Perhaps in response to the steady drumbeat of bad news coming out of Iraq, President George W. Bush today attempted to lower expectations about the situation there, telling reporters at a White House briefing that the best-case scenario for Iraq is now “a moderate fiasco.”

Mr. Bush acknowledged some errors in judgment about the war, including posing in front of a banner that said “Mission Accomplished” when it should have said “Mission Impossible.”

But he lashed out at critics who called the invasion of Iraq a total fiasco, saying, “If we continue to make progress at the rate we are going, we will have a moderate fiasco on our hands.”

The somewhat more sober assessment of the situation in Iraq comes just days after a new poll was released showing that a majority of Americans now hope that the Bush presidency turns out to be a dream sequence.

According to the survey, 57% of those polled say they wish the last five years turn out to be “just a weird dream,” while 51% hold out hope that their mothers will come wake them up and tell them it is time for school.

At the press briefing, Mr. Bush acknowledged that most Americans now wish his presidency was imaginary, but said that he did not regret invading Iraq even though no weapons of mass destruction existed.

“I’ll go further than that,” he said. “I would still invade Iraq even if Iraq never existed.”

Elsewhere, scientists said a huge object once thought to be a new planet is actually the singer Britney Spears.

Award-winning humorist, television personality and film actor Andy Borowitz is author of the new book “The Republican Playbook,” to be published in October. To find out more about Borowitz and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate website,

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