- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 1, 2002

Bloomberg's advisers
"New Yorkers have been nervously scrutinizing Mayor-elect Mike Bloomberg's every action with the intensity of Kremlinologists reading Pravda," the Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald wrote yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Bloomberg took office today.
"Their purpose? To divine Mr. Bloomberg's intentions regarding the legacy of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani," Ms. Mac Donald said.
"On the plus side, Mr. Bloomberg has said that he will make quality-of-life issues a top priority. But Giuliani fans who fear a return to urban chaos have been disconcerted by Mr. Bloomberg's choice of advisers for his transition committee. To name a few, there's Luis Garden Acosta, the head of a public high school in Brooklyn that has taught students graffiti for academic credit; Megan E. McLaughlin, a charity director who stridently fought welfare reform; and Dennis Rivera, a union official who along with Al Sharpton orchestrated protests against the New York Police Department in 1999 that grotesquely caricatured the department as racist and brutal.
"These and other transition advisers are avatars of New York's vast excuse empire, and they are undoubtedly planting in Mr. Bloomberg's ear its founding principle: Certain preferred victim groups cannot be expected to obey the rules that the rest of society lives by.
"Poor single mothers, for example, can't be expected to support children without welfare because of racism; young minority males can't be held to the law until society eradicates the 'root causes' of crime; drug addicts, vagrants and the mentally ill should be allowed to sleep and defecate on the streets because of the evils of capitalism."

An epiphany
"Asked at his year-end news conference how September 11 changed him, President Bush grew testy," New York Times columnist William Safire writes.
"'Talk to my wife,' he snapped. Not for him any of those look-in-the-mirror ruminations. His unspoken point: He's the same man he always was, and now people have come to appreciate the real him.
"He was misbriefed. It's a mistake to try to force half the voters to admit they were wrong," Mr. Safire said. "The better answer is: Of course the onslaught of terror changed him, in the same way as it changed all of us. Although our basic character is the same, America is rising to the occasion of making our world safe for civilization.
"We were shocked into an epiphany: Whenever a government offers safe haven to terrorists, it ceases to be sovereign. As an accessory to murder, it loses its legitimacy and its national borders are no longer inviolate. The deliberate harboring of terrorists is a casus belli, an invitation to invasion."

Janet Reno is a strong advocate of "hate crimes" protection for homosexuals, but one of her relatives doesn't need the protection anymore.
Fashion model Hunter Reno, niece of the former Clinton administration attorney general, was once known as tennis star Martina Navratilova's lesbian girlfriend.
But the toothy blonde, who has graced the cover of Mademoiselle magazine and hosts her own show on the Travel Channel, seems to have changed her preference: Hunter is now Mrs. Peter Rabbino, after a Dec. 9 wedding to a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., entrepreneur at which her aunt Janet officiated.
The Culture and Family Institute (CFI) notes that Hunter Reno is the latest of several high-profile defections from lesbianism, including actress Anne Heche Ellen DeGeneres' former girlfriend and rock singer Melissa Etheridge's former girlfriend Julie Cypher.
"A person who leaves the homosexual lifestyle is denied enhanced protection under hate crimes law," CFI, a Washington-based conservative group, notes on its Web site, www.cultureandfamily.org. "In contrast, genuine minorities can never cease being a member of the minority based on their behavior."

America at its best
"Outgoing New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who got so much else right after September 11, showed perfect pitch again in his farewell address last week when he predicted the ruins of the World Trade Center would take their place with other enduring monuments to American sacrifice and valor like Valley Forge, Gettysburg and Normandy," Ronald Brownstein writes in the Los Angeles Times.
"'This is going to be a place that's remembered a hundred and a thousand years from now,' he said… .
"It's what happened after, the countless acts of heroism, compassion and charity that followed day after day as the entire nation coalesced to help the families and the city recover …,"Mr. Brownstein said.
"This terrible test has shown the country to be stronger, more rooted and more connected than cultural critics on the left or the right had expected."

Globe rips Giuliani
While New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was showered with praise during his final days in office, the liberal Boston Globe lashed out at the Republican for suggesting that New York's "zero tolerance" police methods were clearly superior to the "neighborhood policing" used in Boston.
The newspaper complained that Mr. Giuliani, in his farewell address last week, had pointed out how Boston's murder rate had spiked 67 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent drop in New York City, while ignoring Boston's 5 percent decline in aggravated assaults. Oddly, the editorial failed to cite any comparative figure for New York.
"The Giuliani legacy includes the fatal police shooting of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed black man, and the police torture of Abner Louima," the newspaper said. The administration of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, a Democrat, "by comparison, can point to an unprecedented partnership between the Boston Police and private industry to provide job training in low-income neighborhoods."

Clinton ducks
"Only a few days ago, we were told that former president Bill Clinton was launching a new spin campaign to help counter the notion that he was lax on terrorism," pundit Andrew Sullivan notes at his Web site (www.andrewsullivan.com).
"In [Sundays] New York Times, hardly an anti-Clinton paper, a thorough three-part series on the Clinton terrorism legacy concluded. It was pretty damning, although it gave Clinton far more leeway than I think he deserves. And what was Clinton's response? He refused to be interviewed," Mr. Sullivan said.
"Getting other people to spin for you is OK. Actually taking personal responsibility and facing up to your mistakes is once again an impossibility for the ex-president."

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