- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Naughty numbers
This weeks Human Events has an eye-opening compendium of numbers "for John McCain to ponder." We spend "more on porn than politics," they point out, after analyzing data from such sources as the Center for Responsive Politics and the World Almanac.
We shell out more money on snack nuts, baseball salaries, beer, the New York Times, tortilla chips, student loan defaults, potato chips, bottled water, Mercedes Benzes, communist Chinese-made shoes and pornography — in that order — than on our political interests.
We spend, in fact, $11 billion on porn, compared with $1.2 billion on total party fund raising, including hard and soft monies, for both parties combined. "Truth is, we are spending too little, not too much on politics," the paper concluded.

The Torch dims

The numbers are going down for Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, the New Jersey Democrat whose 1996 campaign is under investigation by federal prosecutors. He has slipped to a 41-percent approval rating according to a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey, falling five percentage points since February. His negatives, meanwhile, have climbed from 22 percent to 34 percent in that period.
"The flood of negative headlines seems to be taking a toll on Senator Torricellis rating," said poll director Maurice Carroll. "While his approval has hovered in the low 40s for months, his disapproval has been creeping up."
President Bush, who lost New Jersey in November, gets a 57 percent approval rating in the same poll, with 35 percent disapproval. The states other U.S. senator, Democrat Jon Corzine, gets a 49/20 percent rating.
Sixty-eight percent of New Jersey voters said government corruption is "very serious" or "somewhat serious." And 43 percent said they are more likely to go to the polls when they hear accusations of corruption.
Mr. Torricelli, who headed the Senate Democrats campaign committee last year, told colleagues recently that he is innocent of accusations that he took gifts from businessmen in exchange for providing access to U.S. and foreign government officials. Federal agents searched his home in Englewood last month.

Boy meets girl

Beginning in July, San Francisco will pay for sex-change operations for city employees, notes the Indiana Star — costing $37,000 for male-to-female, $77,000 for female-to-male, with workers eligible for up to $50,000 in surgery expenses.
The ordinance was approved 9-2 by the appropriate authorities, reflecting, the paper said, a "large gay and lesbian population that is committed to the transgender cause. Indeed, a sex change may come to be viewed as yet another aspect of sexual freedom. And why not? The entertainment media have succeeded in making homosexuality not only acceptable but typical. The next logical step for the envelope-pushers is enlisting in the transgender revolution.
"Again the enemy is bigotry, or more specifically 'transphobia. Again show business and the popular media are on the side of the self-appointed victims. Cross-dressers and characters who have changed genders are appearing in movies and on television… . Former Vice President Dan Quayle, who learned the hard way how the industry operates, said television doesnt try to reflect society. It tries to shape it and does so with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
"For a short time, Minnesota offered sex-change benefits to state employees but phased out the program in 1998. Oregon discussed the possibility of a similar program but decided against it. Thus, San Francisco is the only governmental unit in the country financing such surgery. If ever there was a just cause for a taxpayer revolt, this is it," the Star said.

Bush whacked

Gov. Jeb Bush dismissed rumors yesterday of an extramarital affair with an agency head as an "outright lie."
"I cannot tell you how hurtful this is," Mr. Bush said in response to a reporters question following a bill-signing ceremony. "I love my wife. There is nothing to this rumor. It is an outright lie."
For months, talk in Tallahassee bars and state offices linked Mr. Bush with Cynthia Henderson, secretary of the Department of Management Services. Yesterdays comment was his first public response to the rumors.
"Lies were spread by gossip. Sadly, its reached the point where its being written about," Mr. Bush said. "But the fact you have to ask that question and I have to answer is sick, it really is."
Mr. Bush, 48, has been married to Columba Bush for 27 years. They have three children.

Hole in one

In a speech in Norway yesterday, former President Bill Clinton said he was still trying to "plan for the rest of his life." Well, at least he has a place to go swing — a golf club, that is. The New York Post reports that one Westchester County country club says it will welcome Mr. Clinton despite his scandalous past.
The Salem Golf Club extended the invite after many country clubs told the Post they would refuse Mr. Clinton. "What is happening to him is strictly politics. You dont have that here. We are a very democratic club, so to speak," said owner Stanley Berman. "And we would be delighted to have the president here."
The clubs 270 members include liberal and conservative corporate heads, lawyers, Wall Street types and other "movers and shakers" from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Death wish

More thoughts on the Timothy McVeigh problem, this from San Francisco Chronicle columnist Harley Sorenson.
"Whenever they do it, lethal injection is too good for the guy," he wrote yesterday. "They should give him a lethal injection, sure, but they ought to do it while hes strapped in the electric chair with a noose around his neck. Then, when the juice hits him and the trap door swings open, they should shoot him on the way down and have it arranged so his neck falls into a guillotine thatd lop his head off."
Mr. Sorenson proposed that large cities rather than states be given the right to decide about capital punishment, then went one step further.
"I suggest that all organized groups be given the right to impose capital punishment. I dont want to get you overly excited, but think of what a wonderful society we could have if the National Rifle Association, for example, had the right to try, convict and execute people who show no respect for life?
"I used to think capital punishment was evil because it encourages more killing… . However, McVeigh has made me so mad I dont even think about that anymore. All I know is that the man must be punished, he must pay the price. We must balance the scales of justice, preferably on television. We must have closure. This is America, where human life is sacred. Anyone who doesnt agree with that ought to be wasted."

Press mess

The liberal bias is alive and well and living in the media, as usual. "Media bias is almost beyond debate," said the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Perhaps it is because many media types are "different," the paper said, noting that "surveys show:"
* 86 percent of the "media elite" decision makers attend no church or synagogue or other religious services.
* 90 percent favor allowing the killing of unborn babies through abortion.
* 75 percent of them do not think homosexuality is wrong.
* 53 percent do not think adultery is wrong.
* 80 percent are for "affirmative action" discrimination.
* 56 percent believe the United States exploits "third world" nations.
* 54 percent identify themselves as being on the political left.
* 80 percent have never voted for a Republican president.
"Maybe thats why we get the slant we do. Were not talking about editorial opinions, or about columnists who interpret, but about those who pretend to give the news 'straight, but dont."

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