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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - October 5, 2000, Altoona, Pennsylvania Page Thursday, October I first presidential debate. ii- Altoona flJtrrnr opinion W. Kruger Raymond M. PuWfcHer Managing Editor M. Mentzer ST. John Operations Manager Sales Manager Dental N. Stop John L. Eggers Circulation Manager Accounting Manager Steven P. Carpenter Opinion Page Editor OUR VIEW Debate fails to deliver a knockout The lack of a knockout punch Tuesday night seems to ensure that there will be audiences for the next two presi- dential debates. Neither Democrat Al Gore nor Republican George W. Bush seemed to blow other's campaign out of the water dur- ing the first of three televised debates Tuesday, although Gore came across as much more aggressive and in attack mode from the start. Gore also seemed to claim more time in making answers than Bush did, and at times, the vice president appeared to be more in control of the debate than moderator Jim LehrerofPBSwas.That is something that Lehrer must avoid in the upcom- ing debates on Wednesday and Oct. 17. For the debates to be effective, the rules must be applied equally and fairly, and that is the job that Lehrer agreed to take. Bush came more alive in the last half of the session, although he also seemed to miss a couple of easy opportunities to go after the vice president, especially as it pertains to energy prices and Gore's ideas as presented in his book, "Earth in the Balance." Gore was relentless in his attack on the Bush's plan to cut taxes, while the Texas governor equally took the vice president to task by asking why items on his agenda haven't been taken care of during the last seven years. Gore seemed to be better prepared to jSHswer the question on Slobodan Milosevic, while Bush handled the education question with more ease. That'was one of several times in which the vice president tried to ;make up ground by using the "me-too" strategy'of saying he agreed with parts of Bush's proposal. Overall, the main benefit of Tuesday's 'debate may have been to focus the attention of Americans on this close race after being distracted by summer fun and the Olympics. With a little more than a month before the Nov. 7 general election, it's important for those undecided voters to learn more about the candidates and their policies. Vice presidential contenders, Democrat Joe Lieberman and Republican Dick Cheney, will debate tonight at 9. One problem with the debates is the lim- :ited time for the address a sin- :gle issue. Questions ranging from leader- ship and integrity, to foreign affairs and the military, to Social Security and Medicare, to education and energy policy. We hope the upcoming debates will be able to delve deeper into some of the critical issues that face the nation including Social "Security, Medicare and prescription drugs, sand less on trying to name everyone in the audience. Overall, the debate was a lively and Fox and NBC should be ashamed for deciding not to air it. Tuesday night's event probably swayed Some undecided voters toward a particular candidate, but neither candidate seemed to sink the other's hopes. That means this will continue to be a close, exciting race and make the next debates must-see events, even if some networks don't agree. Federal lawmakers Rep. Bud Snuster 2188 Raybum House Office Building Washington, D.C., 20515. (202) 225-2431. Fax (202) 225-2486. District office: RD 2, Box 711 Altoona, Pa. 16601. 946-1653. Rep. John D. Murtrta 2423 Raybum House Office Building Washington, D.C., 20515. t 225-2065. Fax (202) 225-5709. office: Centre Town Mall, P.O. Box 780 Johnstown, Pa. 15907.535-2642. Rep. John E. Peterson :307 Cannon House Office Building i Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-5121. Fax (202) 225-5796. DMrict ofnce: 1524 W. College Ave. State College, Pa. 16801.238-1776. Article corrected I'm writing in regard to an article published the Sept. 24 Mirror by Eric Rosenberg of Hearst Publications on the Pain Relief Promotion Act. Rosenberg states that this bill "would place the Drug Enforcement Administration in the position of assess- ing whether a physician was adminis- tering too many narcotics to a patient" Congress gave the DBA that power in 1970. In the last two decades, the DBA has applied the standard of "legitimate medical purpose" more than 250 times to determine whether practitioners' federal registrations for using controlled substances should be retained or revoked. Rosenberg also makes the claim that "the measure would impose criminal penalties." No such provision exists if fact, the bill has no penalty provision. It simply states that doctors who use controlled substances to assist sui- cides in Oregon are not exempted from the penalties that already apply to everyone else under existing law. Listen to the words of Cardinal Keelor, archbishop of Baltimore, in his April 5 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee: "The Pain Relief Promotion Act, (H.R. 2260, S. is PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES designed to promote pain management and palliative care, including the appropriate use of federally regulated drugs to control pain without autho- rizing use of sue drugs for assisted sui- cide and euthanasia. It is tragic that such clarification of federal law is needed at all; it is now long overdue." The Pain Relief Promotion Act also will promote better understanding of this Held of medicine by providing million a year for education and train- ing grants for health professionals. Kim Curtis Assistant Director of Family Life, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Bush wins by holding his own BY CAL THOMAS Los Angeles Times Syndicate It was George W. Bush's debate to lose, and he didift. Bush passed the test by not living down to his lowest expectations. Al Gore was rude and cocky. He fre- quently rolled his eyes, smacked his lips, sighed in disgust and constantly interrupted, even claiming "rebuttal" time that wasn't his. Gore always seems to have a chant, perhaps the result of hanging out at a Buddhist temple. This time it was "the wealthiest 1 percent." Bush needs to develop an answer for this. Perhaps he might say, "Look, Al, I'm tired of you bashing the people who make America work. These are entre- preneurs you want to punish for their initiative, sacrifice and risk-taking. They have built businesses and hired workers, thus expanding the middle class. You want to punish people for becoming wealthy. I want to make it easier for more people to become wealthy. You think government ought to tax them at higher rates and stran- gle them with new regulations. I want to see them enjoy more freedom and the fruits of their labor. You want more power to reside in Washington. I want to empower more individuals." Bush was able to convey some of this, but he needs a rhetorical flourish to drive it home. Bush made some good points. He spoke of Gore having had nearly eight years to do the things he says he will do if elected president. He wondered what happened to the middle-class tax cut Gore had promised in 1992. Instead, it got a retroactive tax increase. And Bush got in the best line of the night in response to the "character question" by noting that "the buck stops here" sign had been moved from the Oval Office to the Lincoln Bedroom. Gore tried to play victim, saying Bush had attacked his "character" (yes, his bad and Gore wasn't going to "respond in kind." How could he? That was a bat- tle he would surely lose because polls show, the public doesn't think this administration has demonstrated much personal integrity. There were plenty of opportunities for Bush to skewer Gore, but perhaps for fear of being labeled "mean-spirit- he didn't. Gore took credit for welfare reform, though his impeached "greatest president" repeatedly vetoed Republican congressional attempts at reform until adviser Dick Morris observed the polls showed the public wanted it. Only then, of course, did President Clinton sign a bill On RU-486, which Pat Buchanan has called pesticide" (he and Ralph Nader should have been includ- ed in the debate to liven things Bush did not display the outrage one might expect from a pro-lifer. He didn't even question the timing of the EpA's approval of the drug weeks before the election. And he treated it as a fait accompli, saying he wanted to make sure it wouldn't damage a woman's health. How about the baby's health? Giving people the technological tool to kill a child at an earlier stage does not answer the moral problem of abortion, which is only one part of a growing debate about the use of technology. Gore virtually conceded he would apply an abortion "litmus test" for Supreme Court justices. Why does he get such a test and Bush feels he can't have one? Bush allowed Gore to get away with his bogus story about Winifred Skinner, the woman who supposedly must scavenge and sell tin cans so she can buy her prescription drugs. Her son told an Iowa radio station she takes money from him for other things but refuses money for her med- ication. This is no homeless bag lady roaming the streets. Bush could have used this as an example of how Gore has a problem telling the truth. Bush survived a debate format he dislikes. The next two provide settings in which he feels more comfortable. Bush can't let the competition for the small number of "undecideds" keep him from articulating his philosophy about the role of government and of life and the importance of having a presi- dent who tells the truth. Jimmy Carter scored points following the Nixon years when he said, "I'll never lie to you." Gore is an inviting target on sever- al levels. Now that Bush has shown he's not a midget next to Gore, in the second and third debates Bush should direct some rhetorical firepower in Gore's direction. Vice president comes out ahead in end BY DAVID NYHAN The Boston Globe Al Gore, veteran of three-dozen high-stakes TV debates, blud- geoned George W. Bush with details, numbers, programs, and poli- cy paradigms. But the Texas governor largely bore up and got in his licks. By returning fire when possible and accepting the moderator's double-barreled invita- tion to traduce the vice president's character, Bush enhanced his stand- ing as a thinker on his feet, a trait for which he is not known. Gore went factual; Bush went folksy. Moderator Jim Lehrer claimed he had- n't shown his questions in advance to anybody. Big mistake; his questions .were dull, and contributed to the ocean of sighs that wafted upward from America's sofas over the 90 minutes. Carped CBS's Dan Rather at the merciful end: "There will be those who think this was a form of narcolepsy." But if I were a Bush supporter (pssst: I am not) I would feel encouraged that my man went toe-to-toe and handled himself pretty well in the clinches. Did you want policy or personality? I thought Bush was overmatched on the former but stronger on the latter. Gore often seemed to understand the innards of Bush's tax and fiscal poli- cies better than the governor himself. Bush avoided any major gaffe or stumble but got a little shaky in grasp- ing some questions. Bush wandered onto thin ice in an answer about inter- vening in potential financial crises. whenshe said he'd "get in touch with the financial centers not only here but at which would make sense only if he considers Boston a foreign port, which he well might. Bush battled gamely. Gore didn't put him away. But when the issues in a peace-and-prosperity year are Social Security, Medicare, prescriptions, and education, the Democrat wins. Gore must look smart, not act smart BY DERRICK JACKSON The Boston Globe The Olympic swim competition is over, but we still have syn- chronized candidates. Too syn- chronized to pick a gold or even sil- ver. George W. Bush gets a bronze for not being blown out of the water and not looking at his watch like his dad. Gore, who thought he could crunch Bush with numbers, was in command, almost too much in command, with his numbers. He began communicat- ing, subtly but perceptibly, that he knew it all. Often, when Bush was try- ing to make a point, you heard a sigh in the background from Gore. The sighs were intended, I'm sure, to signal that Bush was nuts. But they came off more as if Gore was the impatient child who always sits at the front of the class and keeps raising his hand to answer all the questions. While he tried to say how Bush's Republican tax cuts would benefit only the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans, Gore could not avoid this smiling, almost smirking head, half cocked to the side, repeating things that became awfully tiring. I mean, if I hear the word "lockbox" one more time to refer to Social Security... As for Bush, he came into the night with lower expectations, and despite some obvious stumbling around, he played to what he thinks his voters want to hear. He took a couple of mild shots at Gore's character, but more important- ly warned of big, exploding, liberal, activist government (as if conserva- tives are somehow This debate decided nothing except to give Bush a lease on credibility, which means Gore has to find a new way to look smart without acting smart. George W. Bush's father was once knocked for looking at his watch. Gore has to refrain from being so syn- chronized he looks like a watch. DAVE BARRY Driving men wild not tough When I'm in the supermar- ket checkout line, I always look at Cosmopolitan mag- azine to see if the editors have made any progress in their ongoing effort to figure out men. I'm sure you're familiar with Cosmopolitan. It's the one with the cover that always has a picture of a woman who looks as though she has a prestigious and rewarding executive career as a hooker. Roughly half the articles in Cosmopolitan are devoted to explaining how you, the Cosmo reader, can make yourself look like the cover model All you have to do is follow the two-step Cosmo Beauty Regimen: Step one: Using a combination of fun and fearless beauty proce- dures such as the Eyebrow Yank, the Hot Wax Torture, the Hydrochloric Acid Skin Peel, the Hoover Vacuum Home Spleen Removal, the Cage of Thigh-Eating Wolverines and the Industrial Drain Cleaner Enema, you remove all of the physical elements that make you unattractive, such as your fat, hair, skin, fingerprints and internal organs. At this point, you are essentially a skeleton with eyeballs, or, to put it another way, Ally McBeal. Step two: You smear your entire self with a complex system of foun- dations, bases, creams, lotions, gels, powders, moisturizers, conditioners, mousses, sprays, mascaras, eyelin- ers, lip glosses, enzymes, lacquers, organic papaya-enhanced roofing tars, etc., until you are encased inside an impenetrable layer of beau- ty products thick enough that there is no way for anybody to tell, with- out giving you a CAT scan, what you actually look like. You could be a Shetland pony under there. Once you have achieved this fun and female it's time for you to get started on the other topic that is discussed endlessly in Cosmopolitan: Figuring out what men want. It's a tough one. Cosmopolitan editors wrestle with it day and night, and they're constant- ly announcing new breakthroughs. Pick up any issue, and you'll see articles like: "23 ways to drive him wild in "127 ways to make him want to right iTthe 387 ways to make him complete- ly lose biological control of himself while he is still in the Over the decades, Cosmopolitan has printed literally thousands of sure-fire techniques for driving men insane with passion. If these tech- niijues actually worked, by now the entire male population of the United States would have been wiped out by lust, literally exploding into little mushroom clouds of vapori2ed bodi- lyflulds. But this has not happened, except in the case of President Clinton. The problem is that Cosmopolitan is making this issue way more compli- cated ffian it actually is. I mean, we're talking about men here. You. don't need rocket science to drive them wild in bed: All you need to do is to get in there with them. Or, just leave them alone for a while. Because men don't need much. Using a complex, sophisticated tech- nique to get a man excited is like preparing a gourmet French meal for a Labrador retriever. So I think Cosmopolitan is trying too hard. In fact, it may. be doing women more harm than good. For example, the August issue has a fea- ture entitled "What To Say To Make Him Ache For these frisky phrases if you wish to drive him wild." One of the frisky phrases Cosmopolitan advises you to whis- per to men "We'd bet- ter hurry home, because at midnight I turn into a vixen." This frisky phrase might actually alarm-the man, especially if he knows that the dictionary defines "vixen" as "an ill- tempered, shrewish or malicious woman." Basically, you're telling the man he could suddenly find him- self in bed with Lorena Bobbitt. Another frisky phrase suggested by Cosmopolitan "My bikini waxer went a little over- board." Listen, women: If you actu- ally say those words to a man, he's going to assume you want him to take you to the Emergency Room. So my advice to the editors of Cosmopolitan is: Just drop this sub- ject for a while. Trust me: Even with- out technical advice from you, your women readers will have no trouble getting men excited, as long as the men are aware (and believe me, they are) that the women, underneath their clothes, are not wearing clothes. And consider this: If you Cosmopolitan editors stopped obsess- ing about men, you could focus your brainpower on the Middle East Peace Process, health care, Social Security or the federal budget surplus. I bet you could give us some important insights into these issues. Or at least tell us how to drive them wild in bed. (Barry is a humor columnist for the Miami Herald.)
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