- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2003

Immediate reaction
Judging by their performance Tuesday, the financial markets wanted President Bush's tax cut plan to pass almost as much as most Republican lawmakers.
A handful of Republicans joined the vast majority of Democrats in voting at 2:18 p.m. to slash the tax cut in half, from $726 billion to $350 billion.
Minutes later, according to a chart produced by the House Republican Conference, the Dow Jones Industrial Average began declining from a high of 8,338 at 2:23 p.m. The Dow fell more than 100 points, to 8,233, before rebounding to close at 8,580.

Powell scoffs
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell yesterday dismissed a suggestion from a New York Times columnist that he resign over the war in Iraq.
Mr. Powell, who has been designated by some liberals as a sort of honorary Democrat, said he fully agreed with the president's policy on Iraq and had no plans to leave.
"Personally, I'm very much in sync with the president, and he values my services," Mr. Powell said in an interview with National Public Radio.
"I also have to take note of the fact if you would consult any recent Gallup poll, the American people seem to be quite satisfied with the job I'm doing as secretary of state," Mr. Powell added.
Asked whether he planned to stay in the Bush administration, Mr. Powell replied: "Oh, absolutely."
On Saturday, New York Times columnist Bill Keller said the secretary should quit because the war against Iraq was "a failure of Colin Powell's politics."Mr. Keller said the Bush administration was undeserving of Mr. Powell's services.

Clinton backs Bush
Americans should support efforts by President Bush and U.S. troops to oust Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, former President Bill Clinton said.
Mr. Clinton spoke about the war in Iraq during a fund-raising performance Tuesday night of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in Little Rock, the Associated Press reports.
"Tonight, many thousands of America's finest young men and women in uniform, and their allies, are in Iraq with their lives on the line," he told the audience, reading a brief statement just before the program's intermission.
"Whatever our politics at this hour, we all should want them and their commander in chief to know that we're praying for them and pulling for them, for their success in their mission, for their safety, for as little loss of life as possible," Mr. Clinton said. "That is our hope, the prayer of every American."

Liberal radio
"Sheldon and Anita Drobny's proposal to fund a liberal, commercial talk-radio alternative to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, et al. has, if nothing else, gotten lots of attention," Lawrence Henry writes at www.spectator.com.
"A Google search on 'Liberal talk radio' yields dozens of news articles posted just in the last hour — probably less now that the war in Iraq has begun, but still. And conservative commentators haven't been able to leave the story alone," Mr. Henry said.
"David Limbaugh ('Talk Radio — Liberals Don't Have a Clue,' Townhall.com, March 5); Jeff Jacoby ('Liberal Talk Radio Won't Work,' Boston Globe, March 2); and Jonah Goldberg ('Liberal Talk Radio? Keep Laughing,' Townhall.com, Feb. 26) have all written essentially the same column, making the same points, and citing the same examples of liberal talk failure (Jim Hightower, Mario Cuomo).
"But they're looking at the wrong economic model. In fact, liberal talk radio is alive, kicking, and very, very good — on the taxpayer- and listener-subsidized National Public Radio network.
"I can hear the protests: 'But that's not fair!' Of course it is. The rules exist, NPR exists, and we should no more fault liberals for taking advantage of a subsidized medium than we fault Christian radio programs like 'Truths That Transform' or 'Focus on the Family' for soliciting their sponsorship directly from their listeners, according to their rules."
Mr. Henry added: "Jacoby, Limbaugh, Goldberg, and other conservative pundits are right: Liberal talk radio won't work on commercial frequencies. But that's not because there's no audience. It's because the liberal talk audience has plenty to listen to. They don't need any more. Plus, that audience is sewed up tight. What do they need with their own Imus? AM? What's that? Isn't that where you listen to, like, baseball?"

Sixth-grade mistake
A day after signing a student petition labeling the war in Iraq "unjust," Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn backtracked and said he doesn't believe the conflict is unjust after all.
"Yesterday I signed a petition prepared and presented to me by sixth graders at Florence Nightingale Middle School," Mr. Hahn said in a statement Tuesday. "I regret that I did not read it word for word before I signed.
"I do not agree that this is an 'unjust' war. This is the time to support our troops and pray for their swift and safe return."
The petition was circulated by a sixth-grade class and signed by 700 people. Mr. Hahn was asked to sign by one student just moments after the mayor praised the children for speaking their minds.
In February, Mr. Hahn signed a City Council resolution opposing a war without U.N. backing.

Carter's flag
Former President Jimmy Carter has let Georgia Democratic legislative leaders know that he supports a return of the state flag that flew before 1956, which did not include the Confederate emblem.
And he also said in one-on-one conferences and at least one lengthy letter that he thinks a referendum on the flag issue would be harmful, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
"We talked about it last week," House Speaker Terry Coleman said Tuesday. "He didn't give me the impression that he wanted to get into the middle of the fray. He just wants to help."
Mr. Coleman spoke just hours after two Republicans and a Democrat offered three different bills to avoid or water down the statewide vote wanted by Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Freedom toast
On President Bush's Air Force One flight to Florida yesterday it was au revoir to French toast and hello to "freedom toast."
"Stuffed Freedom Toast" topped the breakfast menu, Reuters news agency reports, in a slap that the French probably would dismiss as a typically gauche American crudity. Paris blocked U.S. attempts to get the U.N. Security Council to authorize military force against its trading partner, Saddam Hussein.
The name change for the venerable breakfast dish — in this case stuffed with cream cheese — followed similar moves by Congress and some restaurants across the country to change "french fries" to "freedom fries."
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, asked about "freedom toast," smiled and said, "We're always proud of the men and women of our Air Force."

Election results
The first female mayor of Kansas City, Mo., was elected to a second term Tuesday, while a former county elections supervisor defeated a one-time aide to President Clinton to win the mayoral race in Tampa, Fla.
Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, a former legislator and City Council member, beat challenger Stanford Glazer. In unofficial results, the incumbent got 31,441 votes, or 60 percent, to Mr. Glazer's 21,053 votes, or 40 percent.
In Tampa, former Hillsborough County Election Supervisor Pam Iorio toppled Frank Sanchez, a lawyer who served in the Clinton administration.
With all precincts reporting, Miss Iorio had 28,492 votes, or 64 percent, while Mr. Sanchez had 16,023 votes, or 36 percent.

Wrong description
Reuters news agency incorrectly referred to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs as a lobbying group in a story that appeared in this space yesterday.
The institute is a nonprofit educational group, according to Shoshanna Bryen, the organization's director of special projects.

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