- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2003

California clash
Democrats in charge of the California Assembly are blocking a vote on a Republican resolution that expresses support for U.S. troops and President Bush, in favor of their own resolution, which does not support the president, a Republican member of the lower house said yesterday.
"I think as a member of this body, it's almost embarrassing how we can't support a resolution supporting our troops and their commander in chief," said Assemblyman George Plescia, San Diego Republican, who sponsored the resolution he said Democrats are blocking.He said his resolution is stuck in the Rules Committee and Democrats were planning to move ahead late yesterday and bring a resolution of their own to the floor.
But Patricia Soto, spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Herb J. Wesson Jr., Los Angeles Democrat, said party leaders, "haven't decided on anything yet," and Mr. Plescia's proposal, "is still one we're evaluating."Mr. Plescia's resolution states that the California Legislature "unequivocally supports" the troops, and "renders its unqualified support of our Commander-in-Chief, President George Bush, and other national leaders.""They do not want language that supports the president," Mr. Plescia said, adding that such language was essential for him.
Mr. Plescia said he offered to do a resolution patterned after the one passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. Senate, but "they couldn't even agree to that."Miss Soto would not comment on the Democratic resolution, saying several were being considered. Mr. Plescia said the Democratic resolution urges an end to the conflict in Iraq as soon as possible, the return of our service members as soon as possible, the protection of Iraqi civilians and the rebuilding of Iraq.
"This should have been a nonpartisan thing. They decided to make it partisan," Mr. Plescia said.

Spinning a poll
"There they go again. Despite a mountain of clear polling data, the New York Times still refuses to admit that the vast majority of Americans support President Bush's war to topple the dangerous regime of Saddam Hussein and liberate the people of Iraq," Larry Kudlow writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"In a front-page story on Saturday, reporters Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder unveil a Times/CBS News poll that finds 70 percent of Americans approve of Bush's handling of Iraq [-] an increase of 19 percentage points in only 10 days. But the paper of record won't let it rest there," Mr. Kudlow said.
"Most of the story talks about 'deep partisan divisions' surrounding the conflict. And this just in: According to the Times, Bush enjoys far greater support from Republicans (93 percent) than he does from Democrats (50 percent). This alleged political division is even more intense when it comes to the president's overall approval rating: 95 percent of Republicans favor the Texan, compared with only 37 percent of Democrats."What Nagourney and Elder failed to report from that very same poll is that independent voters strongly favor Bush on the war (65 percent) and approve of his overall performance (66 percent). They didn't mention this once in their story. As we know full well, it is precisely these independent swing voters who now determine elections in America. Yet, in their infinite wisdom, the New York Times chooses to ignore this fact.
"If the Times' reporters had dug a little deeper, they might have reached the conclusion that what the poll really shows is how isolated the wartime Democratic party has become. On war, Democrats fall 15 points below independents in their support for Bush. On overall approval for Bush, that gap widens to an astonishing 29 points."

Feminism gone awry
"March is Women's History Month, but hard-line feminists in universities and major women's groups are deciding who counts as a woman," Christina Hoff Sommers writes in the Wall Street Journal."I have been labeled a non-woman. An angry critic once referred to Margaret Thatcher and me as 'those two female impersonators.' Why? Because in my books and articles I have questioned the basic premise of contemporary American feminism," said Ms. Hoff Sommers, who is chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Independent Women's Forum and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute."For instance, I do not believe that women in American society are oppressed, or members of subordinate class. It is no longer reasonable to say that as a group, women are worse off than men. The truth is that American women are among the freest in the world. And yet hearing me say that, there are women who wish to excommunicate me from my sex!"Feminism in this country has become a parody of itself. We need a forward-looking movement, guided by common sense and fairness. Instead, we've got political correctness, victim politics and male-bashing. There's the women's studies professor who has renamed her seminar an 'ovular.' A feminist musicologist at UCLA claims to have discovered themes of rape and sexual assault in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony."

Israel ties
The retired U.S. general named as civilian governor of occupied Iraq has visited Israel at the expense of a lobbying group that says the United States needs Israel to project U.S. force in the Middle East.
The coordinator for civilian administration in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, put his name to an October 2000 statement blaming Palestinians for Israeli-Palestinian violence and saying that a strong Israel is an important U.S. security asset, Reuters news agency reports.
The statement was sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which pays for senior retired U.S. military officers to visit Israel for security briefings by Israeli officials and politicians.Gen. Garner went on its annual trip to Israel in 1998, said Shoshana Bryen, director of special projects at JINSA.
In the 2000 statement, Gen. Garner and 42 other senior retired officers said: "We are appalled by the Palestinian political and military leadership that teaches children the mechanics of war while filling their heads with hate."
A U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said the United States was planning to install Gen. Garner as civil administrator in Iraq, and Barbara Bodine, a former ambassador to Yemen, as his coordinator for civil administration.

Primary imperiled
Tennessee's presidential primary may be scrapped to help avoid a projected $780 million deficit for the next budget year.Secretary of State Riley Darnell made the suggestion to members of the state Senate finance committee yesterday, the Associated Press reports. He said eliminating the March primary would save $3.5 million every four years.
Mr. Darnell said Tennessee has ceased to be a factor in selecting presidential candidates because 18 states and the District of Columbia have scheduled caucuses or primaries even earlier than Tennessee.Joe Haynes, chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, said he has discussed the possibility with state party officials, but leaders also are looking into moving up the primary date.
Several other states have debated the issue to save money. Colorado eliminated its primary, while Utah lawmakers decided to cancel the primary for 2004. Similar proposals have been made in Kansas, Missouri and Arizona.

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