For whatever reason, ridiculing President Bush's speech, mannerisms, and appearance seems to be an irresistible temptation for people in government in various nations around the world. Case in point, Belgium's police . As part of their training to learn to deal with unruly fans at professional soccer games, they've been taking a course in recognizing what behavioral tendencies tend to be associated with facial expressions. So guess whose expressions the course material uses? Right, Bush's - photographs of which appear alongside those of a chim-panzee. The idea apparently: to get the training off to a "humorous" start. Interior Minister Patrick Dewael told journalists he didn't know about the pictures when he endorsed the training. And now that he does? He considers the idea in "bad taste."
Although President Bush has earmarked $400 billion for the Department of Defense in his latest budget proposal, the armed services are still under pressure to economize. One way would be another round of base closings. Since 1988, there have been four such rounds, which have eliminated 97 bases and hundreds of smaller facilities - and the belt-tightening goes on. By May 16, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is to submit a list of recommended closures to a nine-member independent study commission. A final roster of cuts and consolidations is due Sept. 8, which the president has until Nov. 7 to accept or reject. The states most affected by the previous four closure rounds, and the number of bases or other military facilities eliminated in each:
Illinois New York 5
Florida Indiana Maryland Virginia 4
Alabama Arkansas Massachusetts Ohio South Carolina 3