Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


February 8, 2006

"She [Coretta Scott King] extended Martin's message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there," Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said.

"This commerative ceremony this morning, this afternoon, is not only to acknowledge the great contributions of Coretta [King] and Martin [King], but to remind us that the struggle for equal rights is not over. We only have to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi," former President Jimmy Carter said. "Those who were most devastated by [Hurricane] Katrina know that there are not yet equal opportunities for all Americans. It is our responsibility to continue their crusade."

"President Bush was where he should have been," said Bruce S. Gordon, the new president of the NAACP. "Coretta Scott King is a very important figure in black American history and American history. I thought it was appropriate for the president to be there to honor her."

"We're selling our party short; you've got to stand for a lot more than just blasting the other side," said Gov. Phil Bredesen, Democrat of Tennessee. "The country is wide open to hear some alternatives, but I don't think it's wide open to all these criticisms. I am sitting here and getting all my e-mail about the things we are supposed to say about the president's speech, but it's extremely light on ideas. It's like, 'We're for jobs and we're for America.' "

"I think that two-thirds of the American people think the country is going in the wrong direction," said Senator Barack Obama, (D-IL). "They're not sure yet whether Democrats can move it in the right direction."

"It's important for us, if we're going to proceed legislatively, to keep in mind there's a price to be paid for that, and it might well in fact do irreparable damage to our capacity to collect information," Vice President Richard Cheney said.


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Allenís opponents grow

Sen. George Allen (R-VA) has another Democrat who wants to take his seat in the U.S. Senate before he runs for president. The uncontrollable James Webb, who served as President Ronald Reagan's Navy secretary, said Tuesday that he will seek the Democratic nomination.

Webb resigned under conflict with Reaganís Secretary of Defense Frank C. Carlucci.

Webb will have to beat former lobbyist Harris Miller, who announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination last month. Miller quit his job as head of the Information Technology Association of America to run.

Kerry losing staff

Sen. John Kerry's legislative director, George Abar, has jumped ship, landing as vice president for communications at Island Press. Island Press is a leading publisher of environmental books, including former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's tome, "Cities in the Wilderness."

Before joining Kerry's staff, Abar was senior director of corporate communications and speech-writer at PBS.

Republican concerns about spying

The NY Times reports about another member of congress expressing concerns about spying on terrorists:

A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program.

ÖRepresentative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, said in an interview that she had "serious concerns" about the surveillance program. By withholding information about its operations from many lawmakers, she said, the administration has deepened her apprehension about whom the agency is monitoring and why.

Barbour won't run

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour said Tuesday he will not run for president in 2008 because he is too busy with Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.



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