Thursday, May 17, 2001

Heavens. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, was quite appalled over the FBIs slipshod handling of 3,135 documents related to the Timothy McVeigh case.
“How could this have happened?” she asked recently, allowing that she backed fellow New York Democrat Sen. Charles E. Shumers request for a full White House investigation of such shocking goings-on.
Ah, the irony of it all.
“Does she think her future depends on making us forget her past?” counters the New York Times Maureen Dowd yesterday. “Shes trying to metamorphose from someone who likes to bend the rules to someone who wants to crack down on those who bend the rules.”
Indeed, there were years when Mrs. Clinton could not locate certain papers of her own for the FBI, forgotten “in a White House closet full of tasteful Arkansas tchotchkes.”
Now, she must “relish the prospect of a delicious payback with Louis Freeh, a man she must detest. He spent much of his tenure as FBI chief slapping around the Clintons and egging on their tormentors.”
The mind is a curious thing.
“Hillarys memory works fine, it seems, when it comes to grudges,” Miss Dowd concludes.

Dan on Bill
Impressions vary in the media. In an interview on Fox News on Tuesday night, Bill OReilly asked CBS Dan Rather, “Do you think President Clintons an honest man?”
“Yes, I think hes an honest man,” Mr. Rather replied, and went on to elaborate:
“Listen, who among us have not lied about something? … I think at the core, hes an honest person. I know that you have a different view. I know that you consider it sort of astonishing anybody would say so. But I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”

Power surge
Steakhouses are in vogue, men wear boots and women pearls. “The Republican Party controls every lever of power in town: the Oval Office, the Senate, the House, the Cabinet. The Democrats? Let em eat crumbs,” Fortune magazine says.
“Although the Grand Old Party isnt about to get everything it wants, a new establishment has taken hold with George W. Bush,” the magazine says. “This years Power 25 survey — Fortunes list of Washingtons most powerful lobbying groups reflects the turn. Republican organizations are notably on the rise, while Democratic ones are waning.
“For the first time in four years, the Power 25 has a new No. 1. The heavily Republican National Rifle Association has replaced the nonpartisan American Association of Retired Persons as the group with the most clout in the capital.”
“Although city slickers might be aghast at the ascendancy of the NRA, this is a highly focused, well-financed organization. Despite high-profile school shootings and unrelenting pressure from gun-control advocates, the NRA has held gun-control legislation at bay. How? By electing its supporters to Congress and, last year, to the White House. In particular, the NRA was pivotal in defeating Al Gore in Arkansas, Tennessee, and West Virginia — all states that usually vote Democratic. If Gore had won just one of them, he would now be president.”

Earthly concerns
Discontent continues to accumulate from the proposed demise of the International Minerals Section of the U.S. Geological Survey — the only source in the world which monitors the status of 100 mineral and metal commodities and coal for 180 countries. The small, highly specialized section has lost its $2 million in annual funding.
“Much of our economy is based on minerals, particularly in the high-tech sector. National security and other matters are involved here,” said one source close to the matter. “There are ‘conflict diamonds in Africa. And the ‘green ammo which uses tungsten rather than lead that has been proposed for our armed forces, well, we should all remember that China is the OPEC of tungsten. Its the main source of it.”
“Liberals with pet projects who are closing down this section dont get the big picture here. The information this section provides is like an early warning system for those who would sabotage the U.S. through trade sanctions of certain minerals,” said another source.
Letters of protest have been sent to Virginias Republican senators, John W. Warner and George F. Allen; Sen. Conrad Burns, Montana Republican; Sen. Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia Democrat, and Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, among others. The National Federation of Federal Employees has also entered the fray, offering support to the embattled section through letters to several House and Senate subcommittees.

Flynt locked out
Porn king Larry Flynt conceded he is hunting for dirt on President Bush, but the folks down in Texas have greeted the publisher of Hustler with a wall of silence.
Mr. Flynt “fears the Bush administration will try to gag the pornography industry, which thrived during Bill Clintons eight-year rule,” according to Reuters.
“Bush has got a spin machine that looks like Mary Poppins. It is hard to get any information out of Texas. You get very little cooperation,” Mr. Flynt told a news conference in France yesterday.
The publisher then insulted Mr. Bush and said, “We will be happy to have Clinton back.”
Mr. Flynt then warned U.S. politicians that they could not halt the sexual revolution.
“There has never been more interest in sex than now. The genie is out of the bottle and with wireless technology, there is no putting it back in,” he predicted, accusing U.S. religious leaders and the government of “feeling that if they can control our pleasures then they can control us.”

Bloomberg in bloom
While New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani dukes it out in the romantic arena with his wife, girlfriend and lawyers, media mogul Michael Bloomberg is pining to run for the office himself and may announce his candidacy June 5, according to aide Bill Cunningham.
Mr. Bloomberg, 59, the billionaire founder of news syndicate Bloomberg LP and a Republican political neophyte, is ready to go.
“I am running,” he told New York Post columnist Liz Smith at a recent charity event. City University of New York Chairman Herman Badillo is a potential Republican rival for Mr. Bloomberg, who would also face such Democratic veterans as Public Advocate Mark Green, Comptroller Alan Hevesi, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and City Council Speaker Peter Vallone.
If he wins, Mr. Bloomberg said, he would not take a salary or accept any campaign contributions.

Shuster booster
In a special election Tuesday, Bill Shuster won the U.S. House seat his father Bud Shuster held for 28 years. Mr. Shuster, a Republican like his father, was considered the favorite in the heavily Republican district in south-central Pennsylvania, beating Democratic opponent Scott Conklin with 52 percent of the votes.
“Ive always been interested in politics and history, so this is something Ive always thought about,” Mr. Shuster said, adding that his father taught him that “public service is a noble profession.”
Bud Shuster resigned the 9th Congressional District seat in January, saying he did not want to serve after being removed as chairman of the powerful Transportation Committee because of term limits.

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