- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2002

'Heck of a return'
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, is helping lead the Senate investigation of the Enron bankruptcy. But the chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee doesn't think there's anything wrong with the $18 million that Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe earned from his $100,000 investment in now-bankrupt Global Crossing.
"I hope he does as well with the money at the DNC," Mr. Lieberman said when radio host Don Imus asked him whether Mr. McAuliffe should resign his post. "That was a heck of a return."
Global Crossing, a telecommunications firm that filed for Chapter 11 protection Jan. 28, has been compared to Enron. Both companies have been accused of using deceptive accounting practices to mislead investors, and both were major political donors.
Of the nearly $3.6 million in political contributions Global Crossing made since 1997, 55 percent went to Democrats. Mr. Lieberman himself received $9,500 in campaign funds from Global Crossing.
The senator showed no interest in probing Mr. McAuliffe's involvement with Global Crossing. The company is now the target of probes by the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"I don't think anybody has alleged anything that was illegal by Terry," Mr. Lieberman said in the interview, reported on www.newsmax.com. "In that sense, I don't think there's any reason for him to resign."

Committee bypass?
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is showing no confidence in his committee chairmen by railroading the energy bill and other key legislation without their input, Republican leaders said yesterday.
"What Sen. Daschle has basically shown is he wants to run everything, and he has taken his chairmen and he has just neutered them," Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Republican conference chairman, told The Washington Times.
Mr. Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, has redirected the energy bill around relevant committees. Debate is scheduled to begin on the Senate floor tomorrow.
"Clearly, he is circumventing his chairmen," said Sen. Frank. H. Murkowski, Alaska Republican and ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
A spokesman for Mr. Daschle called the assertions "ridiculous."
"He has 100 percent faith in his committee chairmen," Ranit Schmelzer said.
"This goes into so many areas of jurisdiction, but each chairman has had the opportunity to work on it," Mrs. Schmelzer said.
Republicans said the energy package bypassed the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where they hoped to attach a provision allowing oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The bill also did not go to the Environment and Public Works Committee, as well as the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, where Democrats did not have enough votes to pass higher gas-mileage standards.

Who's to blame?
Many critics have blamed America's intelligence agencies for failing to detect or prevent the September 11 attacks. But David Horowitz notes that many Democrats in Congress repeatedly voted to cut funding for those agencies.
Every year for seven consecutive years, beginning in 1993, Rep. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, who caucuses with the Democrats, "introduced an amendment that required a minimum reduction in financial authorization for each individual intelligence agency of at least 10 percent," Mr. Horowitz writes in a new pamphlet, "How the Left Undermined America's Security."
"Irresponsible? Incomprehensible? Not to … the Democrats in the House who voted in favor of the Sanders amendment over the years. Ninety-seven Democrats in all voted for the Sanders cuts," Mr. Horowitz writes.
"As the terrorist attacks on America intensified year by year during the 1990s, Sanders steadfastly reintroduced his amendment. In 1995, 1996 and 1997 [Rep.] Barney Frank [Massachusetts Democrat] introduced a similar amendment that would cut the intelligence funds by less, but cut them still. In 1997, 158 Democrats voted for the Frank amendment. That same year, a majority [of Democrats] voted for a modified Sanders amendment to cut intelligence funds by 5 percent."

A 'gentle appeal'
The head of the California Republican Party said he made a "gentle appeal" last month to Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Riordan's family to stop supporting Democrats, including Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
Mr. Riordan's wife, Nancy Daly Riordan, is a Democrat who has supported a number of fellow Democrats around the country. Among the most prominent is Mrs. Townsend, the daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, the Associated Press reports.
Although she has not formally announced her candidacy for governor of Maryland, Mrs. Townsend has raised more than $5 million for an expected bid.
More than $100,000 of that came last year from California donors, most of it apparently raised by Nancy Riordan, Maryland Republican Chairman Michael S. Steele said in a Jan. 2 letter to his California counterpart, Shawn Steel.
Mr. Steel said he made a "gentle appeal" to the Riordan campaign for the support to cease. He said the response he received was "affirmative."
The letter was made public by aides to California Secretary of State Bill Jones.
Riordan press secretary Kim Serafin dismissed the release of the letter as a "desperate attempt" by Mr. Jones, who trails both front-runner Mr. Riordan and Republican businessman Bill Simon in the polls.

Gore's policy
Former Vice President Al Gore, re-entering America's foreign-policy debate, accused the Bush administration Tuesday of showing "impatience and disdain" toward U.S. allies in the war in Afghanistan and said military force alone would not win the long struggle against terrorism.
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Mr. Gore embraced President Bush's controversial description of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an "axis of evil." But he said that other dangerous forces have to be addressed, such as poverty, ignorance, environmental problems, disease, corruption and political oppression, the Associated Press reports.
For Mr. Gore, the appearance at the council marked another step back into the national spotlight. Members of the New York-based think tank include some of the nation's most influential foreign-policy experts, and the media was invited to listen in.
Ten days ago, Mr. Gore gave a "return to the national debate" speech at a Tennessee Democratic Party fund-raiser. In recent months, he's also appeared at Democratic fund-raisers in key states such as Florida, New Hampshire and Iowa. Following the Sept. 11 attacks, he spoke out to proclaim his support of Mr. Bush in the war on terrorism.

Warm embrace
"Reading Europe's press, it is really reassuring to see how warmly Europeans have embraced President Bush's formulation that an 'axis of evil' threatens world peace," New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman writes.
"There's only one small problem. President Bush thinks the axis of evil is Iran, Iraq and North Korea, and the Europeans think it's Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Condi Rice."
The columnist said he agrees with the Europeans that "the axis-of-evil idea isn't thought through but that's what I like about it. It says to these countries and their terrorist pals: 'We know what you're cooking in your bathtubs. We don't know exactly what we're going to do about it, but if you think we are going to just sit back and take another dose from you, you're wrong. Meet Don Rumsfeld he's even crazier than you are.'"


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