NAMES & FACES

President Bush sits way back and gets low-tech for the successful launch of the space shuttle Discovery.
President Bush sits way back and gets low-tech for the successful launch of the space shuttle Discovery. (By Eric Draper -- White House Via Reuters)

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Let's say you were the leader of the free world. Wouldn't you have a high-def, flat-screen television? President Bush watched Tuesday's launch of the space shuttle Discovery in the White House on a teeny, tiny television. A White House photo shows the president in his private dining room, smiling at a screen that doesn't even take up the coffee table it rests on.

Apparently, he still had a decent view: White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Bush watched and clapped when the shuttle launched at 10:39 a.m. In a statement, the president said, "I thank the men and women of NASA who have dedicated themselves to putting our space program back on track. This flight is an essential step toward our goal of continuing to lead the world in space science, human space flight and space exploration." At least NASA is staying in the future.

We have to ask: For the next launch, can someone get the president a bigger TV?

The Roberts Quiz Show

Got a question for Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. ? You're in luck!

Seven Democratic senators, including Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), have launched a Web site to involve Americans in the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings for the nominee. Mikulski spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said the "nonpartisan" site is simply designed to "get information" from the public.

The senators plan to use the submitted questions at the hearings because "it's important for Judge Roberts to answer questions before being confirmed to this lifetime appointment." We doubt questions like "What's your favorite color?" will make it to the floor, but it's worth a shot.

Schwartz says the Web site is the first of its kind, but she is tight-lipped about its URL (it won't be revealed until this afternoon). Don't expect fancy artwork or interactive features: Its sole purpose is to get feedback from you.

Darn. We were looking forward to checking out Roberts's childhood photos.

The other senators involved are Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

End Notes

· Waifish model Kate Moss won a libel case against Britain's Sunday Mirror yesterday over a January story that said she lapsed into a drug-induced coma during a visit to Barcelona in 2001. Gerard Tyrrell , a lawyer for the 31-year-old Moss, called the allegations "untrue" and said the newspaper's publisher accepted that the claims should not have been published. The two parties agreed on an undisclosed, but apparently substantial, figure in damages.

· "Lord of the Rings" star Sean Astin , 34, welcomed his third child with wife Christine on Friday, reports People magazine. Isabella Louise was born a month prematurely, but according to the actor's rep, "Mom and baby are fine and everyone is happy." The couple married in 1992.

· Danish police yesterday arrested a mentally ill man they say is obsessed with Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria . Jens Peter Schwartzlose , 41, escaped from a psychiatric institution outside of Copenhagen on Friday and has said he wants to marry the princess, police say.

-- Compiled by Korin Miller from staff and wire reports

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