Random walk on Lieberman, deficit, campus booze, comrade chavez, etc

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Aug 04, 2006 12:07 AM
Random walk on Lieberman, deficit, campus booze, comrade chavez, etc

The Senate’s best Democrat, 18-year veteran Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, faces the fight of his political life in a primary scheduled for Tuesday. He will go up against a rich leftie who thinks the administration should have brought the boys home from Iraq yesterday. National Democrats have one fundamental operating principle — embarrassing George Bush.

Lieberman supports the Bush administration enterprise in Iraq specifically, and its war against jihadist terror generally. While embracing apologies for certain treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Lieberman noted in contrast that “those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, never apologized.” Partly for that “outrageous” comparison, The New York Times has endorsed Lieberman’s opponent.

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With his 10-month trial nearing a conclusion, Saddam Hussein has admonished the court to “remember that Saddam Hussein is a military commander and should be shot by bullets, not hanged like a regular criminal.” (In fact, although Saddam declared himself commander of the Iraqi armed forces, he never served; 50 years ago, he failed the Baghdad Military Academy’s entrance test.) The verdict in this quarter: Hang him.

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Two headlines from the war on terror:

(1) “Al-Qaida Group Controls Somalia”

(2) Regarding plans to blow up commuter tunnels under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey and New York: “Plot to Attack New York Foiled.”

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Let’s not overlook the perhaps related discomfiting datum about the grand globalization tour by Castro clone Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. In London he saw not Prime Minister Tony Blair but London’s way-out (and jihadist-sympathizing) Mayor “Red Ken” Livingstone. In Belarus he lauded Europe’s last surviving Communist autocracy as “a model of a social state.” In Hanoi he hailed Vietnam for nobly defeating imperialism and retaining “socialism in the ideological arena.”

In Moscow, declaring he has “thwarted the goal of the empire of the United States to disarm Venezuela,” Chavez bought billions worth of advanced Russian aircraft. It includes 33 armored day-night helicopters and 20 Sukhoi Su-30MK2 fighter jets — comparable to U.S. F-15Es. Chavez also received licenses to build Kalashnikov factories in and near Caracas — the AK-47 Kalashnikov for nearly 60 years having been worldwide Communist guerrillas’ standard weapon of choice. Next stop for Chavez? Iran — for the fifth time.

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If Yale’s is a bellwether campus, the prospects for reducing excessive collegiate drinking nationwide are dubious. A heavyweight committee reviewing the school’s student alcohol policy — in the words of a Yale publication — “advocates no major changes in a policy that emphasizes student safety over punishment.” The committee’s chairman, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey, says, “We’re not going to advocate prohibition. Fear of punishment should not be an impediment to seeking help.” The publication adds: “In practice . . . , administrators spend little time policing routine underage (campus) alcohol use.” Question: Can it be long before college administrations across the country are sued for aiding and abetting?

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Nobody — neither conservatives nor liberals born-again to fiscal sanity — likes federal deficits. Nor is there anything new about them. During the past 40 years, the federal deficit has averaged 2.3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). And the projected deficit for fiscal 2006 — for which those born-agains, even the ones in Congress who approved them, are blasting President Bush: precisely 2.3 percent of GDP.

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And speaking of Congress:

(1) The Senate has voted 65-34 in favor of a House-approved measure making it a federal crime to help a minor girl travel for an abortion from a state with parental notification laws to a state without them. That’s the Senate, even the Senate. President Bush will sign it.

(2) The Senate also has voted to authorize offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but to an extent less than authorized by the House. Perhaps the decisive persuasion was provided by Cuba’s decision, partnering with China et al., to drill 60 miles off the coast of Florida.

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Oh, and regarding Democratic Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana — accused of taking bribes (apparently videotaped taking them) and stashing the money in his freezer: A federal judge has ruled it was OK for the FBI — in warranted searches two months ago — to have raided his congressional office for additional evidence, though an appellate court has ruled Jefferson may review the material removed. Many sanctimonious legislators expressed outrage at the audacity of the FBI entering their marbled halls. In finding the May searches legal and properly authorized, the judge ruled not even lofty congresspersons live beyond the law’s reach.