Balance Sheet



Kinnock-out. The Major lesson of Great Britain's election: Voters distrust statists more than they do incumbents. Stateside candidates, pay attention!

Brussels Pouts. The Major victory may also kill a European superstate. The British prime minister becomes E.C. president in July. He backs national sovereignty and wants to add former communist countries to the community. Right-wing challengers also threaten the Eurocrats' best buddies, France's Francois Mitterand and Germany's Helmut Kohl.

Jurist Prudence. Conservative bastion Orange County, California, becomes the latest center of antiprohibition sentiment, as two local judges—U.S. Magistrate Ronald W. Rose and Superior Court Judge James P. Gray—call for drug legalization. "The courtrooms and jails are clogged, and I see gangs of people involved with drugs who would put the Mafia to shame," former prosecutor Rose tells The Orange County Register. "We need to take the profit out of this. That is what drives the problem."

Global Retreat. How to discredit a green conference: Turn it into a congressional junket. The Washington Times reports that taxpayers will fund two weeks of sun and fun for 24 members of Congress and their spouses in Rio de Janeiro this June. Oh, they'll also attend the U.N.'s Earth Summit. Maybe Sam Donaldson will tag along.


Ungraded Grads. Starting this fall, Pennsylvania high-schoolers can earn diplomas by merely exhibiting healthy self-esteem. (See "School Daze," May.) Students can bypass traditional curriculum requirements if they master 51 "learning outcomes," including "recognizing the intrinsic uniqueness, worth and rights of each person." Pass the granola, dude.

Limits to Credibility. Ecodoomsters unveil Beyond the Limits, an apocalyptic update of 1972's completely inaccurate Limits to Growth. The authors say "resources are drained too much and a collapse is no longer avoidable." Nonsense, blasts World Bank economist Larry Summers. Their gloomy computer model "has no validity….The conclusions are built in."

Cold Comfort. House drug warriors attack cold remedies. Sanctimonious Rep. Ted Weiss (D–N.Y.) says over-the-counter antihistamines relieve the symptoms of allergies but not colds. He wants the FDA to rule them "ineffective" and take them off the shelves. Better stock up on Dimetapp.

Lawyers, Guns, and Money. The Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot finds something Bill Clinton believes in: chasing ambulances. "I happen to know that Bill Clinton is against tort reform of any kind," boasts plaintiff attorney Robert Habush in a campaign-approved fund-raiser. "America's trial lawyers," Gigot says, "have become the stealth financiers" of the campaign.