- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 12, 2001

Daschle retreats
Sen. Tom Daschle, who upon taking the reins of the Senate immediately moved to throw photographers, magazine reporters and other non-daily scribes out of their offices at the Capitol, decided yesterday that maybe he had made a mistake.
"I just had several conversations with Senator [Christopher J.] Dodd about space, and I thought I'd start by telling you that we've made the decision to keep people exactly where they are," the South Dakota Democrat said at a press conference.
"You all made the case over the last several days that both for periodicals, as well as photography, that it was a difficult thing to give up space for other locations, and we said we'd listen. We have and we've made that decision. So rest assured that there will be no changes," Mr. Daschle said.
"I had said we were going to try to be fair and equitable. Space is always a difficult issue to deal with, especially as the chain reaction on different moves are contemplated. And so, in this case, once more, we've attempted to deal with it as best we can and apologize to those who felt as if there was not enough early consultation. But we've made that decision, and that's now behind us."

Davis' veto pen
Gov. Gray Davis is California's most important "state legislator," writes Larry N. Gerston, a political science professor at San Jose State University.
"The source of Davis' legislative success lies with his aggressive use of the veto. With his ability to say 'no,' the governor is virtually guaranteed the final word on all proposed legislation," Mr. Gerston said on the commentary page of the Los Angeles Times.
"Of the 1,454 bills that reached his desk during the 1999-2000 legislative session, Davis signed 1,088 and allowed another four to become law without his signature. At the same time, he vetoed 362 proposals, one-fourth of the total. That's a record unequaled by any California governor in modern times. Legislators may be elected to make laws, but no legislator can claim control over the outcome of 25 percent of the action in Sacramento, and that's exactly what Davis did this past year."
Mr. Davis "pared more than $2 billion from the state budget" with his vetoes, Mr. Gerston added.
No veto has been overturned in nearly 25 years in California, where a two-thirds vote in each legislative chamber is needed to do so.

DeLay's plea
Rep. Tom DeLay, Texas Republican and majority whip, took to the House floor yesterday to urge his colleagues to join him in opposition to stem-cell research using human embryos.
"We can and are saving lives with stem cells gathered from adults even more effectively than the stem-cell research from embryos that some of my colleagues favor," Mr. DeLay said.
"You would think that this would be enough to convince folks where they should be on this important issue. In case it isn't, the fact that living, human embryos would be deliberately destroyed in order to obtain their stem cells — is absolutely appalling.
"Once we begin justifying the killing of human beings at one stage of development, we invite extensions of this reasoning to include other, even more, troubling applications. Stem-cell research from human embryos establishes a bad precedent and is ethically wrong. Human life is too valuable.
"Let us condemn the logic of faulty research that extinguishes one life on the pretext of extending others. Instead, we should support the promising research methods that will save lives without ending others."

Ethics probe sought
The conservative public-interest law firm Judicial Watch has asked the House ethics committee to investigate the behavior of Rep. Gary A. Condit, the California Democrat caught up in the case of missing Washington intern Chandra Levy.
"It is clear Congressman Condit lied about his [sexual] relationship with Chandra Levy to the police, the media and others," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a prepared statement Tuesday.
"In addition, as a U.S. congressman, and as a human being, Congressman Condit owed a duty and responsibility to do whatever he could to help the Levy family find Chandra. Rather than doing this, he put his own interests first and foremost and covered up his relationship thereby depriving the police of vital information necessary to find the still-missing young lady. The evidence also shows the congressman may have suborned perjury. As a result, he has brought discredit upon the House of Representatives and should be, at a minimum, reprimanded. However, under the circumstances, the right thing for Mr. Condit to do is to simply resign."
Larry Klayman, Judicial Watch chairman and general counsel, said the group also will be filing a complaint against the D.C. police department for "dereliction of duty" in the Levy case. Mr. Klayman said the police have protected Mr. Condit rather than treating him as suspect.

Left-wing hysteria
Reviewing a book by Vincent Bugliosi for the left-leaning Web journal Salon, Charles Taylor cites favorably an article that compares the Bush presidency to the Nazi-friendly Vichy government of occupied France during WWII:
"The toughest, most uncompromising words I've read anywhere lately are in the spring issue of Dissent. In an issue devoted to strategies for dealing with the coming four years of Dubya rule, Philip Green confesses to having no appetite for such strategies. 'What attitude,' he asks, 'should the inhabitants of a conquered province have toward their conquerors? In Vichy France, for example, I doubt that the left cared in the slightest about Marshal Petain's views on old-age pensions, labor unions, soil erosion in the Dordogne, the rights of Algerian immigrants or any similar issues of "public policy" that might have existed at the time.'
"What else can explain the lack of what Green calls 'any will to resist or defy' the unprecedented outrage of the Supreme Court stealing an election? The lack of such a will in the Democratic Party (with the notable exception of the Congressional Black Caucus) is another story, one that I'll return to.
"For the rest of us 50 million Americans — whose votes, we were told by the highest court in the land, simply didn't count — it can't be simple apathy. How do you oppose the policies of a presidential administration when the U.S. is operating without a legitimate president? How do you participate in a democracy when Rehnquist and the four other thugs on his court — Scalia, Thomas, O'Connor and Kennedy — have used the democratic system to nullify the very idea of democracy?"

CEOs sought
President Bush, who holds an MBA from Harvard, asked his agency heads yesterday to name a corporate-style "chief operating officer" to help make government more market-based and responsive to the public.
"If reform is to help the federal government adapt to a rapidly changing world, its primary objectives must be a government that is citizen-centered, not bureaucracy centered; results-oriented, not process-oriented, and market-based, actively promoting, not stifling, innovation and competition," Mr. Bush said in a presidential memo.
The memo to Cabinet secretaries and agency heads asked them to designate chief operating officers who would oversee each agency's management and implement reforms, Reuters reports. The official would have equivalent rank to deputy secretaries — the No. 2 position in Cabinet departments — and would report directly to the agency head.
The officials would also serve on an administration-wide "President's Management Council," on which chief operating officers of the Cabinet departments and other government agencies would work to improve executive branch management.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide