- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Torricelli's chances
Veteran election forecaster Stuart Rothenberg says at least one Senate Democrat incumbent now appears likely to lose his seat in November: New Jersey Sen. Robert G. Torricelli.
In his latest newsletter list that analyzes and rates this year's 34 Senate races, Mr. Rothenberg has moved Mr. Torricelli from "tossup" to "leaning to takeover."
The New Jersey Democrat appeared to be cruising toward a second term until he was "severely admonished" by the Senate ethics committee for taking gifts from a wealthy businessman seeking favors. Republican polls show his little-known Republican challenger, Douglas Forrester, a former mayor and businessman, leading by 12 points. Democratic polls show the race in a dead heat.
"Either way, Torricelli is at or below the 40 percent mark, with his favorable-unfavorable ratings in the tank. Any incumbents with those numbers at this point in an election cycle is on political life support," Mr. Rothenberg says.

A deeper hole
Corporate scandals are a big issue in the U.S. Senate race in Colorado, reporter Valerie Richardson reports from Denver.
Republican Sen. Wayne Allard has accused his Democratic challenger, lobbyist Tom Strickland, of profiting from his relationship with the bankrupt Global Crossing telecommunications firm. Mr. Strickland, in turn, attacks Mr. Allard for his involvement with Qwest, another ailing telecommunications company, and accuses Mr. Allard of blocking accounting-reform legislation.
Mr. Allard "was part of a group of Senate Republicans that blocked these reforms, and he understandably wants to change the subject and make my private law practice an issue," Mr. Strickland said. "Is there any evidence that I was involved in any issues leading to the problems with Global Crossing?"
Mr. Strickland also emphasized Mr. Allard's ties to Qwest, pointing out that the Republican advocated the company's takeover of U.S. West, received campaign contributions and later bought 120 shares of its stock.
An Allard spokesman countered that most Colorado politicians supported the homegrown Qwest takeover because the alternative was, ironically enough, Global Crossing. What's more, Mr. Allard's Qwest investment, made on the open market, ultimately plunged from $3,700 to $212.
The exchange prompted one Denver columnist to say that Mr. Strickland had violated "the first law of holes" by continuing to dig even after finding himself in deep.
"If you made 25 large in one day on an inside deal, would you invite attention to yourself by attacking the poor schlemiel who played by the rules and lost $3,700?" asked Bob Ewegen, Denver Post deputy editorial page editor. "Tom Strickland seems to think the best way to throw a hand grenade is to attach it to a boomerang."

Double standard
"When a federal grand jury in Detroit last week announced the indictment of four Middle Eastern men on terrorist conspiracy charges, the story naturally received page-one coverage. But, in what has become almost a ritual, the local press quickly followed up with articles averring that not all Muslims are terrorists, that Arab-Americans are good patriots like everybody else and that Islam is a compassionate, not a violent, faith," Thomas J. Bray writes at the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com.
"Not that anybody had suggested otherwise. But the media seem determined to see Arab-Americans through the prism of the old civil rights crusade. Any investigation of domestic links to Sept. 11 prompts heavy suspicion that a new outburst of McCarthyism is imminent and that President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft hanker to establish a police state," Mr. Bray said.
"It doesn't hurt for the media to keep a close eye on government, of course. But a serious double standard seems to be at work. If you doubt that, just think back to the aftermath of another bloody terrorist episode, the Oklahoma City bombing.
"Soon after Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were identified as the culprits in Oklahoma City, they were linked with the far-right militia movement. And that in turn sent the press baying after conservatives, religious fundamentalists, anti-big-government libertarians, Rush Limbaugh and anybody else with whom they disagreed. President Clinton, eager to regain the offensive after his party lost Congress, was especially happy to encourage the witch hunt, equating conservatism with 'extremism' at every opportunity."

A Brown world
Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, the former Democratic governor of California, scoffs at the idea of poverty-stricken people pulling themselves up by emulating the United States.
Mr. Brown was asked by interviewer Marc Morano of CNSNews.com whether he thought residents of the poorest nations of the world wanted to develop economically as the United States has done.
"Many do, but it's not viable," Mr. Brown replied. "I would say we can't develop like us, nor them. The developed model cannot work without another five planets."
A British author critical of the green movement, professor Philip Stott, compared Mr. Brown's views to Marie Antoinette's infamous "Let them eat cake" remark.
"I am deeply worried when I hear a white, Western male start to lecture the developing world on what they should or should not want," Mr. Stott told CNSNews.com.

Bipartisan cause
Former President Bill Clinton and former Sen. Bob Dole election rivals in 1996 last night announced they have raised $105 million to create a college fund for families of those killed or injured in the September 11 attacks.
"Any victims' spouses or children whether or not they're American citizens can qualify," Mr. Clinton said on CNN's "Larry King Live."
Children of victims can apply for scholarships of up to $28,000.
"It doesn't need to be a four-year college. It can be pilot training, it can be cosmetology," Mr. Dole said. "It's going to be a gift that lasts."

'Captain Queeg'
"I was worried that, while I was lazing through the dog-days of August, no one would monitor Howell Raines' continued abuse of the New York Times' erstwhile reputation as the paper of record," Andrew Sullivan writes at his Web site (www.andrewsullivan.com).
"How wrong I was. The number of Times critics seemed to balloon in August, after a particularly unhinged series of slanted non-stories against the administration. From [George] Will to [Mickey] Kaus to [Charles] Krauthammer to [Paul] Gigot to [Howard] Kurtz and then even to lefties, Cynthia Cotts and E.J. Dionne (who both largely support the Times' new slant), the consensus is overwhelming," Mr. Sullivan said.
"The coup de grace was Bill Keller's memorable admonition of Raines on the Times op-ed page no less! I may be hallucinating, but I've also noticed a slight amelioration in the last week or so, as I mention in my latest London column. Some Iraq stories even seemed to be attempts to provide real information and analysis, rather than Nation-style propaganda. Has someone had a word with Captain Queeg?"

Ice cream man
Ben Cohen, better known as one half of the ice cream-making duo Ben & Jerry, has started a liberal political group, the True Majority campaign, to unite those Americans who believe the best response to September 11 is to increase social spending while trimming the defense budget.
"To publicize the group, Cohen [today] will ride 'a giant, grunting, and eye-popping pig' around New York," United Press International reports in its Capital Comment column.
"Also in the parade are: the Rolling Piggies, depicting what Cohen calls 'Washington's mixed-up budget priorities'; a 12-foot rolling piggy bank representing the Pentagon budget towing two smaller piggy banks representing 'America's budget for education' and world hunger; and a double-decker school bus symbolizing a call to double federal education spending," the wire service said.

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