And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Tavis Smiley, who has a daily one-hour show on National Public Radio from Los Angeles, says President Bush's decision to resubmit the nomination of Mississippi Federal Judge Charles Pickering for a seat on the appellate bench is "the political equivalent of giving black America his middle finger. He did that because he thinks he can get away with it." Smiley made the comments at a bar association banquet in Mississippi over the weekend. He told the largely black group that in naming Pickering, who is supported by numerous blacks in Mississippi, where he lives, that Mr. Bush "is trying to placate his conservative friends."
Christ a Terrorist?
Meanwhile, Ramsey Clark, who was U.S. Attorney General under President Lyndon Johnson and has since become a harsh critic of his country, has angered Christian and Muslim spokesmen alike for comments last week in which he suggested Jesus Christ could be considered a terrorist. Speaking at a news conference organized by an anti-Chriwar group last week, Clark said, "The Christian Church overwhelmingly -- there are exceptions -- who choose to call Muhammad a terrorist. They could call Jesus a terrorist, too. I mean he was pretty tough on money lenders a time or two." Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic relations told Cybercast News Service the comments were "a slur on the prophet Jesus."
Mohammed El Baradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the man in charge of nuclear weapons inspections in Iraq says Iraq is capable of hiding weapons programs forever, "unless we stumble on something, either through information from defectors or thorough random inspection." But El Baradei told TIME magazine progress is being made in nuclear inspections, though he didn't specify what progress. But he said, "In chemical and biological, we are not yet making progress."
And finally, there's a new book out about President Bush's political adviser Karl Rove, whose title is said to be Boy Genius. But you might not know that from looking at its cover, which is illustrated by side by side photo portraits of the two men, with the word "Boy" under Mr. Bush's likeness and the word "Genius" under Rove's.