- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Uh oh
Headlines in this newspaper yesterday didn't beat around the bush: "No haven on Wall Street: More losses expected; investor confidence battered."
The lead reads: "Wall Street is braced for another difficult week, much to the anxiety of investors who have watched stock prices plummet for nine straight weeks."
Reaction on Capitol Hill?
The U.S. Senate has just scheduled, for members and their staffs only, a "Financial Planning Lunch & Learn Series," to be held in the Dirksen Senate Building every Thursday in August. Topics include "Planning for Retirement from the Senate," including "what you should be doing" as retirement accounts continue to shrink in this otherwise supposedly growing economy.

Candy from babies
As the American public tries to make sense of corporate fraud and bankruptcy, and its devastating impact on personal retirement accounts and pensions, Rep. Scott McInnis, Colorado Republican, makes a good point about those who should be held accountable.
"You go into a K-Mart and you steal a candy bar," the congressman says. "You will suffer a lot more penalty under the criminal law than the chief executives of K-Mart who loan themselves millions of dollars and then the week before the company was taken into bankruptcy, got the loans forgiven by corporate documents.
"In other words, you do not have to pay it back."

Payback hurts
You'll recall that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, at the urging of certain Republican lobbyists and strategists yet despite the protests from conservatives recently addressed the annual convention of the American Muslim Council.
Well, to show its appreciation for that gesture, the council is supporting a lawsuit against President Bush and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.
The suit charges the two U.S. leaders with not complying with federal laws requiring the executive branch to certify to Congress if American-made weapons exported abroad are being used to commit human rights abuses.
Naturally, the suit also accuses Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the leaders of the Israeli military and security services of "genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, racketeering, acts of murder and torture, bodily harm, arson, kidnapping," and other abuses.

Enter at own risk
When you hit a link on the Department of Justice Web site to get more information about a White House program, the Web site forwards your browser automatically but furnishes this eye-opening warning:
"You are now leaving the Department of Justice WWW server. You are about to access www.whitehouse.gov. The Department of Justice takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over, the organizations, views, accuracy, copyright or trademark compliance or legality of the material contained on this server."
(Attorney General John Ashcroft has long been in favor of more strict control of the Internet. Perhaps he's worried that Internet surfers will reach the notorious, privately run whitehouse.com, a pornography site, rather than the official government site: whitehouse.gov).

Double double-crosser
Wait a minute. We thought Sen. James M. Jeffords of Vermont, after he abandoned the Republican Party after all those years, became an independent.
If that's the case, then why has Mr. Jeffords just written a letter on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), a letter that the Democrats are using to fill their campaign coffers?
"Dear Friend" (obviously Mr. Jeffords remembers us from the time we interviewed him in a Senate elevator): "Last May, I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. After a lifetime in the Republican Party an affiliation I maintained for more than a quarter-century in public office I became an independent."
The Republican Party, the senator goes on to write of his past allegiance, is "no longer the party of Lincoln," has "become too extreme," is "too captive to a narrow political orthodoxy," is no longer willing "to listen to the moderate voices" and is "obsessed with tax cuts."
(He wrote plenty more, but we don't have the space).
The excuse Mr. Jeffords gives for writing the letter is that the DSCC "is responsible for maintaining the Democratic majority that was created by my switch to independent."
He goes on to explain that If Republicans capture just one Democratic seat in November, "it would be absolutely devastating."
Mr. Jeffords is asking for contributions of as much as $500 or more made payable, of course, to the DSCC.

New Slate
Slate welcomes a new publisher, native Washingtonian Cyrus Krohn, who once worked for former Vice President Dan Quayle and produced CNN's "Crossfire."
Mr. Krohn was Slate's second employee, hired in 1996 as associate publisher and moving to Redmond, Wash., to help Michael Kinsley start the online magazine. His father, Col. Charles Krohn, is deputy director of public affairs for the Army.

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