The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Pack of PEST Patients
John Kerry supporters in Florida have had their first group therapy session for a disorder the American Health Association is calling Post Election Selection Trauma (search), or PEST. Psychotherapist Sheila Cooperman told the Boca Raton News says that the 20 patients exhibited an overall sense of emotional hopelessness and abandonment.
And AHA Director Robert Gordon said the group was obviously traumatized by the election. Adding, "If you even mention religion, their faces turn blister red as they shout at Bush." Gordon says the first session was mostly venting, but by the third session, patients will be doing some meditation exercises to ease some of their symptoms. He says that “might help them adjust to reality.”
The University of Georgia (search) plans to reinstate race as a factor in the admissions process, despite warnings that they’ll almost certainly be sued. Georgia stopped considering race in admissions three years ago, after a federal judge said it was unconstitutional. But after a U.S. Supreme Court ruled that universities may consider race along with other factors, a faculty committee has recommended going back to the old system to help minority students.
The conservative Southeastern Legal Foundation says that decision creates a grave constitutional risk and puts Georgia at risk for a lawsuit.
Holidays Versus Christmas
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (search) had planed to scrap the "Merry Christmas" sign on city hall and replace it with a politically correct sign reading "Happy Holidays." Hickenlooper said he was merely trying to be more inclusive, After learning of what he called, "strong community sentiment" to keep the "Merry Christmas" sign, Hickenlooper says it will stay right where it was.
Meanwhile, Californians will once again have an official state Christmas tree. Former Democratic Governor Gray Davis switched to the secular holiday tree four years ago. But Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says the yuletide symbol will be the Christmas tree as long as he’s in office. The governor will preside over the lighting of the official Hanukkah menorah next week.
The Arab news network Al-Jazeera (search) has faced Western criticism for sympathizing with terrorists, but the satellite channel is now catching heat from the Islamic regime in Iran. An article in the Tehran Times accuses Al-Jazeera of being run by Zionist agents who "tarnish the image of true Islam."
Iran’s anger stems from a recent cartoon on Al-Jazeera’s web site, which depicts an Iranian cleric ignoring problems in the Islamic world, but expressing outrage at a proposal to change the name of the Persian Gulf to the Arab Gulf. Iranians consider themselves Persians, not Arabs.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report