Step Aside, Dad

John McCaslin
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Posted: Aug 28, 2008 11:05 AM
Step Aside, Dad

So what if outspoken attendees of the Democratic convention in Denver weren't overly impressed with the keynote address by former Virginia governor and now Senate hopeful Mark Warner?

It won't be long until it's out with the old and in with the new.

A new two-year study of the so-called "millennial generation" finds that Mr. Warner's message of "ideas over partisan politics" is exactly what the up-and-coming generation of voters thinks.

Focus group studies and polling conducted by Gerstein-Agne reveal the 100-million-strong millennial voters not only are more independent than the current crop of Democratic leaders, they also "have a distaste for partisan politics, seeing issues and solutions less based on politics and more on what is best for the country and the greater good."

FAST FORWARD

As Democrats gear up for tonight's much-anticipated acceptance speech by Sen. Barack Obama to become his party's nominee for president, organizers of the 2008 Republican National Convention, which kicks off Monday in St. Paul, Minn., have just announced their full program of speakers.

Some of the bigger names: President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, first lady Laura Bush, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

Also taking the podium: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, House Republican Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio; Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and Sam Brownback of Kansas; former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, and first lady hopeful Cindy McCain.

Oh, and of course there will be the bigger acceptance speeches by Arizona Sen. John McCain and his yet-to-be-announced choice for running mate — chances are someone among the names we've listed above.

BURNING BYRNE?

Barring an about-face by Congress, what is being labeled as one of the most effective drug- and crime-fighting programs in the country is facing elimination.

The Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funds more than 4,000 police officers and prosecutors working on more than 750 drug-enforcement task forces in all 50 states. Yet in the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Act, Congress slashed the program's funding by two-thirds, from $520 million to $170 million.

The program's supporters point out that Congress recently passed up one chance to restore the funding, although the body will have a second opportunity in a supplemental bill to be approved next month.

SCATHING REVIEW

Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn is critical of "senior reporters and top editors from The Washington Post" — or at least the newspaper's old guard in place on Sept. 2, 2004, when George W. Bush delivered his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in New York.

In fact, Mr. Corn isn't impressed with his fellow media as a whole, given its coverage of the Bush White House.

Beneath the subheadline "Why Can't the Press Tell the Truth About a President Who Didn't?', the bureau chief recalls taking a seat in the Essex House hotel to write about Mr. Bush's speech, in which the president declared Iraq "a gathering threat" and sought to link the 9/11 terrorists with the insurgency in Iraq.

"As I sat writing my piece, the tables next to me slowly filled with senior reporters and top editors from the Washington Post," he continues. "Typing away, I could hear them deride Bush's speech as a collection of misrepresentations. Their consensus was clear: Bush was trying to pull a fast one."

Yet the next morning, he says, the paper's front page flatly proclaimed: "Bush Promises 'a Safer World'"

"A media outfit … had once again enabled a president who was not being honest," Mr. Corn concludes. "And I was reminded of a 1997 remark by Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of the Post: 'Even the very best newspapers have never learned how to handle public figures who lie with a straight face.'"