- The Washington Times - Monday, July 10, 2000

Here's change

"Leon Johnson is black. And a judge. In the South. Sitting in judgment over the President of the United States. That's real change, and that's what the bureaucratic liberals cannot understand and don't want to see."

Washington pundit Peter Roff, former political director of GOPAC, after a fourth judge recused himself from handling President Clinton's disbarment trial, leaving it up to Judge Leon Johnson, appointed by Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee

Lost in space

NASA is receiving a wake-up call from House Science Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican, after his committee detected a $590 million accounting error that went unnoticed by the space agency's own independent auditors.

"I'm deeply disappointed that the agency that could send a man to the moon now can't even balance its books to the nearest half-billion," says Mr. Sensenbrenner.

We obtained a letter the chairman sent to NASA Administrator Dan Goldin requesting "a complete explanation, in writing, for why NASA and its auditors failed to catch the errors made and the actions being taken to ensure that NASA has adequate controls in place to accurately track, manage and report its financial resources."

The chairman says inattention to details, "such as using English or metric units, or making $590 million accounting errors, indicate significant management problems continue to bedevil NASA."

Bill's back yard

The Democratic National Committee, with headquarters in Washington, is poking fun at Texas Gov. George W. Bush by issuing a "travel advisory" warning against visiting the state of Texas.

"Persons considering travel to the state of Texas should be aware that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that Houston, Texas, has the lowest immunization rate of any large city in the country, and health officials fear the nation's fourth largest city is ripe for epidemic."

As expected, the DNC goes on to ask where was Mr. Bush when the babies of Houston weren't getting their shots?

What the DNC fails to mention is that when it comes to immunizations and raising a child, there's no place worse than the federal city of Washington, throne of President Clinton for the last eight years.

For the third straight year, the District of Columbia ranks dead last, behind every state, when weighing everything from immunization to juvenile behavior. So the Children's Rights Council has reported, incorporating not only CDC data, but additional records from the Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI.

Can't add

Speaking of children, hours after presidential hopeful Al Gore accepted the endorsement of the National Education Association, lambasting rival George W. Bush on education policy in the process, comes word that both candidates have seriously underestimated the price tags of their respective school reform proposals.

The vice president says he will spend another $11.5 billion per year on education, while the Texas governor says he will need only an additional $2.8 billion each year to make his proposal work.

However, a study by senior policy analysts Eric V. Schlecht and Thomas E. McClusky at the nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation reveals Mr. Gore actually would have to hike spending upwards of $35 billion a year, while Mr. Bush would have to raise more than $11 billion.

"This represents a gross understatement to the American people of the candidates' views on the role of the federal government in education," the report concludes.

"If more Americans were aware of the enormous increase in federal education spending that has coincided with the disintegration of America's public school system over the past 30 years, they would probably understand why each candidate is reluctant to reveal how much good money they plan to throw at bad education."

Ate his Wheaties

Cereal companies have their own political action committees. Even fast-food chains are well represented by lobbyists.

What Adam Jones found as national teen coordinator for McCain 2000 is nobody was encouraging America's youth membership, input and participation in the political arena.

Until now.

After Sen. John McCain suspended his presidential campaign, Adam enlisted help from Al Gore and George W. Bush's campaigns and last week launched Young ImPACt.

"A nonpartisan political action committee that gives young people a voice in national politics, while supporting candidates that champion issues vital to our future," he explains.

"Everything from campaign finance reform, to the environment, to rising college tuition fees are issues on the forefront of the American political landscape today."

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