Plagiarized for your Protection

It's always tough to get Clockwork's mojo working after a vacation. But we've discovered that by holding our poison pen upside-down, shaking it like a colicky newborn and then repeatedly ramming it into the vicinity of our right earlobe like this-YARGGGHH!!! YARGGGHH!!! YARGGGHH!!!-we can easily attain right proper inspiration.

Or we just go back to ripping off shit from last week's dailies.

News item:Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona wants $4.5 million to build a half-mile tunnel linking OC's jail and courthouse.

Reaction:Considering the number of county supervisors who have been charged with corruption over the years, the convictions that came out of the county's infamous bankruptcy, and the current board's intention to use $30 million in tobacco-company settlement funds for bankruptcy reduction rather than health care, perhaps officials should burrow a tunnel to the county Hall of Administration while they're at it.

News item: About 50 teens from Main Place Christian Fellowship vowed to remain virgins until their wedding nights.

Reaction:What the teens didn't mention was that immediately after the so-called "True Love Waits" ceremony, it was off to Arkansas for the "But Not for Long" mass hitchin'.

News item: Governor Gray Davis wants community service required of all students at state colleges and universities.

Reaction:Beer busts, panty raids, toga parties, frat initiations and community service? What's da gov trying to do? Kill the gloriously hedonistic college experience? Didn't he see Animal House? Note to Gray: Dean Wormer-bad; Bluto Blutarsky-good. Anyone else figure Davis was first in line for his virginity pledge?

News item:The first Latino Assembly Republican leader-Rod Pacheco (R-Riverside)-was replaced by OC's own lily-white, religious Right, Pillsbury Doughboy of an assemblyman, Scott "Slime" Baugh (R-Huntington Beach).

Reaction: In honor of Baugh's esteemed new position, Clockwork shall from this day forward refrain from referring to him as "Assemblyman Scott 'Slime' Baugh." He's now "Assembly Minority Leader Scott 'Slime' Baugh."

News item:U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service special agents have reported widespread obstruction of criminal investigations by agency managers. More than one-half of the agents responding to a national survey told of first-hand experiences of managers interfering "with an investigation in order to protect a prominent individual or powerful group." One-third reported managers had "compromised ongoing investigations by contacting the target" to cut a deal limiting or excusing liability.

Reaction:Who knew that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was a breeding ground for future congressmen?

News item: The nonpartisan state auditor reported that former Governor Pete Wilson's administration did far less than what was legally required to police the managed-health-care industry.

Reaction:This should only be a surprise to anyone who didn't notice the insurance industry was Wilson's top donor in his '94 campaign for governor.

News item: Orange County's first health-needs assessment in nearly 20 years found that nearly 425,000 adults and children have no health coverage, Latinos and Vietnamese make up half of those without health insurance, and most minorities and low-income folks face significant barriers to getting coverage.

Reaction: Jeez, and Clockwork whined about getting home from vacation to find our HMO is stiffing us on $200 for routine office-visit charges. And why the hell is there a 20-year gap in OC's health-needs assessments?

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