- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Chambliss vs. Cleland
Rep. Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Republican, plans to challenge Democratic Sen. Max Cleland next year.
Mr. Chambliss had been coy about his plans, saying last week he was leaning toward running, but stopping short of declaring his candidacy. But during a speech to the Rotary Club in Macon, Ga., on Monday, Mr. Chambliss said he will "run for the Senate at the end of next year."
Mr. Chambliss' chief of staff, Rob Leebern, said yesterday the official announcement will come during a tour of Georgia in early November, the Associated Press reports.
"I like Max, and I'm a good friend of Max," Mr. Chambliss said. "But I just have to tell you, I think I can do a better job."
Mr. Cleland headed the Department of Veterans Affairs under President Carter. He is completing his first term. Mr. Chambliss, a lawyer first elected in 1994, represents the 8th District, which was made more Democrat-friendly by the Georgia General Assembly.

Standard procedure
The national chairman of the Democratic Party rushed to New York City on Monday to try to head off an emerging embarrassment: Fernando Ferrer's Al Gore-like refusal to accept defeat in last week's Democratic mayoral primary.
Mark Green was declared the winner in a close contest, but Mr. Ferrer has since withdrawn his concession, citing ballot-count mix-ups.
"We have to make sure that everybody here is comfortable with feeling that the person who got the most votes wins the election," said Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic chief.
The New York Post, in an editorial yesterday, chortled: "It looks like Al Gore's tactics in Florida last year have become standard operating procedure for losing Democrats."

The clear choice
Americans are glad to have George W. Bush as wartime leader, rather than his predecessor, according to a new poll.
"Who would you rather have sitting in the White House during this time of crisis, George W. Bush or Bill Clinton?" 1,011 registered voters were asked between Oct. 8 and 10.
While 72 percent chose Mr. Bush, only 20 percent said they would prefer Bill Clinton.
The survey, which had a 3.2 percent margin of error in either direction, was conducted by Zogby International and Associated Television News in conjunction with the O'Leary Report.

Not a role model
"When President Bush, livid over leaks from Capitol Hill, announced that he was restricting classified briefings, plenty of congresspeople protested, albeit quietly. But Sen. Bob Torricelli was unusually vocal," the New Republic observes.
"Appearing on MSNBC's 'Hardball,' the New Jersey Democrat declared, 'No matter how angry [President Bush] may be that people leaked that information we're more angry. It's very upsetting. We cannot not have the Congress briefed, can't not have the Congress involved in a democratic society. Therefore, both bodies have to trust each other with the information.' All good points so good, in fact, that Bush later reversed himself on his briefing restrictions but was Torricelli really the right person to be making them?" the magazine asked.
"After all, it wasn't that long ago that Torricelli himself, then a member of the House, was caught leaking classified information. In 1995, the House ethics committee found that Torricelli had acted 'contrary to' a House rule when he sent a letter to President Clinton and the New York Times disclosing classified information about the misdeeds of a paid CIA asset in Guatemala. What was that about trusting people with information?"

Obsessive-repulsive
"At a time when Americans are stockpiling antibiotics, avoiding airline travel, and thinking twice before opening their mail, how can we get the reassurance we need? The New York Times has the answer: Pass campaign-finance regulations!" John J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru write at the National Review Web site (www.nationalreview.com).
"An editorial [yesterday] concludes with these words: 'It has never been more critical for the American people to have confidence in the motives behind the federal government's every action. The terror attacks and their aftermath have actually made it more important than ever that the Shays-Meehan bill become law.' Of course it does.
"Flash back to three days ago, when the Times blasted Republicans for 'exploiting a tragic national emergency' and trying 'to piggyback pet ideological measures on top of legislation to carry out the country's most urgent priorities,'" the writers said.

Ask Osama
CNN has some questions for Osama bin Laden, although it has not promised to broadcast his answers. "If we believe his comments are not newsworthy, we will not run any of them," the network said.
The questions are:
1. Your spokesman has praised the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed thousands of innocent people and threatened to carry out more attacks involving planes and tall buildings. How can you and your followers advocate the killing of innocent people?
2. What was your role and the role of the al Qaeda organization in the Sept. 11 attacks?
3. What was your role and the role of your organization in the subsequent anthrax attacks in the United States?
4. Did any of the Sept. 11 hijackers or their accomplices receive al Qaeda financial support or training at al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and was any other government or organization involved?
5. In the past, you called on your followers to acquire weapons of mass destruction nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Do you or your followers have any such weapons and, if so, will those weapons be used?
6. The vast majority of Muslim and Arab leaders, including Muslim clerics and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat, say there is no justification in Islam for the terrorist attacks you advocate. They have denounced you, your followers, and your self-declared holy war. How do you respond to their criticism?
CNN said an al Qaeda representative asked CNN through Al Jazeera television to submit written questions, saying bin Laden would answer on a tape he would send to the Qatar-based network.

A long time coming
"With a war on, a lot of news is getting crowded off the front pages, some of it even good. For example, the U.S. Labor Department has finally issued regulations enforcing the Supreme Court's 1988 'Beck' decision," the Wall Street Journal notes in an editorial.
"That decision gave union members the right to demand a refund of their dues not used for collective bargaining. Labor unions have fought the decision, and the Clinton administration refused to implement it lest this bountiful source of coerced, political cash dry up. Thirteen years is a long time for union members to wait to finally have a say in how their hard-earned money is spent."

Armey's joke
House Majority Leader Dick Armey broke up a gaggle of reporters yesterday with this joke:
"A masochist and a sadist are sitting on a park bench," Mr. Armey said. "The masochist said, 'Hit me.'
"And the sadist said 'no.'"
As reporters guffawed, the Texas Republican added, "You don't have this much fun with Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, do you?"


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