shots on a field drum:
Republican right-wingers figure they may have
lost the battle but won the war. Sen. Arlen Specter
of Pennsylvania, a moderate, eked out renomination
by less than a percentage point against Rep. Pat
Toomey, who had been supported by arch-conservative
fact that a four-term incumbent running with the
energetic endorsement of his party's president
and of his conservative fellow senator barely
escaped with his political life will serve the
interest of the party's right almost as well as
a victory would have.
close call will force some GOP moderates to the
right and scare others off altogether. The crusade
by groups like the anti-tax Club for Growth to
purge the party of moderates is steadily gaining.
A party that once represented centrist and conservative
views is becoming the creature of hardline ideologues.
The Bush administration has the worst environmental
record of any modern presidency but it has nonetheless
pulled off an awesome environmental coup. No,
really. It has saved the Pacific salmon. It has
done this by the simple expedient of deciding
to count hatchery-raised salmon as wild salmon.
End of problem.
knew that saving endangered species could be so
-- How weird is the Patriot Act? This weird:
ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the FBI's method
of obtaining some business records but the filing
had to remain secret for weeks under the Patriot
Act's needless paranoia. The ACLU was finally
allowed to release limited information -- a redacted
version of the lawsuit -- only after negotiations
with the Justice Department.
fallen into a legal mirror maze when a law can
suppress and censor a constitutional challenge
-- The United States has finked out on its 30-year
tradition of support for the Global Health Council.
The Department of Health and Human Services has
withdrawn U.S. funding for the group's June conference.
conference is to deal with such issues as nutrition,
disaster assistance and SARS, but it also will
hear speakers from the United Nations Population
Fund and the International Planned Parenthood
Federation. The usual suspects objected -- the
Traditional Values Coalition, American Life League,
Focus on the Family and so on.
back when the flower children thought they could
levitate the Pentagon? That flopped, but the religious
right can make the White House jump.
-- The National Council for Research of Women,
representing a coalition of women's groups, has
found that some 25 reports on women's issues have
been removed from the federal Women's Bureau Web
are statistical reports on wage differences between
men and women, fact sheets, examinations of racial
and socio-economic disparities and guides to women's
administration that can save the salmon just by
redefining them can solve women's problems just
by hitting the delete button. Governing doesn't
always have to be hard work.
Teepen is a columnist for Cox Newspapers. He is
based in Atlanta.
Posted: May 12, 2004