- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Hoffa's warning
Teamsters chief James P. Hoffa issued a stern warning to both political parties yesterday, but the message seemed to be aimed primarily at the Democrats.
"For the better part of a century, the American labor movement has been joined at the hip with the Democratic Party," Mr. Hoffa said in an op-ed piece in USA Today.
"This marriage of convenience helped achieve may legislative victories, but it coincided with a steady drop in union membership and political power. Consequently, Democrats felt free to take our support for granted. After all, where else would we go?
"The fact is that both major parties have frequently betrayed the workers. Sticking it to workers may be the most bipartisan sentiment there is in Washington, D.C. Yet, we can be bipartisan, too.
"The 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union refuse to be taken for granted any longer. We have learned the hard way that for workers, there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests. We will strongly support those who strongly support us. We will remember those who do not."

Political fiasco
"In the not-so-epic battle over fiscal 'stimulus,' the shouting has all come down to this: The White House is demanding that the 27 percent income-tax rate be cut to 25 percent, while Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is insisting on a mere 26 percent," the Wall Street Journal says.
"Only in Washington would anyone believe that either one is going to make much economic difference," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"If this is all that the politicians can come up with, we have a modest proposal: Pack it in. The economy will be better off if President Bush calls the whole thing off and instead focuses on absorbing the lessons of this political fiasco.
"Not that we expect this to happen. The point of this exercise long ago stopped being economic growth and became political advantage. Mr. Bush wants to be able to sign something anything he can call 'stimulus' to show voters he isn't like his father and cares about more than foreign policy.
"Mr. Daschle knows this, so he wants to deny Mr. Bush any tax cuts that might actually stimulate in favor of loading up on tax rebates, jobless benefits, health care subsidies and other things that will redistribute income to his political constituencies. And it looks as if he's going to prevail."

Stop that deal
"What is it with Republicans that every time they get in a closed-door, smoke-filled-room negotiation with Democrats, they always emerge having lost their shirts," writes Stephen Moore, president of the conservative Club for Growth.
"This year's 'economic-stimulus summit' unfortunately fits the pattern of every 'bipartisan deal' the GOP has negotiated with congressional Democrats since Reagan was in the White House and was promised '$3 of spending cuts for every $1 of new taxes' as part of the infamous [budget] fight of 1982. Carrying on the tradition, George Bush Sr. held a bipartisan summit in 1990 with George Mitchell and Senate Democrats at Andrews Air Force Base, and signed away his no-new-taxes pledge and his presidency," Mr. Moore said in a commentary at www.nationalreview.com.
"The Republican party should pass a resolution at its next convention outlawing 'bipartisan summits.'
"Until then, the bipartisan deal between George W. Bush and Sen. Daschle must be stopped before it does real damage to the economy and the Republican Party. Bush is this close to agreeing to a $100 billion deal that is long on social-welfare spending and woefully weak on supply-side tax-cut stimulus."

NBC's slant
"Instead of just accurately reporting that President Bush had decided to have the U.S. withdraw from the ABM treaty, on Thursday night the NBC News team nefariously characterized the move as one in which Bush 'deliberately broke a treaty' and which had the U.S. 'deliberately going back on its word,'" the Media Research Center's Brent Baker writes.
"Tom Brokaw set up a December 13 NBC Nightly News story: 'Today, President Bush deliberately broke a treaty with Russia, as he promised he would the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that bars both countries from building a missile-defense system. Without a defense, both sides are vulnerable, and that's a deterrent. But President Bush says times and threats have changed.'
"Later, MRC Communications Director Liz Swasey noticed, Brian Williams plugged the same story on his MSNBC show, 'The News with Brian Williams,' by announcing: 'When we come back, the other big news from the White House today: President Bush makes a major announcement. Tonight, why the U.S. is deliberately going back on its word in front of the rest of the world.'
"By contrast, the ABC and CBS anchors managed to relay the same decision sans the derogatory spin," Mr. Baker said at www.mrc.org.
"ABC's Peter Jennings reported: 'President Bush formally notified the Soviet Union today the U.S. will withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty so the U.S. can proceed with building a missile-defense system. Mr. Bush said today it was part of the war against terrorists. The Russians say it's a mistake because it disrupts long-standing arms-control agreements.'
"Over on the December 13 'CBS Evening News,' Dan Rather stated: 'After many signals that he intended to pull out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Moscow, President Bush made it official today. The United States will withdraw from the treaty in six months, clearing the way for missile-defense testing banned by the treaty. Russia's President Vladimir Putin called the Bush decision a mistake.'"

Keating calls it quits
Oklahoma first lady Cathy Keating has dropped out of the running for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Steve Largent.
Mrs. Keating had been the favorite to win last week's Republican primary, but she ended up trailing state Rep. John Sullivan, 46 percent to 31 percent. The two were scheduled for a runoff next month.
Mrs. Keating "put the good of the party first," Keating consultant Tom Cole told Roll Call.
Now that the Republican runoff has been canceled, the general election will take place Jan. 8. Mr. Sullivan faces Democrat Doug Dodd, a lawyer and former Tulsa school board member, in the heavily Republican district.
Mr. Largent has announced he will resign his House seat effective Feb. 15 in order to run for governor next year.

Mission to Africa
Leaders of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) are planning a mission to Africa to make sure that Uganda, Kenya and Sudan do not end up as hosts to al Qaeda terrorists fleeing Afghanistan.
Niger Innis, national spokesman for the group, told this column yesterday that the group hopes to meet with the leaders of all three nations.
The trip begins Friday and will last a week to 10 days.
"We feel as a civil rights group it would be horrific for an African country to become the next Afghanistan," said Mr. Innis, who will join his father, CORE Chairman Roy Innis, and the group's international adviser, Cyril Boynes, in delivering "a message from the African-American community."
The younger Mr. Innis said he believes the three nations "do want to cooperate with the United States."
The CORE leaders plan to confer with the State Department and the National Security Council before and after the trip, he said.

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