- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2006

Plotting strategy

“It’s the final stretch for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Connecticut Democratic primary on Aug. 8, but everyone is already plotting strategy in case he loses to anti-war rival Ned Lamont — as polls suggest he might,” the New York Post’s Deborah Orin writes.

“A lefty conspiracy theory claims Republicans may endorse Lieberman if he loses the primary, since their candidate, Alan Schlesinger, has ethics problems and is under 10 percent in polls,” Miss Orin said.

“‘Absolutely not, no way,’ says Brian Nick, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“Anyway, Lieberman says he’d stay a Democrat while running on an independent line.

“The intriguing question involves the committee in charge of electing Senate Democrats — headed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who refuses to say what he’ll do if Lieberman loses the primary.

“But it may not matter, because, from a strategic point of view, Schumer’s Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee doesn’t need to put one red cent behind Lamont or Lieberman.

“Why? Because a Democrat will win that Senate seat in November, whether it’s Lamont or Lieberman. The DSCC is supposed to save its money for close races. Besides, Lamont is a self-funding multimillionaire, and traditionally, they don’t get much DSCC money.

“The MoveOn/Deaniac/Daily Kos types pushing Lamont may go ballistic if Schumer won’t fund him, but Schumer doesn’t answer to them — he answers to other Democratic senators.”

Lefty TV critics

“When Fox News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes spoke to the Television Critics Association Monday night at the group’s gathering in Pasadena, about two-thirds of the 150 attendees in the room walked out in protest,” the Media Research Center reports, citing the Miami Herald’s Glenn Garvin.

Several of the TV critics left “voicing their scorn for what they say is Fox News’ conservative spin,” Mr. Garvin reported Wednesday.

Said the Media Research Center (www.mrc.org): “Can you imagine 100 TV critics, upset by CBS’s liberal bias, walking out on CBS chief Les Moonves or CBS News President Sean McManus? Or even a dozen critics turning their backs on the scandal-scarred Dan Rather? Such open disdain for Fox News Channel’s uniquely non-liberal approach speaks volumes about the media elite’s arrogant belief that it’s journalistic malpractice to give a fair shake to conservatives.”

Sheehan’s purchase

War protester Cindy Sheehan has purchased a 5-acre plot in Crawford, Texas, with some of the insurance money she received after her son was killed in Iraq.

The group she helps lead, Gold Star Families for Peace, says on its Web site that it will return next month to protest the war in Iraq in the small town near Waco where President Bush has a ranch. Like last year, Mrs. Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004, will again demand to meet with the president.

“We decided to buy property in Crawford to use until George’s resignation or impeachment, which we all hope is soon for the sake of the world,” Mrs. Sheehan said in a newsletter. “I can’t think of a better way to use Casey’s insurance money than for peace, and I am sure that Casey approves.”

McCain’s blogola?

For weeks, the political mini-scandal on the Internet was the question of whether Markos Moulitsas Zuniga’s liberal DailyKos.com site was secretly influenced by Mr. Moulitsas’ former blogging partner, political consultant Jerome Armstrong.

Now questions have been raised about conservative blogger Patrick Hynes, who announced Monday that his consulting firm, New Media Strategics, has been hired by Straight Talk America, the political action committee of Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.

The problem with that, Jim Geraghty writes at www.nationalreview.com, is that “New Media Strategics had been under contract with McCain’s PAC … since May. Hynes has, since that initial payment, posted several items praising McCain and critical of [Massachusetts Gov. Mitt] Romney.” Mr. Romney is seen as one of Mr. McCain’s potential rivals for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Furthermore, Mr. Geraghty writes, during the uproar over so-called “blogola” charges involving the DailyKos site, Mr. Hynes compared popular radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt — who had criticized Mr. McCain on his blog — to Mr. Moulitsas.

“While I don’t believe Hugh is the Kos of the right, one question lingers in my mind: Who died and made Hugh Hewitt King Republican?” Mr. Hynes wrote on July 13 at his blog, AnkleBitingPundits.com. “If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would suspect Hugh of bashing McCain in the services of Mitt Romney, who Hugh, it has become increasingly obvious, supports along with Arlen Specter.”

Mr. Hynes made similar accusations about pro-Romney bloggers at RedState.com, reports Mr. Geraghty, who said he received an e-mail from Mr. Hynes.

“You are right, Jim. I ought to have disclosed my relationship with Straight Talk America earlier,” Mr. Hynes wrote in the message. “The reason I didn’t do so is because I was not being paid ‘to blog.’ I have been a political consultant for 15 years. That’s what I was doing for Straight Talk America: providing political consulting.”

Stark contrast

“Ten years ago, on April 18, 1996, Israel attacked Hezbollah in Lebanon for 16 days in an operation called Grapes of Wrath. The global condemnation of Israel was fierce, especially when it bombed a U.N. refugee camp, killing 107 people, an attack that Tel Aviv said was a mistake,” Dick Morris and Eileen McGann write in the Hill newspaper.

“At the time, the United States did nothing to stop the tide from turning against Israel and President Clinton said, ‘I think it is important that we do everything we can to bring an end to the violence.’

“In private, Clinton seethed at the Israeli attack, saying he had discussed with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres the possibility of concluding a military defense treaty with his nation, pledging U.S. aid in the event of an attack. …

“No such treaty was ever signed.

“Clinton’s willingness to use American power to force a cease-fire on Israel before it had fully eradicated Hezbollah stands in stark and sharp contrast to George Bush’s insistence on letting Israel proceed with its attacks until the terrorist group is neutralized.

“In a nutshell, this illustrates the difference between the Democratic and Republican approaches to Israeli security.”

cGreg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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