New Puppy Teaches Congress Important Lesson About Responsibility

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Vol 41 Issue 29

Space Shuttle Delay

Last week, the scheduled launch of the space shuttle Discovery was aborted two hours before liftoff. What caused the delay?

Anonymous Source: 'I'm A Cowardly Snitch'

NEW YORK—An unidentified lawyer and lobbyist revealed Monday that a "sniveling yellow streak" led him to anonymously divulge U.S. State Department misconduct. "I am a blubbering cream puff with no guts whatsoever," said the source, 44, who wished to remain anonymous. "People should know what officials are doing, but I'm a big baby, and I can't risk my job or reputation by revealing my identity." The source spoke to reporters in a dark parking garage, then disappeared into the blackness.

Parasites Just Getting The Hang Of How Host Does Things

MACON, GA—Tapeworms recently introduced into Susan Rabidovitch's digestive tract will need time to get acclimated to their new environment, insiders reported Monday. "They just got set up with Susan, so now they're hanging out, getting a feel for what she likes to eat and when," Dr. Matthew Hyam said. "Soon, they'll jibe with Susan's taste for Indian food and come to expect her late-night Chunky Monkey binges, but for now, they're just gorging themselves while they learn what makes their new host tick." Hyam explained that the parasites may need a 10-week "getting to know Susan" period before beginning to release their full capacity of 50,000 eggs per day into her small intestine.

Man Who Lost Leg To Whale Decides To Let It Go

NEW BEDFORD, MA—Sources close to 58-year-old Samuel Rahal, a commercial fishing-boat captain who lost his right leg in a great-white-whale attack last March, announced Monday that he has put the incident behind him and is getting on with his life. "The first to guess the score of next Tuesday's Red Sox game gets this golden coin!" Rahal told his crew as he nailed a Sacagawea dollar to the cabin of his trawler. "Now, let's get this boat full of haddock so we can call it an early day." Rahal said he plans to replace his custom-made whalebone prosthesis with an OrthoPro with flex-foot and hydraulic knee.

Marine Corps Shortens Slogan To 'The Few'

WASHINGTON, DC—In light of recruiting shortfalls, a near standstill in re-enlistment, and rock-bottom troop morale, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee announced Monday that the Marines will alter their unofficial slogan, abbreviating it to the more accurate "The Few." Hagee said, "We are still the Marines, the premier combat arm of the U.S. military." The Marines will also change their motto to Semper Fidelis, Sic Non Sapienti, or "Always Faithful, But This Is Just Ridiculous."

Stay Of Execution Squandered Again

FLORENCE, AZ—James "Jimbo" Creasey, 38, a death-row inmate at Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence, said Monday that he "feels pretty lousy" about wasting his most recent stay of execution, granted April 12.

Hospital Infections

According to a Pennsylvania study released last week, nearly 12,000 people contracted infections during hospital stays last year. What do you think?

Local Company Moves Production Underseas

NEWARK, NJ—In an effort to revitalize the company after years of stagnant profits, BakeCo Inc., makers of Good Twist Pretzels and Fluffy Brand Cream Cakes, announced plans Monday to move their Newark-based production facility underseas.
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New Puppy Teaches Congress Important Lesson About Responsibility

WASHINGTON, DC—Beltway insiders report that Buster, the 7-month-old yellow Labrador Congress was allowed to keep amid much controversy last spring, has taught the nation's legislators some valuable lessons about responsibility.

A bipartisan commission of legislators holds Buster on the Senate floor.

"The skeptics believed that the House and Senate weren't ready for a puppy," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) said. "They believed we wouldn't be able to maintain America's defenses, regulate commerce, and pass laws while raising Buster. But we have proven them wrong. We feed him and walk him every day."

Frist referred to a bicameral duty roster ratified Jan. 31.

"Congress knows who's supposed to take Buster when," Frist said. "If it's your turn to walk him and he's found tied to a handrail outside the U.S. Capitol, you're in serious trouble."

U.S. citizens initially questioned Congress' ability to care for a pet.

"It's a serious responsibility to have someone depending on you," Seattle voter Elaine Schermer said. "Given the two parties' fractious relationship and constant bickering, I didn't think they were ready."

Although a Gallup poll showed that 63 percent of American voters were "unsure" Congress was ready for a puppy, Vice President Dick Cheney allowed the legislators to keep the dog after weeks of Congress' pleading. He stressed, however, that if Congress didn't keep its promises, the dog would be taken away.

"Don't expect me to take care of that puppy for you if you lose interest in him," Cheney said. "I won't do it!"

According to sources on Capitol Hill, the "first 100 days" of housebreaking were rocky, and a minor scandal occurred March 2, when an unsupervised Buster shredded an entire file of records pertaining to the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement.

Above: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) cleans the Capitol steps up after Buster.

Invoking his authority as Senate president, Cheney issued an ultimatum: "You work together to discipline Buster, or he will be taken away and given to the Department of Agriculture."

According to Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Cheney's words sparked immediate action.

"We learned you can't just play with Buster all the time," Russ Feingold (D-WI) said. "It is an important job to take care of a dog, one that we must take seriously."

In raising Buster, Congress has also learned lessons about compromise. Tempers flared in June, when Chief Deputy Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) suggested buying Buster a squeak toy with a bell and Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) argued that Buster would prefer a rubber bone. The conflict was resolved only when representatives agreed to put bipartisan bickering aside and give Buster an old piece of rope they found.

Congress learned a lesson in financial responsibility when it received an invoice from Petco in March.

"This august body has limited resources, and tough choices had to be made," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-NH) said. "After much deliberation, it was determined we would get Buster dry food instead of soft."

The move will save taxpayers $14 a month.

Some lawmakers have attempted to use Buster for their own political gain. On July 13, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) brought Buster onto the floor while arguing for a Senate amendment to H.R. 256, in the hopes that Buster's big, brown eyes would lead Senate members to vote with him.

Reflecting on the incident, Harkin said, "I realized at that moment that I was using the dog to forward my personal career. When I looked down into his big eyes, I thought, 'He deserves better from me.'"

Lessons aside, Congress said it is "elated" to have a dog.

"We love Buster," Frist said. "I believe I speak for this entire legislative body when I say he will be our very best friend forever and ever."

Citizens coast-to-coast have noticed Congress' growth in recent months.

"I think the dog has been good for the legislative branch," said Adrienne Jasper-Smith of Boulder, CO. "They're 216 years old now. It's high time they learned some responsibility."

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