- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2000

Bush civility

"This is a good example of how, in spite of all that, bipartisanship is still alive."
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, fending off reporters after visiting the White House yesterday to see President Clinton sign a bill protecting the Everglades

Courtly behavior

Citing seven different reports on CBS, ABC and CNN, media analyst Brent Bozell is dismayed by the persistence of liberal bias.
He is most rankled by the characterization of the "conservative" Supreme Court vs. the "bipartisan" Florida Supreme Court, and the "Republican conspiracy."
"The liberal assault by supposedly fair and balanced members of the press on the U.S. Supreme Court is repulsive," Mr. Bozell said yesterday.
"Over the weekend, the media took the unprecedented step of delegitimizing the highest court in the land because, like their candidate Al Gore, the media refused to concede the election."
It's embarrassing, he said. "There isn't a whiff of fairness or balance in these reports. The media chose sides in this election from Day One."

Bill O'Clinton

Yet another suggestion has surfaced for President Clinton's future, once he's out of office.
The owner of Belfast's brand new ice hockey team is prepared to offer Mr. Clinton a spot on the team when he visits Northern Ireland tomorrow.
The Belfast Giants are on the lookout for talent at their new 10,000-seat ice arena.
"If he can skate, shoot and isn't too expensive, we would take him," said Bob Zeller, the new team's owner.
The president likes a good pint, too. One of his first stops in Ireland was the Guinness brewery in Dublin; Mr. Clinton paid a call two years ago for a photo op as "proof of his Irish roots."
Purists, noted Cox News Service yesterday, "point out that the president was actually drinking a pint of Murphy's, but it is a point of only minor dispute."

Fate of the plate

One specialty license plate has proved to be a best seller down in Florida. The state's bright yellow "Choose life" plates have sold at the rate of 500 a week more popular that Florida's 50 other specialty plates.
So far, 8,400 have gone out since the design was introduced in August, priced at $22 each. The money goes to charities that support adoption.
But there are opponents who argue that the plates are "a state-sanctioned political statement against abortion." and that the phrase itself is "an anti-abortion slogan lifted straight from Deuteronomy."
This, critics reason, violates separation of church and state.
"They're still trying to make it an abortion issue, which it has never been," said state Sen. Jim Sebesta, a St. Petersburg Republican who was one of the plate's sponsors in the Florida Legislature.
Lawmakers approved the plate in 1998, but Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles vetoed it. Lawmakers approved it again last year, and Republican Gov. Jeb Bush signed it into law.
"The real motive is the adoption of a religious slogan by the state of Florida," said Boca Raton lawyer Barry Silver, who represents the National Organization for Women and other groups who are suing Florida over the plate.
A court date is set for February in Tallahassee, in Leon County Circuit Court.

Lost Tribe

"Al Gore has learned quite a bit from Bill Clinton," the American Spectator observed yesterday. "Like how to best cut ties with old friends who can't help you anymore. When the vice president decided to go with David Boies as lead counsel on the second go-round with the Supreme Court, he didn't bother to tell old friend and confidant Laurence Tribe himself. Instead he let Boies do the dirty work. Boies didn't reach Tribe until late Saturday, only hours before Gore operatives were leaking the news that Tribe was out and Boies was in."
The Spectator quotes a Gore source saying, "It got to the point where we thought Tribe might hear something about it on the news or someone would fax him something from [Matt] Drudge, since we were about to leak it."

Take a Tripp

Much-vilified Linda Tripp once rocked the world by making secret recordings of a young friend describing her affair with an older man. The tapes, of course, led to an investigation and eventual impeachment of President Clinton two years ago.
Would she do it again? Yes, indeed. "Only better, and sooner," she says in the new issue of George magazine.
"I have absolutely no regrets about what I did," Mrs. Tripp continued. "What's important is that a president of the United States was willing to fix a court case."
Mrs. Tripp opted to wait until after the Nov. 7 presidential election to give George the interview, "hoping people would be less inclined to think my motivation political."

Screen gems

Meanwhile, some have spotted a pattern in Hollywood when it comes to momentous political events.
The Omaha World-Herald noted yesterday that Hollywood went after former independent prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr in "The Contender" and "Quills," two features released this year.
"It took about two years from Clinton's impeachment for Hollywood to complete these two Starr-related message pictures. If that pattern holds, by 2002, producers on the 'left coast' could well be churning out new politically tinged movies commenting on this year's events.
"Say, a tale of drama, fraud and chicanery in which an election is stolen from a 'virtuous' Democratic candidate by his 'villainous' Republican opponent. What else?"

Neither left nor right

The folks down in little Chumuckla, Fla., had their own moment of chad irony Sunday.
The townspeople put their official "Redneck Vote Counting Truck" at the very front of their ninth annual Redneck Christmas Parade, a charity event that raised about $1,000 for local needy families.
But the consarned old truck, manned by a group trying to decipher a Florida ballot, refused to cooperate. It would not turn in either direction and had to drop out of the parade all together.
"It's not your usual parade," noted Lance Cook, whose house sits along the parade route.

Ahead by a hat

Population 596, Fife Lake Township is tucked up in the northwest corner of Michigan, surrounded by forests and blanketed with snow. But they like a hot election.
The race for town supervisor there yesterday was fierce. First it looked like Democrat incumbent Dave Stremlow had defeated his Republican challenger Marianne Larson 297 votes to 296.
Then there was a recount that put Mrs. Larson ahead. Then a ballot was rejected by one of the voting machines and given to Mr. Stremlow. The two were now tied, 297 to 297.
The town broke the tie the old-fashioned way. They tore up some paper and put it in a hat. Mrs. Larson reached in and pulled out the piece marked "winner" and that was that. Town officials noted that the hat method was "state law."

Survivors on tour

Somebody is going to be president by next week a real survivor, in fact.
CBS' "Survivor" castaway Gervase Peterson, who has already made guest appearances on a half-dozen TV shows, will play the commander-in-chief for Urban Entertainment's new show "There Goes the Nation" to be broadcast on the Internet on Dec. 18.
Mr. Peterson plays President Darwin Speeks, a man "whose notoriety takes him all the way to the White House."
"Unbelievable. I've come far, haven't I?" Mr. Peterson told TV Guide.

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