The Year in Politics: A Quiz

1. What did Attorney General John Ashcroft do to a pair of partially nude statues in the Great Hall of the Justice Department?

a) Fitted them with chastity belts
b) Draped curtains in front of them at a cost to taxpayers of more than $8,000
c) Decried them as part of an epidemic of "Girls Gone Wild"
d) Serenaded them with a rousing rendition of his blockbuster hit, "Let the Eagle Soar"

2. Death Star, Fat Boy, Get Shorty and Ricochet are all names for what?

a) Domestic security programs proposed by John Ashcroft to monitor the movements of all citizens at all times
b) Schemes Enron used to manipulate California's electricity market
c) Schemes Enron used to manipulate Dick Cheney's energy task force
d) Nicknames given by President Bush to senior members of his Cabinet
e) Nicknames given by Trent Lott to his fellow Klansmen.

3. Match the politician with the quotation:

A. Bill Clinton
B. Strom Thurmond
C. Al Gore
D. Tom DeLay
E. James Traficant

1) "I wanted to have Playboy bunnies come on at night to meet with me. I wanted to be promiscuous with them."
2) "I love all of you, and especially your wives."
3) "I set up a music room in my house . . . and blow away."
4) "I'm concerned about the economy. I was the first one laid off."
5) "We're no longer a superpower. We're a super-duper power."

4. What did Bill Clinton say he would "grab a rifle, get in a ditch, and fight and die" for?

a) A chance to be the next Oprah
b) A chance to star on "The Bachelor"
c) The defense of America
d) The defense of Israel
e) An advance copy of Playboy's "Women of Enron" issue

5. President Bush said all of the following except:

a) "This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating."
b) "I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here."
c) "How many Palestinians were on those airplanes on Sept. 9? None."
d) "The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur."

6. True or false: Former Vice President Al Gore was pulled aside for random airport security checks twice in two days while flying to and from Washington, D.C.

7. Beijing's largest newspaper printed as fact a satirical news story from "The Onion" that claimed:

a) Congress was threatening to relocate to Memphis or Charlotte unless a new Capitol was built with a retractable dome
b) Kevin Bacon has been linked to al Qaeda
c) Nuclear bomb instructions had been found inside the Pentagon
d) President Bush had called on the United Nations to support his "U.S. Does Whatever it Wants" plan

8. Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has referred to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle by all of the following nicknames except:

a) Hanoi Tom
b) El Diablo
c) Turd Blossom
d) Puff Daschle

9. Match the Iran-Contra scandal conspirator with his current line of work in the Bush administration:

A. Elliott Abrams
B. John Poindexter
C. Otto Reich
D. John Negroponte

1) Convicted in 1990 on five felony counts of lying and obstruction of justice (the conviction was later overturned; now heading the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness Project
2) Pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress (he was later pardoned by the first President Bush); recently promoted to serve as Bush's point man on the Middle East
3) Ambassador to Honduras while illegal aid was funneled through that country to the Contras; now serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
4) In charge of an agency accused of running a covert propaganda campaign against the Nicaraguan government; now serving as the State Department's special envoy to Latin America

10. A congressional investigation found that military personnel used Pentagon-issued credit cards to make which of the following purchases at taxpayer expense:

a) $38,000 for lap dances
b) $34,250 for gambling expenses
c) $3,400 for a sumo wrestling outfit
d) $16,000 for a corporate gold membership
e) All of the above

11. Which one of the following statements about newly elected Rep. Katherine Harris is false?

a) She was opposed in the Republican primary by a dog whose owner mounted a write-in campaign
b) She received a $250,000 campaign contribution from Maybelline
c) She violated Florida election law by failing to resign as secretary of state in time to run for Congress, but got around that by backdating her resignation letter
d) She won the lottery held for incoming House freshmen to determine first choice of Capitol Hill office space
e) She was appointed to a Congressional leadership position that controls the Republican's vote-counting operation

12. Who said, "The only thing I know, 100 percent for sure, is that my husband is an honest, decent, moral human being who would do absolutely nothing wrong."

a) Hillary Clinton
b) Carolyn Condit
c) Lynne Cheney
d) Linda Lay
e) Patricia Traficant

13. Match the following staunch proponents of war against Iraq with their reason for avoiding military service in Vietnam:

A. Dick Cheney
B. Tom DeLay
C. Trent Lott
D. Rush Limbaugh

1) "Had other priorities"
2) Had anal cysts
3) Claimed there was no room for patriotic folks like himself because minorities had taken up all the slots
4) Served instead as a college cheerleader

Answers: 1. b, 2. b, 3. A-3, B-2, C-4, D-5, E-1, 4. d, 5. c (Dan Quayle said it), 6. True, 7. a, 8. c (Turd Blossom is Bush's nickname for Karl Rove), 9. A-2, B-1, C-4, D-3, 10. e, 11. b, 12. d, 13. A-1, B-3, C-4, D-2

Daniel Kurtzman is a San Francisco writer and former Washington political correspondent.

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