'Out of the Mainstream'?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Republicans are crying foul as Bush judicial pick Janice Rogers Brown (search) — confirmed Wednesday evening — is condemned as being "out of the mainstream." After all, Republicans say, when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (search) was nominated to the bench, they didn't make a big deal out of the fact that she had served as general counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union, and that before becoming a judge she said she believed traditional marriage laws were unconstitutional, that prostitution was a constitutional right, and that abortions should be paid for by taxpayers.

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn (search) says, "Most Americans do not consider these views to be mainstream."

Second Thoughts about Compromise?

Now that several of President Bush's judicial nominees are being confirmed, some liberals are reported to be having second thoughts about last month's Senate compromise. The Washington Post notes, for example, that D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says the "problem with the compromise is the price that was paid."

The paper quotes law professor Carl Tobias (search) of the University of Richmond as saying that Senate Majority Leader Frist is "seizing the initiative" in pushing conservative nominees through and calls it "wishful thinking" by Democrats to think that such other conservatives as former Kenneth Starr assistant Brett Kavanaugh will not be confirmed as well.

Perturbed By Park Plans

Liberal advocacy groups in Houston, Texas, are disturbed over Harris County's plans to build a 865-acre park, complete with a large pond for boating, fishing, bird-watching and hiking. Harris County is planning to name the park "John Paul's Landing," after the late Pope.

But the Houston chapter of the ACLU (search) says that's "insensitive to other religions," insisting, "[we] would not want to name some park the Dalai Lama Park because some people might not be Buddhists." And the Houston Atheists Society, quoted by the Houston Chronicle, says the name represents the "pushiness of government-sponsored religion in our society." Harris County says it will move ahead with its plans, anyway.

Broad’Banned’ in Cuba

Just as independent journalists begin to flourish in Cuba (search), the Cuban government has banned the sale of computers and accessories to the general public, according to a new report in Wired magazine. The report says merchandise was taken off stores' shelves in January... and now citizens who want computers or accessories must demonstrate that any such equipment is "indespensible," and obtain permission from the Ministry of Internal Commerce to purchase it.

When asked about it, all the Cuban government would say was "If we didn't have an embargo, there could be computers for everybody."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report