Monday, July 31, 2006

Castro Cedes Power to Raul For Now

Just short of his eightieth birthday (August 13), Castro, the longest ruling head of state in the world, has temporarily relinquished power to his brother Raul while he undergoes intestinal surgery according to a FNC Alert. On Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris asserted that based on his knowledge of the Cuban exile community, it will be months or just a few years before Raul is ousted and Cuba becomes a modern democracy. Of course, this prediction presupposes that the long-time leader of Cuba does not reassume his leadership role that he has held since 1959.

Syria Raises Alert Level

Syria's military was put on heightened alert by President Bashar al-Assad who promised to stand by the Lebanese resistance. On the 61st anniversary of the Syria Arab Army's formation, Assad asservated, "The barbaric war of annihilation the Israeli aggression is waging on our people in Lebanon and Palestine is increasing in ferocity." He further stated, "We are facing international circumstances and regional challenges that require caution, alert, readiness, and preparedness." (The Syria Arab Army had already been on alert since Israel's retaliation on July 12 in response to Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on Israel's soil.) On Hardball with Chris Matthews tonight, Martin Fletcher of NBC News stated that Syria had called for this heightened readiness because Israel had called up three reserve divisions that would be operating on the Syrian/Lebanese border only 20 kilometers from Damascus. He added that for the first time in fifteen or twenty years a bomb detonated on the border between Syria and Israel. In light of Qana and the widening conflict, it seems to be getting more and more difficult for Israel and its American ally to contain the current conflict to Lebanese land and abutting Jewish territory.


Paris Gets Religion

After the traumatic riots of October and November 2005 by young Muslim youth from its seedy slums, Paris authorities have become attuned to a more restrictive clothing ban on its artificial shores. The Le Parisien reported last Saturday that Paris City Hall passed a law banning indecent clothing to preserve public order on its man-made beaches created each ete since 2001. According to its wording, "People must behave according to good standards to maintain tranquility, security and public order: notably indecent attire (nude sunbathing, g-strings, toplessness, etc.) is forbidden." Anyone showing too much skin can be fined 38 euros. Pascal Cherki, a city hall sports official, said that such indecent clothing "could have led to temptations and dangerous behavior on the banks of the river." The secular may still bask in Ole Sol as they see fit on France's natural beaches for now. Will the French change their cuisine as well?


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Talking Bikinis

Girls, now your bikini-clad bodies can be safe from the sun's rays but not necessarily from overtly appreciative eyes. Solestrom has designed a new bikini that sports a UV overexposure alarm with a meter within the belt: ergo, when your $190 bikini starts beeping, go get a margarita or a cosmopolitan at a shaded cabana bar. Demand for this bikini is strong in Australia and South Africa where skin cancer rates are the highest in the world. This suit will become available in the U.S. next month. The ever popular bikini was designed in July 1946 by Frenchman Louis Reard who named it after Bikini Atoll, site of the a-bomb testing by the U.S. True to his prescient prognostications, the world was rocked by his creation: its explosive echoes reverberate ever mellifluous to many of Aphrodite's acolytes.


FEMA: No to Trailer Park Free Speech

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials are not allowing media assess to governmental trailer parks unless escorted at all times by a FEMA agent. For example, a guard in a Morgan City, LA trailer park ordered a reporter and photographer off of the property after they were invited by Dekotha Duvall, a trailer resident; called police when the reporter attempted the "forbidden" act of handing Duvall a business card; and then commanded another resident, Pansy Ardeneaux to not speak through a chain-link fence to reporters (and to return to her trailer home). "If a resident invites the media to the trailer, they have to be escorted by a FEMA representative who sits in on the interview: that's just policy," Rachel Rodi, spokesperson for FEMA said. Congressman Bobby Jindal (R-LA) impugned FEMA's position, stating, "You don't lose your fundamental rights just because you're living in temporary housing: it's an outrageous pattern of behavior." The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) asked FEMA to evaluate the constitutionality of its policy. The letter stated, "We are outraged by the arrogance and contempt for public discourse on display in Louisiana, a year after FEMA's performance in the wake of Katrina earned it widespread criticism."


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dems Slam Arab Democrat

The cause celebre of conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is even impinging on Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki's visit to the U.S., where he is scheduled to address a joinst session of Congress tomorrow. Al-Maliki addressed Israel's actions as he stated, "The Israeli attacks and airstrikes are completely destroying Lebanon's infrastructure." He added, "I condemn these aggressions and call on the Arab League foreign ministers' meeting in Cairo to take quick action to stop these agressions: we call on the world to take quick stands to stop the Israeli aggression." Congressional Democrats were quick to attack Iraq's recently elected prime minister. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asseverated, "Unless Mr. Malaki disavows his critical comments of Israel and condemns terrorism, it is inappropriate to honor him with a joint meeting of Congress." Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) joined by New York senior senator Chuck Schumer asserted, "It is imperative that the U.S. Congress and the world know immediately whether you support or condemn Hezbollah's acts of terrorism." Even though Al-Maliki should obviously be even handed in his condemnation as to Israel and Hezbollah, he could be forgiven if he wondered if these lecturers were aligned with him in his war on the terrorists and insurgents plaguing his country. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert rejected these Democratic attempts to deny the new democratic leader of Iraq the honor of speaking to a bicameral Congressional audience.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Turkey: Burka Babes v. Bikini Beauties

Turkey's beaches are witnessing an incredible juxtaposition of beauties clad in bikinis (or even topless) with babes donning head-to-toe swimwear. Under moderate-to-conservative Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Muslim sensitivities about women's clothing are getting a more sympathetic ear. Thus, tailors such as Mustafa Karaduman, nicknamed The Prophet's Couturier, are pioneering efforts to make swimming attire in strict adherence to dictates of the Qur'an. These suits allow Muslim lovelies to tan guilt free as the cloth allows the sun's rays to bathe their bodies but not expose them. Within the secular democratic society of modern Turkey bequeathed by her Western-oriented founder Ataturk, the differences in garb are likely to continue to coexist as long as fundamentalistic tendencies are kept in check. Of course, the bikini and less is likely to rule in Western societies where feminine beauty is celebrated and not cloaked.


Kiwi Cop Loses Night Job

An Auckland City copper was counseled (equivalent to a censure for New Zealand police) for taking a night job amongst the Kiwi demimonde to ease her financial plight, according to Deputy Commissioner Lyn Provost. (As to the monetary rewards, a parlour pretty can earn $500 on a Friday night according to a spokewoman for the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective.) Provost explainded that she believed that common sense would indicate that police work and sex work are incompatible. Ron Mark, NZ First law and order spokesman said, "There is a very real possibility that a police officer could be quietly moonlighting as a prostitute and under threat of being found out, to be subjected to extortion or demands to provide information or turn a blind eye to criminal activities." He added that the regulations concerning secondary employment of policemen needed tightening.  Apparently, privacy concerns dictated that the officer's name be withheld: her employer and the term of her employment were not released because of confidentiality concerns. Maybe, Nevada police officials will want to take note to preclude similar conflicts of interest.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Feed the Hungry Losers? Bah!

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Don't you wish, Vegas! Wednesday the Las Vegas Council passed a law that bans giving free or low-cost food to the poor in parks. The measure describes an indigent individual as a "person whom a reasonable ordinary person would believe to be entitled to apply for or receive assistance" under state law from the government. When asked how police would identify such indigents that would precipitate a violation, Mayor Oscar Goodman stated, "Certain truths are self-evident: you know who's homeless." City officials defended the law by saying that the provision of foodstuffs apart from other services like drug treatment and counseling is counterproductive. Good Samaritan Gail Sacco defiantly said, "I'm going to do whatever I think is necessary to keep people alive." The ACLU of Nevada stated that the constitution is patently unconstitutional, unenforceable, and yet another try by Vegas to harrass and hide the homeless instead of helping them. It's executive director, Gary Peck, indicated that a legal challenge is likely. Vegas, a Robin Hood without an altruistic streak?


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Good Vibrations

Tired of exercising or feeling guilty for not doing so, buy the Power Plate. Like Madonna, Claudia Shiffer, and Natalie Imbruglia, you too can get that toned and sculpted body without a punishing exercise regimen for the mere price of 6,995 sterling pounds (professional gym version) or a pittance of 2,599 quids (smaller personal version). Just step up on this dream machine, and it works by putting your body through a fifteen-minute workout, as the vibrations compel your dormant muscles to contract and relax up to 50/sec. If you're not celeb body conscious already, fear not: this miraculous marvel is designed to accommodate all fitness and age levels. Ergo, plunk down the cash and get that body buff. (You may have to have it shipped from the UK or one of her continental cousins.)


Ma'an: Tel Aviv to Get One Hour

According to Israel National News, Ma'an, a Palestinian-Authority-based organization, quotes secret Arab sources as stating, "The Lebanese resistance is preparing a retaliation parallel to Israel's military actions: Hassan Nasrallah will address the people of Tel Aviv and warn them to evacuate the city within one hour." They added, "As soon as the delay ends, hundreds of heavy missiles will start landing in the city, which has been divided into squares in order to let damage reach every inch of the city: an estimated 500 missiles are expected to land in Tel Aviv in a short period of time." The Arab press sources further said that Hizbullah (or Hezbollah) has been carefully modulating their PR to increase the surprise of Tel Aviv at the future barrage. Moreover, they indicate that Nasrallah deems the war not to have yet begun and that he plans "surprises" for Israel including more kidnapping of its servicemen.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Iran Threatens An Aggressive Israel

Iran's Parliament Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel warned the Jewish people that no part of their homeland was safe from attack by Hezbollah. Speaker Haddad Adel praised Hezbollah head Nasrallah as a "brave lion" and challenged Israel stating, "If you (Israel) have the right to start a massacre to free one prisoner, Palestinians and Lebanese have far more right to fight you to free hundreds of their prisoners, including Cabinet ministers and lawmakers. Iranian President Ahamdinejad today added, "The Zionist government went too far and wants to occupy Lebanon." Fox analyst Major Bob Bevelacqua, a former Green Beret, stated, "I'm all in favor of the removal of Hezbollah to include the destruction of the organization: I'm not in favor of the dismantling of the country of Lebanon and its infrastructure that's going to adversely affect three million people. He elaborated that Israel has been far too aggressive with its destruction of alot of Lebanese bridges, all of its roads, all of its ports, and most of the gas stations, and, consequently, Israel has shut down the infrastructure of a nation that has nothing to do with Hezbollah. Moreover, he said while Israel was wreaking its damage on Lebanon and waiting until today to attack Hezbollah headquarters, it allowed Hezbollah to remove all of its computers and other equipment from those offices. Israel's attack on the inchoate democracy of Lebanon and its holding Lebanon responsible for not being strong enough to resist Hezbollah may cause American and rest of the the Western world to reassess it unequivocal support of Israel's current actions.

Cf.;,7340,L-3277820,00.html; and a transcript of today's Dayside on FNC.

Oprah & Gayle: We're Not Gay

Oprah Winfrey and bosom buddy Gayle King explained in an article in next month's "O, the Oprah Magazine" that they were not sapphic soulmates. Of her friend of 30 years with whom she speaks four times a day, the talk titan stated, "I understand why people think that we're gay: there isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women." King, host of the 1997 "Gayle King Show" and now an editor for "O" maintained, "The truth is, if we were gay, we would tell you, because there's nothing wrong with being gay." Oprah chimed in, "Something about this relationship feels otherworldly to me." She added, "Whatever this relationship is, it's been a very fun ride." Doth the ladies protest too much as the queen in Hamlet might postulate?


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Israel Blasts Beirut Internat'l Airport

Israel is fulfilling its pledge to inflict a "very, very, very painful" retribution on Lebanon. (Israel's military confirmed that it is now imposing an air and sea blockade on Lebanon.) Today its warplanes hit Lebanon's only international airport with the stated purpose to end air traffic in and out of Beirut: their aim was successful as officials closed the airport and diverted traffic to nearby Cyprus. In addition to cutting off the capital from the outside world and basically shuttering the country's tourism industry, Israel continued to pound Lebanon for the second day with collateral damage at 22 civilian lives according to local news accounts. Morever, its planes are blasting bridges, roads, and their Hezbollah foes (including one of their radio stations near Beirut) deep into Lebanon while Hezbollah continues to fire its rockets into northern Israel.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Man in Black Back

For the first time since his eponymous album 1969 "Johnny Cash at San Quentin" hit No. 1, Cash is haunting the top slot with his posthumous "American V: A Hundred Highways." As he earned this coveted position with the least sold units for a debut at the apex of Billboard's Top 200 albums (88,000 discs), he bested the Dixie Chicks' "Taking the Long Way." 2006 has been a banner year for now defunct Sun Records with the recrudescence of its giants Elvis the Pelvis and the Man in Black: maybe, this new Sunrise will bring back the "Killer" Jerry Lee Lewis in a return tour of the Bayou State with his Ferriday cuz Jimmy Swaggart.


Israel: Tres Pain for Lebanon

According to the AP, Israeli PM Ehud Olmert called today's Hezbollah raid an "act of war" by Lebanon and warned of "very, very, very painful" retribution. Hezbollah's incursion into Israel after firing rockets into northwestern Israeli communities resulted in the capture of two Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah head Sheik Hassan Nasrallah stated, "The capture of the two soldiers could provide a solution to the Gaza crisis." Nasrallah indicated that he would free the two soldiers only in a prisoner swap: he added that he was not averse to including Israel's Cpl. Gilad Shalit who was captured in Gaza on June 25, 2006. In the past Israel has made such prisoner exchanges but usually has waited for a significant time after the abductors made their demands. Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz stated that if the Israeli soldiers were not released, the military would attack infrastructure and "turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years."


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Finder's Fee for Immigrants?

As I was watching the Fox & Friends co-hosts discuss illegal immigration ad nauseum, I remembered I had read in the Economist that Canada is in such desparate need of blue collar workers that it is reexamining its immigration policy to cure the problem. In the western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, unemployment is almost 1/2 the national average of 6.4%. With Canada's generous social benefits, it is finding few of its unemployed well-educated populace willing to move out of their home provinces to ones needing people to "work with their hands." Ergo, employers are having a difficult time getting workers in the booming oil sands of Alberta and to prep for the 2010 Olympics in British Columbia. Maybe, the US should charge Canada a "finder's fee" for all the illegals who are detained and vetted by the US and who agree to be sent to an amenable Canada. The US gets additional revenue, Canada gets much needed workers, and illegals get desired income for them and their families: it's a win-win-win situation!

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Muscovites Lack Likker

Moscow residents, well known for their penchant for hooch, are less than amused as they deal with the most severe paucity of liquor in more than 20 years since Soviet Prez Mikhail Gorbachev was on his quixotic campaign against liquor consumption. In an attempt to rid the market of bootleg booze, beer, and wine, Russian pooh bahs mandated that all such imported alcohol be labeled with excise bar codes by July 1 (known as "Black Saturday" in the Russian capital): any non-conforming bottles would have to be returned to the warehouse. Most shopkeepers were caught in a classic Commie Catch 22: the Russian Federal Customs Service failed to send them the required labels but continued to mandate compliance with the new regulation. Vodka is about the only potable local alcohol other than white sparkling wines from southern Russian and beer deemed akin to sodas. Moscow's top restaurants are unable to supply wine lists to their demanding high-rolling customers. The current city crisis could take up to three months to address, and industry types are concerned that vodka may become hard to procure. Muscovites, other than the health officials concerned with the low life expectancy (59) among the country's men, are not pleased.


Saturday, July 8, 2006

Depp Top Dog

Who let the dogs out? Sea dogs, that is. According to (top film-earnings-evaluator website), family friendly Pirates of the Caribbeans: Dead Man's Chest had the highest grossing opening day in history. It's $55,500,000 bested number two Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith by approximately five and half million dollars. Johnny Depp opted to portray the bonhomous buccaneer in this Disney-ride-inspired cine for the entertainment of his children.


9-Yr-Old Manaus Mom

This morning's Fox and Friends mentioned this story but did not elaborate: Pravda provided the following account by Ms. Daniele Santos, spokesperson for Funai, the National Indian Bureau. Near Manaus, a city in the western Amazon, a pregnant Apurina "Indian" tribe nine-year-old girl was found by natural gas pipeline workers in the jungle. She was transported to Manaus were she gave birth by Caesarean section to a healthy 5 lb. baby. The mother refused to comment and the baby's father is thus far unknown. Ms. Santos said that an investigation of possible rape would be commenced. She stated, "In some cultures it's natural for girls to have sexual relations after their first menstruation, but now we have to study if that was the case here, if their culture permits this." The mother and her baby were to be given a month of medical care before they were returned to Jaturana, their home village around 75 miles from Manaus. (According to national census data, most of the approximately 700,000 Indians live in the northern Brazilian Amazon rainforest.)


Friday, July 7, 2006

Female Teachers Having Sex With Students

Is it just me, or is it becoming old news for female teachers to have sex with their students? At first, I thought that such actions were anomalies: however, with the proliferation of such stories, I find myself looking at the headline as if I were reading an Elvis sighting article in one of those grocery tabloids (that you read in line but never buy). In contemporary society, I tend to think that many seem to view a relationship of a young male student with his gorgeous teacher as a male fantasy (as it often may be): ergo, harmless foul because both are willing participants unlike the oft presupposed predatory predelictions of male teachers who illicitly engage their female educational wards. Regardless, of the number of pundits decrying the statutory crime, it seems that the public tends to not care so very much if the teacher is rather attractive.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

JPN Ppr: NK Missile Aimed at American Waters

According to Reuters, the Sankei Shimbun (a Japanese newspaper) reported on Friday (Thu. CST) that the long-range missile that North Korea launched yesterday was aimed at American waters. As noted yesterday in this blog, Pravda reported that the Taepodong-2 (with a range of up to 6000 km) failed yesterday 500 km after launch and fell into the northwestern Sea of Japan. However, data from Japanese and American surveillance aircraft and Aegis radar-equipped destroyers indicated that the trajectory of the missile indicated that it was headed toward waters near Hawaii.


Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Breast Ironing

Add another benighted misogynistic practice to genital mutilation and bodily disfigurement that girls have to endure in our world today. As to genital mutilation, it is the all too common practice performed generally by mothers or a female relative in some less advanced countries wherein the clitoris is cut off to take away the pleasure of a woman during sex in an effort to facilitate her chasteness. In regard to bodily disfigurement, male members in some weaker tribes mar the faces and bodies of their wives and daughters to make them less attractive to males of the stronger tribes. Now a new study by GTZ, a German development agency, shows that  one in four teenagers in Cameroon are subjected to the painful practice of breast ironing by their relatives to diminish their sexual allure. "Breast ironing" is a tradition in countries of central and western Africa wherein one, usually, mothers, press a young girl's breasts with a hard and/or heated object to stunt their growth. This chilling consuetude can cause acute pain, infections, abscesses, and cancer of the breasts. According to the study, four million women were estimated to have endured this process. An anti-breast ironing campaign is now underway that is patterned after a somewhat successful anti-genital mutilation one.


Palm Beach: Viagra Rush Legal

Prosecutors in Palm Beach County said today that Rush Limbaugh will not be criminally charged for his possession of a bottle of Viagra that was in the name of Dr. Steve Strumwasser, his psychiatrist. On June 26, Rush was detained by customs after the discovery of the Viagra in his bag upon his return from holiday in the Domincan Republic on his private jet. According to Dr. Strumwasser, he agreed to have the prescription put in his name to avoid any embarrassing publicity for the popular conservative radio talk show host. The Palm Beach County state attorney's spokesman, Mike Edmondson, said that it is generally lawful for a doctor to prescribe medication in the name of a third party if all of the parties are cognizant thereof and the physician properly documents it. Nevertheless, the case was forwarded to Miami-Dade prosecutors for review since the prescription was written there. Had Limbaugh been charged, the "doctor shopping" charge deferal deal could have been scrapped which required Limbaugh to not get arrested within 18 months of the deal. On his radio show today, Rush discussed the Viagra incident and said that he was cancelling an August trip to Spain and would not be making any trips anytime soon because he didn't want to place himself in a "position of being framed."

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Dear Leader Sinks Missiles

Today North Korea tested its seventh missile in two days provoking international ire and possibly auguring a unified response from the other five nations (U.S., Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea) in the six nation talks. Contrary to the accounts by the U.S., Japan, Korea, and Russia's Pravda, General Yuri Baluyevsky, Russian army chief of staff, stated that as many as 10 missiles (not including today's missile launch) were fired. Only one long-range missile, the Taepodong-2, was fired which failed soon after takeoff according to U.S. officials: according to Pravda, specialists believed that all six missiles fired yesterday encountered technical malfunction 40 seconds after their launch, traveled ten minutes after their launch, and covered 500 kilometers before falling into the northwestern part of the Sea of Japan.  (The American western coast falls within the range of a successful Taepodong 2 launch: Alaskan anti-ICBM defenses was put on alert to deal with any threat to the U.S. mainland.) An emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council has been called to deal with concerns chiefly expressed by Japanese and U.S. officials. Tony Snow, press secretary for the White House, indicated in this morning's press briefing that there is a danger of futher missile firings by North Korea of a shorter or medium-range type.

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Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Mississippi Burning

The state of emergency (in effect since June 22, 2006) in Jackson, Mississippi, was extended for the second time by Mayor Frank Melton according to Commander Tyrone Lewis. Initially famed as a crime fighter with his hard-hitting editorials on his WLBT television station and his posted pictures of alleged drug dealers on billboards, Melton won the election against Harvey Johnson, the likable, less colorful prior mayor. With Melton's ascension to the mayoral office, crime has increased even though the mayor has personally gone on drug busts, manned road blocks, and swaggered with his pistols by his side. With Melton's declaration, minors are not allowed on the streets after 9 p.m. week days and 10 p.m. weekends. According to Lewis, Melton said that the curfew will continue until the citizens apprise him that they feel "safe and secure." When Lewis was asked to clarify when that might be, he stated, "Until he (Melton) is comfortable that the community is comfortable: he will make that decision." The mayor could not be reached for comment by reporters: he was on vacation.


Happy 4th!

Happy Independence Day! Today is a wonderful day to celebrate our freedom and liberties that are God-given with our family and/or friends. Remember our Founding Fathers, our veterans past and present, and all those who have given life, limb, liberty, and/or earthly possessions for the sake of this great land. As we down those barbequed ribs and sip some suds, let us cherish our country, love our kith and kin (and our enemies), and thank our God for his bountiful blessings.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Flag Burning A Goes Down in Flames

Democratic senators (and 3 courageous Republican colleagues) struck a blow for freedom of speech against Republican leadership's attempts to suppress it. On the eve of Independence Day, Majority Leader Frist (R-TN), the vast majority of Republicans, and 14 Democrats (including Minority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada) tried to abridge our First Amendement with their amendment that would allow Congress to enact laws to prevent the "desecration of the flag." They nearly succeeded with a vote of 66 to 34 for the amendment: 67 votes were required to send the proposed amendments to the states for ratification. (Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, was the lone GOP leader who tried to warn the lemmings before they lunged off the cliff.) Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in WWII, eloquently stated, "This objectionable expression is obscene, it is painful, it is unpatriotic but I believe Americans gave their lives in many wars to make certain all Americans have a right to express themselves, even those who harbor hateful thoughts." It seems to me self evident that the most repulsive, vile, and base speech needs to be protected to ensure that all of our free expression may be vented without fear of reprisal. There is an analogue to what Hitler did to the Jews in that they were a minority that were easily (albeit wrongly) vilified. If the government is allowed to perpetuate evil against the weakest, the least popular, and/or the most vulnerable, then it can go after any racial minority, heterodoxist, physically (or mentally) challenged person, etc. If you are offended by the senators' vote, you may want to ask them why they haven't taken on other controversial topics that you deem more worthy of moral censure.


Get Out the Lysol

As CBS New Prez Sean McManus cut the Gordian knot that Rather had tied when he scandalized CBS News with Memogate, he continues to clean house with his efforts to restore prestige and credibility to the Eye Network. He wooed Katie Couric with a $15 mil/year contract to resurrect CBS News after the quirky Texan had taken the once august network from a perennial first to a continous third. (Interim anchor Bob Sheiffer had stablized and increased ratings after Rather's Bush story fiasco, and McManus realized that he had to have a clean break from the recent past and get immediately recognizable and popular talent.) Also, McManus is trying to reinvigorate the storied 60 Minutes franchise having enlisted CNN's Anderson Cooper to become a co-host on the Sunday program and having leaned on Mike Wallace to make his way toward retirement even though the aging, confrontational correspondent will still infrequently appear on 60 Minutes. Who knows, McManus may restore a network news division to a semblence of fairness and objectivity: there may still be hope for the now senile dowager NYT.