- The Washington Times - Friday, January 31, 2003

Graham's delay
Sen. Bob Graham says he had planned to announce his presidential candidacy next week, but now the Florida Democrat will wait until the end of February to see how he feels after undergoing heart surgery this morning.
"But for this medical issue, I would have announced on Monday, February the 3rd, that I would be a candidate for president," Mr. Graham said yesterday on CNN's "Inside Politics."
"So what's going to go into the decision at the end of February will be, one, how do I feel? Do I believe that I have, in fact, reached the point of energy and strength to carry out a campaign and carry out a presidency?"
Mr. Graham, 66, is scheduled to have a damaged heart valve replaced this morning at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.
"I want to get the surgery done as quickly as possible so that I can begin the recuperation process," he said Wednesday in a release from his Washington office. He said he expects to spend about two weeks recovering and be back on the Senate floor Feb. 18.
During the operation, doctors will replace the aortic valve, which controls blood flow from the heart's left ventricle into the aorta, the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

That 'evil genius'
"In two short years, the liberal establishment has changed its view of President Bush from a not-so-bright scion without an agenda to an evil, even radical, genius," the Wall Street Journal says.
"The new view is just as false as the old, but after listening to his State of the Union speech, we can understand their anxiety: they're afraid the Bush project might succeed," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"This clearly isn't a mini-me presidency, a la Bill Clinton and Dick Morris. Mr. Bush laid out an agenda on Tuesday night for transforming both U.S. national security and domestic policy. If successful, it would represent one of the more consequential six-month periods in recent American history. Instead of shrinking from the challenges of the day, or passing them down to future presidents, Mr. Bush is bidding to use his November victory and high political standing to accomplish things worthy of his office.
"The latest media cliche is that this amounts to 'overreaching.' With a narrow Senate majority, and an increasingly obstructionist opposition, it's true that he may not accomplish it all. But it's also important to note that he isn't inventing the challenges of terrorism, a struggling economic recovery or runaway entitlement spending. They are all real problems, made worse because the last administration ignored them. Peace and prosperity are any president's first priorities."

Defending tax cuts
R. Glenn Hubbard, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, says "there is a problem in the country's recovery" and President Bush's tax-cut plan is needed to fix it.
Speaking at a daylong Hoover Institution conference here yesterday titled "The Politics of Prosperity," Mr. Hubbard said Democrats are talking "nonsense" when they claim Mr. Bush's plan to eliminate taxes on dividends helps only the rich.
The double taxation on stock dividends was "a tax on growth and the cost of capital" and Mr. Bush's plan to end the tax will "promote investment and capital accumulation" and eventually higher wages for workers, he said.
Mr. Hubbard was joined by three Hoover economists Edward Lazear, Robert Hall and Gary Becker who praised the CEA chairman and the president for championing the dividend tax cut and lower tax rates to stimulate faster growth.
"There's no question that the administration made the right choice on eliminating the dividend tax," Mr. Hall said.

Rush haters
Michael Stinson, a California-based Internet designer, wants the nation's most popular radio personality off the air. He calls his group "Take Back the Media," and has organized a boycott against 24 companies who advertise on Rush Limbaugh's daily show, heard by about 20 million people on more than 600 radio stations.
Mr. Stinson denounces Mr. Limbaugh the bane of liberals everywhere as a "hate-radio entertainer." In fact, Mr. Stinson condemns talk radio itself as "a hotbed of vicious right-wing hate speech."
"Anyone who goes against the pro-war agenda Rush calls 'anti-American,'" Mr. Stinson charged. "Well, some of these protesters honored their country by serving in the military."
Mr. Stinson added: "We are getting about 14,000 views a day at our Web site," www.takebackthemedia.com. "We've made some progress, but we're being stonewalled, too."

Added duties
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson is expected to be named today to head the board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, according to AIDS activists.
Mr. Thompson will keep his Cabinet position, but will lead board meetings and work to raise the profile of the fund, said a spokeswoman at the Health Global Access Project (GAP). The fund, based in Geneva, was created in 2001 by the United Nations and Group of Eight nations.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Bush announced a $15 billion "emergency plan" to fight AIDS in Africa and Haiti.
About $1 billion of that will go to the global fund, which some AIDS activists said was too little. "Secretary Thompson will be chosen to chair the board … a day after a generous presidential AIDS initiative largely sideswiped the global fund," said Asia Russell, director of international policy at Health GAP. "If the U.S. is going to buy the chairmanship, they could at least use real money," she said.
Yesterday, HHS Deputy Secretary Claude Allen told members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS that the Bush administration also plans to "double the capacity" of health centers that provide HIV/AIDS care to poor communities.

Carters' donation
Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, donated $370,000 of his $1 million Nobel Peace Prize award to an institute she founded to help caregivers and their families. "Rosalynn and I have been life partners in all our work, and it is appropriate that a portion of the Nobel Peace Prize award go to the Rosalynn Carter Institute," Mr. Carter said Tuesday in a ceremony at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, where the institute is located.

System faulted
A federal judge has tossed out Connecticut's primary-election system, saying that requiring challengers to get support from 15 percent of party delegates is unfair and unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Peter Dorsey issued no remedies or recommendations, but he urged the legislature to change the law as soon as possible to lower hurdles to qualifying for a primary ballot, the Associated Press reports.
"It's no secret that this subject has been on the table for years without action," Judge Dorsey said in his ruling. "This court cannot and will not wait to sustain constitutional rights in the speculative hope that politicians may eventually choose to respond."

Ritter reversal
A college in upstate New York reversed its decision to go ahead with a scheduled Feb. 12 speaking appearance by Scott Ritter, citing disruption caused by the controversy surrounding the former U.N. weapons inspector.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Schenectady County Community College trustees had decided earlier this week to hold the event despite recent reports that the outspoken critic of President Bush's Iraq policy was arrested two years ago and charged with attempting to meet an underage girl for a sexual encounter.
The school announced yesterday, however, that it has canceled the speech because of the disruptions to school operations caused by the controversy and the need for extraordinary security, said WNYT television in Albany, N.Y.

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