New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 5, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
4 O Herald-Zeitung O Tuesday, December 5,1995
■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21
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Q U O T A B
“To be a bestseller is not necessarily a measure of quality, but it is a measure of communication.’ ”
— Barbara Tuchman author/historian, 1966
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Politics as usual
Sniping in Republican ranks over budget negotiations expected before primaries
Americans are all too familiar with attacks politicians heap on one another in Washington.
More often than not, the opposing sides in the attacks are members of opposing parties.
Recently when reports were circulated that House Speaker Newt Gingrich had complained about his treatment at the hands of President Clinton while aboard Air Force One, the press and Congressional Democrats blasted the Speaker and blamed him for the shutdown of parts of the federal government.
The Democrats, and especially the Clinton Administration, have not been without their own mistakes, however — and Republicans have had a field day.
One Clinton cabinet member, then-Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, seemed to be the target of Republican attacks on almost a weekly basis for some of her outrageous ideas and comments.
She was finally forced from her position after even the Administration became unable to justify her continued service in that post.
But now, as presidential primaries approach, new attacks are being made in Washington.
And these are being launched by Republicans at Republicans.
Senators Bob Dole and Phil Gramm are the two front-runners for the Republican nomination, and as competitors are going after one another in the political ring.
What’s troubling to Republicans, however, is that the Senate Majority LeadcrtDole), and Gramm, a high-ranking senator himself, must work together as Republicans battle the White House over a balanced budget bill.
But when Dole said Saturday that a repeat of last month’s partial government shutdown “was not going to happen’’, Gramm lashed out at his fellow Republican, saying his comments amounted to a “retreat” and were a “tactical error.”
“By telling the president that he won’t hold out for a balanced budget because of the holidays, Sen. Dole has made it clear that Bill Clinton doesn’t need to get serious until sometime next year,” Gramm said.
Dole never said he wouldn’t hold out for a balanced budget, but then Gramm’s statement was pure politics, and accuracy has never gotten in the way of that process. But by playing for votes during critical debate over the budget — dunng a time when the Republicans need cohesion — Gramm may be hurting his own party’s agenda.
And the Republican Party may remember that at their convention.
(Today's editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Loveday.)Write us
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winning budget fight
The “settlement” of the dispute between the White House and congressional Republicans reminds me of the end of the baseball strike earlier this year. Everybody started playing ball again, though nothing was resolved. Republicans claim to have persuaded President Clinton to accept a plan they say will balance the budget in seven years. But the President says the seven-year formula is not firm and a lot of conditions he has set must first be met, including the “preservation” of Medicare (there is only $4.80 worth of difference between the Medicare premium plans of the Republicans and the White House— hardly enough to cause the elderly to be evicted from nursing homes), the environment, education and “working families,” as if that doesn’t include virtually everyone.
While both sides can claim a political victory (Clinton appears to have developed a previously absent backbone and Republicans can crow about refusing to knuckle under in face of a government “shutdown”). Republicans appear to have emerged the clear winners. They got the President to agree to use figures from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in determining which plan will best balance the budget. Previously, the President wanted to cite more optimistic figures coming from his own Office of Management and Budget. That he acquiesced to the CBO, while also saying he would include estimates from “outside sources,” is classic Clinton fence-straddling. Still, he’s committed to
using the CBO as the final authority, and if he waffles, Republicans can nail him.
There are plenty of “ifs” in this agreement, and both sides can use it for their own purposes. The President says all of his conditions must be met for him to agree to balance the budget. He’s treating the agreement like a “contingency contract” one might sign on a house. The President doesn’t buy unless he’s first sold on the congressional plan.
To get the President to sign on to their balanced-budget proposal, will Republicans forgo the tax cuts that have been part of their vetoed budget proposals? If they do, Democrats will have won the major victory and further diminished Republican claims to be the party of low taxes and reduced spending.
For the Republicans to maintain their momentum, they should take a dramatic step toward reducing dependency on government social programs by recruiting certain citizens to reclaim their primary responsibility to help the poor and needy. How about Sen. Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich convening a summit meeting of prominent religious leaders? They might even ask a few Democrats, such as Rep. Tony Hall of Ohio, to join them.
Churches, synagogues and other religious institutions receive tax breaks from government. They should be reminded that their scriptures commission them to be the first in line of defense for the poor. Government should be the last. Perhaps additional tax incentives could be given to those for whom the blessings of God are insufficient incentives.
At this summit, computerized printouts of people on public assistance could be distributed and broken down according to region, city and town. Individuals and institutional leaders could be urged to visit these people, assess their needs and provide help. Government could remain for those who can’t be aided by the religious bodies. A side benefit to the material assistance might be a spiritual revival which, in the past, has solved difficult moral and social problems out of the reach of government
Meanwhile, back in the material world, Republicans and Democrats concur that the agreement is a victory for all Americans. We’ll see. After all, these are politicians, and you can’t always trust even those you may like after the TV lights have been turned off.
Both sides are again “playing ball,” at least through Dec. 15 when the President will decide whether the budget plan meets his requirements for funding spending bills for all of fiscal 1996. Republicans have circled 2002 as the magic date when supposedly we will see politicians acting like average Americans: not spending what they don’t have.
(Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.)
Troops prepare for arrhal of peace enforcers
By SAMIR KRILIC
Associated Press Writer
SARAJFVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Troops have begun landing in the Balkans to prepare for 60,000 NATO forces who are to enforce peace in a land riven by 3 1/2 years of bloodshed.
“It is a dangerousTnission,” said Brig. Gen. Stan Cheme, the first U.S. general to reach the dreary front-line town of Kiselak, 13 miles northwest of Sarajevo. Mines, bad roads and disgruntled Balkan soldiers are among the hazards dial await the NATO troops.
In a near-freezing drizzle, three camouflaged British C-130 Hercules transport planes touched down Monday in Sarajevo carrying 28 NATO soldiers from France, Britain, Belgium and the United Stales.
In Croatia, 56 British communications experts arrived in Spin from Brueggen, Germany. Some will stay at Split, a key transit point for Bosnia. Others will head for Sarajevo and the northern Bosnian city of Tuzla, where the main base for American troops is expected to be set up.Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Tuesday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 1995. There are 26 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 5, 1933, national Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.
On this date:
In 1776, the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
In 1782, the first native U.S. president, Martin Van Buren, was bom in Kinderhook, N.Y.
In 1791, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at age 35.
In 1792, George Washington was re-elected president of the United States; John Adams was re-elected vice president.
In 1831, former President John Quincy AdamsAnalysis
U.S. soldiers and civilians loaded equipment onto flatbed cars at a base near Mannheim, Germany, on Monday, preparing to travel by train to a staging post at Kaposvar, Hungary.
Four planes carrying about 120 British soldiers were scheduled to arrive in Split and Sarajevo today.
The soldiers are among 2,600 advance troops moving into Bosnia and Croatia to set up communications, plan transportation and arrange supplies in the IO days before the signing of the agreement to end 3 1/2 years of war in the former Yugoslavia.
After Balkan leaders sign their accord Dec. 14 in Pans, NATO will start dispatching the bulk of its peacekeeping troops; 20,000 of them — one-third of the force — will be Americans.
The advance force includes 735 American soldiers being sent to Bosnia and 730 headed for Croatia, according to Pentagon figures. Defense Secretary William Perry said Monday in Washington that the entire vanguard force would be in Bosnia or on its way by the end of the week.
But Sgt. Matthew Chipman, of Beardstown, 111.,
took his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1848, President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.
In 1901, movie producer Walt Disney was bom in Chicago.
In 1932, German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.
In 1955,40 years ago, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO under its first president, George Meany.
In 1978, the American space probe Pioneer Venus I, orbiting Venus, began beaming back its first information and picture of the planet to scientists in Mountain View, Calif.
In 1989, East Germany ’s former leaden, including ousted Communist Party chief Erich Honecker, were placed under house arrest.
Ten years ago: On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 1,500 for the first
said it wasn’t clear when the rest of the advance troops would arrive.
“Everybody is hoping as soon as possible,” the sergeant said. He said he left his base in Augsburg, Germany, so quickly he didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to his parents.
American ground troops are making their way to Bosnia for the first time since the country was plunged into civil war 3 1/2 years ago, and some U.S. lawmakers have reservations about sending them in.
Members of Congress who visited Sarajevo over the weekend said both the Bosnian government and Serbian leadership had promised them U.S. soldiers will be safe, but that Bosnian Serb objections to the peace plan still worried them.
“We realize it is a difficult mission, but I dunk we are as well trained now as any force could be,” Cher-rie said Monday, adding that soldiers were happy to be able to help the long-suffering Bosnians.
“I am, I would say, oveijoyed. I’m glad that we are finally here,” Cheme said. “It’s something that has to be done. We can’t blow tune waiting. We must get in And get it done. We’ll just get on with it.”
time, then fell back to end the day at 1,482.91.
Five years ago: President Bush, on a visit to Argentina, said he was “not optimistic” that iraqi President Saddam Hussein would withdraw from Kuwait without a fight.
One year ago: Jubilant Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades. President Clinton, on a whirlwind visit to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Budapest, Hungary, urged European leaders to “prevent future Bosnias.”
Today’s Birthdays: Senate President Pro Tempore Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., is 93. Singer Little Richard is 63. Author Joan Didion is 61. Author Calvin Trillin is 60. Actress Morgan Brittany is 44.
Thought for Today: “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence not imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, dial is the soul of genius.” — Attributed to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).