- The Washington Times - Monday, July 30, 2001

Bang, you're dead

"Let us, for a moment, take the sex-education pushers at their word: If you teach a child how to use a condom, you're promoting safety — not usage. Why, then, doesn't the same logic apply to guns?"

Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin

Rabid reporters

The U.S. Postal Service says it's been bitten by the press.

"When it rains, it pours," says the USPS, denying it's up to its knees in "waste, fraud and abuse" to the tune of $1.4 billion — as was widely reported recently by the media.

So where, then, did the widely circulated figure come from?

The USPS guesses that a careless reporter or two misunderstood a statement by the USPS Office of Inspector General, which identified potential savings and cost avoidances of — you guessed it — $1.4 billion.

Biting the hand

How are you planning to spend your tax-rebate check? How about spending it to "fight back" against the guy who made it happen?

That's what one Marxist group is asking its supporters to do.

"President Bush is bribing us with his new $300-plus tax return," declares the International Action Center (IAC), a Marxist protest organization associated with the Workers World Party. "However, this will not fool us let's use this money instead to fight back."

The IAC is "asking our friends to donate their tax return and use that money to bring an end to the Bush program" by joining the "Committee of 200," which will fund the September protests here in Washington against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The IAC wants its supporters to send contributions to pay for a "week of teach-ins, direct action, and rallies," to say nothing of massive traffic tie-ups for Washington commuters.

In case you were wondering, the IAC makes clear that these contributions are — what else — "completely tax-deductible."

No place like home

Subscribers overwhelmed our mailbox after reading NBC "Today" show host Matt Lauer's response to a Washington marketing and public relations executive who had questioned the host's "aggressive tactics" and "rude behavior" toward first lady Laura Bush during an interview last Monday.

"You wouldn't know my 'personal political beliefs' if they landed on your head," Mr. Lauer fired back at his critic. "How dare you pretend to know my political background. Must be nice to sit at home and second-guess what others do for a living."

Wonders Thom Nykamp of Twinsburg, Ohio: "Where would you suggest, other than sitting at home, that we watch you 'not' second-guessing your show's guests?"

Case not closed

More now on the Florida Bar's five-page decision that Hugh Rodham, brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton, did not violate ethics rules by lobbying (for a whopping fee of $400,000) President Clinton for clemency for two of his clients convicted of felonies.

The bar's ruling was submitted to Fairfax attorney J. Christian Adams, who along with several others had filed the complaint after it was discovered that Mr. Rodham lobbied his brother-in-law on behalf of the two felons — one a cocaine dealer, the other a money launderer.

Astounded by the recent ruling, Mr. Adams late last week reminded the Florida Bar that the basis of his original complaint "was that a lawyer may not take a contingency fee in a criminal matter."

However, the bar tried explaining in its ruling that because of confidentiality laws, it had "not been provided evidence" by the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Attorney's Office on whether any wrongdoing had occurred.

Therefore, the bar concluded, it had no choice but to decide that no ethics rules were violated.

"Did the Florida Bar not conduct its own fact-finding in this matter?" Mr. Adams is now asking the bar. "If not, the following might be a good place to start your own fact inquiry:

• "Were the fees, which you concede were contingency fees, paid to Mr. Rodham's firm?

• "Were the files on the clemency cases reviewed?

• "Were the files reviewed kept at Mr. Rodham's law firm and kept in the regular course of business of that firm?"

• "Did the files include letterhead or other pleadings or submissions noting they were produced by Mr. Rodham's firm?

• "Were the contingency fees deposited into the firm's account?

"Please keep me apprised."

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