- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 19, 2001

Reagan and haze
Wow, Ronald Reagan's supporters certainly have come out of the woodwork after reading in this space yesterday about research by the California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board.
The board's research found that certain trees release as much as 10,000 times more volatile organic compounds — creating ozone and other unhealthy particulates — than the more atmospherically friendly "low emitters."
As a result, Californians are asked to think twice before planting the smog-producing "high emitters," such as scarlet, red and willow oaks, and certain sycamores and sweet gums.
"Maybe Reagan was right about 'killer trees' after all," Richard Centner, of Arlington, Texas, writes to Inside the Beltway, referring to media ridicule when Mr. Reagan suggested that trees contributed to pollution.
Adds Tim Kauffman of Huntsville, Ala.: "Now the tree huggers will likely come to the same conclusion and think they're brilliant for discovering it. How come Reagan was 'an idiot' for knowing this 20 years before the [California] EPA did?"
Let's recall the words of Patrick J. Michaels, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a Cato Institute fellow in Washington, who wrote shortly after the Reagan-tree controversy:
"Much of the haze over the Eastern United States is a natural, non-industrial product, comprised both of water vapor and of volatile organic compounds that cook in the sun. They come from trees, and more of them equals haze.
"Yes, former President Reagan was right, but he was hardly new; it was known for decades before his presidency."

Generation unworthy
He was adamantly opposed to renaming Washington National Airport in honor of former President Ronald Reagan, and when Congress voted overwhelmingly this week to name the Washington headquarters of the Peace Corps after the late Georgia Sen. Paul Coverdell, Rep. James P. Moran once again voted nay.
"I am sure that Paul Coverdell is a far more accomplished politician than I will ever be, and that many in this body will ever be," explained the Virginia Democrat before casting his vote. "But I do not consider him to be a great man, I do not consider many people in our generation to be great — and certainly not this generation of political leaders."

Contributions needed
EContributor.com Inc., a Washington-area company that helped politicians and organizations raise funds and solicit volunteers online, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Ironically enough, among EContributor's biggest clients were the Republican National Committee and former New York senatorial candidate and Hillary Rodham Clinton opponent Rep. Rick Lazio. One the biggest investors [read 150,000 shares, a former employee of the company tells Inside the Beltway] and a member of the company's board of advisers was Democratic National Committee chairman and Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe.
Mr. McAuliffe "was an investor and he did lose his investment completely when EContributor.com went under, and obviously, he's not very happy about it," said Maria Cardona, DNC communications director.
The company's attorney, Janet M. Nesse, lists EContributor's assets at just over $40,000, with liabilities exceeding $1.5 million.

Lost Paradise
He was the opening speaker this week on the floor of the House of Representatives, an honor generally reserved for the most pressing issue of the day.
But stem-cell research, oil drilling in Alaska or campaign-finance reform weren't topics Rep. Howard Coble, North Carolina Republican, came to discuss.
"What were three hours of bliss have become three hours of painful silence," began the 70-year-old lawmaker, who was first elected to Congress in 1984. "And it appears this silencing exercise was executed abruptly, with precision and with no advanced warning."
"Were Ray Davis and Jerry Gray afforded the courtesy of saying goodbye to their host of loyal listeners?" Mr. Coble asked lawmakers. "Obviously not."
An "unabashed" bluegrass enthusiast, Mr. Coble is "hopping mad" that Washington public radio station WAMU-FM effectively "silenced" his favorite bluegrass show he's listened to for years.
"Several years ago, when I arrived in Washington as a newly elected congressman one of my first non-congressional, self-appointed assignments was to identify the right radio station," he says.
Describe for us, if you would, congressman, the silence you now hear.
"We no longer hear Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys play and sing 'Paradise' or 'Better Times A Comin,'" he says. "We no longer hear Earl Scruggs, ably backed by Lester Flatt and the Foggy Mountain Boys, as he plays 'The Flint Hill Special.'"
"During December's Yuletide season, [I] will be deprived of 'Christmas Time A Comin'' by Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys or the Country Gentlemen's version of 'Back Home at Christmas Time'"
"You know, perhaps the WAMU management team members need to be introduced to the woodshed."

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