Kansas or Krypton?

John McCaslin
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Posted: Jul 04, 2006 10:26 PM

Correction in the Washington Post: "In a June 28 Style review of 'Superman Returns,' Superman's home state was incorrectly identified as Iowa. He is from Kansas."

REAL AMERICA

President Bush's motorcade made an unscheduled U-turn and stop - at a lemonade stand - while speeding to the airport after Friday's fund-raiser in Ohio for Republican Sen. Mike DeWine.

After all, how could the president pass by a young girl sporting pink sunglasses and a sign that reads: "Lemonade, 50 cents. Bush Free."

While Bush posed for pictures, a nearby mother couldn't help but shout, "I love you," followed by this response from her son: "I am so embarrassed."

SHOOT FOR NOW

The first week of the U.N. "Small Arms Review Conference" has wrapped up, and, as far as we can tell, shotgun shells that Americans use to shoot their Thanksgiving Day turkeys are safe for at least a half-dozen years.

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and NRA President Sandra Froman were among Americans who attended the lengthy conference, reminding the international delegation of this country's Second Amendment.

Testifying on Friday was Mary Leigh Blek of "Million Mom March" fame, who made, as one described it, an "emotional anti-gun speech" to the delegates. As for bullets and shells, the NRA reports that countries agreed to "push the idea of international regulation of ammunition and additional U.N. meetings until at least 2012."

HELD FOR RANSOM

Before she left for her weeklong Fourth of July recess, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, on Friday stood up to pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration, only then to express concern about the direction of the agency under President Bush.

In fact, the Democrat said, until changes are made, she will place a hold on the nomination of the current acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach to lead the agency. Among other things, she's upset the FDA has blocked wider access to so-called emergency contraception, also known as "Plan B."

Clinton observed that successive FDA commissioners, both appointed by Bush, blocked Plan B from being sold over the counter -- a move she calls "politically motivated."

CELESTIAL WANDERERS

Sure it was news over the weekend that thunderstorms thwarted NASA's plans to launch Discovery.

But more newsworthy, one might argue, is that NASA is on the "fast-track" to provide Congress with an initial assessment of how we earthlings can divert deadly objects "on a likely collision course" with our planet.

Senior space writer Leonard David of Space.com writes: "The U.S. Congress has tagged NASA to use its unique competence to deal with the potential hazard faced by Earth from such celestial wanderers in order to help establish a warning and mitigation strategy."

He reveals there is no shortage of ideas "how to fend off unfriendly fire from the cosmos: laser beams, space tugboats, gravity tractor, and solar sails, for example, as well as using powerful anti-NEO (near-Earth object) bombs, conventional as well as nuclear."

That said, how many even realized that a "warning shot of sorts" is making a close flyby of Earth this very day -- asteroid 2004 XP14.

LETTER OF THE WEEK

"Very simply stated, I follow my father's excellent advice with regard to political incumbency: Unless there is overwhelming proof of a politician's fitness to hold the same office again, throw the rascal out. For the last 20 years, I have followed that advice and voted against all incumbent rascals." - Beltway Beat reader Don Noble