- The Washington Times - Monday, May 7, 2001

Chairman Reed
Ralph Reed, the political consultant who helped mold the Christian Coalition into a national political force, is the new chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.
"Last November, we ended the Clinton era. Today marks the beginning of the end of the Barnes, Murphy, Cleland era," Mr. Reed said after his election yesterday, referring to Georgias top Democrats — Gov. Roy Barnes, state House Speaker Tom Murphy and Sen. Max Cleland.
Mr. Barnes and Mr. Cleland face re-election next year.
Mr. Reed, 39, who was executive director of the Christian Coalition from its founding in 1989 until 1997, won 1,462 of the conventions 2,418 votes. Challengers David Shafer and Maria Strollo joined in asking the convention to elect Mr. Reed by acclamation.
The Republican Party has grown dramatically in Georgia but still has fallen short of controlling either legislative chamber and has not elected a governor since Reconstruction.
Democrats had said that electing Mr. Reed would signal a further turn to the right for the Republicans. But Mr. Reed said the opposite is true. "We won over 60 percent of the vote here today. You couldnt win that big of a majority with just one type of Republican," he said.

Rocks in their heads
Where do security risks start? Sometimes in unlikely places.
A quiet corner of the U.S. Geological Survey is attracting the concern of both the National Mining Association and the London-based Mining Journal. Both have published recent editorials criticizing the proposed demise of the small, highly specialized International Minerals Section, which monitors, analyzes and distributes information on 100 mineral and metal commodities and coal for 180 countries.
The section will close at the end of September if Congress approves the proposed USGS budget, which simply cut out the groups $2 million operating costs.
"The U.S. is dependent on imports for many important minerals, not least those that are key to its high-technology industries (in turn vital to defense)," the Mining Journal said, noting that China is still "the major source" of rare earths and vital raw materials for the high-tech sector.
The Journal also said that a more relaxed United States has almost depleted its "strategic stockpiles of certain minerals" since the end of the Cold War.
In an age when "trade sanctions are increasingly being put forward as a potential weapons in foreign policy," the International Minerals Section is the worlds only source of data for mineral supply patterns, and "benign conditions" the whims of the global marketplace.
"The point of intelligence," the Mining Journal said, "is surely not to monitor problems, but to provide early warning that they might be avoided in the first place."

Money talks
Capitol Hill sources say that the White House is taking steps to boost funding for abstinence education and will likely announce its plan this week.
President Bush had campaigned on a promise of "parity" funding for abstinence education and family planning, an amount estimated at $135 million a year.
But the White House budget for 2002 didnt seem to have any new funding for abstinence, supporters said after poring over the numbers. Instead, the $50 million, $30 million and $28 million proposed for Congress three abstinence-education programs was "the same amount of money" that Al Gore would have budgeted for abstinence education, one frustrated advocate told The Washington Times.
Last week at a hearing, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson indicated to House members that the rest of the $135 million would be found. Although the White House budget hasnt yet been altered, "we have a pledge for the additional funding," said one Hill aide.

Fan of Newtie
Who does Mrs. Vice President think is the "most interesting and compelling congressional figure of the last twenty years?"
In an interview with the Womens Quarterly, the journal of the Independent Womens Forum, Lynne Cheney said: "I think it is probably Newt Gingrich. He did an absolutely amazing thing when he mobilized forces on the Hill, and across the country as well, and captured Congress. It has probably been long enough ago that people dont remember what it was like to be a Republican in Congress and in Washington through those long years in the desert 40 or more years when we were not in control of the House. We had the Senate briefly, but, gosh, to be a House member and to look back historically at the last 20 years, you just have to give Newt an amazing amount of credit for his vision and conviction."

What they knew
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights knew abut the reported black-on-white hate crimes during the Cincinnati riots last month; the news articles were in their weekly list of press clippings.
But when commission staff director Leslie Jin briefed the panel on the matter Friday, there was no mention of the crimes.
"The civil rights division of the Justice Department is there in full force," Mr. Jin proudly reported. "Weve talked with the regional director there, who has been in constant contact with the Department of Justice community relations team there. And everybody is waiting to see if the police officer is going to be indicted."
The riots were triggered by the shooting of an unarmed black teen-ager by a police officer. The case is still being reviewed.
But what wasnt mentioned was the case of Robert Stearns, a white Louisville man who was dragged from his truck and beaten by a black mob shouting epithets.
Mr. Jin did advise with great zeal, "there are a lot of things that havent been addressed in terms of what the community might do."

Ari wont parry
White House spokesman Ari Fleischers very first words to journalists assembled for his first news conference back in January set a new, more civilized tone for media relations.
"Im going to try as hard as I can to be on time," he said. "I think its helpful for everyone."
Now a new documentary recalls the olden days when the climate was combative, to say the least. "The Press Secretary" opens with a shot of former spokesman Joe Lockhart.
"We have an agenda and some things we want to communicate. The press has their agenda. And its a battle every day over who wins," Mr. Lockhart says in the film, which was shown Friday at North Carolinas annual Double Take Documentary Film Festival.
The narrator described Mr. Lockhart as a battle-tested "field commander" and the White House as "ground zero" in the battle to control the nations news agenda. Reporters "shoot first and ask questions later."
The films producer, Ted Bogusian, interviewed reporters and correspondents and visited the Oval Office for the film, finally concluding, "To get out of the culture of speculation and analysis is something that likely wont happen. But I believe it should."

Kerrey bashing
Shame on everyone, says this weeks Roll Call, "who has sat in judgment of former Sen. Bob Kerrey, Nebraska Democrat, in the wake of revelations about a tragic mission he led during the Viet Nam War."
Roll Call does not excuse Mr. Kerrey for the 1969 incident that left civilians dead, but calls it "nonsense" that people savage him decades later.
"Many of the hundreds of stories about him in the past two weeks seem to place the blame for all the tragic mistakes of the war at the doorstep of the former senator. Whats largely missing is context," the publication continues, and specifically cites CBS "60 Minutes II" for giving "short shrift" to all the facts.
"The truth is," Mr. Kerrey told the Omaha World-Herald in response to it all, "Im afraid it wont end until the last Vietnam veteran is dead and in the grave." The press will continue "second-guessing what the soldiers did instead of the decisions the politicians made," he said.


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