- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 23, 2000

The truth about Lieberman's convictions[p]

I generally agree with William J. Bennett, the former secretary of education and author of "The Book of Virtues," but his initial support of vice presidential candidate Joseph I. Lieberman was misguided, and it is surprising that he is only now realizing how misguided it was ("Bennett accuses Lieberman of 'sellout,' " Sept. 21).

Mr. Bennett has withdrawn his support of Mr. Lieberman because Mr. Lieberman has backed away from attacking the Hollywood productions that belong in a sewer, and because Mr. Leiberman didn't have the courage to speak out against the denigration of the Christian religion by Hollywood moguls.

Mr. Bennett said that Mr. Lieberman's failure to speak out against the mocking of Jesus Christ was tantamount to endorsing that anti-Christian bigotry. Mr. Bennett is not alone in being duped by Mr. Lieberman. The late archbishop of Hartford, Conn., and many Roman Catholics in Connecticut were duped by his claim that he was pro-life during his 1988 senatorial campaign ("Catholics remember pro-life Lieberman," Sept. 11).

Mr. Lieberman has six times voted to permit the unnecessary killing of innocent, defenseless babies as they are being born in a barbaric and extremely painful manner.

Mr. Leiberman already has jettisoned all of his positions that were at odds with those of presidential candidate Al Gore, including school vouchers for the poor, his campaign against sex and violence in the media, partial privatization of Social Security and his opposition to racial quotas. He has no respect for the conscience of others and no respect for innocent life.

Mr. Bennett should have learned the lesson long ago that any person who supports killing the unborn, as Mr. Lieberman does, is "moral-less" and cannot be trusted to maintain a moral position when the pressure is on.

Which is worse, listening to Jesus being mocked or killing the innocent preborn? Not berating the Hollywood trash or killing the unborn?

Mr. Bennett, what can Mr. Lieberman do that is worse than his support for killing the innocent unborn?

JOHN NAUGHTON

Silver Spring

Uncle Sam wants your land[p]

Kenneth Smith's Sept. 21 "Department of arson" Op-Ed column clearly explains why the federal government doesn't need $40 billion from the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) to buy more land when it can't keep what it already owns from burning up. Even more of a travesty, however, is the source of the land. Under CARA, both federal and state governments and large conservation trusts such as the Nature Conservancy can target desired private property, list it with Congress for acquisition and have it taken from unwilling sellers.

My husband and I visited the office of Sen. Mike DeWine, Ohio Republican, and were astounded to hear that he favored CARA because of the $55 million a year Ohio would receive for conservation. Yet at the same time, he was introducing legislation to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from taking 50,000 acres of Ohio farmland from Amish farmers near the Darby River for a wildlife preserve. We also visited the office of Sen. Charles Robb, Virginia Democrat, and learned that his study of the bill had not revealed adverse condemnation of private land under existing laws. Perhaps he was not aware that it took the intervention of members of the New York congressional delegation to prevent the National Park Service from taking 60 acres from the Franciscan Monastery near Garrisonville, N.Y., this spring.

These high-profile cases have attracted congressional attention to save the livelihoods of the landowners. How many of us ordinary citizens would have the clout to defend ourselves against the unleashed billions of CARA?

JANE HOGAN

Keysville, Va.

Passing the buck on military readiness[p]

The sanctimonious Sept. 18 Op-Ed column by Reps. C.W. Bill Young and Jerry Lewis, "The drill on military readiness," would be funny if it weren't so hypocritical.

Mr. Lewis of California and Mr. Young of Florida claim that the Republican Congress deserves thanks for addressing military readiness. Before they boast, they should check their voting records.

In 1999, Sen. John McCain added a provision to the defense appropriations bill to lift 10,000 military families off food stamps. The leader of the House conferees on the bill was none other than Mr. Lewis, under whose leadership the conferees rejected Mr. McCain's proposal.

The representatives flaunt the billions they have added to the defense budget this year, yet according to Mr. McCain, of the $7 billion in unrequested spending added to the 2001 defense appropriations bill, only $600 million went to accounts related to readiness. Personnel accounts were only raised by $50 million.

Last year, Mr. Lewis tucked away $12.5 million to widen a road in his district, and in a June 7 news release, Mr. Lewis boasted that the 2001 defense appropriations bill contained $22 million for a "proton-beam accelerator program" at Loma Linda University, also in his district.

Mr. Young, too, is no stranger to pork barreling. As chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Mr. Young added to the 2001 military construction bill $6.8 million for "wharf improvements" and $70 million for "emergency" land acquisition in Florida.

If these representatives truly were concerned about readiness, they would make it a higher priority than the self-serving pork projects they fund.

JEREMY BRATT

Council for a Livable World Education Fund

Washington

A tale of two prescription drug plans[p]

Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore offer voters two distinct choices this November. Nowhere is that more evident than in their differing approaches to helping seniors pay for prescription drugs.

Mr. Bush has a proposal that has a number of benefits over Mr. Gore's. Mr. Bush's plan kicks in right away, giving immediate prescription coverage to low-income seniors. In contrast, the Gore plan doesn't work fully for another six years. The Bush plan allows seniors a choice of a plan that fits their individual needs, while Mr. Gore would force seniors into a one-size-fits-all plan. Under Mr. Gore, the federal government would become the nation's bureaucratic pharmacy.

The Bush plan actually has a chance of becoming law. Mr. Bush has a track record of working with members of both parties in Texas. Mr. Bush knows how to get things done. Mr. Gore has spent eight years in the White House and 30 years in Washington, learning how to be a partisan politician and an inflexible bureaucrat.

If seniors want real help paying for prescription drugs, there is really only one choice this Nov. 7, George W. Bush.

JASON P. CHURCH

Perry, Mich.

m

Shame on Vice President Al Gore for lying about the cost of prescription drugs and scaring senior citizens on a recent campaign stop in Florida ("Aides concede Gore made up anecdote about cost of drugs," Sept. 19). This most recent bout of deceitfulness begs the question, "How else has he lied to the American public?" Or, "How far will he go to try to win this election?"

I have an 86-year-old grandmother who is as sharp as a tack and thankfully in good health. She was a feminist before it was considered hip. Moreover, she's smart enough to know that Mr. Gore is trying to hustle a vote out of her, and she is not taking the bait.

If he feels comfortable enough to drag his mother-in-law and poor pup into his vortex of misdeeds, how can we trust him to be the next president of the United States? Haven't we had enough of truth-bending and legal hairsplitting to last a lifetime or two?

JO-ANNE T. PROKOPOWICZ

Arlington

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