SAN DIEGO -- I took an early liking to Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito Jr. I thought it was charming that he had said that the life story of his Italian immigrant father was much more interesting than his own. But now I've seen something I don't like.
The Iraq War will likely have a significant role in the coming 2006 election. President Bush's warning Tuesday that his critics should watch what they say on the subject Iraq. Inappropriate criticism would only give "comfort to the enemy," said. The critics' response is that the president should listen to his own advice. With only 10 months to Election Day, the campaign debates have only just begun. The continuing death toll and bombings in Iraq are a concern for Republican candidates.
I was shocked when I turned the last page of the sports section on Jan. 5 to find a large picture of a scantily, bikini-clad Lindsay Lohan. At best, this picture is indecent and immodest. At worst, it could be viewed as obscene and pornographic. I wonder what you were thinking when you made the decision to publish it? Did you think about the children who would be exposed to this picture? I believe you still have the Newspapers in Education program where you provide newspapers for our area schools.
I am writing to express my disgust of a recent photo you chose to publish largely, and in full color. It was the cover of Vanity Fair magazine with a scarcely clothed Lindsay Lohan. Do you know how upsetting it was for me to discover that as I was innocently reading this supposed family-friendly publication, the West Central Tribune, I had an 8-year-old daughter opposite my paper with a look of shock on her face as this photo showed clearly in her direction? In my opinion, this was pornographic material not needed in our local paper.
Navy Lt. Bryan D. Black, a U.S. Naval Academy faculty member, thought he was just shooting the breeze when he told a midshipman that getting on a battleship turned him on. Such was the sentiment, at least, though the language was saltier than the Chesapeake Bay, where an inspired Black was serving as safety officer on an oceanographic cruise aboard a "yard patrol craft." Unfortunately for Black, among the midshipmen was at least one sensitive female.
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico -- Now that Mexico has hired an American PR firm to improve its image north of the border, the Bush administration should borrow that playbook and hire a Mexican firm to improve its image in Mexico -- and, for that matter, the rest of Latin America. Americans and their idiosyncrasies are not held in especially high regard south of the border. Cynics might claim the only reason the Mexicans are upset is because a growing number of Americans are tired of having an open border and want Congress to do something about it.
PARIS -- The French have had two months to sort out the lessons of last fall's riots in predominately Muslim neighborhoods. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin says the rioting was caused by racial bias, lack of business opportunity and insufficient education for immigrant children. He vows tax breaks for business, better education for immigrant children and tougher enforcement of anti-bias laws. For this conclusion, the French media, which is more left wing than the American press, praised him.
WASHINGTON -- Before evolution produced creatures of our perfection, there was a 3-ton dinosaur, the stegosaurus, so neurologically sluggish that when its tail was injured, significant time elapsed before news of the trauma meandered up its long spine to its walnut-size brain. This primitive beast, not the dignified elephant, should be the symbol of House Republicans. Yes, one should not taint all of them because of the behavior of most of them. Why, perhaps half a dozen of the 231 Republican representatives authored none of the transportation bill's 6,371 earmarks -- pork projects.
WASHINGTON -- It almost makes you feel sorry for Jack Abramoff. Republicans once fell all over themselves to get his "moolah," the term used famously by the disgraced super lobbyist, and to get his advice on dealing with that warm and cuddly entity known as "the lobbying community." Suddenly, Abramoff enters two plea bargains, and these former friends ask, in puzzled tones, "Jack Who?" Over the last few days, politicians -- from President Bush and House Speaker Dennis Hastert on down -- raced to return Abramoff contributions, or compassionately sent the moolah off to charity.
"The taxing power of government must be used to provide revenues for legitimate government purposes. It must not be used to regulate the economy or bring about social change." President Ronald Reagan State of the Union message Feb.