The Sunday Roundup
-By Felicia Sonmez and Emi Kolawole
FOX NEWS SUNDAY
Former Solicitor General Ted Olson, a plaintiffs' attorney in California's Proposition 8 fight, gave a spirited defense of last week's ruling by a federal judge striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
"That's why we have judges. That's why we have an independent judiciary. We do not put the Bill of Rights to a vote," Olson said when asked by host Chris Wallace whether a single judge should be allowed to overrule the opinion of seven million Californians.
Olson argued that "we ask judges to make sure that when we vote for something we're not depriving minorities of their constitutional rights," noting that at in the past, as many as 41 states prohibited interracial marriage.
Asked where the right to same-sex marriage exists in the Constitution, Olson replied, "Where is the right to interracial marriage in the constitution? ... This is what judges are expected to do. It is not judicial activism. It is judicial responsibility in its classic sense."
Olson said that he is "hopeful and reasonably confident" that the Supreme Court will agree with the federal judge's decision.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), a possible 2012 contender for president, made an appearance on the show as well. Daniels said that "Washington should be doing everything it possibly can" to boost hiring in the private sector.
Daniels said that he opposes an additional economic stimulus because "it's probably not going to help the economy."
Asked about the shift from a $236 billion surplus to a $400 billion deficit during his tenure as budget director in the administration of George W. Bush, Daniels responded, "Fair enough. And you know, recessions do that." He added that "more money was spent than needed to be," but pointed out that previous deficits were "one-sixth the size of the ones we are running now."
Daniels argued in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts for 10 more years. "It's hard for me to understand why you'd raise anybody's taxes in the middle of a recession," he said, adding that the president "should have impoundment power or some sort of an enhanced power to reduce spending."
On the subject of a potential 2012 bid, Daniels said that he has "turned down scads of invitations" to visit the early primary states and has no plans to visit them anytime soon.
Pressed further, Daniels responded, "You know, Chris, you live in a world of secret agendas and code words, but not all of us operate that way." He said that people will step forward to address the vital challenges of the economy and national security, "and maybe I'll be one of them, but there's a lot of ways to contribute to that debate."
ABC: THIS WEEK
Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, said that the U.S. believes that Iraqi forces are ready to assume full control of combat operations in Iraq.
Odierno said that the recent attack in Basra "probably was" a terrorist attack carried out via improvised explosive device, although there are have been "conflicting reports." The attack, he added, is a reflection of the fact that "we have ups and downs here."
He also noted that the bottom line is not about the number of forces on the ground, but rather about continuing to sustain economic, political and military stability. "I think we have a plan to do that beyond 1 September," Odierno said.
Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff, said that his recently commissioned report on the emotional health of soldiers revealed that there's been an increase in high-risk behavior in a "very small number of soldiers." He noted that 60 percent of suicides among soldiers take place within the first term of enlistment, and that two-thirds of them are taking place back home.
Chiarelli also said that many soldiers who have been on "two, three, four deployments" continue to go back for additional deployments, even when they're wounded.
"That's one of the issues we have to get through is we try to break down stigma -- to get soldiers to understand that these hidden wounds of war are things that they've got to seek help for when they have problems," Chiarelli said.
NBC: MEET THE PRESS
White House energy and climate adviser Carol Browner discussed the continuing situation off the Gulf Coast, 111 days after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
"I think the first phase (of the crisis) is over in that the well is not leaking; it has not leaked since July 15th," Browner said. "Obviously the relief well still has to be finished; that's probably another 10 to 14 days away."
On the environmental impact of the spill, Browner said that there has been some oil in sensitive marshes and estuaries that can be cleaned "to some degree," some of which "will have to dissipate naturally." On the whole, government scientists estimate that 4.9 million barrels of oil were spilled, Browner said.
"You can't put this much oil out there and not be concerned, and that's how we responded, with a great deal of concern," she added. She also said that gulf state senators' request for 80 percent of the penalty dollars to be returned directly to the Gulf Coast "makes a lot of sense."
House Minority Leader John Boehner also made an appearance on the show. Boehner said that the private sector needs more "breathing room," arguing that when it came to the spill in the gulf and the financial meltdown, "it's not more regulations; how about we enforce the ones we have now."
On the topic of the Bush tax cuts, Boehner declined to say whether he believed the tax cuts can pay for themselves. Pressed on the matter, he said, "I do believe that we've got to get more money in the hands of small businesses and American families to get our economy going again."
Boehner also left open the possibility of raising the retirement age to 70. "There are a lot of options about how you solve this, but I don't want to get the cart before the horse. I think it's important to have this conversation," he said.
On the midterms, Boehner said that it remains "a challenge" for Republicans to take back the House, but the party has "better candidates than we ever have." He added that 100 seats are in play around the country, "and 94 of them are held by Democrat members."
Boehner also said that the issue of whether Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) should step down is "for Charlie to decide," and that "it's worth considering" a repeal of the 14th amendment, which provides birthright citizenship.
CNN: STATE OF THE UNION
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) discussed the state of the economy. McDonnell said that Virginia is "making some progress" regarding the unemployment situation. "I think the stimulus probably helped a little bit," he said, noting that Virginia had turned some federal stimulus dollars down. Granholm praised the stimulus as "critically important" for Michigan.
Asked about the potential implications of California's Proposition 8 ruling on Virginia, McDonnell replied, "None." He added that the court was "wrong to overturn the will of the people." Granholm argued in favor of the ruling, saying that it "is what the Constitution and the interpretation of the Constitution by the courts is for." On the issue of the midterms, Granholm said that the story Democrats "need to tell" is one that involves asking whether people want to go back to President George W. Bush's policies.
Asked how Republicans will fare in the midterms, McDonnell responded: "I think they're on the right track, and I think they'll be rewarded at the polls in November."
Ret. Adm. Thad Allen discussed the ongoing situation in the Gulf. Allen declined to offer a definitive answer as to whether the well was completely sealed. "If you're sitting in Barataria bay, it's still an environmental disaster," he said. Asked whether he would give BP a failing grade when it came to dealing with the spill's victims, Allen replied: "Much room for improvement."
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka criticized congressional Republicans, charging that they "stood in the way of every single jobs program." If it hadn't been for the stimulus, Trumka said, "we'd have been in a depression right now." Trumka also turned the focus on former president George W. Bush, blaming him in part for the economic slide.
The conversation turned to the Employee Free Choice Act. Trumka argued that the act is necessary because of the power of consumer spending. "If you're going to have an economy that really grows you have to have aggregate consumer demand," he said. The best way to do that is to allow collective bargaining, he continued. Asked when the bill will make its way through Congress, Trumka replied that he expects it to come before the midterms or during a possible lame duck session.
Trumka said he didn't have any regrets about opposing Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) in her Senate primary. "We think it was a good thing to do," he said. On his outlook for 2010, Trumka said that "mathematically, it's possible for Democrats to lose control of the House, but in actuality it's not going to happen."
He also said it's possible that the AFL-CIO might support Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) in his Senate bid.
CBS: FACE THE NATION
Ret. Adm. Thad Allen addressed the oil spill in the Gulf, saying that looking back, "there are some very positive things that have been done, but a lot of this stuff has never been done before." Allen said that at the wellhead, BP could get a passing grade, but their marks, as far as Allen was concerned, took a dive when it came to dealing with the victims of the spill.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins discussed California's Proposition 8 ruling with David Boies, the Democratic lawyer who joined with Republican Ted Olson to represent the plaintiffs in the case. Perkins said that the decision went against popular opinion, charged that the sexuality of the judge was an issue in the ruling, and emphasized that the battle was far from over.
Perkins said that the judge's sexuality was relevant because of a double standard, referring to pastors whose sexuality had been called into question in the past. He argued that if it was relevant in the context of religious practitioners, it should be relevant in discussions of the gay marriage case. "This is a flawed decision and is far from over," Perkins said.
Boies countered that "in a court of law you've got to come in and you've got to support those opinions, but when they come into court ... those opinions just melt away." Perkins shot back that the ruling was an "activist decision by a district-level court."
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