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Jewish World Review Jan. 14, 2002 / 11 Shevat, 5763

Mort Zuckerman

Mort Zuckerman
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Consumer Reports

They should have said... | Here are my annual fantasies about how some famous folks might have responded to the news of the year.

George W. Bush on those who thought he was too inexperienced to handle foreign policy: "Remember that amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic." Bush on his proactive policy of pre-emption: "I feel like a lion in a den of Daniels."

Vice President Dick Cheney on Saddam Hussein: "There are two theories of negotiations with Saddam Hussein on weapons of mass destruction. Neither one works."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on warfare before 9/11: "Remember when water balloons were the ultimate weapons?"

CIA Director George Tenet on terrorists: "Forgiveness is up to God. Our job is to arrange the meeting."

President Bush on Republican success in the midterm election: "Politicians and diapers have something in common. They should be changed regularly and for the same reason."

Bush Chief of Staff Andrew Card's motto on punctuality: "I notice that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them."

President Bush on Yasser Arafat's desire to visit the White House: "How about never? Is never good enough for you?"

Al Gore on not running for the presidency: "If at first you don't succeed, sky diving is not for you."

Critics of former President Jimmy Carter's pacifism, which included opposing the eviction of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1990 as well as any current military action against Iraq: "It is desirable even in an era when the lion lies down with the lamb to take care never to assume the role of the lamb."

Saddam Hussein's policy on the return of inspectors to Iraq: "If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that you tried."

The liberals' view on going to war with Saddam Hussein: "Never get into a fight with ugly people because they have nothing to lose."

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's "theory of holes" approach to foreign-policy problems: "When you are in one, stop digging."

President Bush on academic excellence: "The closest I ever got to a 4.0 college score was my blood-alcohol level."

Gen. Tommy Franks on the brilliant success of the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban: "They said it couldn't be done, but that doesn't always work."

The Defense Department on the State Department: "a place where sound travels faster than light." The State Department on the Defense Department: "a place full of single-entendres."

The press on Trent Lott's attempts to apologize for his racially tinged comments at the 100th-birthday party for Sen. Strom Thurmond: "He got his campaign of apology off to a flying stop." And: "No one is listening until you make a mistake."

Trent Lott on his problems: "Some days you are the dog. Some days you are the hydrant."

Strom Thurmond on his 100th birthday: "I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty."

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill on his firing: "I was sworn in by a judge. I should have asked for a jury."

House Republicans on the new Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "She doesn't have hot flashes. She has power surges."

The public on the IRS: "Did you ever notice that if you put the word the and 'IRS' together, it spells 'theirs'?"

The commissioner of the IRS: "A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well."

Enronon its financial strategy: "Let's borrow money from pessimists. They don't expect it back."

The investment banking industry's definition of P/E ratios: "the percentage of investors wetting their pants as the stock market keeps crashing."

The financial service industry's definition of broker: "what my broker has made me." And of an institutional investor: "last year's investor who is now locked in a nuthouse."

On the new studies of the life of Albert Einstein: "OK, so what is the speed of dark?"

On the new motto at college football games: "Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder."

On the new holiday diet: "You can eat anything you wish, but you have to do it in front of naked, fat people."

Television talk show host John McLaughlin on his assessment of Washington politics: "Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't."

On defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen's view of "EBIT:" "earnings before irregularities and tampering." And of EBITDA: "earnings before I trick the damn auditor."

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JWR contributor Mort Zuckerman is editor-in-chief and publisher of U.S. News and World Report. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


12/24/02: Who finances the fanatics?
12/19/02: Put-up or shut-up time
12/09/02: Sheep, wolves, and reality
11/21/02: Curing the uncommon cold
11/12/02: Everybody has the right to be wrong but the Dems have been abusing the privilege
11/05/02: Force vs. fanaticism
10/30/02: Land of the sinking sun
10/22/02: No more cat and mouse
10/15/02: And pigs will fly
10/07/02: A shameful contagion
09/26/02: Calling a madman's number
09/23/02: Our rainbow underclass
09/13/02: Why America must act
09/04/02: After bubbles, a double dip?
08/20/02: No time for equivocation
08/06/02: No time for politics
07/30/02: Getting off the dime
07/17/02: What scandal cannot dim
06/18/02: Time to crack down: Where is the outrage?
06/05/02: The next new thing
04/30/02: Roller-coaster nation
04/25/02: A critical tipping point
04/15/02: Israel's endgame will impact the free world
03/21/02: In the face of pure evil
03/14/02: A man on a mission
03/07/02: Land of the Sinking Sun
02/12/02: Speaking truth about energy
01/15/02: Putting our house in order
01/12/02: Talking points for 2002
12/24/01: The shape of things to come
12/11/01: Finally, a clarity of vision
12/04/01: Apocalypse now
11/26/01: The Big Apple's core
11/06/01: What it will take to win
10/22/01: Getting the mayor's message
10/08/01: A remedy for repair
10/01/01: A question of priorities
09/26/01: Our mission, our moment
09/11/01: Running the asylum
08/29/01: Hail, brave consumer
06/14/01: Blackouts --- or blackmail?
06/01/01: A time to reap --- and sow
05/25/01: A question of confidence
05/18/01: A question of confidence
05/04/01: Making the grade
04/26/01: The caribou conundrum
04/19/01: Chinese boomerang
03/27/01: The man of the moment
03/20/01: The Fed must be bold
03/15/01: Japan on the brink
03/01/01: Rethinking the next war
02/09/01: The education paradox
01/08/01: How the bottom fell out
01/03/01: Quipping in the new year
12/20/00: A time for healing
11/13/00: The need for legitimacy
10/30/00: Arafat's bloody cynicism
10/18/00: Arafat torches peace
10/03/00: A great step backward
09/08/00: The Perfect Storm
08/29/00: Don't blow the surplus
08/15/00: Voting for grown-ups
08/01/00: Arafat's lack of nerve
07/17/00: Can there be a new peace between old enemies? Or will new enemies regress to an old state of war?
07/11/00: A time to celebrate
06/19/00: A bit of straight talk
06/08/00: Using hate against Israel
05/26/00: Is the Federal Reserve trigger-happy?
04/18/00: Tensions on the 'Net
04/13/00: A paranoid power
03/10/00: Fuel prices in the red zone
02/25/00: Web wake-up call
02/18/00: Back to the future
01/21/00: Whistling while we work
01/11/00: Loose lips, fast quips
12/23/99: The times of our lives
12/14/99: Hey, big spender
11/18/99: Fountain of Youth
11/04/99: An impossible partner
10/14/99: A nation divided
10/05/99: India at center stage
09/21/99: Along with good cops, we need a better probation system
09/08/99: Though plundered and confused, Russia can solve its problems
08/31/99: The military should spend more on forces and less on facilities
08/05/99: Squandering the surplus
07/06/99: More than ever, America's unique promise is a reality
06/24/99: The time has come to hit the brakes on affirmative action
06/15/99: America should take pride in honoring its responsibilities
06/02/99: The Middle Kingdom shows its antagonistic side
05/11/99: Technology's transforming power is giving a lift to everything
05/04/99: The big game gets bigger
04/30/99: On Kosovo, Russia talked loudly and carried a small stick
04/21/99: No time to go wobbly
04/13/99: The Evil of two lessers

© 2001, Mortimer Zuckerman