Swift Boat Veterans Still Hounding Kerry

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Vol 40 Issue 47

FDA Okays Every Drug Pending Approval, Takes Rest Of Year Off

ROCKVILLE, MD—Commissioner Lester M. Crawford of the Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that the FDA has cleared all 314 drugs pending approval—from Avoxildon to Zofax KB—and plans to take the remainder of the year off. "Hmm, 'Monozyklin... a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor... may cause irregular heart murmur'... That sounds reasonable," Crawford said, reading the drugs' intended uses from a checklist. "I'm sure Merck wouldn't have bothered making this if it didn't actually work. Approved!" Crawford said he'll use the rest of November to research his month-long Christmas travel plans.

Rick Steves Cleaned Out By Gypsies

LISBON—Rick Steves, host of the PBS series Rick Steves' Europe, was robbed by gypsies while wandering the labyrinthine streets of the Alfama Monday. "These quaint but rickety sailors' quarters no longer house salty men of the sea, but they do play host to a colorful array of vagabonds," Steves said, clapping along to a band of dancing Roma children while his watch was being stolen from his backpack by their mother. "Peak time for seeing these lively characters is before sunset, as darkness attracts a less savory element to the area." Bonus footage of Steves getting mugged by a street punk in Berlin will be available on the Season 3 DVD anthology.

7-Year-Old Puts On Uno Face

QUINTER, KS—Sophia Reed, 7, dominated Monday's Family Game Night, thanks in part to her inscrutable Uno face, family members reported. "She'd just sit as quiet as a church mouse, then hit me with a 'draw four wild card,'" said Leo Reed, Sophia's grandfather and Uno opponent. "Didn't matter whether I played blue, red, yellow, or green, that girl would not so much as twitch an eye after calling 'Uno'—until she laid down that last card. Then she giggled like crazy, the little monkey." Family members said Reed is also renowned for her super-steady Hungry Hungry Hippos trigger finger.

Alternative Theater Waits Three Hours For Stragglers

AUSTIN, TX—Maurice Juarez has held up an evening performance of Ashcans And Ticker Tape: A Treatise for three hours, hoping to get more late-arriving patrons, the owner and manager of the Austin ArtSpace theater reported. "People who enjoy alternative theater are all about opening their minds, so they don't pay attention to restrictive things like curtain times," said Juarez, who is also the play's author, director, producer, and choreographer. "I put up 200 flyers, so I fully expect this show to sell out." As of press time, 14 of the theater's 22 seats remained empty.

Cabinet Shake-Up

Many members of Bush's cabinet recently resigned, with more expected to follow. Who's in, who's out, and why?

The Kmart-Sears Merger

Last week, Kmart bought Sears in a surprise $11 billion deal, creating the nation's third-largest retailer. What do you think?

Local Newswoman's Hairstyle Reported On By Co-Anchor

BALTIMORE—WMAR's TV2 News At 6 anchor Kent Niering reported on co-anchor Connie Everhart's recently altered hairstyle Monday night. "Well, it looks like Connie has a new 'do!" Niering said of Everhart's formerly shoulder-length hair, which she'd cut into a bob and dyed red over the weekend. "I think I speak for everyone here at WMAR when I say it looks fabulous!" Everhart smiled and thanked Niering for the compliment before throwing to a consumer-advocacy piece.
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Swift Boat Veterans Still Hounding Kerry

BOSTON—Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, a group that gained national prominence in the months before the 2004 election, announced Monday that it will continue its campaign "to set the record straight about John Kerry."

"Crossing The Line," an ad which claims Kerry wore street shoes on the lanes at a local bowling alley.

"We've made great progress in spreading the truth about John Kerry's treasonous past, but our job isn't over just because he lost the presidency," said John O'Neill, founding member of the Swift Vets and author of Unfit For The Community, a new book arguing that Kerry's Vietnam service record indicates that he would make a dangerous neighbor. "John Kerry is a threat to every American he comes in contact with, whether he's running for president, getting his oil changed, or going to a movie with his wife."

Although many expected the Swift Vets' campaign to end when Bush was re-elected, a spokesman for the group said its efforts have only begun.

"Just because that lying, cheating, opportunistic fraud from Massachusetts happened to be the Democratic presidential nominee, people assumed our efforts were politically motivated," said retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffman, chairman of Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. "Well, Kerry's loss to George W. Bush does not undo the deeds of his youth."

Hoffman added: "We humble servants of truth will not stop until citizens are throwing garbage at John Kerry when they see him at the park."

At the center of the group's efforts is a $1.8 million television ad campaign that includes spots questioning Kerry's ability to make quick decisions in a fast-food line, leave adequate distance between his car and the next in heavy traffic, and take proper care of his lawn. The ads have run in heavy rotation throughout the Boston area since Kerry gave his concession speech Nov. 3, and local television affiliates confirmed that the group has purchased airtime through the summer of 2005.

In one ad, titled "Anything At All," former Navy gunner Andrew Elder addresses the camera while sitting in front of black-and-white, Vietnam-era photos of Kerry.

"John Kerry is a ruthless man who will do anything to get ahead," Elder says. "If he was willing to betray America to our Vietnamese enemies, can he really be trusted to sell you cookies at his church bake sale?"

Another ad, called "The Cheat," features first-hand testimony from Retired U.S. Navy Cpt. Charles Plumly.

"With my own eyes, I witnessed John Kerry cheating at poker," Plumly says in the ad. "If he's willing to cheat at card games in a war zone, what might he do while playing badminton at his next-door neighbor's barbecue?"

A third ad, called "War Criminal," uses silent video footage of a younger Kerry testifying before Congress, interspersed with recent footage of the senator waving to a crowd as he exits an airplane.

A Swift Boat Veterans For Truth ad questions Kerry's coffee-purchase record.

"Mr. Kerry accused his fellow soldiers in Vietnam of war crimes," a narrator says in the ad. "He claimed they cut off ears and heads, raped women, and killed young children. What lies might he make up about you if you happen to be seated next to him on an airplane?"

Although some viewers have criticized the Swift Boat ads as character assassination, many Americans said the organization has raised valid questions about Kerry's character.

"The vigilance and determination of groups like the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth are the only things that can protect us from the devious, traitorous tendencies that John Kerry demonstrated 35 years ago in the jungles of Vietnam," said Colin O'Flannery, a Massachusetts circuit-court judge. "If they stop now, just because George Bush won his reelection bid, Kerry will continue to threaten the sanctity of America well into his retirement."

Added O'Flannery: "That man is out there on the street washing his car every Sunday. Everyone near the Kerry home ought to know what kind of pathological monster they're dealing with."

Retired USMC Lt. Col. James Zumwalt also appears in the "War Criminal" ad.

"John Kerry returned home from Vietnam and made outrageous statements and allegations about those who had fought with honor in that conflict," Zumwalt says in the ad. "Then he made his four-month combat tour in Vietnam the centerpiece of his bid for the presidency. Our nation's libraries need to think twice before granting this turncoat a library card. What's to say he won't suddenly change his mind about returning his books?"

Kerry has not yet responded to the ads, but several former campaign aides said they expect him to issue a statement disputing the attacks before the end of next year.

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