Oct. 1, 2008

HOLLYWOOD–God bless America, and how’s everybody?

• Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was fined $25,000 Sunday for ripping a referee. It’s absolutely against NFL rules to criticize an official. President Bush came downstairs to work Monday wearing a black and white striped shirt.

• Sarah Palin was in New York last week for the U.N. opening. During the governor’s down time she took her family to Central Park Zoo. People were a little offended when they refused to eat inside the cafeteria and insisted on killing their own lunch.

• Somali pirates seized a freighter in the Indian Ocean and demanded a ransom of $20 million. The U.S. Navy has the ship surrounded. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said he will work with Congress to develop a rescue plan for the pirates.

• The New York Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years on Sunday. It went unnoticed. If you’d been told in April that the men in pinstripes would be eliminated by October, you never would’ve thought they meant Lehman Brothers.

• Citigroup swallowed up wounded Wachovia Bank Monday. Last week Washington Mutual was devoured by JP Morgan. The ratings for Animal Planet have never been higher since they pulled their cameras out of Africa and started covering Wall Street.

• Washington Mutual collapsed under the weight of defaulted home loans last week but the investment house JP Morgan came to the rescue and purchased the embattled bank. It had survived two world wars and a depression. The bank was founded in January.

• House Republicans defeated the White House bailout plan in Congress Monday. It could mean an end to easy credit. The only reason Americans don’t all own elephants is they’ve never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy monthly payments.

• Democrats were blamed Monday for passing laws that forced banks to grant loans in poor neighborhoods. It was the seed of disaster to make home loans to people with bad credit and no income. On the other hand, you can’t expect USC tailbacks to live in a dorm.

• House Republicans opposed the bailout bill as a breach of free enterprise. Now money managers say they are not going to be buying stocks until the market finds a natural bottom. Frederick’s of Hollywood has caused a lot of men to lose a lot of money.

• Wall Street plunged Monday as the Dow Jones fell hundreds of points after the bailout failed. It may not have been the bailout, the markets might have been reacting to the end of the quarter. Even parking meters are only taking folding money.

• Oliver Stone said Sunday Josh Brolin wasn’t his first choice to play President Bush in W. He said he wanted Christian Bale, but the actor didn’t like all the hours in the makeup chair. In the run-up to the Iraq war he had to wear a longer nose every day.

• Playboy Enterprises warned Hugh Hefner Monday to lay off staff at his New York and Los Angeles offices or face bankruptcy. The Playboy empire is in dire straits due to the global economic crisis. Miss October lost two cup sizes during Monday’s sell-off.

• Sarah Palin, who said Vladimir Putin flew over Alaska in a military jet, on Thursday will debate Joe Biden, who said Franklin D. Roosevelt went on TV before it was invented. They both meet the threshold test for a running mate. They guarantee a continuity of comedy in the event anything happens to the next president.

Argus Hamilton is the host comedian at The Comedy Store in Hollywood. He can be reached for speaking engagements by e-mail at argus@argushamilton.com.