March 31, 2005
good work if you can get it
In addition to engineering a $57-billion buyout of his company, Gillette CEO James M. Kilts also engineered a $29 million pay package for himself last year. How much money is that? It’s enough to:
- Settle one-and-half Michael Jackson child molestation cases.
- Purchase every man woman and child in Buffalo New York a Burger King Enormous Omelet Sandwich with change left over for Lipitor prescriptions.
- Keep Harvard students in Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs until the future dedication of the “Larry Summers Women’s Studies Center.”
- Purchase the Tom DeLay Influence Peddling Val-U-Pak: Three votes, five arm twists, two power lunches and a commemorative pin.
- Keep the Kennedy family in gin and memoirs through the end of next year.
- Pay for thirty-three-and-a-half seconds of General Motor’s retiree health benefit obligations.
- Fund a pre-emptive strike against Lichtenstein (but not the Ledenhosen insurgency that would follow).
- Pay Howard Stern’s FCC fines for a year.
- Purchase five dozen Humvees (not including DVD player or parking assist).
- Keep Planet Moron running for 347 years. (348 if you include advertising revenue.)
March 30, 2005
a rose by any other name would cost much more
The District of Columbia is seeking to sell the naming rights to Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. Observant readers will note that Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium already has a name: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. Of course this was back in the day when naming great public structures after important figures was an honor and served as a reminder for generations to come of their contributions to local or national history. Sure, that’s one way to go. Or you can just raise some quick cash by auctioning the honor off to the highest bidder.
District officials are careful to note that of course they aren’t going to change the name, just append it so that it will read something like, “Corporate Sponsor Representing the Antithesis of All He Stood for Field at RFK Memorial Stadium.” Now that’s catchy.
The District points out that the money raised by selling off the naming rights will be dedicated to youth programs and recreation centers. We won’t point out that this will allow the diversion of funds that might have gone to such programs anyway thereby funding such things as mayoral junkets to the Bahamas in pursuit of important cross-cultural exchanges involving Pina Coladas and limbo dances because that would make us appear cynical.
Once one dispenses with things like dignity, all kinds of profitable opportunities open up. The Cialis Obelisk at Washington Memorial? The Exxon Mobil Proxy Vote at Tom DeLay Senate Seat? The possibilities are endless.
March 29, 2005
can i have fries with that?
In fast food’s latest version of "pimp my breakfast” Burger King has introduced its “Enormous Omelet Sandwich.” At 730 calories it’s enough to feed an Olson twin for a year.
Nutritionists are fearful that Americans may not realize just how big the sandwich is, perhaps thinking that we’ll mistakenly believe the “Enormous” moniker to be merely ironic. There are also objections that the sandwich lacks fruit and fiber. This should not be surprising as earlier attempts at making an “Enormous Apple and Oats Sandwich” were not exactly successful.
Penny Kris-Etherton, a nutrition professor at Penn State University pointed out that the sandwich has "too many calories." This is clear. The average American needs to consume around 2200 calories a day and since breakfast is typically one of three meals eaten and the sandwich is 730 calories… well, um, dammit we should all be eating fruit and fiber!
March 28, 2005
Today marks the official implementation of a law requiring that all seafood sold in the U.S. be labeled with its country of origin. This doesn’t sound like much of a burden. Just attach tags that say: “The Sea.”
Okay, so we misunderstood.
Apparently there was a great demand among the American public (and by “American public” we mean “Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska”) for labels that would disclose such information. With chants of “No country-of-origin labels, no peace” still ringing in lawmaker’s ears a bill was swiftly passed to quell the growing unrest. Regulators then slightly less swiftly spent the following three years putting it into effect.
Many fishermen believe that the labeling will appeal to consumers to “buy American” perhaps in an effort to replicate the success enjoyed by the automobile industry where stickers requiring the domestic content of vehicles be identified has resulted in General Motors gaining valuable market share in law firms that specialize in bankruptcy filings.
There are practical issues surrounding implementing the law as fish are not widely known to carry ID. And under the rules seafood does not necessarily have to be caught in U.S. waters, but merely caught by a U.S.-flagged vessel. (Frankly this makes us feel a whole lot better about purchasing Chinese-prisoner-made khakis since they are dropped off in a Wal-Mart-flagged truck and suggests that Mexicans snuck across the border in a Chevy are indeed U.S. citizens.) When processing results in mixing up the fish, labels must include the various countries of origin listed in alphabetical order. (Fish sticks are not affected as they technically fall into the “bread” family.)
The labels will also be required to identify whether the seafood in question has been caught in the wild or farm raised as environmentalists believe consumers might want to avoid the latter due to the ecological hazards they believe the method involves. This is an attack on the American family aqua farmer of Willie Nelson proportions. It is a shame we show so little reverence and respect for American traditions that stretch back literally months, with aqua farms being passed down from father to… someone else’s father.
For those of you who want to “read American” rest assured that Planet Moron is 100% U.S. and will never stoop to outsourcing.
We are thanking you very much for your reading and hope you go laugh laugh, yes?
March 26, 2005
weekend arts and leisure 3.26.05
Dinner: It’s 10:00 PM or so and you’re wandering about mid-town Manhattan. It’s been hours since you were last robbed (not counting what they charged you to park) so you decide to grab a slice at one of New York’s many pizza places not yet closed down by the health department. A guy behind the counter who looks like he hasn’t checked in with his parole officer in a few too many weeks grabs a slice of plain cheese that you first thought was a prop like you see at sushi places and in fact had been looking for the placard describing the etymological origins of the word “crust” and he tosses it in the oven for five minutes. This is exactly what Eddie’s New York City Gourmet Pizza will remind you of. A true “Big Apple” experience right in your own kitchen (save for the ever-present smell of urine). This is a staple in the Planet Moron household. (The pizza, not the urine.) (Okay, the urine too.)
DVD: The first two-and-a-half hours of The
Incredibles is a bit slow. This is
troubling as the movie is only 115 minutes long. However it picks up in the last half to the
point that you’ll forget all about the fact that you're missing the rebroadcast of the Senate subcommittee on international trade's hearings on Chinese spatula tariffs on C-SPAN 2
Holiday: Easter isn’t just about colored eggs and chocolate bunnies. It’s about the resurrection of spring apparel sales! Sadly, with the holiday falling in late March this year retail sales are expected to be down nearly one billion dollars. WWJD? He’d be sure to hit Old Navy for the latest tees and accessories!
March 25, 2005
boldly crashing where no one has crashed before
In a move sure to inspire confidence in the nation’s space program, NASA has announced that due to safety concerns, they will require new crowd control policies to be implemented at space shuttle launches. Just ask any shuttle astronaut and they’ll tell you that there is nothing quite like the starry-eyed look of a young child at launch as he’s hurriedly tossed behind a reinforced concrete barrier.
In addition to crowd control NASA will also be making use of landing areas that are considered more sparsely populated such as New Mexico and Detroit's downtown business district.
NASA is putting the policy in place purely as a cautionary measure based on, well let’s just call them “Unscheduled In-Flight Disassembly Incidents.” These incidents are inherently dangerous to spectators given the abrupt and random landing protocols observed by inanimate chunks of space debris.
The Space Shuttle never did live up to its early expectations one of which was to not blow up killing everyone aboard. Regardless, it is a lynchpin in servicing the orbiting International Space Station which is widely acclaimed not only for its internationalness, but for its orbital abilities as well, being as it is, out in space. As a station.
There are also attempts being made to use the shuttle to repair the aging Hubble Space Telescope but NASA investigators have uncovered evidence suggesting that the shuttle was originally designed precisely for that kind of mission which raised numerous red flags.
No matter, these are the waning days of the shuttle program as NASA shifts its focus to President Bush’s vision of one day landing a man on Mars. And frankly, the space shuttle was never designed to accommodate the demands of transporting an oil derrick that distance.
March 24, 2005
maybe we'll all die of obesity first
A report out yesterday indicated that the Social Security System will become insolvent by 2041, a year earlier than originally estimated. (It is believed a clerical error made in the assumed inflation rate of lemon drops and hip screws was the principal cause.)
Democrats have responded by calling for a renewed lack of urgency noting that the longer we wait to not act, the harder it will be to do nothing later.
Meanwhile, Republicans continued to offer solutions that address issues that aren’t the problem.
A compromise is expected to be reached in which nothing will be done about problems that don’t exist.
Also, we’ll get school prayer.
March 23, 2005
she fell into the gap
The Gap announced this week that 77-year-old Sex in the City star Sarah Jessica Parker is being replaced as the retailer's featured spokesperson. While Parker had been successful representing the Gap's stylish selection of brightly colored girdles and support hose, the retailer decided a younger face was needed. She will be replaced by 17-year-old soul singer Joss Stone, best known for not being Norah Jones.
Congress is expected to call for a federal review of the matter noting that it has been nearly eight hours since Bill Frist last appeared on Television.
March 22, 2005
united america of america
Washington lawmakers have for too long ignored many important issues shackled as they were by the sentimental notion that there is a distinction between federal and local jurisdictions. But with congressional involvement in such affairs as the Schiavo case many of these problems can finally be addressed at the national level where they belong.
For example there are serious due process and equal protection questions surrounding parking meter rates. Years of local mismanagement have resulted in the outrageous situation in which some jurisdictions require a quarter to park while elsewhere in the country a nickel gets residents the very same thing. This can’t possibly be what George Washington had in mind when he wrote the words that stirred a nation, “Four score and seven years ago…”
There are literally thousands of similar issues in dire need of congressional attention, zoning rules, recreation center operating hours, leash laws, decisions that affect us all being made by local citizens many of whom are not U.S. Senators.
Thankfully this state of affairs is coming to an end and we can all look forward to Washington efficiency being more directly applied to our daily lives.
Of course, this may mean you’ll need a Krugerrand to park.
March 21, 2005
if they're undocumented, how do they know?...
According to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center, the population of undocumented aliens residing in the United States increased by 23% or nearly 2 million people in the past four years. California currently accounts for nearly 25% of the total, Texas has 14% and Florida 9%. The remainder work at Wal-Mart.