Jon Moseley, author of "Cold Peace," makes a good point after listening to Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry pledge that he would secure Russia's nuclear material three times faster than President Bush.
"News alert for John Kerry: Russia is run by Russian President Vladimir Putin, not George Bush. Russia's nuclear materials are governed out of Moscow, not Massachusetts," the author reminds the candidate.
Moseley says the Democrat's campaign-driven directive on Russia's nuclear waste is yet another insult lodged against a major U.S. ally of late.
"Kerry promised to directly and personally control the nuclear material of Russia," the author notes. "He literally promised a date certain by which he, as president of the United States, would 'secure' the nuclear materials of the Russian Federation."
The big question, he says, is how Kerry plans to cross the border into Russia and take control of these materials?
"Will a President Kerry send in the Marines to 'secure' the nuclear materials of the Russian Federation?" he asks.
If we take the pre-emptive track
With an enemy like Iraq,
My first "global test"
Is the plan must be blessed
By the country we aim to attack.
- F.R. Duplantier
BATTLE FOR WATERLOO
Top Bush campaign aide Karen Hughes peeked into the press cabin of Air Force One, clutching the weather-description card for the president's recent flight route to Waterloo, Iowa.
"I just can't resist pointing out something fun to you - 'Clear skies with fog?'" she remarked of the wording.
She then opined that it was an apt description of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry's campaign platform of placating every voter at all times - or at least she said, "I thought it was pretty ironic."
PLAYING GROWN UP
They call themselves "Billionaires for Bush" and they gathered outside the MCI Center the other night protesting - or at least pretending to protest - left-wing rock musicians who irresponsibly encourage the young and misguided to get out and vote.
The protesters, many no doubt dressed to the hilt for the first time in tuxedos and evening gowns, spoke of "true duties" of patriotic citizens of limited means, and celebrated the "noble efforts of fellow Republicans" to restrict the vote by launching their own "Block the Vote" campaign.
They also claimed (certainly in jest) that they are working together with Republican Party apparatchiks and public officials to encourage restrictions on voter registration and to implement as many electronic voting machines as possible.
WE CARE, BUT . . .
Actress Jennifer Aniston, star of the TV show "Friends," is encouraging the 22 million single women who were apparently too busy watching TV to vote in the 2000 elections to cast ballots on Nov. 2.
A public-service announcement taped by the actress, produced for Women Voices Women Vote (WVWV), premiered this month on "Entertainment Tonight" and is being distributed via networks and local broadcasters.
Michele Reiner, wife of everybody's favorite liberal meathead, Rob Reiner, directed the PSA.
Page Gardner, co-director of WVWV, says even though single women don't historically vote in large numbers, they do care about issues she says aren't being addressed by the candidates: health care, equal pay between men and women, secure retirement and a higher minimum wage.
If the 22 million women "who care about this agenda turn out on Election Day, it's going to be impossible for elected officials to ignore their needs," she says.
Beware of being designated a World Heritage Site.
"World Heritage Sites in the United States were noncontroversial until the Clinton administration and overzealous environmental groups used Yellowstone National Park's World Heritage Site designation to stop a proposed gold mine located on private property outside the boundaries of the park," notes Rep. Richard Pombo, California Republican.
In 1972, the United States ratified the World Heritage Convention. Since then, 20 properties in the U.S. have been designated as World Heritage Sites, operated under a worldwide program administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), based in Paris.
"Many in Congress joined me in believing this mission creep of the World Heritage Convention was never envisioned when the United States ratified it over 30 years ago," says Pombo, who adds that the National Park Service has developed a "tentative list" of cultural and natural properties in the United States it considers suitable for inclusion on the World Heritage List.
"Presently, this list contains 70 properties in over 30 states and the District of Columbia," says the congressman. "Based on the experience during the Clinton administration . . . America must be very cautious when it proposes new areas for designation as World Heritage Sites."
Case in point: Alaska's oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge appears on the "tentative list," which the congressman says could jeopardize U.S. national security and international competitiveness.
As far as one American daughter is concerned, nuclear-weapons technology and development is necessary, so long as it doesn't fall into evil hands.
"Sen. (John) Kerry should be held accountable for his lack of understanding of how our nuclear-weapons programs have been developed and utilized," Dari Bradley tells The Beltway Beat. "We are not to be placed in the same light as Iran and (North) Korea."
Given his 35 years of nuclear research and weapons development, including the Fleet Ballistic Missile system, Bradley's father - the late Edward E. O'Donnell - has been nominated by Florida Democratic Sen. Bob Graham and Sen. Bill Nelson for a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In a letter to President Bush, the latter Democrat wrote that O'Donnell "made an impressive contribution to our great country by expending his time, talent and energy in the development of scientific research that has greatly enhanced our national security."
In the first presidential debate, Kerry said "it doesn't make sense" for the United States to "pursue a new set of nuclear weapons," including - as he repeated in Friday night's second debate - "bunker-busting" weapons the Pentagon says would aid the fight against terrorists.
"I am going to shut that program down," Kerry said, and "make it clear to the world we're serious" about containing nuclear proliferation.
As Bradley sees it, the mere existence of her father's nuclear weapons helped to end the Cold War.
Nelson also noted that O'Donnell's nuclear research led to "medical breakthroughs" for prostate cancer and other types of cancer.
"Can you live with regret on Nov. 3?"
- Heading of a letter from Democratic strategist James Carville to those on the Democratic National Committee mailing list, saying their support for Sen. John Kerry is worthless if they don't show up at the polls on Nov. 2 to vote.
Former Rep. Randy Tate, Washington Republican, who later became executive director of the Christian Coalition, has joined the board of directors of the public-affairs group Grassroots Enterprise Inc. - a nonpartisan bunch, or at least the firm's shingle states.
The board is chaired by Mike McCurry, former press secretary for President Clinton, who is currently on a leave of absence while serving on Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign.
Tired of driving around with bumper stickers that become outdated - "Al Gore for President," for instance - the day after an election?
An online political-paraphernalia company, the Politickles Shop, has created "permanently relevant" campaign slogans - meaning you'll never have to scrape off a bumper sticker again.
"Vote for My Candidate" is one such sticker that never needs replacing.
As for the perfect sticker for poking fun at people who self-identify as donkeys: "Republicans Vote Tuesday/Democrats on Wednesday."
The art of spinning press releases is valuable during this highly competitive election season, whether one is leading or trailing in political fund raising.
Consider this pair of headlines in competing press releases issued the other day by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:
The Republicans - "NRSC reports $17.2 million on hand; 2-to-1 lead over Democrats."
The Democrats - "DSCC outraises NRSC for third quarter, outraising NRSC for cycle by $1 million."
"Instead of heeding the call of last fall's historic recall and refocusing on the three 'E's,' my opponent and her colleagues in the Legislature chose to spend their time, and our tax dollars, debating what I call the three 'F's': ferrets, feng shui and foie gras."
- Heather Peters, a "Schwarzenegger Republican" running for California State Assembly in Los Angeles County against incumbent Democrat Fran Pavley
Fact or fiction, the newspaper headline in this week's California Aggie, which began publishing in 1915, certainly is frightening: "Scientists Predict a 10 to 15 Degree Temperature Increase in Next Century."
The article begins: "Napa Valley is ideal for growing wine grapes. Each inch of rolling hill is covered in mottled vines turning red, orange and yellow for fall. The cool morning fog cover spills in from the coast.
"But wine lovers beware - by the end of the century your coveted Napa Valley merlot may be a lot more expensive, and the rolling hills may look more like dry grassland."
Time to stock the wine cellar?
"Given that the average wine lover is of age, I suggest that by the end of the century, higher wine prices might be the least of their worries," reacts Iain Murray, senior fellow for International Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington.
Irish-Americans, proud bunch they are, don't see eye to eye on the 2004 presidential campaign.
Stella O'Leary, leader of the Irish American Democrats, is distributing a recent Washington Post clipping that opines: "Irish-Americans, watching John Edwards in the debate last night, were reminded of John Kennedy. Smart- believable- charming, John Edwards was a reincarnation of John Kennedy, while Dick Cheney came across as a mean and defensive Richard Nixon."
Reaction from the Irish Republican wing?
"A reincarnation of John Kennedy? Give me a break," says Frank Duggan, chairman of the Irish American Republicans. "Edwards sounds like Gomer Pyle and he looks like the Breck Shampoo girl."
OF MICE AND MEN
Banned Books Week has drawn to a close for another year, although this might be the first time you've read about the national celebration of First Amendment rights.
Sponsors of banning fewer books include the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, Association of American Publishers, American Society of Journalists and Authors, National Association of College Stores, as well as 3,500 libraries and booksellers.
The observance is even endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
What interested us most was which book titles and authors were most frequently "challenged" - removing books from shelves or restricting materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.
Here's what we learned: Among the top challenged books during the past decade were "Scary Stories" (series), by Alvin Schwartz; "Daddy's Roommate," by Michael Willhoite; "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," by Maya Angelou; "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain; "Of Mice and Men," by John Steinbeck; "Harry Potter" (series), by J.K. Rowling; "Heather Has Two Mommies," by Leslea Newman; "The Catcher in the Rye," by J.D. Salinger; "Goosebumps" (series), by R.L. Stine; "The Color Purple," by Alice Walker; and "Sex," by Madonna.
As for the most frequently challenged authors in 2003: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, J.K. Rowling, Robert Cormier, Judy Blume, Katherine Paterson, John Steinbeck, Walter Dean Myers, Robie Harris, Stephen King and Louise Rennison.