if i ran CBS

by tony pierce

(part one in a continuing series)

conan o’brien is celebrating his tenth year as the king of late night. he is consistently funnier than dave, jay, jimmy, and craig. some nights funnier than all of them combined.

his interviews are funnier, he gets the best bands, has the most original and freshest sketches, and the best running gags in the business.

for me to poop on.

if i ran cbs i would call up nbc and ask conan if he was interested in coming on at 12:30pm for another ten years like theyre going to make him do. i would remind him that leno is such a workhorse that he even does club dates and vegas on top of his show to “keep fresh” which would mean to me that i wouldnt expect him to retire until he died.

i would remind conan that jay is beating david letterman, who in his prime was the conan of his day: younger, hipper, sharper, quicker, edgier, far more interesting, and on far too late in the night.

i would ask conan if he wanted to be the next dave: older than his years, bitter, a shell of his former self, angry at the system for never giving him what he so rightly deserved – the tonight show.

and then i would tell conan that if he came to cbs i would give him the 11:30pm slot which is all that he would need to beat jay leno. and shock the world.

since conan is a sharp guy he would probably at some point ask me what i was going to do with dave, who currently holds the 11:30pm slot and isnt trailing leno by all that much.

i would tell conan that the most important, and strangely the weakest, portion of the cbs lineup is the 7p-8p slot that is currently the graveyard of Entertainment Tonight and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

one show that you think you’ve seen lately but youve probably confused for Extra or Access Hollywood

and another that you definitely havent seen in a long time.

f those shows, i would confide in conan. dave can outdraw ET. and it would be live. and it would give dave something new to do. and it would be terribly exciting. and it would provide for great lead-ins to all the cbs primetime shows.

finally a reason to make it through rush hour.

when people come home they want to chill out and catch up with what they missed while they were at their dumb job. who better to come home to and get filled in than with your buddy dave.

would dave complain?

not after he sees that millions more people could watch him than ever before.

id also bring back bowling for dollars.

stacey teas + amako + jaylex

Always Be Closing

New Terror Laws Used Vs. Common Criminals

Sun Sep 14, 1:14 PM ET


Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA – In the two years since law enforcement agencies gained fresh powers to help them track down and punish terrorists, police and prosecutors have increasingly turned the force of the new laws not on al-Qaida cells but on people charged with common crimes.

The Justice Department said it has used authority given to it by the USA Patriot Act to crack down on currency smugglers and seize money hidden overseas by alleged bookies, con artists and drug dealers.

Federal prosecutors used the act in June to file a charge of “terrorism using a weapon of mass destruction” against a California man after a pipe bomb exploded in his lap, wounding him as he sat in his car.

A North Carolina county prosecutor charged a man accused of running a methamphetamine lab with breaking a new state law barring the manufacture of chemical weapons. If convicted, Martin Dwayne Miller could get 12 years to life in prison for a crime that usually brings about six months.

Prosecutor Jerry Wilson says he isn’t abusing the law, which defines chemical weapons of mass destruction as “any substance that is designed or has the capability to cause death or serious injury” and contains toxic chemicals.

Civil liberties and legal defense groups are bothered by the string of cases, and say the government soon will be routinely using harsh anti-terrorism laws against run-of-the-mill lawbreakers.

“Within six months of passing the Patriot Act, the Justice Department was conducting seminars on how to stretch the new wiretapping provisions to extend them beyond terror cases,” said Dan Dodson, a spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. “They say they want the Patriot Act to fight terrorism, then, within six months, they are teaching their people how to use it on ordinary citizens.”

Prosecutors aren’t apologizing.

Attorney General John Ashcroft completed a 16-city tour this week defending the Patriot Act as key to preventing a second catastrophic terrorist attack. Federal prosecutors have brought more than 250 criminal charges under the law, with more than 130 convictions or guilty pleas.

The law, passed two months after the Sept. 11 attacks, erased many restrictions that had barred the government from spying on its citizens, granting agents new powers to use wiretaps, conduct electronic and computer eavesdropping and access private financial data.

Stefan Cassella, deputy chief for legal policy for the Justice Department’s asset forfeiture and money laundering section, said that while the Patriot Act’s primary focus was on terrorism, lawmakers were aware it contained provisions that had been on prosecutors’ wish lists for years and would be used in a wide variety of cases.

In one case prosecuted this year, investigators used a provision of the Patriot Act to recover $4.5 million from a group of telemarketers accused of tricking elderly U.S. citizens into thinking they had won the Canadian lottery. Prosecutors said the defendants told victims they would receive their prize as soon as they paid thousands of dollars in income tax on their winnings.

Before the anti-terrorism act, U.S. officials would have had to use international treaties and appeal for help from foreign governments to retrieve the cash, deposited in banks in Jordan and Israel. Now, they simply seized it from assets held by those banks in the United States.

“These are appropriate uses of the statute,” Cassella said. “If we can use the statute to get money back for victims, we are going to do it.”

The complaint that anti-terrorism legislation is being used to go after people who aren’t terrorists is just the latest in a string of criticisms.

More than 150 local governments have passed resolutions opposing the law as an overly broad threat to constitutional rights.

Critics also say the government has gone too far in charging three U.S. citizens as enemy combatants, a power presidents wield during wartime that is not part of the Patriot Act. The government can detain such individuals indefinitely without allowing them access to a lawyer.

And Muslim and civil liberties groups have criticized the government’s decision to force thousands of mostly Middle Eastern men to risk deportation by registering with immigration authorities.

“The record is clear,” said Ralph Neas, president of the liberal People for the American Way Foundation. “Ashcroft and the Justice Department have gone too far.”

Some of the restrictions on government surveillance that were erased by the Patriot Act had been enacted after past abuses � including efforts by the FBI to spy on civil rights leaders and anti-war demonstrators during the Cold War. Tim Lynch, director of the Project on Criminal Justice at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said it isn’t far fetched to believe that the government might overstep its bounds again.

“I don’t think that those are frivolous fears,” Lynch said. “We’ve already heard stories of local police chiefs creating files on people who have protested the (Iraq ) war … The government is constantly trying to expand its jurisdictions, and it needs to be watched very, very closely.”

theres a super hot girl snoozing in my bed

i hope she can snooze for at least 20 minutes cuz i really want to write and not be disturbed. every day i get disturbed in the morning when i write either by work calling to ask me to come in early, or the phone, or the pager, or the front door being knocked.

i really wonder what this blog would look like if i could do it every morning from a hotel room with the phone turned off and the shhhh sign dangling from the front door.

shes cute though, so let her wake up if she wants.

im living the american dream up in here. its not yet kickoff, ive got every football game ready to entertain me, ive got eggs and bacon chillin for when she wakes, she brought over a friend last night who recommended that everyone smokes weed until tommy chong is released from prison and subsequently gave me my first bong and a huge sack of stinky green, im wondering if its somehow a sin to try them out on the sabbath.

im so not a druggie, but i was raised to be a grateful receiver of gifts and i must remind myself to ask my snoozing girl for her friend’s address so i can send a thank-you card tomorrow morning for if my mother ever discovered that i hadnt sent one she wouldnt be at all pleased, regardless of what the gift was.

im worrying about old splinky. girlfriend, is it really that bad?

you ever want to be friends with people because its so obvious that they have all the wrong friends?

i felt that way and still feel that way about mike tyson and michael jackson and even oj. i think if they all just had one friend who woulda said, yo, king of pop, get those fucking kids OUT of here, dog.

if i was iron mike’s friend i would just say, today i will hold the bag, just hit it. dont think about anything else. think about tetris. heres ac/dc’s for those about to rock, we’re going to put on side one and just hit until its time to flip the record over. yes, when i train pro boxers i use record players. cd players are for champs. mike is an ex-champ.

and if i was ojs friend i would tell him he could only date black girls, and he cant talk to the press. ever again. and if anyone ever talked about his dead wife all he could say is, “im going to get the mother fucker who killed her.”

im not so sure what id do if i was splinks friend. probably travel a lot. probably write about all the places there are in the world. probably tell her easy on the vinegar. probably tell her that people like how she writes and she probably shouldnt be so self destructive cuz thats been done in more creative ways, which isnt a dare, its rock history.

self image issues in my life have usually been cured by being around people who look at me and get hot.

snoozing girl makes me feel sexy and manly and my gut turns her on, as do my balding spots.

the devil inside me says, shes obviously insane, and then tries to remind me about the thrill of the chase, and then tries to tell me that shes not the right sign to even be friends with, and then tries to tell me that if i was so damn sexy and manly my phone would be ringing off the hook.

and then i remind him that my phone does ring off the damn hook and i wonder if i could give this sparkling new bong and bag to a worthy charity. surely theres an aids hospice who would benefit more from this medicine than i.

i dont know what sort of friend i would be to an aids patient.

i had a friend who not very long ago told me how deep down very depressed she was and my deflector shields for negativity are so sensitive that i didnt believe her and i laughed it off. and i hadnt talked to her in a long time and the other day she called me and we talked and she said thanks for what you said when i was low and i said when were you low and she said dude i was looking into checking out

and i said when

and she said dude you told me that if i did it then you would do it and that your doomed soul would haunt mine for eternity.

i said, i said that?

she said, yes, memento boy, and since i knew that you believed that you cannot go to heaven after suiciding then i didnt because i believed you that you would.

and then she said thank you.

and i think sometimes it would be good if i could remember these things as clearly as others did because i think that that experience could help me in my day to day life.

i hear a girl making the hardwood floors crackle upstairs.

i think i should put some bacon on.

aaron’s baseball blog + you exist here + beets werkin