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Moseley-Braun's Chances Brightening

Former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun's prospects for becoming ambassador to New Zealand appeared to brighten Wednesday as the White House prepared to deliver papers demanded by the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. John Howard reports

A spokesman for the chairman, Sen. Jesse Helms, said a hearing on Moseley-Braun's nomination was possible but no decision would be made until after documents from the Clinton administration have been received.

The White House has now agreed in principle to give a Senate panel additional documents related to her nomination.

Nominations, treaties and legislation can languish in the Senate for months, even years, but at other times the Senate can work at lightening speed, particularly when a recess is approaching as it is now.

There are continuing allegations that US Senate approvals of anything revolve around horse-trading, pork barrel politics, and what Senators and their lobby groups want from the White House.

Moseley-Braun and Helms have clashed in the past when Helms wanted a renewal of a patent on the United Daughters of the Confederacy insignia that featured the original Confederate flag. But Moseley-Braun argued passionately against the patent, saying the flag is a painful reminder for blacks of their former status as slaves.

Her speech turned the debate, and Helms lost the vote. Although he and other Republicans insist that Moseley-Braun's nomination is in trouble not because of the flag issue, but because of past allegations made against her. No allegations have ever been proved, as yet.

Moseley-Braun's nomination hearing, according to Washington insiders, is allegedly being held up by Helms because he wants something from the Clinton administration. In other words, this stalling of the nomination is nothing more than a continuation of a regular pattern of horse-trading which is part of the Washington beltway.

While waiting for Moseley-Braun to be confirmed as New Zealand's ambassador, and she will be when the deals are done, all we can do is sit back and watch old men in an outdated, costly and time-wasting system get their jollies.

Aren't you glad you're not an American taxpayer?


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