Friday, 10 Nov 95 Washington, DC
1. TRAIN WRECK II: FULL THROTTLE, WHISTLES BLOWING, SIGNALS OUT.
Government offices are shut down today for Veterans' Day. I can't even get a copy of the Congressional Record to find out for sure what happened in the Senate last night. According to accounts in this morning's news, congressional leaders will meet somewhere to try to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions of a stopgap spending bill that would prevent a federal shutdown of non-essential services next Tuesday. But it may not matter -- the President has threatened to veto either version. The Senate killed a House provision that would dismantle the Department of
Commerce, and softened a rider barring non-profit organizations receiving federal grants from all lobbying. Today, the House apparently agreed to the Senate changes, but White House sources say the new spending limits, 40% below FY 95, are unacceptable.
2. HAZEL O'LEARY IS SUMMONED TO WHITE HOUSE TO EXPLAIN HER LIST.
It's tough enough trying to run the Department of Energy without all those negative news stories about waste and mismanagement.
Who writes those awful stories anyway? To find out, DOE engaged a firm to rank reporters. Comparisons with Nixon's infamous
"enemies list" were inevitable, and Secretary O'Leary is in deep yogurt at the White House. Of course, every government press office feeds information to pet reporters, but they don't all need outside firms to figure out who writes negative stories.
3. SPACE: A TOTAL DISCONNECT BETWEEN POLITICIANS AND SCIENTISTS.
In Europe, as in the United States, politicians love the space station. Scientists of every stripe despise it. The most recent cry of outrage came from the French Academy of Sciences. Academy scientists argued that space research will be the first casualty of the station. One week later, France joined nine other European nations in agreeing to spend some $4B over the next nine years on the International Space Station, declaring it to be "the greatest cooperative endeavor ever undertaken by spacefaring nations."
4. POWELL MAY BE OUT OF THE RACE, BUT THERE'S STILL JOHN HAGELIN!
Yes, he's back! The Harvard-trained physicist, candidate of the
Natural Law Party, was on the ballot in 32 states in 1992, and he's the first candidate for President to secure a place on the California ballot for 1996. In a third-party debate before the
1992 election, Hagelin said "it would be a miracle" if he won in
'92, but "it would take a miracle to lose in '96" (WN 23 Oct 92). "In 1992, we were treated as a curiosity," he told the Los
Angeles Times last week. "This year we're a political force."
5. ROHRABACHER INVITES VICE PRESIDENT GORE TO TESTIFY ON CLIMATE
. The VP contended true experts were slighted in an earlier Energy
Subcommittee hearing on Stratospheric Ozone (WN 13 Oct 95). Gore has been offered five mins. to comment on Global Climate Change.
THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY (Note: Opinions are the author's and are not necessarily shared by the APS, but they should be.)