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Blowing Smoke About Tobacco Related Deaths
By Robert A. Levy and Rosalind B. Marimont
The crusade against the tobacco industry began with a kernel of truth -- that cigarettes are a high risk factor for lung cancer -- that has exploded into a war driven by greed and bad science. In today's commentary, Robert A. Levy and Rosalind Marimont take a fresh look at the case against smoking minus the propaganda fueling the fire of debate. They argue that the claim of smoking causing 400,000 premature deaths each year in the U.S. does not hold up under close scrutiny. CATO Institute

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Lies, Damned Lies, and 400,000 Smoking-Related Deaths




THE FEDERAL LAWSUIT AGAINST THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY LACKS LEGAL MERIT

It may sound to some like a good idea to sue unpopular companies to raise funds for a popular program.  The government’s action is notice that no company or industry is immune from such lawsuits. CalNews.com






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The Late Great California Republican Party
By Raoul Lowery Contreras, CalNews.com
Ron Nehring – California Republican State Chairman – dramatically called his Republican troops to the sound of the November guns with these words. Unfortunately for him on Election Day he was alone with no one and no money behind him and his words. The November 2nd election was a disaster for the California Republican Party. Unlike the historically successful Republican Party in 49 other states with victories by hundreds of new state legislative candidates, more than five dozen congressional victories over Democrat incumbents, new governorships and U.S. Senate gains, California Republicans were wiped out for every statewide office from Governor on down to State Treasurer, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and even the state’s bookkeeper, Controller. Republicans lost statewide for three distinct reasons:  (1) Few Election Day troops on the ground, (2) rejection of and by Hispanics and (3) a broke state Republican Party led by a scandal-plagued and inept Party Chairman who destroyed what was once the most powerful political party west of New York.


Other CalNews.com contributors....
It's our fault
By Glynn Custred, CalNews.com
On March 25 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Mexican government what it wanted to hear. The United States is to blame for the violence that is terrorizing the Mexican people and that threatens the viability of their state. This situation, says Hillary, is our fault because the guns and money which fuel the violence come from the United States. It is true that without the demand for drugs in this country there would be no drug smuggling. Gun smuggling, however, is something quite different.

One test of his sincerity

By Glynn Custred, CalNews.com
Why would the administration not retain a system that would not only help the government do its mandated job more effectively, but would also help avoid fraud and strengthen national security?

Defenders of Thompson Just Like Defenders of Bush
By Richard A. Viguerie, CalNews.com
The defenders of Fred Thompson’s troubling record have not attempted to explain, mitigate, or refute any of the concerns expressed in my article, “Conservatives, Beware of Fred Thompson.” Rather, they’ve attacked the messenger.

Real issues in immigration debate
By Glynn Custred, CalNews.com
As their numbers grow, we hear more and more about the human suffering of people who have entered and are now living in this country illegally. In the context of what should be a rational debate on immigration, such appeals represent what the logic books call a fallacy.

The Virginia Tech Massacre
By Richard Rider, CalNews.com
True to form, the national TV and radio networks started in on the “inadequate gun control laws” before the bodies had cooled. By the afternoon, a spokesperson for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence was pontificating all over the networks. The gun grabber lobby is geared up for just such events – indeed, they seem far better prepared than the cops.

Congress hates milk drinkers
By Richard Rider, CalNews.com
First, consider the supposedly free market GOP's vote: 162 in favor and 57 against, passing the measure with 74.0% of those voting. These meathead miscreants DESERVED to lose the House! The Democrats actually did a bit better by milk drinkers, voting 122 to 71 in favor, supporting the bill with "only" 63.2%. Of course, these are the folks who care so much about the poor -- well, SOME of 'em care some of the time. Probably the only difference between the two parties is in the percentage of office holders who are getting big bucks from the milk farmers and dairies.

Garamendi’s Millstone
By Geoff Metcalf, CalNews.com
The horrific Executive Life debacle is a humongous millstone around the neck of Garamendi and still, to date (with the election just around the corner) he has failed to adequately address significant questions about what he did and did not do as Insurance Commissioner.

Second in the series...
Payback Delayed
By Geoff Metcalf, CalNews.com
Some fifteen years ago, as California insurance commissioner, Garamendi seized the assets of the Executive Life Insurance Company. In doing so, he allowed a questionable junk-bond player and a French government-owned bank to realize a humongous windfall despite a bunch of annuities and policyholders getting the short (and dirty) end of the stick.

Previously...
Perception vs. Reality
Executive Life: John Garamendi’s Mill Stone
By Geoff Metcalf, CalNews.com
Few people (other than the victims) remember what John Garamendi did and didn’t do as Insurance Commissioner 15- years ago with Executive Life. Some 300,000-policy holders were ‘hosed’ when Garamendi sold Executive Live to a French government owned bank and a junk bond player. Elderly and handicapped policyholders were devastated while the bank and junk bond king made BIG bucks.

Predatory lenders have had an unimpeded reign over our soldiers
By Martha Montelongo, CalNews.com
The American People are unanimously committed to the fair and mindful treatment of our U.S. Military men and women so it is unconscionable that predatory lenders have had an unimpeded reign over our military soldiers and personnel using deceptive and abusive financial practices.

Inflammatory words in wartime
By Glynn Custred, CalNews.com
In 1954 the Senate censured Republican Joseph McCarthy for clearly stepping across the line of propriety expected of a member of that body. McCarthy's wrong doing lay in the way he demagogued the threat with no evidence even against even those who were working for the enemy; bullying and harming innocent people in the process, unsettling institutions, frightening the population and providing ammunition for those who really did want to hurt the country.

Ending California’s School Spending Standoff
By Chuck Warren and Jonathan Wilcox, CalNews.com
In one of the enduring ironies most acutely found in California, no public policy is more mired in doublespeak and half-truths than the state’s system of funding schools, ostensibly places of fact and learning.

Minuteman Project and Gov. Schwarzenegger
By Glynn Custred, CalNews.com
Last Thursday Governor Schwarzenegger praised the action of the Minutemen in Arizona, a volunteer citizen's group modeled on the neighborhood watch program and designed to focus public attention on the problem of illegal immigration. During the last week of the Minuteman Project I traveled along some 250 miles of the US-Mexico border in Eastern and Central Arizona, talking to Minuteman leaders and volunteers as well as to Border Patrol agents all along the international line. After having actually been there, and having reviewed data from elsewhere, I am convinced that Governor Schwarzenegger has indeed done the right thing by recognizing the value of the Minuteman Project for what it is; a plea for the country to face a major policy issue.

No more begging for oil
By Jon E. Dougherty, CalNews.com
On Monday, President Bush played host to Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah at his Crawford, Texas ranch. Among the issues on the his agenda: Oil and, specifically, how to get the kingdom to produce more of it for the United States at cheaper rates. That the world's most powerful leader has been reduced to begging for our energy requirements is demonstrative of the sad state of American energy dependence.

Minority students are not coming up to the standards set by one of the nation’s most competitive institutions
Glynn Custred, CalNews.com
What does this tell us? It tells us that there is a very serious problem in California’s education system. Not only have the victims of this kind of discrimination suffered, but also in many cases those who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of racial and ethnic preferences.

Giving Real Meaning to Veterans Day
Honoring our past soldiers requires that we ask our future ones not to sacrifice their values, but to uphold them
By Edwin A. Locke, CalNews.com
Veterans Day arouses three emotions in most Americans: solemnity, because it celebrates the veterans who have defended our great country; sadness, because so many have lost their lives in the process; and pride, because they have fought so well.

The Tax Ratchet Effect
Jon Coupal
Those who are handy with tools will know that a ratchet is a notched, mechanical device that allows motion in one direction only. The phenomenon that taxes only move in one direction -- up -- is amply demonstrated throughout California on a continual basis. CalNews.com

Columbus Day: The Cure for 9/11
Thomas A. Bowden
Columbus Day’s celebration of Western Civilization reminds Americans why they deserve to win the war against Islamic totalitarianism. CalNews.com

Outside View: Shadows and dark alleys
Pat Nolan
This year, more than 600,000 inmates will be released from the United States' prisons. These prisoners aren't being released early; they have completed their sentences, and will be returning to neighborhoods across the country. These men and women are coming out, like it or not. CalNews.com

Multiculturalism's war on education
Elan Journo
Back to school nowadays means back to classrooms, lessons and textbooks permeated by multiculturalism and its championing of "diversity." Many parents and teachers regard multiculturalism as an indispensable educational supplement, a salutary influence that "enriches" the curriculum. But is it? CalNews.com

It's Time for Arnold to Get Bold
Jon Coupal and Shawn Steel
Two new polls show two-thirds of Californians approve of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's job performance. That's more political capital than any governor in memory has possessed. This extraordinary popularity is based in the public's perception of Schwarzenegger as an agent of change -- as someone who is steering California away from insolvency and back to its glory days. The trick is using his political capital to make reality match this perception. CalNews.com

Some of the best things about this country have been our enemies
Melanie Morgan
Strange as it may seem, some of the best things about this country have been our enemies.  Consider them: the fascist hoodlums, the Communist crushers, the make-believe mullahs who immolate their own children in the name of the Koran.  Through the years these have been the adversaries to have. CalNews.com

Vichy, California:  Feeding the nation that bites you
William E. Saracino
I find it most strange that the state of California, through its lottery, is subsidizing a French corporation. The multinational corporation in question, Oberthur Gaming Technologies, a subsidiary of Groupe Francois-Charles Oberthur, prints the tens of millions of “scratcher” game tickets for the California lottery.  The lottery will tell you  that the tickets are printed in Texas, but not that the plant’s pedigree is French, not Texan. CalNews.com

School officials show themselves to be ingrates
Jon Coupal
On March 2 of this year taxpayers in the Moraga School District in Contra Costa County did a generous thing. They agreed to dig more deeply into their pockets to fund a $325-per-houshold school parcel tax. CalNews.com

There they go again…
Martha Montelongo
There they go again… In ’92, Senator Barbara Boxer swept into office leading the chorus with the war cry “the personal is political…and men don’t get it.”  This was before Bill Clinton made all these same women into his enablers when they had to wink at jokes about kneepads being fashionable attire for sycophant women journalists. CalNews.com

Abolish the FCC
Robert Garmong
In the rush to grant the FCC greater control over broadcasters, no one has noticed that the FCC's very existence is a violation of free speech. CalNews.com

The injustice of insider trading laws
The laws that prompted the investigation of Martha Stewart should be repealed because they violate individual rights
Andrew Bernstein
Martha Stewart was investigated for the "crime" of insider trading and later convicted of obstructing justice for lying to authorities during the investigation. But the questions no one is asking are: Should Martha even have been the subject of a criminal investigation in the first place? Should anyone be investigated for insider trading? Is insider trading objectively a crime? CalNews.com

Trial Lawyer Tentacles
Bill Saracino
While U.S. Attorney for New York, Rudy Guiliani devised an exceptionally effective way to cripple organized crime – cut off their funding.  Instead of “show arrests” of dons and capo regimes, Guiliani went after their “fronts” – businesses which supplied their operating capital.  Guiliani was devastatingly effective in reducing the scope and influence of New York’s Tony Soprano wanna-be’s. CalNews.com

The “No More Reagans” Initiative
Bill Saracino
A small cabal of millionaire Republicans, tired of losing GOP primaries because they are out of step with GOP voters, has decided to change the rules.  They are bankrolling a proposition on the November ballot that would force California to adopt the election system used by that paragon of civic virtue – Louisiana. CalNews.com

Kerry, Soros, and the 'Lefty Loonies'
Jack Rains
This is more than an election; it is a fight for the soul of America. We must not allow the leadership of America and the free world to fall into the hands of the most radical member of the U.S. Senate, his cabal, and their retinue of ‘Lefty Loonies’. The once proud Democrat Party that lead the country in WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia, has been hijacked.  The apologist forces of the United Nations, Blame America first crowd are running the Democrat show. It is a sad time for moderate and conservative Democrats and for all Americans. CalNews.com

Righteous Voices Raised; Collective Heads In The Sand
Gary Mendoza
As Al Gore, Ted Kennedy and other loud voices of the liberal elite heap contempt on President Bush and provide aid and comfort to America’s enemies, their willingness to ignore fundamental facts reaches new heights. CalNews.com

Assisted Suicide: A Moral Right
Federal court's decision sidesteps fundamental moral issue
Thomas A. Bowden
In upholding Oregon's assisted-suicide law, the federal appeals court in California has reached the right result for the wrong reasons. The court sidestepped the real issue--whether an individual has a right to commit suicide--and decided the case on a technicality. CalNews.com

Well Done, Tom
Bill Saracino
Republican county chairmen in California run the gamut of effectiveness and dedication.  This year marks my 40th in politics, and during that time I’ve known county chairmen (yes, yes, and chairwomen) who were good, bad, and a few who were indeed quite ugly.  Tom Fuentes, recently retired as Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, is a stellar example of what a county chairman should be.  The GOP, both in California and nationally, as well as the conservative movement, are diminished by his retirement. CalNews.com

Garry South:  Still Walking Tall And Talking Trash
Jonathan Wilcox
You’d think the architect of Gray Davis’ strategic approach to government and politics would be somewhat reluctant these days to offer his advice on campaigns and elections. But if you thought that, you don’t know Garry South. CalNews.com

John Kerry -- the Myth
Gary Mendoza
John Kerry’s months of honorable service in Vietnam and his deliberative, ponderous speaking style have helped create an image of a principled, steady leader.  While this image has played a central role in his successful pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, it’s not supported by Kerry’s record, and it won’t withstand the type of scrutiny he’s avoided so far but will soon receive. CalNews.com

This is no time for the conservative movement’s retreads
Forget the Retreads - Send in the Marines
Bill Saracino
The attempts by Bob Dornan and Dan Lungren to return to Congress are easily written  off as “silly season” being visited upon California GOP politics. CalNews.com

B-1 Bob Dornan—The Liberal’s Candidate for Congress
Gary Mendoza
To the surprise of many, as the filing window was going down, Bob Dornan filed his papers to challenge Cong. Dana Rohrabacher in California’s 46th congressional district.  While Dornan has a national profile as a blunt and outspoken conservative, conservatives have the most to lose and liberals have the most to gain if, against all odds, Dornan’s most recent adventure is successful. CalNews.com

Anti-war Activists Ask--Why Let Facts Get in the Way of an Opinion?
Gary Mendoza
Ignoring that threat or wishing it away won’t make our freedoms any more secure.  President Clinton tried that route many times--after the first attack on the World Trade Center, after the attacks on our embassies in Africa and, again, after the attack on the USS Cole.  Our willingness to turn a blind eye towards this growing threat only emboldened our enemies. CalNews.com

Political Statesmanship, Political Gamesmanship On Both Sides of the California/Mexico Border
Gary Mendoza
Angelides is lucky about one thing.  The voters of California are likely suffering from recall fatigue.  If they weren’t, he might very well be the next so-called political leader to be shown the door. CalNews.com

A make or break week for the Schwarzenegger administration?
Gary Mendoza
Looking back several years from now, political observers may see this week as the defining moment for the Schwarzenegger Administration and among the most important weeks in recent State history.  The outcome of this week’s political wrangling may determine the ultimate success of the new Administration and whether last month’s recall was a true pivot point in California politics. CalNews.com

Economy and Democratic Desperation Continue to Grow
Gary Mendoza
Last week, the sound of teeth gnashing within the Democratic establishment was deafening.  First came the report that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 7.2% during September 30 quarter, the highest growth rate in 19 years.  A few days later, the Labor Department reported that more than 125,000 new jobs were added in October and the jobs growth numbers for both August and September were increased significantly.  Even worse, most commentators cited President Bush’s tax cuts as a significant factor in the economy’s rebounding strength. CalNews.com

Sacramento’s Summer Soldiers and Sunshine Patriots
Jonathan Wilcox
Everyone knows success has a thousand fathers, while failure is an orphan.  But this doesn’t fully explain the paternity and popularity of California’s most recent political happenings – the recall of Gray Davis and, to a lesser extent, the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger. A more apt analogy is the biting description of the French resistance during World War II – everyone was a member, but didn’t want to admit it until the Allies liberated the country and marched triumphantly down the Champs Elysees. CalNews.com

California’s Health Care System; Time for Fundamental Change?
Gary Mendoza
It’s clear that California’s health care delivery system is under significant stress.  Unless new models for delivering health care are developed, health care costs and the number of uninsured Californians will continue to spiral up. CalNews.com

A McClintock-ite for Schwarzenegger
William E. Saracino
Tom McClintock would make a great Governor, one with whom I would agree 99% of the time.  But in spite of an intelligent and gutsy campaign run with a fraction of the dollars of others, the effort is going to fall short. CalNews.com

The Nutty Ninth Strikes Again
Bill Saracino
One way presciently observed at this weekend’s GOP convention that the 9th Circuit has become “the enforcement arm of the ACLU”. So it has, which is the reason it is held in such widespread contempt by our citizens, and is the reason this latest spasm of leftist excess will be promptly overturned. CalNews.com

The Lying Liars of the Left
Melanie Morgan
As I toil daily over a hot microphone—waiting anxiously for California to fall into the ocean---I wonder how nearly every political pundit in America got our recall effort wrong. CalNews.com

Diversity Hypocrisy
Martha Montelongo Myers
The Democrats claim to be the party that protects and defends minorities. So why are the Democrats obsessed with blocking highly qualified minorities to positions of political importance? I suggest that the Democrats in the US Senate are suffering from Diversity Hypocrisy.  CalNews.com

The Racial Privacy Initiative: Motherhood and Apple Pie
Stuart H. Hurlbert
As a classically liberal, politically independent, lock-and-load centrist, the welfare of the California Republican Party is not one of my prime concerns. But I and every citizen of California have a debt of gratitude to the California Republican Party for the unanimous decision of its convention delegates last weekend to support the RPI. CalNews.com

Why Supporters of Prop. 209 Must Oppose the Racial Privacy Initiative
Thomas E. Wood
I write as the co-author and official proponent, with Glynn Custred, of the California Civil Rights Initiative (Prop. 209), the successful 1996 ballot measure that prohibits discrimination and preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, and ethnicity by state and local governments in California. CalNews.com

Schwarzenegger’s Flabby Right Flank and Pumped Up Left Wing
Jonathan Wilcox
Arnold Schwarzenegger recently scheduled his first fund-raiser and joint appearance on behalf of Bill Simon’s campaign for governor of California.  While this is certainly welcome for Simon, it is also a necessary move for the actor’s advancing foray into big-time politics. CalNews.com

Who profits the most from cigarettes? Government
Tommy J. Payne
California's smokers, who comprise only 17.2 percent of the state's population, paid more than $2.2 billion in cigarette-related revenue to the state in 2001. That's more than $6 million a day, or nearly $4,200 per minute. CalNews.com

Prison rape — it's no joke
Pat Nolan
"The opposite of compassion is not hatred, it's indifference." These words were written by a prisoner who was severely beaten after refusing demands for sex from another inmate. Washington Times

An Open Letter From David Horowitz
David Horowitz
I am utterly opposed to the campaign launched against the judicial commission and Gerry Parsky. It is a divisive and counter-productive campaign, and if continued may jeopardize the prospect of a Bill Simon victory in the fall. CalNews.com

Bush’s Preferences
Glynn Custred & James Stockdale
Slavery was wrong. Segregation was wrong. It is also wrong for the government to prefer one individual over another solely on the basis of that individual's skin color or ethnic affiliation. National Review

Ronald Reagan Helped Us Remember – And Never Forget – The Soldiers of D-Day
Mark Burson
Today is one of those rare occasions when the number on the calendar jumps off the page.  That is because June 6th is one of the few dates instantaneously known to the American People. CalNews.com

Where's the Outrage? (...no, not Chandra)
Melanie Morgan
If anybody else in fly-over country woke up tomorrow morning to read that their  Governor had squandered 60 billion dollars in 9 months, what do you suppose the reaction might be? Mild disinterest wouldn't be my first guess. But that is exactly what has happened in California. CalNews.com

The Folly of Gray Davis and the Foolishness of Price Caps
Jonathan Wilcox
An old adage offers sound advice whenever you find yourself in a hole:  stop digging. Knowing this, it's puzzling that Gov. Gray Davis, sinking in the estimation of the public, just keeps shoveling aside more dirt and plunging California deeper into the energy mire. CalNews.com

Why Moderate Angelinos and L.A. Republicans Made Hahn Mayor
Jonathan Wilcox
Winston Churchill once said, “There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.” Given the results of last week’s Mayoral election, Los Angeles Republicans and moderate Angelinos know exactly what Sir Winston meant. CalNews.com

If this were a boxing match, they’d stop it
Governor Gray, In Living Color
Jonathan Wilcox
One look at the uneasy man on television demonstrates that the state’s energy struggle has gotten the best of Gray Davis.  He may have spent the past 26 years in and around state government, but we can safely conclude that this challenge is beyond him. CalNews.com




Tribute to
Lyn Nofziger

Links to additional columnists:

KURT ANDERSEN
JONATHAN ALTER
ARMY ARCHERD
BAZ BAMIGBOYE
DAVE BARRY
PETER BART
STEPHEN BATTAGLIO
BECK/SMITH
BIZARRE [SUN]
TONY BLANKLEY
GLORIA BORGER
BRENT BOZELL
DAVID BRODER
PAT BUCHANAN
BILL BUCKLEY
HOWIE CARR
MONA CHAREN
ELEANOR CLIFT
RICHARD COHEN
JOE CONASON
DAVID CORN
ANN COULTER
JIM CRAMER
CRAIG CRAWFORD
STANLEY CROUCH
MICHAEL DALY
LOU DOBBS
DE BORCHGRAVE
STEVE DUNLEAVY
ROGER EBERT
LARRY ELDER
SUSAN ESTRICH
JOSEPH FARAH
SUZANNE FIELDS
HOWARD FINEMAN
NIKKI FINKE
MICHAEL FLEMING
ROGER FRIEDMAN
JOHN FUND
LEAH GARCHIK
BILL GERTZ
GEORGIE GEYER
JIM GLASSMAN
JONAH GOLDBERG
ELLEN GOODMAN
MARTIN GROVE
CARL HIAASEN
NAT HENTOFF
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS
INSIDE BELTWAY
INSIDE POLITICS
INSIDE THE RING
MOLLY IVINS
AL KAMEN
MICKEY KAUS
KEITH J. KELLY
MICHAEL KINSLEY
JOE KLEIN
HARRY KNOWLES
KRAUTHAMMER
PAUL KRUGMAN
LARRY KUDLOW
HOWIE KURTZ
JOHN LEO
DAVID LIMBAUGH
RUSH LIMBAUGH
HAL LINDSEY
RICH LOWRY
MICHELLE MALKIN
DICK MORRIS
PEGGY NOONAN
ROBERT NOVAK
ROSIE O'DONNELL
MARVIN OLASKY
THOMAS OLIPHANT
BILL O'REILLY
ANDREA PEYSER
JIM PINKERTON
BILL PRESS
WES PRUDEN
ANNA QUINDLEN
REX REED
RICHARD REEVES
RELIABLE SOURCE
RICHARD ROEPER
RUSH/MOLLOY
SCHLAFLY
TOM SHALES
GAIL SHISTER
LIZ SMITH
MICHAEL SNEED
TONY SNOW
JOE SOBRAN
THOMAS SOWELL
MARK STEYN
ANDREW SULLIVAN
CAL THOMAS
TV COLUMN
JEFFREY WELLS
GEORGE WILL
WALTER WILLIAMS
JAMES WOLCOTT
MORT ZUCKERMAN
BILL ZWECKER


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