Rudy's Analysis

Article excerpt

Byline: Greg Pierce, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Rudy's analysis

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani thinks he knows why Sen. John F. Kerry made no mention of Israel in accepting the Democratic presidential nomination last week.

"It's a case of trying to be all things to all people," Mr. Giuliani told the New York Post. Earlier this year, Mr. Kerry told an Arab-American group that Israel's border fence is "a barrier to peace," but he later told Jewish groups that it was legitimate self-defense, Mr. Giuliani noted.

"When you speak on national TV, when you're talking to both, you can't say anything, because you can't have it both ways. ... I have no real assurance of where Kerry is going to be on Israel," the Republican ex-mayor said.

Mr. Giuliani added: "The contrast is that if President Bush is your friend, he's your friend - and he's not going to say one thing to [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon and another to the Arabs."

Hastert's goal

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert says he hopes to replace the income tax with a national sales tax or a value-added tax, Matt Drudge writes at www.drudgereport.com.

"People ask me if I'm really calling for the elimination of the IRS, and I say I think that's a great thing to do for future generations of Americans," the Illinois Republican says in his new book, to be released tomorrow.

"Pushing reform legislation will be difficult. Change of any sort seldom comes easy. But these changes are critical to our economic vitality and our economic security abroad," Mr. Hastert writes in "Speaker: Lessons From Forty Years in Coaching And Politics."

"If you own property, stock, or, say, 100 acres of farmland and tax time is approaching, you don't want to make a mistake, so you're almost obliged to go to a certified public accountant, tax preparer, or tax attorney to help you file a correct return. That costs a lot of money. ...

"By adopting a VAT, sales tax, or some other alternative, we could begin to change productivity. If you can do that, you can change gross national product and start growing the economy. You could double the economy over the next 15 years. All of a sudden, the problem of what future generations owe in Social Security and Medicare won't be so daunting anymore."

Democrat for Bush

The mayor of St. Paul, Minn., broke Democratic Party ranks to announce his support for President Bush's re-election.

"George Bush and I do not agree on a lot of issues," Mayor Randy Kelly said Sunday. "But in turbulent times, what the American people need more than anything is continuity of government, even with some imperfect policies."

Mr. Kelly, who is remaining a Democrat, said the economy is going in the right direction, the Associated Press reports. "There's no reason to believe a change of course will produce better or quicker results," he said.

And the mayor said the United States will bring the troops home from Iraq a lot sooner if "we don't try to bring in a whole new leadership team to run the show."

"We must stay the course," he said.

Unconventional

"The Democratic convention that concluded last week was highly unusual," John Fund writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.

"The delegates were so anxious to defeat George W. Bush that they papered over many of their differences in order to project a rare image of Democratic unity. An almost continuous parade of veterans, retired generals and John Kerry's Vietnam comrades were trotted out in an effort to lay to rest the party's perceived national security weaknesses," Mr. Fund said.

"Democrats appeared to be taking a page from the Republican game plan of 2000, when the Bush campaign used the party's Philadelphia convention as a chance to showcase 'compassionate conservatism' with an array of speakers from minority communities and downtrodden backgrounds. …