- The Washington Times - Friday, April 20, 2001

A friend of Arkansas
"Newly minted New Yorkers Bill and Hillary Clinton are acting as if they want to forget they ever had Arkansas roots or Southern accents, so President Bush is only too happy to take over their old turf," the New York Posts Deborah Orin writes.
"The Clintons have largely shunned their ex-home state since leaving the White House, but Bush heads here next Wednesday for one of his first out-of-town fund-raisers, for Sen. Tim Hutchinson, Arkansas Republican," Miss Orin said.
"After all, Bush wouldnt be president if he hadnt swept the South, including Arkansas and its six electoral votes the ultimate rejection of the president formerly known as the Man from Hope, Ark.
"Hutchinson is a vulnerable senator up for re-election next year and Bush, whose visit is expected to bring in $700,000 which is a lot in Little Rock knows he cant afford to lose a single GOP seat in a Senate split 50-50.
"Besides, the senators brother, Rep. Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Republican, was a star of the impeachment proceedings that put character in the spotlight and, many analysts believe, ultimately led to Bushs victory."

Torricellis response
Sen. Robert G. Torricelli reacted angrily to an unusually detailed New York Times article earlier this week about thousands of dollars in illegal gifts and cash that the New Jersey Democrat supposedly received from a political contributor.
Mr. Torricelli said he was unable for legal reasons to discuss the accusations by businessman David Chang, but that they were untrue.
"I cannot tell you how much I would like to discuss the specifics of the investigation," Mr. Torricelli said at a news conference in Newark, N.J., on Wednesday. He said his attorneys wanted to discuss the matter with federal prosecutors only. "Unfortunately, it cannot happen today through the media."
The senator did read a prepared statement: "I know I have been an aggressive personality. Perhaps I have earned some enemies in government and in politics. But I have never, ever done anything at any time to betray the trust of the people of the state of New Jersey."
The New York Times reports that Mr. Torricelli then slammed his hand down on the lectern and shouted, "Never."

Klayman vs. Keene
Larry Klayman, chairman of the conservative legal watchdog group Judicial Watch, fired back yesterday at a prominent conservative who said that, right or wrong, Mr. Klayman had put his organizations future on the line by targeting fund-raising by Republicans.
Mr. Klayman and his group have accused House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and the National Republican Congressional Committee of trying to sell access to Bush administration officials. David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, writes in the Hill newspaper this week that "whether one likes or agrees with him," Mr. Klayman was risking the financial support his group has received from conservatives. (Portions of Mr. Keenes column were quoted in this space yesterday.)
"In addition to forsaking conservative values, your article goes on to level several cheap shots against me and my colleagues," Mr. Klayman said yesterday in a letter to Mr. Keene that accused the American Conservative Union of becoming "a cheerleader for the Republican Party."
"First, you raised the issue of the lawsuit against my mother, which resulted when she and my stepfather misappropriated all of my grandmothers savings and abandoned her after a severe hip injury, which left her in a state which ultimately led to her death. My wife and I stepped in to care for my grandmother, but she needed her savings for her extensive medical care. The lawsuit against my mother was intended only to recuperate my grandmothers monies. Are you suggesting that conservatives should look the other way and allow the elderly to be abused and left to die?" Mr. Klayman asked.
As for the suggestion "that conservatives may no longer want to donate to Judicial Watch," Mr. Klayman said: "If this is what the American Conservative Union stands for, then perhaps conservatives should reconsider donating to your group which, if your article is to be read at face value, stands for little other than being the 'yes man of the Republican Party. Ironically, Judicial Watch has supported your group in the past."

Bushs image
"Can you imagine what would have happened if then-Speaker Newt Gingrich had spoken out in favor of rolling back acceptable arsenic levels in drinking water or refused to budge on the size of a proposed tax cut?" political analyst Stuart Rothenberg writes.
"Its entirely likely words such as extreme, inflexible and uncompromising would have come into play," Mr. Rothenberg said in Roll Call.
"And what if Gingrich had proposed cutting funds to train doctors at childrens hospitals or suggested cuts to community policing programs? How about barbaric, radical, out of touch?
"But while liberal and Democratic groups continue to complain about the administrations priorities and President Bushs agenda, the president has avoided becoming a media punching bag and retains a much warmer political image than many of his party colleagues ever attained.
"So far this Bush is more Teflon than flypaper."

Restoring rationality
"A defining aspect of George W. Bushs administration will undoubtedly be his stance on the environment," Ronald Bailey writes in the Wall Street Journal.
"Already, his new and considered approach has caused environmentalist groups to join forces in declaring an all-out war on the presidents policies. With each passing day, the language and tone of these organizations becomes a bit more strident, and a bit more unhinged," said Mr. Bailey, a science correspondent for Reason magazine.
"Any fair-minded examination of Mr. Bushs record would show that what the president has actually done since taking office is to roll back the most excessive, irrational and, in some cases, harmful environmental rules and regulations. An unprincipled Clinton administration allowed our country to cross that basic line between intelligent conservation of our natural resources to fanatical environmental fundamentalism. Mr. Bush is attempting to restore some rationality.
"Nowhere was this common-sense approach more obvious than on March 13, when Mr. Bush stepped back from the Kyoto Treaty.
"At his March 29 press conference, Mr. Bush declared: 'Ours is going to be an administration that makes decisions on science; what's realistic, common-sense decisions. That is just what is making the environmental lobbyists so angry."

Kennedy wants more
Despite a tentative agreement on key education provisions, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said the Senate and White House remain billions of dollars apart on how much money should be spent on struggling schools, teacher training and school construction.
"If we really believe that these reforms are right, then Congress and the president must be prepared to fund them," the Massachusetts Democrat said yesterday. Mr. Kennedy is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
The Senate is expected to take up education next week. Mr. Kennedy said he was optimistic that lawmakers and the White House could work out the funding disagreements, the Associated Press reports.
"Weve come a long way together," he said.
"Education is the presidents priority. Its our priority too, and Im confident that we can reach agreement on the remaining issues."


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