War and peace
Number of U.S. soldiers who have died in combat or noncombat situations while on duty since 2001: 9,185
Number who died on duty during the Clinton years: 7,500
— Harper’s Index, July 2007
“Screaming like two ex-wives rolled into one.”
That was radio host RushLimbaugh’s reaction yesterday after hearing several seconds of a fiery speech by Democratic presidential candidate and New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who assured her audience that they can speak out against PresidentBush’s policies and still be “patriotic” Americans.
CNN’s Lou Dobbs, who revels in the label “advocacy journalist,” didn’t pull his punches yesterday at the National Press Club.
As the club’s luncheon guest speaker, he skewered the amnesty bill being pushed by President Bush and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy as a product of corporate and special interests that will have devastating long-term impact on the U.S. In the secret talks between the White House and a small bipartisan group of senators that produced the immigration bill, Mr. Dobbs said, “Someone was missing. There was no one representing the American middle class.”
He characterized as “shameful” the Senate’s rush to pass legislation that many senators have not even read and for which not one single public hearing has been held. “You cannot control immigration in this country unless you control our ports and borders first,” Mr. Dobbs, sounding at times like an independent candidate for president, said bluntly.
The outspoken television commentator was equally critical of the two major political parties, which he described as “branding organizations,” and the national media which, he said, aids and abets the parties’ elitist agendas. Urging all those present to register as political independents, he added, “Don’t let them take you for granted.”
We got a peek at this evening’s guest list celebrating the 10th anniversary of America’s Promise Alliance, previously headed by former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and tasked with improving the lives of American youth.
While the venue is the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City, we find a mainly Inside the Beltway crowd RSVP’ing. In addition to Mr. Powell and his wife, Alma, they include former President George Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush and former President Bill Clinton; former New York Gov. George E. Pataki; New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.; publishing mogul Mort Zuckerman; TV personalities such as PBS’ Charlie Rose, NBC’s Tim Russert, and ABC’s Barbara Walters; fashion designer Oscar de la Renta; lawyer Vernon E. Jordan Jr.; philanthropist and education reformer Theodore J. Forstmann, and Morton and Marguerite Kondracke, the latter president and CEO of America’s Promise.