Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., Returns to Acting

And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:

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From Politics Back to Showbiz
Combining his two careers, law and acting, Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., is on track to be the new chief prosecutor on NBC's Law and Order. The Hollywood Reporter says Thompson will join the Emmy-winning cast as a regular this fall, marking his first venture into television, despite having appeared in 18 films before his election to the U.S. Senate in 1994. Thompson, whose term expires in January, also is expected to appear on NBC's two other  Law and Order series, Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent. The senator made his acting debut in 1985's Marie and went on to appear in such movies as The Hunt for Red October, In the Line of Fire and Die Hard 2.   
Perfect Presidential Shot
As we told you earlier, President Bush was in beautiful, picturesque South Dakota today at Mount Rushmore National Park — but the White House advance team found it impossible to get a good shot of the president with his back to those four presidential visages carved into the Dakota cliffs. So with pristine wilderness all around him, the president spoke in front of a large screen featuring the words "Mount Rushmore" and an enlarged photo of the Badlands, which are some 60 miles from the park. The Bush camp said it was impossible to get the president and his four forbears in the same frame — camera crews would have been forced to move too far away.

Global Warming or Construction?
And finally, while Democrats are blaming the president for not doing enough to help people stricken from this summer's drought, Europeans are blaming him for flooding. Leftist politicians and environmentalists are trying to link the continent's worst flooding in decades to U.S. reluctance to endorse the Kyoto environmental protocol. The United States produces a quarter of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, and European environmentalists have been berating the administration ever since the president rejected Kyoto last year, saying it would cripple the U.S. economy without addressing critical pollution problems, particularly in such developing nations as China. But other Europeans are less certain that global warming is to blame for the floods. They think the high waters may have something to do with construction along riverbanks and flood plains.