- The Washington Times - Monday, July 1, 2002

Sticks and stones
"Liberals don't have to emerge from the hot tub and start attending NASCAR races or God forbid church, but it would be nice if they'd stop lying all the time."
Closing sentence in the uncorrected proof of conservative pundit Ann Coulter's new book, "Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right," that among other things accuses former Clinton-aides-turned-CNN-mouthpieces James Carville and Paul Begala of issuing a strategy memo last year to call President Bush names.

Bernie's beach
Let's take a dunk in Vermont, where independent Rep. Bernard Sanders has just had a beach renamed in his honor.
By a vote of 14 to 9, city councilors in Burlington approved a plan to rename North Beach "Bernard Sanders Beach." But was it a good move?
The Burlington Free Press complains in an editorial that city residents had no opportunity to weigh-in on the plan. To generations of Vermonters, the beach "conjures warm memories that have no association with politics," says the editorial.
The Caledonian-Record, meanwhile, says it is all about the water.
"North Beach water has been so contaminated with bacteria at times that the beach has been closed to swimmers at least 14 times," it writes. "The bacteria's presence in the water is mainly attributed to fecal contamination, which gets to our point about North Beach aptly being named Bernard Sanders Beach.
"The only difference is North Beach is infrequently 'full of it.' Bernie's that way most of the time."

Vermont vistas
Farmers in Vermont say their barns need fixing and they want Uncle Sam via the hand of infamous independent Sen. James M. Jeffords to supply the nails and red paint.
A Vermont historical preservation officer argues that 10,000 barns in the state need repair and that Mr. Jeffords is using that as an excuse to fight for $25 million in funding for the National Historic Barn Preservation Act.
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), for one, is "booing" Mr. Jeffords for having slipped authorization for the barn-renovation proposal into the recently passed farm bill.
"In a nutshell, this is what is wrong with the leadership in the Senate," says CAGW President Tom Schatz. "Here we are at war, in an economic malaise and facing deficits, and Senator Jeffords wants millions of dollars to spruce up old barns. Could this politician be any more detached from the nation's priorities?"

Endangered people
As of press time, 1,254 plants and animals were protected under this country's Endangered Species Act (ESA), while hundreds more were on the candidate list awaiting action.
Now, Montana's lone congressman, Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, says if Uncle Sam isn't careful, human beings will be the next species listed.
Mr. Rehberg is urging fellow lawmakers to implement "sound scientific" rules under the ESA, saying he's not against protecting the environment, he just doesn't want to wreak havoc on small family farmers and ranchers in the process.
Over the years, he points out, the act has been applied across millions of acres and miles of waterways, costing billions of dollars, causing economic hardship "and at times, devastation to thousands of people."
Proposed legislation in Congress would require "valid science" in identifying endangered species and implement "peer review" of federal agency decisions when species are added to the list.

Mud slinging?
Barely a day goes by that mud doesn't coat the halls of Congress even if one side has to dig really deep to muddy the other.
If you hadn't read in this newspaper, Rep. Diane E. Watson, California Democrat, proclaimed President Bush has a low IQ "of 88."
"That tells you something," she said, insisting that a "shadow government" consisting of Mr. Bush's "father and the guy who calls himself the vice president" was actually making the decisions in this country.
"The '88' certainly isn't making the decisions," she said.
The GOP's response?
"She is the one with the low IQ," say Bush backers, presenting as proof a May 31, 1984, news clipping about the California State Senate rejecting square dancing as the state's official dance because it left out other aspects of the Western state's culture. Among the opponents was Miss Watson, then a state senator from Los Angeles.
Sen. John Doolittle, a Citrus Heights Republican, argued that square dancing was part of California's social history since Spaniards ruled the territory. Miss Watson countered that square dancing originated in "northern Europe" and therefore the dance was "culturally biased" against blacks in the state.
The truth is that square dancing originated in Spain in the Middle Ages and later spread to English village celebrations where May queens and their subjects danced around maypoles that included an elaborate weaving of long ribbons.


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