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Hail Dick 

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“Our long national nightmare is over. Indecision 2000 is behind us, and we finally appear to have a new president-elect: Dick Cheney!”

That’s the word from Salon.com columnist Joan Walsh. She notes that Cheney has been the one bounding around with vigor, even though he just had a heart attack. It’s Cheney who announced appointments to the next Republican administration, and it’s Cheney who is getting national security briefings from the Clinton White House.

So, where’s W.? He’s out at the ranch reflecting or whatever.

All hail Dick Cheney,” Walsh writes, “who’s stepped into the breach as acting president-elect. We didn’t elect him, but then we probably didn’t elect Bush either, and we might as well have someone at the helm who wants the job.”

Closer to home, Gov. Mike Leavitt is streamlining his cabinet for his third term in office. Mike wants to hire a cabinet that won’t make too many decisions, and therefore won’t make much news, and therefore won’t make anybody mad, and therefore will keep him up in the popularity polls. The Guv won’t rule out a run for a fourth term, meaning he’s going to have to keep a very low profile for the next four years.

The biggest challenge facing Gov. Mikey right now is what prop to use at his State of the State address coming up in January. Our sources say the Guv’s spinmeisters are leaning away from using a baby again this year. During past years, Mike has held up a toddler or introduced a small child during his address to the Utah Legislature, and it never fails to bring wild applause.

But close advisors believe that even the bright bulbs in the Legislature have finally caught on to the ploy. For this year’s prop, they’re debating whether to use a golden retriever puppy, a cute tabby kitten, or one of the trout with whirling disease from the Leavitt Family Fish Farm. The governor will continue his theme from the campaign: leaving things better than how you found them.

Our feisty mayor is back in the news. Rocky Anderson was recently cited for speeding up 400 South near 600 East in his gas-guzzling Chevy Suburban. When the officer realized who he’d stopped, he pretended not to know it was the mayor. And unlike his chief of staff who was recently busted for jaywalking, Rocky didn’t remind him. Two points for the mayor.

Finally, this: The man for whom Chuck Berry wrote the song “Johnnie B. Goode” is suing the aging rocker for not giving him credit or royalties for songs Johnnie Johnson says they wrote together. Among the classics Johnson says he helped write are: “Roll Over Beethoven,” “No Particular Place To Go,” “Rock & Roll Music,” and “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

Kinda makes you wonder why he waited so long to sue. Maybe he figured that if George W. Bush could be elected president, anything is possible.

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