Daily Archives: March 1, 2006

Discrediting the opposition won’t work this time

The Bush administration has often painted those who favor pulling out of Iraq as unpatriotic or as defeatists in favor of cutting and running. But it turns out that 72 percent of American troops serving in Iraq think the United States should exit the country within the next year, and nearly 1 in 4 say the troops should leave immediately, according to a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey. The administration will have a hard time portraying those on the front lines as unpatriotic defeatists.
Also noteworthy: 85 percent of the soldiers surveyed thought that the war was “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9/11 attacks.” What role? Saddam Hussein and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
Posted by Melissa Cooley

Swinging for abortion fences could result in a strikeout

Pro-lifers are taking a big gamble by backing the anti-abortion bill passed last week by the South Dakota Legislature, Cal Thomas says in a column in today’s Eagle. That bill would criminalize all abortion except to save a woman’s life. The pro-lifers think now that John Roberts and Samuel Alito are on the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion rulings will go their way. But Thomas predicts that they won’t succeed, at least not now. And he recommends that instead of trying to hit a judicial home run, pro-lifers instead seek to require that women get sophisticated sonograms before they have abortions. Thomas wrote: “Since the objective of pro-lifers is to substantially reduce the number of abortions in America, a more rapid attainment of that goal may come by lobbying legislatures to pass laws to more fully inform pregnant women about the contents of their wombs.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

Good thing he’s already through the only poll that counts

The Bush administration needs to catch a break, and I don’t mean another five weeks at the ranch. The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush’s job approval rating at 34 percent, compared with 42 percent in January. And just 18 percent had a favorable view of Vice President Dick Cheney, down from 23 percent in January. There’s some glee to be had here for Democrats, of course, but such numbers will make the road from here to January 2009 very long and bumpy for all of us.
Posted by Rhonda Holman

Are Reagan tax cuts the root of all things economically good?

America made an economic turning point 25 years ago, thanks to Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts, argues Pete Du Pont in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece. “We should remember 1981 as the year the kaleidoscope turned in America, a dividing point between the previous two decades’ big-government beliefs and the individualism and market economy thinking of the next 20 years,” Du Pont writes.
The evidence is in the economic numbers, he contends: Real annual growth in gross domestic product went from averaging just more than 2.3 percent a year in the late 1960s and ’70s to averaging almost 3 percent a year from 1982 to 2000. Also, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined to 875 in 1981 from 995 in 1965; in the next 18 years it rose to 11497.
To maintain this course, Du Pont recommends continuing President Bush’s lower tax rates on income, dividends and capital gains; moving to a flat tax; and bringing the rapid growth of government to an end.
What do you think? How much of America’s prosperity is the result of Reagan’s tax cuts? What about other factors, such as the technology and productivity boom? And given that Reagan couldn’t control government spending and Bush has been even worse, will more tax cuts mean more record deficits?
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

Sigh . . . more national attention for Kansas

“Phill Kline has produced the ‘Reefer Madness’ of teenage sexuality,” Ellen Goodman wrote in her nationally syndicated column last week. She also recounted some of the surreal testimony in the Wichita case about what teenage sexual activity must be reported to the state. She mentioned, of course, Kline saying that oral sex may be OK if it is performed by a girl but not if by a boy. And she highlighted one of the state’s “expert” witnesses, who said that when girls have sex, they aren’t doing, “they have been done to.” Goodman’s conclusion: “I can only hope that the judge overturns the idea that health workers and educators have to report petting as if it were pedophilia.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

When will Colbert interview our representatives?

Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central is on a quest to interview every member of the U.S. House, The New York Times reported. And the amazing thing is that lawmakers are agreeing to do the interviews. Why would they willingly allow themselves to be lampooned by Colbert’s fake news show? “At a time when surveys show younger voters turning away from the mainstream media in favor of blogs and late-night television, politicians and their strategists recognize that ‘The Colbert Report’ is a powerful way to reach a swath of Generation Y,” the Times reported. It also noted that “the show reveals an essential truth about Washington: being humiliated on national television can be better than not being on national television at all.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee