Cheney feeling heat for donor reception
The decision to hold a reception for large donors at Vice President Dick Cheney's residence has led to second-guessing within the White House, with some Cheney supporters complaining that he suffered scorching coverage for an event that was not his idea.
The invitation list for Monday's reception was prepared by the Republican National Committee and President Bush's senior adviser, Karl Rove, signed off on the event, held as a "thank you" for donors who had given $100,000 or more.
The vice president's residence, the Naval Observatory, was used to entertain donors during the Clinton administration. But the RNC event drew heavy news media attention in part because Bush and Cheney campaigned on a pledge to "restore honor and integrity to the White House." Republican officials said the event was not a fund-raiser because no money was collected for it.
NASA OKs mission to blast open comet
NASA on Thursday approved a mission designed to send a projectile hurtling into a comet in an effort to bare the dirty space snowball's nucleus for study. National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials gave the Deep Impact mission team the nod to begin full-scale development of the spacecraft for a January 2004 launch.
The $240 million mission will take 18 months to arrive in the neighborhood of Comet Tempel 1. Once at the comet, the main spacecraft will deploy a smaller, 771-pound impactor to smash into the body on July 4, 2005.