- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 17, 2002

Pretzel politics
As Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was being introduced yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington, everyone, including emcee Dick Ryan of the Detroit News, knew the Massachusetts Democrat was going to call for freezing a portion of the administration's tax cut.
"Senator, when the president heard you were coming here to talk about his tax-cut plan, he sent a small gift," Mr. Ryan said in his introduction.
He produced a large bag of Rold Gold pretzels for Mr. Kennedy, who laughed.

The other Kennedy
"There may be no member of Congress in either party whose spending initiatives are more responsible for our $4 trillion national debt than Ted Kennedy," Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute writes in National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"The National Taxpayers Union has given Kennedy a lifetime 'F' grade for his disservice to the taxpayers and his utter disregard for fiscal sanity," Mr. Moore writes. "So there is more than a little irony in Ted Kennedy now giving holier-than-thou lectures about fiscal responsibility."
Mr. Moore notes that the Massachusetts Democrat "would raise income-tax rates on the rich; he would resurrect the death tax; and even tax rates on many middle-income families would be raised in Kennedy's $1 trillion tax-hike scheme."
"What we have here is Kennedy-economics. But it is certainly not John F. Kennedy economics. It was almost exactly 40 years ago when President Kennedy called for a 30 percent across-the-board income-tax-rate cut. JFK argued that high tax rates were one of the primary deterrents to prosperity. He said that every American should receive a tax rate reduction, because 'a rising tide of prosperity will lift all boats.' There was none of this class warfare, hate-the-rich rhetoric that has become such an unhealthy obsession with his younger brother, Tom Daschle and the modern-day Democratic party."

Mrs. Dole buys house
"Former Cabinet secretary Elizabeth Dole, currently vying for the GOP nomination to replace retiring North Carolina GOP Sen. Jesse Helms, has responded to criticisms that she did not actually live in the state by purchasing the home in which she grew up," United Press International reports in its "Capital Comment" column.
"Her 100-year-old mother still lives in the home, which Dole purchased for $350,000 from a marital trust established by her father. Nonetheless, Democrats and her Republican primary opponents are still expected to make an issue over the fact that Dole, who is married to former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, has closer ties to his home state of Kansas and to Washington, D.C., where the two have lived for many years, than she does to the state of her birth."

Jackson to be sued
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson said yesterday that he will file a civil rights lawsuit against the Rev. Jesse Jackson over a Dec. 10 incident in Los Angeles in which Mr. Peterson claims he was assaulted.
Mr. Peterson says he was confronted by Mr. Jackson, his son Jonathan, and Judge Greg Mathis who hosts the nationally televised "Judge Mathis" program after a public meeting with Toyota Motors officials in Los Angeles. The automaker was explaining its plan to spend $700 million in minority communities as part of an agreement with Mr. Jackson. During a Q&A; session, Mr. Peterson asked a Toyota official how the auto giant would ensure that conservative blacks would not be discriminated against because of their beliefs.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Peterson says he was shoved by Jonathan Jackson and surrounded by Jesse Jackson and about a dozen Jackson supporters who were threatening him. According to Mr. Peterson, Mr. Mathis asked him, 'Where's your buddy O'Reilly now?' referring to Fox News talk-show host Bill O'Reilly, who has Mr. Peterson as a guest on occasion.
Mr. Peterson has been a longtime antagonist of Mr. Jackson and the rest of the old guard of the civil rights establishment. On Monday, Mr. Peterson will hold the third annual Jesse Jackson Repudiation Day. In August, Mr. Peterson called for a boycott of the NAACP, saying "the NAACP has sold out its original intent."

Lack of diversity
"It is ironic that the Democrats, the party that has made a fetish out of affirmative action in delegation selection, will again approve rules mandating special treatment for the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary," USA Today columnist Walter Shapiro writes.
"Hasn't anyone in the party noticed that Iowa (94 percent white) and New Hampshire (96 percent white) are about as ethnically diverse as a reunion of Mayflower descendants? Why is it that these demographically atypical states could be the only ones in which most voters will get to see candidates campaign in the flesh?" Mr. Shapiro asked.
"New Hampshire at least has the lustrous history of a primary dating back to the early days of the 20th century. In no state in the union do voters take their civic obligations more seriously. But in Iowa, most Democrats (or Republicans, for that matter) don't even bother to leave the comforts of their homes to attend the caucuses. As for hallowed tradition, nobody ever noticed the Iowa caucuses until Jimmy Carter used them to jump-start his presidential campaign in 1976.
"OK, both Iowa and New Hampshire have popular Democratic governors, and it would be unrealistic to expect the party to derail this quadrennial boost to the occupancy rates of local motels. But the Democrats could have easily added two more states to the early campaign calendar. Mandating that Iowa and New Hampshire would be followed by primaries in, say, South Carolina (30 percent black) and Arizona (25 percent Hispanic) would add much-needed diversity to the Democratic nomination process."

Jeffords' self-praise
"Any serious student of the Bible has, at one point or another, had to grapple with the Moses Paradox," Matt Labash writes in the Weekly Standard.
"The Moses Paradox is the proposition that Moses was the humblest man in all the earth, information that would go down easier had it not come to us by way of Numbers, a book written by Moses," Mr. Labash said.
"A similar puzzlement sets in when reading 'My Declaration of Independence,' the self-aggrandizing manifesto from Vermont's newly Independent senator, Jim Jeffords. Like its author, it manages to be preachy, charmless and slight.
"Jeffords' publisher, Simon & Schuster, threatens a full-length autobiography next year. But why bother? In 'My Declaration of Independence,' Jeffords has already accomplished his mission: showcasing his wholesome goodness on every page, casting himself in a morality pageant that plays like every Jimmy Stewart movie and Quaker Oats commercial rolled into one."

'The little guy'
"Despite the exaggerated hype in the media the invocations of Watergate, Teapot Dome, Whitewater, Iran-Contra, et cetera it seems doubtful Bush will be hurt" by the Enron scandal, Russ Smith says in his "Mugger" column in the New York Press.
However, Mr. Smith suggests, "Democratic demagogues (like millionaires and wine connoisseurs Bob Shrum and James Carville) will insist this proves the president is for the fat cats and not the little guy."
"The little guy who gets screwed by his or her on-the-take union leaders.
"The little kid who's denied the opportunity for a decent education because Democrats are beholden to a bloated (and vote-rich) bureaucracy.
"The little guy who's routinely ridiculed by the effete entertainment industry (which gives money almost exclusively to Democrats) even though he's the one who buys movie tickets, CDs and concert tickets.
"The little guy who's the victim of reverse discrimination, whether it involves admission to college or employment."

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