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They say that knowledge is power, but one look at our chief executive and you know that isn’t always the case. William Saletan, chief political correspondent at Slate magazine, and the staff of Slate.com have assembled Slate’s Field Guide to the Candidates 2004, which serves up the skinny on the nine Democratic candidates hoping to give Bush a run for his money next fall. The slim volume is packed with info about the contenders that you won’t find in typical news outlets: the truth behind their favorite buzzwords, analysis of their body language, the most troubling tales from their pasts. But thoughtful citizenship is a bitter medicine, and a brief mental picture of Dick Gebhardt in the shower belting out “Born in the U.S.A.” (his favorite song) left me looking for creative ways to kill a few brain cells. Pack a flask when Saletan speaks at 1 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Anne Marson)