Hoping to reassure voters before the midterm elections that he is actively looking for a way to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, President George W. Bush said today that he has been looking for an exit strategy at the popular Internet site Mapquest.com.

By announcing that he was relying on Mapquest to navigate the United States’ exit from an apparent quagmire in Iraq, the president was running the risk of making his administration appear as if it had run out of ideas of its own.

But in a White House press briefing this morning, Mr. Bush defended his use of what he called “the Internets,” adding that he was also hoping to find an international peacekeeping force for Lebanon at Craigslist.

The president said that he began his search at Mapquest by typing in “Iraq” as the starting location and “United States of America” as the ending location.

He acknowledged that the process of finding an exit strategy at the Mapquest site was complicated by the fact that many of the streets that Mapquest displays for Iraq have not existed since the United States began bombing the country in 2003.

Ultimately, Mr. Bush said, the search for an exit strategy at Mapquest yielded mixed results: “The good news is that I found the most direct route from Iraq to the U.S. The bad news is that the estimated travel time is 20 years.”

Elsewhere, an article in the magazine Obesity said that infants and children are more likely to be overweight, and so are readers of the magazine Obesity.

Award-winning humorist, television personality and film actor Andy Borowitz is author of the new book “The Republican Playbook,” to be published October 2006. To find out more about Andy Borowitz and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate website, www.creators.com.

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