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INSIDE THE SYSTEM
Bono's new best friend

May 31, 2002 | Page 8

MAYBE THE light coming through the lenses of his trendy blue sunglasses has fried his brain. U2 lead singer and egomaniac Bono is convinced that he's going to "save the world"--with the help of the Republican White House.

This month, Bono embarked on a 10-day tour of Africa with none other than U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. Yes, that's right, the same Paul O'Neill who opposed increased U.S. aid to Africa--claiming that antipoverty programs have wasted billions of dollars because they have failed to "generate economic development."

In Ghana, O'Neill told reporters that he could sympathize with the plight of poor people. "It's a really tough way to make a living, selling peppers all day and maybe making $3," he said sadly.

But does that mean the U.S. should more aid? Heck no! O'Neill told reporters that more loans for small businesses are the way to go.

"If you look back there at some of those textiles, it looks like that could be a substantial business," he said. "I thought the material was beautiful. You could give microloans to people like this, and they would be on their way."

So far, Bono has nothing but good things to say about his new best friend. "He doesn't talk like a politician," he said. "He's very straight up."

--CNN, May 22, 2002

Dye, Chancellor Schröder, Dye

POOR OLD Gerhard Schröder.

In April, a wire service ran a story about the German chancellor's languishing reelection campaign. The story quoted an image consultant who claimed that the chancellor dyes his hair--and should admit it in order to endear himself to the public.

But that was too much of an insult for Schröder. He immediately filed an injunction against the news service, and even trotted out his hairdressers--two of them--to swear that his locks are naturally dark and lustrous. Then, he threatened to levy a fine of more than $9,000 on anyone reporting that his hair is dyed.

Schröder won his case. But, as a court spokesman told the press, "The judge did not rule on whether Mr. Schröder's hair was dyed or not."

--BBC News, May 17, 2002

Heard it through the grapevine

"The anti-Semitism coming out of Europe today suggests that deep down some Europeans want...Mr. Sharon to commit a massacre against Palestinians...so that they can finally get the guilt of the Holocaust off their backs and be able to shout: 'Look at these Jews, they're worse than we were!'"
--New York Times hack Thomas Friedman

"HE IS the type of person who sleeps at 9:30 p.m. after watching the domestic news. In the morning, he only reads a few lines about what is written on the Middle East and the world due to his 'huge responsibilities.'"
--Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, on Bush

"IF IT'S your job to hunt Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, then it's your job to know that they don't hang out with Jewish lesbians in San Francisco."
--California peace activist Kate Rafael, after an FBI agent called her asking for information about Muslim men

"THESE ADS aren't having an impact on teenagers. We've spent millions on these ads, and we aren't seeing a return on the investment."
--Tom Riley, spokesperson for the White House drug policy office, on ads linking drugs to "terrorism"

"I LIVE in a bubble."
--George W. Bush, on the unprecedented security for his trip to Berlin

"DO YOU know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?"
--Britain's Prince Phillip, speaking to a blind woman with a guide dog

"AS LONG as I'm the majority leader of the United States Senate, we will be a friend to Israel in fair weather and in foul."
--Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)

"WE'RE GETTING hammered for that quote throughout the Arab world."
--State Department official, on Bush's announcement that Ariel Sharon is a "man of peace"

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