- The Washington Times - Friday, February 14, 2003

Edwards' misstep
North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who as a Democratic presidential candidate has vowed to honor the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People's take-down-the-Confederate-flag boycott of South Carolina, held a campaign event last weekend "in a Charleston house that once belonged to the South's largest slaveholder," Eric Fettmann writes in the New York Post.
"The Edwards campaign dismissed any criticism of the event as 'ridiculous,' insisting that 'this is a national historic landmark,'" Mr. Fettmann said.
"So it is but it's also a symbol. And symbolism is what the whole Confederate flag controversy is about to both sides. Indeed, Edwards himself last week called the flag 'an offensive symbol to people all across the country.'
"Yet nary a peep over Edwards holding a meet-and-greet at a place with strong connections to the slave-holding South. What do you suppose would have been the reaction had Trent Lott, or any other Republican, done the same thing?"

Landrieu's reversal
"Residents of New Orleans know the Big Easy is home to what is probably the largest Honduran population outside Honduras. Which is one reason Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's decision to change her mind and back the filibuster of judicial nominee Miguel Estrada is so outrageous," the Wall Street Journal says.
"The Honduran-born Mr. Estrada, who came to this country as a teen-ager and went on to graduate from the top of his class at Columbia College and Harvard Law School, is a superhero in the Honduran-American community. Think JFK in 1960. So when Ms. Landrieu, facing a tough runoff race in December, said she supported the appeals court nomination of the embattled Mr. Estrada, that helped push her to victory," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"'That was an issue for me in deciding how to vote,' says Oscar Avila, an activist in the local Honduran community. The senator's support for Mr. Estrada 'led a lot of people here to vote for her. Now we feel betrayed.'
"Mr. Avila says Ms. Landrieu's position on Mr. Estrada was a key part of her campaign pitch to Hispanics. He points specifically to a Spanish-language radio ad that aired 10 days before the runoff and proclaimed: 'Mary Landrieu also supported the candidacy of the Honduran Miguel Estrada for the federal court of appeals.'
"Ms. Landrieu now disavows her own ad and claims she never supported Mr. Estrada. Rather, she blames her Hispanic supporters, who, she says, 'misinterpreted' her position, which was really one of 'neutrality.' But the final line of the ad reads: 'An announcement paid for by friends of Mary Landrieu.' Ms. Landrieu doesn't come up for re-election until 2008, by which time she no doubt hopes her act of political cynicism will have been forgotten."

Robertson's surgery
The Rev. Pat Robertson, a religious broadcaster, said yesterday he has prostate cancer and will undergo surgery to remove his prostate gland.
Mr. Robertson, 72, made the announcement on his "700 Club" television program. He told viewers he was diagnosed shortly after Christmas and tests show that the cancer has not spread.
"I am going into surgery on Monday and I would appreciate your prayers," said Mr. Robertson, whose Christian Broadcasting Network is based in Virginia Beach. He said he hoped to be back to a full schedule within two weeks, the Associated Press reports.
Mr. Robertson said his late brother, Atlanta stockbroker A. Willis "Tad" Robertson, also had prostate cancer. He died of lung cancer last year.
Mr. Robertson's announcement came a day after Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry, 59, underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer. Doctors said there were no indications that the disease had spread, and the Massachusetts senator could be out of the hospital as early as Saturday.

Surprise, surprise
In what cannot be called a surprise, the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday filed an amicus brief supporting the University of Michigan's race-conscious admissions policies.
Two plaintiffs have filed suit against the university, saying the school's admissions policy is discriminatory and thus unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is to hear the case this spring.
The CBC was joined by members of the other race-based legislative groups in the filing, including the chairmen of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Caucus.
While the briefs are nothing more than shows of support, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat and chairman of the black caucus, said in a prepared statement that those who oppose race-conscious college admissions are "opponents of inclusion."
The Democrats join a number of Fortune 500 companies, a bevy of high-end universities, the AFL-CIO and the American Bar Association in filing supportive briefs, which are unlikely even to be viewed by Supreme Court members.
Their filing will be joined soon by an amicus brief from Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat who wanted to delegate the filing to newly elected Attorney General Mike Cox.
But he refused.
A spokesman for Mr. Cox, a Republican and a University of Michigan graduate, told the Associated Press that the attorney general is "supportive of diversity measures, but thinks those that are used in states like Florida and Texas are more constitutionally sound."
Those states guarantee admission to state universities for the top 10 percent of students in each state high school.

Daley's complaint
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley gives the movie that bears his city's name high marks. He has one complaint, though: It was shot in Canada.
"The movie is great," Mr. Daley said Tuesday. "I said, 'Too bad it wasn't filmed in Chicago.'"
He blamed the federal government, saying it needs to provide incentives to American filmmakers that would match what the Canadians offer, the Associated Press reports.
"The film industry in America was going strong. Canada says, 'OK, we want the film industry. We will subsidize you.' So all the film industry went from America up to Canada," Mr. Daley said.
"Chicago," adapted from the stage hit about two murderous women competing for tabloid celebrity, leads this year's Oscar contenders with 13 nominations, including best picture.
"We do the creative work," Mr. Daley said. "We do the financial work. Why should we send the production work overseas? … Our priorities should be keeping people working in the film industry right here."
He said American workers will continue to lose out until the federal government gets the message.
"I really believe we have to get our priorities straight in Washington, D.C.," he said. "You know knock, knock. No one is home in Washington. They have to get reality. If they listen to people, they will find out what is happening."

Poets, not warriors
Playwright Arthur Miller, rapper Mos Def and at least four former U.S. poets laureate will be among the artists and performers appearing at "Poems Not Fit for the White House," an anti-war gathering to be held Monday at New York City's Lincoln Center.
The event was inspired by the White House's postponement of a poetry symposium to be hosted by first lady Laura Bush. A spokeswoman for Mrs. Bush has said there was concern that the forum would be politicized by opponents of war against Iraq.
Former poets laureate Rita Dove and Stanley Kunitz, both of whom turned down invitations to the symposium, will read at Lincoln Center, the Associated Press reports. Others expected are former poets laureate Robert Pinsky and Mark Strand and actor-writer Wallace Shawn.
The symposium was to have been held Wednesday.

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