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POT CALLS KETTLE BLACK John Edwards...the Democrats’ #2 man and card-carrying ambulance-chaser...said this week that the main reason for what he referred to as “sky-high” pharmaceutical prices is “drug advertising.” As though the cost of advertising Viagra during Monday Night Football was responsible for the rising drug prices rather than the increased cost of doing business thanks to the avalanche of lawsuits by slip-and-spill attorneys such as Edwards who hope to hit the Lawsuit Lottery at the expense of America’s prescription drug industry. Give Edwards this, though. He’s got chutzpah. ALL’S NOT ROSY IN THE BUSH ROSE GARDEN “For all the talk about polarization, I find a startling agreement [from] everybody I talk to," syndicated columnist Robert Novak told the audience at a conservative panel discussion hosted last week by the Free Congress Foundation in Washington, DC. "Nobody seems to like George Bush very much. The Democrats I talk to hate him and the Republicans aren't very enthusiastic about him." And Novak may have been the OPTIMIST on the panel. The columnist warned, according to a report by CNS News reporter Robert B. Bluey, that a Bush loss in November could result in “an implosion in the Republican Party” for which Christian conservatives will be blamed. And which could result in a massive political realignment, the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades...especially if Democrats are successful in casting the Two Johns as “moderates,” rather than the liberals they are. Looks like the stakes for the President’s acceptance speech at the upcoming GOP convention may be a lot higher than the White House would care to let on. OIL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL Gas prices continue to climb. Most assume it’s due to problems with the oil supply from the Middle East. That’s not likely the real cause. But if it IS...then why aren’t we drilling in that frozen little area in Alaska known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)...where there is very little chance that the caribou will lose any sleep over it? You know the answer: Radical environmentalists. While that may be true, the real gasoline price problem isn’t due to a lack of availability of inexpensive crude oil from the Middle East, but lack of refining capacity here in the USA. Again, thanks to the wacko tree-hugger lobby, a new refinery hasn’t been built in this country since, I believe, 1976. And I think I read somewhere else that we’re already using some 98% of our current refining capacity. Which means even if we get new crude out of the ground in Alaska, we have no way to refine it here in the U.S. One would think that two oil barons such George W and Dick Cheney should be able to explain this, with authority, to an American public naturally and deeply concerned with such a bread-and-butter issue as the cost of a gallon of gas and use it as a serious campaign issue. The only folks they’d likely lose by pushing for opening ANWR and building new refineries would be the radical environmentalists who, as our friend Lyn Nofziger points out, ain’t gonna vote for Bush-Cheney anyhow. Let the construction begin… PANDORA’S BOX OPENED As predicted, the move to federalize marriage licenses is expanding to other areas presently reserved for state governments. On Monday, the September 11 Commission told Congress it should federalize the standards for obtaining a driver’s license...in the name of national security, of course. Heck, what’s the long-term loss of a little essential liberty when measured against a little temporary safety, right? Paging Dr. Franklin. Dr. Ben Franklin... CONSENTING ADULTS Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, among others, warned ominously a year ago that the Supreme Court decision which said Texas couldn’t throw gays in jail for private, consensual sexual relations would open the door to gay marriage. Maybe yes, maybe no. More likely is that the decision will open the door to legalized prostitution. After all, even the President has said the government has no business getting into the business of sexual relationships between consenting adults...they just can’t get a government-issued marriage license if they're of the same gender. The question regarding prostitution is, especially in light of the “Lawrence” decision, how does the government continue to throw people in jail for exchanging a $50 bill for sex as opposed to, say, dinner and a movie? I predict the Texas sodomy decision will have a far more sweeping effect on prostitution laws than on marriage laws before all is said and done. In fact, a move to “decriminalize” prostitution by making the offense a “don’t ask, don’t tell” crime will be on the ballot in...where else?...Berkeley, Calif., in November. Can an ACLU lawsuit be far behind? APT DESCRIPTION Words mean stuff. Which is why folks in the White House insist on calling illegal aliens “undocumented workers” rather than, well...illegal aliens. And folks who call illegal aliens “illegal aliens” are often called bigots or racists rather than “law-abiding Americans,” leading many to conclude that illegal aliens are the most protected minority in America today, despite the fact that they are not...um, Americans. Of course, I use the word “American” to mean someone who is a legal citizen of the United States. One doesn’t consider Mexicans or Canadians to be Americans...even though they live in North America. Which, I’m sure, is a “racist” statement in and of itself. Go figure. Anyway, since the phrase “illegal alien” has become so demonized, perhaps it’s time to re-word the phrase. And considering their protected status in the country today, I like a term I saw this morning from one of our News & Views subscribers: “Spotted Owl Immigrants.” Has a nice ring to it. AND SPEAKING OF SPOTTED OWL IMMIGRANTS The Constitution is a governing document which should not be tinkered with to engineer social policy. That is a given. Or should be. But defining citizenship is indeed a proper and legitimate topic for constitutional consideration. And two card-carrying constitutional conservatives who usually oppose suggestions for constitutional amendments have come forward supporting a constitutional amendment dealing with a certain aspect of citizenship. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution reads, in part, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” And as Lyn Nofziger notes in his “Musings” blog on August 13, since “there is no better nation in the world of which to be a citizen, persons often come here legally or illegally for the sole purpose of bearing children on American soil.” And “Those children then, though their parents are not citizens and may have no intention of becoming citizens, immediately have full access to all the rights and privileges of citizenship.” Nofziger rightly notes that this creates problems for the federal government which the drafters of the 14th Amendment clearly didn’t consider, such as, “How do you deport the parents without deporting the kid who, by right of birth has a right to stay? The answer is, you don’t.” To address and fix this constitutional problem, Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, has introduced an amendment to the Constitution which would, as Mr. Nofziger describes it, “deny citizenship to individuals born in the U.S. to parents who are neither citizens nor persons who owe permanent allegiance to the United States.” The actual wording of the Paul amendment proposal reads: “Any person born after the date of the ratification of this article to a mother and father, neither of whom is a citizen of the United States nor a person who owes permanent allegiance to the United States, shall not be a citizen of the United States or of any State solely by reason of birth in the United States.” The amendment has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee...where even Vegas wouldn’t give it odds of ever seeing the light of day. Unless, of course, voters turn up the heat. What do you think? Should automatic U.S. citizenship only be granted to the children of persons who are already legal citizens of the United States? Cast your online ballot on our “Survey Says!” page at www.citizenoutreach.com AND NOW, FOR THE REALLY IMPORTANT NEWS… Author J.K. Rowling told folks at the Edinburgh Book Festival on Sunday that there WILL be a seventh Harry Potter book following publication of the sixth book she’s presently working on, “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.” That means Harry will survive the next installment in the series...but Rowling won’t guarantee he’ll make it through #7 and into adulthood. Rowling previewed what may be in store in the upcoming editions by telling the audience what two questions they should be asking themselves. One: Why didn’t Voldemort die in that scar-producing exchange with Harry when Harry was baby? And two: Why didn’t Dumbledore kill or try to kill Voldemort himself? And of course, there’s always the question of whether or not romance is in store for Ron and Hermione. To that question, Rowling answered, “I’m not going to say.” We’ll just have to read the book. And we will. THE GOLDWATER DOCTRINE “I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.” - Barry Goldwater, “The Conscience of a Conservative” ************************* Published by Citizen Outreach Chuck Muth Editor/Publisher 611 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, #439 Washington, DC 20003-4303 E-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Citizen Outreach is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public policy organization and does not endorse candidates or lobby for specific legislation. The opinions and views expressed in DC Confidential reflect those of the writers, editors and columnists therein and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Citizen Outreach, its officers, directors or employees.