Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Morning copy 8.16.2005


Sometimes, a sentence just leaps of the page, and you thank God that it's so clear. This ought to be the central focus of the Reagan era Roberts' memos:

Roberts said the women's letter "contends that more is required because women still earn only $0.60 for every $1 earned by men, ignoring the factors that explain that apparent disparity, such as seniority, the fact that many women frequently leave the work force for extended periods of time. ... I honestly find it troubling that three Republican representatives are so quick to embrace such a radical redistributive concept. Their slogan may as well be, 'From each according to his ability, to each according to her gender.'"

Joan Biskupic and Toni Locy of the USA TODAY dug that quote out of the Reagan/Roberts papers from the president's library. LINK.

Two comments.
1. Frequent, Extended absence from the workplace? That would be an allusion to pregnancy. So, because women can get pregnant, they shouldn't expect to be paid as much as men.
2. A Marxism allusion for those asking equal pay for equal work?

Amy Goldstein and Jo Becker grab the same section lower in their Washington Post story, LINK, but move the ball forward with Senator Olympia Snowe. Excerpt:

Roberts pulled no punches in his response. "I honestly find it troubling that three Republican representatives are so quick to embrace such a radical redistributive concept" as equal pay for comparable worth, he wrote. The pay gap can be explained by seniority of male workers and the fact that women leave the workforce for extended periods, he added.

Comparing the lawmakers' letter to Marxist dogma, Roberts said "their slogan may as well be 'From each according to his ability, to each according to her gender.' " In a separate memo to Fielding on Feb. 3, 1984, Roberts wrote, "It is difficult to exaggerate the perniciousness of the 'comparable worth' theory. It mandates nothing less than central planning of the economy by judges."

A three-judge federal appeals court panel later reversed the decision, but the state subsequently settled the lawsuit by providing $100 million in pay adjustments for 35,000 employees. Snowe, now a GOP senator, is a member of a bipartisan group of senators who will play a key role if the vote on Roberts's confirmation is close. Yesterday, she issued a statement that said, "Hopefully, 21 years later, Judge Roberts possesses an openness with respect to issues of gender-based wage discrimination and . . . I will continue to carefully and rigorously evaluate his views and 26-year record on such critical matters."

The NY Times story has that section of Roberts' memos as the kicker. The Kicker? LINK.

The Boston Globe's account of the documents includes a link to Douglas Feith and the genesis of some of Bush's War on Terror policies, LINK. Excerpt:

On matters of terrorism and the laws of war, in May 1985 Roberts sided with Douglas Feith, a Reagan aide who later rose to become undersecretary of defense for policy in George W. Bush's first term.

Both argued that the United States should not ratify a proposed amendment to the Geneva Convention granting insurgent groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization the same status as official armies.

The young John Roberts showed some discretion in distancing the Reagan White House from the Gloved One, Washington Post LINK. Excerpt:

"The office of presidential correspondence is not yet an adjunct of Michael Jackson's PR firm," Roberts wrote in a memo to his boss on June 22, 1984, opposing a request by the singer's publicist for a presidential letter praising the star's work against drunken driving.

Mike Allen and Dana Milbank of the Washington Post have two interesting items today. First, Democrats are going to act dignified and not wage a pitched battle against Roberts, unless something develops. Secondly, Republicans count, in a so-called "whip" report, 56 Senators inclined to vote for Roberts, 44 of those strongly supporting the nominee. LINK.


News analysis from the LA Times' Tyler Marshall and Alissa J. Rubin, LINK. One primary campaign for the Bush administration is to convince the American people that this process can and will work. Excerpt:

However, those tracking the negotiations in the Iraqi capital said it was hard to see what difference a week could make, noting that Iraq's main political factions disagreed on core questions about how power should be shared. For each, there is a great deal at stake and little incentive to compromise.

"It's hard to see anything that's going to change in a week," said Peter Galbraith, a former U.S. ambassador to Croatia and an expert on Iraq. "The problem is you have three different communities with very different values, very different interests, and none of them see the constitution as an opportunity; they see it as something that will take things away from them."

Bush and Condi Rice have tried to put their best face forward on this issue, USA Today/AP LINK. Excerpt:

The process is working in an orderly fashion and "I believe they are going to finish this," Rice said. The task of emerging from years of tyranny was necessarily complicated, she added.

The administration has of late found itself making huge bets on the Iraqi government plodding through difficult terrain.

In another AP rendition, WaPo LINK, the Bush administration takes the familiar tone of selling the events of the day in the manner that best suits their political motives. Excerpt:

President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice led the orchestrated U.S. effort to allay concerns that failure to meet the Monday midnight deadline was a setback.

More links...

The Boston Globe Peter Canellos says that Cindy Sheehan's protest may lead to more debate and discussions about how best to handle Iraq, LINK.

Former Presidential Candidate Bob Dole supports the write of journalists to use anonymous sources in his Op-Ed in today's NY Times, LINK.

Religious Right split on Senator Bill Frist, in lieu of his split with their doctrine on stem cell research. WaPo LINK.

FDR: 600 vetoes. GWB: 0, Christian Science Monitor LINK.

Underdog Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has promised to keep German troops out of any conflict with Iran, NY Times LINK.

If Governor Romney becomes president, his home on Lake Winnipesaukee could be the next Crawford Ranch, so says the New Hampshire Union Leader, LINK.

Alibaba.com's alleged involvement in counterfiting shows the pitfalls of business deals in a still developing China, especially for new partner Yahoo!, Forbes LINK.

Development threatens an Islamic archaeological treasure trove in Spain, NY Times LINK.


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