- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 6, 2001

Vast conspiracy
Jesse Jackson has accused the Bush administration of using the FBI, the IRS and "the right-wing media" including this newspaper and the Fox News Channel as "weapons" against union leaders.
Attorney General John Ashcroft "is using the FBI as one weapon, the IRS as another weapon and leaks to the right-wing media as another weapon," Mr. Jackson told a packed audience Tuesday at the AFL-CIO convention in Las Vegas, reports Marc Morano of Cybercast News Service, www.cnsnews.com.
Mr. Jackson said such tactics are part of an effort to "destroy the leadership" of organized labor before the 2002 elections.
"Suppose a labor leader protests a policy … raise a question about war policy, even for debate you are a suspect," Mr. Jackson told the AFL-CIO crowd. "Suppose you then give a donation to a peaceful organization. They then trail your money and then they tap your phone and then IRS and then Washington Times and then Fox … [the] time they spend tying up labor leaders will keep you too busy to fight back in year 2002."
Mr. Ashcroft's detention of terrorism suspects is "threatening democracy," Mr. Jackson said. "They are using [Osama] bin Laden as an excuse to take away basic workers' rights," he said.

Miller's message
Sen. Zell Miller, Georgia Democrat, has a message for colleagues itching to beat up on John Ashcroft during his scheduled appearance today before the Judiciary Committee: "They need to get off his back and let Attorney General Ashcroft do his job."
Some senators, especially Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, have targeted Mr. Ashcroft for criticism because of administration policies concerning terrorist suspects.
Mr. Miller, in a prepared statement yesterday, scolded senators who question President Bush's plan to bring accused foreign terrorists before military tribunals.
"These nit-pickers need to find another nit to pick. They need to stop protecting the rights of terrorists," Mr. Miller said.
He added: "Why in the world would we try our own soldiers with this system of justice, but not some foreigner who is trying to kill us? It's crazy."

Sorry, mom
President Bush had to mend fences with his mother for insulting her cooking skills.
During a Tuesday town hall appearance in Florida, a young girl asked Mr. Bush if his family ate meals together when he was a child.
"I did eat with my family, so long as my mother wasn't cooking," the president answered, provoking laughter from the audience. He called his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, "one of the great fast-food cooks of all time."
But yesterday morning, according to the Associated Press, Mr. Bush told reporters at the White House, "I called my mother right after the speech. I warned her. I told her not to watch TV." His mother's response, he said "was off the record."

Double game
"Tom Daschle's domestic guerrilla campaign against President Bush continues apace, this time against one of his key Labor nominees. Along the way, he's also indulging the Democratic taste for revenge against Antonin Scalia for Bush v. Gore," the Wall Street Journal says.
"The proxy target now is Justice Scalia's son, Eugene, who is Mr. Bush's choice for the top legal post at the Labor Department. A labor lawyer for 10 years in both the public and private sectors, Mr. Scalia's competence and qualifications are not in dispute. He made it through Ted Kennedy's Labor Committee with the support of even liberal Vermonter Jim Jeffords, and word around the Senate is that he has 54 solid confirmation votes," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"Decorum prevents Democrats from admitting their revenge rationale, but their actions scream it. Mr. Kennedy, who believes in one-man, one-vote except in the Senate, has said that unless the Republicans have a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes, Mr. Scalia should look for other work. Filibusters are rarely used against nominees, and especially not in a president's first year."
The newspaper added: "The Daschle Democrats are playing a double political game. They talk sweet bipartisan nothings in public and praise Mr. Bush as 'their' commander in chief, but below the media radar they stymie the Bush agenda, trash his nominees and take revenge for the 2000 election that most Americans put behind them long ago. Maybe it's time Mr. Bush called them on it."

Incivility at HHS
"Imagine that a feminist heroine like Carol Gilligan or Catherine MacKinnon had been silenced by federal officials at a government-sponsored conference, simply for airing her feminist views. Then imagine MacKinnon or Gilligan being put upon by a group of paid government consultants and told by a man to '[shut up]' while the rest of the crowd laughed at her derisively. Now imagine our feminist heroine, having been publicly silenced and insulted, finally leaving the conference, while the federal officials running the show did nothing to challenge or chastise the man who had hurled the insult," Stanley Kurtz writes at www.nationalreview.com.
"Of course, none of this happened to Catherine MacKinnon or Carol Gilligan. Just imagine the media firestorm if it did. But this did happen to the famous critic of feminism, Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Sommers was delivering an invited speech at a conference on 'Boy Talk' (a program sponsored by the Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention [CSAP] of the Department of Health and Human Services) when CSAP official Linda Bass summarily interrupted, and commanded Sommers to end her talk. Minutes later, as Sommers was forced by a hostile crowd to defend her claim that scientific studies ought to be used to help evaluate the effectiveness of government drug-prevention programs, Professor Jay Wade, of Fordham University's Department of Psychology an expert on 'listening skills' ordered Sommers to 'shut the [expletive] up, bitch,' to the laughter of the others in attendance," said Mr. Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.
"Having been muzzled by Bass and put upon by the crowd in a manner well outside the bounds of civilized discourse (and with not a move made by those running the conference to chastise Professor Wade), Sommers had little choice but to leave effectively ejected from a government conference, simply for airing her views."

Unrealistic deadlines
"Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta recently leveled with the public, acknowledging that it will be impossible to meet Congress' enacted requirement that within 60 days all checked baggage be inspected," writes Robert Poole, director of transportation studies at the Reason Public Policy Institute in Los Angeles.
"But, faced with a storm of outrage in Congress, Mineta reversed himself the next day. 'We will meet the obligations we have under the law,' a spokesman said.
"When I was a child and told my parents I wanted something they could not afford to buy me, my mother replied, 'So want!' When Congress attempts to legislate things that are not possible, it's the job of experts, like Mineta, to set them straight. Unfortunately, that's not how things work in Washington. So we will see a procession of unworkable mandates met more in appearance than in reality," Mr. Poole said in an opinion piece in the New York Post.
"The airport-security bill that President Bush signed just before Thanksgiving sets forth three unrealistic deadlines. First, it requires all checked baggage be checked for explosives within 60 days. Second, the bill orders all checked baggage to be X-rayed by CT-scan-type machines within 14 months. And third, it calls for 28,000 passenger screeners to be replaced by qualified federal employees within one year."

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