A dare worth taking

Last night on Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity offered Hillary Clinton the chance to co-host his radio show for an entire week: 15 hours of equal time. Not only is that a better idea than reviving the "fairness" doctrine, but Clinton should take the dare. That would be radio worth listening to.


Fred Heads

Apply directly to the White House... here.


Immigration politics

The Wall Street Journal calls out Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney for denouncing amnesty here. Meanwhile, Judd Gregg gets called out for not rejecting amnesty here.


Capital Beat extra: Ron Paul on the Browns

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has compared Plainfield tax fugitives Ed and Elaine Brown to Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

In an interview with Lee Rogers, who runs the website roguegovernment.com, Paul expressed sympathy for the couple, who have been holed up in their hilltop home for several months, threatening violence if marshals come to arrest them. The Browns have each been sentenced to 63 months in prison for crimes related to their refusal to pay federal income taxes for nearly 10 years. The Browns contend that there is no law compelling ordinary Americans to pay income taxes.

Paul, a Texas Congressman who has campaigned on promises to lower taxes and rein in the Federal Reserve, said the Browns' civil disobedience should be commended.

"People who point this out and fight the tax code and fight the monetary code are heroic," he said in a video that's been linked to on several pro-Brown websites. "I compare them to people like Gandhi, who's willing to speak out and try to bring about change in a peaceful manner; Martin Luther King fought laws that were unfair and unjust, and he suffered, too."

- Margot Sanger-Katz

UPDATE: In a Fox News interview, introduced by the question "Why is a presidential candidate comparing (Ed Brown) to some of the biggest heroes in the world?" Paul said Tuesday his statement was meant to applaud those who oppose tax laws peacefully, willingly accepting the consequences. He does not advocate violent resistance against those laws, he said.

"I think if you don't like the tax law, you should change it. That's why I ran for Congress," he said. "That's why I'm running for president."


The cost of being pro-choice?

"This issue has been very, very good to the Republican Party — and there is plenty more where that came from." -- Author Melinda Henneberger, in The New York Times, discussing abortion.

She writes: "Over 18 months, I traveled to 20 states listening to women of all ages, races, tax brackets and points of view speak at length on the issues they care about heading into ’08. They convinced me that the conventional wisdom was wrong about the last presidential contest, that Democrats did not lose support among women because 'security moms' saw President Bush as the better protector against terrorism. What first-time defectors mentioned most often was abortion."


Re: Watch the spoof

Peggy Noonan loved the Clinton-Soprano spoof (bonus points for Bill Clinton's acting ability!) but speculates broodingly about the meaning of HillaryIs44. (Get it? W is 43.)


The '07 caucuses?

David Yepsen: "The foes of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina want nothing more than to get these early states fighting among themselves. For [Iowa] state and county party officials, the best deterrent is to reserve sites on a variety of dates. Caucus sites should be reserved for Jan. 14, Jan. 7, Jan. 2 and Dec. 17."


Forget the song, watch the spoof

Hillary Clinton has chosen her campaign song, but much better is the Sopranos spoof that leads into it. See here or here.


Watergate 35 years later

"The president of the United States was a criminal. That's a big story." -- Author Alicia Shepard in a Washington Post chat going on right now. Timed with the release of her book Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate, the Post has put online this archive of its Watergate coverage. (Warning: You could easily lose a few hours here.)


Why we have states

Lamar Alexander's presidential campaign is most remembered for his flannel shirt. Charlie Arlinghaus remembers something much more substantive: "He urged his party to let each state find its own solution. He cautioned them against the abuse of power in 'simply substituting Republican orders from Washington for Democratic orders.' Ten years later, Alexander's ideas seem not just sensible but prophetic. 'Whether it's altering the behavior of a welfare mother or a third grader, reinventing America in Washington, D.C., is a pipe dream. The bureaucracy is too strong. The interest groups are too nosy. There is too much difference between the way Washington works and the way people live.' "

Charlie concludes: "There is a great temptation for a president and any national politician to try to solve all the problems of the country. They are afraid some state might do something stupid. But that's why we have states. Washington doesn't and can't know everything that's right for everyone. Sometimes they need to mind their own business. My candidate for president will agree with Lamar Alexander when he said, 'Washington spends too much, meddles too much and spends too much time telling us we are too stupid to make decisions for ourselves.' "


Biden on nuclear deterrence

In today's Wall Street Journal (no free link) Joe Biden argues "the U.S. should take the lead in creating an international nuclear forensics library."

The op-ed piece, headlined "CSI: Nukes," is a pitch for bringing nuclear deterrence into the 21st century. Biden writes:

"The library could house actual samples of nuclear material contributed by participating countries, validated data about their material, or binding agreements to provide predetermined data in the immediate aftermath of an attack or smuggling incident. A library cannot guarantee that in the wake of an attack the world could assign blame to a country, but it could be a critical tool in narrowing an investigation and debunking wild rumors or allegations. Countries might hesitate to share their nuclear material, but the library could safeguard samples and identify their origin only if they matched smuggled material or nuclear debris. Any country that refused to contribute to a nuclear forensics library would risk condemnation or suspicion in the event of a terrorist nuclear attack."

Acknowledging the problem of deterring the individual terrorist, Biden says the key is to deter the states that would sell them nuclear material or know-how:

"The U.S. has long deterred a nuclear attack by states, by clearly and credibly threatening devastating retaliation. Now is the time for a new type of deterrence: We must make clear in advance that we will hold accountable any country that contributes to a terrorist nuclear attack, whether by directly aiding would-be nuclear terrorists or willfully neglecting its responsibility to secure the nuclear weapons or weapons-usable nuclear material within its borders."


Obama and Romney: two visions of foreign policy

Foreign Affairs has given space to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. From the summaries:

Obama -- "After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership -- military, diplomatic, moral -- to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century's challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America."

Romney -- "Washington is as divided on foreign policy as it has been at any point in the last 50 years. As the "greatest generation" did before us, we must move beyond political camps to unite around bold actions in order to build a strong America and a safer world. We must strengthen our military and economy, achieve energy independence, reenergize civilian and interagency capabilities, and revitalize our alliances."


To market, to market

Daniel Henninger in today's WSJ:

"Why ... would Republican politicians and conservative writers want to run the risk of undermining, perhaps for a long time, their core belief in the broad benefits of free-market economic forces in return for a law that hammers these illegal Mexicans? If I'm a liberal or progressive Democrat, I'm gleeful to see conservative foes who have preached "the market" at me since the days of FDR now arguing that these millions of workers are an artificial, "unskilled" labor force whose presence merely prevents "the market" from replacing them with machines. . . .

"No matter how principled conservatives may think themselves on this issue, the fact remains that at crunch time they sent the market to the back of the southbound bus. Sounds much like the extra-market case their opponents make for the Kyoto Treaty. It also sounds like an argument for sending a $2,000 contribution to Hillary Clinton, so the country can be run by people who truly believe in managed economies."

Henninger has been taking a beating from some conservatives (see here) since a WSJ editorial board discussion of immigration was posted online.

UPDATE: National Review's editors challenge the Journal edit board to a debate!


"He's Fred Thompson. You're Nothing."

Nearly three months' (and counting) worth of Fred Thompson "Facts of the Day" here. A sample:

April 19: "Fred Thompson plans to make it an allowable interrogation technique to rip out a terrorist's spine and beat him with it."

May 3: "Fred Thompson's favorite color is the blood of his enemies."

May30: "They say that after a nuclear blast, the only things that will survive will be cockroaches and Fred Thompson... except that Fred Thompson doesn't like cockroaches. So the only thing that will survive will be Fred Thompson."


Counting McCain out?

Dean Barnett, a Mitt Romney fan working for another Romney fan, Hugh Hewitt, has started a pool to predict when John McCain will fold his campaign. Barnett's first guess is Aug. 31.


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