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Inside the system

October 25, 2002 | Page 12

Florida's governor: Jeb Bigot

THE BUSH brothers can't seem to get enough of reveling in other people's pain and misery. First, George W. was caught in a televised interview mocking Karla Faye Tucker--a woman on Texas' death row whose execution he presided over as governor. Now, Dubya's baby brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is getting into the act.

At a recent meeting with Pensacola lawmakers, Jeb told the crowd that he had "devious plans" to prevent a constitutional amendment which would mandate smaller class sizes. He also said that he wants to "give the legislature the power to set teachers' salaries, bypassing locally elected school boards"--a reversal of the current Republican position.

But he got really vicious when he began to comment on the case of Rilya Wilson, the 6-year-old girl who has been "lost" without a trace in the state's foster care system for more than eight months.

To take the heat off the state's mismanagement, Pamela Graham and Geralyn Smith--Rilya's caregivers--were recently arrested on allegations that they illegally collected public assistance checks.

At the meeting with lawmakers, all Jeb could focus on was frat-boy gossip about the two women--implying that they are lesbians. "Bet you don't get that in Pensacola," Bush quipped.

--Associated Press, October 4, 2002

Barbie's dream house gets invaded

MOVE OVER, G.I. Joe. This year, for just under $45, parents can purchase "Forward Command Post"--a bombed-out version of Barbie's "dream house."

The small-scale, but realistic-looking two-story house has pale yellow walls, checkerboard floors and wood-framed windows. But the glass panes in the windows are cracked, and machine gun fire has sprayed the walls.

On the balcony stands a soldier in battle fatigues clutching an assault rifle. There's also a U.S. flag--to show that the neighborhood has officially been taken over.

If that wasn't bad enough, parents can buy their kids an "Osama bin Laden head," offered by Protect and Serve Toys, "to allow enthusiasts to enact what it may be like when we finally catch him."

--San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 2002

Heard it through the grapevine

"THIS IS a racist and imperialist war. The warmongers who stole the White House (you call them 'hawks,' but I would never disparage such a fine bird) have hijacked a nation's grief and turned it into a perpetual war on any non-white country they choose to describe as terrorist."
--Actor Woody Harrelson

"TO THE men in Washington, the world is just a giant Monopoly board...The giant industries that are polluting our planet as well as violating human rights worldwide are the ones nearest and dearest to the hearts of American politicians."

"VOTING IN Dade County is a lot like going to a casino. You hope it will work out, but you know it's beyond your control."
--Rep. Carrie Meek (D-Fla.)

"I DON'T know about this Christopher Columbus parade that is basically celebrating some guy who…found America and then killed all the Indians."
--Sopranos actor Joe Pantoliano, on being barred from New York's Columbus Day Parade

"THERE'S AN old saying. In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and were those slaves that lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master…exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. Colin Powell's committed to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture."
--Singer Harry Belafonte

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