- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 9, 2001

New parliamentarian
Senate Secretary Gary Cisco announced last night he is replacing retiring Senate Parliamentarian Robert S. Dove with a man who served under then-Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, Maine Democrat.
Mr. Dove was forced out of office by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, after several rulings this spring that frustrated Republican plans.
Replacing Mr. Dove will be Alan S. Frumin, the Senates associate parliamentarian.
Mr. Frumin served as parliamentarian under Mr. Mitchell from 1987 to 1995.
The appointment is effective immediately.

Step right this way

Democratic officials massed in Riviera Beach Monday to mourn the "stolen election."
"We chose Palm Beach County because this has become the symbol of the problems of voting in America," Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe told the group assembled to celebrate the opening of the Democrats new Voting Rights Institute, which has start-up funds of about $2 million.
"There is nothing we can do about the last election — we won that election and they stole that election," Mr. McAuliffe continued. "President Bush tells us to get over it. Well, were not going to get over it."
Yes, well, whatever, Republicans responded.
The hearing is "nothing more than a contrived, irrelevant sideshow," Florida Republican Party Chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement.

Up and Downey

Some have already connected the dots between Rep. Asa Hutchinsons appointment as the Bush administrations drug-control chief and former President Clinton.
As the Arkansas Republican travels to new turf, a vacant congressional seat looms: Could Rep. William Jefferson Clinton be far behind? Mr. Clinton is, after all, jobless.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hutchinsons older brother, Republican Sen. Tim Hutchinson, came up with 10 reasons why his sibling would want to join the DEA. The No. 1 reason, Tim Hutchinson said: "He wants to get to know Robert Downey Jr. better."

Give us some space

"Hearing liberals complain about the cost of a government program is causing cognitive dissonance among conservatives. Thats what some are using, however, as an argument against the decision by President Bush to pursue a missile-defense system that could save American lives," noted the Florida Times Union.
Some fret about the systems efficacy or intangible effects upon traditionally edgy nations.
"But for those who totally supported the Great Society and other monumental debacles to complain that it would cost too much is astounding," the Times Union continued. "Recall that when one of their own proposed in the early 1960s to put a man on the moon, not a single one asked what it would cost or questioned that it could be done."
Ironically, some of that space technology wound up in the "star wars" technology today.
"Yet the response from the opposition, boiled down, is: billions for a box full of moon rocks, but not one dime to protect the residents of New York, Los Angeles and Jacksonville from annihilation," the Times Union concluded.

College boreds

Its said that Al Gore is in a snit. Harvard University did not offer him this years big commencement speech, even though daughter Sarah is among the graduates.
"Not long after a student in his Columbia University class wrote that the course was 'more icing than cake the former vice president was passed over as commencement speaker at Harvard University, says a source," MSNBC reports.
"Gores daughter Sarah is graduating from Harvard this year, and the insider says Gore was upset that he wasnt selected to address the graduating class. Gore has spoken at a commencement before and Harvard has a rule that it doesnt invite speakers back for a second time, but the insider says that the university could easily break its own rules if it wanted to. 'It was his alma mater and all, says the source. 'Hes really pretty bummed about it."
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin will address the class instead. A Gore spokeswoman had nothing to say, nor did Harvard, because "thats privileged information."

Sopranos out of tune

It is not all pistols and pasta. Rep. Marge Roukema, New Jersey Republican and granddaughter of Italian immigrants, wants other lawmakers to denounce HBOs blockbuster gangster series "The Sopranos" for "unfair stereotyping" of Italian-Americans.
She plans to introduce a resolution in about two weeks that praises the ethnic group for civic contributions and criticizes TV and movies that portray it solely as hooligans and criminals.
"People stop me in the grocery store, objecting to 'The Sopranos," Mrs. Roukema said. "I decided this has gotten to be so discriminatory and stereotypical of Italian-Americans as mobsters, and denigrating women and families, that I thought, I have to speak out."

Heavy Traficant

Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., an Ohio Democrat indicted by a federal grand jury in Cleveland last week on 10 counts of racketeering, will explain all on the radio.
"I will defend myself," said Mr. Traficant, who turned 60 yesterday. "I will be addressing these issues when I host 'The Dan Ryan Talk Show on Radio 57 WKBN." He has been charged with bribery, racketeering, obstruction of justice, tax violations and allegations that he ordered his staff to work on his farm.
"In addition, I will be releasing my information on my investigation regarding the United States Department of Justice and the FBI corruption in northeastern Ohio," Mr. Traficant added.
The FBI and Justice Department declined comment, but not House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who hopes to keep the GOP a Traficant-free zone.
"I have told Jim myself, and told him some time ago, it would not be in his best interest to join the Republican Party," Mr. Armey said yesterday. "He doesnt get his mile of slack if hes a Republican, and Jim needs a mile of slack."

Balancing act

Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, promised "to oppose all of President Bushs nominees to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals unless the president first agrees to reappoint a failed Clinton nominee," the Wall Street Journal said yesterday.
"Lets not hide behind such political weasel words as 'balance." the Journal continued.
Its "an attempt to hijack the presidents judicial-nominating power," because "Democrats are now demanding much more than the usual 'advice and consent power of a Senate majority. They want to rewrite the Constitution so that all 50 of them become co-presidents in stocking the federal judiciary. If a single senator 'blue slips any nominee from his home state, Democrats want that nomination to be withdrawn, even without a hearing or vote. And a blue slip could be issued for any reason."
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle is "so bloody-minded about this that he is even holding the Justice Department hostage. Until Mr. Bush and Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch bend to his will, he is refusing to confirm nominees vital to running Justice, including Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and Solicitor General Theodore Olson," the Journal said, which called the phenomenon "an ideological power play."
"The Daschle Democrats are trying to institutionalize 'Borking, the process by which nominees are tarred and blackballed. Always ugly, Borking was at least rare. But now Democrats want to make it a permanent part of our politics. We hope Mr. Bush appreciates what hes in for, and fights back," the paper concluded.

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