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Articles written by Joe Barnhart


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  • Secret Service agents get lonely too

    Joe Barnhart

    People need pets; except tropical fish, which are a form of fungus. Your typical dog or yak provides unconditional love, devotion, and a furry surface to caress — much like your Fed Ex driver. They may even cough up a hair ball just to give your life purpose. The pet, that is. Joe Barnhart Have you ever wondered how pets began? Neither have I. No doubt it started with Tyrannosaurus Rex puppies where cavekids were constantly nagged to "get the backyard cleaned up." Today, pets are diligent companions. I spend frolicking hours...

  • Trying to shortchange the IRS

    Joe Barnhart

    During every tax season it becomes painfully obvious there are two types of American taxpayers: those who know the federal government wastes millions of dollars and those who are, for lack of a better word, dead. Yet, the living actually believe they can short-change the IRS. Such optimism is rather refreshing — stupid — but refreshing. If I filled out our tax returns I'd be writing this from prison. My wife, who excels at such things as thinking, does them. Thank goodness. She also helps with the Volunteer Income Tax Assista...

  • Polls are hogwash, but boy, are they fun

    Joe Barnhart

    I ask you, "What makes a presidential election year more fun than eating roasted crickets?" Well, sure, there's watching millions being blown. Money better spent, say, reducing the federal budget deficit — but I'm just being silly. Candidates believe practice makes perfect — just in case, you know, they're elected. Dollars aside, the main attraction is election polls. It's impossible to pick up a newspaper with a nuclear sub parked on it. Go ahead, try. Yet inside papers everywhere, reliable election polls by outfits lik... Full story

  • On the cutting edge of dieting technology

    Joe Barnhart

    NEWS FLASH: Japanese researchers discover "diet-glasses!" Island nation sinks under piles of uneaten "raw squid, wrapped in beef entrails" sushi. Researchers, who graduated at the bottom of their class, are experimenting with food bloating spectacles that make rodent hairs in your corndog visible. The revolutionary glasses snap the food's picture and then replay an increased image. Food increases but bodily appendages, like warts, remain the same size tricking your brain into thinking you're either gorging yourself or are... Full story

  • Joe Barnhart

    The federal government is frugal. No, seriously. If Uncle Sam bummed a hundred bucks from you on a street corner, he'd fund some revealing study like why ants look so small. Daily, your taxes support logic-constipating national gems. So, it's surprising Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently told a House Committee that "No Child Left Behind is broken and we need to fix it now." How can you fix perfection — a program speaking volumes about the very essence of the federal government? From its introduction in 2003, the law h... Full story

  • Montana Guv, hick or hype?

    Joe Barnhart

    HELENA — With his "Burning Corn Cob Juggling Act" on the skids, Democratic Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, brazenly rejected 17 Republican bills using a red hot branding iron. Frenetic steers in the crowd collapsed at the sight of the violent display and subsequent burning paper. Understandably irritated Republican leaders said, "The juggling act was really cool, especially with the dancing sheep, but this branding gimmick is just a mockery of the system." Schweitzer, unavailable for comment, spent the better part of the morni... Full story

  • Fast food diets — I'm ready

    Life’s Too Serious Joe Barnhart Humor Columnist

    In the words of, I believe, the immortal Paris Hilton, "I'm cheap and I'm easy." If all it takes to reach instant fame (as in one of those cardboard cutouts where the star strikes a pose resembling someone who's had a frontal lobotomy) is for me to eat items from a fast food menu, sign me up. I'll eat almost anything. Now, the company that brought us the taco-craving Chihuahua and double-decker tacos claims it can help drop our extra pounds. They're using an unoriginal ad campaign copying Subway's Jared Fogle who lost tons of... Full story

  • Forgiveness — who needs it!

    Life’s Too Serious Joe Barnhart Humor Columnist

    Come on, Sandra! Don't even think about forgiving that two-timing Jesse James creep. And REALLY! What a pathetic apology. Scrape the jerk off and get on with life. We're turning into jellyfish do-gooders — obsessed with forgiveness and it's undermining the very foundation of our society — turning us into absolution wimps. Doesn't anybody remember the self-gratifying feeling of seeking revenge, wanting to see the looser who violated us squirm, holding a simple grudge, or playing a prank involving plastic wrap and a toi...

  • Beware of cockroach sending e-mails

    Joe Barnhart

    Besides sharpening pencils, part of my job is fielding e-mail trouble calls. Stuff like, "Hey, Joe. I got an e-mail from someone I don't know. I opened the attachment but now my computer is on fire. What should I do?" or, "I have an e-mail with the subject, 'Hillary Clinton strips down to undies.' You think it's okay? I mean, does Bill know?" Such questions produce a warm feeling, so I typically answer, "Excuse me, I need to use the restroom." Beware of cockroach sending e-mails Joe Barnhart But, what if an on-again,...