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Insider Report: Dr. Dobson Thinks I'm a 'Nut'

Sunday, 08 May 2005 12:00 AM

1. Indiana's Rep. Mike Pence Touted as Presidential Candidate

We hear that a fast-rising member of Congress is being touted by some influential conservative leaders as a possible presidential candidate for the 2008 race.

Grassroots leaders, dismayed that no Republican candidate has emerged who strongly advocates the pro-life position, are taking a careful look at Congressman Mike Pence, who represents Indiana's 6th Congressional District.

Despite being in only his second term in the House, Rep. Pence, 46, is already a member of the House GOP leadership, serving as deputy whip, and in his first term was named to chair a subcommittee, only the fifth freshman representative to achieve that feat in 50 years.

In September 2004, Pence was elected to serve as chairman of the prestigious Republican Study Group.

As an ardent supporter of the U.S. military and President Bush's war on terrorism, Rep. Pence accompanied Indiana Congressman Dan Burton and a small congressional delegation in February of 2004 to visit troops serving in Iraq.

The delegation met with Ambassador Paul Bremer and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to receive a briefing on Iraq's transition to democracy, and talked with Iraqi citizens adjusting to life in a free Iraq.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., Rep. Pence was appointed to the House Judiciary Committee, where he serves on the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
Pence participated in drafting the Patriot Act and legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security.

Pence, a former talk radio host, and his wife, Karen, have three children and reside in Columbus, Ind. When Congress is in session, the Pence family lives in Arlington, Va.

He describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order."

2. Thatcher Changed Furs for Gorbachev

She never wore furs at home in Britain, but when visiting with Mikhail Gorbachev, then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sported a variety of such coats to please her guest.

"When he came she would always be dressed stylishly," the Soviet Union's former ambassador to Great Britain Leonid Zamyatin told Russia's Vlast magazine.

"They never wear furs in England," he noted, adding, "but when she met him she would always have some new fur. Thatcher had a definite womanish feeling towards Gorbachev. Let's say it was sympathy. She changed when he appeared."

While it hasn't been claimed that Mrs. Thatcher had an affair with Gorbachev, for years British Conservative Party circles have suggested that Mrs. Thatcher had a special chemistry with her Russian counterpart.

In a wide-ranging interview with the publication, Zamyatin also revealed that Margaret Thatcher played a key role in setting up the negotiations between herself, President Reagan and then-Soviet Premier Gorbachev that ultimately ended the Cold War.

As early as 1984, Thatcher met with Gorbachev at the prime minister's country residence, Chequers, and the two began the series of talks that later involved Ronald Reagan.

At that time, Gorbachev was only the USSR's minister of agriculture and not the Soviet head of state. But he was touted as a potential general-secretary of the all-powerful Communist Party – and he showed Thatcher that he was thinking in ways radically different from that of previous Soviet leaders.

"He said that it was high time to give up the cold war," Zamyatin recalled, adding that Gorbachev told Mrs. Thatcher "There are values common to all mankind so let us guarantee these values and not oppose each other. Isn't it time to take up complex disarmament?

He recalled that he had arrived in London to take up his new duties as the Soviet Union's ambassador to Britain on the eve of Thatcher's departure to the G-7 summit in Tokyo.

"Before I left, Gorbachev told me: 'Make sure she receives you and tell her that I want to meet with President Reagan. I have a set of issues that unite us in the spirit of the conversation we had with Thatcher in 1984. Our foreign policy should be united - not unconsolidated.'"

The rest is history.

3. New Threat Emerges With Ultralights From China, Iran and Cuba

After discovering on Sept. 11 just how much damage civilian airplanes could inflict, several nations are stepping up development of ultralight planes that can be used for military purposes.

Ultralight aircraft – slow moving, sometimes smaller than 250 pounds, capable of reaching altitudes of 5,000 feet and remaining aloft for hours – have played a key role in U.S. military reconnaissance in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But military intelligence suggests that the aircraft are now being used by China, Iran and Cuba.

According to James Dunnigan, writing in the authoritative StrategyPage.com, the three nations are taking "a very serious interest in the security and military uses of ultralight aircraft."

"China displayed a number of ultralights at the annual Zuhai Air Show, and has incorporated them into some military exercises," Dunnigan wrote.

Meanwhile, Cuba and Iran lag behind China, but they are "still in advance of the rest of the world when it comes to using ultralights for things like reconnaissance and surveillance."

Cuba and Iran, he reports, are interested in ultralights for use in border and coastal security, while all three nations are also believed to have been conducting experiments in their use as strike aircraft or for commando operations.

Dunnigan adds that terrorist groups such as Hezbollah are already known to be operating UAVs, and have been experimenting with them as well. Recently, NBC News reported that Hezbollah has successfully launched several ultralights that penetrated Israeli airspace. The network said that Iranian military personnel were operating the devices for the terrorist group.

The ultralights could pose a new dilemma. They are not easy to detect, are easy to launch, and outfitted with explosives – including weapons of mass destruction from a dirty bomb or chemical and biological weapons – the planes could serve as a poor man's ballistic missile.

4. Saudis Arresting Christians for 'Spreading Poison'

Despite Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's assurance to President Bush during his visit to the presidential Texas ranch that "tolerance must extend to those of all faiths and practices," it was reported that just days earlier, Saudi police had stormed a clandestine church in a suburb of Riyadh and arrested 40 Christians for proselytizing.

The New York Sun cited Saudi state-controlled newspapers as reporting on April 23 that two days earlier, security forces rounded up 40 men, women and children of Pakistani citizenship who were worshipping at an abandoned villa in western Riyadh, according to translations provided by American-based Saudi monitors.

The Sun added that the Saudi Al-Riyadh newspaper quoted a security official as saying that the Christians were arrested for "trying to spread their poisonous religious beliefs to others through the distribution of books and pamphlets."

"What they are doing is saying one thing in English and giving another signal to their own people," Nina Shea, the director of the Center for Religious Freedom of Freedom House, a human rights organization, told the Sun. "They are saying to the hard-liners at home that nothing is going to change. It's a way of speaking out of both sides of their mouth."

During their meeting in Crawford, Texas, President Bush and Prince Abdullah issued a joint declaration in which the Saudis affirmed their commitment to religious tolerance.

In its 2004 report on international religious freedom, the State Department declared that "freedom of religion does not exist" in Saudi Arabia. "It is not recognized or protected under the country's laws, and basic religious freedoms are denied to all but those who adhere to the state-sanctioned version of Sunni Islam," the report stated.

Dr. Dobson: Why Does Imus Think I'm a Nut?

The man Newsweek's Howard Fineman calls the "most powerful social conservative" can't understand why TV and radio host Don Imus thinks he's a nut.

In his latest column, Fineman begins: "When I flew to Colorado Springs recently to interview Dr. James Dobson, he had an urgent matter to interview ME about: why, he wondered, did Don Imus think that he (Dobson) was a nut? He was anything but, Dobson said."

Fineman may have answered that question himself by the picture he painted of Dobson, who heads Focus on the Family.

"In person, Dobson's voice is soothing, his manner careful, considerate," Fineman wrote.

Fineman added that Dobson, a nationally recognized expert on family issues and child rearing, and the author of a host of books, "is a man who can live in two worlds. With a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and years of clinical experience, Dobson is the real thing in academic and professional terms. Liberals can't gainsay his credentials. Yet his message – corporal punishment is necessary, if carefully used, especially on boys; Christian faith is the ultimate support that all families need to survive – is one that fellow evangelicals find helpful and inspiring ..."

"He's the kind of guy that anyone might want to talk to about their kids, and you have a sense that the discussion would be polite, even if you disagreed. It's that decency and civility that has made Dobson such a force in the country."

Dr. Dobson, Fineman wrote, "is, arguably, the most powerful social conservative in the country, central to the battle over federal judges – and a danger to the people who would oppose him. He has built an empire – Focus on the Family – by projecting an avuncular, unflappable image.

"Unlike evangelical Christian provocateurs such as Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson, Dobson isn't a minister. He wants to convert souls to Christ, and denounce the evils of society, but there is no fire or brimstone in sight and no sound of doom in his voice. He wants to be on decent terms with – or at least win a modicum of respect from – the likes of Imus and [Air America] comedian Al Franken. He is media savvy."

But, adds Fineman, "politics is another matter. He was venomous on the topic of the federal judiciary, which he sees largely as a coven of secular ayatollahs imposing a pro-abortion, pro-pornography, pro-gay-and-lesbian agenda on a Christian nation."

Perhaps that's why Imus is not so happy with Dr. Dobson.

6. Jewish Group Defends Rev. Pat Robertson

Attacks on the Rev. Pat Robertson by the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) "are par for the course," says Don Feder.

Feder, himself a Jew, is president of a new organization called Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation.

Feder's group was organized to respond to anti-Christian bias and smears.

"The Council is resorting to a favorite tactic of the left – baiting Christian conservatives," Feder charged.

He described the NJDC as "a pack of Democratic lap dogs" snapping at Pat Robertson's heels. "That anyone would find their criticism credible is unbelievable," Feder said.

According to Feder, NJDC criticized Virginia Senator George Allen for being named the commencement speaker for Regent University, the school Robertson founded.

The NJDC wanted to know if Allen agrees with "Robertson's offensive and ridiculous claim that America's judges pose a greater threat than the terrorists who murdered thousands of Americans on American soil?"

Said Feder: "If it's extremist to say liberal judges have done more damage than the September 11 hijackers, then a lot of Americans are extremists. Al-Qaida didn't inflict abortion on demand (including the horror of partial-birth abortion) on this nation. Nor did it open the floodgates of pornography – or make it harder to interrogate and hold suspected terrorists. Osama bin Laden isn't trying to deconstruct the American family by imposing same-sex marriage on us."

Moreover, the statement, Feder said, was taken out of context from an interview Dr. Robertson gave on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" on May 1. "It was Stephanopoulos who suggested the comparison of federal judges to al-Qaida," Feder explained.

"In responding, Robertson discussed the long history of judicial abuse and the ruinous change activist judges have brought to America, over the strenuous objections of the American people."

Said Feder: "It's hard to find a better friend of Israel and the Jewish people than Pat Robertson. Pat has been a tireless defender of Israel from its enemies in the Muslim world and on the left. He's been generous in his gifts to Jewish causes. ... In fact, he was the keynote speaker at yesterday's function at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the death camps."


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1. Indiana's Rep. Mike Pence Touted as Presidential Candidate We hear that a fast-rising member of Congress is being touted by some influential conservative leaders as a possible presidential candidate for the 2008 race. Grassroots leaders, dismayed that no Republican...
Sunday, 08 May 2005 12:00 AM
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