And now the most absorbing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Snapping Up Snapshots
The Republican Congressional campaign committees may have decided they will no longer use President Bush's name and likeness in their fund-raising appeals, but the solicitation that led to that decision seems to be a huge success. Roll Call reports that the GOP has raked in at least $1.4 million from that direct mail pitch that promised three pictures of the president, including this one from Air Force One on Sept. 11, for every contribution of $150 or more. The pictures were acquired from a commercial source, but democrats cried foul and exploitation of a national tragedy. Republicans, it seems, responded by snapping up the pictures.
Trying to Outwit the GOP
And the democrats are still trying to figure out how to respond to another bit of republican maneuvering — this over the 2004 party conventions. When the democrats announced they planned to hold their nominating convention in mid-July of 2004, the republicans replied that they would wait until the end of August — thus giving the president the usual post-convention popularity boost much closer to Election Day. The democrats then threatened to reschedule theirs at the very same time, but that could cause a money shortage since a big share of federal matching funds, which democrats need more than republicans, does not come until after a candidate is actually nominated. So now, The Washington Times reports, democrats are rethinking.
Change for Childcare
When Boeing announced it was moving its corporate headquarters out of Seattle last year, another homegrown company, Starbuck's Coffee, announced it had no plans to leave. Now, Seattle childcare advocates seeking more money for early education have filed a ballot initiative proposing a 10-cent tax on espresso drinks. The money raised would go to pay for childcare teachers and to lower income families to pay for childcare. Starbuck's said it didn't understand why espresso drinks, and no other product, was being singled out.
Questions Over Treatment of Terrorists
Israeli intelligence has told the Cabinet that those six terrorists who were let go from Yasser Arafat's compound are not being held in the way Israel had expected. The Jerusalem Post reports that the six, who are supposed to be under American and British monitoring in a jail in the West Bank town of Jericho, are free to mingle with each other and to receive visitors. But one of them reportedly did recently have his cell phone taken away amid suspicion he helped plan a suicide murder on May 19.