- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2005

Daschle and Reid

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid opposes Judge John G. Roberts Jr.’s Supreme Court nomination, but his predecessor — former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle — sees things differently.

“President Bush has produced a nominee that probably qualifies, and I would support him,” Mr. Daschle was quoted as saying in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader yesterday.

The comments by the South Dakota Democrat, who lost his Senate re-election bid last year, were made during an interview on Randy McDaniel’s KSOO Radio talk show.

‘Senator Ahab’

New York Times columnist David Brooks noticed a certain hostility in Sen. John Kerry’s speech this week about Hurricane Katrina.

“Kerry began his speech by making the point that Bush and his crew are rotten. He then went on to make the point that Bush and his crew are loathsome. In the third section of the speech, Kerry left the impression that Bush and his crew are evil,” Mr. Brooks writes.

“Now we all know people so consumed by hatred for George Bush that they haven’t had an unpredictable thought in five years, but in Kerry’s speech one sees this anger in almost clinical form.

“In the first place, not even Karl Rove’s worldview is so obsessively Bush-centric as John Kerry’s. There are many interesting issues raised by Katrina, but for Senator Ahab it all goes back to the great white monster, Bush. Bush and his crew should have known the levees were weak. Bush and his crew should have known thousands in New Orleans would be trapped. (Did I miss Kerry’s own warnings on these subjects?)

“All reality flows back to Bush. All begins with Bush, ends with Bush, is explained by Bush and is polluted by Bush, cursed be thy name.”

Bad ideas

“The stalwart performance of stock and bond markets in the past three weeks suggests that investors believe the U.S. economy can bear the shock of Katrina. The political shock from the Beltway is a more serious matter,” the Wall Street Journal says.

“Markets have begun to get rattled in the last couple of days, both in fear of further damage in the Gulf region from Hurricane Rita, and in response to the bad ideas that are starting to flow fast and furious from Congress.

“These include Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s endorsement of energy price controls (to stop ‘gouging’), gasoline tax increases, suspension of the new bankruptcy law, and even a revival of the oil ‘windfall profits’ tax. When Jimmy Carter embraced this latter brainstorm in the 1970s, it exacerbated the energy crisis by slowing oil exploration in America and keeping oil prices higher than they had to be,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

“But the worst news is that a handful of GOP senators think a tax increase is needed to pay for Katrina spending. Their immediate target is the 15 percent rate on capital gains and dividends that was a crucial part of the wildly successful 2003 tax cuts. Those rates are set to expire in 2008, which would mean a big tax increase back to a 35 percent rate on dividends, and 20 percent on capital gains.

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