- The Washington Times - Monday, April 2, 2001

Soviet missile crisis

"Ten years ago, just after President [Mikhail] Gorbachev was released from house arrest following the failed coup, a United States senator on an official visit to Moscow met with him in his Kremlin office, and asked him as the meeting was closing directly if he had retained command and control of the Soviet nuclear forces during his arrest. President Gorbachev did not answer, and that was answer enough. I was that senator. The Soviet empire was coming apart."

Sam Nunn, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on why he became co-chairman and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation he started with media mogul Ted Turner last year. Mr. Turner gave $250 million to the organization, which is dedicated to reducing the global threat of weapons of mass destruction.

Barn-raising

The Democratic Party is moving out of Washington with the aim of coming back on top.

Losing control of the White House and both houses of Congress, the Democratic Leadership Council over the weekend sounded the gavel in Milwaukee, convening its inaugural meeting of the newly formed State Legislative Advisory Board (SLAB) Executive Committee to discuss policy and political strategy.

"[W]e recognize that the future of our party and our movement is in the states, and that the DLC needs to constantly add value to state and local elected leaders," says SLAB chairman and Wisconsin state Rep. Antonio Riley. "Our meeting in Milwaukee will be the first step in discussing new and creative ways to continue to expand the New Democrat Movement beyond Washington and to the grass roots."

The DLC, founded in 1997, is considered the idea and policy center of the Democratic Party. Its charter includes promoting opportunity and "demanding responsibility from all."

Timeless Rothbard

He was alive for barely two years of the Clinton administration, but somehow in the new book "The Irrepressible Rothbard" the late Libertarian economist Murray N. Rothbard nails the previous decade from the first page to the last, as reflected in this preview of Mr. Rothbard's essays:

"In the 1990s, the culture became a tool of coercion. Using affirmative action, discriminatory taxation, hate-crime laws, bribes to states and localities, selective investigations, military adventures, and armed federal cops, the Clinton administration was doing far more than interfering in the economy. It was attempting to reconstruct American life."

Bankrolling Jesse

The Capitol Research Center has just issued a special report on Jesse Jackson's empire, raising questions about accounting and accountability.

According to the report's author, Patrick J. Reilly, any Internal Revenue Service audits are the least of Mr. Jackson's worries.

"His network has survived audits, fines and lawsuits," Mr. Reilly points out. "What is most likely to topple Jackson is neither political embarrassments nor government oversight. It's a steep decline in corporate donations.

"Corporate money made possible the dramatic growth of Jackson's nonprofits in recent years; if it dries up, so will Jackson's empire."

Among the major donors to Mr. Jackson's organizations: America Online, American Honda Motors, Anheuser Busch, Archer Daniels Midland, AT&T;, Bell Atlantic, Boeing, BMW of America, BP Amoco, Burger King Corp., Chase Manhattan Corp., Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox, Coca-Cola Co., Coors, DaimlerChrysler, Delta Air Lines, Denny's, DuPont, Fannie Mae, Food Lion, Ford Motor Co., Freddie Mac, General Motors Corp.

Also included are: Gap, Goldman Sachs Group, GTE Service Corp., HBO, Lehman Brothers Inc., Lockheed Martin, Major League Baseball, McDonald's, Mercedes-Benz, Merrill Lynch & Co., Metropolitan Life, Microsoft Corp., Miller Brewing Co., Mitsubishi Motor Corp., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, NASCAR, New York Stock Exchange, Nissan Corp., Office Depot, Paine Webber, Panasonic, PepsiCo., Philip Morris, Prudential Insurance and Securities, Quaker Oats Co., Safeway Corp., Sara Lee Corp., Shell Oil, Salomon Smith Barney, Shoneys Corp., Slim Fast Industries, Sony Electronics, Sprint, State Farm Insurance, Texaco Inc., Time Warner Corp., Toyota, United Airlines, Wal-Mart and Walt Disney Co.

People's party

"I knew it would boil down to this," writes Inside the Beltway reader Ray Berry Jr., of De Soto, Mo., referring to the ongoing congressional debate over competing tax-cut proposals.

"Under the Republican tax proposal, some taxpayers would get a Lexus and some would get a muffler. Under the Democrats' tax proposal, everybody gets a muffler."

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