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The Tenth Hundred Days
by Paul Slansky
Issue of 2003-11-03
Posted 2003-10-27

1. What do engineering experts believe was the likely purpose of the two trailers whose discovery inspired George W. Bush to announce that portable biological-weapons labs—“weapons of mass destruction”—had been found in Iraq?

(a) They were used to transport dozens of Saddam Hussein look-alikes around the country.

(b) They were used as “dubbing dens” for bootleg DVDs.

(c) They were used to produce hydrogen for weather balloons.

(d) They were used by Uday and Qusay Hussein to store pornography.

 

2. Which of these headlines appeared in a U.S. newspaper?

(a) “epa lifts ban on selling pcb sites.”

(b) “epa relaxes restrictions on sale of contaminated land.”

(c) “epa eases clean air rule on power plants.”

(d) “epa pressed to call air safe after 9/11, report says.”

(e) All of the above.

 

3. What was Tom Ridge, the Secretary of Homeland Security, talking about when he referred to an “unusual sequence of events”?

(a) George W. Bush giving a speech that was designed to raise his poll numbers, followed by a plunge in those numbers to their lowest point yet.

(b) Warnings about increased hijacking threats, accompanied by stories about budget cuts that would mean fewer air marshals on commercial flights.

(c) General John P. Abizaid referring to the ongoing fighting in Iraq as a “classical guerrilla-type campaign” after Donald Rumsfeld had spent weeks insisting that the attacks on U.S. troops were anything but guerrilla-like.

(d) George W. Bush acknowledging that no link had ever been found connecting Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks, even as Vice-President Dick Cheney continued to insinuate that such a link existed.

4. According to Dick Cheney, why was the wildly ballooning deficit not a cause for concern?

(a) Because the government could “turn it around overnight if we play our cards right” in John Poindexter’s terrorism-futures market.

(b) Because, “if we need to, we can always borrow a few trillion from Halliburton.”

(c) Because he is “a deficit hawk,” and, even more reassuring, “so is the President.”

(d) Because “the world could blow up tomorrow, and then all debts would be forgiven and we’d look pretty damn smart.”

 

5. Who is Sally Baron?

(a) The author of a book about Donald Rumsfeld who wrote that the word that best describes him is “manliness.”

(b) The waitress who was quoted by the Los Angeles Times recounting a crude request that Arnold Schwarzenegger made of her.

(c) The reporter for Gotham who interviewed George W. Bush’s former sister-in-law, Sharon, who revealed that Bush’s brother Neil dumped her via e-mail after twenty-two years of marriage.

(d) The seventy-one-year-old Wisconsin woman who hated George W. Bush so much that her death notice included the request “Memorials in her honor can be made to any organization working for the removal of President Bush.”

 

Who did what?

6. Comedian Mort Sahl.

7. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

8. Nobel Prize-winning economist George A. Akerlof.

9. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

 

(a) Defended George W. Bush’s economic priorities—refusing to roll back any of his hundred-billion-dollar tax cuts for the rich, while keeping down spending on child care for mothers trying to get off welfare—by pointing out that “making people struggle a little bit is not necessarily the worst thing.”

(b) Declared that “the Bush fiscal policy is the worst policy in the last two hundred years.”

(c) Participated in a phone conversation with Karl Rove in which Rove called Valerie Plame, the C.I.A. agent who is married to the Bush critic Joseph Wilson, “fair game.”

(d) Said that George W. Bush is “the first President who likes to hang out with his father’s friends.”

 

10. How did one senior Army officer respond when he was asked if he liked Donald Rumsfeld?

(a) “There’s a certain . . . a certain manliness about him that has its appeal, yes.”

(b) “I know someone who knows someone who likes him.”

(c) “Do I like him? Sure. Would I like him better if he wasn’t always posing questions and then answering them himself? Definitely.”

(d) “‘Like’ is such a strong word.”

 

11. What happened during George W. Bush’s first post-election meeting with California’s governor-elect, Arnold Schwarzenegger?

(a) Schwarzenegger wondered if the Constitution said anything about whether the Vice-President had to be a natural-born citizen, and joked that it might be time to say, “Hasta la vista, Cheney.”

(b) Schwarzenegger explained to Bush that “Bring ’em on!” didn’t really work as a catchphrase, because it was inappropriate for a leader to invite an attack on his own troops.

(c) Schwarzenegger said to Bush, “You were governor of a big state,” and then asked for some general advice.

(d) They agreed that terrorism was great for both of them, because it made so many Americans feel that their safety depended on giving power to bullies.

 

 

 

 

 

Answers: (1) c, (2) e, (3) b, (4) c, (5) d, (6) d, (7) a, (8) b, (9) c, (10) d, (11) c.