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Tears and Leaks

Despite a peculiar—but pleasant—“maple syrup” smell that enveloped lower Manhattan, the city’s attention remained fixated on leaks, reversals, and disclosures.

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Despite a peculiar—but pleasant—“maple syrup” smell that enveloped lower Manhattan, the city’s attention remained fixated on leaks, reversals, and disclosures. In the worst week ever for (arguably) the worst president ever, George W. Bush got a “kick in the rear” from his conservative base and was tortured by a special prosecutor, whose close-to-the-vest maneuvers put I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and the White House in legal limbo, or, perhaps, hell. Harriet Miers, just as her newly revealed “self-determination” views on abortion were starting to look pretty congenial to liberals, abruptly informed her boss that she didn’t want to be on the Supreme Court after all. The same day, Sandra Day O’Connor, who will now be staying on the court for a while, was appearing at a California event with Jane Fonda. In local politics, Fernando J. Ferrer, after years of stonewalling, finally divulged to a Times reporter what his middle initial stood for: not Jesus, as some suspected, but James. The revelation gave Ferrer no bounce in the polls, perhaps because Michael R. Bloomberg himself bears the thrilling and painterly middle name of Rubens. George E. Pataki’s middle name, it transpired, is Elmer—which, though it means “noble” and “famous” in Old English, somehow has a fuddy, gluey ring to it. That did not deter the governor from traveling across the nation to further his presidential ambitions, with the fuddy, gluey Dennis Hastert lending a hand in the fund-raising. The week’s good news, largely overlooked, was that the number of New York children in foster care had dropped to a level not seen since the mid-eighties, when crack began to tear families apart. (The saved foster-care money is to be spent on keeping still more families together, a rare example of a “virtuous circle.”) The odd news concerned a beard-pulling mêlée in Brooklyn between two rival Hasidic factions. And the bad news


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