- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2002

Boos for Bill
"The boos and catcalls continue to rain down on Bill Clinton and his wife in inopportune moments," according to the Prowler column at www.americanprowler.org.
"Much was made of the jeering he and Hillary endured during the large fund-raisers they attended after 9/11, particularly in Madison Square Garden, where fire and police personnel nearly jeered them off the stage. Mr. Clinton was embarrassed again on Super Bowl Sunday, which he spent in New York," the column said.
"In town for the Davos confab, he and his staff organized a Super Bowl party at his Harlem digs to coincide with the former prez's big-screen participation in the special patriotic segment shown on Fox before the game. But party revelers who paused to hear Clinton's utterances also heard loud boos from the Louisiana Superdome that overwhelmed any cheering from the crowd. According to a Clinton staffer who attended the party, the sound on three television sets inside the Harlem offices was briefly turned down to prevent further potential embarrassment."

Kessler's record
"President Bush has lost the first round in his battle with Mary Frances Berry, head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights," James Taranto notes in his "Best of the Web Today" column at www.opinionjournal.com.
"Berry claims an ally of hers on the commission, Victoria Wilson, is entitled to serve for six years, even though President Clinton appointed her to fill a term that expired in November. Judge Gladys Kessler took Berry's side; the administration will appeal," Mr. Taranto said.
"Kessler, a Clinton appointee, has a history of rulings beneficial to Democrats. Last year, she issued an injunction barring the Federal Election Commission from releasing to the public files on coordinated campaign activity between the AFL-CIO and the Democratic National Committee. And in 2000 she was one of three Clinton-appointed judges who took a lawsuit by White House whistleblower Linda Tripp out of the courtroom of Reagan appointee Royce Lamberth and assigned it to a Clinton judge."

Traficant's complaint
Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. complained yesterday that the pool of potential jurors for his federal bribery trial excluded people from his home district in northeastern Ohio.
Mr. Traficant, a maverick Democrat who is representing himself in the trial though he has no law degree, said keeping out jurors from his hometown of Youngstown would give prosecutors an unfair advantage. U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells ruled last month that the jurors will come from the Cleveland area, where the federal courthouse is located.
"I'm not being tried by a jury of my peers," Mr. Traficant, 60, told reporters as he entered the courthouse.
Judge Wells denied Mr. Traficant's request to expand the jury pool, and she adjourned the trial until tomorrow so Mr. Traficant and prosecutors could review the 45-page questionnaires being answered by 100 prospective jurors, the Associated Press reports.
The nine-term congressman is a popular folk hero in Youngstown, known for his polyester suits, arm-waving theatrics and crusades against the Internal Revenue Service. Though his popularity has declined in recent years, he was re-elected in 2000 even after he publicly predicted he would face federal corruption charges.
Prosecutors accuse Mr. Traficant of accepting gifts and favors in exchange for lobbying in Washington. He is also charged with forcing his staff to make cash kickbacks to him or do favors for him at his horse farm.

Freudian slip
Pundit Andrew Sullivan posted the following item at his Web site, www.andrewsullivan.com:
"In what was a classic Freudian slip, Ted Kennedy rejoiced in the New England Patriots victory this week with the following statement: 'At a time when our entire country is banding together and facing down individualism, the Patriots set a wonderful example, showing us all what is possible when we work together, believe in each other, and sacrifice for the greater good.' Facing down individualism? Sorry, Ted, we haven't installed socialism just yet. But keep trying, big guy. Keep trying."

McCain leaves hospital
Sen. John McCain was released from a Phoenix hospital yesterday, emerging from his latest bout with a deadly form of the skin cancer melanoma, a spokeswoman said.
Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican and former presidential candidate, was given a clean bill of health after an overnight stay at the Mayo Clinic Hospital to treat an early melanoma on the left side of his nose, said Nancy Ives, a McCain spokeswoman.
"He was in good spirits and was joking with staff," the spokeswoman told Reuters. "He plans to take it easy for the rest of the week before returning to Washington."
Mr. McCain, 65, left the hospital with a gauze bandage on his face and would have some stitches for about one week, she said. His activities are not restricted.
Doctors took about an hour Tuesday covering the scar left when the tumor was removed the previous day during outpatient surgery. A pathology report confirmed the melanoma discovered during a checkup on Jan. 17 had been totally removed, she said.

Oh, Nelly
While Missouri Gov. Bob Holden and members of the state House honored St. Louis rapper Nelly, some questioned whether the state should praise a group that sings about illegal drug use and sexual promiscuity.
Nelly and his group, the St. Lunatics, were honored Tuesday for their promise to play basketball with high schools that showed increased participation in standardized state tests.
Lawmakers and young Capitol interns were among the hundreds of fans and spectators who showed up for the lunchtime event. The Missouri State Highway Patrol sent nearly 30 officers for crowd control.
Not everyone was pleased, the Associated Press reports.
Rep. Charles Portwood, a Republican, found copies on the Internet of Nelly's lyrics which included profanity and graphic sexual references and carried them around to show people.
"Here we are honoring a man for his contribution to the education of our kids, but if you read his lyrics, he is talking about promiscuous sex, crystal meth, snorting cocaine. These are the kinds of things you want your kids to hear?" Mr. Portwood asked. "If it demeans our society, it's wrong."
Nelly, whose given name is Cornell Haynes Jr., shrugged off criticism.
"Hip-hop has run into a lot of resistance, period. We are the voice of the youth. Any time you are the voice of the youth, you run into resistance," said Nelly, who has been nominated for a Grammy for his hit "Ride Wit Me."

A year in prison
A former Minneapolis City Council member was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday for extorting $10,000 from a grocery chain owner who had a regulatory matter before the council.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle also ordered Brian Herron to pay $9,000 in restitution and serve three years of probation, the Associated Press reports.
The FBI began investigating after Selwin Ortega, who had asked Herron to ensure that his grocery stores would avoid inspection problems, complained to investigators that Herron had pressured him into giving him a loan.
Herron resigned from the council after pleading guilty in July.


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