- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Old news
"Read what these newspapers have said about Gary Condit," reads the home page of Rep. Gary A. Condit's congressional Web site, singling out the Modesto Bee, his hometown newspaper.
The editors of which on Sunday called on the congressman, in a front-page editorial, to step down for violating the public's trust since the disappearance of Chandra Levy.
Yet that's not the edition Mr. Condit — who vows to serve out his term and seek re-election — wants us to read.
Instead, he has posted on his Web site a July 1998 edition of the Bee, a much friendlier version that observes, "Condit can't walk far without someone approaching him with a grin and an out-stretched hand."

Enough said
"I'm calculating in my mind what is classified and what is not. Let me just leave it at that."
—Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, answering (so to speak) a Russian journalist's inquiry this week about the production, launch capabilities and range of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, or ICBM.

The future is now
It sounds like something out of science fiction, a world-class underground laboratory for "extreme biology" and other far-out experiments.
So describes Sen. Tim Johnson, South Dakota Democrat, who reveals that $10 million has been appropriated by Congress to study the feasibility of building such a monster government laboratory, perhaps deep within the Homestake Mine in Lead, S.D., where operations are expected to cease in 2002.
Apart from extreme biology, physics and geology, the laboratory also would conduct studies of neutrinos, the most elusive particles known to man. They actually flit directly into — and through — planets at the speed of light.

No sacred cows
One of the first tasks George W. Bush accomplished as president was to name National Credit Union Administration board member Dennis Dollar to be acting chairman of the NCUA panel, which this column pointed out made sense, considering Mr. Dollar was the lone Republican on the board.
Today, Mr. Dollar is still the "acting" chairman of the NCUA — the federal agency that charters, supervises and insures the nation's federal credit unions and deposits in the country — but acting or not, he has taken the bull by the horn.
This week, we've learned, Mr. Dollar told a group of 150 agency department directors that he will propose a minimum "4 percent" NCUA staff reduction to be accomplished in the 2002 and 2003 budget cycles.
During remarks to an agency management conference on Monday, Mr. Dollar said "better stewardship" of the agency's resources should be a top priority, and added that staff reductions could be accomplished through attrition and without layoffs.
"We need more efficient use of agency resources if we are to be more effective as a safety and soundness regulator and insurer," Mr. Dollar explained. "We cannot continue to grow the agency's budget year after year without stopping to examine carefully what we do and how we do it."
He then announced that he had appointed an internal group to make recommendations on departmental and staffing reorganization.
"I have instructed the working group to take an approach of no holds barred and no sacred cows," Mr. Dollar told the directors.

Skip the judge
Since 2 million Americans divorce every year in the United States — with a good chunk of their combined savings going to the divorce attorneys who represent them — the nation's largest and oldest legal reform organization is proposing a better way to deal with broken marriages.
It's called collaborative law, an out-of-court legal process that allows both parties to retain separate, specially trained — and inexpensive — lawyers whose job is to settle the dispute without a bitter courtroom fight.
"Participants agree not to litigate, and therefore, they must settle the dispute," explains HALT, an organization of the Washington-based Americans for Legal Reform, which since 1978 has challenged the legal establishment to improve access and reduce costs in the civil justice system.

Outlaw Scout law?
Should Scouts suppress their squareness
For fashionable fairyland "fairness"
And give badges of merit
To all who can parrot
Propaganda on "AIDS awareness?"
—F.R. Duplantier, referring in his famous limerick fashion to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign and other civil rights advocacy groups' persistent pursuit of the Boy Scouts of America one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the Scouts had the right to bar homosexual leaders.

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