Enemy of the Week

People Got the Power

No insults, please.

8.15.03

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Another week, another demonstration of who has power and who doesn't in Bush America. Florida 2000 was nothing compared to the dejuicing of 50 million Americans and anti-Americans in the Northeast and Canada on 8/14. Fans of electricity owe a great debt of gratitude to former Clinton Energy Secretary and intern career adviser Bill Richardson, who spent Friday criticizing the current administration for not acting on information the Clinton crowd had protected as a state secret: "We're a superpower with a third-world grid," he let on to CNN. "We need a new grid." What kept him from not publicizing the matter when he was a cabinet secretary? Apparently a failure to communicate. Instead of a new grid, he and the other Big Bill concentrated on acquiring new girth.

That's the skinny on New Democrat thinking. But real old-style Dems like the idea of power outages, which matches the clout they currently enjoy. If they're not going anywhere, no reason trains and elevators should either. It's an environmentalist commitment no Bushie can match. Indeed, it's been an enviro triumph: tens of thousands of commuters forced to walk home in oppressive heat without needing to resort to ozone layer-depleting fossil-fueled locomotion. True, they perhaps consumed too much precious water during their trek. Next outage they will be required to walk dry. If not for the militaristic overtones, the event could be combined with a Marine marathon.

In blissful California, former-governor elect Gray Davis fought off an energy shortage of his own to declare the effort to Clintonize him an "insult." In fluent Californese, he explained: "I am trying to suppress those negative feelings and channel my energies into doing something positive for the people I work for." He's already done more than he knows. California's creative juices are running past capacity. Because of the FCC's "fairness doctrine," all candidates on the recall ballot can entitled to the same exposure at the Multiplex as currently enjoyed by alien brute Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rather than having to star in new productions, through the miracle of digital editing each of Arnie's rivals can be inserted into a famous role of an established film.

So the dashing Cruz Bustamante could be offered the lead in Zorro, either the Tyrone Power or Antonio Banderas version. Peter Ueberroth seems a no-brainer to play Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby. It would only be just for Larry Flynt to appear as the Woody Harrelson of Natural Born Killers. Bill Simon and Tom McClintock could both star in Knute Rockne, All-American, though only one would get to play in Ronald Reagan's role and you know it wouldn't be McClintock. Better to survive like Rockne, he'd figure.

Finally, the difficulty of finding an appropriate role for women comes into play with Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington. Perhaps anything Greek would do. Maybe the lead in Never on Sunday, in honor of its star, Melina Mercouri, who was once the Arianna of Greek politics and Athenian Brentwood. A more obscure role would capture the difficulty a woman faces competing against men in a commando thriller. Thus in The Guns of Navarone the underutilized Greek character named Anna turns out to be a Nazi spy -- and not one of the men has the courage to execute her.

Incidentally, there's got to be a supporting role for Bob Mulholland that would involve "real bullets." Something in Oliver Stone's JFK?

Where tough guys lose it at the movies, professional pansy Al Franken is set to lose it in court. The Fox people are suing unfunny Al for purloining their trademark "fair and balanced" and using it in the title of his new book. The court may choose to be lenient, one would hope. Everyone knows Al is unfair and unbalanced. Give the guy a break.

Another nerd taking it on the chin was Sen. John Kerry, for ordering a cheesesteak with Swiss cheese in Philadelphia of all places. He then compounded the gaffe by "nibbling daintily at his sandwich," as the Washington Post put it. One local predicted, "It will doom his candidacy in Philadelphia." Not so fast. By our count, Kerry has just clinched the backing of Main Line Philadelphia, normally a Republican redoubt of old hard money. Democrats should do some soul-searching: do they really want another presidential candidate who swallows his food in one bite and never wipes his mouth?

In less important matters, word from the State Department is that undersecretary John Bolton will not be included in its delegation to six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The reason? The administration never intended to include him in the talks, according to Colin Powell's twin, Richard Armitage. So on top of Powell-Armitage's cowardice they're liars too. Bolton had called North Korea's fearless leader a "tyrannical rogue." In return, North Korea termed Bolton "human scum" and worse and demanded he be excluded from the U.S. delegation. Powell and Armitage agreed with North Korea's understanding of the situation. Jimmy Carter couldn't be happier. Neither could we. It's not every week that a dynamic duo like Powell-Armitage earns an EOW prize for action that goes beyond the call of Neville Chamberlain.

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