OLLYWOOD -- God bless America, and how's everybody?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew back home to Washington, D.C., on Monday after her unsuccessful attempt to settle things in the Middle East. Her trip was not a total failure. She got Mel Gibson to agree to a cease-fire against Israel.

Mel Gibson blamed his anti-Semitism on alcohol Monday. Tour de France winner Floyd Landis blamed alcohol for his steroid test. The Distilled Spirits Council just announced that President Bush's decision to invade Iraq could be blamed on sobriety.

The Oklahoma Sooners dismissed quarterback Rhett Bomar for accepting excessive compensation for a job. College players can't make too much money. The school is now waiting for a break in the border crackdown before they name his replacement.

Little League officials said Tuesday they are banning tobacco products at the Little League World Series in Williamsport this month. This includes snuff and chewing tobacco. The West Virginia team will wear a patch on their uniforms hoping it can help them quit.

Bill Clinton on Tuesday announced the Clinton Climate Initiative. It aims to fight higher temperatures and global warming by cutting greenhouse gases in 22 major cities. He himself was the first president ever impeached for overheating.

The White House press room closed down Wednesday for a nine-month remodeling project. The conditions had gotten cramped. There's been so much whitewashing in that room over the years that the paint on the walls is three-and-a-half feet thick.

Donald Rumsfeld refused to testify before a Senate committee Thursday about progress in the war in Iraq. He was swamped with work. All day long he had his head buried in the Oxford English Dictionary looking for upbeat-sounding synonyms for civil war.

Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother Raul Monday when he went into surgery for bleeding intestines. The White House is gleeful. If things break just right, the Republicans can run Elian Gonzalez for Senate instead of Katherine Harris.

Laura Bush turned up at a national park in Alaska last week, prompting the Park Service to insist she was on a personal vacation. Something's up. Either her marriage is in real trouble or Republicans are disguising oil exploration as a literacy program.

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.

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