“I’m just trying to balance the playing field,” said the governor, “between people who will vote on my record and people who will vote on what I tell them I will do that is the polar opposite of my record.” Bin Laden outraged: In a tape aired on Al-Jazeera, Osama bin Laden announced plans to sue the National Security Agency for listening in to al-Qaida phone calls. “The Constitution itself is at jeopardy here,” said the uncaptured terrorist leader. “What has happened to the infidels’ concern for the Bill of Rights? This is an outright affront to the right to privacy, and that’s not the America I planned to annihilate.” Chatsworth teens arrested in NSA car-bomb sting: Thirteen-year-old Lucia Amber and her best friend Kelly Casey were arrested for what the Justice Department officials said were apparent plans to assassinate the president. “We’ve been hearing an awful lot of chatter from Valley sleep-over cells,” said Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. “`Ji-had anyone ever found out that I thought Georgie’s new car was the bomb, I would just die, totally,’ was the part of the conversation that jumped out at us.” Gonzalez defended what some call overzealous eavesdropping. “Teen-talk is teen-talk until the talk turns to terrorism. Shizzle.” ACLU to sue UCLA for misappropriating letters: “Plagiarism is plagiarism,” said the American Civil Liberties Union’s attorney in charge of gratuitous litigation. “Mixing up the letters in the alphabet doesn’t mean you can use the alphabet any way you want.” Trump pulls out of governor’s race: Entrepreneur Donald Trump has announced that he will not run for governor of New York after all. “I realized that buying the state was a much cheaper way to go,” said the comb-over zillionaire. Stewart to host Oscars: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has named “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart to emcee the Oscar broadcast. “We finally realized that hiring a fake news reporter to emcee a fake news event where awards are presented for playing fake characters was the most appropriate way to go,” said Oscarcast producer Gil Cates. Guitarist advises kids against listening to rock music: Who band member Peter Townshend issued a warning to iPod users to be careful when using earphones. “OK, I made a mint creating the music that could cause deafness,” said the guitarist, whose own hearing has been irreversibly damaged from years in the studio, “but it might not be too late for the kids today.” Asked why he waited so long, Townshend said, “What?” Column apology: Please excuse that last item, as some stories involving disabilities are irresistible, especially when it’s about celebrities who have profited greatly from what may have harmed others. At least I didn’t have Townshend say, “Who?” Steve Young is author of “Great Failures of the Extremely Successful.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Rose Bowl delayed: While this year’s Rose Bowl game between former No. 1 University of Southern California and new No. 1 Texas for the 2005 National Championship was held on Jan. 3, 2006, officials at the NCAA said that this was only the first step in building enthusiasm and massive advertising dollars. “In a perfect scenario, the 2006 National Championship game will be held in 2008. That way we could use 2007 entirely for publicity to make beaucoup bucks,” said an embarrassed NCAA spokesperson, who refused to answer questions as to why college athletes don’t get paid. This just in: USC defenders still have not tackled Rose Bowl MVP Vince Young. Floating with the floats: Former “in the booth” Rose Parade commentator Stephanie Edwards, who was relegated to street reporting in this year’s parade downpour, said her assignment had nothing to do with any tiff between her and her former in-the-heated-booth co-host, the very dry Bob Eubanks. Nor did it have anything to do with KTLA wanting to replace her with the much younger Michaela Pereira. “I’m still the co-host,” said the deluded Edwards. “I just like being a drowned rat while I’m doing it.” Little-known parade fact: This year’s was the first Rose Parade to provide lifeguards. New Year aging fast: Despite all the warnings from a completely exhausted 2005, 2006, already looking at least three or four months old, has decided to go through with the entire year. “I just figure that with all the stuff 2005 went through, we were in for a break,” said ’06. “Then again, that’s what 2001 said.” Iraqi teenager sneaks into U.S.: Unbeknownst to his parents, a 16-year-old Baghdad high school student flew from Iraq to Washington, D.C. “In school, I read a lot about so many federal investigations of U.S. congressmen,” said student Bobby Musaf. “Our elections this past year taught me so much about the constitution. I just wanted to help American politicians learn what democracy really means.” Asked how he was able to get in congressional offices by himself, Musaf admitted doing it the American way: “I paid off a lobbyist.” Lobbyist to plead guilty: Jack Abramoff, who has admitted bribing politicians to get favors for his clients, has made a plea deal and will cooperate with federal prosecutors. In other legislative news, members of Congress took time out from scouring their pants to pass the new “Influence Peddling Is A God-given Right of the Privileged” Bill. Governor in full campaign mode: In an obvious attempt to sway voters for his re-election campaign, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced plans to pay back money to the teachers union, raise the minimum wage to $75 per hour and not only lower University of California fees for students, but give them test questions in advance.