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A government-run healthcare system favored by many Democrats would be "ruthless" in its treatment of healthcare recipients, warns former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
In a wide-ranging exclusive Newsmax interview, the Texas Republican also said Sarah Palin will prove to be a far better proponent of small-government conservatism than John McCain was in 2008.
And Armey agrees with House Minority Leader John Boehner's recent assertion to Newsmax that President Obama's appointment of many so-called "czars" constitutes a "circumvention" of the Constitution.
Armey, who entered the House in 1984, was a leading architect of the "Republican Revolution" in the 1990s and the Contract with America. He was a national sponsor of the March on Washington in September, and is chairman of the conservative non-profit organization FreedomWorks.
Armey was instrumental in a lawsuit that successfully challenged a requirement that seniors had to enroll in Medicare or lose their Social Security benefits.
"This is a big victory for me and I think for America, for my partners in the lawsuit," he said in his interview with Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella and Kathleen Walter.
"Imagine this: They have been enforcing a policy memorandum since 1993 — not a law, not a regulation, just a memorandum — that says, for example, if you're a Christian Scientist and you decide not to enroll in Medicare, you lose your Social Security. What audacity is this?
"It's an issue that needed to be set right, and we've done that, and I'm proud of the courts for seeing our case.
"But it's also a reflection people should look at: If they're that ruthless with our senior citizens, they'll be that ruthless with you and me if they get their hands on all of America's healthcare. They'll be these kinds of secret, hidden bureaucratic implementations that aren't understood or appreciated."
Noting the massive negative response to Obama's healthcare reform plans, Armey agreed that we are seeing a "populist uprising."
He said: "I think it goes back to last April when we had the initial tea party uprisings across the country. It fascinated me to watch the Democrats' response. They said, they'll go away. Then they came back in August. Then they had the march on Washington. [The Democrats are] finally coming to terms with the fact that these are very real concerns expressed by hundreds of thousands of American citizens all over the country.
"It boils down to the simple observation by Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama: We can't get our votes in the legislative body because members of Congress are being responsive to the concerns raised by their constituents."
Martella cited a Health and Human Services Department "gag order" on insurance companies, stopping them from mailing out information to their clients about the proposed $500 billion cut in the Medicare Advantage program.
"Armey's axiom: If you're going to peddle a bum steer, you better keep it under wraps," he responded. "The first thing they want is, no one should know what's in this bill.
"This is their strategic mistake: When Speaker Pelosi allowed the committees to report that bill before the August recess, they gave America a chance to read the bill. This is why it blew up in their faces.
"The fact of the matter is, it's heavy-handed. It is coercive. If you read the bill, it is frightening...
"The country's really concerned. They consider this a big, unnecessary government takeover, an aggressive government takeover."
Regarding the so-called "public option" health insurance plan being pushed by Democrats, Armey said that most Democrats in the House "want government-run healthcare. They think having a public insurance option is a compromise from their most desired position, which is just have the government run it all. "
Walter asked Armey if he is concerned about President Obama's appointment of several dozen "czars" — special advisors or envoys who have relatively few restrictions on their authority and do not have to win Senate confirmation as Cabinet secretaries do.
"It's a circumvention of the system," Armey stated.
"I'd be the first to tell you we have too many Cabinet positions, but every Cabinet position exists in compliance with Constitutionally defined processes.
"With the czars they say, never mind that, we're going to put extra-curricular people in by my whim and fancy, empower them and circumvent the Senate's right to advise and consent.
"We don’t know for sure how much power these guys have. Are these ceremonial sops he's given to his buddies, his cronies, or do they have real authority?
"But it is an administrative structure that is extra-Constitutional, extra-legal, and therefore I think it's a danger to your liberty and mine."
Armey said he believes Republicans are poised to do well in next year's elections because of "public disappointment" in the Obama presidency, but added that "what the Republican don't have now is that great idea that has a massive appeal to the American people.
"I think they can conceivably win the majority, but until they come up with that idea they're not prepared to take over the majority."
Walter noted that a John McCain strategist recently said a Sarah Palin presidential candidacy in 2012 would be disastrous for Republicans.
"You have to understand, McCain strategists feared Sarah Palin the moment she was chosen" because of concerns she might upstage the candidate at the top of the ticket, Armey said.
"Sarah Palin is I think now on her own terms and giving expression to her own voice.
"She's going to demonstrate herself to be a far more shining example of what small government conservatism is and how well it can be understood and expressed than the McCain campaign was able to do."
Turning to the economy, Armey observed that only about a quarter of the money allotted in the stimulus package has been spent, and "it has had virtually no impact. I saw Senator [Evan] Bayh say he thought we were better off than we would have been had there been no stimulus package. I think we're worse off."
Armey declared that the Democrats' intention of allowing tax cuts to expire next year will "create more economic damage. When you have a recession you cut taxes, you don't raise taxes.
"The biggest single problem that beleaguers the American economy is that the government is too big a burden. It's already so big that the economy can't carry it.
"Now if you add more government to that, it's like you've got some poor hiker trying to make it up a hill and you keep putting rocks in his knapsack. You're going to eventually buckle his knees."
A government-run healthcare system favored by many Democrats would be "ruthless" in its treatment of healthcare recipients, warns former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. In a wide-ranging exclusive Newsmax interview, the Texas Republican also said Sarah Palin will prove to be a far better proponent of small-government conservatism than John McCain was in 2008. And Armey agrees with House Minority Leader John Boehner's recent assertion to Newsmax that President Obama's appointment of many so-called "czars" constitutes a "circumvention" of the Constitution.
<p>With solid majorities in both House and Senate, Republicans failed to take advantage of their numbers and pass legislation that would satisfy "values voters," Dr. James Dobson told Larry King. </p>
<p>Appearing Wednesday night on "Larry King Live," Dobson said that "Republican were given a marvelous opportunity, they had a 10-vote margin in the Senate - that's about as good as it gets - and a 29-vote margin in the House, and they essentially did very little that so-called values voters care about. I think people remembered." </p>
<p>Dobson, who heads the powerful Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, added that was that this was not the "only reason that Republicans lost. There are lot of other reasons." </p>
<p>When King raised the issue of the Iraq war and asked if it bothered him, Dobson said: "Of course. It's a horrible mess. I don't believe it was a mistake. If you go back to World War II, people have been very critical of [President Franklin] Roosevelt for not responding earlier to the Holocaust that was going on. In fact he was tone-deaf to that misery." </p>
<p>The same kind of thing was happening in Iraq, when "Saddam Hussein killed at least a million people, murdered them in cold blood," Dobson said, explaining that his was part of the reason the U.S. attacked Saddam's regime. "I think that what the president did that was right and correct. ... Now we're in a mess," he admitted, adding however that "Democrats have no quick answer to this."</p>
Later, he warned that as a result of the Islamic jihad, U.S. sovereignty is in danger. </p>
<p>Speaking of former White House aide David Kuo, who has written a book claiming that the White House privately had nothing but disdain for Christian activists voters, King asked Dobson if Kuo's charges that White House aides laughed at Christian activists behind their backs bothered him. </p>
<p>Said Dobson: "I don't think that David Kuo knows what he's talking about - he was out there over in the office of Faith Based Initiatives not even in the West Wing of the White House. How does he know what my relationships or the relationships of others to senior people in the White House were? I met that man one time for about 10 or 15 minutes and now he's saying that we were taken for granted. He said we were only given 'trinkets.' </p>
<p>"What were those trinkets? The president has vetoed [embryonic] stem cell research, he has passed or signed a ban on partial-birth abortions, he has been the most consistent pro-life president in our history, twice he supported the marriage protection amendment. He's given us two absolutely wonderful justices on the Supreme Court - or it looks that way. He's done an awful lot of what we care about, and Kuo calls that 'trinkets.' The man doesn't know what he's talking about. </p>
<p>"And finally, what does he do? He says that values voters should take two years off. To whom would you say that, other than to evangelical voters> Would you say that to homosexuals? Would you say that to feminists? Would you say that to Jews? Would you say that to African-Americans? ... That is nonsense."</p>
When King raised the question of the bad blood between Dobson and former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who has called him a "thug," Dobson explained that "It goes back to 1994, because at that time 9 million new conservative voters came out and put the Republicans in power. And Dick Armey was one of them. And then, as they have done in this term, they essentially sat on it - they did very little. By 1996 and 1997 a lot of us were frustrated by that. </p>
<p>"Dick Armey is an economic conservative, he's is not a social conservative. He doesn't like to talk about marriage and about the unborn child, the sanctity of life and things like that. He wants to talk about smaller government. We believe in smaller government, too. We're economic conservatives, too, but we're also social conservatives, and he's not." </p>
<p>Dobson recalled that he gave a speech in 1998 that he said got a tremendous amount of play - "it was covered by the New York Times before that day was over," he said. The speech, he said, was given at the Council for National Policy and he recalled that at the beginning of that speech he emphasized that he was talking for himself and not for Focus on the Family, which he explained is a non-profit organization. </p>
<p>"In that speech I criticized Republicans for not keeping their word - for not doing what they said they were going to do. I also said that if this continued I would not vote for Republicans. That offended Dick Armey, and since then he's called me a "thug." </p>
<p>Dobson also defended the actions Congress took in trying to save the life of the late Teri Schiavo, who he said was not terminally ill but only severely handicapped. Saying he was not either politically or morally wrong about the Teri Schiavo case, he asked, "Since when do we kill people who have a handicap?"</p>
<p>With solid majorities in both House and Senate, Republicans failed to take advantage of their numbers and pass legislation that would satisfy "values voters," Dr. James Dobson told Larry King. </p> <p>Appearing Wednesday night on "Larry King Live," Dobson said that "Republican were given a marvelous opportunity, they had a 10-vote margin in the Senate - that's about as good as it gets - and a 29-vote margin in the House, and they essentially did very little that so-called values voters care about. I think people remembered." </p>
<p>Smile, you're probably on camera, co-starring in a video you didn't even know exists. </p>
<p>Big Brother has his eyes trained on public spaces all over the place - show up and you'll become an instant mug shot.</p>
<p>According to Scripps Howard News Service, Americans are under watch by between 10 and 100 cameras a day - depending on where they live. Warns Scripps, the way things are going, unless you're home or in a public restroom or locker room, you're probably on some snoop's camera.</p>
<p>A Scripps probe found that "at least 200 towns and cities in 37 states now employ video cameras - or are in the process of doing so - to watch sidewalks, parks, schools, buses, buildings, and similar community locales. </p>
<p>That number excludes the approximately 110 other municipalities that use traffic cameras to catch speeders and red-light runners." But that's not all. </p>
<p>The private sector is getting in on the act, installing their own security cameras. </p>
<p>Scripps says this is now a $9-billion industry, projected to more than double to $20 billion by 2010, according to security experts. Adds the news service, "an estimated 5 million video surveillance devices are in use nationwide today - and that number is forecast to double in only five more years."</p>
<p>Yet, while the cameras are watching Americans at work and at play, nobody seems to be watching the cameramen.</p>
<p>One of the dangers, experts cite, is the use of so-called face recognition technology. According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) "The first step for a facial recognition system is to recognize a human face and extract it from the rest of the scene." But EPIC warns that the "technology is inherently susceptible to error given that the computer is extrapolating a three-dimensional model from a two-dimensional photograph."</p>
<p>EPIC cites the city of Tampa, Fla. It uses the technology to scan the faces of people in crowds at the Super Bowl, comparing them with images in a database of digital mug shots. </p>
<p>Privacy International subsequently gave the 2001 Big Brother Award for "Worst Public Official" to the city of Tampa for spying on Super Bowl attendees. "Tampa then installed cameras equipped with face recognition technology in their Ybor City nightlife district, where they have encountered opposition from people wearing masks and making obscene gestures at the cameras.</p>
<p>In August of 2003, the Tampa Police Department scrapped Ybor City's facial-recognition system, citing the system's ineffectiveness as bearing heavily on their decision. </p>
<p>Scripps quoted former Texas Rep. Dick Armey, an outspoken opponent of law-enforcement-by-video camera when still a member of Congress: "It seems like we need to be giving surveillance to the surveillance. I would hope somebody in the House or Senate would raise the privacy issues."</p>
<p>Another critic, Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Thomas Nestel III, who Scripps said played a major role in his city's recent referendum on the installation of video cameras, has warned that the lack of oversight is an ill-advised invitation to trouble.</p>
<p>"Forging ahead with reckless abandon by providing no written direction, no supervision, no training and no regulating legislation creates a recipe for disaster," Nestel wrote in a March research thesis on the phenomenon. </p>
<p>"The technology is way ahead of the law," James Ross, assistant criminal justice professor at the State University of New York-Brockport told Scripps who identified him as an authority on privacy and security issues. </p>
<p>Critics are troubled by what Scripps called "the even greater absence of local, state or federal laws that specifically govern police-video surveillance of Americans, who are suspected of no crime, as they go about their daily business.</p>
<p>"Equally rare are enforceable regulations on such matters as who or what can be watched, how long images can be kept, who can see and share them, where a person's "zone of privacy" begins, and what recourse and punishments exist if that privacy is abused," Scripps wrote.</p>
<p>Yet the snoop camera craze continues, thanks, Scripps observes " to technology advances that are cutting the cost of the systems and to a bountiful spigot of federal anti-terror funds available to pay for them," with the cities of Spokane, Wash.; Kissimmee, Fla.; South Bend, Ind.; and Hazelton, Pa., deciding either to seek funds for cameras, or giving the formal OK to use them, or began installing a system, in June alone. </p>
<p>"In May," Scripps recalled "Philadelphia voters by a nearly 4 to 1 margin backed the use of cameras, and Milwaukee, Wis., joined the city-camera fraternity."</p>
<p>The question of the crime-fighting potential of the cameras remains open. </p>
<p>Scripps cites specifics: </p>
<p>In Britain, one of the world's most watched countries, a government study released in February found that the estimated 4.2 million cameras arrayed across that nation have done little to reduce crime in the decade they have been in use. As a result, officials there have decided not to install any more cameras. </p>
<p>A University of Cincinnati study in 2000 found that crime in Cincinnati dropped initially after the eight cameras were deployed but then rebounded. </p>
<p>In Minneapolis, overall crime actually increased a bit during the 11 months after cameras were installed, according to a May 10 report by city of St. Paul's mayor's office.</p>
<p>In St. Petersburg, Fla., police officials said images from cameras there had not "been successfully used in prosecution" of any crime in 15 years, according to researcher Nestel's study. </p>
<p>Notes Scripps, critics fear the government's soon-to-come "ability to construct dossiers of suspected criminals and innocent individuals alike, using networked cameras and other databases to document every aspect of a person's life and track his every move. </p>
<p>In Beijing, China, where 260,000 cameras scan the city and thousands more are on the way, authorities are doing just that."</p>
<p>David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union told Scripps "Today, every bit of information can be collated, marshaled, can be used." </p>
<p>"The question is: How much of our civil liberties do we want to trade?" New York professor Ross told Scripps. "Are we getting a fair payback [from the video cameras] for giving up our freedoms?" </p>
<p>Smile, you're probably on camera, co-starring in a video you didn't even know exists. </p> <p>Big Brother has his eyes trained on public spaces all over the place - show up and you'll become an instant mug shot.</p> <p>According to Scripps Howard News Service, Americans are under watch by between 10 and 100 cameras a day - depending on where they live. Warns Scripps, the way things are going, unless you're home or in a public restroom or locker room, you're probably on some snoop's camera.</p>
<p>A senator from the flatlands of America is promoting a flat tax alternative as an "experiment" that may lead to further national tax reform.</p>
<p>Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., held a hearing Wednesday to propose turning the District of Columbia into a flat tax guinea pig. </p>
<p>Witnesses before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the District included former House majority leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, and analysts from various free market oriented think tanks. </p>
<p>Though no local officials testified, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, a Democrat, was receptive to the idea. "I’m open to it,” he told The Washington Post. Congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., is opposed to the idea. </p>
<p>In a press release, Brownback said the flat tax would include high exemption levels such that a family with two children earning $28,000 a year would pay no federal income tax at all. </p>
<p>The system would also be voluntary for city residents. But Brownback did not believe people would stay with the current system given the choice.</p>
<p>"If people are given a chance,” he said, "they will abandon the current burdensome system.”</p>
<p>The District, Brownback said, would provide a great real-life experiment with the flat tax. </p>
<p>"Doing it in the District,” he told the Washington Times, "would give a real-world venue where we could witness what it could do for the country.”</p>
<p>A senator from the flatlands of America is promoting a flat tax alternative as an "experiment" that may lead to further national tax reform.</p> <p>Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., held a hearing Wednesday to propose turning the District of Columbia into a flat tax guinea pig. </p> <p>Witnesses before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the District included former House majority leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, and analysts from various free market oriented think tanks. </p>
<p>Florida will once again turn out to be pivotal for who wins the White House, and President Bush¹s success could hinge on the campaign to replace retiring Democrat Bob Graham.</p>
<p>Graham's retirement gives the GOP a chance to increase its razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate and secure for Bush Florida's 27 electoral votes. But first, Florida voters need to pick a Republican candidate in their Aug. 31 primary who can win in November.</p>
<p>Story Continues Below</p>
<p>The best candidate is shaping up to be Mel Martinez, President Bush's former housing secretary.</p>
<p>Martinez entered the race late but has gained momentum against the presumptive front-runner, Bill McCollum. McCollum was a popular 10-term congressman from Longwood. Though he has won prominent endorsements and done well raising money, he has failed to light any fires.</p>
<p>Others running in the GOP primary including state House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, businessman Doug Gallagher and Larry Klayman, formerly of Judicial Watch, but the race is looking like a two-man contest between Martinez and McCollum.</p>
<p>McCollum lost in 2000, while Bush squeaked by with 537 votes to win Florida, and some pundits wonder how McCollum could eke out a victory this November.</p>
<p>The former congressman disaffected the state's active social conservatives just before the 2000 election when he joined Sen. Teddy Kennedy and Rep. Barney Frank in supporting "sexual orientation" as a protected class against "hate crimes." This year, he again surprised conservatives when he came out against President Bush on taxpayer-funded stem cell research that destroys human embryos.</p>
<p>Martinez opposes the inclusion of sexual orientation in the "hate crimes" bill and taxpayer funding of research that destroys human life.</p>
<p>Martinez has been the beneficiary of several high-profile endorsements from organizations that see his candidacy as key to keeping Republican control of the Senate and re-electing President Bush.</p>
<p>The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has thrown its support behind Martinez. "He understands that America's businesses are the spark plug for economic prosperity and job growth," chamber vice president Bill Miller told NewsMax.</p>
<p>The chamber has a reputation for picking winners. It endorsed 10 senatorial candidates in 2002, and eight now occupy the upper chamber.</p>
<p>Martinez also is being backed by GOP senators including Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.</p>
<p>Jack Kemp, another former HUD secretary, has endorsed Martinez. "Mel would make a great quarterback for the state of Florida," Kemp said. "I know Bill [McCollum]; he's a good friend of mine. But look, we need somebody who can win."</p>
<p>Ken Connor, former president of Family Research Council, added his support. "Mel is a man of faith, a trusted friend and someone we can count on to do what is right in the U.S. Senate," he said.</p>
<p>Although he spent most of his career in Florida, Martinez made a mark on the Republican leadership during his three years as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He has several attributes that make him stand out in a crowded field.</p>
<p>He escaped to Florida from Cuba in 1962. At 15, he was one of about 14,000 children sent to the U.S. by their parents in a Catholic Church program. He lived with two foster families until his parents were able to come across four years later.</p>
<p>His career path took him from supermarket bag boy to Orange County chairman, the chief executive of the large county that includes Orlando.</p>
<p>Even people who disagree with Martinez politically concede that he holds strong values.</p>
<p>"With him, family values aren¹t just lip service, he really means it," child advocacy lawyer and Democrat Karen Gievers told the Palm Beach Post.</p>
<p>Martinez has succeeded in bridging the unique ethnic gaps in Florida's electorate. Cuban Americans are concentrated in the Miami area. In recent years, the Cuban-American vote has become increasingly Democrat. Though Bush carried that bloc after the Clinton-Gore administration's Elian Gonzalez fiasco created an uproar in Miami, Cuban Americans have become apathetic about the Bush White House.</p>
<p>Martinez is viewed as key in wooing these voters, as well as the rest of the state's growing Latino vote. Latinos make up an estimated 17 percent of Florida's vote and traditionally vote Democrat.</p>
<p>Mel Martinez could help President Bush win Florida and thus re-election.
<p>Florida will once again turn out to be pivotal for who wins the White House, and President Bush¹s success could hinge on the campaign to replace retiring Democrat Bob Graham.</p> <p>Graham's retirement gives the GOP a chance to increase its razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate and secure for Bush Florida's 27 electoral votes. But first, Florida voters need to pick a Republican candidate in their Aug. 31 primary who can win in November.</p> <p>Story Continues Below</p> <p>The best candidate is shaping up to be Mel Martinez, President Bush's former housing secretary.</p>
<p>A new Florida poll shows that only Republican candidate Mel Martinez could beat the likely Democratic candidate in the hotly contested Senate race.</p>
<p>The latest Mason-Dixon poll out this weekend found that if the election were held today, Martinez would pull 39 percent of the vote and match Betty Castor’s 39 percent. Castor is likely to win the Democratic primary.</p>
<p>But the same poll found that Castor would trounce Republican Bill McCollum, beating the former congressman 44 percent to 39 percent.</p>
<p>McCollum, who ran for Senate in 2000 and lost handily to Democrat Bill Nelson, has been the front-runner for much of the Republican primary owing to his early entry into the race, his statewide organization and his successful fund-raising.</p>
<p>But the former HUD secretary, who entered the race late, has gained enormous ground as McCollum failed to catch fire this time.</p>
<p>The Mason-Dixon poll shows McCollum still leading the Republican pack with 29 percent of likely Republican voters, with Martinez not far behind at 24 percent.</p>
<p>The poll indicates that the race has become a two-way race between McCollum and Martinez.</p>
<p>The six other Republican candidates trail well behind them. Florida House speaker Johnnie Byrd garnered just 7 perecent of the vote, and former Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman was well behind at 2 percent.</p>
<p>The momentum is clearly on the side of Martinez, who has moved up dramatically in the polls at the same time he has won major Republican endorsements from Jack Kemp and 16 Republican U.S. senators, including Sens. Rick Santorum and George Allen.</p>
<p>Beating the Democrat this November is critical for Republicans, who want to keep a liberal Democrat like Betty Castor out of the Senate. The Republican selection also could have national implications, with many Republicans believing that Martinez’s candidacy would help George Bush win Florida.</p>
<p>In the Democratic race, the Mason-Dixon poll found Castor with 37 percent of the vote, well ahead of her two leading rivals, Congressman Peter Deutsch with 21 percent and Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas with 10 percent.</p>
<p>Castor, the former commissioner of education and former president of the University of South Florida, has the backing of former Attorney General Janet Reno and her political machine.</p>
<p>Castor has also made "getting Rush Limbaugh" part of her campaign platform. Speaking before a group in Palm Beach, Castor was asked if she and her son, a Palm Beach prosecutor, would "help put Limbaugh away."</p>
<p>The Senate hopeful said, "It's the best suggestion I've had today."</p>
<p>Castor’s far left activism has even worried some Democrats, who are backing a group called the American Democracy Project.</p>
<p>The project has taken out newspaper ads and Web advertisements criticizing Castor for turning the University of South Florida into "Jihad University" during her tenure there.</p>
<p>The group contends that as president Castor knew a terror cell linked to the Islamic Jihad operated freely on campus, but she did nothing to stop it. The group noted that Sam Al-Arian, a former USF professor, has been jailed on charges of conspiracy to murder, and another professor is said to be the worldwide head of Islamic Jihad.
<p>A new Florida poll shows that only Republican candidate Mel Martinez could beat the likely Democratic candidate in the hotly contested Senate race.</p> <p>The latest Mason-Dixon poll out this weekend found that if the election were held today, Martinez would pull 39 percent of the vote and match Betty Castor’s 39 percent. Castor is likely to win the Democratic primary.</p> <p>But the same poll found that Castor would trounce Republican Bill McCollum, beating the former congressman 44 percent to 39 percent.</p>
<p>ARLINGTON, Va. – Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., told a dinner at the annual Conservative Politial Action Conference that he was “fed up with Hollywood weenies like Martin Sheen,” who play soldier and then trash America in time of war.</p>
<p>Delivering the keynote address at the three-day gathering, the Georgia Democrat, who is supporting President Bush for re-election this year, on Thursday derided those in his party who appear willing to let the United Nations dictate to this country on whether the United States is allowed to defend itself against those who would destroy it.</p>
<p>Miller recalled that not long ago, he had discovered a nest of copperheads in his garden, and used that incident as an analogy to the action required by the U.S. to confront those who would kill Americans.</p>
<p>“Those snakes were deadly,” he told his audience. “They threatened my wife and my grandchildren.”</p>
<p>In deciding what to do, “I didn’t ask the City Council to pass a resolution. I just took a hoe and cut their heads off. I guess you could say that was unilateral action, and you could call it a pre-emptive strike,” the senator said, in an obvious reference to those who say President Bush should have first obtained the permission of the United Nations before going to war in Iraq.</p>
<p>The president in his State of the Union speech Tuesday had noted the U.S. did not need a permission slip to defend itself.</p>
<p>Miller recalled telling his Senate colleagues when the U.S. had been threatened that we should “bomb the hell out of them.”</p>
<p>He cited Winston Churchill, who stood up to Adolf Hitler and in 1946 warned of the dangers of the Soviet Union, as the media called him a warmonger and “even Harry Truman” had offered Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin a chance to come to the U.S. and respond to Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” address in Fulton, Mo.</p>
<p>Events such as this, the Georgia lawmaker contended, were “lessons in history that Ted Kennedy never learned.”</p>
<p>During his speech to thousands of CPAC attendees, Miller referred to Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe as “Terry McAwful.”</p>
<p>Miller was introduced by Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, who said his members “are going to miss this straight-shooting senator,” who is retiring early next year.</p>
<p>Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, joked that Miller was the one Democrat who might be wondering if the many Republicans at CPAC were “conservative enough.”</p>
<p>Former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., expressed pride in the Democrat from his state, and used the occasion to pay tribute to the House Republicans who stood up to the Bush White House and voted against the massive increase in spending on prescription drugs. Barr read aloud the names of the 25 GOP members who rejected the bill after congressional Democrats rejected the president’s initial modest proposal simply to take care of the uninsured.
<p>ARLINGTON, Va. – Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., told a dinner at the annual Conservative Politial Action Conference that he was “fed up with Hollywood weenies like Martin Sheen,” who play soldier and then trash America in time of war.</p> <p>Delivering the keynote address at the three-day gathering, the Georgia Democrat, who is supporting President Bush for re-election this year, on Thursday derided those in his party who appear willing to let the United Nations dictate to this country on whether the United States is allowed to defend itself against those who would destroy it.</p>