Law and Disorder

Even though the much-ballyhooed McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance bill hasn't yet taken effect, some of its idiocies are becoming apparent. This week, the Federal Elections Commission ruled that Jay Leno and David Letterman may tell political jokes during the final 60 days of election campaigns.

Nevertheless, Commission lawyers cautioned that individual punch lines may come under scrutiny as unauthorized campaign contributions -- and that the FEC could review them on a quip by quip basis. The FEC also has created a galaxy-sized loophole in the law by granting tax-exempt organizations permission to lobby their brains out during political campaigns -- meaning that anybody can skirt the law by creating a non-profit foundation.

Mail Call

U.S. News reports that the United States customs service last year refused to let federal investigators open letters addressed to Usama bin Laden -- and actually ordered that the mail be forwarded to addresses in Afghanistan. Customs agents said the feds lacked probable cause to open the mail. We are happy to report that Congress has changed the law.

Puts Race in the Race

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the Democratic nominee for governor of Maryland, issued the following blast against her Republican opponent, Robert Ehrlich during a debate the other night:

"He opposes affirmative action based on race. Well, let me tell you, slavery was based on race. Lynching was based on race. Discrimination was based on race. Jim Crow was based on race. And affirmative action should be based on race."

This raises an interesting question: Why would any politician promote a policy, that by their own account, is constructed on precisely the same basis as slavery, lynching, discrimination and Jim Crow?

Seeing Double

A German researcher has proven that it may be virtually impossible to track down Saddam Hussein. Forensic specialist Dieter Buhmann subjected 450 photos of the Iraqi despot to a variety of facial recognition technologies and concluded that Saddam employs numerous doubles. Herr Buhman says Saddam himself has not appeared publicly since 1998.