- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2003

Disappointed candidate
We reported last week on Black Enterprise magazine's decision that the Rev. Al Sharpton would be the best Democratic presidential candidate. That came as a disappointment to the only other black hopeful in the nine-person Democratic field, former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun.
Not coincidentally, the business-oriented magazine's publisher, Earl Graves Jr., is a longtime friend of Mr. Sharpton.
"I have high regards for Mr. Graves, and so I am doubly disappointed that he did not interview or speak to any of the other candidates, myself included," before making its endorsement, Mrs. Moseley-Braun said in a phone call to reporter Steve Miller of The Washington Times.
Penn and Moyers
"To most observers, Sean Penn's fact-finding mission to Baghdad two months ago probably seemed more like a bizarre public relations flop than a cleverly executed political strategy," Jean Pearce writes at www.FrontPageMagazine.com.
"But then, most observers weren't its intended audience. Nor were the reporters who covered it, or the pundits who ridiculed it. Without realizing it, these people contributed to the success of Penn's true mission," the writer said.
"While Penn traipsed around Iraq, leftist grass-roots organizers across the U.S. were scrambling. In less than two months, they planned to fill the nation's streets with thousands of war protesters. To create the illusion of a national groundswell against the war on Iraq, they'd have to quickly energize their troops.
"Institute for Public Accuracy Executive Director Norman Solomon, the force behind Penn's trip, had proven to be an expert at mobilizing those who share his Marxist views long before he founded IPA and opened its Washington press office with a grant from the non-profit Florence and John Schumann Foundation. That foundation is headed by none other than PBS correspondent Bill Moyers. Since then, grants from the Open Society and Solidago foundations, headed by radical leftist billionaire George Soros, have helped to keep its doors open."
The writer added: "One can still predict with frightening accuracy the topics Solomon's press releases will hammer on during any given period by clicking on Moyers' 'Now' website and closely following whatever agenda Moyers is subtly pushing in his television interviews and journalistic investigations. One can also check out the Schumann-sponsored American Prospect [magazine], whose masthead includes Democratic Socialist Harold Meyerson, or click on TomPaine.com, a Schumann grantee through the Florence Foundation, a nonprofit led by Moyers' son. It doesn't matter which one you choose; they all sing in concert."
Missing Democrats
Tony Snow, host of "Fox News Sunday," chided Democratic leaders yesterday for avoiding the Sunday talk shows.
"A growing cadre of Democrats is accusing President Bush of botching American foreign policy by threatening force first and failing to give diplomacy sufficient time. They wanted to give chit-chat a chance," Mr. Snow said at the close of his program.
"This is an interesting notion at odds with the whole of human history. Wars end and talk begins only when one side wins," Mr. Snow said.
"The idea is interesting for a second reason, which is that many of the very politicians complaining about the president's reticence have themselves gone silent before the press.
"Check today's Sunday show listings, and you will find precisely zero Democratic leaders. We've called them all, week after week, only to discover that the loyal opposition, with a few exceptions such as Joe Biden, Carl Levin and Harry Reid, have gone AWOL. They're the milk-carton brigade: missing and sorely missed.
"Two key examples: Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, tough in speeches but nowhere to be seen. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, watching this show, I hope.
"Here we are on the cusp of war, and leaders of a key political party are, A, ratcheting up attacks on the commander in chief and, B, hiding from one-on-one national interviews.
"Yesterday Democrats handed responsibility for responding to the president's radio address to a man with the lowest approval ratings in America, California Governor Gray Davis. Twenty-seven percent approval in the most recent L.A. Times poll. The guy didn't talk about war and peace, only his desire for further federal handouts. Yeesh.
"So I close today with an open and heartfelt invitation: Come back, folks, let's talk. It's not the same without you, and it's not a debate unless both sides show up."
Thompson's goals
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson says legislation concerning "Medicare, Medicaid, liability insurance and [coverage for] the uninsured," and welfare reform are the best bets for passing Congress this year.
But these were only a few of the goals he laid out Friday for reporters at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Disease prevention is imperative, and Americans "are not very healthy," he said, gently pushing away the steaming plate of sausage, bacon, eggs and potatoes he had been served.
"We need to reduce smoking, eat properly and exercise more," even if it's just walking 30 minutes a day, he said, adding that he wears a little pedometer that tells him how many steps he has taken each day. "I've done about 300 steps today. … You need about 10,000."
To encourage better living, the Bush administration plans to start a $25 million competition for the "healthiest cities" those with the biggest reductions of diabetes, asthma and obesity, Mr. Thompson said.
Another goal is to move the health care system into a "paperless" mode, because "grocery stores are more technologically advanced than hospitals," he said.
The small question
"The story of late on North Korea has been that President Bush is keeping his head while everyone else seems to be losing theirs," the Wall Street Journal says.
"The same people who don't want the U.S. to disarm Saddam Hussein are demanding that Mr. Bush drop everything and disarm Kim Jong Il right now, if not faster," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"A lot of this, probably most of it, can be dismissed as partisan politics. Having lost the congressional vote and public debate on Iraq, some Democrats figure that North Korea is their opening to assail Mr. Bush's foreign policy. Thus we have the spectacle of Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, who worry not at all about Saddam getting nuclear weapons, now thundering that North Korea is the 'more immediate threat.' These are doves wearing press-on hawk talons for the TV cameras.
"Their sincerity is all the more doubtful when you consider their counsel: Mr. Bush must 'negotiate directly' with North Korea. Of course. Why didn't anyone else think of that? Sit down with Kim Jong Il, one of the world's great rationalists, and hash it out over kimchi and beer. The small question this strategy begs, and which the critics don't want to acknowledge up front, is what then? The idea that Kim is going to give up his nuclear ambitions in return for the privilege of conversation with Colin Powell is well, optimistic is the nicest word for it."
Justifying war
Former President Jimmy Carter outlined his idea of a just war yesterday and said military action against Iraq failed to meet his theological standards.
"As a Christian and as a president who was severely provoked by international crises, I became thoroughly familiar with the principles of a just war, and it is clear that a substantially unilateral attack on Iraq does not meet these standards," Mr. Carter said in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.
"This is an almost universal conviction of religious leaders, with the most notable exception of a few spokesmen of the Southern Baptist Convention who are greatly influenced by their commitment to Israel based on eschatological, or final days, theology," Mr. Carter said.

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