- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

Stunning turnabout
The political landscape has shifted in favor of the Republicans since September 11, according to an Ipsos-Reid/Cook Political Report poll.
In fact, Republicans have reached parity with Democrats in political affiliation, after trailing by 9 percentage points just a few months ago.
"Persistent changes in party identification raise questions about whether traditional midterm-election voting patterns will be trumped in 2002," the Political Report said in a press release.
Traditionally, the party that controls the White House loses seats in Congress during midterm elections, especially in a president's first term.
"But today, the political landscape has shifted in favor of Republicans after the events of September 11. All adults are evenly divided between 44 percent who identify as Republicans and 45 percent as Democrats (including those who initially identify as Independents, but when pushed say they lean toward one party or the other)," the firm said.
The poll, which was conducted from Jan. 4 to 6, used a nationwide sample of 1,000 adults.
Eight Ipsos-Reid polls conducted in August and September, before the terrorist attacks, found that Democrats had a 9 percentage point lead (46 percent to 37 percent) over Republicans in party identification among all adults.
The latest poll, when limited to registered voters, also found:
Fifty-three percent say they would definitely vote to re-elect President Bush, 27 percent probably would, and only 19 percent would definitely vote for someone else if the election were today.
Forty-four percent would like to see Republicans win control of Congress this fall and 43 percent hope Democrats win control.

Reich man, poor man
Former Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich, in announcing his bid for the Massachusetts governorship yesterday, indicated that he will run as an unreconstructed liberal.
In fact, he said he will offer specific proposals today to reduce the earnings gap between rich and poor, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Reich, a Democrat, said he planned to focus on the state economy and the "mess" he accused acting Gov. Jane Swift of making at the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan International Airport and other transportation agencies.
Mr. Reich, a native of Scranton, Pa., stepped down from President Clinton's Cabinet in 1997. He is a professor of social and economic policy at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.
Former national party Chairman Steve Grossman and former state Sen. Warren Tolman are the only other Democrats so far to have formally announced their candidacies.
Mrs. Swift, a Republican who is the state's first female governor, is also seeking the office this fall.
Mr. Reich needs the support of 15 percent of the delegates at the party convention in June to qualify for the primary in September.

His 'Inner Hillary'
"Someone once quipped that Hillary Rodham Clinton had the courage of her husband's convictions. It now looks like she has the courage of Tom Daschle's, too," the Wall Street Journal says.
"The two Democratic senators both admit to loathing the Bush tax cuts that passed last year, but so far only Mrs. Clinton has been candid enough to propose their repeal," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"Mr. Daschle's reluctance on repeal was the real news in his much advertised economic speech last Friday. The Senate majority leader who would like to be president blamed the Bush tax cuts as the cause of budget deficits, recession, high interest rates and every other ill short of tooth decay. But apparently the tax cuts are not so awful that he isn't willing to live with them, at least until he's the one sitting in the White House after 2004. Where's Hillary when you really need her?"
The newspaper added: "We're nonetheless pleased Mr. Daschle made his speech. It took a step toward clarifying for voters that the major fault line between Republicans and Democrats continues to be taxes, in particular as a proxy for the size of government. That's a good debate to have come November.
"So why go only halfway? If Mr. Daschle really believes the Bush tax cuts were a disaster, we'd encourage him to unleash his Inner Hillary and call for their complete repeal."

Pandering to Castro
A Cuban-American group is appalled that Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, thinks the United States can collaborate with Cuba in the war against terrorism especially since Cuba remains on the State Department list of terrorist nations.
Mr. Specter made his remarks about Cuba after he and Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island Republican, met with Mr. Castro on Friday in Havana.
The Cuban Liberty Council denounced Mr. Specter's comments as "deplorable and a disgraceful affront to the very heart of America's war on terror," citing what it called acts of terror committed by Mr. Castro's government against Americans.
The council also condemned another congressional delegation for presenting Mr. Castro with a New York City Fire Department cap, saying it was "a despicable offense to the memory of the victims of September 11."
The delegation consisted of Reps. Bill Delahunt and Stephen Lynch, Massachusetts Democrats; Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri Republican; Vic Snyder, Arkansas Democrat; William Lacy Clay, Missouri Democrat; and Hilda L. Solis, California Democrat.

Nostradamus award
The worst prediction on terrorism? Chris Bray offers a nomination.
"In June 2000, a national commission formed by Congress released a major report warning that terror attacks from overseas were increasingly likely," Mr. Bray writes in the latest Reason magazine.
"But Bruce Shapiro, a contributing editor at 'The Nation,' was too smart to fall for the idea that terrorists might ever attack the U.S.; he cleverly broke down the truth about the report for readers of the online magazine 'Salon.'
"The headline read, 'The hyping of domestic terrorism: Why a new report on the threat of international terrorist attacks on U.S. soil is a con job.'"
The Shapiro article, still available at www.salon.com, said the possibility of foreign-directed terrorist attacks on U.S. soil had "roughly the veracity of the latest Robert Ludlum novel."
As if that were not enough, Mr. Shapiro added, "Facts also do not square well with the commission's alarming suggestion that, as commission adviser [Brian Michael] Jenkins puts it, 'current efforts to detect, prevent and prepare for such attacks are inadequate.'"
Mr. Shapiro, an intrepid journalism teacher at Yale, detected in the commission's proposals for more surveillance and wiretaps "an American tradition of immigrant-bashing that has played out periodically during periods of national change and uncertainty: the Masonic conspiracy panic of 1798, which led to the notorious Alien and Sedition Acts; the Red Scare of the 1920s, which helped pave the way for immigration quotas; and of course McCarthyism."

Extreme to extreme
The Taliban repressed Afghan women for years, but is Afghanistan ready for feminism American-style?
The Sisterhood Is Global Institute (SIGI), subsidized by the federal National Endowment for Democracy, thinks so.
Founded by radical feminist Robin Morgan and backed by such leading lights of American feminism as Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority Foundation, SIGI organized an "Afghan Women's Summit for Democracy" in Brussels last month.
Conservative activist Cliff Kincaid is worried by the involvement of American feminists in reconstructing Afghanistan.
"The Afghan people need food, water and shelter, not social experimentation directed by the National Organization [for] Women," said Mr. Kincaid, president of America's Survival. "This feminist interference in Afghanistan's future could give the term 'Ugly American' new meaning."

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