Monday, November 5, 2001

DeLay vs. Kerry
Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, accused House Majority Whip Tom DeLay of misdescribing the Senate bill on airport security yesterday on “Meet the Press.” But when Mr. DeLay challenged him on that point, Mr. Kerry was forced to admit that he was thinking of something it was not entirely clear what Mr. DeLay supposedly had said on the House floor, not on the NBC program.
Mr. DeLay, Texas Republican, told host Tim Russert that the Senate bill, unlike the House version, “only covers airplanes and terminals. It doesn’t cover security for the perimeter, for the tarmacs, for the parking lots, for the vendors, for the caterers. It doesn’t cover shipping, trains, trucks, bridges, highways.”
When Mr. Kerry got his chance to respond, he said: “Well, Tim, when all is said and done, the House has said more than it’s done, and I’m listening to Mr. DeLay now completely misdescribe our bill, and, frankly, not be candid with the American people about the differences here.”
“What, specifically, did I misstate in the Senate bill?” Mr. DeLay asked later.
Mr. Kerry: “You say that in the Senate bill, Tom, that we are somehow unable to fire people. You say “
Mr. DeLay: “I didn’t say that.”
Mr. Kerry: “Yes, you have said that they took 10 years “
Mr. DeLay: “You said that I misstated your bill.”
Mr. Kerry, appearing to be cornered, said: “Again I’ve read your statements on the floor, I’ve read your arguments “

Breaux optimistic
Sen. John Breaux, Louisiana Democrat, foresees congressional approval of oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, despite strong opposition by many in his party.
Asked on “Fox News Sunday” if he sees that happening, Mr. Breaux said: “I think the possibility is probably greater rather than less that it would I think that a carefully crafted ANWR exploration program can be adopted in this Congress.”
Mr. Breaux, who wants to see such exploration, was then asked if such a measure can be made filibuster-proof in the Senate.
“It’s going to be very close, but it’s possible,” he said, noting that it requires 60 votes to kill a filibuster.

No opinion
Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans is unlikely to get in hot water for making rash or reckless statements, if his performance in a CNN interview is any evidence.
On “Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields” on Saturday, Mr. Evans was asked about a plan by Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, to attach the Bush energy bill to the economic stimulus bill, if the energy bill fails to move in the Senate.
Mr. Evans, when asked whether this would be a good idea, declined to enter the fray.
“I’m not in the Senate. I’m in the administration,” the secretary said, adding, “[Lawmakers] are going to have to decide how they try and move the bills through the Senate and the House.”
What Mr. Evans did comment, however, is that President Bush was right when he said in January, “This country needs a national energy policy.” The secretary also said Mr. Bush took an important step when he delivered a proposed policy to the nation a few months later.
“We’ve got to finish it by having Congress and the Senate pass a bill,” the commerce secretary said.

A year later
Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans, in his appearance on CNN, gave big-time kudos to his boss when he was asked if Republican candidates in tomorrow’s elections in Virginia, New Jersey and New York City can tell Americans they are better off today than they were a year ago, even with the poor economy.
“They can. They absolutely can,” the commerce secretary said.
The reason? “They’ve got a great leader in the White House who has united the country, united the world, unlike it’s ever been before.”

They’re for it
“Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, a ferociously partisan Democrat, voted for a Democratic-favored airline-security bill calling for full federalization of the nation’s 28,000 baggage screeners. Then Thursday night, after that measure failed, Kennedy voted for a Republican-favored bill that provides for private screeners under heavy federal supervision,” the National Review’s Byron York writes at the magazine’s Web site (
“Kennedy wasn’t alone. Rep. David Bonior of Michigan, another ferociously partisan Democrat, did the same thing. So did Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, yet another ferociously partisan Democrat. And the ferociously partisan Rep. John Dingell, too. In all, 69 Democrats who voted for the Democratic version of the airline-security bill changed their position and voted for the final Republican version,” Mr. York said.
“It’s not too difficult to figure out why. ‘They didn’t want to go on record opposing airline security,’ says one top House Republican aide. But now, with the House bill headed to a conference committee to reconcile differences with the full-federalization Senate bill, what will the Democrats do? Go back to their original preferences or support any bill that has the words ‘airline security’ attached?”

Bush helps Bloomberg
“President Bush will be making a last-minute pitch for Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg,” New York Post columnist David Seifman writes.
“Sources said the president has agreed to record an automated phone message that Bloomberg’s campaign will direct at registered Republicans,” said Mr. Seifman, who writes the City Hall column. The message was supposed to start going out yesterday.
“One insider said a key question facing Bloomberg strategists is whether to expand the call list to include independents a group that could prove crucial in Tuesday’s election.
“‘Bush definitely helps with Republicans,’ said the insider. ‘Then you have to ask yourself if the president has an impact with others.’”
Mr. Bloomberg had almost pulled even with Democratic candidate Mark Green in the latest Marist poll, with independents leaning to the Republican, 58 to 23 percent.

Bock vs. Lee
Audie Bock is stepping up her campaign against Rep. Barbara Lee, the California Democrat who was the only member of Congress to oppose using force against those complicit in the attack on the United States.
Ms. Bock, a Democrat and former California Assembly member, is now pointing to the fact that California bridges have been identified as possible terrorist targets, including bridges in or near Mrs. Lee’s district, which includes Oakland.
Ms. Bock has been in New York since Friday. She met with former Mayor Ed Koch, attended a memorial service for those who died in the Sept. 11 attack and presented a communique from Oakland area firefighters, expressing their solidarity with the firefighters of New York.
She was to participate in a Veterans Day parade yesterday in the Bronx and plans to meet with representatives of Veterans of Foreign Wars today. She will also attend a Veterans Day service today at a VA medical center in New York.

Trashing Gore
“Democrats are grumpily saying ‘it’s about time’ to former Veep Al Gore, who finally hosted a Democratic National Committee fund-raiser at his home last week,” Paul Bedard writes in U.S. News & World Report.
“‘It is totally pathetic,’ says a top official, who moans that the DNC is broke because ‘they were paying for’ Gore’s Florida recount. In fact, with each day, more former Gore allies are talking trash about him,” Mr. Bedard said.

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