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A year of living dangerously

Paul Slansky's new book, "Idiots, Hypocrites, Demagogues, and More Idiots," has just been published.

1. Which presidential candidate apologized to whom for what?

a. Joe Biden

b. Fred Thompson

c. Hillary Clinton

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d. Bill Richardson

e. Mike Huckabee

f. Barack Obama

g. Mitt Romney

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____ To Hillary Clinton, for mocking her support among Indian Americans by calling her “the senator from Punjab.”

____To Mike Huckabee, mockingly, for “pointing out that as governor of Arkansas, [he] offered in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.”

____To Mitt Romney, for being quoted in the New York Times Magazine asking, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”

____To the gay community, for saying that homosexuality was “a choice.”

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____To Barack Obama, for calling him “the first mainstream African American [presidential candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

____To Barack Obama, for a campaign staffer’s having raised the issue of his youthful coke-snorting.

____To Americans, and especially those with kids in Iraq, for saying that even though his sons weren’t backing up their father’s support for the war by fighting in it, they were nonetheless serving their country quite nicely by “helping me get elected, because they think I’d be a great president.”

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2. What can be seen hanging from the rearview mirror in the photograph of Lindsay Lohan passed out in her car two nights after a DUI arrest that resulted from her drunkenly crashing into a curb on Sunset Boulevard?

a. Sponge dice.

b. A gold crucifix.

c. A silver coke spoon.

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d. A collection of 30-days-sobriety medallions.

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3. How did Britney Spears distinguish herself in 2007?

a. By shaving her head in Tarzana.

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b. By displaying the absence of underwear.

c. By getting involved in various traffic mishaps.

d. By doing her zombie impression on MTV.

e. By attacking a paparazzi’s car with an umbrella.

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f. By skipping parenting classes and missing court dates.

g. By having her kids taken away from her by child services.

h. By going in and out of rehab as if it is a revolving door.

i. By repeatedly vomiting on herself in public.

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j. All of the above.

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4. Who told Harper’s Bazaar: “You know, you can’t blame parents for kids”?

a. Lindsay Lohan’s mother, Dina.

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b. Paris Hilton’s mother, Kathy.

c. Britney Spears’ mother, Lynne.

d. Anna Nicole Smith’s mother, Virgie.

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5. What did Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez say after it was revealed that he’d been spending campaign funds on first-class travel (to Spain, France and Italy in 2007 alone), first-class accommodations (i.e. $8,745 at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona), meals at the best restaurants (i.e. $1,795 at Le Grand Colbert in Paris) and purchases at the highest-end retailers (i.e. $2,562 at Louis Vuitton)?

a. “For me, it’s a question of, is my perspective on issues broad enough? Do I have enough context when I make decisions? This is a big state to run. You’ve got to know what you’re doing.”

b. “I feel very confident and comfortable that [these trips are] not only justified but necessary for the decisions I need to make on a daily basis.”

c. “There’s not too big a difference between how I live and how most middle-class people live.”

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d. All of the above.

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6. About what percentage of the 100,000 artifacts believed to have been housed at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library are currently unaccounted for?

a. 15%

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b. 40%

c. 80%

d. 95%

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7. Who said what?

a. Ann Coulter

b. David Chase

c. Don Imus

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d. Donald Trump

e. J.K. Rowling

f. George W. Bush

____ “I always thought of Dumbledore as gay.”

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____ “Her girlfriend cannot be happy .... She can’t be thrilled kissing Rosie O’Donnell. What’s worse than that? ... Living with a pigface is very tough.”

____ “No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God. ... No one was trying to blow people’s minds.”

____ “That’s some nappy-headed hos there.”

____ “We just want Jews to be perfected.”

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____ “I mean, people have access to healthcare in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.”

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8. Who is Tennie Pierce?

a. The San Diego volunteer firefighter who turned out to have been a convicted arsonist only recently released from jail.

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b. The black Los Angeles firefighter who got a $1.5-million settlement from the city in connection with a 2004 incident in which his colleagues served him a spaghetti dinner with a secret ingredient: dog food.

c. The main attorney for the 508 plaintiffs in the sexual abuse suit against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that resulted in an astronomical $660-million settlement.

d. One of the Blackwater security contractors who was brutally killed in Iraq in 2004 after the company failed to provide them with the armor and weapons necessary for their jobs.

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9. What do presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have in common?

a. Both their wives complained about their husbands’ propensity to toss their socks on the floor.

b. They both followed their official declarations of candidacy by saying, and then unsaying, that the lives of Americans killed in Iraq had been “wasted.”

c. They both struggled with quitting smoking.

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d. They both discovered that they are distantly related to Dick Cheney.

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10. True or false? Four days after then-U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales gave one of the most disastrous performances in the history of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, replete with evasions and prevarications, George W. Bush announced that his confidence in him had “dropped precipitately.”

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11. Eight months before denouncing the MoveOn.org “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” ad as “indecent” and “contemptible,” what did Rush Limbaugh say was his new name for Nebraska Republican Sen. (and Vietnam veteran) Chuck Hagel after Hagel cast a vote against the Iraq war?

a. “Schmuck Hagel”

b. “Chuck Bagel”

c. “Senator Betrayus”

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d. “The Phony Soldier”

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12. Who is Jean Rouda?

a. The Telemundo reporter who reported the news of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s breakup with his wife without mentioning that she, as the mayor’s mistress, might have had a little something to do with that split.

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b. One of five women who testified that Phil Spector once threatened her with a gun.

c. The woman who met Villaraigosa in 2005 in the elevator of her Sherman Oaks condo as he was bringing in takeout food and a bottle of wine and who told him, “I know who you are. I know who you’re going to see. Tell her I say hi.” (And who later told a reporter that she knew the mayor was visiting his mistress because everyone else in the 15-unit complex was “older and Jewish [and] I knew he was not going to visit an elderly Jewish woman with wine and food.”)

d. The nanny who made up the story about a man trying to buy babies at Encino Park to avoid having to go there, because she feared that the child in her care might be injured on the jungle gym.

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13. Who did what?

a. Dick Cheney

b. Mitt Romney

c. Rudy Giuliani

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d. Dennis Kucinich

e. Trent Lott

f. George W. Bush

g. Michael Mukasey

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h. Karl Rove

____Said he saw UFOs.

____Claimed not to know if waterboarding is or isn’t torture.

____Said his favorite novel was L. Ron Hubbard’s “Battlefield Earth.”

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____Resigned early, thereby avoiding stricter anti-lobbying regulations.

____Performed a “rap” song that represented the all-time nadir of Caucasian entertainment.

____Said he’d let his wife sit in on Cabinet meetings.

____Said he hadn’t spoken to the underling who’d taken the fall for him because “there hasn’t been occasion to do so.”

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____Erroneously said Nelson Mandela was dead.

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14. Which of the following was revealed in Robert Draper’s book, “Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush?”

a. Just as he did when governor of Texas, Bush still spends an hour and a half a day playing video games.

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b. On Sept. 12, 2001, Bush sent someone out to get a copy of “My Pet Goat” because he wanted to see how it ended.

c. Bush had initially intended to keep the Iraqi army intact and couldn’t remember how or why it was, instead, disastrously disbanded.

d. Bush likes to flatulate in the presence of others.

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15. Who is Nick Counter?

a. The last patient to die at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital before it finally closed.

b. The man from whom O.J. Simpson was trying to retrieve his “stuff” in that Las Vegas hotel room.

c. The negotiator for the studios in their battle with the striking writers.

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d. The La Puente burglar who was arrested after getting stuck in a chimney.

16. True or false? Disappointing as it would be to the tens of millions of people who delighted in the instantly immortal phrase, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho never actually claimed to have a “wide stance,” but had, according to tape transcripts, referred to himself as a “fairly wide guy” and had been misquoted by the undercover cop who arrested him.

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17. How did Sen. Craig begin the news conference at which he announced that despite having been arrested because of alleged lewd behavior in a Minneapolis airport men’s room and despite allegations of homosexual experiences dating back 40 years, he was, in fact, “not gay,” “never [had] been gay” and would surely never be gay?

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a. “I’ve been a naughty boy. I deserve a spanking.”

b. “Gentlemen, I assume you see this woman on my left. Let me introduce her to you. This is Suzanne. She’s my wife! I’m married!”

c. “Thank you all very much for coming out today.”

d. “You won’t have Craig to kick around anymore because gentlemen, this is my last press conference. No, I’m kidding.”

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18. How did the Democratic Congress take advantage of George W. Bush’s record-low poll numbers?

a. It adamantly refused to consider impeachment proceedings.

b. It not only approved but expanded on his warrantless surveillance program and continued funding the Iraq war with no strings attached.

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c. It not only failed to curb the government’s questionable-to-say-the-least interrogation tactics but confirmed an attorney general who approves of them.

d. All of the above.

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19. Fill in the pair of blanks in George W. Bush’s quote: “My job is ___________. And as a result, _____________________.”

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a. to come up with good tough names for myself ... I started callin’ myself ‘The Commander Guy.’

b. a decision-making job ... I make a lot of decisions.

c. to talk a lot about what the jobs of the president is ... that’s what I’m doin’ right here.

d. best done by an intelligent, compassionate, humble man ... well, I don’t have to tell you where that leaves me.

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20. On the Miss Teen USA beauty pageant, Miss South Carolina was told, “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map” and was asked, “Why do you think this is?” What was her response?

a. “I think that’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard and what it means is that we have to get behind President Bush and support him in everything he does, especially about ‘No child left behind.’ ”

b. “I find that to be an incredible statistic, bordering on unbelievable, and the first thing I would want to know is which polls you’re citing and how their results were gathered.”

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c. “It’s so funny that I would get this question, ‘cause just last week I was at this shopping mall? And there were these people there asking questions? And they asked me to point to America on this big map? And I knew exactly where it was -- right between Mexico and whatever that big country is on top of us.”

d. “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps, and I believe that our education like such as South Africa and the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our children.”

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ANSWERS:

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1. f, b, e, d, a, c, g; 2. d; 3. j; 4. a; 5. d; 6. c; 7. e, d, b, c, a, f; 8. b; 9. b; 10. False. Bush said Gonzales’ pathetic display “increased my confidence in his ability to do the job”; 11. c; 12. c; 13. d, g, b, e, h, c, a, f; 14. c; 15. c; 16. Sadly, true; and astronaut Lisa Nowak denies wearing diapers when she drove across the country; 17. c; 18. d; 19. b; 20. d.


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