A Surreality Check

By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Welcome back.

While you were on vacation and, of course, brooding about your life, your job and your relationships (Why? What for? What does it all mean?), I compiled a list of major news events that you might have missed and which now, as a public service, I present to you in abbreviated form:

President Bush likened the war in Iraq to World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and, it seems, all previous wars with the possible exception of the War of Jenkins' Ear (1739-41), which was an odd conflict but lacking, you should know, any monumentally dumb statements by Don Rumsfeld.

Fred Thompson lost his fourth key campaign aide even before having an official campaign. He promised stability in the White House.

John Edwards vowed he would sell his mansion in North Carolina and his financial investments in child-labor funds and would live forevermore in a hovel. He donated his comb to the Smithsonian.

Mitt Romney said he had realized halfway through his term as Massachusetts governor that he was really against abortion, gun control and gay marriage and had been getting things backward most of his natural life. He promptly changed his name to Timm Romney and insisted it had been his name all along.

Bill Richardson revised his statement about how jet lag led him to misstate his position on whether people are born gay or choose to be gay. Richardson confessed he heard the word "choice" and thought, because he is a Democrat, "Aha!" He said he favored "a man's right to choose."

On a voice vote, congressional Republicans decided to limit themselves to one sex crime per session.

Leona Helmsley died and left $12 million to her dog. The pooch was interviewed on "Today" by Ann Curry and Matt Lauer.

Bill Richardson changed his position again. He said he wasn't jet-lagged. He was carsick.

Michael Vick admitted to killing "approximately six to eight dogs" but insisted he had never bet on the fights, which would have been a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Hillary Clinton called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to resign and be replaced by Judith Giuliani.

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