Friday, 29 September 2000
UPDATE ON ROBERT PARK'S CONDITION.
Arrows are all pointing up!
1. "THE BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR."
House Science Committee Chairman
James Sensenbrenner and Senate Science, Technology and Space
Subcommittee Chairman Bill Frist fired extraordinary verbal
volleys over the Capitol last week. Frist, co-chairman of the
Senate S&T Caucus, is one of the principal architects of
legislation - twice before passed by the Senate - that would
double federal civilian research budgets over ten years.
Sensenbrenner, who has repeatedly blocked House action, unloaded
first, vowing that "the House will not pass a long-term
authorization bill...that undermines the future work of the
Science Committee." Frist fired back by having the Senate pass
the bill a third time, again unanimously, with two information
technology bills attached that Sensenbrenner wants enacted. And
he harshly reprimanded his GOP colleague, stating first, "You are
holding [the doubling bill] up to a higher standard than you do
your own...." and then warning he would not pass the IT bills
separately, noting it would violate agreements Sensenbrenner and
he had already struck. Meanwhile, appropriators are moving
steadily toward the doubling scenario, letting Sensenbrenner's
blasts echo silently. Next year, he can fire away from the House
Judiciary Committee as its senior GOP member. WN can't wait.
2. MARCHING TO DIFFERENT DRUMMERS.
At a National Academies
Workshop on Scientific Communication and National Security,
Presidential Science Advisor Neal Lane pledged adherence to
President Reagan's 1985 national security directive that exempts
fundamental research from security restrictions. Trouble is the
Departments of State, Energy and Commerce have a different view
for any research that relies on "sensitive" technologies,
according to administrators. Meanwhile, former Senator Howard
Baker and former Representative Lee Hamilton, in a report to DOE,
warned that tight security measures now in place at the labs may
pose a bigger threat to national security than the potential loss
of secret information. Shh, guys, that's classified info.
3. MEA CULPA.
As senators chastised Attorney General Reno and
FBI Director Freeh for bungling the Wen Ho Lee case, the New York
Times chastised itself for falling short of its standards in its
early coverage of the matter. The NYT should take a cue from WN.
This week's WN was written by Michael Lubell.