Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Right-Wing Strategy Amendment?
Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy says the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is "bigotry, pure and simple." In a Boston Herald op-ed, Kennedy writes that a vote for the amendment "is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnerships, and against efforts by states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law," adding, "It's a vote to impose discrimination on all 50 states."
Kennedy says the amendment should be called the "Republican Right Wing 2006 Electoral Strategy Amendment" — accusing the administration of using "fear tactics" to rally its "extreme base."
Cart Before the Horse?
The Senate is set to vote this week on a bill that would create an independent government for Hawaii's native population, much like those that exist on Indian reservations, but Hawaiians wish they'd been asked about it first.
A Grassroots Institute poll shows that 70 percent of the state favored a statewide referendum on the measure before it was taken before the Senate — and two-thirds of Hawaiians, including 40 percent of Natives, oppose the bill altogether.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission notes that, unlike Native American governments, Hawaiians have never asked to be recognized as an Indian tribe, are widely dispersed throughout Hawaii and have a high rate of intermarriage with other groups.
French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac formally abolished Whit Monday — or the day after the Christian Pentecost — as one of that country's 11 bank holidays in 2003, but try telling that to the thousands of employees who refused to go to work today anyway.
The Times of London reports that nearly half of French businesses closed up shop and even most government ministries stopped work in defiance of Chirac's order. Still, the day went far more smoothly than last year — when workers went on strike across the country to protest the loss of the annual holiday.
A high school student in Riverside, California, is suing his school district for illegally silencing his protests against illegal immigration.
Joshua Denhalter says dozens of students walked out of school to protest the House bill cracking down on illegal immigrants and went unpunished. But Denhalter was suspended for "advocating the disruption of school activities" when he handed out flyers for an anti-immigration protest across the street during the school's "open lunch period — when students are allowed to leave the school.
The school board also sanctioned an on-campus rally by the radical pro-immigration group MEChA, but denied Denhalter permission to sponsor a counter-rally.
—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.