- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2000

Urge to dance

In exchange for probation after pleading guilty in May to a felony charge of lying to the Federal Election Commission, and a misdemeanor charge of making political donations in the names of others, longtime Clinton friend and fund-raiser Charles Yah Lin Trie agreed to cooperate in the government's campaign-finance probe.
But one has to question just how much cooperating Trie is doing, given the jig he danced in a secluded hallway of the Rayburn House Office Building after his testimony Wednesday afternoon before the House Committee on Government Reform.
"I went out the same door as Trie and his attorneys," says one Capitol Hill source, who spoke to Inside the Beltway on the condition of anonymity. "They went to the left and I went to the right, but as I turned back to glance at Trie and his attorneys, something extraordinary caught my eye.
"Trie all of a sudden spun around to face his entourage and began dancing this little jig. Then a huge smile broke out over his face, as if to say, 'Boy, did we get one over on those guys.'
"If he was Irish, I would have called it an Irish jig," says the gentleman, who was unable to glimpse the reaction of Trie's legal counsel.

Year of the Dragon

It's China Day on Capitol Hill, which is observed on both sides of the political aisle. Only lawmakers aren't celebrating the Year of the Dragon.
At noon Friday, Sen. Fred Thompson, Tennessee Republican, will scare the daylights out of a Heritage Foundation crowd by disclosing the security threats posed by China's weapons of mass destruction and the means it has to deliver them.
But leave it to a Democrat, Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., of Ohio, to tell it like it is.
"China sells nuclear weapons to our enemies. China threatened to nuke Taiwan. Once, China even threatened the city of Los Angeles," he says. "If the White House succeeds in getting China admitted to the World Trade Organization, I say the White House needs a lobotomy performed by a proctologist."
As for the communist power's enormous trade surplus with Uncle Sam, the United States might as well yield it back to China, says the Democrat, "to finance an army that some day may come after us."

Pernicious politics

First, it should be stressed that the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, headquartered two blocks from the White House, has been described on the floor of the U.S. Senate as "one of our nation's most respected bodies of scholars and policy-makers."
Now, get a load of what the independent research and public-policy group which reports on economic, political and diplomatic issues concerning the United States, Canada and Latin America has to say about the annual White House drug-certification review, made public this week by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.
"The results … perpetuate a capricious if not pernicious foreign-policy ploy," the council charges. "This year, the Clinton administration will once again come out with a report that is political rather than scientific in nature, and which gives a complete false impression of who is to blame in stoking drug production."
The bottom line: Despite the allocation of more than $25 billion in overseas drug-control programs over the past 15 years, cocaine and heroin are more readily available in the United States and at cheaper prices than they were at the start of Washington's efforts.
And while the Defense, State and Justice departments spend more than $1.75 billion annually on overseas drug interdiction, much of it in Latin America, U.S. "development" assistance to the region has fallen dramatically to under $295 million.

Satanic verses

Bob Jones University will probably think twice before inviting another presidential candidate to speak on its South Carolina campus.
In the wake of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush's controversial speech there a month ago, congressmen continue taking turns denouncing the school "for preaching hatred and practicing racism, religious intolerance and segregation."
On Wednesday, Democratic Reps. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan and Joseph Crowley of New York introduced a resolution condemning the school for foisting "hate-filled, racist and anti-Catholic views upon its students."
While school officials insist the institution is not anti-Catholic, Mr. Crowley cites the school's own on-line magazine, which calls Catholicism "a satanic counterfeit" in which "papists are doing the work of the devil."

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