- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 8, 2002

Just a short walk
Former President Bill Clinton will soon have some new neighbors. The Harlem Republican Club is about to open its new headquarters in the historic Theresa Hotel on 125th Street at Seventh Avenue, just in time for an Aug. 29 fund-raiser that will include a spectrum of New York Republican luminaries.
"We are, in fact, less than 100 yards from Mr. Clinton's office," Chairman Claude Frazier said yesterday. Indeed, Mr. Clinton's office is located 1 blocks east, at 55 West 125th St.
The Harlem Republicans are not new to the neighborhood, however.
"We were incorporated in 1887," Mr. Frazier continued. "We've been dormant for a bit. But with Democratic voters now outranking Republicans five-to-one in New York, we've got our work cut out for us. This is going to be a community effort and community politics."
For now, interested parties can contact the Harlem Republican Club at 309 West 136th St., New York, N.Y. 10030 (212/491-4516).


A fine whine
Texas winemakers can't seem to figure out if President Bush is good or bad for their business.
Mr. Bush drinks no alcohol whatsoever. Still, that unmistakable Texas cachet helps Lone Star State winemakers peddle their wares, insists Paul Bonarrigo of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association.
"Whenever we present wines internationally, due to the image of the Alamo and Texans, it is easy to relate to us," he told the Waco Tribune yesterday.
With 61 wineries and $105 million in business, Texas ranks as the fifth-largest producer in the United States. Unfortunately, 95 percent of Texas wines are sold and consumed there.
Sarah Jane English, author of "The Wines of Texas," said she has yet to meet anyone who has bought Texas wine because Mr. Bush is in the White House.
Is it because wine just isn't part of the Texan legacy of longnecks and chili, perhaps? The Tribune surveyed restaurants and discovered none stock the Texas stuff including those with a Southwestern theme.
Manhattan's Alamo Restaurant has never had a request for it. And the Austin Grill in the District only serves California vintages. "I don't have any good reason for that," manager Chris Schaller noted.

Lott at the ready
In a memo to Republican colleagues, Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott yesterday chided Senate Democrats who refuse to play nice and improve the economy.
"It has been difficult to work with our colleagues when the Senate Democratic Leadership remains partisan and has no constructive answers," wrote Mr. Lott, Mississippi Republican. "Clearly, the Democrats have a difference of opinion, but what is their economic blueprint? It seems the Senate Democratic Leadership feels it is more important to point fingers."
Mr. Lott said lowering taxes, speeding up income-tax cuts, "protecting pensions for seniors, establishing a sound energy policy and expanding free trade will have a positive impact on our economy."
"Senate Democrats hold the majority in the United States Senate," he said. "I urge you to ask our Senate Democratic colleagues why they have chosen to place politics over real economic solutions."

Girl stuff
Up Michigan way, Rep. John D. Dingell defeated liberal Democratic Rep. Lynn Rivers by 18 points in the state Democratic primary on Tuesay. The race was most vigorous, prompting Brian Dickerson of the Detroit Free Press to declare yesterday, "Girls can play just as dirty as boys."
He bemoaned Republican TV ads once used in the 2000 elections.
"But the 11th-hour attack ads in which the political action committee EMILY's List sought to portray Jennifer Granholm's Democratic gubernatorial rivals as soft on crime were every bit as scurrilous and deceptive," he wrote, critical of the attacks on Rep. David E. Bonior and former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard.
"The pro-Granholm group vilified Blanchard and Bonior for voting 'to let violent criminals out of prison early.' EMILY's List also financed mass mailings that portrayed Bonior and Blanchard as soft on drug dealers and other convicts."
"EMILY's List was founded to promote female, pro-choice candidates for political office. And if the capacity to emulate Republican males at their worst is the test of political parity, the Washington-based political action group has truly arrived."

Primer for a populist
Maureen Dowd had six pointers for one former vice president in the New York Times yesterday, offering tips on financial and elocutionary matters, among other things.
"If you let the presidency slip away, proclaim you are retreating, like Scarlett, to draw strength from the red dirt of Carthage, ID yourself in op-ed pieces as a college teacher in Tennessee.
"But there's no need to really stay in a spot where they don't know a metaphor from a two-by-four," Miss Dowd continued. "Do not mention you are really holed up in a Washington suburb writing a book about the family with Tipper. Do not talk about being the vice-chairman of an LA financial services company."
"If you are one of the entitled, you are entitled to any money you can get. (See Andover Guide to Populism, Rule 90: Populists don't have to be paupers. If you want to get bailed out in bidness, cash in on your famous name.)"

A poll moment
Should President Bush get approval from Congress before attacking Iraq?
By 6 p.m. yesterday, an online poll of 1,100 persons at www.vote.com found that 67 percent said, "No. Bush should be able to make this decision on his own if necessary. Our security could depend on it."
The remaining third said, "Yes. Presidents should never take our men and women into war without support of Congress."

Unabashed and low-tech
"The last few years haven't been kind to The American Spectator," the Boston Globe noted yesterday. Circulation dropped to 65,000, writer David Brock jumped ship, and technology-happy George Gilder's decision to buy the magazine "didn't pan out."
Worst of all, the Globe noted, Bill Clinton was no longer president.
But Editor in Chief R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. writes that "the old gang of editorial ruffians" is ready to rumble, and "unabashed conservatism" is back. Plus, Mr. Gilder recently returned the magazine to the nonprofit foundation that once ran it.
Could that remove the thorn in Mr. Tyrell's paw? Apparently so.
Under the Gilder regime, "the content was too heavily techie and insufficiently involved in culture and politics," Mr. Tyrrell told the Globe. "I didn't exert much authority during George's days. This is where we belong."

And speaking of techie
Geeks took offense when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich cut off funding for the Office of Technology Assessment in 1995. Congress "decided to lose weight by cutting off its brain," one researcher said.
Rep. Rush D. Holt, New Jersey Democrat, believes his proposal to restore funding has been blocked "because GOP House leaders are simply afraid of unbiased scientific analysis that might conflict with their political agendas," according to Wired News.
They are blocking the proposal "for purely ideological reasons. It's not a sexy issue. It's a bunch of nerds in a room with a bunch of computers," a spokesman said.
"The idea that Congress put a ban on scientific advice when it abolished the OTA is just bizarre," countered David Goldshon, spokesman for Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, New York Republican and chairman of the House Science Committee.
The proposal, Mr. Goldshon added, "is a big symbolic issue, and the OTA's role has been exaggerated."

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