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On the Firing Line

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In a week when much of the world came to midtown, the boldest names were to be found on campus. Hillary Clinton held up under heavy grilling at the Dartmouth debates, while Columbia University president Lee Bollinger invited Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad uptown, then called him a “petty and cruel dictator.” (For his part, Ahmadinejad denied that his country contained such dangerous American inventions as nuclear weapons and homosexuals.) Potential First Husband Bill was joined at his Global Initiative conference by poverty experts Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The former commander-in-chief also declared war, unsuccessfully, on Village eatery Osso Buco for hanging a promotional photo of daughter Chelsea in its front window. At St. John’s University in Queens, a rifle-toting freshman was wrestled to the ground, while onetime gun-control nut Rudy Giuliani swore to the NRA that he supports the right to bear arms. Rudy later canned his chief fund-raiser, reportedly for underperformance, though he did win the battle against MoveOn.org, which agreed to pay the Times extra for its cut-rate “General Betray-Us” ad. New memos indicated that aides to governors Pataki and Spitzer had been warned about structural problems at the Deutsche Bank building. Bill O’Reilly applauded black patrons for their civility at Harlem soul-food emporium Sylvia’s. Guerrilla Fascists spray-painted swastikas all over Brooklyn Heights. A bighearted Bronx cop who rescued a pit bull was rewarded with a steel-trap bite to the groin. Mets fans sweated through unseasonably warm autumn temperatures, but the Yankees capped their second-half comeback by clinching a playoff spot. The Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg was landmarked, while the MTA sweetened talk of fare increases with discounts for off-peak riders. And Denzel Washington promised to catch the Lexington Avenue line, signing on to reprise Walter Matthau’s role in a remake of The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3.

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