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Stepping up for Colbert 

All you hipsters out there looking to clear bumper real estate for that "Colbert in '08" sticker, can cool your jets, because if you didn't

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All you hipsters out there looking to clear bumper real estate for that "Colbert in '08" sticker, can cool your jets, because if you didn't hear, Comedy Central megastar and faux-pundit Stephen Colbert was denied access to the South Carolina Democratic primary ballot. The "Colbert Nation," the name of Colbert's expansive and apparently active fan club, aren't taking too kindly to the fact that South Carolina's Democratic party executive council voted 13-3 to keep Colbert off the ballot. A posting on the ColbertNation.com website reads as follows:

"We have received word that there are users in the Colboard.com messageboards and Colbertnation.com comments bins advocating violence against members of the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council... We ask that these threats cease immediately. "

It's always hard to tell what about Colbert is real and what's not. But this message, appearing in rather convincing memo form, seems pretty authentic.

The first posting below this message reads simply: "BURN THEM!"

Oh, Rosie!

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Mainstream cable channels are apparently figuring out what Comedy Central and its viewers have known for a longtime - making fun of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of the Bush administration translates to higher ratings.

The New York Times reported this week that NBC's cable news outlet MSNBC is shifting its focus to the Left with programs that take aim at the administration. The station is reportedly building on the recent success of Keith Olberman's Left-leaning talk show that takes issue with many of the current administration's policies and policy makers. The network is positioning itself as the counterpoint to FOX News. According to the NYT story MSNBC has only one truly conservative commentator in its early evening slot, Tucker Carlson, and that show is in danger of being canceled because of low ratings, a network insider told the Times.

Adding to the speculation of a turn to the Left is news that Rosie O'Donnell, an outspoken critic of the Bushies, is being courted by the network for a prime time slot. It's widely accepted that O'Donnell helped draw viewers and ratings to the daytime talk show The View with her public opposition to the Bush administration and support for gay marriage and other social issues near and dear to the Left.

And, hey, with a writer's strike shutting down most of the nighttime talk shows, including the Colbert Report and The Daily Show, there's a niche to be served.

Not to mention a wealth of material.

I'll Have a Beer and a Ballot

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In some recent elections, both locally and nationally, one may have come to the conclusion that the electorate must have cast their ballots three sheets to the wind. In Oregon, there are no restrictions on alcohol sales on election day, thank God, because when early results start rolling in, there's often need to head down to the bar for a stiff drink.

But it's not the same story in Utah where the sale of alcohol at commercial establishments is prohibited while polls are open. Utah state Senator Scott McCoy wants to put an end to the ban.

"This whole notion of not being able to drink on the day you're voting is just archaic," McCoy told The Associated Press.

Utah is one of a handful of states with similar election day alcohol restrictions - a practice that was widely in place as recent as a few decades ago. But considering the Mormon-dominated Utah already has a host of ass-backwards alcohol laws, including a requirement for bar patrons to pay a "membership fee" in order to drink, it's no surprise that the state has held onto the antiquated law.

Back in the day (like 150 years ago) it made sense to ban liquor sales on election day as campaign teams would often round up the drunks and parade them from one polling place to another. But these days, with absentee ballots and all, there's not much sense in closing the bars so people can vote with a clear head. Then again, who knows, maybe some folks would cast some more clear-headed votes with a few drinks under the belt.

The Magic of Love

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Apparently magician David Copperfield can make the Statue of Liberty disappear, but he can't seem to make the increasingly creepy allegations of womananizing being tossed his way to vanish quite as easily.

TMZ.com recently obtained a document including detailed instructions for Copperfield's assistants to guide them in picking out "scorpions," a code name for the women that Copperfield uses in his act. The document goes onto give creepy details of how to conduct a "meet and greet" between the magician and the "scorpion" and how to entice her with brochures of Copperfield's islands in the Bahamas.

Much of this could be dismissed as merely an attempt by the magician and his staff to solicit new talent (which is how it's sold in the employee guideline document), but it's difficult to swallow that knowing that a Seattle woman recently claimed that she was raped by Copperfield after he flew her to the Bahamas. Where did Mr. Magic find this woman? In the audience of course!

The employee guidelines even go as far as to provide assistants with protocol for handling boyfriends and husbands of "scorpions" who have been taken backstage. Not surprisingly, some men get a little peeved when the 51-year-old, overly tanned, slickster magician whisks their wives behind the curtain.

"From time to time, boyfriends and husbands will give us a hard time and refuse to stay. If that is the case, try your best to get them to stay and refer to the "What to Say" sheet for help," says the document.

And yes, there is actually a "What to Say" sheet.

Now that's how to pick up chicks - that is if you have an arsenal of assistants to help you out.

Doesn't Matter If You're Black or White

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The King of Weird is back in the headlines and he's not even on trial for child molesting or otherwise endangering children. Jacko appears on the cover of Ebony magazine this month as part of a 25-year anniversary story on his landmark album "Thriller." Nothing too strange about that, except the fact that the magazine has a picture of Jackson on the cover that shows the former pop star looking whiter than his suit.

Jackson has made a steady and public transition from a handsome young black man to - well, we don't really know.

He looks more femine, feline and Caucasian than ever before. Prompting one observer to note that he might be the first white person to land an Ebony cover.

Upfront isn't sure if that's true, but we'd definitely like to see a little less ivory with that ebony.

Calling All Trekkies

Do you have a pair of Spock ears in the drawer waiting for the next sci-fi convention? Can you list off the entire crew of Starship Enterprise? Can you recite the vast majority of William Shatner's lines in each and every Star Trek movie?

If you said yes to any of these questions, or if you just really, really like "Star Trek," we want to hear from you. Even if you're not heading to the Regal Old Mill 16 on Tuesday night to see the original series beamed up onto the big screen, we still would like you to drop us a line.

Teleport an e-mail over to mike@tsweekly.com and we'll Trek out the details.

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