Senate Democrats are preparing an election year coup to position Al Gore, in his role as president of the Senate, to break a tie and thus enact a Democratic-backed patients' bill of rights. The death of Republican Sen. Paul Coverdell of Georgia and his replacement by Democrat Zell Miller puts the count for the bill at 50 to 50.
Like a scene out of "Krippendorf's Tribe," in which an anthropology professor rigs up videos of a phony, undiscovered tribe replete with fake rituals and tribal makeup in order to hoodwink his colleagues, the media have recently been taken in by a zoologist on a vacation cruise in the Arctic Ocean who claimed global warming was melting the North Pole.
"This is your eyewitness news team, reporting from Ivy University, where Professor I.M. Murky has decided to turn this year's freshman orientation into a gala event. All sorts of celebrities have been invited. Who are some of these celebrities, Professor Murky?"
The author note about Harry Stein in his delightful new book "How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace)" begins as follows: "Harry Stein is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in a number of publications in which he will likely never appear again, including The New York Times Magazine, New York, Esquire, (SET ITAL) and (SET ITAL) GQ end ital."
Can anyone find the "religious left"? Apparently, the "religious left" does not exist. Once upon a time, liberals quivered at religious pronouncements whether from Southern Republicans, the Christian Coalition, or the Moral Majority -- the so-called "religious right."
WASHINGTON -- Did you catch that improbable interview on CNN the other day? With the utmost solemnity, CNN's Bernard Shaw was soliciting the Rev. Jesse Jackson's current views on world politics, particularly international terrorism and the Future of the Human Race. I think that was it. It was all very dramatic.
Undeniable panic is gripping partisan Republicans, from rank-and-file voters to seasoned political operatives, with two full months left before the presidential election. They are dismayed not so much about the surge by Al Gore but the loss of confidence in George W. Bush.
In the disbarment proceeding of William Jefferson Clinton, his lawyers have argued that taking away Clinton's law license would be "excessively harsh, impermissibly punitive and unprecedented." More amusingly, they also claim that he engaged in the conduct prompting the disbarment proceeding merely out of "a desire to protect himself and others from embarrassment."
"Survivor" has by no means gone away, not with CBS airing reruns opposite the Olympics, and the sequel premiering right after the Super Bowl. But it's highly unlikely that the program or any of its cast members, past or future, will ever again saturate the media to the extent that they have this summer. Good news, right?
After spending a summer in airports watching delayed travelers devouring the paperback, "Hannibal," and following the advice of my niece, Jennifer ... who shall pay for this some day ... I bought a copy of the "Silence of the Lambs" sequel.
"Surprising," "remarkable," "totally unexpected" were the superlatives with which The New York Times reported the rise in second-grade test scores in California two years after the passage of Proposition 227, ordering the public schools to terminate bilingual education.
A certain something is in the air: an apprehension, a palpable nervousness. More than a few of those Bush backers who recently were whistling merrily along, not a care in the world, are darting uneasy glances at polls showing Al Gore with huge gains. Could Al, after all, win it?
I've believed all along that this presidential campaign would be neck and neck all the way down to the wire, and early indicators seem to bear that out. Pundits can blather about this so-called "issueless" campaign, but this election will be won or lost on issues.
Apparently, Dick Cheney did such a swell job as the head of the giant Halliburton Co. that the board of directors decided to reward him with extra shares of company stock when he resigned. He may have been a good CEO, but as an applicant for the post of America's next vice president, Cheney is a dud.
Al Gore wants very much to make the issue of drug affordability a major issue in the presidential campaign. If he can make the case that drug prices are too high and drug industry profits too big, then voters may agree with him on the need for a massive new government program to subsidize drugs for seniors.
This is a happy Labor Day for Richard Trumka, second-ranking official of the AFL-CIO. Not only is he a high-profile supporter of Al Gore for president who keeps his job as the labor organization's secretary-treasurer even though he has invoked the Fifth Amendment in violation of AFL-CIO rules.
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