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It seems to us . . . A blast from the presidential past, disaster management and a nasty ticket

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Americans who were even slightly aware of the news from 1972 to 1974 must have felt an odd tingle this week when the White House revealed that e-mails sought by Congress for investigations into the firings of federal prosecutors were missing. Who can forget the protracted fight over the audiotapes President Nixon secretly made in the Oval Office -- or the regret of many supporters that he simply didn't destroy them.
Fast forward 33 years. It's hard not to wonder if Karl Rove, whose e-mails are missing, didn't take that advice to heart, or assuming they are eventually produced, if they will contain a mysterious 18 1/2 -word gap.

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DENTING DAD'S CAR: This just in: Teen-aged boys sometimes do dumb things. That's not exactly hold-the-presses stuff, but when the dumb thing is serious enough (as in, say, a couple of car owners left holding the bag for damage costs) or time turns the dumb thing into a question of decision-making by elected officials, it sort of gets newsworthy.

The bottom line right now seems to be that Mayor Byron W.Brown's son has learned a painful lesson and properly apologized. The process questions still need to play out, although we can understand the mayor's family loyalty and -- like other parents -- some of us are sympathetic. But one thing seems certain: City Hall sure managed to find ways, most of them involving adamant denial instead of inquiry, to take a relatively minor news story and push it onto the front burner for days on end.

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T-SHIRT TIME: No, not the ones with Sabres logos, although we do want some with "Stanley Cup Champions" emblazoned on them a few weeks from now. We're talking politics here.

We'll hold off on endorsing the ticket, but we do admire a recent suggestion that the Democrats pick Al Gore as a presidential candidate again and encourage him to name local Rep. Louise Slaughter as his running mate -- just so we can all get "Gore and Slaughter" shirts for the campaign.

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