- The Washington Times - Friday, September 7, 2001

Picture this
Photos of Sen. John Kerry as a soldier in Vietnam, with world leaders and with his wife have been temporarily removed from a wall in his office at the Russell Senate Office Building, the Boston Globe reports.
An aide to the Massachusetts Democrat "explained that the pictures were being copied for Kerry's soon-to-be launched Web site, www.johnkerry.com ," the Boston Globe reporter Glen Johnson writes. "They will also be stockpiled for reporters, should he launch an expected bid for president in 2004."

Now we understand
"Democratic grumping is suddenly growing a lot louder over the fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton's polling firm and Al Gore's media man are working for megabucks Republican [New York] mayoral contender Mike Bloomberg," the New York Post's Deborah Orin writes.
"Especially because Sen. Clinton, New York Democrat, helped engineer a Democratic National Committee contract for pollster Mark Penn — and other DNC consultants have contracts that bar them from working for Republicans," Miss Orin said.
An anonymous Democratic source told Miss Orin: "Of course the Democratic Party wants to take over the mayor's chair in New York — so why is the DNC hiring someone who's trying to elect a Republican?
What you hear when you ask is that Bill and Hillary do a lot for the Democratic Party and they're enamored of Mark Penn — so [DNC chairman] Terry McAuliffe had to hire him."
A spokeswoman for the DNC said that actually it is Mr. Penn's partner, Doug Schoen, who works for Mr. Bloomberg. Mr. Penn merely shares in the profits. And an associate of Mr. Penn and Mr. Schoen said it was OK because Mr. Bloomberg is a former Democrat.

Reno's media admirers
"No matter how many times Janet Reno protected the Democratic Party's scandalous 1996 fund-raising schemes from an independent investigation, the media insisted that she was really a non-political attorney general. But journalists' carefully nurtured portrait of Reno as a politically clueless bureaucrat is being undermined by her own politically ambitious plan to become the next governor of Florida," the Media Research Center's Rich Noyes writes.
"'She's a gritty, unorthodox candidate and I think she has a very good chance of winning the primary,' NBC's Tim Russert told Katie Couric on Tuesday's 'Today.'
"'If blacks turn out, if seniors turn out, and if the economy is still in trouble, I think Janet Reno has a better than even chance of winning. Right now, she's a good 15 points behind Jeb Bush, but she is someone who's hard to pigeonhole in terms of her various policies.'
"Hard to pigeonhole? Reno is a proud liberal, as her sister proclaimed in an interview with Time magazine for a gushing 1993 cover story, highlighting the idea that Southern liberals like Miss Reno are particularly ideological: 'You weren't a liberal because it was a fad or you were supposed to. You weren't supposed to. So you did it from profound conviction.'"
Mr. Noyes, writing at www.mrc.org , added: "On Tuesday's 'Early Show,' CBS's Bryant Gumbel pitched the idea that 'a Reno/Bush matchup [might be] some kind of a symbolic sequel to what happened last November,' adding that, 'whatever happens, Katherine Harris won't be around to certify the results, right?'
"Of course, the national media will be on the scene, proclaiming Reno's righteousness and showering the candidate with all the benefits of sympathetic coverage."

Califano's logic
Joseph Califano, who held high positions in the Johnson and Carter administrations, argued last week in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post that Democrats have a duty to apply litmus tests to President Bush's judicial nominees.
Mr. Califano said courts must have the final say on various political issues because "partisan gridlock and political pandering for campaign dollars have led to failures of the Congress and White House, whether Democratic or Republican, to legislate and execute laws on a variety of matters of urgent concern to our citizens."
Mr. Califano, who heads the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, offered an example: "The failure of Congress to enact sensible public health policies regarding tobacco to protect our children sent anti-smoking advocates to federal court."
However, John J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru, writing at www.nationalreview.com, found Mr. Califano's argument to be "disingenuous, since it sidesteps the question of whether it is justified for liberals to run to the courts when democracy yields policy preferences they dislike."
The writers added: "But Califano's op-ed is disappointing for a reason besides its disingenuousness. Califano has in the past represented himself as an opponent of abortion.
"If one really believes that legal abortion is unjust, presumably that ought to be high on the list of policies that one should try to get changed. Yet the litmus test Senate Democrats are likely to impose on judges is a pro-abortion litmus test. The 'litmus test' catchphrase has always been understood to refer to single issues rather than broad philosophy. Everyone knows what the single issue is and it's not tobacco.
"In the name of Democratic party unity, in other words, Califano has lent his support to a political effort to blackball nominees who are pro-life or merely do not believe that abortion rights are in the Constitution. He thus joins the ranks of Dick Gephardt, Ted Kennedy, and other Democrats who turned out not to be pro-lifers in courage."

Greens go nuclear
Some environmentalists are changing their minds about nuclear power, Cybercast New Service reports.
For example, James Lovelock, known as the Guru of the Greens, suggests it would be possible to save the trees by storing nuclear waste in forests to keep man and therefore development out of the forests, CNS reporter Marc Morano writes at www.cnsnews.com.
Mr. Lovelock's idea did not go over well with Damon Moglen of Greenpeace, who denounced it as "ludicrous" and "just foolhardy, utterly foolhardy."
But other environmentalists are taking a second look at nuclear energy, Mr. Morano says, including Princeton University Scientist Jerry Mahlman, a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official and adviser to the Clinton administration. Even Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, is changing his mind about nuclear power, the reporter said.
French author and physicist Bruno Comby, who leads a group called Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy, said: "There isn't any choice, the only question is how it's going to be done."

Gramm's impact
"They were popping champagne corks all over Washington on Tuesday, because Phil Gramm announced he won't seek re-election next year. Taxpayers, on the other hand, may want to indulge in cheaper stuff to drown their sorrows," the Wall Street Journal says in an editorial.
"Few men have made more of a public mark than the three-term Texas senator, going back to the day he first wrote for our pages as an economist in the 1970s. As he has most of his career, Mr. Gramm was challenging the conventional wisdom by arguing that the root cause of the oil crisis was government price controls.
"At the time this was a radical idea. But nowadays even liberals, or at least some of them, accept that price controls are insane," the newspaper said.
"In this sense, Mr. Gramm's 23-year political career represents the arc of our times. From the policy confusion and economic turmoil of the 1970s, we have moved to an era of sounder policy and more durable prosperity, currently sluggish growth notwithstanding. Free markets now occupy the moral and policy high ground in America and most of the rest of the world."

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