Costs Nothing, Tastes Great

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: It looks like Bill Clinton may be onto something. In recent weeks, he has freely wielded the powerful pen of executive directives, addressing everything from educational TV, to gun sales to minors to the notion of asking school districts to require school uniforms, without actually asking Congress to fund new programs. Wednesday's topic du jour: free cell phones for neighborhood crime watch groups. The White House has announced that the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association will contribute 50,000 cell phones pre-programmed to dial 911, along with free cellular air time, to the nation's 20,000 community policing programs to help them combat crime. TIME Washington correspondent J.F.O McAllister that Americans can expect to see Clinton expanding his new tack of governing-by-fiat, since it casts him as the activist President working hard for middle-class folks. Take the speech last month when he asked television networks for three hours of educational programming each week. Didn't cost him a dime to get up before a crowd and propose it, but the idea won him points with parents, McAllister says. "Who can disagree with it?" says McAllister. "He's figured out the value of the bully pulpit. Given Clinton's lead in the polls, people seem to be responding well to his programs, especially since they don't have to bear the burden -->