- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Intellectual barbarity
A media consortium says Al Gore could have prevailed in last year's election only if a hand recount of disputed ballots had gone beyond that ordered by the Florida Supreme Court and included so-called overvotes in which machines detected multiple votes for president.
"I don't believe this is true," New York Post columnist John Podhoretz writes.
"I think if the manual recounts had been completed in line with the Florida Supreme Court decision, Al Gore would have prevailed," Mr. Podhoretz said.
"I watched those canvassing boards in the four Democratic counties doing their work, and what I saw was this: Votes for Gore were being manufactured by nakedly partisan commissioners. Hundreds of such Gore votes were pulled out of thin air in Volusia County. Hundreds more in Palm Beach County. And if the recount had been completed in Dade County, enough votes would have been manufactured to give Gore the edge.
"And then we would have reaped the whirlwind," with dueling delegations of Florida electors showing up in Washington, Mr. Podhoretz said.
He added: "The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which brought the madness to an end, has been characterized in some hysterical quarters as the worst since the Dred Scott ruling in 1857. The nature of [Mondays] findings revealed the intellectual barbarity of that sentiment."

Apology due
"The irony is pretty rich. Al Gore would have won the 2000 presidential election in Florida according to the kind of statewide recount he never requested. But he would have lost the type of narrower recounts that he and his multitude of lawyers were actually seeking last year," the Wall Street Journal observes.
"Or so finds a media consortium, including this newspaper, that has now spent the better part of a year counting Florida's disputed ballots. We think either outcome proves the point we and others were making all along, which is that you can't change election rules after the votes have been cast. This is the principle the Supreme Court upheld in its much maligned Bush vs. Gore ruling, a judgment more than vindicated by the media recount," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"Even Gore partisans now have to admit that the former vice president was not denied a legitimate victory by the Supreme Court. If the recount ordered by Florida's Supreme Court had been allowed to continue, the media ballot inspection concludes that Mr. Bush would have won under any standard being considered at the time dimpled chads, pregnant chads, whatever. Mr. Gore could only have prevailed if every Florida county had been ordered to recount its ballots under a broad, vague 'voter intent' standard that Mr. Gore himself had never requested."
The fact that Mr. Gore and his lawyers guessed wrong in trying to limit the recount to "undervotes" in which machines detected no vote for president "only shows what legal chicanery they were practicing."
The newspaper found it ironic that the Supreme Court decision said any legitimate recount must include "overvotes," in which machines detected more than one vote for president.
"Bruce Ackerman, Alan Dershowitz and other left-wing, bitter-end partisans owe the Rehnquist Court an apology," the Journal said.

A different district
"Despite earlier threats to drag the GOP-controlled Utah Legislature into court over redistricting, [Democratic] Rep. Jim Matheson said last week that he won't mount a legal challenge to a Republican map that transforms his Salt Lake City-based swing district into a rural, Republican stronghold," Roll Call reports.
"Matheson's decision means he will have to wage a very different kind of campaign in a very different district. The GOP performance of his district increases from 52 to 60 percent, and its land mass expands from 250 square miles to a whopping 50,000. 'It's the size of the state of Alabama,' Matheson said.
"Matheson, who spent more than $1.3 million in a 2000 race against multimillionaire [Republican] Derek Smith, had $300,000 on hand as of June 30," reporter John Mercurio writes.

Green success
"It's not quite grandiose enough to qualify as the 'greening' of Pennsylvania, but leaders of the Green Party are happy about their showing in last week's general election," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
"There were 28 Greens on the ballot for offices ranging from city council to township election inspector, and 11 of them won a 39 percent success rate for a minor party with little history in the state," reporter Thomas Fitzgerald writes.
"'It's a real coup we won in areas all over the state, in very diverse districts,' said Michael Morrill, the Green Party candidate for governor in 2002. 'This shows that grass-roots organizing can counter the money the old parties count on.'
"Phyllis Durnell was elected inspector of elections in West Chester, making her apparently the first Green elected in the Philadelphia area. In Philadelphia, Richard Ash, the Green candidate for district attorney, won about 18,000 votes, or 6 percent, in a four-way race.
"'We went from having virtually no elected Greens to the third-highest number in the country,' said Dan Kinney, state coordinator for the party. "California has 38 Green elected officials, the most, and Wisconsin has 16, according to the national party."

Ubiquitous McCain
"What is John McCain running for?" Richard Benedetto asks at www.usatoday.com.
"The silver-haired Arizona Republican senator, former Vietnam War POW and unsuccessful 2000 GOP presidential candidate has been seen so often on television and quoted so heavily in the newspapers in recent weeks that one might suspect he is angling for another White House run," the columnist said.
"He's been making the rounds of the TV talk shows discussing everything from aviation security to war strategy, youth service to economic stimulus, and anything else anyone asks him about.
"McCain, these days, seems never to have met a camera or tape recorder he didn't like.
"Last week, with much publicity, he launched a proposal with Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh to expand the AmeriCorps youth volunteer service program from 50,000 to 250,000 by 2010.
"And he even was seen on national television sitting next to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani Sunday night in Phoenix when the Diamondbacks won Game 7 of the World Series. The week before, he ventured to Yankee Stadium to join Giuliani in his field box for Game 5. Both games drew TV audiences in the tens of millions.
"Up on Capitol Hill, it's becoming a running joke among reporters that whenever a news conference is called, there's a better than even chance that McCain will show up."

Sing it again
A patriotism-fueled parody song written by a Las Vegas radio team is getting air time on more than 100 U.S. radio stations and mass circulation on the Internet.
"The Bin Laden Bomb Song," sung to the tune of Harry Belafonte's calypso-pop classic "The Banana Boat Song," was written by KOMP-FM's morning show crew about a week after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Two months later, cartoon versions of a gun-toting bin Laden are running and ducking for cover as an animated version of Secretary of State Colin Powell sings: "Come Mr. Taliban, hand over bin Laden. Colin Powell going to bomb his home." President Bush accompanies him on a large drum.
One member of the team said the video has been downloaded more than 10 million times.
"I never thought it would be this big," longtime KOMP-FM morning show disc jockey Craig Williams told the Associated Press on Monday. "It's been e-mailed all over the world. We're getting played in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, France and Germany."
The parody can be heard and viewed at www.komp.com, www.madblast.com and www.gotlaughs.com.


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