And now the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Meeting the Justices on Different Terms
Two members of the New Jersey Supreme Court, which heard the arguments on the Torricelli ballot case today, gave money to Torricelli's campaigns in the past. And one of the two, Justice Barry Albin, who gave to Torricelli in both 1996 and 1999, also gave to Frank Lautenberg's war chest that year. The other justice who gave to Torricelli is Justice James Zazzali. Those contributions came before the men were named to the court.
Looking To Fill the Void
In Hawaii, state officials have decided to hold a special election next month to fill the vacant House seat of Democratic Congresswoman Patsy Mink, who died over the weekend. Officials said the U.S. Constitution requires that, contrary to what we suggested yesterday, the governor does not have the power to appoint an interim replacement. The only way the Democrats could keep the seat is for Mink to win in November, and then for another Democrat to win a special election to replace her. So, in New Jersey, Democrats are fighting to get the very much alive Robert Torricelli off the New Jersey Senate ballot, while in Hawaii, they want to keep Patsy Mink on the ballot, even though she's dead.
Insulting U.S. Intelligence?
Former U.N. weapons inspection chief Richard Butler says the United States is guilty of "double standards" because of its failure to recognize that, "Their weapons of mass destruction are just as much a problem as are those of Iraq." In an appearance at the University of Sydney's Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Butler, an Australian said he had tried to get Americans to discuss U.S. double standards but had failed "even with highly educated and engaged people. I sometimes felt I was speaking to them in Martian, so deep is their inability to understand."
Babs Says Writer Quite a Bard
Barbra Streisand has now admitted that the quote, which she attributed to Shakespeare at that Democratic Party fund-raising gala in Los Angeles over the weekend, was actually "an anonymous composition" that was floating around on the Internet. But Streisand isn't exactly apologizing for the error. Instead, she says the passage, which says in part "beware the leader who bangs the drums of war," is "powerful and true and beautifully written." And she adds, "Whoever wrote this is damn talented and should be writing their own play."