- The Washington Times - Monday, July 24, 2000


Rep. Tom DeLay, Texas Republican and majority whip, says he feels ashamed of the House of Representatives for its vote last week to allow the sale of food and medicine to Cuba.

"Fox News Sunday" panelist Juan Williams asked the congressman if "the tide has shifted in terms of the Republican position on doing away with sanctions against Cuba."

"It looks that way," Mr. DeLay replied. "The votes were significant in the House and really unfortunate in my mind. Instead of turning down the screws on this dictator that kills people, has killed American citizens over international waters, has put people in jail for being dissident. I mean, this is a ruthless, murdering dictator in Cuba and all the food will go through him, and he'll use that food and medicine as a tool to continue to oppress his people. The tide has changed and I think it's really unfortunate and, frankly, it's the first time I have really been ashamed of the House of Representatives."

Quota system

Her race and Mississippi's once whites-only political machine kept Mamie Cunningham out of the 1964 Democratic National Convention. This time gender will sideline her at the party's presidential bash, the Associated Press reports.

Miss Cunningham was pulled as a delegate to next month's 2000 convention in Los Angeles because Mississippi's racially diverse delegation would have had two more women than men.

The north Mississippi schoolteacher, elected a delegate in May, was told last week she will be making the trip as an alternate.

"There is a purpose for the rules. The people who were not represented in the past, now they are represented," said Balwant Singh of Pascagoula, who challenged the delegate selections. "Women were ignored in the past, now they have rights. Blacks were ignored, now they have rights."

Mr. Singh was mainly contesting his failure to make the delegation, but a review found the gender imbalance. The retired educator is Asian-American, and he said the delegation includes only black and white men although one slot is traditionally reserved for someone from another race.

Democratic leaders replaced Miss Cunningham with state Sen. David Jordan of Greenwood after Mr. Singh filed his challenge with the Democratic National Committee and the presidential campaign of Al Gore.

Party leaders said that if the state delegation does not meet gender guidelines, delegates could risk not being allowed at the convention. The DNC notified Mississippi officials about the problem last week.

Quota system II

Jim Nicholson, the Republican Party chairman, wasted no time last week in condemning the Democratic Party for ousting a black woman as a convention delegate in order to meet the party's quota system that requires equal numbers of men and women.

"Sexual discrimination is wrong, wherever it occurs, and no matter what the excuse," Mr. Nicholson said in a prepared statement.

"When a woman with Mamie Cunningham's history is kicked off the Mississippi Democrat delegation for no other reason than that she's a woman, it should trouble all Americans."

Mr. Nicholson added: "It's bad enough that Democrats play the politics of preferences and quotas in the first place. But in this case, it's particularly troubling because Mamie Cunningham herself was one of those brave men and women who made the trip to the Democrat convention 36 years ago, to fight racial discrimination. It was because of her efforts and the efforts of her colleagues at the 1964 convention that the Democrats finally prohibited the use of racially exclusionary rules in the selection of their national convention delegates.

"But the Democrats' pendulum swung too far, clearly they went from insisting on racial discrimination to demanding racial and gender quotas, and the result is the unfortunate situation we see today."

Not excited

Mark Green, the New York City public advocate, says he is not excited about any of the names being bandied about as possible running mates for either Texas Gov. George W. Bush or Vice President Al Gore.

In an interview yesterday on CNN's "Late Edition," Mr. Green made it clear it would be extremely hard to excite him about vice-presidential picks.

"If George W. picks his father as veep, and Al Gore picks Bill Clinton, that would be exciting," Mr. Green said.

Gore vs. teachers?

Karen Hughes, communications director for the presidential campaign of George W. Bush, thinks the negative things Vice President Al Gore said about Mr. Bush's stewardship as Texas governor will "backfire."

"In Texas, we have a $1.4 billion surplus in the bank," Mrs. Hughes said on "Fox News Sunday."

She acknowledged that "might not seem like a lot by Washington standards," but the American people "know better."

On Fox and NBC's "Meet the Press," Mrs. Hughes said part of the surplus was used to give $3,000 pay raises to Texas teachers.

"If Al Gore wants to come to Texas to say why teachers should not have gotten that raise, we'll welcome it," she said, adding:

"In fact, we might even pay for his plane ticket."

Father and son

If President Clinton decides to award Theodore Roosevelt the Medal of Honor he was denied during his lifetime, the 26th president will be the second in his immediate family to receive the nation's highest military honor.

His oldest son, Theodore Jr., was awarded the medal of honor for his heroism on Utah Beach on D-Day, 1944. The younger Roosevelt died of a heart attack soon after the Normandy invasion and was awarded the medal posthumously.

The Army believes the elder Roosevelt deserves the medal for his gallantry in leading his Rough Riders up Kettle Hill in Cuba in bloody combat during the Spanish-American War. If Mr. Clinton goes along, the two Roosevelts would be the second father-and-son team to be honored with the Medal of Honor. They would be joining Arthur MacArthur, a Civil War hero who was also a general in the Spanish-American War, and his son, Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Gingrich and Magaziner

The Cyber Age makes for strange bedfellows.

According to this week's issue of Newsweek, conservative former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and liberal health care guru Ira Magaziner will be traveling around the country together later this year under a partnership organized by a Washington think tank.

"The two have been recruited by the Internet Policy Institute … to come up with the best Internet advice [on health care] for the next president," the article by Karen Breslau says.

It seems Mr. Gingrich, a Georgia Republican who is now a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, has made on-line health care "his latest passion."

Mr. Magaziner, now a business consultant in Rhode Island, was the architect of Hillary Rodham Clinton's failed plan for national health insurance. As Newsweek noted, "during the GOP revolution" that health-care plan "served as Exhibit A in Gingrich's crusade against the bloated welfare state."

Mr. Magaziner concedes his friends "did a double take" when they learned he has teamed up with a former opponent. "But the Internet really breaks down a lot of old ideologies," Mr. Magaziner told the magazine.

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