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Punch Lines

Capitol Beat: According to Bob Woodward, China donated secret cash to the White House in 1996. “This gives Clinton the nickname he needs to endure in history,” says Argus Hamilton. “We’ve had Honest Abe, Tricky Dick and now Unmarked Bill.”

The House has reintroduced a constitutional amendment to prohibit flag burning. The Cutler Daily Scoop points out the actual wording: “Congress shall have the power to avoid doing any work on the real problems facing America.”

“President Clinton called on Congress to give his CIA chief-designate a confirmation hearing. Republicans say Tony Lake lied to Congress. Oh well, when in Rome. . . .” (Hamilton)

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Around the Country: “According to the New York Post, the five biggest mob families have moved into the eyeglass business,” says Jay Leno. “I heard about this story from my optometrist, Vinnie the Icepick.”

Prince, the New Hampshire dog who was on death row for killing a chicken, is a free pooch. The black Labrador said his incarceration was ‘ruff.’ ” (Olympia Daily World)

President Clinton has chosen Little Rock, Ark., as the site for his presidential library. “Aides quickly stopped the president when they caught him phoning James McDougal to set up the land deal.” (Premiere Morning Sickness)

* “It will be the first presidential library ever to have a subpoena wing.” (Bill Williams)

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“I have an offer for the American Airlines pilots,” says Leno. “If they promise not to wake us up at 2 a.m. to tell us Wichita, Kan., is on the left, we chip in, give them the extra dough they want.”

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In the News: “It’s Presidents’ Day. Today we think back to our noble forefathers,” says Alex Pearlstein. “I believe it was George Washington who said, after cutting down the cherry tree, ‘I cannot tell a lie. It was Richard Jewell.’ ”

“Baseball stars are reporting to spring training. Conditioning is different than it was 30 years ago,” says Alan Ray. “Before a player takes the field today, he first exercises his option.”

A poll determined that the majority of Los Angeles residents are opposed to the Metro subway. “Undaunted, the MTA announced it will go ahead with its ambitious Sinkhole 2000.” (Pearlstein)

“I guess the baby is gonna be named Michael Jackson Jr.,” says Leno. “In a recent interview, Michael said he wants his son to stay out of the limelight. Seems to me if he didn’t want his kid in the limelight, he should have named him Tito Jackson.”

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Reader Jane Bryson of Santa Monica says her 5-year-old son Bryson woke up complaining that his front teeth hurt. She was comforting him when he paused and suggested:

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“Maybe some cotton candy would help.”


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