- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Fuzzy spelling

"Gore Website Now Equpped With A Quiz So Voters Can Check 'Fuzzy Math' For Themselves."

Headline of a Gore 2000 press release.

Schnell snub

Who didn't wind up with egg on his face after Sunday's nationally televised debate between first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rep. Rick Lazio?

That goes for the majority of reporters covering the debate, too.

"I'd like to ask you how you stand on federal bill 602P," WCBS-TV political correspondent Marcia Kramer asked the candidates. "Under the bill that's now before Congress, the U.S. Postal Service would be able to bill e-mail users 5 cents for every e-mail they send, even though the post office provides no service."

What the moderator, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Lazio never realized is that no such bill exists. It's a hoax.

"Well," replied Mrs. Clinton, "based on your description, Marcia, I wouldn't vote for that bill."

"I am absolutely opposed to this," agreed Mr. Lazio, calling the phony bill introduced by an equally fictitious "Congressman Tony Schnell" an example of the government's "greedy hand in trying to take money from taxpayers that, frankly, it has no right to."

When the hoax first surfaced on the Internet more than a year ago, the U.S. Postal Service issued an advisory: "E-mail Rumor Completely Untrue."

"No such proposed legislation exists," said the advisory. "In fact, no 'Congressman Schnell' exists."

Bugging Bill

Speaking of being victims of a hoax, jaws dropped when the sensual sounds of a woman suddenly filtered through the speaker system of the Education & the Workforce Committee on Capitol Hill, causing Rep. Bob Schaffer, Colorado Republican, to remark: "I thought maybe someone had intercepted a transmission from the White House."

Bush it is

We have early results of the now "near-famous" Joe's Bar & Grill Presidential Poll.

It might not be the Time-CNN, Zogby or Gallup polls, but politically minded patrons of the Arlington Courthouse-area watering hole have a well-documented history of tracking along the same lines as the more scientific national polls.

Joe's crowd gives George W. Bush a slight lead with eight votes. Al Gore gets seven and Ralph Nader two. Pat Buchanan scores a goose egg.

Nielsen ratings

Politicos are tracking everything these days, including what you and I read over the Internet about presidential candidates.

We're not sure what it means, but traffic to "georgewbush.com" is higher than traffic to "algore.com" and "algore2000.com."

Conversely, the average time spent on www.algore2000.com and www.algore.com was higher than that of www.georgewbush.com, says the latest Nielsen/NetRatings, an on-line audience-measurement firm.

Gore pork

It should be stressed upfront that the taxpayer watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste is "nonpartisan."

Plain and simple, CAGW is dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in government.

So when it comes to handing out CAGW's "Porker of the Month" award, being Republican or Democrat doesn't matter. Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens, Alaska Republican, can vouch for that.

Now, with less than one month to go before the presidential election, CAGW has crowned Vice President Al Gore the "October Porker of the Month."

Mr. Gore receives the dubious honor for the "new spending" he's proposed on the campaign trail. CAGW predicts Mr. Gore would not only spend the entire general revenue and Social Security surpluses over the next five years, but also return the nation to huge deficits.

"Forget about Buddhist Temples. Don't worry about making the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom. Al Gore has a new way to try to win the election: with your money," says CAGW.

"In a flurry of taxpayer-financed campaign promises, the vice president is proposing to buy his way into the Oval Office, with a stunning $2.2 trillion in new spending for 2001-2005. That's $800 billion more than the combined budget and Social Security surpluses."

Futon anchor

It's been argued that the best lawmakers to serve in Congress term-limited themselves, an example being Republican Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, in his sixth and final year.

He is a congressman who "still sleeps on a futon in his office and showers at the House gym, unwilling to become a native of Washington, D.C.," notes Paul Jacob of U.S. Term Limits.

Reacts Mr. Sanford: "Some people tell me, 'You know, Mark, you are a lame duck before you've even started.' I respond, 'You're wrong. I'm a free duck, and there's a big difference.' Term limits force you to maintain perspective. It's an anchor."

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