By Charles Pugsley Fincher, A Spin-Off of

Last week, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge tried to scare us out of thinking nice things about John Kerry and John Edwards by holding a dire press conference that some described as an infomercial for his agency. In it, he told us that Al Qaeda was preparing for the big attack against before the election in November. Oddly, he didn't raise the color-coded terror alert.

Shortly after that it was learned that DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. -- chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission -- had written to Tom Ridge asking what would be the procedure if a terrorist attack caused the November election to be postponed. The Homeland Security Department asked the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel -- the people who brought us the wrongheaded torture memos -- to review the letter.

Then on Monday, George W. Bush spoke in Oak Ridge, Tenn., where he preened among nukes and claimed credit for Libya's giving up such weapons though others credit negotiations with Libya that began with the Clinton administration. Per a report by Amy Goldstein in the Washington Post, Bush said seven times during the speech that "the American people are safer" [because of his presidency]. Huh?! 07.13.04

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