Lloyd Grove reports on “Six Degrees of Fred Thompson” .. Former representative Ben Jones (D-Ga.), who played Cooter on “The Dukes of Hazzard” and is now running for Congress from Virginia, was in “Primary Colors” with John Travolta, who was in “Pulp Fiction” with Bruce Willis, who was in “Die Hard 2” with Fred Thompson. “The Price is Right” host Bob Barker lobbied for better treatment of circus elephants with Kim Basinger, the estranged wife of Alec Baldwin, who starred in “The Hunt for Red October” with Fred Thompson. Fred Thompson’s web also involves Denzel Washington, Lou Diamond Phillips and Benji.
Two Sunday evening Reuters pieces caught my attention. First, Jacques Chirac’s center-right coalition won a huge landslide in parliamentary elections. I don’t know that anything will change — these are the French, after all — but it’s still sweet to see the socialist left trounced to such a degree that the leaders of the Green and Communist parties even lost their own seats. Second, Microsoft came out in favor of suing software companies for bugs and other defects. The story portrays Microsoft, whose balance sheets shows $39 billion in cash and cash equivalents, as the biggest target with the most to lose. It makes no attempt to reconcile this seeming contradiction, other than to suggest that Microsoft products are pretty good and they can defend themselves well in court. Shame on journalists who miss the…
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Joshua Marshall likes the Kaus piece, too, and decides to look into the origins of the term “homeland defense.” One of the earliest examples comes out of The Heritage Foundation.
ABC News reports that even members of Congress are feeling the effects of a rule that passengers must remain seated for the first and last half hour of flights into and out of Washington-National airport. Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop, flying from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Hartsfield Airport on Delta Flight 1717, got up to go to the bathroom after the mandatory half-hour when passengers must stay seated, but found the lavatories on the airplane occupied, his office and aviation sources said. Sanford then asked a flight attendant for a cup, and “may” have said he intended to relieve himself, his office said. He went to a section of the plane between the cockpit and first-class, then urinated into the cup, said Bishop spokesman Selby McCash, who described the congressman as “a very gracious…
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Mickey Kaus has an excellent piece in Slate in which he does a very good job explaining the problems with the phrase “homeland security.” I highly recommend it.
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This Washington Post article speaks for itself. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights usually investigates discrimination complaints outside its offices. But in the case of its former staff solicitor, Emma Monroig, the agency could have stayed indoors. … Monroig was awarded $150,000 for back pay, mental duress and attorneys’ fees. The EEOC also ordered that she be reinstated as solicitor. … Commission employees have filed nine recent complaints with the EEOC, commission officials said. Three were filed by Hispanics, and the rest by black and white workers. Of those nine, at least three have been settled. In light of Monroig’s award, questions about the treatment of staff, performance evaluations and other personnel issues linger, officials said. Monroig’s odyssey with the EEOC began in 1994, when she filed an informal discrimination complaint. Passman said her claim…