"I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M LOSING TO THIS GUY." That's what Jon "Mike Dukakis" Lovitz said about Dana "George Bush" Carvey 16 years ago. And it's what John Kerry ought to be saying about George W. Bush today.
No, Kerry's not exactly losing. The polls are very close (though Kerry's behind in all of them), and there are trends that work in Kerry's favor: the fact that undecideds tend to break for the challenger, and the enormous voter-registration efforts made by Democratic groups. Media Log is predicting that Kerry will squeak out a victory. But I say that with full knowledge that the numbers suggest otherwise. All this despite another mind-blowing week underscoring the incompetence and perniciousness of the Bush administration.
The big news of the week, of course, is that the Pentagon allowed 380 tons of incredibly dangerous explosives to slip through its grasp following the invasion of Iraq. The White House has been spinning like mad all week. Just yesterday, Bush denounced Kerry's "wild charges." But now a videotape has turned up containing incontrovertible proof that the US military moved through the compound in April 2003, happened upon what was likely a vast store of explosives, and - lacking orders to do anything about it - moved on.
Josh Marshall has been on this like a lamprey eel on a lake trout. Be sure to read his account of former weapons inspector David Kay's interview with CNN's Aaron Brown.
But if the missing explosives is the most important story, it's far from the only one.
The Bushies are trying to take away the NAACP's tax exemption, because chairman Julian Bond had the temerity to speak out against the Great Leader, and because the Republicans can't bring back the poll tax until the second term, after they've replaced a few justices on the Supreme Court.
A new study suggests that 100,000 Iraqi civilians died for what Cheney calls a "remarkable success story."
And the flagging campaign of Kentucky senator Jim Bunning, a Republican whose re-election is key to the GOP maintaining its majority, is taunting Democratic opponent Daniel Mongiardo as one of them "limp-wristed" guys, if you follow their drift.
All of which is why Kerry ought to be saying: I can't believe I'm losing to this guy.
Three more days to change that.
PAGING JOE FITZGERALD! The Boston Herald's selectively outraged ethics cop needs to be heard from. Today the Herald runs a story about the arrest of Mathew Westling, the son of former Boston University president Jon Westling, who was charged with acting up in Kenmore Square after the Red Sox' World Series victory. The Herald's headline: "Son of BU Ex-Prez Strikes Out with Police."
Oh, my. Isn't that exactly what got Joe Fitz so upset with the Globe when it noted in a subhead that Joe Nee - charged in the South Shore Columbine wanna-be case - was the son of Boston police union president Tom Nee?
Why, yes it is! Here's what Joe Fitz wrote just eight days ago: "What did this father's job have to do with his kid's alleged offense? How were the two in any way connected, let alone worthy of such attention?" That Fitzgerald column was headlined, "Globe's Headline Hit Way Below the Belt."
It will be fascinating to see whether Fitzgerald displays equal empathy for the Westling family.