And now the most scintillating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

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Past Protest
Sen. Patrick Leahy has come up with what may be a novel approach when caught in a contradiction: He's saying he didn't mean what he admits he said. Five years ago, Democrat Leahy protested on the Senate floor when Republicans had quietly blocked a Clinton judicial nominee using a Senate device called a hold, which allows a single senator to freeze a nomination. This is what Leahy said, "I have stated over and over again on this floor that I would refuse to put an anonymous hold on any judge; that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported; that I felt the Senate should do its duty." Now that Leahy is helping lead the filibuster against Bush nominee Miguel Estrada, Leahy is saying that he earlier comment has been misquoted because what he really was talking about was the use of holds, which were, in essence, "anonymous filibusters."

Apologized for Rudeness, Not for Her Views
Carolyn Parrish, the Canadian member of Parliament, who last week said of Americans, "I hate those bastards," and was overheard by a reporter, may have apologized but that does not mean she didn't mean what she said. On a Canadian TV show, Parrish told host Mike Bullard, "I opened my mouth, I inserted my foot. I wiggled my toes." But she also said, "Obviously it's something I believe in. I can't even guarantee I won't do it again." That, she said, is because she had only apologized for her rudeness, not for her views on the U.S. policy toward Iraq.

Satisfied So Far
U.N. Resolution 1441 may call for Iraq immediately and fully to disarm, and to account completely for any weapons it may once have had. Even Hans Blix doesn't contend Iraq has done that, but former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is satisfied. She told a Washington conference on women in politics, "We are actually accomplishing something. The president should take credit for the fact they are disarming." Albright lamented, "The momentum seems to be moving in the direction of war," adding, "There must be some way to do what we wanted without alienating everybody."