- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2001

Nader's offensive
"Failed third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, blamed by Democrats for stealing away enough Al Gore votes to make George W. Bush president, is readying another assault on the Democrats," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report, citing associates of the self-described consumer advocate.
"Were told hes in the final stages of creating a new political nonprofit group to act as a 'watchdog on the two main parties and offer up left-leaning House candidates against Democrats it sees as wishy-washy on Nader issues," Mr. Bedard said.
"Unclear: Will it look more like a political action committee, a public interest group, or an offshoot of the Green Party, which nominated Nader as its 2000 presidential candidate? The group has already begun work on a logo. Naders reason is simple — to continue his fight for the environment, clean politics, and progressive issues. 'This is follow-through on 2000. Somebody needs to be a watchdog on the Republicans and Democrats, says Nader 2000 ad man Bill Hillsman. What were likely to see is a big PR offensive on Naders issues and Nader Party challenges to some 20 moderate Democratic House members, especially in states where he did well last year."

Calamitology
It was predictable that when the National Academy of Sciences report on global warming appeared recently, "it would be distorted by the media," James K. Glassman and Sallie L. Baliunas write in the Weekly Standard.
"The New York Times, the worst of the cheerleaders for calamitology, said in a lead story, 'A panel of top American scientists declared today that global warming was a real problem and was getting worse, a conclusion that may lead President Bush to change his stand on the issue as he heads next week to Europe. This sort of wishful thinking was a theme of the coverage. Said an Arizona Republic headline: 'Global Warming Confirmed; Finding by Panel Means Pressure for White House. Michelle Mitchell of CNN reported that the Academy study was 'a unanimous decision that global warming is real, is getting worse, and is due to man. There is no wiggle room.
"No wiggle room! In fact, no sensible person who reads the report (and it is only 28 pages long; read it at www.nap.edu/catalog/10139.html?onpi_newbooks_060801 ) can come to any other conclusion than that there are enormous uncertainties about whether the earth will heat up in a dangerous way in the next century, and whether human-induced greenhouse gases are a significant culprit. Those are the essential questions, and the Academys panel of 12 distinguished scientists said there are no answers. In fact, in the brief report, the words 'uncertain and 'uncertainty appear 43 times," said Mr. Glassman, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Miss Baliunas, a research scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and deputy director of Mount Wilson Observatory.
"But journalists either did not read the report, or they willfully ignored it. …"

Wooing Riordan
As President Bush and California Gov. Gray Davis met in Los Angeles last month to discuss the states energy crisis, Karl Rove met privately with outgoing Mayor Richard Riordan, pressing him to enter next years race for governor against Mr. Davis, Time magazine reports.
"Rove and top Republicans have kept the pressure on, letting Riordan know that Bush moneymen are waiting with checks if he gets in, and sharing GOP polls with him that show Davis may have been fatally wounded by his handling of the crisis," reporters Karen Tumulty and Michael Weisskopf write.
A Riordan win could create coattails big enough to help six endangered House Republicans in Californias midterm elections next year, the reporters said.

Daschle doubts probe
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said yesterday he does not foresee the need to investigate presidential adviser Karl Rove for his contacts with companies in which he owned stock.
In the House, Democrat Henry A. Waxman of California is seeking hearings by the House Government Reform Committee into the matter.
Mr. Daschle, asked if the Senate planned an investigation, said on "Fox News Sunday," "I dont see one, no."
Mr. Rove owned at least $100,000 in Intel stock when he met with company executives March 12 at the White House. He has said he merely referred them to others in the administration and does not recall raising their concerns about a proposed merger and other matters with President Bush.
A White House spokeswoman has said Mr. Rove "conducted himself in accordance with advice from counsel and has done nothing wrong."
Mr. Daschle was asked if the majority Democrats are likely to undertake investigations of the White House — as Democrats contended the Republicans did during the Clinton administration.
"Were not going to engage in payback. Theres plenty of temptation to do that, but were not going to do that," Mr Daschle said.
"Our function of oversight responsibility is one we respect, but were not going to get into vendettas, were not going to go after individuals and engage in some of the practices of some of our colleagues."

'The right reasons'
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice yesterday defended the decision to end naval exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques and said a suitable alternative would be found.
"This decision was made by the Navy for the right reasons," the presidential adviser said on NBCs "Meet the Press."
Mr. Bush said Thursday the Pentagon has decided to halt exercises on Vieques by 2003 because "they dont want us there."
The move raised a storm of protests among Republicans in Congress, who warned that the loss of Vieques would hurt the fleets readiness for combat and encourage challenges to U.S. bases, from Okinawa to the continental United States.
While denying that political pressure controlled the choice to end naval exercises on Vieques, Miss Rice said effective training on Vieques was becoming increasingly more difficult in light of an upcoming referendum on continued use of the island.
Under a deal worked out by President Clinton, the islands 9,000 residents were to decide in a Nov. 6 referendum whether the Navy should leave in 2003 or be allowed to resume live-fire training at its Vieques range.
"All of the numbers show that the referendum was quite unlikely to succeed," Miss Rice said.

Privileged conversation
Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist, head of the campaign wing of Senate Republicans, confirmed yesterday that he has spoken to Elizabeth Dole about running for a U.S. Senate seat from North Carolina next year if Republican war horse Jesse Helms decides to retire.
"I am going to sit back and wait to see what Jesse Helms does," Mr. Frist said on ABCs "This Week." "If Jesse runs, were behind him 100 percent. If he decides not to, I would love to have Elizabeth Dole out there."
But when asked what Mrs. Dole had to say, Mr. Frist replied: "Well, thats a privileged conversation."

Close call
"Fox News Sunday" host Tony Snow and his family managed to escape from their home Tuesday night before it burned to the ground.
"Fortunately God was watching over us, because if even one of a dozen or more factors had been different, we would have died," Mr. Snow said yesterday.
He added: "We dont have a house right now, but were far from homeless. Weve got family, weve got friends, weve got neighbors, and we have each other. And Ill tell you what, it just doesnt get any better than that."

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