The First 113 Days 

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George W. “I Ain’t That Stupid” Bush has been in office now for 113 days. And, frankly, who cares? Well, the news media does, of course, because for reasons that aren’t exactly clear, they—that is, we—like to make a big deal of the first 100 days of each presidency. It’s kind of like Valentine’s Day—it’s just something you have to do.

Many pundits are saying, well, gee, Bush is doing a swell job despite the fact that he doesn’t seem too bright. Come on, you’ve seen West Wing. It isn’t exactly brain surgery. If Bernie Machen can run the University of Utah, certainly Dubya can run the rest of the United States. The big difference between Dubya and Bernie is that Bush has surrounded himself with bright people.

Here at Smartbomb, we haven’t been paying attention because we went on vacation and decided, ah, to hell with it all. Upon returning, however, we find Dubya is still president. A quick Internet search turned up a list of some pretty impressive achievements during the first 113 days of Dubya’s 1,460-day term. Here are the highlights:

-Retirement stock portfolios have lost 15 to 20 percent of their value.

-A proposal for a defense system against intercontinental missiles is about to spark another arms race.

-The jobless rate is up sharply.

-Consumer confidence is sharply down.

-A large tax cut for the wealthy is barreling through Congress.

-Environmental protections are being systematically rolled back.

We’ve got to admit, that’s pretty darn impressive. Just think of what he’ll be able to do in the next 1,357 days.

Here’s another bit of good news. According to Walter Scott’s Personality Parade, our very own Sen. Orrin Hatch is being floated as a potential U.S. Supreme Court nominee to replace Chief Justice William “Let’s Keep Those Little Brown People From Voting” Rehnquist. If you like Orrin as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, you’ll just love him as Supreme Court justice. Move over Antonin Scalia.

Closer to home, the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune continue the great newspaper war. As you’ll recall, the Tribune’s management team sued AT&T for selling the morning paper to Denver newspaper curmudgeon Dean Singleton, with a little help from the very same Orrin Hatch and our friends in the LDS Tower of Power. Tit for tat, now the D News is suing the Tribune, arguing that its partner in the Newspaper Agency Corp. kept the Mormon church-owned paper from going to morning distribution. The suit also says that the D News has veto power over any sale of the Tribune back to the Trib’s present management team.

The kicker is that attorneys for the D News filed the suit in Davis County where, reportedly, a large percentage of residents actually read the afternoon paper. If true, that solves a riddle we’ve been asking for years: Who the heck reads the Deseret News?

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