- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Latest strategy
"A new poll and analysis from the Democracy Corps, a group founded by Democrat consultants Stan Greenberg, Bob Shrum and James Carville, says that accountability, 'the word and the value,' is 'emerging as a central explanatory idea for what people are feeling as they watch unfolding events in diverse areas,'" United Press International reports in its Capital Comment column.
"Linking the collapse of the Enron energy company, the pedophilia scandal inside the American Catholic Church and, by implication, the recent imbroglio over what, if anything, the Bush administration may have known about the September 11 terror attack before it happened, the memo says: 'All of that has come together in a widely shared sense that many in powerful positions operate irresponsibly, hurt people, and pay no price. They are not held accountable.'
"'Accountability, we shall see, is the vehicle for Democrats to talk about these abuses centered on certain big corporations and their political supporters who have given free rein to this conduct and who have allowed bad civic behavior to go unpunished.'"

Don't blame Enron
California's electricity crisis of 2000-2001 was brought about by misguided government policies, not corporate misconduct or market forces, according to a study by economist Benjamin Zycher, released yesterday by the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute.
California Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat up for re-election in November, blames Enron and other energy companies for the crisis. Other liberals have rushed to support the idea that government did nothing wrong it was all the fault of greedy corporations that gouged the state and its residents.
"For those willing to let economic realities speak for themselves, and to recognize the link between policies and consequences, the answers are readily apparent," Mr. Zycher said in his study, "Power to the People: An Economic Analysis of California's Electricity Crisis and Its Lessons for Legislators."
"California's electricity crisis was entirely due to poorly designed public policies. Unfortunately, the issue has been surrounded with misperceptions and clouded by demagoguery," he said.
"The retail rate freeze provided poor incentives for consumers to reduce their demand for power and the price ceiling imposed by California's Independent System Operator worsened supply difficulties," said Mr. Zycher, a senior fellow at the institute who served as senior staff economist with the President's Council of Economic Advisers during the first two years of the Reagan administration.

Berke's promotion
"Rick Berke, the New York Times reporter whose gullibility the Gore campaign exploited in September of 2000 to write a story about the supposedly subliminal word 'RATS' in an anti-Gore TV ad, has been promoted to Washington editor, the number two slot in the Washington bureau. He replaces John Broder who is taking over the Los Angeles bureau," the Media Research Center's Brent Baker writes at www.mediaresearch.org.
"Just after his story ran, Berke conceded on PBS to how a Gore campaign operative had pointed out to him the 'RATS' lettering in the ad in which that letter sequence was visible on screen as the word 'bureaucrats' went by.
"That wasn't the only time Berke has reported through a liberal prism in which he assumes conservatives are distasteful. Earlier this year, he eagerly highlighted how 'Gray Davis is just salivating at the opportunity to paint' the 'very conservative' California Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon 'as anti-abortion, anti-environment, anti-gun control, anti-everything, which just doesn't sit well with the California electorate.' He also suggested U.S. troops in Afghanistan could become another Vietnam. In January, he waited until the fourth paragraph of a story headlined, 'Poll Finds Enron's Taint Clings More to G.O.P. Than Democrats,' to get around to how it found 82 percent approval for President Bush," Mr. Baker said.
"Back in 1992 he assured CNN's Larry King that the media are not biased in any way. On the October 16, 1992, 'Larry King Live' he maintained: 'I don't think there is [a bias] at all. I think anyone who accuses the press of bias is acting in desperation, I think. I think the press has been much more aggressive and fair, in being, in going after both sides, and looking, than ever before.'"

Terrorism warms up
Global warming and its effects, if left unchecked, could foment more terrorism, former President Bill Clinton said Monday.
Speaking at a $375-a-head automobile-debut function in Auckland, New Zealand, Mr. Clinton said the collapse in March of a large chunk of the Antarctic ice shelf had provided "fresh evidence of the reality of global warming," reporter Patrick Goodenough writes at www.CNSNews.com.
About one-third of all greenhouse-gas emissions in the world come from cars and trucks, Mr. Clinton told the 750 guests, referring to pollutants environmentalists hold responsible for climate change.
Eliminating that source through various environmentally sound vehicle projects could "make a third of this problem go away," he added.
In what he said was an "unsolicited statement of support," Mr. Clinton thanked the event's hosts, German car manufacturer BMW, for its work in developing environmentally responsible autos for the future, including work on hydrogen-powered engines.
"This is a big deal. I think the United States should have done more [in this regard] when I was president. And if I could have persuaded the Congress that global warming was real instead of some subversive plot to make us poor, we would have done more."

Daschle's slip
"Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle's tongue got the better of him during a response to a question about trade during the Q&A; portion of his National Press Club speech Wednesday," Ed Henry writes in his Heard on the Hill column in Roll Call.
"Daschle was apparently trying to stress his long support of 'international discourse,' but it didn't quite come out that way," Mr. Henry said.
"'I have been one who always believed that global markets and international intercourse is something very, very important to our country,' he said.
"Daschle added that all of this global intercourse will, appropriately enough, help America 'build relationships' of some kind with other nations," singling out China and Russia as possibilities.

Florida urban legends
The Justice Department said yesterday it found no credible evidence that any Florida residents were intentionally denied their right to vote in the 2000 presidential election.
The Justice Department, in a letter to Congress reported by the Associated Press, detailed findings so far in its investigation in three Florida counties: Orange, Miami-Dade and Osceola. The department is considering lawsuits in those counties over such inadvertent problems as not hiring enough bilingual poll workers.
"While the Civil Rights Division discovered evidence of significant confusion and delay in the three counties, there were relatively few voters who actually did not vote because of these problems," Assistant Attorney General Ralph Boyd wrote.
He said the small number "doesn't reasonably cast any doubt on President Bush's several hundred vote margin of victory in Florida."
"The Civil Rights Division found no credible evidence in our investigations that Floridians were intentionally denied their right to vote during the November 2000 election," Mr. Boyd said.

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