Today's Papers

George Will, Rastafarian

Things are a little slow even for a Sunday when two of the majors working the weekend lead with local stories–the Los Angeles Times goes with a water dispute between L.A. and San Diego, and the Washington Post with a school budget story. The New York Times lead is a fairly mundane account of how the various spending bills are faring in Congress, which does however contain the news that in contrast to the dilatory rancor of the past few years, the House has already approved eight of the thirteen necessary authorizing bills, and the Senate, ten.

On the NYT’s front there’s a story about the two teachers, one black, one white, who are at the center of the reverse discrimination in hiring case that will be taken up by the Supreme Court in the fall. In 1989, the Piscataway, New Jersey school board, faced with having to lay off one of them, chose to retain the black because she was the only black faculty member in her department. Since then, the Times reports, due to a staff retirement, the fired teacher is back at the school, so that now the two women teach in adjoining classrooms and share an office and a telephone. They do not, however, speak.

According to a front-page story in the LAT, the Clinton administration has made one very direct commitment to moving people from welfare to work: It seems that last May, the White House mail room hired a 29-year-old welfare mother.

Politics has never made stranger bedfellows than in George Will’s WP column in which on libertarian grounds, he defends the right of African-American hair care practitioners to administer unlicensed “sisterlocks.”

The WP reports that “after three days of intensive investigation, federal officials said they have yet to find any link between Middle East terrorist groups and two suspects arrested Thursday in an alleged suicide-bomb plot to attack New York subways.” Furthermore, says the Post, “A statement today that purports to speak for Hamas denied that the group had anything to do with the two Palestinian suspects….” And perhaps because policy nuances tend to get lost amidst all the funerals and severed limbs, the statement added that Hamas “does not act hostilely towards the American people.”

According to a piece inside the NYT, the CIA is offering a new reason why the government wasn’t lying about UFOs when it said there was nothing to the hundreds of UFO sighting reports made over the years–namely, it was lying about something else. It turns out the spooks knew that a lot of those sightings were of the then-totally-secret U-2 and SR-71 spyplanes.

The WP front features a story about how various ex-members of Congress were crucial lobbyists on the budget bills. Including, it seems, former Sen. Bob Packwood, who successfully lobbied on behalf of lumber mills and other small businesses for a cut in the estate tax. Do you think Packwood was thinking about the tax code when he told the Post, “There’s always moments you miss when you’re not on the inside.”?