- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Line of fire
"When Congress returns to work in January to continue its probe of the Enron bankruptcy, several Bush appointees are expected to be in the line of fire," Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.
"One notable: Pat Wood III, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Reason: He was Bush's Texas public utilities commission chair, overseeing companies like Enron, and was backed by Enron for his new position."

Name game
Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Illinois Democrat and son of the well-known black activist, is not happy that he may be challenged in the Democratic primary next year by … Jesse L. Jackson.
That's right. Someone with precisely the same name as Mr. Jackson minus the "junior" has submitted the required petitions to be placed on the Democratic ballot.
Mr. Jackson the congressman, that is announced recently that he is starting an investigation to see if his erstwhile opponent duped petition signers into thinking they were supporting the incumbent, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"What we have here clearly is a conspiracy," the congressman told the Associated Press on Monday.
In reviewing public records, elections lawyer Richard Means told AP that the unknown Jesse Jackson is probably 68-year-old Jesse V. Jackson. If it turns out the candidate has lied about his middle initial, he probably will be stricken from the ballot.
Tribune reporter Stanley Ziemba said the congressman and the news media have been unable to locate the other Mr. Jackson, who submitted his nominating petitions Dec. 17, the final day allowed.

Maddox's last fight
Former Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox says he is fighting a losing battle with aggressive forms of cancer and heart disease.
Doctors have told the 86-year-old ex-governor that they know of no treatments that can send the cancers that have attacked his body into remission, Cox News Service reports.
Mr. Maddox said doctors have stopped radiation treatment amid concerns that the procedure would hasten his demise.
The former governor said he has had more than 80 cancerous crusts removed from his skin over the years.
He said he has prostate cancer and is also fighting cancer of the ear and ear canal that has invaded bones in his head, resulting in swelling of the right side of his face and neck.
His prostate cancer has resulted in chronic bladder problems, he said.
In addition, Mr. Maddox said he has a damaged aorta valve that is inoperable.
The former governor has been in 11 different hospitals 27 times over the past few years.
"Life has been great, and I'm living off precious memories now and what God has promised me for the future. I thank God for every breath and heartbeat," Mr. Maddox said Sunday from his metro Atlanta home, where he has erected a memorial to his wife of 61 years, Virginia, who died in 1997.

Policy vindicated
"At a time when a popular Republican president is waging a successful war, liberals are having to take their consolations where they can," Ramesh Ponnuru writes in National Review.
"Some liberals are telling themselves that the renewed esteem for the Pentagon will carry over to support for national health care. Others, bolder, are calling the war a vindication for liberal foreign policy, as well as for liberal domestic policy," Mr. Ponnuru said..
"Al Hunt wrote, 'Today's basic policy formulations state-building, a strong reliance on the United Nations, and multilateralism all were articulated during the 2000 campaign by the Democratic candidate.' George Mitchell, the former Senate majority leader, says that President Bush has succeeded 'in part because he has simply discarded almost everything he said on foreign policy prior to September 11.'
"It is tempting to respond to this line of argument by asking why, if Clinton-Gore-style liberal internationalism is so great, eight years of it did nothing to prevent the September 11 attacks. Since it is not difficult to see how that approach to foreign affairs contributed to American vulnerability, the temptation should not be resisted. Indeed, the war so far has been a vindication of Bush's foreign-policy inclinations as against those of his critics, both liberal and neoconservative."

A losing year
"When the clock finally ran out on the 2001 campaign, the mood among New Jersey Republicans was one of relief," Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Tom Turcol writes.
"Having conceded privately for weeks that they would lose the governor's office and one or both houses of the legislature, GOP officials just wanted to get the election over with so they could forget about guns, abortion, and the various campaign gaffes that helped doom them this year, and start rebuilding the party," the reporter said.
"That will be easier said than done, with deep ideological rifts making party unity hard to achieve and the loss of control over contracts and patronage slowing the flow of campaign money.
"The election debacle ended 10 years of Republican domination in Trenton that began with the voter backlash against record tax increases Democrats imposed."

Daschle's harvest
"Five years ago, Congress passed the Freedom to Farm Act, an admirable effort to phase out the indefensible subsidies that have for decades lavished billions of taxpayer dollars upon agribusiness," the New Republic observes in its latest editorial notebook.
"Unfortunately, in the years since, Congress has passed a series of supposedly one-time 'emergency' payments to farmers that essentially circumvent this reform," the magazine said.
"This year, apparently tired of pretending, Congress seems set to do away with Freedom to Farm altogether; it is currently debating a bill to extend farm payments by $171 billion over 10 years. While both parties are implicated in this monstrosity, the GOP has put up at least token opposition. Majority Leader Tom Daschle, by contrast, is aggressively shepherding the bill through. 'We'll be here next week and the week after and the week after that if we have to,' Daschle told Roll Call on December 12.
"On the one hand, Daschle's fervent support is not surprising nearly three-quarters of farmers in South Dakota and Iowa (whose senator, Tom Harkin, is another driving force behind the bill) would benefit from it, as opposed to fewer than one-tenth of the farmers in several other states. On the other hand, Daschle is the chief spokesman for a party that has spent much of this year attacking the White House for two things: abandoning fiscal discipline, and giving handouts to rich businesses rather than to people who really need them. Congratulations, Senator. You've just violated both principles at once."

Friend of Rudy
William Simon, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of California, hopes that New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's backing will be as helpful for him as it was for New York Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg, another businessman and political novice.
Mr. Simon "worked under Giuliani in the U.S. attorney's office in New York, and the mayor has endorsed his former colleague's long-shot campaign to defeat former [Los Angeles] Mayor Richard Riordan and Secretary of State Bill Jones," Sherry Bebitch Jeffe writes in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times.
"Simon drops Giuliani's name like bread crumbs along the campaign trail, hardly ever missing an opportunity to note that he was having breakfast with the New York mayor when the World Trade Center was attacked," the writer said.
However, she noted that while Mr. Giuliani's endorsement was decisive in the New York mayoral race, his backing failed to rescue the Republican candidate for mayor of Houston or the Republican gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia.

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