NASA Offers 'Employee Discount' On Space Shuttles
Fed up with its problem-plagued fleet of aging orbiters, NASA is trying to get rid of them by offering an "employee discount."
"You pay what we pay," said NASA administrator Michael Griffin, apparently inspired by recent GM car commercials. "You could steal the Atlantis at $355 million. Endeavour's a bit older, so give us $310 million and get out of here."
Acknowledging that's still pretty steep, Griffin asked "You know what we could get for them retail?"
Griffin said all shuttles will be certified pre-owned and under warranty for one year or 100,000 light years, whichever comes first. For a limited time, he said, equipment such as solid booster rockets, extra O-rings and external fuel tanks will be thrown in.
The shuttle Discovery is suspected to sell at a substantial discount because of recent well-publicized problems that plagued the orbiter during its recent mission. "Give me an even $250 mill and get lost," said Griffin. "I'll even throw in some extra insulating foam, heat shield tiles and one of those homemade foreceps things for cutting off loose gap filler."
Sources said Russian envoys were seen at the Kennedy Space Center kicking the Endeavour's tires and asking about financing. Griffin said he was considering a three-year lease program, at $8,823,529 per month with no money down.
Bush Disappointed To Find He's Not At International GQ Summit
Arriving in Gleneagles, Scotland, dressed to the nines yesterday, President George W. Bush was reportedly distressed to learn that he was at the annual conference of the Group of Eight Industrialized Nations, or G8, and not at a getaway sponsored by Gentleman's Quarterly Magazine, or GQ.
"I bought $1,600 worth of new clothes for this?" the president said as he started back up the ramp onto Air Force One. Aides managed to coax the president back off the plane to attend the scheduled seminars on famine in Africa and Global warming. Administration sources blamed a typo on the president's itinerary, although some White House watchers suggested that the commander-in-chief was deliberately misled.
God Unimpressed By Lotto Player's Charity Pledge
After listening intently to a pledge by Barry V. Hansen of the Bronx that he would give millions to charity if he hit the winning numbers in Wednesday's $48 million Lotto jackpot, an unimpressed God decided to take no action.
"I have no reason to question his sincerity," said The Lord, "although the fact that he's up to his neck in credit card debt and behind in car payments, but still getting the platinum cable package, does lead me to question his ability to be a good fiscal manager, let alone a prudent philanthropist."
God said that on any given day He is inundated with such requests. "If I put seven or eight figures in the hands of every shlub that promises to write a check to the United Way or Greenpeace, but will probably blow it all on SUVs, weekends in Vegas and lousy real estate schemes, there would be total chaos down there," He said.
Bush Advisors Begging Him Not To Name Judge Mathis To Supreme Court
White House advisors and aides are begging President George W. Bush, who is said to never miss an episode of the WB's "Judge Mathis" on weekday afternoons, not to name its star as his nominee for the open Supreme Court seat.
"The President is very impressed that Judge Greg Mathis became a national success story and a symbol of hope for urban youth who are struggling to overcome the modern-day pressures and hardships of poverty, drugs and violence," said an administration source. "Still, there are many other worthy nominees who have a bit more experience on matters of national consequence."
Upon Sandra Day O'Connor's announcement that she would retire from the nation's highest court, the President is said to have asked his advisors if Mathis was a real judge. When told that Mathis became the youngest person elected judge in Michigan in 1995, Bush reportedly told ex-Sen. Fred Thompson, the head of his search committee, "go get him."
Supreme Court observers noted that while Mathis would be the third African American appointed to the high court, he would nevertheless make history as its first former TV star.
Conservative groups have promised a fight since Mathis appears on a network whose other programs include "Everwood," "Gillmore Girls," and what one activist called "other shows that promote teenage fornication." Liberal groups have yet to react publicly as they scour Mathis's record. "He doesn't usually get many challenges to Roe v. Wade or constitutional separation of church and state on the WB," said a spokesman for People for the American Way.
Pitt-Jolie Love Child Offered Three-Picture Deal
The unborn -- and unconfirmed -- love child of actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is being flooded with offers for movie projects, including a three-picture, play-or-pay deal with Columbia Tristar Pictures.
"We don't know what this kid's name is, if it's a boy or girl, if it can act, or even if it exists," said a studio insider. "But who cares? Just look at the DNA pool it's coming from. It's almost genetically guaranteed to put asses in the seats."
Pitt and Jolie, who have each been named sexiest man and woman alive by People magazine, are rumored to be expecting a child in six months, and have said nothing to confirm or deny the reports.
"That fetus needs and agent, quick!" said veteran Hollywood reporter Clyde Lockwood. "He or she or whatever the hell it is is gonna get more offers in utero than Christian Slater's had in his damn career."
Offers could go as high as $25 million dollars, which would be a record deal for a fetus. "Then again," said Lockwood, "a nickel would be a record for a fetus."
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Plan Fall Wedding, Spring Divorce
After announcing their engagement earlier this week, movie stars Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes have told friends they are planning a fall wedding, in time to generate publicity for the DVD releases of their films, "War of The Worlds" and "Batman Begins."
The two will then fall out of the spotlight for several months while planning their spring divorce, which will keep them in the tabloids as they announce their latest film projects.
"Tom's really excited about this," a close friend told Entertainment Tonight. "After two divorces that didn't go so well and seemed unplanned, this one he's got down to the tee. He's also never had a spring divorce before."
A friend of Holmes told People Magazine the two spent last week shopping for a pre-nuptial agreement. "It's Katie's first marriage AND first divorce, not to mention her first lifecycle publicity stunt," said the friend. "She's really glad to have someone with Tom's experience guiding her."