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Nader’s Raiders

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Remember the grade-school trickster who told you your shoe was untied, then smacked you in the face when you looked down at your lace? That’s Ralph Nader in a nutshell. Except for policies regarding the environment, gay marriage, individual and corporate taxes, abortion, judicial appointments, government spending, questions of foreign policy and countless other policy matters, “There is no difference” between Republicans and Democrats. Right? Nader convinced 97,488 Florida voters of that very fallacy in 2000. If only 537 of them hadn’t fallen for that sort of folly, matters would be very, very different today. Then again, according to “Nader-logic,” they wouldn’t. In fact, things would be just the same!

& ull; He’s running again, in case you haven’t heard: But this time it’s not even clear if the Green Party will have him. He might just run as an independent. And—get this—he’s planning on taking away votes from the Republicans. “The reason why I’m convinced I’m going to get more votes away from Bush than the Democrats is the wholesale abandonment of our campaign by the big donors in 2000 and our prominent liberal supporters,” Nader told The New York Times. Nader will take away votes from the Republicans? It could very well happen in “Nader world,” where there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats.

No two people are more excited about the prospect of Nader 2004 than President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Here’s why: A poll by Newsweek and Genext found that 38 percent of 18- to 29-year-old voters said they likely will vote for Nader in the upcoming election. These morons think they’re being renegade, that they’re “rocking the vote,” to use a clichéd expression. Instead, these are the same people who will always look down at their shoelace, then express surprise when they’re smacked in the face.

& ull; Television is bad: A recent study published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that preschoolers who watch even one hour of television per day are more likely to suffer some sort of attention-deficit disorder later in life.

& ull; But who cares, anyway? Not men between the ages of 18 to 34. According to recent data by Nielsen Media Research, this group is watching less television all the time. They’ve got the Internet, and magazines like Maxim.

& ull; Mayor Rocky Anderson’s dossier on a certain Tribune reporter probably isn’t going away: You might remember City Weekly’s Oct. 2, 2003, story about the mayor’s spokesman Josh Ewing building a dossier of clips alleging bias by a few newspaper reporters. Chief alleged offender was Heather May, whose work to which Ewing, no longer with the mayor’s office, applied exacting standards when he lined her stories up against the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. The Trib has stood by May’s work. But the mayor’s got to be frosted by her latest article describing his “first 100 days in office” as a “whirlwind” while his second term is “barely a breeze.”

& ull; Who says Iraq isn’t some quasi-colonial project? Former chief of Iraq’s occupation authority Gen. Jay Garner on BBC Television, March 19, 2004: “... it’s a bad analogy, but I think we should look right now at Iraq as our coaling station in the Middle East, where we have some presence there and it gives a settling effect there, and it also gives us a strategic advantage there, and I think we ought to just accept that and take that for a period of time, as long as the Iraqi people are willing to allow us to be guests in their country.”

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