- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 1, 2003

News blackout
"One of the most interesting postwar stories for liberal journalists who love to deplore how Big Money distorts politics ought to be the way the deposed Iraqi regime bought influence with politicians and journalists," the Media Research Center's Tim Graham writes at www.mediaresearch.org.
"Last week, the London Daily Telegraph began reporting that George Galloway, a Laborite member of Parliament and an anti-war voice featured by several American media outlets, received hundreds of thousands of pounds in the past few years from Saddam's coffers," Mr. Graham said.
"In the May 5 Weekly Standard, Stephen F. Hayes summarized the story and added that American politicians also received cash: Rep. Jim McDermott, so memorably featured from Baghdad attacking President Bush as a liar last fall on ABC's 'This Week,' accepted $5,000 for his legal defense fund from Shakir al-Khafaji, a Saddam supporter (and contractor with the Ba'athist regime) who arranged his Baghdad trip. Where are the national media on this developing storyline?
"Although the Telegraph began reporting on documents showing Galloway's payoffs on April 22, it's been blacked out at ABC, CBS, NBC, as well as CNN, NPR, Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report. But the outlets most responsible to follow the money trail to Galloway and other anti-war voices are the outlets who promoted them on American airwaves," said Mr. Graham, citing ABC's "World News Tonight," "Nightline" and "Good Morning America"; CBS' "The Early Show"; and "NBC Nightly News."

Hear her roar
Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota used to be a Democrat. Now he's a Republican.
But Mr. Coleman's change is nothing compared with that of his newest staff member, Susan Kimberly. She used to be Robert Sylvester, a St. Paul city councilman from 1974 to 1978, according to the Associated Press. Miss Kimberly, 60, who was deputy mayor when Mr. Coleman was mayor of St. Paul, is joining his Senate staff as state legislative director.
"She will be a part of my team of people 'outside the Beltway' who will offer insight and perspective that will be critical to my legislative success in Washington," said Mr. Coleman, who met Miss Kimberly when they were neighbors in the 1980s.
Both were members of Minnesota's Democrat Farm Labor (DFL) Party back then.
"Once a liberal DFLer, Kimberly has shifted more to the right on political issues in recent years," the Associated Press said. "She also is known for another notable change a highly publicized sex-change operation in 1983."
She lobbied for the inclusion of "transgender" among the protected classes under the Minnesota Human Rights Act of 1993, saying the bill "had to be inclusive or I would do something foolish and handcuff myself to a urinal in the state Capitol."
In a 1997 law journal article, Miss Kimberly wrote: "I lived for some 40 years as a man and, if for no other reason, I will never really know what it is like to be a woman. So although it causes considerable consternation among some of my transsexual brothers and sisters, I no longer consider myself a woman. Don't take me wrong, however. I'm not a man either, nor am I apologizing for my life, the choices I've made or their outcome. I'm as proud a transsexual as you'll ever meet."
The article was titled: "I am transsexual hear me roar."

Gephardt's loss
"Rep. Harold Ford Jr. spurned entreaties by allies of Rep. Dick Gephardt and endorsed Sen. John Kerry for the Democratic presidential nomination," the anonymous Prowler writes at www.spectator.org.
"Kerry didn't have to work hard for the Tennessean's nod, which is all the more surprising when you consider the two don't know each other very well. In that case, it also speaks volumes about where Gephardt stands with his House colleagues and where his campaign may be headed. …
"Kerry had asked for Ford's support about a month ago. 'Ford was noncommittal. He seemed to be pondering just how serious Gephardt was in his campaign, and whether or not he would have a role in it,' says a Ford staffer. 'Gephardt also asked for his endorsement, but when it was apparent there was little in it for Ford, it was easy for another candidate to come in and get his backing.' …
"Ford's jump to Kerry is the latest blow to Gephardt's attempts to line up his own caucus' support for his campaign. With Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi still refusing to throw her support behind him, his campaign, which is floundering in Iowa and New Hampshire, is already looking like an early loser in the primary season."

Kerry's pledge
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts promised Tuesday that if he wins the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, his White House campaign will include efforts to rebuild the party in the South, Cox News Service reports.
"We need to compete and we need to fight," Mr. Kerry told an audience of about 700 Alabama Democrats at a party-unity dinner in Montgomery, the birthplace of the both the Confederacy and the modern civil rights movement.
Mr. Kerry said Tuesday night that he understood that some Southern Democrats may have been surprised by his visit to the South, the Associated Press reports.
But, he said, "I came here because I am convinced that if somebody is going to be president of the United States, and if you are going to build the capacity to build a majority in this country to take us where we need to go, you can't avoid any state in this country."

Like FDR
Oddball presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche wants to be included in the Democrats' first presidential debate, to be held Saturday in Columbia, S.C., and apparently some Democratic officials agree with him.
About 40 current and former Democratic elected officials sent a letter to South Carolina's party chairman, asking that Mr. LaRouche be included with the nine other presidential hopefuls, most of whom have raised less money for their campaigns than Mr. LaRouche.
"We call upon you to extend an invitation to Mr. Lyndon LaRouche to participate in the upcoming candidates' forum," said the letter, released yesterday by Florence, S.C., City Councilman Edward Robinson.
"Mr. LaRouche is a registered Democratic Party candidate, filed with the Federal Election Commission, has raised well over $3 million for the upcoming primaries, and qualified for Federal Matching Funds in the last several election campaigns on the Democratic side. According to the FEC, he now ranks fourth in total contributions raised and first in total contributors, among all major Democratic candidates," the letter said.
"Mr. LaRouche is an outspoken opponent of the policies of Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney, and a proponent of policies like those of former President Franklin Roosevelt. Like FDR, Mr. LaRouche proposes to rebuild our nation's deteriorating economy."
The letter was signed by, among others, former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, according to the LaRouche campaign.

Bush honors teacher
Alabama teacher Betsy Rogers' decision not to leave a poor rural school made her a natural yesterday to share the stage with President Bush, whose first major legislative initiative carried the slogan "leave no child behind."
In a White House ceremony, Mr. Bush presented Mrs. Rogers with the National Teacher of the Year award the first time the honor has gone to an Alabamian.
Mr. Bush used the occasion to tout his education-reform law and praised Mrs. Rogers for refusing to abandon her Leeds, Ala., first- and second-grade pupils for a wealthier, state-of-the-art school system, the Associated Press reports.
"She is an accomplished teacher with 22 years in the profession, who could have her pick of any school," Mr. Bush said. "Yet she chooses to teach in a school in an underprivileged rural area because she believes that devoted teachers and principals can make a difference in the lives of students from every background."

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