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FIGHTING avian flu: In what some are calling a bit of an overreach, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced a controversial plan to deal with pandemic influenza. The ambitious program calls on Americans to destroy every bird or feathered mammal, especially those that might fly. ``The president feels that if we eliminate the carrier, we eliminate the disease the carrier is carrying,'' said Dr. Daniel Demise. ``This will include chickens, parakeets, bald and toupeed eagles, as well a ban on the watching of Hitchcock's 'The Birds,' on tape or DVD.''

For the time being, the new animation feature ``Chicken Little'' will be spared, said Demise. ``The president simply feels the little guy is just so darn cute.''

There are some who feel that focusing on feathered creatures is tantamount to racial profiling, but those in charge disagree. ``To call this profiling is just ignoring the realities,'' said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. ``It's not like olive-skinned, Middle Eastern men are carrying the avian flu. It's the birds. Even Michael Brown knows that.''

Zine's ``nonworking'' remarks draw ire of city politicos: During a debate over camera vendor selection, City Councilman Dennis Zine, after disclosing that the city's red-light cameras haven't worked since June, got everyone's attention by revealing that while most City Council members are elected and take their seats, none of them actually work, either.

Turning proposition lemons into lemonade: In a last-minute maneuver that has thrown his foes into turmoil, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has shot new commercials to trumpet his opposition to every proposition he had originally endorsed. ``This is an absolutely brilliant tactic,'' said political scientist Sean Penn. ``With the governor's ever-flagging popularity dragging down every proposition he has supported, he felt that his only chance to win was to use his ever-flagging popularity to drag down the opposition.''

Teachers unions are more than upset. ``It's plain and simple the improper usage of a double negative in a yes-or-no process already beset with far too much yes-or-no misconception,'' said teacher Susan Crabapple. ``I would expect this from one of my students, which wouldn't be as big a deal since no matter what happens in the classroom, I have a job.''

While some believe that the move might force voters into actually reading the initiatives, most political insiders couldn't respond, as they were laughing too hard.

Husbands for Alito?: While in college, Supreme Court nominee Judge Sam Alito declared on behalf of his group of fellow Princeton University students that ``no private sexual act between consenting adults should be forbidden.'' While this has given pause to many conservatives, avid Alito supporter former President Bill Clinton has asked the nominee to speak to Hillary.

Partial grand jury transcripts released: Fitzgerald: You say here that you forgot that you were supposed to tell the truth when you're under oath.

Libby: No, I said that I didn't remember if I already knew that I was supposed to tell the truth or that it was reporters who told me I had to.

F: So did you tell the truth when you said you were telling the truth or were you lying when you said you were telling the truth?

L: (Pause) Can I call a reporter? How about three of them?

Television politics: ``Commander in Chief'' star Geena Davis announced her plans to run against ``The West Wing'' president Martin Sheen in the 2008 election. ``I tower over Sheen,'' said the 6-foot-something Davis. ``No one wants a short president. The last one was William Henry Harrison, and he was lucky to last one month on the job.'' Davis seems earnest about her possibilities in '08, pledging to ``bring the entire cast with me to Washington,'' though she seems set to drop Donald Sutherland. ``I don't need anyone else who wants my job,'' said the Oscar winner. ``I'll have my hands full with Hillary.''

Sheen shrugged the challenge off as a publicity stunt. ``We're not real presidents. We're actors,'' said the height-challenged not-president actor. ``Actors can't be president.''

Shhhh.: This week, Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid used a rarely invoked Senate rule to force a secret session, but soon called off the session when someone told.

Late Halloween alert: Gillette has asked all customers who may have purchased new razors this past week to check them thoroughly for the possibility that apples have been inserted into the packaging.

The I-couldn't-make-this-up news: In what many are calling political satire of the highest degree, the White House has demanded that the satirical Web site The Onion cease and desist from using the presidential seal as a pretense for humor on the site. ``When any official sign or seal is being used inappropriately, the party is notified,'' said White House spokesperson Trent Duffy, ``except when the party works in the White House.''

OK, I made up the ``except when the party works in the White House'' part, but still ...
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Title Annotation:Viewpoint
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 6, 2005

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