And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
President Bush says those seven-minute miles he runs for exercise help him relieve the stress of his job, and that his times have gotten better since the war on terror began. In an interview in the October issue of Runner's World magazine, Bush said he started running in 1972, “Back then, I was a man who was known to drink a beer or two. Over time, I'm convinced that running helped me quit drinking and smoking." He says running clears his mind because "You tend to forget everything...and just concentrate on the time, distance or the sweat."
Saving Space for Someone Else?
Bill Clinton has been a state attorney general, four-term governor of Arkansas, and two-term president of the United States. You might think that would make for a pretty lengthy entry in Who's Who in America. Well, he gets 15 lines. Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile, has a Who's Who entry that runs 65 lines. Who's Who, by the way, uses a lot of abbreviations to save space, but lets its subjects include pretty much whatever they want.
Lively New Law
In a new demonstration of the European in the power of government, the Mayor of LeLavandou, France, near San Tropez on the Mediterranean has banned dying. It seems the town's cemetery in full and a local court rejected his plan for a new cemetery by the sea. Except for a homeless man who recently died, Mayor Gil Bernardi says his no-death decree "has been remarkably well followed."
The intense news coverage of child abductions this summer has stirred talk of an epidemic of child kidnappings in America. But the official statistics indicate just the opposite is true. The Cox News service cites FBI statistics showing that since 1999, when the bureau open 134 such cases, the number has declined to 93 last year, and just 46 in the first six months of this year.
And finally, two nights ago we quoted a report that Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee were using their power over the purse to steer spending to states with vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election. We attributed the story to Roll Call, but it was actually done by the Hill, the other newspaper covering Congress. My mistake.