- The Washington Times - Friday, January 18, 2002

Post vs. Christians

The Washington Post suggested yesterday that “religious conservatives” who oppose medical experiments on cloned human embryos are like the Taliban.

The news story by reporter Rick Weiss, which appeared on page A21, was “ostensibly about the first meetings of President Bush's new Council on Bioethics,” the Media Research Center reports.

Mr. Weiss wrote: “The council will be navigating a scientific and ethical landscape significantly more complex than the one that existed when the House became embroiled in the topic last summer. In November, researchers announced that they had made the first human embryo clones, giving immediacy to warnings by religious conservatives and others that science is no longer serving the nation's moral will.

“At the same time, the United States was fighting a war to free a faraway nation from the grip of religious conservatives who were denounced for imposing their moral code on others.”

Not so wealthy

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who on Wednesday called for repeal of “future tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest taxpayers,” apparently has a different definition of “wealthy” when it comes to him and his fellow members of Congress.

“You've called for the retraction of some of the tax cuts for people making over $130,000,” Chris Matthews pointed out in a “Hardball” interview with the Massachusetts Democrat that aired last night on MSNBC and CNBC.

“That would include all the United State Senate and members of the U.S. Congress. Do you believe that everybody who works in the bodies of Congress is wealthy because of the salary they draw?” Mr. Matthews asked.

Mr. Kennedy replied: “I wouldn't use the term wealth,' but I understand people are sacrificing today.”

Teachers snub Reno

In a surprise announcement, the Florida Education Association a 120,000-member, politically active union has given its endorsement to Florida Democrat Bill McBride in his bid for the nomination to run against Jeb Bush for the governorship of Florida.

The endorsement one of the biggest for state Democrats was sought by Janet Reno, who is still the favorite to win the Democratic nomination in the Sept. 10 primary.

Mr. McBride is a Tampa lawyer who lacks the heavy political experience of Miss Reno. But he also has none of the baggage. At least two others are also seeking the nomination, state Sen. Daryl Jones and state Rep. Lois Frankel.

In an interview with The Washington Times this week, Mr. McBride said he doesn't expect any negative campaigning for the primary, at least from his camp.

“I want to focus on the governor's record,” Mr. McBride said. “I tell people, You can like the other candidates, but just like me more.'”

Clinton looks ahead

Bill Clinton “is braced for independent counsel Robert Ray to release the final report on the Monica Lewinsky affair within the next few days the strategy some advisers are urging is to studiously ignore it and for the investigation by the U.S. attorney into his pardons of fugitive financier Marc Rich and others,” USA Today reports.

“His administration's top guard assumes congressional inquiries this year into September 11 will scrutinize his record on terrorism,” reporter Susan Page writes.

“More than anything, Clinton at 55 isn't ready to relinquish the prestige and power that he has sought for a lifetime. He is trying to shape a role that will make him a significant part of the national debate again. He chats with Sen. John Edwards and other would-be 2004 presidential contenders, strategizes with former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson about Richardson's campaign for governor of New Mexico and will headline Democratic fund-raisers in California and Florida in the next few weeks,” the reporter said.

“He met with President Vicente Fox of Mexico while vacationing there over the holidays, will receive an award in Tel Aviv on Sunday and plans to go to Africa soon with Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto. In New York next Thursday, the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Foundation will host the first of a series of conferences, this one on Islam and the West.”

Forbes' no comment'

Club for Growth President Stephen Moore said yesterday during a budget presentation that one of the best things the Bush administration could do for the economy is to replace Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill with Steve Forbes.

Mr. Forbes, a former Republican presidential candidate, was with Mr. Moore at the event at the National Press Club and offered only a “no comment.” He did say he believes the Bush economic team has not performed as well as the foreign-policy team and other facets of the Bush administration.

Both men said they believe Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, have pushed their party to the left on fiscal issues.

Mr. Forbes again made a pitch for a flat tax as the best way to revive the economy, while Mr. Moore pushed for a capital-gains-tax cut.

Change of heart

“Rep. Nita Lowey, having sparked public outrage with her remarks last month attacking George Bush's recession' and outrageously labeling the president's economic-stimulus plan unpatriotic,' has had a change of heart,” the New York Post says.

“At an editorial board meeting Monday with the suburban Journal News, the Westchester Democrat pulled back from her finger-pointing. She now says that no single official or administration can be blamed for a recession.”

“Welcome back to earth, Rep. Lowey,” the Post said in an editorial.

“Needless to say, she still doesn't like the president's plan.

“But at least she no longer considers it unpatriotic' a rhetorical lapse unbecoming a legislator who normally displays much more good sense.

“It's particularly welcome that she also no longer is proclaiming as she did last month that the bottom line is, this is George Bush's recession.'

“For that to be true, it would have to mean that the president brought about a recession after only five weeks in office a neat trick indeed.”

A civil rights case

The civil rights and assault-and-battery lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Rev. Jesse Jackson claims that Mr. Jackson's son Jonathan “shoved” the plaintiff, Jesse Lee Peterson, an outspoken conservative critic of the elder Mr. Jackson.

Mr. Peterson also charges that someone used a racial slur against him during the fracas after a Dec. 10 meeting between Toyota officials and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition in Los Angeles. Mr. Peterson had asked during the meeting if Toyota and Rainbow/PUSH would afford “diversity” opportunities to minorities who were also conservatives.

In his complaint, which was filed by Judicial Watch, Mr. Peterson says he was harassed by a “mob” after the meeting and “feared for his life.”

Reversing course

President Bush came under fire yesterday for waiving a statute that would have allowed U.S. citizens to sue foreign companies that invest in properties confiscated from Americans by the Cuban regime of Fidel Castro.

Rep. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat and ranking member on the International Relations subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, said Mr. Bush had “reversed course on his most fundamental campaign promise to the Cuban-American community” by waiving Title III of the Libertad Act.

President Clinton also had waived that aspect of the law, angering a number of Republican legislators, who were mostly quiet yesterday now that a Republican president has done the same thing.

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