When Hillary Speaks…

(With a tip of the hat to Matt Margolis at Blogs for Bush.) Hillary Clinton spoke to the Brookings Institution last Thursday in a speech called: ADDRESSING THE NATIONAL SECURITY CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME [pdf link].

Here's this from an MSNBC piece regarding her speech:
Clinton also saw a likelihood that the new Iraqi government would repress women’s rights which, she said, had been expanded by Saddam Hussein.

“I have been deeply troubled by what I hear coming out of Iraq. When I was there and met with women members of the national governing council and local governing councils in Baghdad and Kirkuk they were starting to express concerns about some of the pullbacks in the rights they were given under Saddam Hussein,” she said.

“He was an equal opportunity oppressor, but on paper, women had rights. They went to school, they participated in the professions, they participated in government and in business; as long as they stayed out of his way, they had considerable freedom of movement.”
On paper, Senator, women had no rights under Saddam Hussein. Men had no rights. In a dictatorship such as that in Iraq, all rights derive from and are bestowed upon the despot. Any rights possessed by anyone else were transitory rights at the whim of the dictator, and thus were not actual rights.

The woman is a dizzbot. Someone should go back and give her a retroactive F in 6th Grade Civics. As I do to some public officials from time-to-time, I call on her to resign her Senate seat immediately. She is unfit to serve.


Instead of a Constitutional Amendment…

Founder and editor-at-large of National Review magazine William F. Buckley in his Sunday column suggests that instead of passing a Constitutional Amendment, which he does not ask that President Bush withdraw from consideration, Congress simply limit the Courts from reviewing cases having to do with marriage.
A means of devolving popular authority, to be exercised by individual states, could be obtained by removing jurisdiction from the Supreme Court in matters having to do with marriage. Article III, Section 2 gives Congress the necessary authority to do this.

"...the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."
I had heard a similar suggestion regarding the display of the Ten Commandments in public places.

Could you imagine the Court declaring such a restriction of the jurisdiction to be Unconstitutional, prohibiting their established power of judicial review (Marbury v. Madison)? This is strange stuff, but just when we think we have seen everything...


The Brits and the Debate

In a story in Monday's London Daily Telegraph, Alec Russell in Washington (the byline) writes about Sunday's Dem debate in New York.

He's very enthusiastic about Kerry's chances, saying that Kerry will have it wrapped up the Dem nomination after Tuesday: "Any further resistance would be pointless."

It's a nifty read, being British and all. One paragraph piqued my interest:
"Give me a living room, a bar, one on one," he said. "I think I can talk to anyone in the country."
Name the time and place, Senator.


Bush expects to trail or run-even

Through the summer, President Bush's strategists say, they expect the President to be behind candidate Kerry in the polls or, at best, run even. So the NYTimes says HERE.

The piece is a little look at what to expect. For instance:
Mr. Bush himself, the strategists said, will refine his stump speech so that it is less about his accomplishments so far than about the opportunities he has created for the future, and the stark choices facing the voters in November. Chief among them, Republicans said, would be whether the country wants to entrust its security to a Democratic challenger that the White House is busily portraying as too liberal and lacking in principle.
In response, Kerry will repeat that he served in Vietnam. His four (4) months of service are off-limits, but they can be separated from the candidate.


"Democrat Debate Watch"

(Hat tip to RNC Research [link]). At this morning's Dem debate in New York, candidate Edwards cited a Washpost piece: Kerry's Spending, Tax Plans Fall Short - Review of Proposals Shows Expenditures Exceeding Savings by $165 Billion.

The relevant lines from the transcript of this morning's debate:
Edwards: … These are great arguments about what he intends to do going forward. But it's similar, for example, Senator Kerry has consistently said that he can pay for all the things that he's proposing and substantially reduce the deficit, I think I've heard him say cut it in half, in his first term.

Well, The Washington Post today just analyzed his proposals, and its the same old thing. Here we go again. In fact, in fact, he overspends, in terms of being able to pay for all of his proposals, he overspends by $165 billion in his first term, which means he would drive us deeper and deeper into deficit.

[Dennis then talks but is ignored.]

KERRY: And John has just made some very important statements, and I want to respond to them.

I think John would have learned by now not to believe everything he reads in a newspaper. And he should do his homework, because the fact is that what's printed in The Washington Post today is inaccurate.

A stimulus is by definition something that you do outside of the budget for one year or two years. The Washington Post included the stimulus when they figured the numbers. The stimulus is what you do to kick the economy into gear so that you can reduce the deficit.

Secondly, they did not include the reduction of the $139 billion of the Medicare bill which I have said I am sending back to Congress because it's a bad bill. I voted against it, it's bad.
Now, when you add up my stimulus that's outside of the budget and the Medicare numbers that they didn't even include, you do not go over, I do not spend more...


KERRY: No, no, I insist on being able to finish.

BUMILLER: I want to ask a really important question.

KERRY: This is important.

The point is, Kerry said that the Washpost piece linked above was fiction. Here's a paragraph from that article:
But a review of his campaign proposals shows that the Democratic front-runner is promising to spend at least $165 billion more on new programs during his first term in office than he could save with his tax plan, a mix of breaks for the middle class and increases for corporations and the most affluent. The $165 billion figure does not include the cost of several proposals Kerry has not fully detailed or backed with estimates.
To borrow a term used by Steven Taylor at PoliBlog, Kerry is toast. He resembles toast, as well.


Kerry and Edwards Favor Preemption

From this morning's Dem debate in New York [Reuters link]. Dem candidates John Edwards and John Kerry criticized President Bush in regards to Haiti:
The two top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination -- John Kerry and John Edwards -- were quick to try to highlight Haiti as an issue ahead of November's elections, alleging President Bush did too little too late to stabilize the impoverished nation.

Kerry said Bush had "empowered the insurgents" by failing to step in sooner and added, "I never would have allowed it to get out of control the way it did."

Edwards suggested it fit a pattern of "do nothing, do nothing, and when it gets to crisis stage, then we act."
Why the United States and not Haiti's former colonial overlords in France? After all, the French cut and ran from Haiti 200-years-ago, leaving the mess that has existed ever since.

President Bush should have acted prior to Haiti becoming an actual emergency? That, m'friends, would be preemption. As recently as last Thursday, Kerry blasted the President's "unilateral preemption."

Where were Haiti's WMD? Are they a threat an immediate threat to the mainland United States? Why don't Kerry and Edwards want to try sanctions for a while then seek a National Security Council resolution?

The two situations are comparable, though what the Coalition stopped when it overthrew Saddam Hussein was far darker than what is happening in Haiti today.

When we go to Haiti, we'll be acting to protect the Haitians from themselves. What will the world think of the candidates' arrogance?

When this election is over, I hope the Senate leadership remembers everything said and done by candidate Kerry when he tries to become Senator Kerry again.


John Edwards's Victory Strategy

I think we have the newest, revised John Edwards victory strategy. First, it seems, he plans to get shut out on Tuesday do scored runner-up delegates in Georgia, Minnesota, and Ohio. (Pollster John Zogby last week called for an Edwards victory in Georgia, but I still haven't seen how he's playing in Atlanta.)

The next step in Edwards's lunge towards victory is to sweep Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi and March 9, setting up a showdown in Illinois on March 16.

And if you'd like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar…


The RSN has been sent

The Sunday edition of the Rightsided Newsletter, concerning what was said on the Sunday morning talk shows, has been sent to the sundry global Inboxes. If you do not yet subscribe, you can read the online version HERE.

I forgot to include Late Edition host Wolfgang Blitzer's rhyming couplet:
Jean-Bertrand Aristide is out.

What will follow in Haiti, very much in doubt.
One can find poetry in the most unexpected of places, but it follows that we should be cautious about how hard we look for it.

The Sunday Morning Talk Shows

MTP: NBC’s Meet the Press with Tim Russert
FNS: FOX’s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace
FTN: CBS’s Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer
TW: ABC’s This Week with former Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos
LE: CNN’s Late Edition with Wolfgang Blitzer

And that's the KEY I use for my Sunday review and analysis of the Sunday Morning Talk Shows, for the free Rightsided Newsletter. If you are interested, please visit our web site or send a blank e-mail to rsn-subscribe [AT] tripod.com.

Tim Russert is going to use his Meet the Press show on NBC again to attack the Catholic Church. He will harass Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop of Washington; and Robert Bennett of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. I've never covered this, though it has been, with tax cuts, one of Russert's obsessions.

On FOX's Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace will talk to an Illinois Appellate Court judge, Anne Burke, and the national chairmen of the two parties: Ed Gillespie on the RNC and Terence McAuliffe of the DNC.

On CBS's Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer will talk with Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) and Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) the bill which protects counts the murder of a mother and her unborn child as two murders. It has passed Baldwin's House, but the Democrats are again blocking it in the Senate.

Scheduled to meet on This Week is a taped George Stephanopoulos interview with recently deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.. He'll also talk to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, CFR President Richard Haass, and former Clinton UN Ambassador Dick Holbrooke.

On CNN's Late Edition, Wolfgang Blitzer talks to Israeli Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Arafat's Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Shaath, John Edwards and Diane Feinstein, and Representative David Dreier (R-California).

You can still subscribe by visiting the web site.




Cuomos for Kerry

Backed by two New York losers, candidate John Kerry received a boost in his bid to win New York's Democrat primary next Tuesday: former NY Governor Mario Cuomo and the fruit of Mario's loins, former Clinton HUD Secretary Andy Cuomo [CNN link]. (NOTE: I use Clinton's name not as a descriptive adjective; rather, as a qualifier.)

Mario's keynote at the '84 Dem convention was heralded by journalists at the time as masterful. I watched the thing live, and I thought it to be lousy. Hindsight tells me no different.

Do you recognize this rhetoric?
We Democrats must unite so that the entire nation can unite because surely the Republicans won't bring this country together. Their policies divide the nation - into the lucky and the left-out, into the royalty and the rabble. The Republicans are willing to treat that division as victory. They would cut this nation in half, into those temporarily better off and those worse off than before, and they would call that division recovery.
It was garbage then, and the only difference now is that it's been rotting for two additional decades.

Mario was thrown out of office by the New York voters, who chose instead George Pataki. Andy made a run toward Pataki in '02, but he did not attend the State Dem convention and lost the nomination to Carl McCall. Word was that Senator Hillary's boyz didn't much care for Andy.

Mario even picked a veep for candidate Kerry:
"Although "any number" of Democrats could do a good job as vice president, Mario Cuomo singled out Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, who is running second in delegates to Kerry.

"He'd be a natural favorite, I would think, to a lot of people. But there's a lot of analysis I'm sure that has to go into it," said Cuomo.


Assisting the Incumbents

The Washpost today reported on Vice President Dick Cheney's kind words for Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland), who is facing a primary challenge from Republican State's Attorney Scott Rolle.
Cheney praised Bartlett as an ally of the Bush administration in the fight against terrorism and the war in Iraq, and he lauded the veteran lawmaker's experience and bipartisanship.

"In this time of testing, the president and I have been grateful to have Congressman Bartlett at our side," Cheney said. He left unmentioned the fact that Bartlett had been among the White House's Republican critics in the buildup to the war, arguing for more debate and perhaps a formal declaration of war by Congress.
Congressman Bartlett did eventually vote to authorize the war. In 1998 and 2002, Bartlett and Representatives John Duncan (R-Tennessee) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) spoke against the folly of international entanglements. Again, he backed the resolution.

Rolle, however, describes himself as younger and more conservative. Bartlett has a wonderful libertarian streak.

This is not the case in Pennsylvania, where the Administration and the State GOP is endorsing Senator Arlen Specter over his conservative challenger, Representative Pat Toomey. Specter also voted to authorize the war against Saddam Hussein, but he voted against Judge Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court and against the conviction of Bill Clinton on impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He also resisted the President's tax cuts in 2001, voting to scale back the initial proposal.

Primary challengers compete with not only the incumbent.


E.U. wants Congress to raise taxes

Beginning Monday, the European Union will begin phasing in what will eventually amount of $4-billion in trade sanctions unless the United States Congress raises taxes on U.S. corporations which export goods overseas.
The history of the dispute goes back to 1997 when the E.U. filed a complaint about the Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) law that benefits many large U.S. exporters like Microsoft. [CNS link]

After years of rulings and appeals, the WTO ruled that the tax breaks add up to illegal subsidies of exports and authorized the sanctions, which the E.U. voted last year to begin by March 1 if the law was not repealed.
Yes, the World Trade Organization (WTO) decided that the tax breaks given by the U.S. Congress to U.S. companies were a violation of global law. And evidently, the U.S. will back down:
A bill to repeal the [tax cut] measure in the Senate could reach the floor next week, and another bill is also being worked on in Congress.

"There is a consensus in Congress and in the administration that the U.S. does need to come into compliance," said the [U.S. government] official.
What will Congress do when or if the WTO rules that it is not taxing corporations or individuals enough, thus given them an unfair advantage over their European counterparts? I don't want to live in a miserable, European welfare state. But the WTO has to level the playing field, and how many decades until we're living Miss Rand's Anthem?


Lieberman: post-mortem

Sifting through the remains of the Democrat primary season, we pause on Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut). He told the AP that he want to be neither candidate Kerry's veep nominee nor, in the unlikely event, in a Kerry cabinet.. He wants to go back to being a Senator from Connecticut, and he said that he seek reelection in 2006.

He said he is friends with both Kerry and Edwards, so he will endorse neither until the race is in someone's hand.

One of the reasons he gave for his candidacy's failure: “I’m not a screamer.”
Dr. Taylor's Toast-O-Meter is up at PoliBlog, if you want to check that one.

South Dakota v. Roe v. Wade

I recently signed-up to become an "editor" for WatchBlog's conservative column. My first piece dealt with a topic we first discussed two weeks ago: South Dakota's H.B. 1911, protecting the right to life of an unborn human being.

Here is the WatchBlog piece from Tuesday:
South Dakota v. Roe v. Wade

In a Presidential election year, is it time to test Roe v. Wade from the Right? Republican South Dakota State Representative Matt McCaulley thinks it is, and he was the chief sponsor of the State's HB 1191 [pdf text], "[a]n Act to establish certain legislative findings, to reinstate the prohibition against certain acts causing the termination of an unborn human life, and to prescribe a penalty therefor."

Representative McCaulley said that the bill was designed to call challenge the notion in Roe that the Supreme Court did not know when human life begins.

From HB 1191:
The Legislature finds that since neither constitutional law nor Supreme Court decision has resolved the question of the beginning of life, it is within the proper sphere of state legislative enactment to determine the question of fact in light of the best scientific and medical evidence. The Legislature finds that the life of a human being begins when the ovum is fertilized by male sperm.
McCaulley avvered that the time for the measure, which passed the South Dakota State House, 54-15, is now: "We are ready to fight for the right to life, as opposed to waiting for it." He told me last week:
"The moral issue of abortion is a battle for the legitimacy of our otherwise civilized society -- it is our treasured Republic that we are trying to save by returning this issue to the control of the democratic process."
It is a novel concept: removing from the purview of unelected courts a matter of life and death, and returning it to those who were democratically elected by the people to whom the laws apply. It is contrary to our form of government that such a concept has become so offbeat. Ironically, whether or not this happens will be a matter of judicial opinion.

Richard Thomas of the Thomas Moore Law Center [press release] has noted:
"This is new and unique legislation that has never been considered by the Supreme Court. The Law Center and our Associate Counsel, Harold Cassidy, are pleased we could be of assistance to Matt McCaulley and South Dakota in their efforts to protect the unborn. While we cannot predict the future, we do know that this legislation establishes significant facts that the courts will not be able to ignore."
South Dakota's Senate has to pass the legislation first [Lifenews.com story], and the Senate State Affairs Committee, fearing that a court would strike down the law, fashioned an amendment which removed the abortion proscription and changed the bill into one which would require doctors only to notify women seeking abortions of the possible risks involved. (The Senate committee's version does, however, hold that South Dakota agrees that science has definitely proven that human life begins at conception.)

The Senate, if it chooses, can reject the amendment and pass the bill as it passed the State house, but at least one Senator has said that he will not support a bill that the courts will overturn, choosing instead to pass a bill which will reduce the number of abortions. The choice, then, is between passing a mild bill which accomplishes very little, or passing a bill which could be all or nothing.

The nothing could be important, as well. South Dakota right to life, according to a story from the Associated Press, opposes the measure because it could offer the Supreme Court a chance to further entrench Roe v. Wade at the expense of South Dakota. The problem with this excuse is that the Roe decision as written, with its trimesters derived "emanations of the penumbra" is bad law and has been treated as such by the Court beginning essentially in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, while the general finding of Roe, that abortion is a civil right, is decided and established law.

If one considers abortion to be the ending of a human life, it strikes me as hypocritical to reject a measure which could end the practice in so-moved States in favor of a measure which might or might not save a few lives. Abortion is currently a judicially established federal right almost separate from the terms of the Roe decision itself, so offering the Court an opportunity to throw the decision out or to defend it by different means is worth the hazard. This is not a matter on which a strong advocate of either direction has an opportunity for cowardice.

Representative McCaulley told me last week:
"The first challenge to the law will come from Planned Parenthood who has promised to fight this bill in the courts. The court system is the primary way that a vocal minority imposes their morality on society -- a morality the minority could not impose on the rest of us if they were forced to work through the democratic process. The court challenge could come as early as July 1, 2004 when the law (if passed) would go into effect."
McCaulley has vowed to fight the Senate amendment and have the Senate vote on his original language. South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds is staunchly Pro-Life and is expected to sign it, meaning it could be working its way through the judicial system during the height of the Presidential campaign season. It would be difficult for a "practicing Catholic" like John Kerry to dodge this question. (John Edwards could repeat that there are "two Americas.")


Kerry talks Terror War at UCLA

Candidate John Kerry told a crowd at UCLA's International Institute: "We cannot win the war on terror through military power alone."

Although found in a piece from a different news organization (San Francisco Chronicle), Kerry told the same UCLA crowd something different, as well.:
Kerry said that to replenish what he called "our overextended military," he would add 40,000 active-duty Army troops, "a temporary increase likely to last the remainder of the decade."
His criticism was that we need to work with our allies in the war on terror, and he stated that the Bush strategy was to attempt militarily to eviscerate the problem. That is reinforcing a previously planted notion that the Administration's anti-terror plans are unilateralist, when they have involved a global coalition from the start, including such diverse countries as France and the Yemen.

But he wants 40,000 new troops anyway, and I assume that he will introduce conscription. How else is he going to create these new troops? And he will need more than that if the troops follow his Vietnam model and serve four (4) months then are transferred back to the States where they protest the war.

The Kerry condundrum.


Kerry's strange ideas

Good morning. Candidate John Kerry has come up with a bizarre notion to explain the recent strife in Haiti: President Bush hates Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide."
''This administration has been engaged in very manipulative and wrongful ways,'' Kerry said. ``They have a theological and an ideological hatred for Aristide. They always have. They approached this so the insurgents were empowered by this administration.''
Since he has no clue, he was obviously projecting. This means that foreign relations in a Kerry Administration will be based on which leader Kerry is advised has the most cooties.

Political campaigns generate some disturbing sentiments.




New Column

Just up on the Rightsided Newsletter "Right Columnists" page is the latest from Barbara J. Stock. A registered nurse of 24-years, Ms. Stock offers Nurse Barbara's Biology 101 for Abortion Advocates.

Life is a miracle.

Jobs one doesn't want

I found a nifty column by a Michael Ruff in The Flat Hat, the student-run paper of the college of William and Mary. Ruff is a junior at the school, but his practical suggestion sounds like something, regrettably, from another era. (I say "Regrettably," because more people should be thinking and saying the same thing today.)

He proposes that people who need work take jobs.
You want a job? Have you ever seen, "sorry, there are no jobs available this week," in the classifieds? I see commercials for joining the military everyday, not to mention I've never seen a McDonald's that isn't hiring.

For many of the unemployed, it isn't any job they want -- they must have "their" job. Sorry, but the job doesn't belong to you and, if you really need a job, you might have to take a pay-cut and work harder. The point is: if you really want a job, you can find one.
But, as he points out, some folks would sooner blame the President.

Give the piece a look: HERE.


Chirac's Regime Change

Last Tuesday, I asked: "Where are Haiti's WMD?" The question was in response to a righteously indignant editorial from the clowns at the NYTimes demanding U.N. sanctions and inspectors and military action.

Where is France on this? I'm sure you've heard:
France, Haiti's former colonial power, has already proposed a U.N.-backed multinational force to stabilize the politically troubled nation.

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said in Paris on Thursday that France would like to see a force deployed ''within days.''

''The regime (in Haiti) has reached an impasse and has already shaken off constitutional legality,'' he said.
Although Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide has vowed to stay put, the French have called for his removal. Regime change.

The Monroe Doctrine notwithstanding, though it was promulgated some nineteen years after the French colonialists quit Haiti, the United States ought to invite the French into our hemisphere to keep the peace. Let them keep some peace somewhere, instead of agitating as in the Ivory Coast. (The U.N. had to ask the United States to come in and bail the French out, as explained in this story today from Reuters.)


John Edwards… "Not Yet"

We're told that John Edwards will be a wonderful candidate at some point in the future. When they say he will get his next chance in 2008, they're already calling this year's election for the President.

What is being said of Edwards?

In what must now be troubling for Edwards fans, then-veep Al Gore said of their candidate in 2000: "His future is so bright you have to look at him through sunglasses." (I think that was song…)

Of Edwards, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution proclaimed today: "His moment may come, but this is not it." On Thursday, the New York Times opined: "It's easy to envision him as the nominee four or eight years down the line." The Queens Chronicle tells us that "could be the man to lead the Democratic Party in years to come. Just not yet. As a first-term senator, Edwards lacks the foreign policy experience that voters want to see in the man seeking our nation’s highest office during the war on terror." A Democrat strategist told Reuters recently: "Whether or not he is on the 2004 Democratic ticket, he's been a force in this race and will have another opportunity." Columnist Jimmy Epson of the Dayton Daily Citizen remarked last Monday: "If he campaigned well, even in a loss, it could vault him in stature in 2008." Jeff Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University, told Reuters for the same piece: "Edwards becomes an odds on favorite the next day for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. It will be between him and (New York Sen.) Hillary (Rodham Clinton)."

While Democrats give Hillary high marks as U.S. Senator, party spokesperson, and fundraiser, surveys show they do not want her to be President. What of Howard Dean? The Deaniacs say they want him, but his novelty will probably have work off in four years.

This "in four years" reminds me of a hopelessly naive short story in a book collection called Alternate Kennedys which I read in the early '90s. In this bit of alternate history, JFK's son Patrick Bouvier Kennedy had survived his birth and was the anti-politics, clean-up-Washington kind of guy.

The Kennedy clan met to discuss this. Uncle Ted admonished him that this just wasn't how things were done. Bobby's son Joe -- the former Massachusetts Rep. we called "Little Joe" -- had wanted to seek the Presidency, but the whole family agreed that "your time will come."

When Ronald Reagan missed winning the GOP nomination in '76, his supporters were told that his time had gone.

What is Edwards going to do four the next three years (this assumes he can launch his '08 campaign in an exploratory phase in the summer of '07)? If he tries to settle on the outside but say active as an advisor, he'll be laughed out of the room. He cannot go back to chasing ambulances. Maybe he can start a political movement of some sort.

Even if he runs as Kerry's veep nominee, he'll have to fill the intervening years. Joe Lieberman did this by sitting in the Senate.

If he runs for his party's nomination in 08, he is going to have to remain relevant. Hillary Clinton will not have that problem even if she loses her reelection in 2006.

Edwards is being very nicely told to get the book. He is getting his pat on the head, though.


U.S. - German Relations in Fine Shape

After all this talk of President Bush permanently damaging U.S.-German relations, it turns out that such talk was hot air. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder visited the White House today and the past is where it blongs.
"We have differences - in the past," Bush said as he and Schroeder sat side-by-side in the Oval Office, both men relaxed and smiling and frequently leaning in toward each other as they spoke. "But there's nothing wrong with friends having differences and we have both committed to put the differences behind us and move forward."

Likewise, Schroeder declared his first White House visit in two years a success. The two had been at odds over the German leader's fierce opposition to the Iraq war.

"We talked not about the past," Schroeder said. "We very much agreed that we have to talk about the present and the future now."
Evidently, the president has forgiven Schroeder for his fierce opposition to the liberation of Iraq, driven as it was by tight German elections in late 2003,

As for France, will Chirac be branded a racist if he doesn't send troops to the former French colony of Haiti?


Florida Democrat apologizes for racist remarks

Representative Corrine Brown (D-Florida), who is black, told Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega, a Mexican-American, that the President's Haiti policy was racist and had been drafted by a "bunch of white men." Secretary Noriega told her that he would pass her remarks on to Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. [link]

He later told her that as a Mexican-American, he resented being called a racist and a white man. Brown shot back that "you all [whites, Hispanics] look alike to me."

She apologized Thursday:
"I apologize right up front," Brown, D-Fla., said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "But I am concerned about the crisis that is about to happen in Haiti and about the blood and about the government collapsing and about the people suffering and I just pray that we will intervene before it's too late."
She sent she had sent a letter to Noriega, but, as per its policy, the State Department would neither confirm nor deny it.

Representative Henry Bonilla (R-Texas) called on Brown to resign: "Congresswoman Brown's comments demonstrate a complete lack of ethnic sensitivity. This irresponsible statement represents a step backward for race relations."

It is intellectually lazy, when one disagrees with a policy which involved people who happen to be of color, to begin charging racism without a thought. But perhaps Representative Brown is a small part of the cabal that redefines that term.


John Kerry: The Most Liberal Senator

The bi-partisan political news publication National Journal -- paid subscription required -- reports: "John Kerry is ranked 'most liberal'" Senator in their 2003 Senate roll call vote rankings.

We'll pick it up from Drudge:
NATIONAL JOURNAL on Friday claimed Democrat frontrunner John Kerry has the "most liberal" voting record in the Senate.

The results of Senate vote ratings show that Kerry was the most liberal senator in 2003, with a composite liberal score of 96.5 -- far ahead of such Democrat stalwarts as Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton.

NATIONAL JOURNAL's scores, which have been compiled each year since 1981, are based on lawmakers' votes in three areas: economic policy, social policy, and foreign policy.
The National Journal ranking system was devised in 1981 by the man who on to become CNN's senior political analyst, Bill Schneider; according to Drudge, Schneider still "continues to guide the calculation process."

It is difficult to claim to a moderate if one is to the left of Ted Kennedy, Babs Boxer, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. And if being a liberal is an asset in a Presidential election, Kerry should cruise to victory.
The RNC is avoiding the "liberal" label for candidate Kerry, saying instead: "LABEL HIM WHAT YOU WANT, KERRY WRONG CHOICE FOR AMERICA."

They also use a quote from nonpartisan political scientist Larry Sabato:
“‘Look at National Journal ratings – Kerry is way to the left of the American mainstream,’ said Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia.”


Notebooks for Haiti

Candidate John Kerry has called on President Bush to name Senator Bob Graham (D-Florida) to be our nation's envoy to Haiti:
"He knows the situation in Haiti extremely well and knows the cost that widespread violence will cause not only in Haiti, but on our shores."
And the rebels will engage in mirth as the doddering former Dem Presidential candidate scribbles meaningless catch phrases in his notebook.


President Campaigns Against Kerry

As well he should. After all, candidate John Edwards is campaigning like the frontrunner's best friend. Kerry hasn't yet made a total fool out of himself, and he seems certain to be the Democrat nominee to run against President Bush this fall.

THIS is from the Washington Times:
"On national security, Americans have the clearest possible choice," Mr. Bush told 1,000 supporters in a 10-minute speech. "Our opponents say they approve of bold action in the world, but only if no other government disagrees. Yet America must never outsource our national-security decisions to leaders of other governments."
To President Bush, defending the nation against terror is the primary concern of his Administration. To Kerry, the war on terror is a distraction.

How seriously we should take the threat of terrorism is a legitimate campaign issue.

Does Kerry think that the President has already won the war on terror?




Turned it Off

I turned off the Dems shortly after 9:30p, when candidate Edwards started campaigning for candidate Kerry with the Dems, on the topic of the Iraq war. They both voted for the resolution granting the President -- as the questioner phrased it -- "a blank check." Edwards was quick to point out that neither he nor Kerry would have conducted the war in the manner in which the President has. By comparing Kerry to himself, he is campaigning for him.

The truth is, both Edwards and Kerry voted to authorize the President to use force against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, with no conditions. Neither of them held out, threatening to vote no unless the President gave them a resolution which they now claim they wanted, tying his hands until he received French and German support.

Edwards has said that he voted against funding the troops in Iraq, even though he wanted to fund the troops, because if the funding measure would have failed, the President would have come back and offered a more acceptable measure.

On the measure regarding the invasion, Edwards did not vote no until he had a more acceptable resolution for which he could vote.

On the measure regarding funding the troops, Edwards did vote no hoping to have a more acceptable bill.

Edwards is a good liar. No one caught him.

Not that it matters at this point.


Democrats Debate at 9 (ET)

... on CNN

As I said earlier, give this thing ten minutes to see what Edwards is going to do. His mailing of earlier promised: "Tune in and see what promises to be the most interesting debate so far." His aides have reportedly used the term, "Confrontational."

The destruction of Kerry could begin tonight, but almost doubtlessly not in time to cost him the eventual Dem nomination. In and of itself, that is of little concern.

Of course, Edwards could be the Edwards we've come to know and for whom we've learned to feel something akin to sorry.


Pelosi won't let Tauzin lobby

Retiring House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-Louisiana) has opted not to accept well-paid lobbying position with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. This comes after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had accused Tauzin of talking to the organization about the job while the recent Medicare legislation was being drafted. Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson commented.
Billy recognized that legitimate perception concerns were raised even though he did nothing wrong legally or ethically," Johnson said. "He recognized that some eyebrows were rightfully raised about the discussions. It's a legitimate concern, he can understand that."
I would have accepted the job.


An Howard Dean petition

Deaniacs have no one. Some people, spiritually weakened even by forces some might consider benign, cling to a man who becomes a symbol. Larger than he is.

Clinging, here is a petition:
To: Dean for America, 60 Farrell Street, Burlington, VT 05403

We want our country back. It's that simple. A choice on the left between Kerry, Edwards, Nader, Sharpton, and Kucinich is an uninspiring choice at best. We also are not convinced that any of these candidates can actually beat Bush head-to-head.

Therefore, we humbly request that you, Gov. Dean, return to the race and save us from this intolerable situation. We will fund you, we will work for you, and we will vote for you.

We need you now more than ever before. Please give us a real choice by returning to the race immediately. Thank you.


The Undersigned
It is to close down soon, and this "Undersigned" is currently 340 people. The screen shows the latest name only, and when I checked just now, that was Hieronymous Bosch, who is mentioned here as a Dutch painter who died in 1516.


New Column: Marin for Senate

Isaiah Z. Sterrett's latest column is live [link] on the Rightsided Newsletter web site, and this week, he endorses the campaign of former U.S. Treasurer and moderate Republican Rosario Marin for the GOP nomination to take Babs Boxer's U.S. Senate seat this November. He came to this conclusion after meeting with conservative Republican challenger Howard Kaloogian, whom he found to be "too rough around the edges."
It is my sincere hope that Golden State Republicans give this lady a chance. Shes smart and energetic and determined and if we conservatives can hold our noses long enough to forget abortion, we can elect her to the United States Senate. Make no mistake: Babs Boxer is terrified of this woman.

This is clearly a two-person race. A few weeks ago it looked like Kaloogian could win, but thats becoming increasingly unlikely. Marin's only real opponent at this point is Bill Jones, a man who supported the biggest tax increase in California's history, and who supported John McCain in the 2000 election. (Marin, by contrast, actually worked with President Bush.)


Edwards is "surging" in New York…

…and there is a Dem debate tonight

True to form, candidate John Edwards is closing the gap between his campaign and that of frontrunner John Kerry in the days leading up to the New York primary. According to a Marist poll released last week, Kerry held a commanding 52-point lead over the North Carolina Senator in the Empire State, 66-percent to 14-percent.

A poll released yesterday (Wednesday), however, show's Edwards narrowing the gap to a mere 39-points, 60-percent to 21-percent. The margin of error, however, is NOT +/- 40-percent.

Of course, in Wisconsin, Zogby's 3-day had Edwards far off the lead, and he closed to finish second. But closing to finish second, at this point, is losing.

Now, they debate tonight Los Angeles, and they are joined by Dennis and Al. You will want to watch the first ten minutes of the debate. If Edwards has not begun to chop Kerry into little bits by that point, switch to CSI. That's the only blood you'll see.

And Edwards has to cut Kerry into ribbons if he wants to close the gap. Edwards knows how to persuasively argue the evidence, and there is plenty of it against Kerry, but will he do it? If he does not, then it will be very clear that he does not care to win.

Tonight, we might see the first act in the destruction of John Kerry. We probably won't.

Forensics never lie.


The Unborn Victims of Violence Act

The House of Representatives, today, passed H.R. 1997, the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act." It's also been called, "Laci and Connor's law," after the murdered Petersons of current note, and RIGHT HERE is a pdf with the text of the bill. It'll open in your Acrobat Reader.

The vote was 254-163.

The House had earlier rejected a Democrat alternative which would have toughened the penalties for attacking a pregnant woman but treated the death of baby as merely an aggravating circumstance in the attack on the mother. This is liberal hypocrisy.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) said in a floor speech today [speech text]:
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act provides that if an unborn child is injured or killed during the commission of crimes of violence already defined under federal law, prosecutors can bring two charges, one on behalf of the mother, the other on behalf of the unborn victim. Indeed, the House of Representatives, in the 106th Congress, by a unanimous 417 - 0 vote, passed the “Innocent Child Protection Act” – a bill only two sentences long – that banned the federal execution of a woman while she carries a “child in utero.” “Child in utero” is defined in that bill exactly – to the word – as it is in this one, namely as “a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” Now, opponents of H.R. 1997 argue that harm to an unborn victim should simply be considered an additional harm to the mother, not an independent harm to another human being. Yet a vote for the Innocent Child Protection Act cannot be defended on the grounds that executing a pregnant woman would cause her to suffer additional harm because there can be no additional harm exceeding the ultimate and final punishment of death.
The bill passed the House in the last Congress (107th), 252-172. The Congress before that one (106th), it passed by a vote of 254-172.

The Senate will probably not put it to a floor vote, but the House has gone on record.


Kerry's Quote

Before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Senate, on April 23, 1971, John Kerry said of his fellow soldiers: "They told stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires with portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan." A few days earlier, on NBC's Meet the Press, Kerry noted: "There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed." Specifically, he mentioned "search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages." Remember, he was in Vietnam, on a boat, for all of four (4) months.

Last Friday, someone named Dan Kennedy published an opinion piece on BostonPhoenix.com which proposed the following undocumented assertion about that:
Trouble is, Kerry was accurately quoting American soldiers who had participated in the Winter Soldier Investigation, a project of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, of which Kerry was a co-founder."
We get a more credible story from the former head of the Romanian intelligence service, Ion Mihai Pacepa, writing in NRO:
To me, this assertion sounds exactly like the disinformation line that the Soviets were sowing worldwide throughout the Vietnam era. KGB priority number one at that time was to damage American power, judgment, and credibility. One of its favorite tools was the fabrication of such evidence as photographs and "news reports" about invented American war atrocities.
His piece talks about the KGB's anti-war activities, and candidate Kerry was their product.

One has to question the judgment of a candidate who was on the wrong side of the Cold War.


NYTimes endorses Kerry

The New York Times today endorses candidate John Kerry to win their State's Dem primary, making a point of brushing off the "Anybody-But-Bush sentiment" and selecting "the person who is most qualified to be president."

Calling Kerry "one of the Senate's experts in foreign affairs," they lament President Bush and the "thinness of his résumé when Sept. 11 occurred."
Almost everyone who has been watching the Democratic campaign would love to merge Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards into one composite super-candidate, with Mr. Kerry's depth and Mr. Edwards's personal touch with the voters. In the television era, likability is extremely important. But this is a serious business, and Mr. Kerry, the more experienced and knowledgeable candidate, gets our endorsement.
All of this translates into: "He is dull as all get out, sure, but he has to know stuff after serving in the Senate for that long."


Robert Kenneth Patrick Dornan

B-1 Bob Dornan was something of an icon to conservative C-SPAN junkies -- we named our first cat after the man in 1993 -- in the '80s and '90s. His fiery "special order" speeches, coming after Congress had adjourned for the day, were filled with the colorful terms of his own culture war, until one day he was beaten by Loretta Sanchez in 1996 -- by 984 illegal alien votes.

Dornan became a radio talk show host, our cat which bears his name weighs 26-pounds, and that looked to be that. But Bob Dornan is back, this time to challenge his old friend, Representative Dana Rohrbacher in next Tuesday's CA-46 GOP primary.
Now he's back, Dornan says, because America needs him to fight the war on terrorism. And he sees his current opponent as part of the problem, citing campaign contributions Rohrabacher has received from several Arab Americans and Arab American organizations.
The quote is from an LATimes piece.

At the crux of this run, it seems, is B-1 Bob's feeling of abandonment by his colleagues when he tried to take Sanchez down in a 1998 rematch:
In 1998, Dornan angrily criticized Rohrabacher and other Republicans for not helping him enough in his rematch against Sanchez.

"What did the party do? They said, 'Dornan, you are on your own — we are going to distance ourselves from you,' " said Mark Dornan, his son and current campaign manager. "They sacrificed my dad on the altar of political correctness for the sake of outreach in the Latino community."
That's quite a charge, but I'm pulling for the guy. C-SPAN has not been the same without him.




Punk Voter Coalition

Check this out:
Bleached-blond Mohawk? Check. Ripped and faded blue jeans? Check. Silver-studded dog collar? Check. Political science textbook? Check.

Pierced and tattooed rockers are in for a mosh-pit civics lesson this year. Nearly 200 bands are lining up to lambast President Bush and try to register a half-million voters through the Punk Voter coalition.
John Kerry played bass guitar for a cover band when he was in school.

[story with photo]


Glenn Endorses Kerry

Senator John Glenn (D-Ohio) became, in 1962, the first American to orbit the Earth, at the helm of Friendship 7. Today, a week before Ohio's Super Tuesday primary, he endorsed candidate John Kerry to be his party's presidential nominee.

This marks the latest event in what is been, evidently, 32 year slid into mediocrity. A man who was once a legend…

It make sense for him, though. Edwards is not seeking re-election, so Glenn will have to work in the Senate next year with Kerry, not with Edwards.

NOTE: A gentleman named Michael reminds me that John Glenn is no longer a U.S. Senator (see comments below). As happens: Oops.

If Glenn were younger, though, he might have made a good veep candidate for Edwards. There slogan could have been: "Two Americas… and Fireflies!" (The reference is worth it. If you don't get it offhand, make a note to Google: glenn fireflies. Add the search term "urine" if you want an easier answer.)


A Negative Reality Inversion

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan today told the House Budget Committee that "a thorough review of our spending commitments -- and at least some adjustment in those commitments -- is necessary for prudent policy." This means spending on Social Security and Medicare, as the system prepares for the first wave of Baby Boomer retirements in four years. [Reuters link].
"In view of this upward ratchet in government programs and the enormous uncertainty about the upper bounds of future demands for medical care, I believe that a thorough review of our spending commitments -- and at least some adjustment in these commitments -- is necessary for prudent policy," the Fed chief emphasized.
It will not be taken in an election year. Listen to candidate John Kerry:
"No matter what was said in Washington just this morning, the wrong way to cut the deficit is to cut Social Security benefits," Kerry said during a speech at the University of Toledo. "If I'm president, we are simply not going to do it."
Said two congress critters:
Mr. Greenspan has it backwards. He portrays Social Security as the problem. But in reality, the high deficits brought on by Bush Administration fiscal policies are the problem. Those fiscal policies are now threatening Social Security," said [Democrats] Charles Rangel of New York and Robert Matsui of California.
The all blamed the entitlements' problems on the President's tax cuts, which Greenspan said "should be continued, because over the long run, they will benefit the economy."

President Bush says that he will not cut social security, either.

And no one elected can say that Social Security was a bad idea. When you hear someone say that future generations will have to pay for government's stupidity, it now looks like we might be a "future generation/"


Senate in Recess?

One of conservatism's gadfly's, Patrick Buchanan, has suggested in a column today that, while criticizing the President for not upholding and upholding the Constitution against the liberal judiciary,
Should Daschle, Kennedy and Co. deny Bush a vote on his first Supreme Court nominee, he should not hesitate to make history's first recess appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.
That being said, Roll Call reports today that Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) had threatened to keep the Senate from recessing for any significant period of time. He's rightfully afraid that the President might use such opportunities to use his Constitutional power to circumvent an obstructionist Senate and appoint federal judges where needed.


President Bush's global bona fides

Far from being the international pariah, trashing the esteem in which the planet held our country during the previous administration, this President is legit.

Straight from the Associated Press diplomatic correspondent, Barry Schweid, comes word that President Bush has done wonders for the legitimacy Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's plan to improve the economy, strength democracy, and fight corruption in his home Republic.
Saakashvili, sitting at Bush's side in front of his office fireplace, thanked the United States for being "the first to come and help us" during the protests.

"This cooperation and friendship of U.S. helped us when we needed it most, and like other peoples in Europe, we'll never forget that," said the 36-year-old U.S.-educated lawyer, speaking in nearly flawless English. "Regarding our revolution, it was the proudest moment of my own life and of life of the whole generation. And we are so proud that we were supported in our fight for democracy and for people's right to choose by the United States."
Yo, Mehlman, this one goes in the "RESPECTED GLOBAL LEADERSHIP" file.


Candidate Kerry and Full Disclosure

The Bush campaign should not touch candidate John Kerry's four (4) months of service in Vietnam, and they undoubtedly will not. Remember, Kerry actually volunteered and served four (4) months in battle, while the President served in the National Guard relatively safely in Texas and Alabama.

On the other hand, Gary Aldrich, in his column today, looks directly at that record.

He also asked several questions about candidate Kerry's activities upon returning, such as:
Did Kerry take leave-time to attend these [anti-war] rallies, or was he AWOL from his post while he traveled around protesting the war?

Did he only participate in peaceful war protests, or did he join the Hard-Left, anti-US, pro-Communistic cabal of Tom Hayden, Jane Fonda and other well-known Hard-Left, anti-US radicals?
He points out that Kerry, as a noted leader of the anti-war movement, would have a thick FBI file from this time period. Kerry is the only one who can authorize release of the material, and Aldrich calls on him to do it.

If we get to see the President's dental records published on Michael Moore's web site, let's have at these Kerry Chronicles. Full disclosure.


An amendment might not be the way

The Washpost reports that supporters of a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman fear that the language would not receive the two-thirds vote in both House of Congress necessary to send the Amendment to the State legislatures for ratification.
Whereas the president and activist groups can engage the contentious issue in largely theoretical terms, congressional leaders operate in a cut-and-dried world of partisanship and roll calls. Even a fully united Republican Party would face difficult odds of attracting enough Democratic votes to build a two-thirds majority in the Senate and House. But Republicans are divided, congressional insiders said.

Some complain that the leading proposal, sponsored by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), would not stop same-sex civil unions, while others say it offers the best hope of banning gay marriages. Musgrave would amend the Constitution to declare that marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Complicating the matter is a philosophical reluctance among many Republicans to alter the Constitution for any purpose. For example, many Republicans for years called for an amendment to require a balanced federal budget, but it never won the necessary votes. [ital mine]
The words I italicized comprise an unfair characterization. The reluctance is to amending the Constitution in ways superfluous to the original purposes of the document.

New Columnist/Column

We have a new columnist in the Right Columnist section of the Rightsided Newsletter web site, Jason E. High. Jason is a "Christian, conservative, Republican… in that order."

His first column deals with the President's recent actions regarding gay marriage:
Whether or not you agree with gay marriage on any level, the President has to do what he is doing. If the President did not do this then he would be dishonest and have no integrity whatsoever. The President believes that gay marriage will harm society. As the President, it is his job to protect society. It has become painfully obvious that our courts (and some mayors) will not respect the will of the people as it pertains to this issue. The only LEGAL solution at this point is a Constitutional amendment.
To read the entire column, clock HERE. (There is a link at the bottom of the page to take you back here when you're finished.)


As it is Wictory Wednesday…

"Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return."

On Tuesday night, the President told the Republican Governors Association and the nation:
For all Americans, these years in our history will always stand apart. There are quiet times in the life of a nation, when little is expected of leaders -- this is not one of those times. You and I are living in a period when the stakes are high, and the challenges are difficult, the choices are clear and resolve is needed.
Candidate John Kerry swept Tuesday's largely ignored contests -- the Utah primary and the caucuses in Idaho and Hawaii -- and he's leading across the Super Tuesday events, as far as polls inform one.

Kerry offers us nothing. The only thing on which anyone can pin him down is that he was Vietnam, and I won't impugn his four (4) months of service in Vietnam, but Kerry has forgotten September 11, ignores terrorists, and can only mention his service -- four (4) months -- in Vietnam.

Click RIGHT HERE to be directed to the page where you can become a Bush Team Leader, an official part of the campaign. You can also join by donating at the campaign's SECURE SERVER. You can make a habit of visiting Political Annotation on Wednesday and sending the President a few dollars every week.

And here is the official Blogroll of the Willing, those who've taken the time and space to spread this important word:




Today in the Edwards campaign

I found this item from the [Miama] Herald Wire service. It deals with today's lunch, long since eaten, but it's interesting nonetheless. (It sounds more in line with Kucinich, for some reason.)
The John Edwards campaign is encouraging people to hold the mayo, forgo the ham on rye and brown bag it to work today.

In lieu of going out for lunch, supporters are asked to donate the dollars saved to the Edwards campaign.

Requested donations range from $5 -- ''leftovers from last night'' -- to $250, enough to feed the Edwards campaign field staff, according to the announcement.

Edwards fundraising categories also include $10 (soup and a sandwich) and $75 that would cover ``a nice lunch for three.''
This can't be the first campaign run on lunch money.

Also of note, my first post as a Watchblog editor is live, and it deals with the South Dakota abortion law, what's happening to it, and why it is so important. It can be found in the conservative column -- on the right, of course -- at the Watchblog.

Utah's Dem Primary

It is too early for results. I turned off Chris Matthews earlier because he was yelling at people for not ascertainable purpose. I put on some Christmas music, streaming live over the web [CLICK HERE], and I pondered the meaning of this and that.

I've written about politics for a long while, and I've followed the primaries since the 5th grade, but this is the first time I have every forecast winner's of the individual Democrat primaries. Forgive my enthusiasm.

I'm testing a pet theory, and the test began when I predicted that Edwards would take the Utah primary. We'll know later, but the turnout has supposedly been very high today. This would, I think, favor Edwards, as he is the more exciting of the two and the Kerry voters might have decided that their dull candidate was a lock.

I also saw this from ABCNews.com:
Voters [in the Utah Dem primary] didn't need to be registered Democrats — or even registered at all — to cast ballots. The 23 delegate votes at stake will be apportioned at the state convention in May.
This could favor a strong showing by Howard Dean, whose name is on the ballot and whose existence could attract several thousand lunatics from out-of-state to march in a vote for their guy.

I'm not staying up for Hawaii results, but they might be in by the time I wake. Kucinich should do well, since he's the only one who has visited, and they expect something like 3,000 people to participate in their caucus.


John Edwards on the President's Speech

In his speech last night [text], the President once mentioned candidate John Kerry, at the beginning and not by name:
The other party's nomination battle is still playing out. The candidates are an interesting group, with diverse opinions: For tax cuts, and against them. For NAFTA, and against NAFTA.

For the Patriot Act, and against the Patriot Act. In favor of liberating Iraq, and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.

(Laughter and applause.)
He did not mention candidate John Edwards, who lacks Kerry's easily-attacked waffling credentials, and the candidate was hurt, according to Reuters:
"Not so fast, George Bush, you don't get to decide who our nominee is," Edwards said in an event at the state capitol, reprising a line he used against Kerry last week in a debate in Wisconsin.
Granted, the President would sooner face someone other than Edwards, and I've been maintaining that since even before Al Gore quit the Dem race in December of 2002, but this was not an attempt to trivialize Edwards in the minds of Democrat voters. Those folks know the score in their primaries, as the media remind them every hour on the hour.

What he might have inadvertently done is to give Edwards an ever-so-small extra push amongst those Democrats who suspect that the President was calling their race for them.

I'm waiting on the big Utah results tonight. Remember, I danced on a limb and forecast that Edwards would take that primary. (The last poll -- taken on the 19th -- reminded me of Wisconsin.)

Two Campaigns

Candidate John Edwards: "There are two Americas. Two tickets to paradise. Two Americas."

Candidate John Kerry: "F'ing Bush is f'ing deriding my f'ing time [four (4) months] in f'ing Vietnam."

Here's a KR link about those two campaigning in upstate New York, how they're playing dueling TV commercials, jousting campaign schedules.

They're campaigning against each other, against Ralph "Nattering Nabob of" Nader, and against the President.

It'll be interesting to see what emerges from this wreckage besides a very clear choice -- in November -- indeed.


The President, Marriage, and the Constitution

In the White House's Roosevelt Room this morning, President Bush stated his support for Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Such an amendment, introduced into the Senate as a joint resolution (S. J. Res. 26) by Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) last November, reads thusly:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution , nor the Constitution of any State, nor State or Federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.
The proposed amendment, same as Representative Marilyn Musgrave's (R-Colorado) in the House, seems pretty straightforward: marriage is nothing more than what it is, and no court can decide otherwise.

To a degree far less socially fundamental, a similarly constructed Constitutional amendment could be constructed to protect the game of ice hockey from a judge who wanted to include in its definition hitting a ball and circling the base paths.

This morning, the President said:
"After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization," the president said in urging Congress to approve such an amendment. "Their action has created confusion on an issue that requires clarity."
Constitutional? Such an amendment has little to do with the reasons for which the Constitution was framed, and it would treat one important symptom of a much greater sickness. This will continue, ad infinitum, unless or until a Constitutional Amendment is crafted which would restrict the extent of judicial deviation from historical constitutional meaning. Unelected officials should not have free reign to legislate their opinions, or anything else.

Western reaction to Presidents Speech

Here's one for you as I depart for the Christian bookstore, only to return to write about the President's support of a Constutional Amendment banning homosexual marriage. (The trip and the post will not be related; rather, it's disclosure of a sort.)

The UPI speculates that today's votes in the Dem contests in Idaho, Utah, and Hawaii could be the reaction of the western States to the President's speech last nigh. You figure it out.

The President's Speech...

...to the Republican Governors' Assocation

From last night's speech, I took the start of a divisive campaign. It has to be, because the election was framed around the differences between the two parties. He said that although the Dems do not yet have a nominee, the American people will have a choice. He then explained that choice, on terms with which the Dem can attempt to quibble but which he cannot refute.
"I will set these alternatives squarely before the American people in a spirited campaign. I look forward to the contest."
Early on, he praised President Ronald Reagan as a sort of pioneer, and much of his speech sounded Reaganesque tones. This is the best way for a Republican to run for office. I noted a line which could be the President's most powerful theme of this campaign:
September the 11, 2001, taught a lesson I have not forgotten.
Kerry's campaign indicates that he has forgotten about September 11 and the war against terror. Kerry's scrambling back and forth between positions on matters which have all since become conditional on that war.

If the President can stay on message, and he can, this election will be the Bush haters vrs. the rest of America. He will win that one.
ADDENDUM: Eric at Viking Pundit writes that the President's speech "pretty much freezes out John Edwards by elevating Senator Splunge [Kerry]." He cites Mickey Kaus of that Slate thing. The Slate fellow writes in headline, "Bush Boosts Kerry over Edwards [in speech]," then goes on to discuss a brief mention by the President of candidate Kerry's flip-flopping.

John Edwards: Foreign Policy Whiz

The European Union has threatened to retaliate against U.S. goods next month if the United States government does not follow WTO instructions and raise corporate taxes by repealing a corporate tax break of which the world organization does not approve.

A reporter asked candidate John Edwards about this, and according to the LATimes:
"I'm not sure I even know what you're talking about," Edwards said when asked if he supports the corporate tax credits. "If I understand what you're asking, and I'm not sure I do … I'm opposed to us using our tax system to give tax breaks to American companies who are shipping jobs overseas."
In Edwards's defense, we do not know how the question was asked, and a similar tactic was used against then-candidate George Bush four-years-ago.

No one asked candidate Kerry, but one assumes he'd raise taxes.

Where are Haiti's WMD?

Good morning. The New York Times pontificates this morning that the "United States needs to take the lead in protecting the Haitian people" from the rebels vrs. their president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. They further opine that, though no saint, Aristide should stay in power. Is this because Aristide supports necklacing -- putting gasoline-doused tire around one's neck and torching him?

The New York Times ought to apply the same standards to U.S. intervention in Haiti as it has to such intervention in Iraq. The Times should call for U.N. inspectors to enter Haiti, and to have the U.N. apply sanctions. Any U.S. military intervention in Haiti should, as per the Times' standards for Iraq, require the permission of the French and the Germans, the Mexicans and the Syrians.

I wish Howard Dean would speak up, because obviously someone is being lied to, or some such.

If the U.N. inspectors do not find WMD, we must not intervene. "If the glove don't fit, you must acquit."




…is not until next week, but...

Tomorrow, they're doling out 23 delegates in the Utah primary, and 38 more in the Idaho (18) and Hawaii (20) caucuses. If I had been advising the Edwards campaign, I would have told them that this was the first Tuesday of the two-man race they had sought. Send the candidate to Utah and Idaho, on day each, so he can run around, smile at them, shake hands, and tell them that there are two Americas. If he can pull off a State this week, it makes him look more serious, more like a contender going into the big contests next week.

Edwards didn't. (He had planned to go to a dinner in Idaho today, but he cancelled at the last minute for an NYC event.) Kerry didn't.

Dennis, as I'll fondly call him as if he were a cartoon character, visited Hawaii a while ago and Idaho recently. He skipped Utah, as well.

I'd estimate that Kerry wins Idaho and Hawaii, if for not other reason than that he looks like the inevitable nominee. (That's the real factor in the minds of the Dems, not "electability.)

Utah calls for a trip out on the limb for me. Edwards came the closest of the two allegedly contending Dems to visiting the State by promising to do so. Kerry claimed to have the best organization, but organizations are not as important as they once were. Once one reaches a certain threshold, not much else matters.

A poll taken last Thursday for the Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV showed that one third all registered voters responding said they would vote in the primary. Of those who claimed that they would vote, 44% selected Kerry and 23% went with Edwards.

I like the way that poll looks. I'm forecasting that Edwards wins Utah.

Either way, Kerry gets more delegates, Edwards gets the media's "surge" award he should have had to work for, and Kucinich remains in Utah looking for Mars rocks.

ADDENDUM: This from Tuesday's Washpost about Dennis concentrating on Hawaii, where they say the Dem caucuses traditionally draw about 3,000 people.
"Don't ever sell yourself short with the power that you have. Tuesday is your turn," Kucinich told about 50 supporters who gathered at the University of Hawaii in West Oahu. "People are looking for a new direction. This race is far from over. Now, granted, I'm back in the pack, but so was Seabiscuit."
Wasn't Lieberman teased for not knowing when to call it a night?

Dems Pile on Nader

The Dems are frightened of Ralph Nader, and why not? He can hurt only their candidate. If, somehow, their candidate is John Edwards, there goes some of the North Carolinian's wild-eyed, Two-Americas, populist vote. If they run a dullard like John Kerry, the expected nominee, we have what would seem to be a bigger draw for the non-messianic Deaniacs.

Scared. To wit, fresh from rejoining the United States Senate, here comes Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut), trying to stave off the potential Ralph-mentum.
"I argued and Al Gore did in 2000 that a vote for Ralph Nader was effectively a vote for George Bush, and if you care about the environment and fairness and the economy as Ralph says he does, then you ought to vote for the Democratic ticket," said Lieberman, who was Al Gore's running mate in 2000.
Except candidate Nader disagrees, "Senator Tweedle-dum."

Two Three New Columns

This week's columns by Barbara J. Stock and by Judson Cox are live on the Rightsided Newsletter's "Right Columnists" page.

Barbara looks at the two candidates, doom-and-gloom vrs. optimism, in The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same.

Judson notes that it is often difficult for a conservative to find a soul mate in today's distracted culture in LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES.

Check them out.

The new column by SARTRE is now live. CAFTA: Wall Street vrs. Main Street looks at the Central American Free Trade Accord and what he expects it to do. Never heard of it? Give it a read.

If you'd like to comment on any of the columns, the columnists' address can be found below the columns, and you can spout off in the comments section here under this note.

Last Friday's "elections" in Iran

Geopolitics. I've devoted some space to Friday's elections in Iran, and with the boycott and the low voter turnout, as well as the disqualification of reform candidates and the success of hard line candidates, it appears to have been a practically a case of the mullahs voting for each other, so to speak.

Today, the White House, in the person of State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, remarked on the sideshow [AP link]:
Boucher said, "our view is that the pressure for reform in Iran, the pressure for democracy in Iran, is going to continue, notwithstanding the setback that's represented by the elections."

The spokesman reiterated U.S. concerns about Iran's support for terrorism, its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, lack of respect for human rights and the presence of the al-Qaida terror network in the country.

Boucher invited Iran to take the United States up on an offer to discuss human rights and other issues.
He also said that the Bush Administration "continue[s] to believe the Iranian people deserve a government that responds to their aspirations."

That looks like it may have to wait until Iraq gets its act in order and the Iranian people have a board from which to spring. All the more reason for the Iranian mullahs to want to see the Coalition efforts fail in Iraq.
NOT SO FAST: For those of you who want to know more about this, please, please read Michael Ledeen's piece -- The Great Iranian Election Fiasco -- in today's NRO. The turnout was much lower, and we're looking at a sham and a shame.
Meanwhile, the only Western leader who consistently speaks the truth about Iran is President George W. Bush, and the phony intellectuals of the West continue to call him a fool and a fascist. Meanwhile, his most likely Democrat opponent, Senator John Kerry, sends an e-mail to Tehran Times, Iran's official English-language newspaper, promising that relations between the United States and Iran would improve enormously if Kerry were to be elected next November.

Finally, perhaps our enterprising journalists could ask the administration how it can be, three years after inauguration, that we still have no Iran policy. Yes, Virginia, there is still no National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) on Iran, even though Iran is the world's leading sponsor of terrorism, and we claim to be in a war against the terror masters.
Stop the mullahs.

Clinton's token to Specter

This is more amusing than anything else. From CNS.com today, I found this link to a week-old story from the Edinburgh Scotsman. The Bill Clinton Memorial Library and Theme Park, also known as the William J. Clinton Center, is spending close to $1-million to purchase "85 glass museum showcases to display the archive of the former president’s two terms in the White Housebuild 85 glass museum showcases to display the archive of the former president’s two terms in the White House" from a Scottish cabinet-making firm called Netherfield Visuals.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) voted to acquit Clinton after the former president was impeached in December of 1998. At the time, Specter told the press that he was voting "Not Proven," per Scottish law.

Specter faces the voter's for the first time since then in the Pennsylvania Republican primary on April 27, when he will face a challenge from conservative Republican Representative Pat Toomey.

Gotta love those Scottish cabinets.

Kerry is a Peacenik

In this Washpost Op/Ed, Joshua Muravchik of the American Enterprise Institute looks at candidate Kerry's Senate voting record and determines that it is "more dovish than that of any Democratic nominee since [George] McGovern."
Once he has the nomination in hand, Kerry is likely to resume his tack toward the center (as candidates from all sides are wont to do). He cannot, however, renounce an entire record that bespeaks the deeply dovish beliefs he brought home from Vietnam. Perhaps his heroism in the war will make voters comfortable with that outlook. But with fears of terrorism and nuclear proliferation, that may not be enough.
It is a nice review of Kerry's anti-national security votes, and they are very real.

Hillary for Veep?

Senator Clinton seems to be running for something. She was in South Florida over the weekend, fundraising and speaking. Knocking on doors and greeting voters. [link]:
At one of the two houses Clinton visited, she sat on a couch and took in part of the New York-Cleveland basketball game, according to homeowner Mykell Camejo.

''She was in the living room, talking about voting,'' Camejo said.

''I forgot to turn off the TV, and she saw it and asked how LeBron James was playing,'' Camejo said, referring to the Cleveland Cavaliers' star rookie.

The event was planned by Voices for Working Families, a Washington, D.C.-based group that aims to register women voters. Kate Snyder, the group's women's program director, said they chose the Miami Lakes neighborhood because more than half the women who live there are not registered to vote.
She's making nice with voters in Florida. If Kerry were to select Hillary Clinton as his running mate, it would serve mostly to energize some Democrats and (pardon my French) piss off some of us on the right. Something Kerry's campaign could relish.

It would also give her a boost to be "the man" for the Dems, in the same way in which Lieberman looked possible before Howard Dean mixed things up.

My question is whether Hillary would accept a number two slot. I think she would if it were seen as a step toward a 2008 run.

Protesting the GOP

The Republican National Convention is set for New York City, August 29-September 1. The New York Times, of course, is all set to report the MASSIVE PROTESTS.
Though the Police Department and many protest organizers have been reluctant to predict how many people will ultimately turn out for protests, estimates have ranged from 500,000 people to a million.
How did they determine that estimate when the NYPD and the protest orgs will give them any numbers? Why didn't they say 2 to 3-billion?

But the protesters are given a benign and polished gloss.



Errant Editorial: Advice for Nader

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's editorial board offers us this nearly tragic bit of editorial commentary, from Monday's edition.
Nader already proved his charges about the state of our democracy. In the last election, he did well enough in Florida and New Hampshire to tip those states' electoral votes to George Bush. That very fact meant a loss for the candidate with the most votes, Al Gore.
That's a theory -- and a likely one -- which will never be proven. And it doesn't factor in the Buchanan vote, especially in the several States where Gore beat Bush by a margin less that PJB received.

Be that as it may, the paper suggests that Nader compete only where it won't matter if he takes votes from Kerry.
Nader said yesterday that "there are 40 states where either the Republicans or Democrats are going to win handily."

So candidate Nader ought to seek election in those 40 states. We suggest he forget Florida, skip New Hampshire and avoid all the "battleground" states. Nader can campaign all he wants in Idaho, Hawaii or any other state where the vote is all but decided by demographics.
WRONG. Idaho might be pretty much a lock for the GOP, but one never knows. Hawaii is not a lock for the Dems by any stretch. They just elected a Republican governor and nearly elected a GOP Congressman.

Why should he run if he can campaign only in Texas and Massachusetts?

They are trying to hold him to the physicians standard of "at least do no harm" when trying to cure what ails our democracy. They don't get Nader. Part of what he thought was the sickness in our democracy was Al Gore. He said this morning that both Bush and Kerry were part of the problem, as he saw it.

He also rejected the term "spoiler," so you figure him out.

Arnold wants an Amendment

On Meet the Press this morning, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he would go for an amendment to the United States Constitution allowing people who were not born here but had been for twenty years a citizen to be elected President of the United States.

Columnist George Will, in support of Canadian-born Democrat Governor Shirley Jennifer Granholm [oops -ed] of Michigan, sputtered about this last year in an unconvincing manner.

My fear is that some people, in an effort to appear "enlightened" and non-discrimatory, will back such a Constitutional Amendment only to appear that way? Schwarzenegger says it would be a good idea because our economy is now global.

Things have changed since the framers' wrote that requirement into Article II. We know longer have a group of European powers who wish to destroy us by force; rather, we have several who seek to weaken us through treaties and alliances, and still others, not aligned with any nation, who would like to wipe us from the face of the Earth.

The Framers' reasons still stand, now probably moreso than then.

And because our economy is more global, I do not want even the appearance of divided loyalties, whethey be to Canada, Austria, France, or Qatar.

There is no need to amend the Constitution on this matter, and the Framers of the document -- 18th century white males as they were -- were as enlightened as they come but for the crime and disgrace of slavery.

"Yeah, well I served."

Anyone who fought for this country in any war should be honored for that service. Candidate John Kerry fought in the Vietnam War, but now he seeks to use this as a mask for his record of voting as a Senator against our national defense.

Kerry himself came home from Vietnam to tell anyone who would listen that the war was not about the defense of our nation, and he has stood by his comments at the time. Why, then, is he claiming to have fought in defense of our nation when he believes he did not?

On Saturday, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) noted that candidate Kerry had "32-year history of voting to cut defense programs and cut defense systems." Kerry shot back in a letter that night:
As you well know, Vietnam was a very difficult and painful period in our nation's history, and the struggle for our veterans continues. So, it has been hard to believe that you would choose to reopen these wounds for your personal political gain. But, that is what you have chosen to do.
Chambliss did not mention Vietnam. Bush/Cheney '04 Chairman Mark Racicot weighed in on this matter:
"Our campaign is not questioning your patriotism or military service, but your votes and statements on issues now facing our country," said Racicot, former governor of Montana. "Senator Chambliss addressed your Senate record of voting against the weapons systems that are winning the war on terror."
Kerry fought in a war he said was not defending our nation and seeks to use that service as proof that he seeks to defend our nation at all times. This, m'friends, is unadulterated non sequitur.

Kerry said he looks forward to a battle on his record regarding national defense: "Bring it on." It's being brought, and he ain't seen nothing yet.


What's in a name?

What is his motive? He knows that he will not win, so he claimed on Meet the Press this morning that it had something to do with the necessity of third parties. We've had third parties often enough of late, starting with liberal Republican Congressman John Anderson taking votes, with no noticeable impact, from Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1980. H. Ross Perot established the Reform Party out of a self-created grassroots movement in 1992 and made his mark. Perot tried it again with much less success in 1992, many of the erstwhile Perotistas having become disenchanted with his lunacy.

Along came 2000, and we had Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader. PJB had some pseudo-conservative anti-Semite thing going on, while Nader is a strange slave to a dyspeptic ideology. And part of it, even for both, was probably ego. Buchanan had been practically ousted from the GOP and Nader wasn't getting the headlines he once did.

Nader is making a point. How effective will he be? Well, he'll take votes the Dem, but I suspect he'd take more from Edwards than from Kerry. Most of Kerry's voters will be the acidic, embittered A.B.B. types who care about little or naught else, while I can see Edwards bringing in some new, disaffected voters looking for a nice smile and a promised paycheck. The A.B.B. crowd is going to go with Kerry, finally for the electability most claim is attracting the Dem primary voters to him. Really, who else will?

Nader is running as an Indie, not as a Green. This is important, because as of this moment, he is on zero State ballots for this fall's election. He now has to roll out the organization to collect the money and signatures to put him on as many ballots as possible; with the Greens, a lot of that is already in place.

After Nader's announcement on NBC's Meet the Press this morning, the two national party chairman -- the RNC's Ed Gillespie and Terence McAuliffe from the DNC -- were Bob Schieffer's guests on CBS's Face the Nation. Nader's announcement had been made, and Gillespie looked fine while Terence was distressed for the entire show. He talked about what a great man Nader has been as a consumer advocate and mourned: "I'd hate to see that part of his legacy is giving us four more years of George Bush."

I don't see much coming of this candidacy, but every little bit helps.

Take a look at what I wrote about Nader's MTP appearance in the Rightsided Newsletter. While you're there, you can subscribe at no cost whatsoever.


Steven Taylor at PoliBlog has posted this week's Toast-O-Meter at his PoliBlog, if you want a look at his insightful and well-linked look at the current state of the race for the Dem nomination.

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