Martha and “The Girls of Enron” 

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Oooowwweeeeee. Is everybody just really pissed at the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in San Francisco that forcing people (chiefly brainless kids) to recite the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.

President George W. Bush was incredulous. “The Almighty plays a big role in my life,” he said. Florida is proof enough.

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert called for replacing the commie judges and noted that San Francisco is a den of morally challenged left-wingers often seen in mini skirts.

The decision, written by Judge Alfred T. Goodwin, held that the phrase “one nation under God” violated the Constitution’s mandate that church and state be separate. Goodwin was appointed to the bench in 1971 by that infamous liberal Richard M. Nixon.

• The words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance by Congress in 1954 during the Red Scare when Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy and California Rep. “Tricky” Dick Nixon were railing against godless communism. “A profession that we are a nation ‘under God’ is identical … to a profession that we are a nation ‘under Vishnu,’ or a nation ‘under Zeus’ … because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion,” Judge Goodwin wrote. Following the firestorm, the judge stayed the decision, perhaps fearing he’d be lynched by God-fearing American patriots.

Since it’s an election year, watch for politicians to come out in favor of God.

• From our “Let’s Change The Subject”-file: Martha Stewart has been pushed to the back pages by WorldComgate. The reigning Queen of Domesticity, as you know, is the focus of an insider-trading probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But that’s such small pommes frites compared to the missing $4 billion in the WorldCom debacle that it pales like one of Martha’s crêpe paper doilies.

If there is an upside to our greedy corporate culture and these seemingly unending scandals, it is this: Playboy magazine has just come out with its special “Women of Enron” pictorial of babes who got Lay-ed by Kenneth and the boys. So, will we be seeing a future special “Girls of WorldCom” or perhaps even Martha Stewart in the altogether? Martha may nix the suggestion as less than dignified. But as Paula Jones said after contradicting her own assertion that she would never pose for Penthouse, “Well, a girl can change her mind.”

(Anyone offended by what may be misconstrued here as sexism, please send your complaints to Paul Swenson, our sexism editor.)

• And finally from our “No Balls”-file, this gem: A clarification in Denver’s Rocky Mountain News on June 24 was contrite. “The front-page photo of Monday’s print edition left the false impression that it showed something that clearly didn’t belong in a family newspaper, a man’s testicle. The misleading effect was created by a shadow. The portrait of Fred Finlay at his burned home (near Durango, Colo.) did not reveal anything private about Mr. Finlay. The News regrets the impression it left with some readers and any embarrassment it may have caused Mr. Finlay.”

Intrigued, Kathy Lee, a Denver-based Fox TV producer, hunted down Finlay, who confirmed that, indeed, his right testicle was showing in the photo. To demonstrate, he revealed it again from the leg of his shorts. Now that’s hard-hitting investigative reporting.

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