- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 9, 2001

Scouting for judges

"Even before the presidential election was resolved last month, former Reagan administration lawyers were out scouting for [George W.] Bush, looking for judges who could be promising candidates for the federal courts," USA Today reporter Joan Biskupic writes in a news analysis.
"More recently, the Bush transition office retrieved a list of lawyers whose nominations were left hanging eight years ago when the U.S. Senate, then led by Democrats, refused to vote on them as the first President Bush's term was ending," the reporter said.
"In addition, Lee Liberman Otis, a Reagan Justice Department veteran and assistant White House counsel in the administration of the president-elect's father, is taking a leading role in the judicial-selection process. A founder of the conservative Federalist Society and protege of now-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Otis has long been associated with the ideological right.
"All told, the new Bush team appears far more organized and focused in its early approach to choosing federal judges who are appointed for life and can be a president's most lasting legacy than either President Clinton or Bush's father, both of whom were slow to begin screening people for vacancies on the federal bench."

Balls scheduled

The Presidential Inaugural Committee last night released locations and state designations for the official balls for the inauguration of President-elect George W. Bush.

All begin at 7 p.m. on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, and end at 1 a.m. Tickets cost $125 per person.

• New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania: Union Station.

• Ohio: Washington Convention Center, Red (H Street entrance).

• Alaska, Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan: Washington Hilton Hotel.

• Texas and Wyoming: Washington Convention Center, Blue (Ninth Street entrance).

• Florida: National Building Museum (Pension Building).

• Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington: D.C. Armory.

• Arizona, California, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah: Ronald Reagan Building.

• Arkansas, American Samoa, Connecticut, Georgia, Guam, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, West Virginia, Wisconsin: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Ugly spectacle

"An editorial cartoon by Los Angeles Times cartoonist Paul Conrad that ran in the paper last week summarizes in the most succinct fashion the ugly spectacle unfolding on the left side of the political spectrum, where a compulsive frenzy has seized opponents of the new Bush administration and driven them off the deep end," David Horowitz writes at www.Salon.com.
"The cartoon, titled 'Some of Bush's Cabinet Choices,' depicts five older white males (one actually doddering) whom the artist has dressed in suits and dunce caps. A sixth male, completing the lineup, is in full Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. Even the terminally challenged will get it: Republicans are racist idiots.
"Does it ever occur to liberals who dream up and publish this poisonous stuff that they have become the perfect mirror-images of what they profess to fear: hatemongers, witch hunters and racists? (Would the L.A. Times even consider printing a cartoon that showed six female, black and Hispanic Bush Cabinet nominees wearing dunce caps?)
"In our politically corrected culture, there is a license to assault only whites and males in this way," Mr. Horowitz said.
"Conrad, by the way, is a Pulitzer Prize winner."

True reform

President-elect George W. Bush and the new labor secretary should move quickly to enforce the Beck decision, the Wall Street Journal says.
"Back in 1988, a Supreme Court decision written by liberal icon William Brennan held that union members are entitled to stop union leaders from using dues money for politics with which they disagree. President Clinton rescinded Labor Department rules enforcing Beck within two weeks of taking office in 1993," the newspaper noted in an editorial.
"George W. Bush promised to revive Beck during his campaign, and he should direct Linda Chavez, his new labor secretary, to enforce the law of the land. Unions must be required to provide a better accounting of where workers dues are spent and subject themselves to audit. There will be a political firestorm, but Beck implementation is the essential, if forgotten, cornerstone of true campaign-finance reform."

Mutual admiration

President Clinton took a few moments at his wife's election victory party in New York City late Sunday to praise Vice President Al Gore.
"Under circumstances which have never before existed in our country, and I pray to God never will again, in the last eight weeks he's shown us a strength of character that very few of us could emulate," Mr. Clinton said.
Mr. Clinton was speaking at Madison Square Garden to celebrate Hillary Rodham Clinton's swearing-in last week as New York's junior senator.
For his part, Mr. Gore joked about his election loss while complimenting Mrs. Clinton, Agence France-Presse reports.
"I congratulate you, Senator Clinton … not only on winning, not only on all the votes you received, but on getting your votes counted and finishing the race on time and actually winning it," he said.

Surprise concert

Rock group Fleetwood Mac reunited at the White House to surprise President Clinton at the end of his eight-year term with songs such as "Don't Stop," his 1992 campaign theme, and another fitting tune, "Go Your Own Way," White House officials said Sunday.
The surprise concert on Saturday capped a farewell party thrown for Mr. Clinton by his political staff that also included skits and videos produced by different White House offices. Current and former political aides attended the bash, held in a pavilion on the South Lawn of the White House, officials said.
They said the concert came as a total surprise to Mr. Clinton, Reuters reports.

Frustrated comedian

President Clinton said yesterday he was all ready to tell jokes about the fortunes of Labor Secretary-nominee Linda Chavez, but his advisers wouldn't let him.
Addressing the AFL-CIO in Washington, Mr. Clinton said he had prepared loads of Chavez jokes but his staff had forbidden him from telling them.
"They said I have to assume the appropriate role of a former president and I cannot say any of the things I want to say, which would leave you howling in the aisles and the only thing that could give me a headline in my increasing irrelevancy," Mr. Clinton said to loud applause.
"Just use your imagination," he said of the jokes he had planned to share.

Laura's staff

Laura Bush yesterday named those who will serve as her aides in the White House: Andrea Ball as chief of staff, Catherine S. Fenton as White House social secretary, Noelia Rodriquez as press secretary, Anne Heiligenstein as director of projects, Desiree Thompson Sayle as director of correspondence and Quincy Hicks as director of scheduling and advance.
"I'm thrilled that this very talented group of professionals has agreed to work with me on issues that are important to me and to the American people," Mrs. Bush said in a prepared statement.

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