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Thanks Dubya, now get out 

It's been almost a decade since Slug first contributed to the gene pool, and nearly half as long since the second contribution. Something in the water, something in the air, something in the wine, who knows. What is known is that Slug replicated, twice. Since there is a standing rule in this paper regarding not boring readers with heartwarming stories about offspring (and really, is there any other kind?), I will heretofore refer to the saplings as Thing One and Thing Two.

A few days ago, President George W. Bush finally recognized my noble contribution to humanity and sent me $800. I don't know what took him so long, as Thing One and Thing Two are really cute, though they fight a lot. Bush sent me the money as part of Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, which is really just a tax cut for the rich that includes hush money for parents.

Bush's tax cuts, combined with an out-of-control military budget and a weak economy, will eventually bring this country to the edge of ruin. Thomas Frank put it best in his June Harper's essay, in which he called Bush's budget, "a blueprint for sabotage. It is an instruction manual for how to power up a complicated machine and dash it headlong into a stone wall. After which the president will turn to us and say, 'See? I told you big government doesn't work.'"

And then, according to Frank, Bush will offer the solution: Gut Medicare and privatize Social Security. That's been the priority all along, but it's just too politically unpopular to say so.

Now, Slug is of the opinion that Bush is arguably the worst president in U.S. history and has done nothing anyone emitting brain waves could conceivably consider good for the country since not being elected in 2000. He's botched the war on terror (without the Pakistani police we'd have little to show for our multibillion dollar investment), he's invaded and destabilized two sovereign nations that will now suck endlessly on the teat of the American taxpayer for no discernible payoff, he's sent American soldiers to fight and die based on lies, he's stripped away civil liberties then had the gall to tell us it's for our own good ... all right, got to settle down. Blood pressure getting high. Take a deep breath. Think about birds. There, that's better. That Bush must go is axiomatic. It's him or us.

Happily, the Stooge-in-Chief has given us the means for his ouster. The political machine runs on cash, which he has thoughtfully supplied to each and every one of us with ankle biters born after 1986 at the rate of $400 per unit. That's money Bush believes will jump-start the economy and buy him votes. I propose we put it to a different purpose.

If everyone who gets a check dedicates a portion of it to working against Bush's re-election, we can do this thing. Give what you can afford -- 10 percent, 20 percent, all of it if you still have a job. It's a windfall, after all. You weren't really expecting it, were you?

I'll be the first in line. I, Slug, vow to donate 50 percent of my child-tax credit rebate toward the patriotic goal of kicking George W. Bush's lying ass out of the White House. That's $400.

How best to apply the dough is a good question, and one I leave to you, the readers. Should I give it to a Democrat? Should I give it to one of the many groups working to impeach Bush? Should I give it to an independent media organization striving to publicize what the mainstream news won't, like You tell me. I'll take the best suggestion and follow it. (I've earmarked the other $400 for a trip to Canada, where I plan to turn gay and get married just to piss off conservatives. Maybe I'll even smoke up some marijuana while I'm there.)

Everyone who received Bush's dirty money, and realizes it comes at the expense of our future, should give until it hurts a little so that it won't hurt so bad for your own offspring. Someday, Thing One and Thing Two will thank me.

Picking on Pearlman, part XVII

From Slug's corps of embedded, trench-coated informants comes word that the Attorney General's ongoing investigation of Lou Pearlman's nefarious Internet modeling agency, Wilhelmina Scouting Network, is about to come to a head.

Can't say who provided the tip, but Slug immediately got on the blower with Jackie Dowd, an assistant attorney general in Charlie Crist's Orlando office, who confirmed that, indeed, action is imminent. "I do think something is going to give soon, soon meaning a matter of days rather than a matter of weeks," says Dowd.

What is that something? Could be charges, could be a settlement, could be (in a parallel universe maybe) an announcement that Pearlman's company has been found to be as pure as driven snow; though after a year-long investigation and more than 1,000 complaints nationwide, the odds of the latter are none to none.

Dowd says her office is big on consumer restitution. So if you are one of the many model wannabees scammed by Wilhelmina, you too might be getting a check in the mail soon. See the item above for spending suggestions.

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