- The Washington Times - Monday, December 17, 2001

Dummy ballots
Who will ever forget California Democrat Loretta Sanchez defeating Republican Rep. Bob Dornan by a mere 979 votes in a 1996 election in a heavily Hispanic district that saw or so a subsequent congressional investigation determined illegal aliens casting hundreds of ballots.
Now in her third term, Mrs. Sanchez went onto the House floor last week to acknowledge that election reform isn't going far enough far enough, that is, to assist those who don't understand English.
The election reform bill Mrs. Sanchez opposes, H.R. 3295, "does not provide the comprehensive reform that this nation's election system needs," says the congresswoman. "Citizens who have language barriers or physical disabilities should not have added difficulties when they go to vote."
Mrs. Sanchez notes that current law "requires some jurisdictions with language minority groups to provide bilingual assistance in each step of the voting process. However, this law has been poorly enforced and it certainly is not strengthened by this bill."

Moby Dick
We've discovered an intriguing whaling apprenticeship program on page 736 of the new education bill, which awaits final congressional passage: "Education, Cultural, Apprenticeship, and Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and their Historic Whaling Trading Partners in Massachusetts."

Overlooked again
Where's Al Gore's prize?
The former vice president, who had us believing that he invented the Internet, might be surprised to learn that Timothy Berners-Lee has won the prestigious Science and Technology Foundation of Japan 2002 Prize for his pioneering work in "conceiving and launching" the World Wide Web.
The British scientist's invention, says the foundation, "has had an incalculable impact on the way humans communicate, collaborate, share information and conduct business."
For the record, Mr. Berners-Lee implemented the first World Wide Web server, using codes he personally developed that went on to become the foundation for all Internet communication.

Dubya makes history
Yet another silver lining of the post-September 11 terrorist atrocities is the heightened awareness of America's founding principles and a stronger appreciation of her key historic documents: the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Such is the renewed appreciation that Webster's New World has decided to publish "American Words of Freedom," by constitutional writer Stephen F. Rohde, providing not only a new examination of the nation's founding documents and principles, but also including the entire text of President Bush's unforgettable and now historic address to Congress and the nation last Sept. 20.

Crystal balls
Thanks to Joel C. Rosenberg, a World magazine contributor, for passing along these predictions for 2002 offered by some of the nation's leading political observers.
Rush Limbaugh, radio talk show host:
1. The U.S. economy will recover and roar back faster than anyone imagined, without a meaningful stimulus package, leaving Attorney General John Ashcroft as the only issue the Democrats have to run on/against in 2002.
2. John Ashcroft's approval numbers will remain in the mid-to-upper 70s.
3. Disney, he jokes, ends the pretense and buys the Democratic National Committee, naming ABC News President David Westin chairman and CEO. "Synergy dictated this long overdue move," said Disney Chairman Michael Eisner.
Steve Moore, president, Club For Growth:
1. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill will be gone, and will be replaced either by Phil Gramm, Bill Archer or Dick Armey.
2. College football will move to a 16-team playoff system.
3. Rep. Chris Cox, California Republican, will be the next majority leader.
Frank Luntz, pollster:
1. Republicans will gain a net of one Senate seat in the 2002 elections, giving them back control but at 50-50.
2. Al Gore will announce that he is not going to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 2004.
3. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle will emerge as the top choice among Democrats to challenge President Bush in 2004.

Dropping justice
"We will not give up. We will pursue this guy. And we may have him tomorrow. We may have him two years from now. But we will get him. We want him brought to justice. If justice happens to be a 500-pound bomb that lands on him because he wouldn't surrender, well, then, justice has been served."
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, speaking Friday about terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden on the ABC Radio show "Sam Donaldson Live In America."

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