Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2005. By Paul Ford.
At the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, President George W. Bush gave a speech on the Iraq war. “As Iraqi forces grow more capable,” he said, “they're increasingly taking the lead in the fight against the terrorists.” Operation Steel Hammer, intended to end Al Qaeda operations in Hit, west of Baghdad, was launched with a force of 1,500 U.S. Marines, 500 U.S. Army soldiers, and 500 Iraqi soldiers. Nineteen Iraqi soldiers were killed in an attack north of Baghdad, and ten U.S. Marines were killed by a roadside bomb in Fallujah. In New York City, a defense contractor named David H. Brooks rented out two floors of the Rainbow Room for his daughter Elizabeth's bat mitzvah. Tom Petty, Kenny G, and members of Aerosmith performed, as did 50 Cent. The total cost of the party was reported as $10 million. “Go shorty,” rapped 50 Cent, “it's your bat mitzvah, we gonna party like it's your bat mitzvah.” Two women told a reporter that Randy “Duke” Cunningham, the California Congressman who resigned after he was found to have accepted bribes from defense contractors, once changed into pajama bottoms and a turtleneck sweater and offered the women champagne by the light of a lava lamp. The House Ethics Committee had not opened a new case in the last 12 months. “I would say by the early part of January, we will be fully organized,” said Representative Alan Mollohan (D., W. Va.). “Or should be really close to that.” Senator John McCain said that he didn't think “the ethics committees are working very well.” In Tennessee a man was arrested for firing a gun at traffic while wearing only a pair of socks.Great work, Mr. Ford.