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"The chances are when Clinton leaves, we're going to have to refight this thing all over again."
Ex-Frat Man Stuns Animal House
Members of Congress shared a secret giggle when Republican Speaker-designate Bob Livingston was soberly depicted as a pragmatic statesman, be cause they know the fun-loving side of Bob, the rambunctious party animal who, back in the early '70s, was a wild and crazy Deke partying so hard no body could keep up with him.
According to one apocryphal story, Livingston covered himself in Day-Glo paint and sang "cock-a-doodle doo" from the frat house roofa story, needless to say, stoutly denied by the congressman's press aides. (Still, what a relief from Gingrich, who wanted to orbit space colonies.)
So it was with collective screams of anguish that right-wing Republicans greeted Bob's pronouncement that members of the House of Representatives are expected to work a five-day week under his tenurenot the three days of the Gingrich era.
Sixty-five peeved members speedily signed on to Georgia Republican Jack Kingston's "Dear Colleague" letter pleading for the retention of the present three-day week on grounds that members' psyches couldn't stand any more time in Washington.
"The reason why I believe we need to be back home," Kingston wrote, "is because we younger members don't want to become Washingtonian elitists to sashay our royal heinies around the big city and have this fawning lobbyist community following us around like we're some generals on a military base."
Shock Doc, Judge Stir Storm
When it comes to demeaning women, you can't beat Arkansas.
Fay Boozman, the controversial eye doctor whose race for the U.S. Senate backfired when he said that rape rarely results in pregnancy, now is on tap to become the state's health director.
Republican Governor Mike Huckabee's spokesman confirmed that the 52-year-old conservative state senator was one of several candidates for the job. Boozman's U.S. Senate race fizzled when he said that adrenalin rush triggered by fear causes hormonal changes that block the ability of rape victims to conceive.
The prospect of Boozman becoming health director has sparked a storm of protest. His right-wing supporters cite controversial former state health director Jocelyn Elders as reason enough why Boozman should get the job.
"If they thought Fay to be to the far right, I want to know, 'Is Dr. Elders to the far left?"' asked Betsy Hagen, vice-president of the conservative Eagle Forum of Arkansas.
"I simply made a statement that I thought pregnancy after rape was rare, which I subsequently apologized for," Boozman said, adding, "I don't know why it would continue to be brought up."
"He doesn't have the qualifications" to be health director, said Sue Madison, one of several Democratic women who spoke out against Boozman.
Boozman claims he's being railroaded because of his antiabortion stance.
In another case in Little Rock recently, Judge Marion Humphrey sentenced a minister to 120 days in county jail and three years probation for having sex with a 14-year old girl.
However, in issuing the sentence, the judge also blamed the girlsaying she should take responsibility for her actionsand compared her to the boys charged with shooting their classmates in Jonesboro earlier this year.
Society is calling for more accountability from young people, he declared.
Additional reporting: Bob Frederick