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THE BACK PAGE The Sayings of Statesman Tom In the wake of all the media piffle about what Bill Clinton would or would not say about slavery while one stentorian voice rang out in no uncertain terms: ere’s a flower child with gray hairs doing exactly what he did back in the sixties: he’s apologizing for the actions of the United States. Wherever he went. It just offends me that the President of the United States is, directly or indirectly, attacking his own country in a foreign land. It just amazes me.” It was, of course, that Demosthenes of the Gulf Coast, Congressman/Exterminator Tom DeLay. DeLay was just getting started: “[Clinton] didn’t quite apologize for the chieftains in Uganda that were selling the blacks to the slave traders, did he? Heh. He didn’t talk about what’s-his-name, Idi Amin, that killed 500,000 people in Uganda. He didn’t apologize for that. You know, he’s very quick to apologize for other people’s mistakes, and he can’t apologize for his own, and it comes right back to character.” Tom DeLay, Statesman. When not trying to punch out other members of Congress on the House floor, DeLay’s as quotable as they get. \(The language he uses when he is trying to punch other Congressmen isn’t lected together in one handy reference sheet by your good friends at the Observer, are the Honorable Tom DeLay’s Words of Wisdom: On the art of politics \(during the 1996 It’s time for an all-out war.” On building support from PACs and lobbyists: “We keep a close eye on the money. Business money used to be sixty-forty Democratic; we’ve switched it to sixty-forty Republican. We don’t like to deal with peo A Receiving signals from space Alan Pogue ple who are trying to kill the revolution. We know who they are. The word is out.” On clean air and water: “There is no scientific evidence in the book \(Silent Spring, base environmental policy on political motives or bad science.” On the E.P.A.: “The gestapo of government.” On scientific advancement: “When we passed the Clean Air Act during the Bush administration, there was a fortyto fiftybillion dollar program for acid rain in the bill. The government was winding up a tenyear study with a hundred scientists, a hundred million dollars, to study acid rain. We said, wait for the study. But the bill passed before the scientific work was done. The E.P.A. will tell you that the study would have shown that there is no acid rain.” Explaining, scientifically, the reason lakes in the Adirondack Mountains in New York state were rendered sterile by excessive acidity: “It rains a lot up there, and the water comes down through the forest floor, through the minerals in the soil. That’s where the acid comes from. You don’t need billions of dollars to fix that up. Just sprinkle a little lime to neutralize the acid.” On global warming: “It’s arrogance of man to think that man can change the climate of the world. Only nature can change the climate. A volcano, for instance.” On Clinton’s alleged affairs: “He cheated on his wife, he’ll cheat on the American people.” On the alleged affairs of fellow Republicans: “If members have done that and recognized it’s wrong and reconciled with people they have offended and asked forgiveness, then more power to them. They’re people of character.” On the right to work \(in the Northern Marianas, a U.S. commonwealth comprised of islands in the Pacific, with extremely low factory Wages, lax immigration rules, and working conditions so awful that even the Philippine government formarket success,” where an increase of the minimum wage proposed by “pawns of big labor and the radical left” would “destroy the lives of people….” Congressman DeLay’s advice to these U.S. citizens? “Stand firm. Resist evil. Remember that all truth and blessings emanate from our creator. God bless you and the people of the Northern Marianas.”