Today there are any number of possibilities, especially between moderate Northeast Republicans like Olympia Snowe and Clintonian New Democrats such as Connecticut's Joe Lieberman. The two forged ties through different groups. Among the Republicans, there's the Wednesday Group (Jim Kolbe of Arizona, Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, and Amo Houghton of New York). Among the Democrats, there's the Blue Dog Dems, many of them Southern conservatives, and a wider grouping of Clinton's New Democrats based at the Democratic Leadership Council; all in all, there are thought to be some 70 New Democrats in the House and 20 in the Senate. Then there's the Republican Main Street Coalition and the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition, both of which seek to separate themselves from the right-wing leadership.

Centrist Democrats hew to "third way" approaches, joining moderate Republicans to, for example, oppose a permanent tax cut. They've acted as something of a brake on Bush in the Middle East by arguing for a mildly "internationalist" version of war against Iraq, squelching at least for the time being Cheney's preemptive strike doctrine. The New Democrats worked with moderate Republicans to get more resources for schools in exchange for accountability. They approve of careful oil drilling on public lands, and can be as tough on crime as anybody in the GOP, with some of their members even urging that prison labor be made available to private corporations.

Low Tar, High Beetles
Scuttle Butt

The following Philip Morris memo, dug up by the American Lung Association of Colorado and Tobacco Documents Online (, recently appeared on

"Nine open Cambridge packs were examined to identify the insects causing the infestation. Live cigarette beetle adults were observed crawling throughout the sample bag, the open carton, and the individual packs of cigarettes. Copious amounts of cigarette beetles frass [i.e., debris and excrement] were found throughout each pack, the carton, and the sample bag. Extensive damage caused by cigarette beetle exploration and chewing was found in at least 80 percent of the cigarettes in any pack. Examination of the individual packs revealed 1-3 mm holes in the overwrap on and around the tax stamp on each pack. These holes, which were caused by the application of the tax stamp using heat, probably allowed entry of cigarette beetle adults into the packs. The presence of these holes indicates that the infestation occurred during distribution."

Results Not Guaranteed
Bureaucratic Iner-TIA

For the brave, selections from the Web site for the feds' Total Information Awareness (TIA) System, found at

• "Total Information Awareness of transnational threats requires keeping track of individuals and understanding how they fit into models."

• "The TIA program strategy is to integrate technologies developed by DARPA (and elsewhere as appropriate) into a series of increasingly powerful prototype systems that can be stress-tested in operationally relevant environments, using real-time feedback to refine concepts of operation and performance requirements down to the component level."

• "Planned Accomplishments: TBA."

Additional research: Waris Banks, Gabrielle Jackson, Rebecca Winsor, and Josh Saltzman

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