- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2006

W’s legacy

Rockets fly between Israel and Lebanon, analysts argue. Ben Stein spelled out the greater truths of it all at the American Spectator yesterday:

“Even if by some miracle Israel wiped out every Hezbollah killer in Lebanon tomorrow, Iran could easily replace them forever. Resupplying the missilery is child’s play: just buy it from China, our dear friends, who will sell it to anyone. This means Israel is in for an extremely prolonged, agonizing period of suffering.”

“For anyone with even a sliver of sensitivity to see this happening to a people who have already suffered more than any other people in history, is torture. To see George W. Bush stand up for Israel while the left whines about totally meaningless multilateralism — which means asking France to defend Israel, sort of like asking Martin Bormann to defend Israel — is to see clear decency versus a waffling, age-old anti-Semitic sickness.”

“The line of the fight between civilization and barbarism runs right along the Israel-Lebanon non-border. If it’s not won there, it won’t be long until the front line is right here, and then it will be too late. When George Bush stands up for Israel, he stands up for the whole future of mankind. Yes, he has flaws and has made serious mistakes, but right now, he is a hero for the ages.”

Making cents

A penny for the nation’s thoughts?

Although Rep. Jim Kolbe, Arizona Republican, introduced legislation July 16 to do away with the penny, citing the rising cost of zinc and other factors, the public doesn’t agree with his contention that the coin is a “nuisance.”

Seventy-nine percent of Americans want to keep it, up from 66 percent a year ago, according to a new survey of 1,000 adults released yesterday by Coinstar, which manufacturers those snappy coin-counting machines found in bank lobbies and supermarkets.

Fifty-one percent are concerned about price-rounding to the nearest nickel if the penny disappears, while 63 percent say the penny should be retained as an important symbol of American culture and history. Sixty-nine percent pick up pennies off the ground, while 58 percent are not concerned that the penny costs more to produce than its value. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Libs exposed

It’s not your father’s party anymore: Mean-spirited treatment of Sen.Joe Lieberman by liberal pundits has given Lanny Davis pause. Once President Clinton’s one-time special counsel, Mr. Davis is also an old chum of the Connecticut Democrat.

“This kind of scary hatred, my dad used to tell me, comes only from the right wing — in his day from people such as the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, with his tirades against ‘communists and their fellow travelers.’” Mr. Davis wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

He continued, “I came to believe that we liberals couldn’t possibly be so intolerant and hateful, because our ideology was famous for ACLU-type commitments to free speech, dissent and, especially, tolerance for those who differed with us. And in recent years — with the deadly combination of sanctimony and vitriol displayed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Michael Savage — I held on to the view that the left was inherently more tolerant and less hateful than the right.”

“Now, in the closing days of the Lieberman primary campaign, I have reluctantly concluded that I was wrong. The far right does not have a monopoly on bigotry and hatred and sanctimony.”

Calling Ed Murrow

CBS News has begun broadcasting promotional spots for the Sept. 5 debut of Katie Couric as anchorlady. The network’s getting all cuddly, judging by the script.

“I believe people really want perspective, and I think there’s a way to do that by explaining not just what’s happened, but what it means to you,” Miss Couric purrs to the camera.

It’s the “The CBS News Mush with Katie Couric,” according to Brent Baker of the Media Research Center.

“That sounds just like a plug for the worst of gimmicky local-TV ‘news you can use.’ For Couric’s portion of the 15-second promo, CBS made her image fuzzy, as well as the knick-knacks and flowers in the background. Could the Martha Stewart-like stage be the new ‘news’ set? Beside her you can see a phone and what looks like the top of a computer screen. Maybe the blurry image is intended to convey warmth and softness,” Mr. Baker noted yesterday.

‘Condi in ‘08’

“Americans for Dr. Rice — Condi in ‘08. Make it happen.” So reads a new billboard on U.S. Highway 84 outside Crawford, Texas, set up by the “Condistas” — a District-based group that wants Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to run for president in 2008. They positioned the billboard “on the way to the ranch,” and visible to passing motorcades.

Area resident Valerie Duty, an enthusiastic President Bush supporter who leads counterprotests to peace activist Cindy Sheehan’s vigils in Crawford, is also an enthusiastic Condista.

“I think she’d be an awesome president,” Mrs. Duty told the Waco Tribune-Herald yesterday. “She needs to know there are millions of people across the country who support her.”

MoveOn’s dump truck

John Murtha is a hero to millions of Americans and the best way to honor him is to beat the Republicans who smear him,” proclaimed Tom Matzzie of MoveOn.org in a message to supporters yesterday, referring to the Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania who has become an icon to the anti-war left.

The group aspires to raise $500,000 this week to fund a TV spotthat depicts a dump truck releasing bags of money in a desert.

“We’ve prepared a hard-hitting new TV ad about Iraq to move this fight into the congressional districts of vulnerable Republicans. … If we raise the money, we’ll put the ads on TV in six key districts — places we can win especially because of frustration with Iraq. That’ll make a sweeping Democratic takeover even more possible.”

Mr. Matzzie continued, “Why August? The candidate TV ads aren’t expected to start until after Labor Day — starting now will force the Republicans to play defense early.”

Contact Jennifer Harper at 202/636-3085 or jharper@washingtontimes.com

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