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Cheney "accidents' target Democrats

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot documentary filmmaker Michael Moore yesterday as Moore was walking out of a Manhattan Denny's.

A spokesperson for the vice president said that it was a "complete accident" and that Cheney felt "horrible." The White House released a statement saying that the shooting was "just bad timing. Vice President Cheney, who is well-versed in firearms safety, was merely sitting in a shrub, wearing camouflage, outside of a Denny's frequented by Mr. Moore."

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In another bizarre accident, Cheney mistakenly shot every Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. A White House spokesman said that the vice president feels "bad, but not that bad." An aide to Cheney said that the vice president "happened to be in the committee chambers, under a chair, when he stood up to put on a pair of chaps, accidentally shooting the committee members, stopping to reload three times." Remarkably, the committee members were largely unhurt and are expected to recover.

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The White House was put on the defensive again today when Air Force Two was forced to make an emergency landing 25 miles west of New York City after a loss of cabin pressure because of the accidental shooting of former FEMA director Michael D. Brown and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Cheney was said to be "laughing, but also deeply concerned" when he was awakened from a nap after accidentally shooting the men at close range. Typically, shotguns are not allowed on either Air Force One or Two, but Cheney is, the statement said, "a seasoned hunter and also planned to accidentally shoot both men." Both Brown and Chertoff are expected to make complete recoveries, although it remains unclear as to why Brown was duct-taped to the wing of the plane.

A spokesman later added that the vice president had been on his way to New York City to accidentally shoot New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

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Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton miraculously escaped injury today after Cheney accidentally ran up to her motorcade and accidentally shot at her car. The White House said the vice president "tripped."

"These things happen," a White House spokesman said. "Guns, while completely safe, are also dangerous."

A member of the vice president's staff said Cheney apologized to the former first lady a handwritten note.

"I'm sorry I almost shot you. But I will try again and will also be sorry then too. I like the sound a gun makes and the smell of the gunpowder. "Flint' is a neat word."

John Kenney has just finished his first novel.

Special to the Los Angeles Times

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