- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 22, 2000

Hillary hysteria

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has entered the much-publicized Hillary Rodham Clinton vs. Rep. Rick Lazio New York Senate contest by printing bumper stickers that read, "I wish I lived in New York so I could vote AGAINST Hillary."

Now, a committee staffer who stuck one of the stickers on the rear of her car tells Inside the Beltway that while returning to Washington from New York recently she got pulled over for speeding on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Keep in mind that New Jersey state troopers are notoriously tough on out-of-state speeders, and thoroughly intimidating in their crisp blue uniforms, calf-high boots, and leather straps crisscrossing their chests.

Yet when this particular trooper reached the woman's car window, he was laughing hysterically.

"I should give you a ticket," the trooper told the bewildered congressional staffer, "but I am only going to give you a warning, because that is the best bumper sticker I have ever seen."

Enough said

Energy Secretary Bill Richardson has spent the entire week and then some insisting that added security measures have been in place for several months at the nation's nuclear-weapons labs.

"I have put [in] more security than any secretary. I have devoted an enormous amount of time," said Mr. Richardson over the weekend. "We have massively upgraded security."

But don't tell that to John Browne, director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where computer hard drives containing highly classified nuclear-weapons data disappeared and then mysteriously reappeared behind a copier, in a spot that had been searched twice before.

Mr. Browne, along with Mr. Richardson, testified yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee about security lapses at Los Alamos. At one point during Mr. Browne's testimony, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, asked if precautions were in place that prevented a lab worker from removing a disc from a vault and taking it home, "and play with it at home and show it to anybody they wanted to?"

Mr. Browne: "No, sir. That's definitely against all policies "

Mr. Sessions: "Well, I know that's against the policy, but you don't have any sign-in/sign-out sheet that would at least show that that disc left the laboratory building, is that right?"

Mr. Browne: "At that time, that's correct. We do today."

Mr. Sessions: "When did you impose that?"

Mr. Browne: "Last week."

What's in a name?

You know the going must be tough when a politician formerly known as Hillary Rodham Clinton is now referred to only as "Hillary" in her two latest Senate campaign ads being televised in New York.

Name dropping that comes on the heels of the latest Marist Institute for Public Opinion poll, showing Rep. Rick Lazio pulling even with Mrs. Clinton, er, Hillary, at 42 percent each.

Missing the ground

Republicans concerned about losing their majority status in the House come November have rekindled rumors that Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., Ohio Democrat, might cross the aisle and switch parties, assuring the GOP of at least one additional seat.

Republican lawmakers for years have acknowledged there's not a more effective orator in the House than Mr. Traficant, who more often than not sounds like a Republican anyway.

Take this week's Traficant tirade.

"The Supreme Court says pornography is OK and it is OK to burn the flag, that communists can work in our defense plants, that it is OK to teach witchcraft in our schools and that it is OK for our students to write papers about the devil," says the Democrat.

"But the Supreme Court says it is illegal to write papers about Jesus, it is illegal to pray in school, and now the Supreme Court says it is even illegal to pray before a football game. Beam me up.

"I thought the Founders intended to create a Supreme Court, not the Supreme Being. Think about that statement. I yield back a Supreme Court that is so politically correct they are downright stupid, so stupid they could throw themselves at the ground and miss."

Job well done

He has the reputation of a straight-talking Scot, possessing a powerful presence that during the Kosovo conflict was said to send shivers down the spine of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

On the steps of the Pentagon today, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen will host an honor cordon welcoming former British defense secretary-turned-NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson to Washington.

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