- The Washington Times - Friday, September 21, 2001

Untimely partisanship
The lead editorial in yesterday's New York Times was headlined "Politics Is Adjourned." However, the words underneath that headline revealed an astonishing partisanship. Clearly, it is business as usual at the ultraliberal newspaper, at least on the editorial page.
Even as the stock market plummeted, the newspaper denounced suggestions that the capital gains tax be cut. Such an action, the newspaper proclaimed, "would lavish 80 percent of its benefits on the top 2 percent of the wealthiest Americans" as if only rich people are invested in, and have a stake in, the stock market.
But the newspaper did not stop there. Rather, it attempted to exploit the current crisis to roll back tax cuts approved by Congress earlier this year and signed by President Bush.
"At a time of military mobilization and demands for sacrifice from all Americans, Mr . Bush and Congress ought to be willing, in effect, to conscript that portion of the tax cut that takes effect a few years from now and lowers taxes on the wealthiest Americans," the newspaper said.

Boosting the economy
"Since the events of Sept. 11, Republicans have seen a sudden collapse of opposition to putting together a package of tax cuts to stimulate the economy," Stephen Moore and Jeffrey Bell write in the Wall Street Journal.
"Before the attack, our economy was already at little more than zero growth, according to the most recent estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product. With the destruction of much of Wall Street's office space and the halting of commercial air travel in its tracks, most Democrats have concluded it is untenable to keep denying the need for an economic lift," said Mr. Moore, president of the Club for Growth, and Mr. Bell, principal of Capital City Partners in Washington.
"But there is no indication they have checked their ideology at the door of bipartisanship. The suspicion is that some Democrats would rather see the markets continue to swoon than admit that cutting the capital gains tax rate would help the economy or worse yet, from their point of view acknowledging that the main thing wrong with the recent Bush tax cuts is the delay in their implementation. Capital gain cuts are still derided as a windfall to the rich. In fact, they would be more like an emergency supply of oxygen to the U.S. financial sector.
"The near 800-point decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average this week (including [Wednesdays] 144-point fall) is hurting all American investors and imperils the jobs of millions of workers. Already almost $1 trillion has been lost in the market this week. How low does the market need to go before Congress acts?"

The fifth column
"The FBI is looking for hundreds of men inside the United States suspected of playing a role in Osama bin Laden's terror network. The support network that made last week's attacks possible is right here, burrowed inside Arab and Muslim communities in American neighborhoods," New York Post columnist John Podhoretz writes.
"For the first time in American history, we have irrefutable evidence that there is a dangerous and functional foreign-born 'fifth column' at work on American soil," Mr. Podhoretz said.
"The term 'fifth column' has its origin in the '30s Spanish Civil War, when the military decided to overthrow the Madrid government. With four columns of troops advancing on the capital, their general announced that 'the fifth column is within the city' meaning people secretly in league with the military who would perform acts of sabotage and terrorism from inside the government's redoubt."
Mr. Podhoretz added: "The American melting pot has been this country's great glory. But at this moment, it poses a specific security and terrorist threat as well. Even as we express concern for the well-being of Muslim- and Arab-Americans in the face of ignorant and vicious yahoos, we also have to confront the very real fact that their neighborhoods and communities have dark crevices and corners where the fifth columnists working for the al-Qaeda network are finding succor."

Anti-American Left
"These are difficult days for members of the anti-American Left. At a time of flag-waving patriotism, they're trying to channel their anti-Americanism in ways that don't seem disrespectful of the 5,000 souls who lost their lives to anti-American terrorism on September 11," John J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru write at National Review's Web site (www.nationalreview.com).
"To be sure, they often fail at this project. Witness Susan Sontag, writing in the current issue of The New Yorker: 'The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilize the public. Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a 'cowardly' attack on 'civilization' or 'liberty' or 'humanity' or 'the free world' but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?'
"Someday, she may regret that quote. At least she should," the writers said.
"Yet there is one way the anti-American Left can express itself in ways that don't seem harmful to the national interest: It will suggest that hateful Americans are now engaged in a fit of anti-Muslim violence that is only one step removed from certified ethnic cleansing. What's remarkable about the days following Sept. 11 is how little of this there has been. One hears of broken store windows and even a few more serious crimes but these are the exceptions that prove the rule. Americans are a warm and generous people, and they have not embarked on an anti-Muslim hate crusade. In how many other countries would this be true, after Sept. 11? To take a few isolated incidents and suggest we're in the midst of an epidemic is just as bad as stereotyping every Arab American as a terrorist."

Barbara Olson's book
Political commentator Barbara Olson, who died aboard the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon, had completed a book about the Clinton administration, according to New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams.
The book is titled "The Final Days: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Last Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House," the columnist said, and at the time of her death was scheduled for publication next month.
Mrs. Olson was the author of a previous book, "Hell to Pay," about Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Meanwhile, Roll Call reported that Washingtonian magazine's October issue, due out today, will include a story about Mrs. Olson. Presumably it will be far different from the attack on Mrs. Olson by poison-pen writer Kitty Kelley that appeared in the magazine's September issue.

Petition drive ends
A petition drive to recall Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, has been called off in the aftermath of last week's tragic events in New York and Washington.
"Backers in the petition drive admitted that in light of the events of Sept. 11 'there's no way' to gain the 350,000 signatures they need to force a recall vote by Oct. 16," Roll Call reports.
Marcia Regan, chairman of the recall effort, told the Arizona Daily-Star: "We had an opportunity and now it's gone."
The recall petition was initiated by Republicans outraged by Mr. McCain's vote against President Bush's tax cut plan, the Arizonan's partnership with Senate Democrats on a patients' bill of rights, and his obsession with campaign finance reform.
Mr. McCain had sent a four-page letter to Arizona Republicans in July, explaining his positions and emphasizing his pride in being a Republican.

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