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Rebranding

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It was an extraordinary week for attempts at self-­reinvention. Even after his country admitted it provided missiles to ­Hezbollah, Iran’s president and enthusiastic Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reassured Mike Wallace that “the time of the bomb is in the past … today is the era of thoughts, dialogue, and cultural exchanges.” (The terror cell busted in London for plotting to mix explosive mid-flight cocktails aboard airliners—thus bestowing instant outlaw status upon ­carry-on toiletries—must have missed the memo.) At the United Nations, proudly undiplomatic U.S. ambassador John Bolton awkwardly attempted to make nice with France over Lebanon’s fate, while ­Cristal-hata Jay-Z began a crusade for clean drinking water in Africa. Beleaguered party girl Lindsay Lohan spilled the beans about her plan to become an international cultural attaché—on a totally hot Iraq road trip with Hillary Clinton. Freshly minted independent Joe Lieberman assumed the blame for his loss in Connecticut’s Democratic primary (“I bear that responsibility,” said the stand-up senator), after firing his campaign staff. Left-for-dead ­attorney-general hopeful Jeanine Pirro , whose response to a news-camera light is usually autotrophic, kept an uncharacteristically low profile for a few days and leaped eleven points in polls against Andrew Cuomo . GOP Senate candidates KT McFarland and John Spencer , both of whom aspire to become this year’s Rick Lazio , spent their only debate trading insults. Mets fan favorite Paul Lo Duca spent the week weathering accusations of infidelity and illegal gambling, while the man he replaced, ex-scapegoat Mike Piazza , was welcomed back to Shea with multiple standing ovations. And while Lady Liberty’s crown was once again deemed off-limits to tourists, even if they aren’t bearing toiletries, she conceivably could be joined in New York Harbor by 40-foot fiberglass Rugrats; a list of proposals to develop Governors Island included plans for a Nickelodeon resort on ground that George Washington once defended.

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