PBS mogul Bill Moyers has accused the Bush administration of plotting the “deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States of America,” according to a report by John Nichols at the Web site for the leftist magazine the Nation (www.thenation.com).
Mr. Moyers, speaking at the “Take Back America” conference organized in Washington last week by the Campaign for America’s Future, “won the hearts and minds of the crowd with a ‘Cross of Gold’ speech for the 21st century,” Mr. Nichols said.
The former aide to President Johnson “delivered a call to arms against ‘government of, by and for the ruling corporate class.’”
“Condemning ‘the unholy alliance between government and wealth’ and the compassionate conservative spin that tries to make ‘the rape of America sound like a consensual date,’ Moyers charged that ‘right-wing wrecking crews’ assembled by the Bush administration and its congressional allies were out to bankrupt government. Then, he said, they would privatize public services in order to enrich the corporate interests that fund campaigns and provide golden parachutes to pliable politicians. If unchecked, Moyers warned, the result of these machinations will be the dismantling of ‘every last brick of the social contract.’
“‘I think this is a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States of America,’ said Moyers, as he called for the progressives gathered in Washington — and for their allies across the United States — to organize not merely in defense of social and economic justice, but in order to preserve democracy itself.
“Paraphrasing the words of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th president rallied the nation to battle against slavery, Moyers declared, ‘Our nation can no more survive as half democracy and half oligarchy than it could survive half slave and half free.’”
Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham says he will no longer release contents of the little notebooks he has been carrying for 26 years to record his daily activities.
The Florida senator always carries a notebook in his pocket, which he pulls out frequently to record notes on political discussions and the names of people he meets. He also jots down more obscure activities of daily life, like what he ate for breakfast, which TV show he watched and what he scored in a round of golf.
The notebooks have been a curiosity to reporters, and Graham spokesman Paul Anderson said they are becoming a distraction in his presidential bid, the Associated Press reports.
“They have been covered abundantly,” Mr. Anderson said. “He wants to focus on issues and his use of the notebooks is well-known. There is not much more to be said.”
Mr. Anderson said some of the notebooks are kept in Mr. Graham’s Senate office on Capitol Hill, while others are in storage in Tallahassee, Fla. Mr. Graham plans to eventually turn them over to the library at his alma mater, the University of Florida, “although if there is a presidential library we’ll have to reconsider that,” Mr. Anderson said.
Schumer’s ‘thumbs up’
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat leading his party’s filibuster of two judicial nominees, sent a letter to President Bush yesterday suggesting nominees for potential Supreme Court vacancies — including Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican.
The suggestions include Mr. Specter and Michael Mukasey, an appointee of President Reagan’s now serving as chief judge of the federal court in Manhattan. He also recommends Judges Anne Williams, Edward Prado and Stanley Marcus, all current federal appeals court judges nominated by Republican presidents.
According to the Associated Press, Mr. Schumer’s letter also criticized the president’s judicial nominations, saying that “you, more than any other president in history, have chosen judges through an ideological prism.”
Mr. Specter said in a statement: “I appreciate Senator Schumer’s recommendation, but I am sure that the president already has his short list if a vacancy arises.” A White House spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.
Cash for recall
A Republican congressman has contributed another $200,000 to the campaign to recall California Gov. Gray Davis, the Democrat he wants to replace.
Rep. Darrell Issa now has given $645,000 of the approximately $1 million raised by recall supporters. The money officially comes from Greene Properties Inc. of Vista, a company owned by Mr. Issa and his wife.
Records posted on the California secretary of state’s Web site Monday revealed the latest contribution, the Associated Press reports.
Taxpayers Against the Recall have raised about $500,000, including $100,000 reported Monday from Zenith Insurance Co. of Woodland Hills, Calif., a major provider of workers’ compensation insurance. Zenith Chairman Stanley Zax is also a longtime Davis supporter.
Recall backers must collect nearly 900,000 valid signatures by Sept. 2 to get the measure on the ballot. On Monday, they claimed to have collected 587,000 and said they expected to reach the required number in July, which could result in a special election in the fall.
Back on the wall
Portraits of James Madison and John Quincy Adams returned to the Capitol yesterday, more than 150 years after previous paintings of the two presidents and House members were destroyed in a Christmas Eve fire.
“Today, we fill a long-standing gap in the House collection,” Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, California Democrat, said in unveiling the portraits with Rep. Bob Ney, Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Fine Arts Board.
The portraits will hang in the Capitol’s main corridor between Statuary Hall and the main entrance of the House chamber, the Associated Press reports.
There has been no painting of either Madison, the fourth president, or Adams, the sixth, since a fire in 1852 in the Library of Congress, then located on the third floor of the Capitol, destroyed a number of paintings.
Both men also served in the House — Madison from the first Congress in 1789 until 1796, and Adams from 1831, after he served as president, until he died in the Capitol in 1848.
Both paintings are based on portraits existing elsewhere, rather than copies of the ones destroyed in 1852.
The Madison painting, by Bradley Stevens of George Washington University, is a re-creation of a painting by Revolutionary War painter Charles Willson Peale that now hangs at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Okla.
The Adams portrait, by Edwin Ahlstrom of Montgomery College, was modeled after a painting by Jean-Baptiste-Adolphe Gibert that resides at the State Department.
Former Sen. Edward W. Brooke, Massachusetts Republican, underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer, a disease that strikes mostly women.
“When the doctor told me, all I could say was: ‘Me? Come on,’” Mr. Brooke told New York Times reporter Lynette Clemetson.
Mr. Brooke, 83, was diagnosed in September and underwent surgery two weeks later, the newspaper said.
About 1,500 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 400 will die of the disease, the reporter said. On average, about 211,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and an estimated 40,000 will die.
“I know that my talking may be helpful to other men who are living their lives right now, unaware that they have this disease,” Mr. Brooke said.
Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or email@example.com.