- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2001

Pavlovian obsession
"Failing to shake Washingtons Pavlovian obsession with the 100-day mark of new administrations, the White House has issued an 11th-hour order to draw up a list of successes," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.
"An e-mail to Commerce Department aides demands info on 'awards granted, programs implemented, research completed, natural resources protected, jobs created, and statistics released," Mr. Bedard said.
"The Democrats plan a counterassault: 'Its not what hes done, its what hes undone, is one theme. Theyre coordinating a radio and TV attack with liberal interest groups."

Arnolds advisers
"Arnold Schwarzenegger has earned a reputation as a perfectionist during his athletic and entertainment careers, so its no surprise that as he weighs the pros and cons of launching a run for California governor, hes first talking with all the right people and bulking up on public policy," National Journal reports.
"Schwarzenegger, 53, a Republican, is getting quiet encouragement from the White House. He took advantage of a personal invitation from former junk-bond king Michael R. Milken in mid-April to stop by his Milken Institute, a nonpartisan economic think tank in Santa Monica, for what a spokesman reluctantly confirmed was a 'wide-ranging discussion with the staff," the magazine said.
"Schwarzenegger has sounded out L.A.s Republican mayor and met several times recently with former Gov. Pete Wilson. Like other state Republicans, Wilson thinks Arnold would make a formidable candidate."

Tax-cut blunder
"In February, Treasury Secretary Paul ONeill made a huge blunder when he virtually pledged to resign if the tax cut exceeded the Bush target of $1.6 trillion," Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, writes in National Review.
"This set a ceiling, rather than a floor, on the size of the tax cut. Worse, it undercut the promising work of Bushs conservative allies. Republican Congressman Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, for example, was fashioning a proposal that would have expanded on the Bush plan with a capital-gains tax cut, and deeper, immediate income-tax rate cuts," Mr. Moore said.
"The Toomey plan would have provided an immediate supply-side stimulus, and should have been warmly embraced by the Bush team. (Note to the White House: Its not too late!) The Toomey plan repaired the fundamental economic and political defect of Bushs original plan, the fact that its far too back-loaded either to help the economy now or to help Republicans politically in 2002 or 2004. More than two-thirds of the tax cut arrives after 2004, by which time Hillary could be running the White House and thus be the one reaping the rewards of the supply-side policy.
"What on earth are the Republicans waiting for? The solution to their conundrum seems obvious: more supply-side tax cuts, faster. How can they let Tom Daschle get to the right of them on taxes? Heres another example: On the death tax, New York Democratic representative Charles Rangel proposed to cut the rate by 20 percent immediately. The Republican plan, meanwhile, calls for eliminating the tax over 11 years, and doesnt cut the rate by 20 percent until 2008 or later. Which plan is better? Im not entirely sure. But why dont Republicans cut the rate 20 percent now (a la Rangel) and then phase out the rest over 10 years?"

Courting minorities
After barely winning Florida and losing the national vote, Republican Party leaders said Friday that they must begin to aggressively court minority voters.
"This is no longer your momma or daddys Republican Party," said Michael Steele, chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, who said that as a black politician it is not always easy being known as a Republican.
"You dont have to change who you are as a Republican" to bring minorities into the party, Mr. Steele told a meeting of the Republican National Committee at the Coral Gables (Fla.) Biltmore Hotel. "You dont have to change your philosophy."
But he said the party does have to make an real effort to meet and talk with minority voters to let them know "that we feel your pain and we mean it when we say it."
Blacks, Asians and Hispanics warned that Republicans risk losing future elections if more minorities are not brought into party, Cox News Service reports.
"One-third of our 280 million Americans are minorities," said Florida GOP chairman Al Cardenas, a Cuban-American. "Twenty-five percent of voters in Florida are either African-American or Hispanic. We need to look long term at bringing minorities into the party and not just worry about the next election cycle."

Courting minorities II
On a recent visit to the nations capital, "one White House political operative told me the Bush team has compiled a data base of 'about 5,000 Latino Bush supporters who will be considered for important government jobs," writes Frank del Olmo, an associate editor of the Los Angeles Times.
"'For a start, we want a bilingual Latino appointee in every government agency, he said. 'Someone who can go on [the Spanish-language TV networks] Univision or Telemundo and tell the Bush administrations story on any significant news event.
"Its a smart strategy, akin to what Bush did while governor of Texas under the tutelage of his guru for Spanish-language media, San Antonio advertising executive Lionel Sosa. " Mr. del Olmo said.
"Although Bush got only 23 percent of the Latino vote in California, where memories of former Gov. Pete Wilsons ardent support of Proposition 187 are still fresh in the minds of new Latino voters, he got 38 percent Latino support nationally. That is roughly the same level of Latino support victorious GOP candidates like Nixon, Reagan and Bushs father got. So he recaptured that 30 percent to 40 percent of Latinos who feel an affinity for the GOP on social, cultural or economic grounds.
"Now Bush needs to build on that base. "

Torricellis friend
Sen. Robert G. Torricelli waged a behind-the-scenes effort to help a major campaign donor attempt to buy one of South Koreas largest insurance companies, the New York Times reported yesterday.
Mr. Torricelli has previously said he did nothing out of the ordinary to help the donor, David Chang, who has pleaded guilty to making $53,700 in improper donations to Mr. Torricellis 1996 Senate campaign and is assisting a federal investigation of the New Jersey Democrat.
The newspaper based its report in part on letters from Mr. Torricelli to Korean government officials, a diplomatic cable and interviews with Korean and American officials.
"I present them to you with my strongest possible recommendation," Mr. Torricelli wrote in a September 1998 letter to South Korean President Kim Dae-jung about Mr. Chang and his company, Panacom Inc.
Mr. Torricelli then took Mr. Chang with him to a July 7, 1999, briefing on economic issues with South Koreas finance minister and used the occasion to lobby in favor of Panacoms bid for the Korean insurer Daehan.
American diplomats in Seoul were so concerned about the matter that the U.S. ambassador later apologized to the minister, one former official told the newspaper.

Naders grading system
Ralph Nader, when pressed yesterday on whether he considered defeated Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore to be stronger on environmental issues than President Bush, gave the edge to Mr. Gore but only barely.
"Lets answer your question another way," Mr. Nader told journalist Brit Hume on "Fox News Sunday." "Bush would be a D-minus; Gore is a D-plus. They both flunk."

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