And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Sean Penn Speaking Out… and Not on a Movie
Forget about the arms inspectors. Iraq has other guests it is happier to see. Actor Sean Penn has begun a three-day visit to Iraq on behalf of the Institute of Public Accuracy.
Penn, who visited a Baghdad hospital, accuses President Bush of stifling debate over Iraq and said, he now has the privileged opportunity to pursue a deeper understanding of this frightening conflict. He says his visit to Iraq is an attempt to find my own voice on matters of conscience. And what better place to find a voice on matters of conscience than in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Snubbing Out Smokers
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to outlaw smoking almost everywhere in public and now the city Health Department is warning doctors they could face malpractice suits if they don't push their patients to quit smoking. The warning is in the Department's newsletter and stunned doctors who received it. The American Medical Association says it's never heard of such a malpractice suit. The mayor and the City Council have agreed on one of the strongest anti-smoking bills in the country, which would ban smoking in most bars, restaurants and public places.
When a sixth grader in Lafayette, Colorado chose the Bible for her book report, her teacher said no. In fact, he said she couldn't even bring the Bible to school because it might offend students of other religions. After Elizabeth Johnson's parents threatened a lawsuit, the assistant principal thought better of the ban and OK'd the book report. Elizabeth said she wasn't pushing her religion on anyone. She just likes the story of the Exodus and Moses.
Parents Make the Grade!
And finally, not doing homework isn't just a no-no. At a school in Houston, it' becoming a crime. The parents of students who repeatedly fail to turn in their homework will get citations from truant officers for criminal misdemeanor, which carries a fine of as much as $185. So if the dog eats the student's homework too many times, parents may be standing before the justice of the peace. So far, there have only been warnings. But the judge says the next case before him will mean a hefty fine.