Cottage Industry: November 17

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Cottage Industry: November 17

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Because there's no duck like a lame duck...

Happy Friday, boys and girls. How 'bout a hand for our house band, Nancy Pelosi and the Bay City Rollers.

Meet the New Boss: The midterm election fallout continued in Washington this week, where the 109th Congress convened for one final lame-duck session before the end of its term. Capitol insiders use the "lame duck" label to describe the post-election legislature because outgoing members generally hold little or no sway with their colleagues and constituents. In Coral Gables, Larry Coker calls that phenomenon "the story of my life."

Meet the New Boss, Again: In the House of Representatives, Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi took time out of her busy schedule to personally lobby 49ers owner John York to keep the team in San Francisco, after the latter had announced plans for a new stadium near San Jose. Critics questioned whether the meeting was a productive use of Pelosi's time, seeing as how no city in its right mind would want its name associated with the 49ers.

Meet the New Boss, Again and Again: Reports that Pelosi was pursuing a bill to bar coach Mike Nolan from using "that goddamned 3-4 defense" were unconfirmed at press time.

Meet the New Boss, One More Time: Senate Republicans responded to the national mandate for a new direction by taking a page out of the past, electing veteran Mississippi lawmaker Trent Lott as minority whip. Lott had previously served as Senate majority leader from 1996 until 2002, when he was forced to resign the post after saying America would have been "better off" if Strom Thurmond, an avowed segregationist, had won the 1948 presidential election. Lott subsequently fired his chief political consultant, John Rocker.

Meet the New Boss, One More Time, First Encore: Predictably, the Thurmond remark provoked a wave of popular rebuke. Intimate sources say Lott's words were especially ill-received by his half-brother Ronnie.

Meet the New Boss, One More Time, Second Encore: Bet you didn't see that one coming.

Meet the New Boss, One More Time, Third Encore: Probably because it made no sense.

Meet the New Boss, One More Time, Third Encore, Extended Set: Because everyone knows Ronnie Lott is nothing if not a whole motherf-in' brother.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World: The United States wasn't the only country to hold national elections last week. In Nicaragua, leftist icon and Sandanista extraordinaire Daniel Ortega completed his return to power by winning a hotly-contested presidential race. In a related development, the New York Mets opened negotiations with newly-ex-con Doc Gooden to explore the possibility of a comeback.

Everybody Wants to Get the Joke: Because who says VH1 has a monopoly on 80s nostalgia?

Everybody Wants to Taunt a Dead Man: Early reports from the Great Hereafter indicated that Ronald Reagan had no recollection of having ever even heard Ortega's name. And early reports from God indicated that the Gipper was telling the truth.

Elsewhere on the international scene, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pledged to remake his cabinet amid growing militia violence in and around Baghdad. Most observers cite the close political connection between Maliki's government and sectarian religious leaders as a grave threat to Iraqi security, and many expressed hope that the cabinet shakeup would help the Prime Minister get a handle on the national police force. Those same optimists suggested that the Arizona Cardinals immediately fire Dennis Green and replace him with Art Shell.

Finally this week, from the Smile File: Reports surfaced last Tuesday that former Royals outfielder Lonnie Smith contemplated killing then-Kansas City GM John Schuerholz after Schuerholz cut Smith in 1987. Believing he'd been blackballed from the game, Smith went so far as to a purchase a gun in early 1988, but ultimately dropped the murder plot after signing with the Atlanta Braves in the spring of that same year. The real kicker, though, came in 1990, when Schuerholz took the reins as the Braves' general manager. Talk about your tense office environments. In a press release, Smith said he hoped the experience of working with someone he wanted to kill would serve him well in his new job, United States congressman.

But that's enough of all that. Have yourselves a good weekend, and enjoy the Big One on Saturday. After all, Columbia and Brown only play each other once a year...

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