- The Washington Times - Friday, March 14, 2003

Lott vs. Frist
Sen. Bill Frist, unlike his Republican predecessors as majority leader, is unwilling to compromise just to get things done, a stance that conservatives and the White House applaud, the New York Times reports.
"While other Republican leaders, including Trent Lott, Bob Dole and Howard H. Baker Jr., were more independent deal makers who prided themselves on keeping the legislative trains running, Dr. Frist is charting a different path as a committed conservative who says he does not intend to compromise his party's principles for the sake of momentum," reporter David Firestone wrote yesterday in a front-page story.
Among the Tennessee senator's critics: Mr. Lott, of Mississippi, who objects to the way his successor is handling the Democratic filibuster of judicial nominee Miguel Estrada. Mr. Lott was particularly unhappy about a midnight meeting on the Senate floor late last month intended to show Republican senators' unity.
"Mr. Lott said he strenuously objected to the session and the weeks of debate that preceded it, considering them a waste of time," the reporter wrote. "He said Dr. Frist should have pressed for an accommodation with the Democrats and moved on."
Said Mr. Lott: "I didn't like those late-night things, and I guess I just have a different view of how to get things done. They used to criticize me for moving the trains, but, after all, what's the main point here? To score political points with our core? No. The goal is to confirm Miguel Estrada. And if that's really your goal, it affects your tactics."
Mr. Frist had this to say: "I want people to see that we don't fold, period, when we're right on principle. I know that half my own caucus thinks we've prolonged this too long. But before this is over, it will show that patience pays off, just like it does in medicine persistence, when you know deep inside that you are right on an issue."

Ruckus on the Hill
Ed Smart whose 15-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was returned home safely this week after a nine-month abduction caused a ruckus on Capitol Hill yesterday by demanding that lawmakers pass legislation aimed at helping find abducted children, and blaming Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican, in particular for the fact that it hasn't happened yet.
"Jim Sensenbrenner seems to be exhibiting reckless disregard for not only his constituents, but children throughout the country," Mr. Smart said in a statement. He made similar comments in a press conference as well.
Mr. Smart wants Congress to pass the so-called "Amber Alert" bill, which would authorize money to develop Amber Alert systems in states that do not have them and establish a national coordinator. Amber Alert is a system that uses local media and road signs to get information on abductions out to the public.
The Senate already passed the Amber Alert bill this year. But Mr. Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has insisted on his bill, which includes extra provisions. In addition to the Amber Alert language, his bill also would increase penalties for child abductors, mandate lifetime supervision for child abductors and sex offenders, life imprisonment for second-time offenders and increase wiretapping authority related to sex crimes against children.
Mr. Sensenbrenner's committee will consider his bill Tuesday, and Rep. Tom DeLay, Texas Republican and House majority leader, said he would like to bring it to the floor Wednesday.

Vilifying minorities
"The Miguel Estrada affair is the latest example of a form of 'McCarthyism' practiced by the Left that vilifies any apostate minorities even suspected of embracing conservative positions," writes Peter N. Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
"His opponents have described Estrada as 'inauthentic' and 'Hispanic in name only,' an attack on his racial bona fides. Conservatives would obviously have been excoriated for playing the race card in this fashion, but liberals have mostly gotten a pass. For example, Benjamin Wittes, writing in The Washington Post, took note of the starkly different standard to which Estrada was being held but after navigating maddeningly close to the reason for it, contented himself with wondering 'why Estrada is so controversial in the first place.'
"On the Sunday news shows, legions of Republicans have complained that Estrada is being subjected to a double standard, but have generally refrained from commenting on the reason for it," Mr. Kirsanow said in a column at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"One of the few exceptions has been Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has been much more blunt: The different treatment, he said, is due to race. The fast, furious, and indignant responses to Hatch's assertion may be a measure of its accuracy."

Message to France
A congresswoman has introduced legislation that would allow relatives of Americans killed in France and Belgium during World War II to have the remains returned.
"I, along with many other Americans, do not feel that the French government appreciates the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made to defend the freedom that the French enjoy today," Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida Republican, said in a prepared statement.
"The remains of our brave servicemen should be buried in patriotic soil, not in a country that has turned its back on the United States and on the memory of Americans who fought and died there."

Duke's jail term
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was sentenced Wednesday to more than a year in prison and a $10,000 fine for bilking his supporters and cheating on his taxes.
Duke, a former Louisiana state legislator, pleaded guilty in December to tax and mail fraud; the sentence was the same one agreed to in his plea bargain.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said Duke must report to prison by April 15. Federal guidelines require that he serve at least 85 percent of the 15-month sentence.
The mail-fraud charge grew out of what prosecutors described as a six-year scheme to bilk thousands of followers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through a direct-mail campaign. Prosecutors have not said exactly how much Duke is accused of bilking.
Duke, 52, had told supporters that he was in danger of losing his home and savings. But prosecutors said he sold his home for a profit during that period, held numerous investment accounts and gambled away much of his take at casinos in Mississippi, Las Vegas and the Bahamas.

A profiling award
Two Southern governors voted out of office after defying constituents over the Confederate flag were among three politicians named Wednesday to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the Associated Press reports.
The annual award honored former Govs. Roy Barnes of Georgia and David Beasley of South Carolina, as well as former Georgia state Rep. Dan Ponder Jr., a Republican who pushed for hate-crime laws in his state.
"They took a strong and unpopular stand, and I think the committee felt that each of them did so knowing that their base of support might be eroded," said John Seigenthaler, chairman of the selection committee and founder of the First Amendment Center in Arlington.
Mr. Seigenthaler said "racism is alive and well in the country" and that the committee wanted to recognize politicians who helped fight bigotry.

Kirkpatrick's post
Jeane Kirkpatrick, who served President Reagan as ambassador to the United Nations, will represent the United States on the human rights panel of the U.N. Economic and Social Council, the White House announced yesterday.
Mrs. Kirkpatrick currently concentrates on foreign policy and national security issues at the American Enterprise Institute.

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