- The Washington Times - Friday, August 16, 2002

Keeping the cash

"Democrats have decided to keep almost all the fat-cat bucks Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton got from scandal-scarred ImClone chief Sam Waksal even though she claims she wants it returned," the New York Post's Deborah Orin writes.

"You'll recall that after the Post last week revealed Clinton was keeping Waksal's $63,000, she did a quick about-face and said she'd give it to charity, later adding: 'We have to make sure that the people who may have done something wrong are held accountable.'

"But Clinton said she'd only return $7,000 because, technically, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee controls the rest, adding that she'd like them to cough up the other $56,000 for charity," Miss Orin observed.

"Dream on. The DSSC [on Wednesday] said it intends to keep Waksal's $56,000 rather than, as Clinton put it, hold him 'accountable.'

"Ethics watchdog Larry Noble of the Center for Responsive Politics notes that groups like the DSSC are often only too happy to take the heat and keep the bucks since they don't face voters.

"'The question becomes: How much moral pressure does she really want to put on them?' he asks. "So far, obviously not enough to get them to act."

A revealing correction

"Who was the guilty hack behind the highly embarrassing correction in the [New York Times yesterday]?" Mickey Kaus asks in his Kausfiles column at www.slate.msn.com.

"The correction says: 'An article on Aug. 8 about speeches by President Bush and Vice President Cheney defending the administration's stewardship of the economy referred incorrectly to the 2001 recession and to the direction of the stock market on Aug. 7. Economists agree that the recession has ended, not continued. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose the day of the speeches, by 182 points; it did not decline.'

"Envelope please! The nominally guilty hack is either Evelyn Nieves or Elisabeth Bumiller, whose names are on the Aug. 8 story. It turns out that the entire, impressively substantial correction was necessitated by just one of those short snarky asides, now familiar to NYT readers, that are designed to put the Bushies in their place: '[Cheney] credited the administration's tax cuts with helping the country to "climb out of the recession and to weather the terrible financial effects of Sept. 11," although the recession has not abated and the stock market today continued its decline. [Italics added.]

"Why does this read like the type of interstitial zinger ('Take that, Cheney!') that would actually not have been written by either Nieves or Bumiller, but would have been stuck in by an otherwise-frustrated editor (who was then very proud of himself for doing it)? That sort of thing would never happen at kausfiles! If a NYT editor, or reporter, is so blinded by animosity toward the Administration that they automatically believe these false things are true, what else do they automatically believe is true?"

From Ventura's lips

Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said the governor's low annual salary $120,000 was one reason he decided not to seek a second term.

"It entered into it," Mr. Ventura said Wednesday night in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio. He said the job should pay more and not include retirement benefits, so it would not attract career politicians.

Still, Mr. Ventura would not close the door entirely on seeking one last government office. He said chances he would run for the presidency were "slim-to-none," but he also referenced an upcoming interview with the New York Times Sunday Magazine. In it, he said he fears the nation's top job is his destiny.

The governor also called columnist George Will a "mealy-mouthed, bespeckled little puke," and said Mr. Will is the person he would most like to "smack around" for writing that Minnesotans had awakened after September 11 and realized they needed sounder leadership.

Clinton's speech

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is under increasing pressure to abandon President Bush when it comes to ousting Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein and former President Bill Clinton may help undercut the American leader, according to an article by Jed Babbin at www.americanprowler.org.

"Next month's Labour Party annual conference is reportedly going to be a showcase for the British lefties' opposition to a war against Saddam's regime. Blair can fight against those resolutions in his own party conference, but the ballgame may be over by the time that conference begins. Before the Labour Party meets, the British Trades Union Congress will hold its own convention, and opponents of the Iraq campaign are stacking the deck to produce a major problem for Mr. Blair. What the Trades Union Congress decides, the Labour Party will almost certainly have to follow," said Mr. Babbin, who served as deputy undersecretary of defense in the first Bush administration.

" In the Trades Union Congress, the discussion will be emotional, demagogic, and dangerous. How could this situation get any worse? I'll give you only one guess.

"Last seen grabbing a rifle and heading for the Israeli front lines (or not), the guy who sent our military into action more often, with less justification and to less result than any modern president, the man whose contempt for our troops led to the incidents portrayed in 'Black Hawk Down,' Lil' Billy is going to Blackpool to speak to the Trades Union Congress. The only thing we can be sure of is that Mr. Clinton will declaim against any idea of attacking Saddam, and state conclusively that the solution to Saddam is containment, not war."

Pataki's football pals

New York Gov. George E. Pataki spent Wednesday morning visiting with the New York Giants, patting players on the back and catching footballs with halfback Tiki Barber.

Despite nearly getting knocked down by an errant pass, the governor obviously enjoyed his sideline view of the Giants practice session at the State University of New York's Albany campus, the Associated Press reports.

Following the practice, Giants coach Jim Fassel presented Mr. Pataki with a framed photo of the team, surrounded by a mat with players' autographs and dedicated to those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Pataki said he planned to hang it in the Governor's Mansion, where a signed Giants helmet already sits on a shelf. Last year, the Republican governor, who is seeking his third term, hosted a backyard barbecue for the team.

"A couple of the players were asking, 'Are you going to have us back over?' I told them they ate so much last year, we've got to take a look and see if we can do it again," he said.

Nation of Cynthia

"The already fiery election campaign between Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Denise Majette is likely to get more heated: Louis Farrakhan is coming to town," writes Bill Torpy of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

"The controversial Nation of Islam leader has scheduled a 6 p.m. rally Saturday in DeKalb County to urge support for McKinney, who is in the tightest race in her 10 years in the U.S. House," Mr. Torpy reports.

Mrs. McKinney has faced an unexpectedly strong Democratic primary challenge in Georgia's 4th District. Both she and Mrs. Majette are black as are 50 percent of the district's residents but Mrs. McKinney's pro-Palestinian position and her campaign funds from Arab donors have helped spur opposition.

Mrs. McKinney's campaign manager, Bill Banks, said he knew little about the visit or why Mr. Farrakhan is coming.

"We have a lot of people coming in. They saw what happened to [Rep. Earl] Hilliard in Alabama," Mr. Banks said, referring to a black congressman who was beaten in a Democratic primary by an opponent who raised more than $1 million, much of it from pro-Israel donors concerned about his relations with American Muslims.

Mrs. Majette has raised more than $1.1 million, more than half of that in the past six weeks and much of it coming from out-of-state Jewish donors. Mrs. McKinney has raised about $640,000. More than half of Mrs. McKinney's donors have Arabic names and live out of state.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide