- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 7, 2001

Babbitt's about-face
Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is working with developers to clear the way for massive development in some of Californias most wild and scenic coastal areas, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The former Clinton administration official is working for two developers, including the Hearst Corp., which hopes to develop tablelands surrounding the fabled Hearst castle in San Simeon. The other project involves development of 18 miles of mostly wild coastland just south of Big Sur.
"As a trouble-shooter for wealthy developers, Babbitt would seem to have made a dramatic about-face from his years as an interior secretary who reintroduced wolves to the Rocky Mountains, protected the countryside around Yellowstone National Park from the ravages of mining and saved giant redwoods from loggers," reporters Kenneth R. Weiss and Margaret Talev write.
"But the Hearsts say that he is helping forge an environmentally friendly strategy that would preserve the vast majority of their ranch as open space and represent a substantial reduction of the corporations previous plans for hotels, golf courses and a dude ranch."
Mr. Babbitt declined to be interviewed for the story, the reporters said.

Clintons comments

Former President Bill Clinton, interviewed in France yesterday, left the door open for a New York mayoral run. He called the mayorship "one of the three or four best political jobs in the country."
Mr. Clinton spoke of the post in an interview with USA Network tennis announcers John McEnroe and Ted Robinson following live coverage of the French Open in Paris. Mr. Clinton was in the French capital to give a speech.
Mr. Clinton, asked whether he had any interest in the New York mayors post, replied: "No, not this time." And when Mr. McEnroe asked, "Is it too much of a step down for you?" the former president suggested it would not be.
"I think being the mayor of New York City is one of the three or four best political jobs in the country," Mr. Clinton said. "New York has been good to me and my family, and maybe having one of us in politics at a time is quite enough. I am very flattered that people have asked me to run. I cant imagine a more exciting job than being the mayor of New York."

Timeless principles

"Conservatives will always be at an inherent disadvantage in American political life until the timeless principles they believe in — merit, accountability, competition, the pursuit of excellence, etc. — win moral authority by proving their effectiveness against those great enemies of the nations promise: racism and poverty," Shelby Steele writes.
"It is a culture war that pits principle against social engineering, one in which each side hopes to prove itself against the challenge of inequality. Although the left has failed this test, it still retains moral authority because it took responsibility for these problems in the 1960s. In fact, President Bush has already achieved much simply by entering conservative principles into this competition," Mr. Steele said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.
"But moral authority is the fruit of moral risk. The left challenged an entrenched culture of racism to win its moral authority. The least conservatives can do is to go after racial preferences like they mean it — in the spirit of intolerance for unfairness and distaste for the condescension to minorities that preferences represent. An irony of power is that by risking it, one can gain it."

President Sharpton?

The Rev. Al Sharpton, in a jailhouse interview, said he plans to create a presidential exploratory committee this summer.
He will form the committee within a week of leading a march on Aug. 25 at the United Nations to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington, Mr. Sharpton told USA Today reporter Charisse Jones, who interviewed Mr. Sharpton by telephone.
Mr. Sharpton, a Democrat, is serving a 90-day sentence at a federal detention center in Brooklyn for trespassing on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques during a protest against use of the island as a Navy bombing range.

Not an earthquake

"Dont listen to the Democratic propaganda machine, which is telling everyone that the earth has been shaken with the defection of Jeffords and the switch in party control in the Senate," political analyst Dick Morris writes in the New York Post.
"If the House of Representatives had changed hands, that would have been a far, far different story. The way the House is organized, the only thing of importance is who has the majority. But the rules of the Senate are so much more lax and relaxed that the post of majority leader is not always a particularly important one, particularly when it rests on the slenderest of margins," Mr. Morris said.
"The core difference is the overwhelming power of the House Rules Committee to limit debate and amendments when legislation comes to the floor. The only amendments that may be introduced are those which the Rules Committee permits. The only debate that may take place is that which the committee allows. Since the majority party controls the Rules Committee, its power is absolute.
"But in the Senate, the rules are totally different."

Joining forces

A philanthropist and a foundation president are joining forces to promote President Bushs faith-based initiative.
Philanthropist Paul Fleming and outgoing Bradley Foundation President Michael S. Joyce will oversee two new groups, Americans for Community and Faith-Centered Enterprise, a lobbying group, and the Foundation for Community and Faith-Centered Enterprise, an educational group.
Mr. Fleming, founder of the P.F. Changs China Bistro restaurant chain, will serve as chairman and Mr. Joyce as president and chief executive officer of the two organizations. Mr. Joyce has led the Bradley Foundation, which advocates private-sector solutions to social needs, for 16 years. He steps down on July 5.
"In his speech at Notre Dame University, President Bush issued a challenge to all Americans to be citizens — not spectators — in the renewal of our country," Mr. Fleming said in a prepared statement. "Were taking up that challenge."

Pro-abortion Catholics

The American Life League, in a press release yesterday, said that "pro-abortion Catholics" are now in charge of the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, is a pro-abortion Catholic, said Judie Brown, president of the American Life League.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, is not only a pro-abortion Catholic, he has vowed to use his power as chairman of the Judiciary Committee to block the appointment of pro-life judges to federal courts, she said.
Two other Senate committee chairmen are pro-abortion Catholics, she added. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, is chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Either mans panel could deal with abortion-related issues: Mr. Kennedys through its oversight of Medicaid and Mr. Bidens through the foreign-aid bill.

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