No Germ Lab for You

The Associated Press came out with an exclusive, publishing internal documents that showed the Department of Homeland Security ignored experts' recommendations in where to put a new, expensive lab. Despite having weaker scores than other sites, DHS officials short-listed a location in Mississippi, which happens to be home to congressmembers who influence the DHS budget.

Shocking, to be sure.

But AP also listed the strengths and weaknesses of all the 17 sites that applied to be the home of the new disease lab.


Department of Homeland Security

College Station and San Antonio, you've been pwned.

College Station scored high for being "near research programs," but then there was this weakness: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspended Texas A&M's federal research on some infectious diseases, after the school failed to report — as required by law — researchers' exposure to dangerous germs."

Come on, DHS — Aggies are a secretive bunch. They'll let you know what they want you to know when they want you to know it. It's a College Station thing.

As was the other demerit in the application, according to DHS: "May be hard to recruit and retain a work force, given the distance from major metropolitan areas."

Whaaaaat? DHS officials obviously don't know that the College Station area includes not only the thriving metropolis of College Station but also the going-to-be-thriving-one-of-these-days city of Bryan.

San Antonio scored slightly higher: "Strengths: Near research programs and a skilled work force, attractive site, community acceptance. Weaknesses: no adequate buffer to adjacent residential areas. Near a wetland."

DHS apparently did not take into account the patriotism of San Antonians. We're sure none of the nearby residents would have minded having a highly dangerous biolab next door, if it further served the cause of freedom.

A Real Tax-Free Weekend

Were you absolutely psyched about the tax-free weekend?

Were you positively giddy at the thought of trying to cram your way into a Target, elbow your way down the aisles, push away slow grandmas and clumsy toddlers just so you could wait on an interminable line to pay and then walk a mile and a half to your car, just to save some bucks?

Us, too!! It's what makes the start of the school year so great!

But Texas's list of items that were tax-free last weekend is so boring.

Yay — socks and shorts. Hip, hip hurray for, as the state's list puts it, "belts with attached buckles" and "gloves (generally)." Huzzah for "diapers — adult and baby."

What we wanted to see be tax-free on that weekend:

Beer. Because we're gonna need a lot of it if we have to get anywhere near a ­Target.

Slim Jims. Because come on, they go good with beer. And who can afford the taxes on one of the really big sticks?

Recreational Drugs. See "Beer." And ain't that how The Man is always busting your dealer, for not filing the proper tax forms on his sales?

Pornography (Educational kind only). For instance, a title like Hotttt For Teacher would be tax-free, as would MILFs Go Wild, as long as the MILFs in question still had school-age kids. Anal Adventures XXVI might or might not qualify, depending on how educational the adventures are. If they're like Dora the Explorer, fine.

A GALLON OF GAS. Am I right, people? I mean — with all that hot air in Washington, you'd think they'd use that to power some cars, right? Right? (End Jay Leno imitation.)

The 30-Day Aged Akaushi Beef filet at Tony's, $125 a pop. Because, contrary to what Leona Helmsley famously said, it's not only the little people who pay taxes.

Lottery winnings. Because our entire financial plan for surviving this Bush economy depended on getting lucky that weekend. Or any weekend.


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