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Inside the system

December 12, 2003 | Page 4

Turkeys on parade

THE BUSH administration claims that the president's Thanksgiving Day trip to Iraq wasn't a photo-op. But the proof is in the turkey.

Remember the now-famous picture of Bush, wearing an Army workout jacket and surrounded by soldiers as he cradles a platter with a golden-brown turkey? The bird looks perfect, with bunches of grapes and other trimmings completing the Norman Rockwell image.

But administration officials recently admitted that Bush picked up a decoration, not a serving platter. A contractor--from a subsidiary of Halliburton, naturally--had roasted and primped the decorative turkey to adorn the buffet line.

The 600 soldiers were served from cafeteria-style steam trays, "the officials said. They said the bird was not placed there in anticipation of Bush's stealthy visit, and military sources said a trophy turkey is a standard feature of holiday chow lines.

"This [visit] was effective, because it captured something about the president that people know is true--that he really cares about the soldiers and gets emotional when he sees them," said Republican pundit Mary Matalin. "You have to figure out how to capture the Bush we know, even if it doesn't come through in a speech situation or a press conference. He regularly rejects anything that is not him."
-- Washington Post, December 4, 2003

Truth about Dubya

ADD TECHIES to the list of people who hate George W. Bush. In the latest incident of "Google bombing"--where the popular search engine is manipulated into coming up with certain results--some industrious hacker decided to send the Bush administration a message.

Typing the words "miserable failure" into the engine and clicking the "I'm Feeling Lucky" search key, took users directly to the "Biography of President George W. Bush."
-- Washington Post, December 4, 2003

The definition of low wages

POOR OLD McDonald's. Just as the world's largest fast-food chain was trying to spruce up its image (and its profits), it has been dealt another blow. Welcome to the world of "McJobs,"--defined by the latest Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as "low paying and dead-end work."

The entry is one of 10,000 additions to the latest version of the dictionary. McDonald's is furious. Jim Cantalupo, the company's chief executive said in an open letter that it is "an inaccurate description of restaurant employment" and a "slap in the face to the 12 million men and women" who work in the restaurant industry.

McDonald's operates 30,000 restaurants around the world. Of the men and women who own and operate them, Mr. Cantalupo goes on, more than 1,000 got their start in a "McJob," serving customers--for low wages and no benefits, of course.

A McDonald's spokesman said the word "McJob" closely resembles McJobs, the company's training program for handicapped people. "McJobs is trademarked, and we've notified them that legally that's an issue for us as well," he added. In other words: McDonald's may sue the dictionary.
-- lndependent, November 10, 2003

Heard it through the grapevine

"TOO MANY whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too."
-- Right-wing radio show host Rush Limbaugh in October 1995

"THERE ARE people who say I'm a hypocrite...There's no hypocrisy...just because I was doing something that appeared to be contradictory...My behavior doesn't change right and wrong."
-- Admitted painkiller addict Rush Limbaugh in November 2003, after returning to his show from rehab

"WHAT'S A soup kitchen?"
-- Hotel heiress Paris Hilton, on her new Fox reality show "The Simple Life"--in which she and another stupid rich girl spend time on a farm in Altus, Ark.

"WHAT IS Wal-Mart? Do they, like, sell wall stuff?"
-- Hilton

"WHAT DOES 'generic' mean?"
-- Hilton, after being told to buy generic groceries at the store

"IT LOOKS like the people of San Francisco are an endangered species, which may not be a bad thing. That's probably good news for the country...Did I just say that out loud?"
-- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush while looking at a map showing locations of different wildlife

"BECAUSE OF an editing error, this story misattributed a quote from the speaker on an audiotape purportedly of Saddam Hussein as coming from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. It was the speaker on the tape, not Daschle, who said, 'The evil ones now find themselves in crisis, and this is God's will for them.'"
-- Recent correction from the Cleveland Plain Dealer

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