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Trail Mix 

by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & Schizophrenia Nation & r & & r & If you ever wondered why it seems like America is stuck in neutral on some of our most pressing issues, here's Exhibit A: Harry and Louise have switched sides. Yes, that fictional couple that starred in TV commercials broadcast only in the D.C. area back in 1994 are now for health care reform. Back in 1994, they helped torpedo it, but now the National Federation of Independent Business -- the same group who paid for the ads in 1994 -- has decided they do want health care fixed after all. The very same actors, again at their fake kitchen table, will plead for help from McCain and Obama as the conventions run.

No word on whether Louise will say anything like, "About those ads in 1994 ... our bad!"

Spiderman vs. Batman

Now America can finally get its arms around the differences between John McCain and Barack Obama -- one (McCain) cites Batman as his favorite superhero, while the other (Obama) favors Spiderman. This from the Aug. 15 issue of Entertainment Weekly, in which the pop culture journal pins down the candidates on issues crucial to the American public -- like what their favorite movies are. (Obama: The Godfather; McCain: Viva Zapata! with Marlon Brando.)

As for music, McCain admits a soft-spot for ABBA, Roy Orbison and Linda Ronstadt, while Obama (who owns an iPod) likes Jay-Z, Frank Sinatra and Sheryl Crow. On TV, Obama says he loved both M*A*S*H and The Dick Van Dyke Show growing up, while McCain says he enjoys current shows Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Wire. As for American Idol, McCain's wife Cindy admits to having voted for Glendale, Ariz., gal Jordin Sparks, while Obama's daughters, EW reports, were big David Archuleta fans.

Finally, EW asked which fictional president they liked best. Obama pointed to Jeff Bridges in The Contender: "He was charming and essentially an honorable person, but there was a rogue about him." As for McCain, he chose Dennis Haysbert, the president in the first season of 24: "He's a guy who makes tough decisions, he takes charge, he's ready to sacrifice his interest on behalf of the interest of the country."

Of course EW couldn't help but remind McCain that David Palmer (Haysbert's character) was, fictionally at least, America's first African-American president.
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