November 16, 1999 7:30PM
SHAKEDOWN IN VIEQUES
The Navy had to halt live-fire training exercises on the Puerto Rican
island of Vieques when demonstrators camped out on the firing range. They
were protesting the accidental death of a security guard on the range last
April-the first such death in 58 years of exercises. The dispute has put
the President in a tough spot. The Pentagon insists that training must
resume for the USS Eisenhower battle group to be combat ready when it
deploys to the Persian Gulf early next year. But the President's wife is
willing to sink the Navy to curry favor with Puerto Rican voters. Puerto
Rican governor Pedro Rossello is in a tough spot of his own, caught
between the pro-statehood forces he leads and the pro-independence
protesters. A compromise is therefore in the works: Limited exercises will
resume in exchange for new economic assistance-as much as $6,000 for each
of the 9,000 inhabitants of the tiny island. Gov. Rossello has long
emphasized the economic benefits of statehood, and the successful
extortion of the Navy will advance his cause.
POINT, CLICK, DELETE
Al Gore writes in Slate
of his visit to Microsoft headquarters, "[E]ven
though national security policy didn't come up, I suggested that one
crucial issue for voters to ponder is this : Whose finger do you want on
the ALT-CONTROL-DELETE button?" Those are three buttons, of course. Declan
McCullagh of Wired
passes this along and observes, "Most people say
control-alt-delete. Gore probably never rebooted a computer and had that
line written for him." Ok, we're nitpicking. But he made this mistake
twice. Also, this is a vice president who has on previous occasions seemed
ignorant of the facts that Americans drive on the right and that radio
stations provide traffic updates. Hey, they beat up President Bush for
expressing polite interest in a new supermarket scanner.
|Think a friend would want to read this? Send it along.
Ramesh Ponnuru - Senior Editor
John J. Miller - National Political Reporter
Kate Dwyer - Editorial Associate
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