- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Lieberman’s view

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, just back from Iraq, wants President Bush to give the American people details about the progress being made in that country — from military triumphs to the proliferation of cell phones and satellite dishes, the Hartford Courant reports.

Mr. Bush is scheduled to give the nation a progress report on Iraq today, his first such address since Congress erupted two weeks ago in bitter debate over the war, writes David Lightman, the Courant’s Washington bureau chief.

Supporters and critics alike have been urging the president to outline his strategy for some time.

Critics sense a mission adrift. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, visited Iraq last month and came away saying “we need a major course correction” in American policy; notably, “we need to let Iraqis know we’re not there forever.”

But Mr. Lieberman, who spent last Wednesday and Thursday in Iraq, saw strong evidence that a workable American plan is in place.

“We do have a strategy,” he said. “We do have a plan. I saw a strategy that’s being implemented.”

Mr. Lieberman, who is one of Mr. Bush’s strongest war supporters in the Senate, cited the remarks of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who last month told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the strategy in Iraq was to “clear, hold and build: to clear areas from insurgent control, to hold them securely and to build durable, national Iraqi institutions.”

Just ‘noise’?

The editors of National Review reacted cautiously yesterday to President Bush’s new immigration proposals, citing the following quote: “We will not be able to effectively enforce our immigration laws until we create a temporary-worker program.”

“This was the animating idea of the president’s immigration speech on Monday in Tucson,” the magazine said in an editorial at www.nationalreview.com. “His litany of improvements in border security, and even his acknowledgement of the importance of interior enforcement, were clearly calculated to make his guest-worker-program-cum-amnesty more palatable to conservatives.

“The current issue of Time magazine has a revealing quote from ‘a Republican official close to the White House’ about the president’s approach to supporters of immigration enforcement: ‘Bush decided to give these guys their rhetorical pound of flesh. In return, he wants a comprehensive bill, which is what he has always wanted. He’s just going to lead with a lot of noise about border security.’

“We are glad that Bush finally seems to realize how dismayed conservatives are about the chaotic, lawless state of our immigration system, but he will have to do more to convince us that he is offering more than ‘a lot of noise.’ The Tucson speech, and another one [yesterday] in El Paso, are intended to kick off what some officials are calling ‘Border Security Month.’ (Shouldn’t every month be Border Security Month?) His enforcement proposals are welcome, even if the president is playing a game of catch up.”

Ohio dropout

Michael Coleman, the Democratic mayor of Columbus, Ohio, dropped out of the governor’s race yesterday, saying his family needs him and that he mistakenly thought he could manage Ohio’s largest city while campaigning.

The decision leaves Rep. Ted Strickland as the lone major Democrat in the campaign to succeed Republican Gov. Bob Taft, who cannot run again next year because of term limits.

Republicans seeking the nomination include Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, Auditor Betty Montgomery and Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro.

Specter throws flag

Sen. Arlen Specter has accused the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles of treating Terrell Owens unfairly, and might refer the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Specter, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said at a press conference Monday in Harrisburg, Pa., it was “vindictive and inappropriate” for the league and the Eagles to forbid the star wide receiver from playing and prevent other teams from talking to him.

“It’s a restraint of trade for them to do that, and the thought crosses my mind, it might be a violation of antitrust laws,” the Pennsylvania Republican said.

The Eagles suspended Owens on Nov. 5 for four games without pay for “conduct detrimental to the team,” and deactivated him with pay on Sunday after the suspension ended.

Arbitrator Richard Bloch said last week the team’s actions were supported by the labor agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association.

Some legal experts disagreed with Mr. Specter’s view, the Associated Press reports.

“To have an antitrust violation, you have to have a contract or conspiracy in restraint of trade,” said Robert McCormick, a law professor at Michigan State University.

$11K per hour

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan was paid $11,000 for an hourlong talk last night at State University College at Oneonta, N.Y.

Mrs. Sheehan’s fee was paid by the College Union Activities Council (CUAC), which “is funded by a student activity fee of $80.50 a semester,” the Oneonta Daily Star reports.

“Some people assumed it was an anti-war rally, and that’s not what it is,” said Erin Dromgoole, chairwoman of CUAC’s lecture program. “Her program is not about the war.”

The one-hour speech by Mrs. Sheehan, who has called for immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, consumed 29.3 percent of CUAC’s $37,500 annual lecture budget.

As “balance,” the CUAC also booked a Fox News Channel military analyst, retired Army Lt. Col. Scott Rutter, to give a presentation Friday afternoon. Mr. Rutter, who led a battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom, will present a multimedia show that features hundreds of photos from the front lines in Iraq.

Mr. Rutter will be paid $600 by the CUAC.

Helping Musgrave

President Bush raised money yesterday for the re-election of Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Colorado Republican, who strongly opposes homosexual “marriage.”

There’s “nothing like somebody in the Congress who loves her family and who understands the importance of family values, and that’s Marilyn Musgrave,” the president said at a fundraising lunch in Denver.

Mr. Bush raised more than $450,000 for the congresswoman, Agence France-Presse reports, citing Republican officials.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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