Hmmm. Most libertarians would bridle at being called "moderate" and "reasonable," but I'll assume you meant no offense. As for the drop in minority applicants at the University of Washington, I'd be curious what happened to actual admissions there, and in where the applicants went instead--to lesser but still solid state schools, as in California, or elsewhere? Also, is the drop among all minorities or just blacks and Hispanics (treating Asians as honorary whites)? Then I'd like to know how minority students do at UW compared with whites (and Asians). The Thernstroms say that at Berkeley, for example, they are much more likely to do poorly and leave. Here, we haven't banned preferences in state university admissions, so Illinoisans are looking to you path-breaking northwesterners for guidance.
Linda Smith sounds like someone I wouldn't want seated next to me on my next airplane trip. Too bad she didn't make the Senate, where filibustering is a prized talent. It's amazing, in light of what you mention, that she's gotten such good national press--apparently based simply on her advocacy of campaign finance reform. As in the case of John McCain, a lot of journalists will overlook everything else for the sake of that issue.
Tell me about Patty Murray, if you don't mind. Has she lived up to expectations--unlike that other "Year of the Woman" senator, Illinois' Carol Moseley-Braun? What are her causes? On the subject of female pols, I'm sure you're right that the atmosphere must be a little chilly over the Dole breakfast table this week. And a chilly Elizabeth Dole must be arctic. (Not that Bob Dole, who is nothing if not obtuse, would necessarily notice).
The Tribune's story yesterday on Ehud Barak said that when he was once asked what he would have done with his life if he had been born a Palestinian, he said he would have joined a terrorist group. I think it speaks well for him that he can appreciate the legitimacy of the other side's point of view. American foreign policy could use a little of that. The Washington Post, which I read online, has a very good story today on the spread of anti-American sentiment around the world because of the war against Yugoslavia, which seems to people abroad less like a humanitarian undertaking than an extension of U.S. dominance. The Vietnam War suffered from the same perception gap. Is there any awareness of foreign sentiment among your readers? Does it matter?
Hope you found your doughnut.