Sunday, January 28, 2007

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST January 28, 2007

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Clinton Explains Role in Authorizing War
Hillary Clinton, in AP interview, decries Bush on war but concedes role inits authorization

DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 28, 2007
By MIKE GLOVER Associated Press Writer

(AP) New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton blamed President Bush on Saturdayfor misusing authority given him by Congress to act in Iraq, but conceded "Itake responsibility" for her role in allowing that to happen.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Clinton also said she would notcede black votes to Barack Obama and that she had proven as a U.S. senatorthat gender is irrelevant.

Of her husband, the former president, she said he would have a role in thecampaign but "I'm the one running for president."

Clinton was making her first campaign swing through this early nominatingstate, which twice voted for Bill Clinton for president. She met with keyactivists and held a raucous town hall meeting with 1,500 cheering backersand hundreds of journalists.

"I have said clearly and consistently for quite some time that I regret theway the president misused the authority," said Clinton. "He misled Congressand the country on what he was seeking and what he intended to do."


Los Angeles Times

Bill Clinton in '08!
Repeal the 22nd Amendment, the presidential terms limit, which doesn't allowwhat we want in 2008: Bush vs. Clinton
Jonathan Chait

January 28, 2007

THERE'S something about the upcoming presidential election that alreadyfeels terribly unsatisfying, and I think I've figured out what it is: the22nd Amendment.

The 22nd Amendment, of course, forbids presidents from running forreelection after their second term in office. Republicans enacted it in afit of pique at Franklin Roosevelt and his supposedly dictatorialtendencies. And the prohibition on a third term is, I suppose, one way ofpreventing a president from making himself a dictator (unless, of course,he's dictatorial enough to suspend the 22nd Amendment). But sometimes itmakes our politics incoherent, and now is one of those times.

First consider the Democrats. The Hillary Clinton campaign is a product ofthe fact that her husband can't run for reelection. She is certainly highlyintelligent and qualified to hold the presidency, but if her husband wasrunning, she wouldn't be. People react to her candidacy largely on the basisof how they felt about Bill Clinton. Those who yearn for a return to hispolicies generally support her; those who disliked his policies don't.

Indeed, Democratic presidential politics since Clinton has consisted largelyof referendum-by-proxy on Clinton. In the 2000 primary, Al Gore had thesupport of Clinton loyalists. Bill Bradley had the support of Democrats whoopposed Clinton. You had the odd spectacle of Bradley getting support fromliberal Democratic dissidents (such as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich,who bemoaned Clinton's stingy social investment) and conservative Democraticdissidents (such as Bob Kerrey, who bemoaned Clinton's failure to sla


The New York Times

January 28, 2007

The Budget Illusion

In the State of the Union speech, President Bush said that the budgetdeficit had been cut in half from 2004 to 2006. Not quite. The deficitdeclined, but not by half, from $412 billion to $248 billion. If you measureit as a percentage of the economy, Mr. Bush was off by an amount equal toabout $15 billion.

Then, Mr. Bush greatly compounded his otherwise modest exaggeration bytaking credit for the reduction, when the deficit really fell despite hispolicies, not because of them. The distinction is crucial, to understandboth the current mess - in which debt is mounting just as huge obligationsare coming due for Medicare and Social Security - and how best to get out ofit.

The drop in the deficit over the past few years was due largely to thecyclical recovery from the earlier recession, and to a boost in revenue whentemporary business tax cuts expired after 2004.


The New York Times

January 28, 2007
Editorial Observer

The George W. Bush Library: Scholarly Mecca or $500 Million Oxymoron?

The news reports that President Bush's representatives seem to be closing inon a deal to put a half-billion-dollar presidential library and policyinstitute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas has inspired thepredictable lame jokes and references to "The Pet Goat."

But the project raises issues that are no laughing matter, touching on thewriting of history, the university's scholarly mission, governmentalintegrity and the rule of law.

S.M.U.'s negotiations regarding Mr. Bush's library are bound to have a largepublic impact, which is why I'm hoping that the university's president, R.Gerald Turner, and members of his board of trustees (presuming Laura Bush,the best-known trustee, has removed herself from the deliberations) can bepersuaded to withhold a final go-ahead unless two basic conditions are met.

First, the university should insist that Mr. Bush rescind Executive Order13233, his 2001 directive that reverses - illegally in the view of manyleading historians, journalists and legal thinkers - the strong presumptionof a public right of access to presidential papers embedded in the 1978Presidential Records Act.


The New York Times

January 28, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor

Unsafe at Any Level

ACCORDING to a report released last week by the Harvard School of PublicHealth, cigarette companies have been steadily increasing the nicotine yieldof their cigarettes - the report describes an average total increase of 11percent from 1998 to 2005.

Anti-smoking groups have seized on the report as evidence that the Food andDrug Administration must begin regulating tobacco products.

A steady and significant increase in nicotine in cigarettes over the pasteight years or so certainly seems worrisome. It sounds as though companieslike Philip Morris, which makes Marlboros, are secretly and deceptivelyincreasing the nicotine in their cigarettes and, apparently, lying about it(since they deny the assertions of the report), all in an effort to increasethe addictive potential of their cigarettes and harm the public's health.

There are, however, a number of problems here.


The New York Times

January 28, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor

The Lottery's Next Big Loser: Illinois
Bethesda, Md.

THE other day I saw a headline indicating that Illinois was about to get outof the lottery business. At first I was cheered; it seemed that Illinois andI had something in common. Having made my living for the past decadeexploiting lottery winners - and recently having repented my ways - I hopedthe state had simply grown tired of profiting from its citizens' weaknesses.

But as I read the article, it turned out that Illinois isn't acting on moralprinciple, but in fact succumbing to the lure of easy money that has broughtso many lottery winners to ruin.

The state's plan is to turn over the running of the lottery for the next 75years to private investors in exchange for a huge sum up front - perhaps $10billion. Indiana is considering following suit. The states seem to thinkthey can do more with the money if they get a big balance all at once,albeit less money than the lottery would earn them over time. I understandthat line of thinking.


The Washington Post

Thousands Protest Bush Policy
As Senate Prepares to Debate Troop Increase, Demonstrators Demand War's End

By Michael Ruane and Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, January 28, 2007; A01

A raucous and colorful multitude of protesters, led by some of the agingactivists of the past, staged a series of rallies and a march on the Capitolyesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq.

Under a blue sky with a pale midday moon, tens of thousands of people angryabout the war and other policies of the Bush administration danced, sang,shouted and chanted their opposition.

They came from across the country and across the activist spectrum, with awide array of grievances. Many seemed to be under 30, but there were otherswho said they had been at the famed war protests of the 1960s and '70s.


The Washington Post

Vietnam Shades Warner's Iraq Stand
Silent Then, Senator Won't Be This Time

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 28, 2007; A01

Virginia Sen. John W. Warner's words betray the guilt he still carries aboutthe Vietnam War and help explain why this pillar of the Republicanestablishment is leading a bipartisan revolt against the war plans of apresident in his own party.

"I regret that I was not more outspoken" during the Vietnam War, the formerNavy secretary said in an interview in his Capitol Hill office. "The Armygenerals would come in, 'Just send in another five or ten thousand.' Youknow, month after month. Another ten or fifteen thousand. They thought theycould win it. We kept surging in those years. It didn't work."

Is that a lesson for what's going on in Iraq?

"Well, you don't forget something like that," he answers. There is a longpause, he closes his eyes and his voice gets softer. "No. You don't forgetthose things."


The Washington Post

You've Come a Long Way, Maybe
Will Women Sweep Hillary Into the White House?

By Linda Hirshman
Sunday, January 28, 2007; B01

Hillary Rodham Clinton sure got it right when she announced her candidacyfor president while sitting on her living room couch. Her success may verywell turn on the decisions of millions of women sitting on their living roomcouches.

Clinton advisers James Carville and Mark Penn have said they're counting ona women's vote (the "X factor") to catapult their client into the WhiteHouse. They're obviously hoping that a female candidate will get much moresupport from women and are banking on the "gender gap," the idea, trumpetedby the media and women's organizations, that women believe in liberalpolicies and will therefore, as rational political actors, support theDemocratic Party.

But I have news for Messrs. Carville and Penn: All the gender gap talknotwithstanding, there's no guarantee that Clinton would receive enoughvotes from women to be elected. I've studied women and women's politics for20 years, and if there's one thing I know, it's that, except for possiblyonce in 1996, female voters have not by themselves put anyone in the WhiteHouse.


The Washington Post

Clinton's Presidential Posturing

By David S. Broder
Sunday, January 28, 2007; B07

When Lt. Gen. David Petraeus went before the Senate Armed Services Committeelast week in open session, its members understandably had many questions forthe new commander of American forces in Iraq.

They knew of his reputation as a battlefield leader, trainer of Iraqi troopsand co-author of the Army manual on counterinsurgency warfare. They alsorecognized the difficulty and importance of his new assignment.

Many of the questions probed the rationale for the president's new strategyof injecting more U.S. troops into Baghdad neighborhoods racked by killingsby rival Sunni and Shiite gangs. Others challenged the readiness of Iraqiforces and the Baghdad government to do their part in reducing sectarianviolence.

A few of the questions were naive, self-serving or tangents. But virtuallyall members of the committee were present, and senators of both partiesrecognized the value of probing this experienced and candid witness.


The Washington Post

Hamas, Fatah Clashes Continue in Gaza

The Associated Press
Sunday, January 28, 2007; 5:55 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Hamas and Fatah gunmen battled each other in thestreets Sunday, having sent civilians fleeing from their homes in anincreasingly bloody power struggle that left more than two dozenPalestinians dead over the weekend.

An explosion early in the morning rocked the Gaza City home of a bodyguardto Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan, but the guard was not in the buildingand no casualties were reported. At least eight people were wounded inexchanges of fire between the sides overnight, Palestinian securityofficials said.

The latest round of fighting began late Thursday after a Hamas activist waskilled in a bombing. By Saturday night, 25 Palestinians _ including a2-year-old and a 12-year-old _ had been killed and at least 76 were wounded,bringing to a standstill fitful efforts to unite the two rival factions in acoalition government.


The Washington Post

Jeb Bush Rallies Conservatives at Summit
Non-Candidate Shows Ability to Excite the Party

By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, January 28, 2007; A04

At a time when the conservative movement is looking bereft, humbled bymidterm-election defeats and hungering for a presidential candidate to rallyaround, Jeb Bush delivered yesterday in Washington a resounding endorsementof conservative principles, bringing his audience repeatedly to its feet.

In his lunchtime remarks to the Conservative Summit, Bush struck everyconservative chord, blaming Republicans' defeat in November on the party'sabandonment of tenets including limited government and fiscal restraint.

"Don't take offense personally if I get mad at Congress," the Republicanformer Florida governor began. "It's important for us to realize we lost,and there are significant reasons that happened, but it isn't becauseconservatives were rejected. But it's because we rejected the conservativephilosophy in this country."


The Washington Post

At Roll Call, an Uneasy Silence
Sen. Tim Johnson's Illness Has Raised Personal and Political Concerns on theHill

By David Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 28, 2007; D01

The desk is heavy and wooden, well-used, not ornate. Lying flat on theuncluttered glass top is a big calendar. Diagonal blue lines cross out thedays as they pass. The felt-tip pen is here, ready to continue markingtime's march. But the last day that has been dismissed with a blue slash isTuesday, Dec. 12.

For Sen. Tim Johnson, the Democrat from South Dakota, time is in suspensionnow.

Everything in his Hart Building office is exactly how he left it last Dec.13: The morning when words deserted him, and they rushed him, speechless, tothe hospital.


The Washington Post

15 Die in Blast Near Pakistani Shiite Mosque

By Riaz Khan
Associated Press
Sunday, January 28, 2007; A13

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Jan. 27 -- A suicide attacker detonated a bomb amongpolice on guard near a Shiite mosque in this northern Pakistani citySaturday, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 30, police said.

The attack came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led a U.S.congressional delegation to Islamabad, the capital about 90 miles east,where they spoke with Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, about thesituation in neighboring Afghanistan, a Pakistani official said.

The meeting took place less than three weeks after the House passedlegislation that would link U.S. military aid to Pakistan's commitment tocombating Taliban guerrillas -- a measure some feared could strain relationsbetween the two nations, allies in the fight against terrorism.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sun, Jan. 28, 2007

In Veep's world, we're safer now than before Iraq


The wacky, upside-down world of Dick Cheney keeps getting weirder.

Last week he went on CNN and defiantly declared that the situation in Iraqis not so terrible.

This must have been surprising to the families of the 88 Iraqi civilians whowere slaughtered the day before by car bombers at a busy Baghdad market.

Surprising to the loved ones and comrades of the 27 American troops who diedlast weekend, one of the costliest for coalition forces since theoccupation.

Surprising to Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, soon to be commander of U.S. forcesin Iraq, who two days earlier had informed a Senate panel that the situationthere was ``dire.''


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sun, Jan. 28, 2007

Guantánamo prison observes sad anniversary


For most of us, Jan. 11 passed unnoticed. It was not a national holiday.There was no bowl game. The stock markets were open. Schools, businesses andgovernment operated as normal. It was a day most Americans forgot almost assoon as the next day began.

But it did not pass unnoticed in much of the rest of the world. Jan. 11marked the fifth anniversary of the day prisoners began arriving at theGuantánamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba. More than 800 men and boys have beenimprisoned at the base; nearly 400 remain.

Do you want to know what Guantánamo means in the Muslim world? Considerthis, written by a Saudi sheikh for a radical jihadist website: ``You whoshirk jihad, how can you enjoy life and comfort while your noble sisters arebeing raped and their honor defiled in the Abu Ghraib prison? You who shirkjihad, what excuse can you give Allah while your brethren in the prisons ofAbu Ghraib and Guantánamo are stripped naked?''


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sun, Jan. 28, 2007

We have a proposal for Washington


Here comes the ''War on Entitlements.'' Washington, now faced with majorfinancial/budget problems is ducking again and substituting a fog of wordsabout ''runaway entitlements'' as if entitlements were the first order ofbusiness. They are not.

We need a fresh start at how Washington manages its financial/budgetprocesses. As of today, most of the 2007 budget has not been authorized.Starting in 1977 the budget year was changed to begin on Oct. 1 rather thanJuly 1. This change was to give Congress three months more to consider thepresident's budget. It has not worked. And the blame rests with theCongress, not runaway entitlements.

One immediate problem is that the administration feels it is entitled toincrease budget outlays faster than economic growth and at the same timereduce taxes and divert budget revenues away from the federal government. Itis easy to say that ''deficits do not matter,'' but the American people donot believe this, and they are right.


The New York Times

January 28, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Hillary Clinton's Mission Unaccomplished

HILLARY CLINTON has an answer to those who suspect that her "I'm in to win"Webcast last weekend was forced by Barack Obama's Webcast of just four daysearlier. "I wanted to do it before the president's State of the Union," sheexplained to Brian Williams on NBC, "because I wanted to draw the contrastbetween what we've seen over the last six years, and the kind of leadershipand experience that I would bring to the office."

She couldn't have set the bar any lower. President Bush's speech was lesscompelling than the Monty Python sketch playing out behind it: theunacknowledged race between Nancy Pelosi and Dick Cheney to be the first tostand up for each bipartisan ovation. (Winner: Pelosi.)

As we've been much reminded, the most recent presidents to face Congress insuch low estate were Harry Truman in 1952 and Richard Nixon in 1974, both inthe last ebbs of their administrations, both mired in unpopular wars thattheir successors would soon end, and both eager to change the subject justas Mr. Bush did. In his '52 State of the Union address, Truman vowed "tobring the cost of modern medical care within the reach of all the people"while Nixon, 22 years later, promised "a new system that makes high-qualityhealth care available to every American." Not to be outdone, Mr. Bushoffered a dead-on-arrival proposal that "all our citizens have affordableand available health care." The empty promise of a free intravenous lunch,it seems, is the last refuge of desperate war presidents.


Free Tickets for Teachers to Freedom Writers

Please forward to K-12 teachers you know



In appreciation of teachers across the nation who give endlessly and enrichso many lives, AMC and Paramount Pictures are offering teachers* anexclusive opportunity to see the highly acclaimed film “FREEDOM WRITERS” forFREE.

Dates: January 26 to February 1, 2007

To receive one free ticket to see the film, teachers must present a schoolissued ID or pay stub and a valid photo ID.

Passes to school teachers will be provided on a first-come, first-servedbasis, while supplies last at participating theatres in the AMC systemincluding: AMC Loews theatres, AMC Star theatres, AMC Magic Johnson theatresand AMC Cineplex Odeon theatres throughout the United States. Limit one passper school teacher. Please arrive early.

To find showtimes and a participating theatre near you

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