- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Worse than Roe

“‘Is Lawrence worse than Roe?’ read an e-mail message sent by Crisis, the conservative Catholic journal, after the Supreme Court … struck down every sodomy law in America. And the answer, for liberal and conservative defenders of judicial restraint, should be unequivocal. Yes, as a constitutional matter, Lawrence is worse than Roe,” Jeffrey Rosen writes at the New Republic’s Web site (www.tnr.com).

“The Court could have struck down Texas’ sodomy law on the narrow grounds that it violated the equal protection of the laws by forbidding homosexual but not heterosexual sodomy. But instead the Court embraced and extended a sweeping and amorphous right to sexual liberty that is even harder to locate in the text or history of the Constitution than the right of reproductive autonomy that the Court discovered in Roe,” Mr. Rosen said.

He added: “By resurrecting an unprincipled and unconvincing constitutional methodology, the Court will energize the conservatives who have lost the culture wars, and will allow them to cast themselves as judicial martyrs, rather than political losers.”



Bono and Bush

Bono is waiting to see if the United States keeps its promises to Africa.

The lead singer of U2 and members of DATA, a new organization that aims to reduce poverty in Africa by raising awareness of the debt, AIDS and trade crises on the continent, held a press conference yesterday as President Bush began a five-nation trip to Africa.

“I’m telling you, if President Bush delivers on his one-two punch, the Millennium Challenge Account, $10 billion over three years; this AIDS initiative, $15 billion over five years … I am ready to trumpet that and give him the applause he deserves,” Bono said. “I’ll tell you there will be very few things he will do in his tenure as president of the United States that will impact more lives.”

To rally support for Mr. Bush to take action, Bono and friends campaigned across the United States this past fall. On their journey, they solicited the help of many organizations, including churches and Christian groups. Although Bono had his doubts about whether religious groups would be receptive, he says that his opinion has changed.

“I’m glad to say I was wrong. Particularly evangelicals, who had seemed very judgmental to me over the years, turned out to be incredibly generous in their time and their support of this effort,” Bono said.

Forget term limits

A congressman from New Jersey elected on a promise to serve no more than 12 years in Washington said yesterday he will go back on his word and seek a seventh term.

Republican Frank A. LoBiondo said if he is re-elected next year he will run again in 2006 for a seventh term. He was first elected in 1994.

Mr. LoBiondo entered Congress as part of the revolutionary Republican class under House Speaker Newt Gingrich that made term limits a key part of its drive to reform Congress.

“It seemed to me at that time term limits would be a good idea for the nation,” he said. “I didn’t fully understand what personal relationships and seniority could mean to the district.”

Mr. LoBiondo said because other congressmen have broken the term-limit pledge, it would be unfair to people in his district to abide by it.

He said he decided to seek a seventh term after being urged to do so by party leaders and constituents.

Kerry’s fortress

“That Democrat Howard Dean is the flavor of the month doesn’t bother Sen. John Kerry, the other ‘top tier’ candidate in the presidential race, because it’s allowing him to stealthily build his base,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

“We learn that Kerry is making California the state where he hopes to halt any competitors. How? He has lined up state political, elected, minority, and financial bigwigs. ‘If the race gets to California,’ says an insider, ‘no one will have money left, so it will be based on organization, which Kerry is locking down.’

“Also: Kerry’s trying to pluck off backers of Rep. Dick Gephardt and Sen. Joe Lieberman, claiming they don’t have the slightest chance of pulling it out.”

Edwards’ plan

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards yesterday released a plan he said was aimed at restoring integrity to a corporate America buffeted by scandal with the eventual goal of boosting the economy.

Making his appeal on populist terms, the senator from North Carolina and former trial lawyer proposed a series of business reforms, arguing that “what’s holding our economy down is the callous view of a few at the top in Washington and in the corporate world that the values that got us here can now be left behind.”

Under his corporate-accountability plan, Mr. Edwards would require companies to count stock options as expenses against their bottom lines, the Associated Press reports.

“The abuse of stock options that are hidden from balance sheets has been central to the corporate scandals,” he said in Manchester, N.H. “This is about honest accounting. It is a fundamental tenet of economic reform. If we’re going to restore values to our economy, we need to do the right thing here.”

Mr. Edwards’ plan would strengthen laws that require chief executive officers’ pay to be linked to performance, would eliminate tax breaks for executive pensions that are disproportionately larger than those for rank-and-file workers and would give shareholders greater control over corporate boards.

Mr. Edwards also would make it harder for companies to hide their money in tax shelters by requiring them to explain why profits they report to the Internal Revenue Service differ from the amount reported to shareholders.

New Hampshire poll

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean lead in a New Hampshire poll that indicates no presidential candidate has won the hearts of likely Democratic primary voters.

Mr. Kerry was at 18 percent and Mr. Dean was at 16 percent in the Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire and released yesterday.

Almost one-third of those surveyed said they remain undecided, while 14 percent said they would prefer Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who has said she does not plan to run for president in 2004.

In more bad news for the Democrats, only three-fourths of the Democratic primary voters said they will vote for the Democratic candidate against President Bush. They are evenly divided on whether Mr. Bush will win in November 2004 or whether the Democrat will prevail.

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut was at 11 percent in the poll, while the remaining candidates in the field of nine were in single digits.

The poll of 266 likely primary voters was taken June 17 to July 6 and had an error margin of plus or minus six percentage points.

Governor tumbles

Missouri Gov. Bob Holden was treated and released from a hospital Sunday after falling out of a cart and suffering “minor injuries” while doing yardwork, a spokesman said.

The Democratic governor tumbled from the cart as it was being pulled by an all-terrain vehicle at the family’s cabin in Osage County near the Gasconade River, said Jack Cardetti, the governor’s spokesman.

Mr. Cardetti said Mr. Holden had “minor injuries,” but he did not know any further details about the accident, including what part of Mr. Holden’s body was hurt.

Mr. Holden and members of his family had gone to the vacation spot for the Fourth of July weekend. Mr. Cardetti said alcohol was not involved in the accident.

Mr. Holden returned home after being released from the hospital.

“He is resting comfortably at the governor’s mansion with his family,” Mr. Cardetti said. “He doesn’t expect any change in his schedule this week.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected].

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