Democrats and Republicans are divided over whether to support or oppose President Bush?s nomination of Dr. James Holsinger, 68, as Surgeon General, since the University of Kentucky professor?s background indicates he might advocate embryonic stem cell therapy to cure homosexuality.
Dr. Holsinger, who wrote a paper in 1991 calling homosexuality unnatural and unhealthy and voted against a lesbian pastor at his church, bucks the conservative mainstream by supporting embryonic stem cell research.
Al Gore, the concert organizer and former U.S. vice president, defended his son, Al III, after the younger Gore?s arrest for speeding and drug possession, applauding his use of the hybrid Toyota Prius to offset the carbon emissions of his smoking marijuana.
Even at 100 miles per hour, said the elder Mr. Gore, the Prius produces less deadly greenhouse gas than a Lincoln Navigator or a Hummer. While I don?t condone getting caught with marijuana, I would venture to say that my boy?s total carbon footprint is still substantially smaller than the median for his socioeconomic and age brackets.
The former presidential candidate, still considered a possible contender for the 2008 Democrat nomination, is about to take center stage at the global LIVE EARTH concerts this weekend.
Mr. Gore helped organize LIVE EARTH to dramatize the plight of the planet by having hundreds of thousands of people burn millions of gallons of carbon-based fuel to travel to eight locations worldwide where they?ll communally exhale billions of cubic yards of carbon dioxide, generate hundreds of tons of human and artificial waste and expend untold kilowatt hours of electricity.
People don?t realize how bad they are for the planet, he said. But when we?re all together at these concert locations, it will paint a picture of horrifying waste and environmental devastation. We?re hoping people will see it, wake up and say, We have to stop doing this!
Ending years of speculation, President George Bush today commuted the 30 month prison sentence of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis ?Scooter? Libby, yet urged a nervous nation to remain calm even though Mr. Libby is ?on the loose.?
?Even with this convicted criminal roaming the streets,? said Mr. Bush, ?The neighborhoods of our homeland remain safer than a lot of places in the world.?
Mr. Libby, convicted of obstruction of justice for misleading investigators during a federal probe into who leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, must still pay a $250,000 fine and register with local law enforcement so neighbors are aware of his presence and the potential threat.
One of the chief architects of campaign finance reform legislation has shown that he can ?walk the talk? when it comes to reducing the corrupting influence of money on presidential candidates.
Sen. John McCain, because he raised only $11.2 million in the second quarter, is ?free to be his own man and to follow the dictates of his own conscience when he?s in the White House,? according to campaign manager Terry Nelson, who has decided to work without pay, and to cut about half the campaign?s staff, to reduce the corrupting influence of ?political handlers? on Mr. McCain.
By comparison, Democrat contender Barack Obama raised about $32 million from April to June, and GOP rivals Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are expected to announce totals at least twice as high as Mr. McCain?s.
?Those other guys are essentially beholden to tens of thousands of special interest donors,? said Mr. Nelson, ?but John McCain is the maverick master of his own destiny. McCain is nobody?s poodle. He retains the power to walk away from this corrupt process at any time. His ability to keep himself free from the entanglement of broad-based financial support is what makes him, in my mind, the moral frontrunner.?
Senators Barack Obama Hillary Clinton turned presidential campaigning on its head when they announced that the combined $52 million in primary campaign cash they raised in the second quarter would be redistributed to less fortunate candidates like Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
In a joint news release, Senators Obama and Clinton said, ?The fundamental principles of the Democratic party say that the rich and powerful have an obligation to help the poor and downtrodden.?
Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, not slated to benefit from the redistribution, denounced the move as a ?crass political ploy which lacks the weight of traditional Democrat moral leadership, because it was voluntary.?
?If Hillary and Barry really believed in our Democrat principles,? Mr. Edwards said, ?they wouldn?t voluntarily give their money to a few poor candidates?money which was voluntarily given to them. Instead, they would introduce legislation to mandate that all presidential candidates be given an equal amount of taxpayer dollars. This could be done without raising taxes on anyone but the filthy rich, and by shifting money from the Pentagon?s quagmire budget to this new program.?
A draft bill, making the rounds on Capitol Hill, borrows the idea of a point system from the proposed immigration reform bill and applies it to members of Congress to determine whether they may remain in office.
The immigration point system would grade those who wished to move to the U.S. according to their education, job skills, ability to speak and read English, and family ties with U.S. citizens.
The Congressional point system, however, would evaluate members of the House and Senate according to their stewardship of taxpayer dollars, commitment to enforce existing laws, actual results on the job, and their ability to use the English language to say what they mean and mean what they say.
Under the draft measure, roughly 93 percent of sitting members of Congress would fail to make the cut, and thus would face deportation from Washington D.C. to their home states.
Experts noted that a conference committee will reconcile the House and Senate versions of the legislation to eliminate any actual impact.
U.S. envoy Christopher Hill announced yesterday that the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea this week agreed to agree to its previous agreement to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor.
?What we have this time are not mere words from powerless lackeys of a tyrannical dictator,? said Mr. Hill who met in Pyongyang with North Korean negotiators. ?This time we have words confirming the previously unimplemented words, as well as unconfirmed assurances of implementation at an uncertain future date. There?s a whole new spirit of trust on the part of the United States that North Korea will live up to its commitments this time.?
The announcement has already triggered exuberant headlines around the world, which Mr. Hill says is ?a positive sign.?
?When you see the beautiful childlike faith of these usually-skeptical reporters and editors,? he said, ?it gives one hope that a new era has dawned ? an age in which America-hating despots can be trusted to keep their word, despite years of empty promises and secret violations of previous deals. After all, these are the same journalists who have such a high standard of credibility that they don?t trust the president of the United States. And yet they believe Kim Jong-Il.?
The U.S. Senate voted yesterday to mandate a 40 percent increase in fuel economy for new cars and light trucks by the year 2020, as a way to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil.
In a little-noted ?fairness? provision of the bill, the Senate also required other American manufacturers to increase the efficiency of their products as well. Among the new mandates with a 2020 deadline?
? U.S. meatpackers must increase the protein content of ground beef so that a single hamburger provides a week?s supply of energy.
? Fruit and vegetable growers must reduce the heat of the mid-day sun by 40 percent so that American citizens become willing to harvest produce, thus reducing reliance upon illegal aliens
? America?s manufacturers of room deodorizers, air fresheners and evergreen tree-shaped car scent devices must show a 40 percent increase in olfactory pleasure-per-sniff (PPS) with the goal of eventually eliminating U.S. dependence on foreign aromas.
? Jazz musicians will be compelled by law to increase the number of notes per measure by 40 percent.
? The U.S. Department of Education will enforce an increase in the average S.A.T. mathematics score of public school students from the current 518, to 725, thus reducing U.S. reliance upon smart people from foreign countries.
? California winemakers must boost the alcohol content of each serving of their beverages by 40 percent in order to wean Americans off foreign-made chardonnay and merlot.
? The dairy industry will have to make a variety of cheese so sharp it will need a federal label warning against lacerations
? U.S. journalists must reduce the number of anonymous sources and unchecked facts by 40 percent, thus decreasing public reliance upon bloggers and talk radio.
President George Bush, also known as The Hedge, in an effort to address conservatives dual concerns about border security and the rule of law, today said the revived immigration reform bill would finish the U.S.-Mexico border fence by fining illegal aliens to pay for it and requiring each one to build a section of the fence with his own hands.
With the U.S.-Mexico border stretching more than 1,951 miles, and estimates that 20 million illegal aliens already inhabit the United States, The Hedge said the measure would require each currently undocumented future citizen to build about six inches of fencing.
I hope this will satisfy my friends on the other side of the Republican aisle, according to The Edge. I mean the Hedge. Theyll get their border security while those who broke our laws to get here will pay a financial price and serve time in hard labor to do a job that we cant afford to hire Americans to do.
Conservative presidential candidate Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-CA, said he could support the new bill ?as long as the illegal aliens building the fence face north when they do it, and head south when theyre done.