- The Washington Times - Monday, February 17, 2003

Sloganeers
National Review's Rod Dreher was around Grand Central Station in New York on Saturday after the anti-war demonstration ended, and he did not like what he saw.
"I grant that there are morally serious people against the war. I just didn't see any of them today. This is what I saw: a child whose parents hung a poster around her neck that read: 'More candy and ice cream/less war and bigotry.' I'm not making that up.
"I also saw this slogan on a poster: 'The Iraqi people need our love, not our bombs.' Ooh yeah, and mean people are bad," Mr. Dreher writes in the Corner on the magazine's Web site.
But that was not the worst of it.
"I also saw a woman carrying a poster that had an image of President Bush with a Hitler mustache drawn on.
"I nearly lost it over that. What kind of decent person would have anything to do with a movement that likened the president of the United States to a genocidal mass murderer?
"Just to see them walking the street is to put oneself in touch with one's inner Teamster."

Breaking ranks
"Black leaders who focus on racial divisions are too often showered with media attention and, what is worse, given a free pass on demagoguery," John Fund writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.
"Presidential candidate Al Sharpton, handled with kid gloves by other White House contenders, comes to mind. At the same time, leaders such as Clarence Thomas, J.C. Watts, civil-rights leader Roy Innis and even Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are often called 'sellouts,' or worse, for not viewing every issue through a racial prism," Mr. Fund said.
"Nonetheless, a growing number of black officials are breaking ranks by calling for a more honest approach to race relations. The latest is David Clarke, the elected sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis., who accused other black elected officials of practicing a 'cult of victimology' instead of making 'real efforts to better the lives of black people.' His critics claim that the 46-year-old Democrat is pandering to whites, but his message has struck a chord among voters of all races and could catapult him into higher office."

McCain vs. Clinton
"When Arizona Sen. John McCain criticizes the White House, his comments usually receive wide coverage in the mainstream press. That is, at least when he criticizes the Bush White House," according to www.NewsMax.com.
"However, Sen. McCain's scathing denunciation of the Clinton administration's bungling of the North Korea nuclear crisis this [past] week has yet to appear anywhere in print," the Web site said.
"NBC 'Today' Show host Katie Couric asked the celebrated Republican maverick on Wednesday about the advice ex-President Clinton offered the day before, where Clinton urged the Bush administration to begin an 'intense, exceedingly high-level engagement' with Pyongyang and then offer 'a grand bargain' to resolve the crisis.
"'My reaction,' said McCain, 'is that the greatest failure of the Clinton administration was the agreement they made with North Korea, which allowed them to reach the stage where there are today, where they have nuclear weapons.'
"'We supported their regime,' he continued, 'with over a billion dollars and fuel while 2 million of their citizens starved to death [and] 200,000 of their people are in gulags reminiscent of Joseph Stalin.'
"McCain recommended that the U.S. not negotiate with North Korea, but instead begin intensive talks with China, South Korea, Japan and Russia to force Pyongyang to comply with the nuclear nonproliferation treaty."

Thinking about it
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark says he is thinking about challenging President Bush in 2004 because of concern about the administration's foreign policy.
"Well, I have thought about it," the former NATO supreme commander said yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"And a lot of people have asked me to think about it."
It was his first public acknowledgment that he is considering a run, the Associated Press reports.
"We're at a turning point in American history here. We are about to embark on an operation that's going to put us in a colonial position in the Middle East following Britain, following the Ottomans," Mr. Clark said.
"It's a huge change for the American people and for what this country stands for."
Mr. Clark said he is concerned with how the administration has handled longtime allies.
"This is an administration which really hasn't respected our allies," he said.

War of the poets
A few poets recently won media attention by loudly opposing any war against Iraq and forcing first lady Laura Bush to postpone a literary seminar at the White House.
Now another group is making its voice heard: Poets For the War. Their names and poems can be found at www.poetsforthewar.org.

Apology accepted
A DaimlerChrysler official who called conservative critics of Jesse Jackson "myopic" in January has apologized for his comments, Marc Morano reports at www.CNSNews.com.
In a handwritten letter to a conservative group, dated Feb. 13, DaimlerChrysler Senior Vice President Frank Fountain wrote that he wished "to express my deepest regret" for the slur against conservatives.
"My choice of words was unfortunate, but there was no intention to negatively characterize conservatives.
"Any such characterization was unfair and unintended," Mr. Fountain wrote.
The letter was sent to Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, who accepted DaimlerChrysler's apology without reservations, telling CNSNews.com she was "very impressed with the depth of [DaimlerChryslers] sincerity. I am very impressed with the way they are handling it."
She said Mr. Fountain "seemed to show a tremendous respect not only for conservatives but for all Americans" in the letter.

Shocking reporters
"The media's God police go crazy every time President Bush mentions Jesus or is around others who do," Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.
"It happened last week when Bush was introduced at a Nashville prayer breakfast as a 'brother in Christ.' A Washington Post scribe, for example, practically had a heart attack," Mr. Bedard said.
"Turns out, Bush rarely invokes Jesus' name, and an aide says that's on purpose. 'We don't want to single out any religion.'
One official even researched how many times Bush has mentioned Jesus as prez: 17, mostly in Easter and Christmas messages.
"He has referred to 'God,' adds the official, in more speeches about Muslims than about Christians.
For the record: In Nashville, Bush didn't mention Jesus."

Healthy funding
Officials of the American Heart Association praised Congress for passing an appropriations bill last week that included funding to complete the five-year effort to double the National Institutes of Health budget by 2003.
"We are delighted that Congress honored its pledge to double the NIH budget," Dr. Robert Bonow, AHA president, said in a statement.
But he said more money is needed for research and prevention of heart disease, the nation's top killer, and for stroke, the third deadliest disease.
"Unfortunately, heart disease and stroke remain underfunded," Dr. Bonow said.
"As the NIH budget has increased, NIH has invested only 8 percent in research for heart disease and a mere 1 percent on [research for] stroke."

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