And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:
Better call the men in black. Residents near Andrews Air Force Base just outside Washington told a local radio station they saw a large blue or orange ball of light streaking across the sky late last night with military jets right on its tail. NORAD and the Air National Guard tell FOX News that jets were scrambled from Andrews when radar showed something headed into D.C. airspace that was NOT supposed to be there. But NORAD says the jets couldn't find anything when they reached the area. The only explanation officials offer is that a plane might have gone off course, and then corrected its position. No talk of UFO's and no sign of Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones.
A Keepsake From Congress
And speaking of things that are beamed up. James Traficant, who was expelled from the House this week, will have something to remember his old colleagues by. Even though he has been thrown out of Congress, he'll get to keep his pension. With nine terms under his belt, the Ohio Congressman stands to receive $38,000 a year for the rest of his life. And what's more, Traficant is insisting he'll run for the seat again as an independent. If by some chance he won, believe it or not, he would be allowed to serve again because it would be in a new session of Congress. Of course, his colleagues could just throw him out again. But there is yet another wrinkle. Traficant is scheduled to be sentenced next Tuesday for his 10 felony convictions, and if he is incarcerated outside the state of Ohio and should win election as an independent, he may not able to take his seat because he would no longer be a resident of Ohio. Got it?
With Friends Like These...
And finally, Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams has until next Tuesday to clear his name, and a few others as well. His campaign was rocked when it was learned that only 3,000 of the more than 10,000 signatures he filed to get on the ballot this fall were legitimate voters. And now three members of the family who spearheaded the petition effort on behalf of Mayor Williams have been subpoenaed to appear before the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, or face possible arrest. So far only one of the three has actually shown up. Suspicion about the petitions grew last week when such names as Kelsey Grammer, Donald Rumsfeld and Kofi Annan appeared on Williams' petitions.