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The Eighth Hundred Days
by Paul Slansky
Issue of 2003-04-14
Posted 2003-04-07

1. True or false: When critics of George W. Bush’s tax cuts pointed out that the wealthiest one per cent of taxpayers would divvy up twenty-eight per cent of the windfall, while the poorest sixty per cent would split eight per cent of the benefits, Bush accused them of engaging in “class warfare.”

2. Who is John Brady Kiesling?

(a) The Christian conservative who withdrew his nomination to Bush’s Advisory Council on H.I.V. and aids after it became known that he referred to aids as “the gay plague.”

(b) The commentator who said, referring to Bush’s plan to eliminate taxes on stock dividends, “This isn’t even trickle-down economics. It’s mist-down economics.”

(c) The State Department diplomat whose resignation letter said, “Until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.”

(d) The White House aide, known for his calm disposition, about whom Karl Rove said, “I’d use the word ‘sweet’ if it didn’t make me look odd.”


3. Three of these statements were uttered by George W. Bush. Which was spoken by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld?

(a) “The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself.”

(b) “For those who urge more diplomacy, I would simply say that diplomacy hasn’t worked.”

(c) “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

(d) “Republicans and Democrats stood with me in the Rose Garden to announce their support of a clear statement of purpose [to Saddam]: You disarm or we will.”


Match the observation about Bush with the columnist who made it.

4. “There is some kind of anger in the man, a hostility that sometimes seems barely under control—as if he were, in street parlance, being ‘dissed.’”

5. “He has the unreflective person’s immunity from irony, that great killer of intellectual passion. Ask him to reconcile his line on Iraq with his line on North Korea and he just gets irritated.”

6. “Mr. Bush’s greatest weakness is that too many people, at home and abroad, smell that he’s not really interested in repairing the world.”

7. “A steady hand on the helm in high seas, a knowledge of where we must go and why, a resolve to achieve safe harbor. More and more this presidency is feeling like a gift.”

8. “This is the worst president ever. He is the worst president in all of American history.”

(a) Peggy Noonan.

(b) Helen Thomas.

(c) Richard Reeves.

(d) Thomas L. Friedman.

(e) Michael Kinsley.


9. Who commented on Bush’s “almost giddy readiness to kill”?

(a) Senator Chuck Hagel (R Nebraska).

(b) MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

(c) CBS’s Dan Rather.

(d) General Tommy Franks.


10. Which headline did not appear in a daily or weekly U.S. newspaper?

(a) “administration establishes new wetlands guidelines; 20 million acres could lose protected status, groups say

(b) “ashcroft orders u.s. attorneys to seek death in more cases

(c) “bush seeks stiffer proof for poor to obtain aid

(d) “bush plans to let religious groups get building aid; worship sites involved

(e) “bush orders a 3 -year delay in opening secret documents

(f) “bush pushes plan to curb appeals in medicare cases; benefit denials at issue

(g) “bush declares war, warns nation many sacrifices will be necessary

(h) “pentagon seeking to deploy missiles before full testing

(i) “epa to allow polluters to buy clean water credits


11. What did George W. Bush do immediately before announcing the commencement of the war against Iraq?

(a) He winked at Laura and blew her a kiss.

(b) He shook his fist and declared, “I feel good.”

(c) He called the Prime Minister of Turkey and said, “I loathe you.”

(d) He said, “Let’s go kick some Iraqi butt.”


12. True or false: The orange alert of mid-February was downgraded to yellow after the increased Arab chatter picked up by U.S. intelligence was translated and turned out to be mainly about Michael Jackson.







1) True, (2) c, (3) c, (4) c, (5) e, (6) d, (7) a, (8) b, (9) b, (10) g, (11) b, (12) False.