- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Go figure

Can you "kill" something if it's not alive? Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, seems to think so.

If not, the congressman might want to clarify his remarks during last week's markup of H.R. 2505 — the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 when the full House takes up the measure today.

Inside the Beltway has obtained a House Judiciary Committee transcript of the markup, held last Tuesday, during which Mr. Nadler broached the ultimate right-to-life question: Is an embryo a human being?

"I say no," Mr. Nadler told fellow lawmakers on the committee. "At one point this will become a human being. We all differ on that. But an embryo, as far as I'm concerned, as far as many religions are concerned, is not a human being, and I have no moral compunction about killing that embryo for therapeutic or experimental purposes at all."


Bridge for sale

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is certainly in the minority. If not alone.

"As I travel around, and I travel a lot, I have yet to have somebody raise it with me," says the South Dakota Democrat. "Not one person has raised it with me in all these weeks. What they have raised is the patients' bill of rights. They've raised campaign finance reform. They've raised prescription-drug benefits, they've raised an array of issues having to do with education, Social Security and Medicare, but not Gary Condit."

Leave me alone

Congress' lone "official" socialist and several leading Democrats were approached by the conservative publication Human Events and asked about the Gary Condit/Chandra Levy investigation.

But unlike Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who all but impeached the embattled California Democrat over the weekend, nobody wanted to talk.

The question: "Considering that he used government staff to lie about a missing-person case, is Congressman Condit morally qualified to remain in the House?"

• D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton: "I'm sorry, I'm in the middle of a conversation."

• Rep. Robert T. Matsui, California Democrat: "Oh, I have no comment on that."

• Rep. Martin T. Meehan, Massachusetts Democrat: "I don't have any comment."

• Rep. Bernard Sanders, Vermont Independent: "Ask your right-wing friends, OK?"


Advancing blacks

Black Republicans from across the country, meeting here in Washington, have formed a new national organization COBRA, the Coalition of Black Republican Advocates.

Among the objectives of COBRA, whose members include former Nixon, Reagan and George Bush appointees, is to recommend black Republicans to President Bush and his administration, as well as to advise Mr. Bush and Republicn congressional leaders on critical policy issues.

At the same time, COBRA will work to expand black voter support for Republican candidates in the 2002 and 2004 elections, while formulating an action plan mobilizing black Republicans around an agenda that advances the growth of black America.

At the meeting, longtime Republican activist Renee Amoore of Philadelphia, who served as assistant secretary to the 2000 Republican National Convention, was chosen interim chairman of COBRA, while Asa T. Spaulding Jr., chairman of the Durham County (N.C.) Republican Party, is COBRA's national spokesman.


Grumpy, Dopey, et al.

Snow White has surfaced on Capitol Hill, disguised as Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer.

In bestowing the Civil Liberties Infringement Prize (CLIP) over the weekend to the senior New York senator and seven "gun-grabbing" colleagues (for introducing a bill to overturn Attorney General John Ashcroft's plan to protect the privacy of law-abiding firearm purchasers), gun lobbyist John Michael Snyder of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms referred to Mr. Schumer's seven helpers as "dwarfs."

The seven diminutive Democrats: Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California, Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Jon Corzine of New Jersey, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Robert G. Torricelli of New Jersey.

Pocket Dubya

A full-color, seven-inch-tall cardboard likeness of President Bush is the latest craze to hit Washington.

But isn't he kind of short?

He's supposed to be short, explains Washington-based WitCity Studios President Bill Shein, creator of "The Pocket President."

"Just slip the pocket president into your shirt pocket," says Mr. Shein, "and you'll instantly take your place among America's rich and powerful, knowing that the president is totally in your pocket."

Five pocket presidents sell for $15.

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