And now the most captivating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine.
There are signs that Congressional Democrats' relentless focus on the Enron scandal may be backfiring against one of their own. The biggest single recipient of Enron campaign money in the House of Representatives is Democratic Congressman Ken Bentsen of Texas, who is running for the Senate. As the Dallas Morning News has noted, Bentsen, son of the former Senator and Treasury Secretary, supported a deregulation measure two years ago that helped the company. Some of his critics are calling his role in the Enron saga, "Kenron." Bentsen, though, says he was just looking out for a Texas company and trying to protect jobs in his state.
The Justice Department's decision to put a blue cover over that bare-breasted statue that sometimes appears behind Attorney General Ashcroft during speeches has alarmed no less an artist than Cher. The Washington Post quotes the flamboyant singer as saying, "What are we going to do next, put shorts on the statue of David and an 1880s bathing suite on 'Venus Rising'. Maybe they'll start deciding what books are all right for us to read and we'll start losing all of our freedoms. This really is unbelievable. It's shocking."
For years, some people have suspected there might be communists on the faculty at Harvard. Now, it seems there will be at least one. Mario Coyula Cowley, a noted architect who has held a senior position in the Castro government, is teaching in Harvard's architecture school this semester. Coyula, who is a longtime revolutionary who backs the regime's refusal to allow freedom of expression, told the Boston Globe that there are too many consumer choices in America. But he told the Globe he won't mind the additional $50,000 more he will make than he would have made in Cuba, where his government job paid $35 a month.
Out in Washington State, child care specialists are worried by a new study that shows that nearly half the state's children are being cared for, at least part of the time, by unregulated and untrained people –- mostly family and friends of the parents. Thirty-six percent of them are said to be grandparents and another 22 percent are other relatives. The Seattle Times quotes Nina Auerbach, head of something called Child Care Resources, as saying, "There's this whole group of people out there caring for kids and nobody is watching them and nobody is helping them."