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by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & House of Cards & r & & r & When John McCain recently forgot how many homes he owns (seven, or maybe eight), Democrats pounced, saying the slip-up was a seminal moment in the campaign. It proved, they said, that that aging politician was out of touch with regular folks. But as he showed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno earlier this week, McCain's still got a few cards up his sleeve -- including one that he's been throwing on the table more frequently. "Could I just mention to you, Jay, that in a moment of seriousness, I spent five and a half years in a prison cell. I didn't have a house, I didn't have a kitchen table, I didn't have a table, I didn't have a chair." Now that's a trump card.

Nighty Nite!

You know the political season is heating up because of all the political books getting published -- there's Obama Nation by Jerome Corsi, the same guy behind Unfit for Command, which torpedoed John Kerry's swift boat trip to the White House. Despite having been tabbed by the AP for posting such Internet nuggets as the claim that Pope John Paul II was "senile" and peddling his theories on a white supremacist radio show, Corsi has watched his book rise on the New York Times' bestseller list since its Aug. 1 release.

But if you only buy one book this election season, you might want to check out Goodnight Bush, a wicked (and unauthorized) parody of the famous Goodnight Moon children's book. (You'll never guess who's whispering "hush" to little George.) Authors Erich Origen and Gan Golen intended this one to restore America's sweet dreams after the long Bush nightmare. "It fits Steve Martin's definition of funny," says Origen, "because you can't completely explain why."

As to whether they've betrayed the spirit of the beloved original, Golen says, "We think fans of Goodnight Moon should be offended -- not by our book, but by the reality of what's happened over the last eight years."
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