- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2001

The coming war

In case you hadn't noticed, House Majority Leader Dick Armey and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay are both from Texas. And they plan on spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on redistricting in hopes of picking up six to nine additional Republican seats there, the Hill newspaper reports.
The money would come from their political action committees.
"The districts are so out of balance. Just a hair under 60 percent [of Texas voters] voted for a Republican for the House, and we only control 40 percent of the seats, the gerrymandering was so bad last time," said Jim Ellis, who runs Mr. DeLay's leadership PAC, Americans for a Republican Majority.
However, Rep. Martin Frost, Texas Democrat, says there is no way the Republicans will pick up six to nine seats in Texas.
"That's a pipe dream. That's what they were saying before the last election. They're not going to pick up anything like that. They had to take control of the Texas House to draw that type of a partisan gerrymander," Mr. Frost told reporter Alexander Bolton.
Meanwhile, some Pennsylvania Republicans predict they will shrink the Democratic delegation from 10 to five (the state is losing two of its 23 representatives).
While that may be overly optimistic, insiders tell reporter Ian Miller of the Hill newspaper that Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle will be the No. 1 target of the Republican-controlled state Legislature when it takes up reapportionment. Mr. Doyle has a long-standing feud with Senate President Pro Tem Robert C. Jubelirer, a Republican, going back to when Mr. Doyle was a junior staffer in Harrisburg.

'Scroogelike' cuts

"We seem to have raised a ruckus in this space last week by suggesting that the tax bill voted out by the House Ways and Means Committee had 'watered down Bush,' " the Wall Street Journal said yesterday in an editorial.
"GOP members of the committee, notably Chairman Bill Thomas, whose switchboard lit up after Rush Limbaugh took to reading our editorial on his radio program that day, have gone to some lengths to say they merely voted the bill the White House sent them," the newspaper observed.
"Our interest last week was piqued by the provision that only the cut in the lowest bracket is scheduled to be retroactive to January 1," the newspaper said, noting that President Bush, in his address to Congress, called for retroactivity in order to "jump-start" the economy.
"We challenge anyone on that committee or in the Executive Office Building to say in public that retroactivity for only that 12 percent rate will jump-start anything," the Journal said.
By phasing in tax cuts at the rate of about 1 percent a year through 2006, "the Bush White House and GOP are writing tax-cut policy that fails to match their political rhetoric. Perhaps it won't matter if the economy bounces back. But history shows that staggering tax cuts can suppress economic growth."
The newspaper concluded: "It will be impossible to prevent people from seeing the Scroogelike way the rate reductions are dribbled out, with no significant retroactivity. Mr. Bush is in Washington, a modern Lilliput. By letting his tax cut be restrained like Gulliver, he and his party are running the risk that investors, risk-takers, business and ultimately the average voter will simply shrug. He's come too far for that."

Too classy for Bill

"Beth Dozoretz caught Bill's eye early," New York Post columnist Cindy Adams writes.
In those first days, he was running for president. Her then-prime accomplishment was just a husband with money. She had no previous political fund-raising smarts. She did have an eagerness to be inside the power circle and a willingness to go into overdrive to stay there. That she was good-looking did not hurt," the columnist said.
"So, Beth and Bill, like Jack and Jill, maybe went up that hill to fetch something more than a glass of water?
"Per this person at the heart of what happened: 'The answer is no!' And why so sure nothing went between the fund-raiser and fund-raisee?
"1. She's high-powered. Bright. Bill's assorted scrambles are with second-class citizens. Very young, very shallow or very nobody.
"2. Her fat Rolodex was valuable to him and, thus, he wouldn't risk.
"3. Her rich husband was valuable to her and, thus, she wouldn't risk."
The New York Post headline on Mrs. Adam's column: "Beth much too classy for Bill."

On Wisconsin

While the Harvard Crimson cringed in fear that it would offend anti-free-speech groups on campus, the Badger Herald at the University of Wisconsin stood up to students who demanded that it suppress a paid advertisement by conservative activist David Horowitz.
Mr. Horowitz's ad dared to challenge the idea of slavery reparations.
The Harvard student newspaper was among 11 of 18 college publications that have refused to run the ad. And three of the newspapers that did publish it have since apologized to their readers, including the Daily Californian at the University of California at Berkeley.
When 75 students marched on the offices of the Wisconsin newspaper, denouncing the anti-reparations ad as "racist propaganda," the student editors responded with an editorial saying in part:
"We only regret that the editors of the Daily Californian allowed themselves to give in to pressure in a manner that unfortunately violated their professional integrity and journalistic duty to protect speech with which they may disagree. The knee-jerk response by the Californian is frighteningly indicative of the growing tendency of college newspapers to allow the opinions they publish to be stomped out for fear of being called names."

Party of billionaires

"A cursory survey of the Sunday morning talk shows tells me that congressional Democrats still are on a dangerous track in their opposition to President Bush's tax cuts," writes Ben Stein, the actor, economist and TV personality.
"As far as I can tell, they are continuing to follow the Gore-Lieberman campaign line: If Bush's tax cuts help the rich, then no matter what other merits tax cuts have, his tax cuts are a bad thing," Mr. Stein said in an opinion piece in USA Today.
"This message is basically, 'Lowering taxes on the rich is evil because it's evil to be rich.' This is not only foolish, but also a harmful proposition."
Mr. Stein called it "fantastically hypocritical. Democrats get a vastly larger percentage of their campaign contributions in thousand-dollar-plus lumps than do Republicans. Even in the final post-election Florida round, the Bush side got most of its money in small bills from small players, while a few very rich people funded most of the Gore effort. To call Democrats the party of so many Silicon Valley and Hollywood billionaires the part of the anti-rich proletariat is a sick example of hypocrisy."

Ducking the press

No reporters will be admitted today when former President Bill Clinton addresses a group of hotel owners despite the group's own wishes, his spokeswoman said.

The Asian American Hotel Owners Association had expected to welcome reporters at the speech, for which Mr. Clinton will get about $100,000, association president Fred Schwartz said.

"I thought it was going to be open," Mr. Schwartz said. "Would I have welcomed the press? Of course I would have."

The Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority had issued media credentials when Mr. Clinton's office called Tuesday to say media would not be allowed.

"Almost all of the former president's speaking engagements are closed to the media," the Associated Press quoted Clinton spokeswoman Julia Payne as saying.

Mr. Clinton has been under fire since he left office for his pardons of campaign contributors.


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