- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 11, 2000

A star is born

Arizona Sen. John McCain yesterday predicted that if Hillary Rodham Clinton is elected to the Senate, she will be a "star" in the tradition of Robert F. Kennedy, the Associated Press reports.

"This is the first time in history a first lady has run," the former candidate for the Republican presidential nomination told students at Columbia University in New York City. "She would be a star of the quality that has not been seen in the Senate since Bobby Kennedy was elected senator from the state of New York.

"Many of us believe that in a scenario if [Vice President Al] Gore lost and she is elected to the Senate, she'd be running for the president of the United States," Mr. McCain said.

Mrs. Clinton has said that if elected she will serve her full six-year term and that she is not interested in the presidency.

Asked to clarify his remarks about Mrs. Clinton, Mr. McCain said, "I believe she'd be very liberal, and I don't believe she'd be good for the country."

A day earlier, Mr. McCain campaigned in New York City for Mrs. Clinton's Republican rival for the Senate seat, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The unfriendly skies

Shortly before last week's Senate primary in Pennsylvania, Democratic Rep. Ron Klink and Republican Sen. Rick Santorum "found themselves sitting directly across the aisle from one another on a USAirways flight from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia," Roll Call reports.

"The flight attendant on the trip, said sources, recognized Klink, a four-term House member and former television newscaster, and wished him well in his challenge to Santorum before asking the Democrat to autograph a copy of her flight safety card," reporter Rachel Van Dongen said.

"But nary a word on the flight was exchanged between the House member and the senator, who overlapped for one term in the House representing Pittsburgh-area districts, and observers said the incident was an apt metaphor for the upcoming Klink-Santorum battle."

Pessimism reigns

"Nervous Republican leaders are privately warning that Mayor [Rudolph] Giuliani's 'inflexible' style is undermining his chances of winning his Senate race in November," the New York Post's Fredric U. Dicker writes.

"What's more, the Republican leaders fear the state party on the ascendancy through much of the '90s appears headed for unusually hard times in November, and maybe for years to come," Mr. Dicker said.

"These leaders say they now believe that George W. Bush won't carry New York in November, a reversal of their view of just a few months ago, when Bush was way ahead of Democrat Al Gore in national polls.

"Top Republicans say they also believe the GOP has no chance of winning additional seats in the Democrat-controlled Assembly in the November election and, in a worst-case scenario, they say the Republican-controlled Senate could even fall into Democratic hands."

Mr. Dicker added: "These increasingly pessimistic GOP leaders are also increasingly unhappy with Gov. Pataki, who they say has shown himself to be unwilling and perhaps unable to give strong and inspiring leadership to the state party."

Supply-sider

"Friday's big news was that Bill Clinton signed a tax cut, even as the Senate was passing a $1.8 trillion budget with Democrats mocking George W. Bush's proposed tax cut. But lo and behold, there was the president doing just that, arm in arm with Bill Archer and Bill Roth," the Wall Street Journal notes.

"The occasion was the signing of the bill lifting the limits on what Social Security recipients 65 and over can earn. A while ago, it passed the Senate 100-0. So what's all this talk about how marginal tax rate cuts aren't popular?" the newspaper asked in an editorial.

"Prior to lifting the ceiling, the elderly had to return $1 for every $3 of Social Security payments if their earnings topped $17,000. The payments have been made back to the government at tax time each year. Now these seniors will be able to keep that dollar they've been turning in, instantly creating a huge incentive for the elderly to work longer and save or invest the additional money they earn. Or as Mr. Clinton so aptly said Friday: 'This bill means that our seniors will be able to enjoy extra income and personal fulfillment that comes with work without being penalized.' Herewith an honorary award to Bill Clinton for a classic supply-side tax cut."

No excuse

The White House claims that the technology is so complex that it accidentally lost a huge number of e-mail messages sought by investigators, and that it will take six months and up to $3 million to recover them.

However, experts in computer technology "are skeptical of the White House's explanations," Neil Munro writes in National Journal.

"I'd compare it to copying a VCR tape," said Tully Moye, president of thebest.net, an Internet service provider in St. Simons Island, Ga.

"It's changing a tire," said Jeff Williams, president of Binomial International in Ogdensburg, N.Y., a firm that helps companies recover e-mail lost in disasters.

When asked about Zip disks, Timothy Shinkle, chief technology officer at Provenance Systems in Arlington, told the magazine: "I haven't had any problems," and there are usually ways to quickly pry loose any trapped data.

Bob Janusaitis, president of Business911 International, a disaster-recovery firm in Houston, told Mr. Munro: "It sounds to me like they're making excuses."

Mr. Munro added: "Asked how long it should take to recover the e-mail messages and to search and find keywords, these experts said a few days or weeks."

Come to your census

The Onion, a satirical newspaper, uses its Internet site (www.theonion.com) to offer this take on the census:

"WASHINGTON, D.C. With the April 1 deadline for returning Census 2000 forms finally passed, the Bureau of the Census announced Monday that the U.S. population stands at 13,462.

" 'We at the Census Bureau are shocked by the incredible decrease in the population that apparently took place in the 10 years since the last Census in 1990,' Census Bureau director Kenneth Prewitt said. 'A 1999 projection estimated the U.S. population at 274 million and set the annual growth rate at .95 percent. Yet from this latest Census count, we find that this projection overestimates the population by a multiple of 20,000.'

"Despite the sharp population dip, some data remains consistent with previous censuses. New York remains the nation's largest city, with a population of 664. Los Angeles is a close second with 657, and Chicago a distant third with 329. Surprisingly, the nation's fourth largest city is now Elkhart, Ind., with a population of 256. Some suspect that the rise is the result of a citywide 'Hey, Elkhart, Come to Your Census!' campaign. The most precipitous decline in urban population was in Houston, Texas, formerly America's fourth largest city. In 1990, Houston boasted a population of 1,630,553. In 2000, it is 12.

"No one lives in St. Louis."

Thanks, Al

An Internet outfit called Mimeo.com took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that featured these words in huge type: "Thank you Al Gore for inventing the Internet."

Whether the firm was being sincere or merely having fun, we do not know. But here is the smaller print in the rest of the ad:

"It is your vision that has enabled us to realize ours. Now, for the very first time, people throughout this great nation can print, bind and deliver important business documents with the click of a button on their computers. We invite you and all Americans to experience this revolutionary new service firsthand with a free trial at www.mimeo.com. Thanks again, Mr. Vice President. We couldn't have done it without you."

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