- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 12, 2001

Quote of the day
"Though that may be true, we do not consider him to be a regular Republican."
Washington-based GOP political consultant Craig Shirley, referring to New York state senator — and, he observed, Ex-Lax heir — Roy M. Goodman, who despite his liberal leanings is being considered by President Bush to head the National Endowment for the Arts.

Homosexual aliens
Same-sex partners of aliens granted two- or four-year work and student visas may accompany their companions to the United States, the State Department states in a revised ruling obtained by this column.
"Accompanying one's 'significant other' who is temporarily working or studying in the U.S. would be considered travel for pleasure," the State Department informs U.S. diplomatic and consular posts in a July 9 telegram, "Classification for cohabitating partners."
The telegram acknowledges that U.S. consulate posts "frequently encounter cases involving long-term non-immigrants who have a 'cohabitating partner' who wishes to accompany the 'principal' alien to the U.S.
"This is true for both opposite and same-sex partners," the telegram notes.
And what happens if the couple decides to go their separate ways upon arrival in America?
"In making this assessment, it is appropriate to consider the applicant's current circumstances as well as the strength of their relationship," the telegram advises.
"An applicant who is part of a couple who have lived together for many years and who are both well-established with strong ties to their country would normally be able to overcome ," the telegram states. "Conversely, a 'partner' (boy/girlfriend) who only recently entered into a relationship with the principal and who has weak ties of his/her own may have greater difficulty demonstrating a residence abroad."
Thus, State concludes that U.S. officials, when considering issuing visas to cohabitating partners, "should not focus on the duration of stay per se but rather should examine the applicant's ties abroad and the likelihood that he/she will stay in the U.S. illegally after the 'principal' alien returns."

Enemy within
Congress has declared war — on itself.
The Democratic National Committee says Republicans have mounted the first strike, their response after losing control of the Senate.
"Republicans declared war on Democrats for 2002 and insist they have a mandate from the voters," says the DNC, citing what it calls a "scathing" memo from Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott after Sen. James M. Jeffords of Vermont abandoned the GOP.
"This coup of one puts at peril the agenda that Republicans were given a mandate by the American people to deliver," Mr. Lott wrote in that memo.
"And most importantly," said the dethroned majority leader, "we must begin to wage the war today for the election in 2002. We have a moral obligation to restore the integrity of our democracy, to restore the democratic process, what was changed in the shadows of the back rooms in Washington."

Space constraints
A senior congressional official assigned to the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics read with interest NASA public affairs specialist Doug Peterson's closing statement in this column yesterday blaming Republicans for NASA's mediocre budget.
Mr. Peterson said: "NASA's budget hasn't been as strong as many would like for a number of years, but [President] Clinton proposed budgets with a divided government, facing a Republican Congress united in its opposition."
"I don't want to beat a dead horse here," says the congressional official, who asked not to be identified, "but there does seem to be a concerted effort by some in the space 'community' to turn it into a partisan program while rewriting recent history in the process.
"I'm sure [Mr. Peterson] doesn't want to admit it, but a few facts are relevant to his parting comments regarding President Clinton's budget requests. In the period fiscal year 1996-2001, the Clinton administration requested a cut from the prior year's funding five out of six times. In the same period, Congress increased funding for NASA over the president's request four out of six times, including the last four years of his presidency.
"We weren't shoveling money at the agency and the increases were very modest," he concedes, "but trying to blame a Republican Congress for the Clinton administration's space policy is akin to blaming John Kennedy for the Berlin Wall."

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