Missing in Saudi Arabia

And now the most revealing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:

Fined But Nowhere To Be Found
Remember that Saudi princess accused of pushing her maid down a staircase at her home in Florida? Princess Buniah, a niece of King Fahd, has now pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge, and fined $1,000, at a hearing, which she did not attend because she's gone back to Saudi Arabia. One reason she did not have to come back for trial on more serious charges is that the chief witness, the maid herself, had gone home to Indonesia for a funeral, and the State Department would not grant her a visa to return, claiming she might try to stay here illegally.

There's More ...
And speaking of Saudi Arabia, the country's Defense Minister Prince Sultan bin Abd Al-Aziz is dismissing criticism of his country in the U.S. Congress as the product of Jewish members. According to a Saudi newspaper based in London, he told a reporter to refer to Congressional critics as "Jewish Congressmen. It is enough that in the pictures you see some Congressmen wearing Jewish yarmulkes. That is sufficient."

Under God, Under Fire
One of the two judges who voted to declare the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional now is also opposed to the stay blocking the decision from going into effect pending appeal.  Judge Stephen Reinhardt, known as perhaps the most liberal judge on the 9th Circuit, broke with his colleague Alfred Goodwin over the stay, saying it meant the court lacked “the courage of its convictions...I am embarrassed for myself and our court." In fact, all decisions of the court are automatically stayed for 45 days to allow time for appeals.

Reported Row Over Restrooms
The San Francisco board of supervisors has voted to give that city something it never had before — a public ordinance prohibiting people from going to the bathroom on the city's streets. The vote was unanimous, but the San Francisco Chronicle reports that it came after months of contentious debate, in which homeless advocates had opposed the measure, calling instead for more public toilets. San Francisco has 120 public bathrooms located in parks, plus another 25 kiosk bathrooms on the streets. But the homeless say that's not enough, and one of them is quoted as saying of the kiosks, "those are for junkies."