- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Exasperated ex-prez
Friends of Bill Clinton "say he is exasperated because he views himself as ideally equipped to be president at a time of crisis," New York Times reporter Richard L. Berke writes.
"Beyond that, Mr. Clinton now has to defend himself from the charge that he did not do enough to capture Osama bin Laden," Mr. Berke added, in a story about how the events of September 11 have affected the status of various politicians.
The reporter had this to say about 2000 Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore:
"Of all the possible candidates [for president in 2004], former Vice President Al Gore has had the misfortune of being most out of sync. Just as he was preparing to criticize Mr. Bush, the attacks happened. He was left to say in a speech in Des Moines only that Mr. Bush was his 'commander in chief.' (Aides said Mr. Gore did strike an even more deferential line from his speech, 'And I am his foot soldier.') Mr. Gore reintroduced himself to the nation with a beard; now citizens of Afghanistan are shaving theirs off."

Democratic gunplay
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending nearly $100,000 to boost the chances of Arkansas state Rep. Mike Hathorn in his run for an open U.S. House seat, Roll Call reports. The money will be used by the state party for ads that accuse the Republican candidate of failing to stand up for gun owners.
Mr. Hathorn is an underdog against Republican John Boozman.
The DCCC was "spurred by pleas from ex-President Bill Clinton and ex-Sen. David Pryor," reporter John Mercurio writes.
Mr. Hathorn and Mr. Boozman are seeking to replace Republican Asa Hutchinson, who vacated the seat to become head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The special election is today.
"Less than one week before Tuesday's general election, the state Democratic Party planned to use the soft-money funds to air radio and television ads that hit John Boozman for his 'weak' gun-rights record and support for partial Social Security privatization," the reporter said.
"Republicans hope to counter Democratic criticism of Boozman's gun record with a last-minute endorsement of their candidate from the National Rifle Association, which was mailed to voters Friday."

Politics trumps charity
"One of the largest relief funds set up to help the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks has awarded grants totaling more than $1 million to a variety of left-wing political groups devoted to causes like hate-crime legislation, expanded welfare, gun control and nationalized health care," Marc Morano reports at CNSNews.com.
"According to United Way CEO Brian Gallagher, the September 11th Fund has received donor pledges totaling $334 million, with $250 million already collected and $47 million distributed. The fund is a project of the United Way and the New York Community Trust," the reporter said.
"But critics say many of the groups receiving charitable contributions from the fund have little or nothing to do with helping victims of the attacks, and records show contributions are used to pay for things including ethnic media, office equipment and massage therapy."
In one case, the September 11th Fund awarded a grant of $31,000 to the Children's Defense Fund, which has been at the forefront of lobbying for "children's rights," gun control and expanded welfare programs, the reporter said.
"Giving money to organizations that have controversial political agendas like CDF's and not directly assisting victims' families is just flat out wrong," said John Carlisle of the Capital Research Center, a conservative charity-watchdog group.
The September 11th Fund also awarded $30,000 to the Asian American Legal Defense & Educational Fund to provide "legal help and preventative measures against hate violence."
A top official with the National Legal and Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based legal watchdog group, called it "a shame," that so much money was being disbursed to groups with a clear "political or ideological agenda."

Kean mulls run
Republican Tom Kean, the former governor of New Jersey, says he needs several more weeks to decide whether to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Robert G. Torricelli.
"I've got a lot of thinking to do. There are a lot of factors on both sides," Mr. Kean told the Sunday Record of Hackensack.
Mr. Kean, who was governor from 1982 to 1990, is president of Drew University in Madison, N.J.

Gore's new job
Al Gore has accepted a job as vice chairman of Metropolitan West Financial, a Los Angeles-based financial-services holding company, the company said yesterday.
The former vice president and last year's Democratic presidential candidate will "help us identify and evaluate new business opportunities and play an active role in shaping the future of our company," the firm's chairman and chief executive officer, Richard S. Hollander, said in a statement.
In particular, Mr. Gore will help develop strategies in biotechnology and information technology and examine opportunities for international expansion, the company said.
In the statement, Mr. Gore said that after a quarter-century of serving as a congressman, senator and vice president, "I am eager to learn more about business as an active executive of this dynamic and community-oriented company."
Mr. Gore will continue to serve as a research professor focusing on family-centered community building at the University of California at Los Angeles, and will continue to teach classes on the subject at Middle Tennessee State University and Fisk University, both in his home state of Tennessee, the Associated Press reports.
Metropolitan West manages about $51.2 billion through several affiliates that provide a variety of asset-management services.

Backing Barr
The American Conservative Union's political action committee yesterday released a list of prominent national conservative leaders who have endorsed Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia in his re-election campaign against a fellow conservative Republican.
The Democratic state legislature, in redistricting, has pitted Mr. Barr and fellow Republican Rep. John Linder against each other in next year's Republican primary.
Among those listed as Barr supporters were American Conservative Union chief David Keene, former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, former Attorney General Ed Meese, Morton Blackwell of the Conservative Leadership Political Action Committee, Eagle Forum leader Phyllis Schlafly, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, L. Brent Bozell III of the Conservative Victory Committee, and publicist Craig Shirley.
The endorsements are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of those individuals' organizations.

Doing the right thing
"Taking its sweet time, the Senate finally did the right thing last week by renewing the Internet tax moratorium," the Wall Street Jounal says.
"The original three-year ban, authored by Rep. Chris Cox, California Republican, and Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, expired last month. The House voted earlier this autumn to extend it for two more years, but Senate action stalled as Sens. Mike Enzi, Wyoming Republican, and Byron Dorgan, North Dakota Democrat, tried mightily to convince colleagues that our current economic woes call for a flood of new tax burdens via the Web," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"America's 130 million Internet users can be happy that these attempts failed, especially with another holiday shopping season just around the corner. President Bush is expected to sign it."

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