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Tags: Oprahs | Obama | Bash

Insider Report: Oprah's Rules for Obama Bash; Tom Wolfe's Pick; Sam Nunn, More

By    |   Sunday, 26 August 2007 02:26 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Sam Nunn Weighing White House Run
2. Mexico Engaged in 'Labor Dumping'
3. Obama Lays Down Rules for Oprah Bash
4. Chertoff Rejects 100% Cargo Inspection
5. Tom Wolfe Picks Next President: Jim Webb
6. Tony Blair Recruits Clinton Lawyer for Book Deal
7. We Heard: Don Imus, Donald Rumsfeld, Carlos Watson, More


1. Sam Nunn Weighing White House Run

Former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn says he is disappointed with the current presidential campaign and is considering a bipartisan or independent run for the White House in 2008.

"It's a possibility, not a probability," Nunn said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"My own thinking is, it may be a time for the country to say, 'Timeout. The two-party system has served us well, historically, but it's not serving us now.'"

The Georgian said he's distressed by the "fiasco" in Iraq, the out-of-control federal budget, U.S. energy policy, and a presidential campaign that has not dealt straight on with important issues.

"I am frustrated, and clearly frustrated, with the fact that I think my children and grandchildren are not going to have the kind of future they should be having," he told the newspaper.

Nunn, 68, made his mark as a defense-minded hawk and is still considered an expert on national security. He retired from the Senate in 1996 and now heads a nonprofit organization that seeks to reduce the threat from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

As NewsMax.com reported in early August, he has had discussions with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg about an independent challenge to the major parties. And he has been communicating with Unity '08, a group with the goal of fielding a bipartisan or independent ticket for president.

Nunn said he most likely won't make up his mind about a presidential run until next year, after the early primaries have indicated the most likely nominees, the Journal-Constitution reports. But he ruled out running as anybody's candidate for vice president.

"The overriding rationale of a Nunn run," the Democratic Strategist Web site observes, "would probably be the argument that Democrats are too allergic to the use of force to be entrusted with national security, while Republicans have proven to be both incompetent and excessively ideological, seriously damaging U.S. credibility."

Nunn has taken a radical stance on defense policy. He said policy created around a nuclear standoff between the U.S. and Russia is now "obsolete." He believes the only way to persuade smaller countries to give up nuclear weapons technology — and to keep it out of the hands of terrorists — is for all nations, including the U.S., to begin down the path toward total nuclear disarmament.

Nunn is traveling to Moscow to mark the 15th anniversary of the Nunn-Lugar Act, which has provided American funding and know-how to help the former Soviet Union safeguard and dismantle its nuclear arsenal.

2. Mexico Engaged in 'Labor Dumping'

The underlying reason for America's illegal alien problem is a sick economic system in Mexico that leads to the "dumping" of labor into the U.S.

That's the view of Steve H. Hanke, a professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

To illustrate how "labor dumping" functions, he points to Yugoslavia under Tito, which sought to deal with a surplus of workers.

"Opening Yugoslav borders — at least by communist standards — provided Tito with the means to dump surplus labor and mask flaws in the paradise of worker-managed firms," Hanke writes in Forbes magazine.

The result: By the early 1970s "Tito's broom" had swept 11 percent of the Yugoslav labor force into Western Europe, and those workers sent home money that amounted to 30 percent of Yugoslavia's exports.

Today Mexico is the world's largest labor dumper. But politicians on both sides of the immigration reform debate "fail to mention the source of the problem: Mexico's statist [highly centralized] economy," according to Hanke. "Like Yugoslavia, Mexico can't produce enough jobs . . .

"Rather than modernize the economy, Mexico's politicians use Tito's broom."

As a result, 30 percent of Mexico's labor force is working in the U.S., and last year they sent home $23 billion, 12 percent of Mexico's exports.

Hanke concludes: "There is little chance of stemming migrant inflows as long as the countries supplying immigrants embrace policies that effectively mandate labor dumping."

3. Obama Lays Down Rules for Oprah Bash

Oprah Winfrey is hosting a big fundraising party for presidential hopeful Barack Obama at her California home on Sept. 8 — and the Obama campaign has set some very specific rules for the gala.

First of all, the campaign is not calling the event a fundraiser — although each guest has paid at least $2,300 for an invitation — but a "celebration."

And according to instructions sent out to invitees by Julianna Smoot, Obama's national finance director, guests at the celebration need to wear "Garden Attire" — which the Los Angeles Times' Andrew Malcolm describes as "summery, sheer, lots of linen, maybe some floppy hats, blazers, contrasting slacks, and open collars for the guys."

Also, "comfortable footwear is recommended" for the event, which will be held in a meadow on Oprah's Montecito estate. "Ladies, flat shoes are a must!"

Other rules, according to the Times: Due mostly to security concerns, no gifts for Obama or Oprah will be accepted. All purses and bags will be searched. No cameras or recording devices will be permitted. And a government-issued photo ID will be required for admittance.

Oprah's support for the Obama campaign comes as no surprise to readers of NewsMax Magazine. The May issue's cover story, "Obama & the Oprah Factor," detailed the connection between the talk show host and the Illinois senator, and disclosed that Obama was Oprah's choice for the White House.

4. Chertoff Rejects 100% Cargo Inspection

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the U.S. can't physically inspect 100 percent of incoming cargo without crippling activity at American ports.

He criticized the mostly Democratic lawmakers who called for 100 percent physical scanning in a recently enacted homeland security bill, suggesting he could take certain legislators to ports and show them what would happen once their plan became reality.

"If I shut them, there won't be any risk, but there won't be any ports," Chertoff said.

Speaking before the Departmental Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection — a panel of private-sector shipping and retail executives — Chertoff said the U.S. was making progress toward scanning more incoming cargo without slowing commerce, the Homeland Security Daily Wire reported.

Chertoff pointed to advances in the Container Security Initiative, which encourages foreign governments to improve scanning of suspicious cargo in their ports, saying the Initiative will include 58 ports around the world by Oct. 1.

He also cited progress made in the Secure Freight Initiative, which will allow for radiation scanning of all seaborne cargo by the end of the year.

"We'll be able to separate the kitty litter from the dirty bomb" without slowing down port traffic, Chertoff asserted.

Chertoff asked for the Committee's advice on how to more effectively scan cargo, warning: "A simple argument like 100 percent physical inspection can have a lot of traction. And if we're not prompt and reasonably energetic in coming up with an alternative model for how to do this, we may well find the model being dictated by people that have a very simple viewpoint of what should be done, and that is to open everything up."

5. Tom Wolfe Picks Next President: Jim Webb

Calling the current slate of Democratic presidential candidates "unelectable," best-selling author Tom Wolfe says a dark horse will emerge to win the nomination in 2008: Virginia Sen. Jim Webb.

At an exclusive Aug. 18 gathering in Southampton, N.Y., Wolfe — whose books include "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Right Stuff" — told journalist Doug Dechert that Webb will be drafted to become his party's nominee, and he will win the general election.

He reasoned that Webb, a former secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, has the experience, military credentials, and prescience on the war in Iraq to appeal to both his party's anti-war base and the greater public's desire for a leader who can plausibly combat global terrorism.

Despite Wolfe's assessment, it appears highly unlikely that the Democratic nomination will go to Webb, a first-term senator who narrowly beat Republican incumbent George Allen last year and who has shown no interest in seeking the White House. But he has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate in 2008.

Webb created a stir last November at a White House reception for new members of Congress when he declined to be photographed with President Bush.

6. Tony Blair Recruits Clinton Lawyer for Book Deal

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has turned to the American lawyer who worked out Bill Clinton's "My Life" book contract to negotiate a publishing deal for his autobiography.

Attorney Robert Barnett got Clinton $12 million for his book, and also landed multimillion-dollar book contracts for Hillary Clinton and Alan Greenspan. Blair has asked Barnett to begin contacting publishers on his behalf, and industry insiders say he could fetch a figure similar to Bill Clinton's for his memoirs, Britain's The Guardian reported.

HarperCollins is considered a leading contender to win the rights to Blair's book.

But according to The Guardian, Blair "may have to tone down some of the content" to avoid damaging his successor Gordon Brown — chancellor of the Exchequer during Blair's 10 years as prime minister — who had a turbulent relationship with Blair.

7. We Heard . . .

THAT Don Imus' return to radio could knock Rudy Giuliani's wife Donna Hanover off the air, a respected industry analyst tells NewsMax.

Hanover currently co-hosts the morning drive slot on New York station WOR, but her show is third in the ratings and the station's parent, Buckley Broadcasting, is looking to replace the show with Imus, according to analyst Brian Maloney.

WABC is widely thought to be the most likely destination for Imus, but the station's current morning drive show, "Curtis and Kuby," is No. 1 in the ratings.

That show is simply too strong in its slot to dump for an expensive new show that is likely to make advertisers nervous, at least initially, said Maloney, who added: "WABC, I think, is a pipe dream."

THAT the national Anti-Defamation League fired its New England regional director after he called on the human rights organization to acknowledge the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century.

Ottoman Turks killed as many as 1.5 million Armenians in what is now Turkey from 1915 to 1923. Some European nations have recognized the killings as genocide, but the national ADL refuses to do so.

Andrew Tarsy, New England regional director, told ADL's national director Abraham H. Foxman that stance was "morally indefensible," and backed legislation now before Congress to recognize the Armenian deaths as genocide, the Boston Globe reports.

Tarsy was fired on Aug. 17.

A letter signed by Foxman and Glen Lewy, the ADL's national chairman, said "we have acknowledged the massacres of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire and called on Turkey to do more to confront its past and reconcile with Armenia." But the letter clearly indicated that "the national ADL believes the safety of Israel, which considers Turkey a rare Muslim ally, is paramount," according to the Globe.

Steve Grossman, a former ADL regional board member, castigated the national ADL for the firing: "My reaction is that this was a vindictive, intolerant, and destructive act, ironically by an organization and leader whose mission — fundamental mission — is to promote tolerance."

THAT former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will receive The Claremont Institute's 2007 Statesmanship Award at the conservative organization's annual dinner honoring Sir Winston Churchill.

Rumsfeld will deliver the keynote address at the Nov. 17 dinner in Newport Beach, Calif., and will receive the award from syndicated radio host and Claremont Institute Washington Fellow William J. Bennett.

The Institute, based in Claremont, Calif., says its mission "is to restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life," and it promotes stable family life and a strong national defense.

Last year's winner of the Statesmanship Award was historian and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson.

THAT Major General John Singlaub, a founding member of the CIA, is also receiving an award — he will be honored on Sept. 20 with The Office of Strategic Services Society's 2007 William J. Donovan Award.

The award, named for the late general who founded the Office of Strategic Services intelligence agency in World War II, is given to individuals "who have rendered distinguished service in the interest of the democratic process and the cause of freedom," the Society states.

Previous winners include Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, and Margaret Thatcher.

THAT "The Phil Hendrie Show," re-launched on the radio in June, now reaches more than 50 markets and will soon be heard in Boston and Washington, D.C., as well.

The Los Angeles-based comedy and talk show will air in Boston on FM Talk 96.9, WTKK, and in Washington on both WTWP FM 107.7 and WTWP AM 1500 from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. Monday through Friday. It will be re-fed from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.

THAT Hearst-Argyle Television is moving ahead with plans to develop a nationally syndicated show for former CNN political commentator Carlos Watson.

Watson's first quarterly special for the 29-station group aired in March and attracted 2.2 million viewers. The next episode will air twice on most stations between Sept. 1 and Sept. 16, Broadcasting & Cable reports.

Guests for the interview show, "Conversations with Carlos Watson," are to include California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria, singer John Legend, and model Naomi Campbell.

The plan now is to air an episode each quarter, then turn the show into a daily daytime show on the Hearst-Argyle stations and eventually expand into national syndication.

THAT Democrat Bob Kerrey is mulling another U.S. Senate run in Nebraska if Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel decides not to seek re-election next year.

"He sounds like he's thirsty to do it," a source told the New York Post.

Kerrey served as Nebraska governor from 1983 to 1987 and represented the state in the Senate from 1989 to 2001. He is now president of The New School, a university in New York City.

Some political insiders expect Hagel, a harsh critic of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war, to vacate his Senate seat

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Sam Nunn Weighing White House Run2. Mexico Engaged in 'Labor Dumping'3. Obama Lays Down Rules for Oprah Bash4. Chertoff Rejects 100% Cargo Inspection5. Tom Wolfe Picks Next President: Jim Webb 6. Tony Blair Recruits Clinton...
Sunday, 26 August 2007 02:26 PM
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