And now the most engaging two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Under Friendly Fire
Congressional democrats opposing the proposed nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, find themselves under fire from an unusual source — the liberal political journal The New Republic. The weekly magazine editorializes in its current issue that "there is a clear scientific consensus that Yucca Mountain is well-suited for long-term waste disposal." The magazine said Senate democratic leaders who are opposing the site are "shamelessly putting politics ahead of safety. And we hope they fail."
Shooting Down Their Bullet-Proof Issue?
Democrats, meanwhile, under advice from their pollsters, have decided to back away from an issue that has been a party staple in recent years — gun control. The Hill newspaper says democratic strategists have concluded "that calling for gun control in all but a few isolated races could jeopardize their efforts to take back control of the House and retain their narrow majority in the Senate in November." Pollster Stan Greenberg said he's urging clients that post-election 2000 polls show the issue hurt democrats from Al Gore on down in rural areas and among white, less educated voters.
Split Political Personality?
David Brock, the liberal, turned conservative, turned liberal again journalist and author, is reportedly not denying he spent time in a Washington hospital mental ward while his latest book was being readied for publication. The book, Blinded by the Right, is Brock's mea-culpa account of how he says he was used by conservative activists trying to drive Bill Clinton from power. Internet pamphleteer Matt Drudge quotes Brock as denying that any portion of the book was written while he was in the psychiatric ward of Sibley Hospital in Washington last summer.
Saudi Arabia has fined two Filipinos and, after keeping them in jail for more than a month, has kicked them out of the country. Their offense, according to the Assist News Service, was that they were caught in possession of a Holy Bible and some Christian CDs. The offending items were found when police raided their room in Abqaiq, about 200 miles northeast of Riyadh. They were originally sentenced to being flogged 150 times as well, but that apparently was suspended.