnhard here the ropes. It's about time John came in from the cold and started playing along with the team."

According to Bush, the 28-year-old Burnhard shows "real promise," having arrived at the department with a law degree from Yale and two years of exemplary service in the Orange County, CA district. Ashcroft, however, called his new partner a "spoiled, wet-behind-the-ears, candy-assed, beach-bum brat who'll need years of babysitting before he'll be good for anything but getting in my goddamn way."

"I got drugs to fight, I got terror to fight, and I got all kinds of crime to fight," Ashcroft said, pounding a battered steel desk piled high with cluttered stacks of papers and file folders. "I got nothing but a few snitches, some overworked uniformed DOJ agents, and 11 years of inefficient intelligence to do it with. Now they want me to hand-hold some damn surfer-boy fresh outta law school? Who the fuck do they think they're dealing with?"

Continued Ashcroft: "How do I know he's not some kind of freakin' communist? Because the suits in personnel say so? Ha. Nice try. Listen, I'd sooner shoot myself in the guts than give Romeo over there [former Deputy Attorney General] Jim [Comey]'s old office. He doesn't set foot in there until I know he's no flake."

In the preliminary days of working with Burnhard, Ashcroft has largely ignored his rookie partner, sending him on coffee runs and wild-goose chases in the stacks of the CIA library while Ashcroft followed up on leads, shook down street-level terrorist informants, and addressed a congressional panel on the importance of Patriot Act II.

"I'm the chief law officer of this country," Ashcroft said. "I don't have time to explain every move I make. I'm not a friggin' kindergarten teacher."

Burnhard said he has attempted to win Ashcroft's respect by working quietly and diligently in his tiny office, never complaining that his desk was installed in a broom closet in a blatant attempt to haze him out.

"It can't be easy accepting someone new after working with Comey for so many years," Burnhard said, poring over a stack of paperwork under the light of his office's single, swinging bare bulb. "I realize there's going to be a breaking-in period for me, but it's worth it, just to work with a legend like Ashcroft. He's earned his attitude. Do you realize he has to legally represent the U.S. before the Supreme Court? A job like that's gotta be hell on a guy."

Burnhard said that, for now, he's more than happy to type Ashcroft's reports, wait in the car for hours on end, and listen to crime-fighting stories.

"Last night, we pulled a late one staking out an Internet piracy network," Burnhard said. "After a few hours sitting there in the car together, he finally started to open up. I don't necessarily agree with his theories about widening subpoena powers or expanding the federal death-penalty statute, but I have to admit that he gets the job done. He's loyal to himself, this country, and the department—in that order."

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said she has worked closely—or as closely as anyone dares—with Ashcroft for years, and has a guess as to why he's reluctant to take a partner.

"John hasn't been the same since what happened to Comey," Rice said. "Everyone close to him knows he doesn't want the responsibility of losing another partner. When Jim was shot chasing a suspected Taliban operative down that Georgetown alley, John blamed himself. But John has to realize that this partnership could help him just as much as it'll help Burnhard and the United States of America."

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