The latest from the Political Grapevine:
One of the 50 or so Kerry supporters in Florida who took themselves to psychologists after the presidential election, suffering from what the American Health Association has dubbed "post-election selection trauma," now says she was happy with her therapy, which in a single session relieved her anxieties. Forty-four-year-old Karen, last name withheld, says, "I wasn't sleeping. I was very devastated and very astonished that people would re-elect this president ... I felt very unsettled and fearful. I thought, 'Oh no, what will happen for four years?'"
But, she tells the Boca Raton News, "[My psychologist] absolutely understood the pain this election caused me and he opened my mind to a new point of view. You're relaxed, he talks to you and you just come out of it feeling more positive and renewed ... He did some relaxation techniques and probably did some things I didn't even realize."
Arab news network Al-Jazeera has commissioned, of all people, Bush critic and Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter to write a piece on the latest military action in Fallujah.
In the piece, Ritter says the actions are "exercises in futility, akin to squeezing jello.... The more you try to get a grasp on the problem, the more it slips through your fingers." He continues, "The battle for Falluja has exposed not only the fallacy of the U.S. military strategy toward confronting the resistance in Iraq, but also the emptiness of the interim government of Ayad Allawi ... It is a war the United States cannot win."
Ritter, by the way, said just after the war in Iraq began that the U.S. military lacked the means to take over Baghdad.
In France, the tributes to the old terrorist Yasser Arafat continue. According to the Jerusalem Post, several French municipalities are considering naming a street or square after Arafat. French authorities, however, have warned that such tributes might trigger problems between Jews and Muslims.
Meanwhile, Slobodan Milosevic — the former Yugoslav president now on trial at the U.N. for war crimes — has sent a letter addressed to the Palestinian people and leadership, extending his condolences over Arafat's death. His former aides, who confirmed the letter, would offer no further specifics.
A Conservative Estimation
Conservative New York Times columnist William Safire is ending his column, after nearly 31 years. His last column, a Times spokeswoman tells Editor & Publisher, will be January 24. Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Junior says, "The New York Times without [William] Safire is all but unimaginable ... Whether you agreed with him or not was never the point. His writing is delightful, informed and engaging."
The Times, now, will have only one conservative in-house voice, columnist David Brooks.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report