Pop and politics: … no, not this, but this.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect George W. Bush (news – web sites) drew more cheers than the platinum-selling pop singers with whom he shared the stage on Friday during a pre-inauguration youth concert.

Pop acts Destiny’s Child, Jessica Simpson, Lee Ann Womack and 98 Degrees performed and Bush briefly addressed the thousands who attended the two-and-a-half-hour event at the MCI Center in Washington. A number of Bush Cabinet nominees spoke at the event in between the performances.

Several singers mixed politics with their music.

Destiny’s Child singer Beyonce encouraged the crowd to “say Bush” when she was not exhorting them to wave their hands in the air. Jessica Simpson changed the chorus of one of her hit singles to: “George, I think that I’m in love with you/I’ve been doing silly things when it comes to you.”

It’s different for Deutch: A guilty plea, no prison time and the loss of his security clearances. No jail time, no fines, no charges of mishandling.

The Justice Department initially declined to prosecute Deutch in 1999 after a yearlong review of the case. When Deutch left the CIA in December 1996, CIA security officials had discovered he had written and stored highly classified intelligence reports on home computers linked to the Internet. Deutch has publicly apologized for his behavior. But Attorney General Janet Reno ordered a review of the case after the CIA inspector general later completed a report on the episode. Prosecutor Paul Coffey concluded that criminal charges should be filed.

Some observers had noted that a prosecution of Deutch was initially declined but that the government filed 59 felony charges against fired scientist Wen Ho Lee over his handling of nuclear weapons secrets at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Some questioned whether that was evenhanded treatment.

But prosecutors always viewed the two cases quite differently. Deutch was mishandling classified data that he was working on as part of his job, they noted. But Lee, without authorization, downloaded secrets unrelated to his work, which they considered more suspicious. Lee had been the subject of an espionage investigation, but the government never charged him with spying.

Last September, Lee pleaded guilty to one felony count of mishandling secrets and was released after nine months of pretrial detention in a plea bargain in which he agreed to tell the government how he disposed of copies he made of the secret data.

With a song in my recently aerobically stimulated cardiac muscle: The manila folder was still in the drawer where I’d left it. It contained the workout logs I kept when I started going to Club One City Center last year. Two rows on the top page were still empty, so I marked the date next to the last one I’d filled in six months ago, shortly before quitting the gym. A sip of water from the fountain, a few minutes’ desultory stretching on a bleached towel atop a flat grey mat and I was off to the races.

Monday I just went through the motions, not even trying to meet the minimum standards of the reps and sets suggested by my old trainer. Yesterday was better: I kept my eyes closed, my breathing slow and regular and mindful. Multitasking’s not called for on a treadmill or an abdominal machine. No windows to open, no messages to answer. You do what the machine recommends, pause, repeat, pause, dab at your brow and move along. I did have Caetano Veloso’s CD “Livro” the first time, and maybe I’ll bring it along next time.

The song in question, “Manhata,” keeps me in the moment without nostalgia and inspires neither temporal nor geographical longing, because it makes me feel content and still and gracious and it pins me in wonderment beneath horns, strings, nylon guitar strings and clearly enunciated, softly whispered lyrics.

Leaving Chico Buarque behind, it’s time to talk about “Manhata”. This song is a cross-breed of Sousandrad and Lulu Santos, who deserves more than this song, by the way. Chico Buarque does not share our (mine and Lulu’s) view of Manhattan. The reference to the rhythm’n’blues producers wouldn’t interest him. Maybe the inconspicuous one in “Livro”, in which Julien Sorel, inside a cave, writes a book at dusk and burns it at dawn, would. The desire to combine modern street percussion from Bahia with cool, sophisticated sounds came during my European tour with “Fina Estampa”, when I listened to records of Miles Davis with Gil Evans and of Joao Gilberto singing “Baixa do Sapateiro”. With “Manhata” I accomplished this fusion.

The problem with Ashcroft: … and the issue seemingly lost on those who believe he doesn’t have a “racist” bone in his body is plain as day to Norman Solomon.

In the New York Daily News, Stanley Crouch noted that Southern Partisan introduced the interview by touting Ashcroft as a “champion of states’ rights and traditional Southern values.”

Crouch pointed out: “Those are code words for white supremacist ideas about the Civil War, segregation, genetics and so on. Code is now very important, even to those in the boggiest wilds of the far right. They, too, know that in politics it might be best to move under camouflage until you get where you want and can begin opening serious fire against your enemies.”

Right now, if John Ashcroft gets where he wants, he’ll be moving into the office of the attorney general of the United States.

In the Boston Globe, columnist Derrick Z. Jackson has been eloquent about what’s at stake. “The nation’s top law enforcer cannot be someone who vacillates between civil rights and Civil War fantasies,” Jackson wrote. And he concluded: “When Ashcroft says the traditionalists must do more, America should tremble. The nomination is so perverted, it should follow the final path of his Confederate heroes. It should be driven off in a scorched-earth campaign.”

But John Ashcroft and his strongest allies — on Capitol Hill and in the news media — are going all out for Senate approval of his nomination. They have plans. And they’re not just whistling Dixie.

Finally!: A reason to read the Daily Cal on the regular!

My name is Arian White and no one will take me seriously. Yes, I am an icon. So are you, and our iconography is even more apparent in this “PCU”-like university. I’m black so I’m an athlete. You’re Asian, so you are a foreigner. You are Chicana, so you like lowriders. You’re gay, so you’re sex-crazed. You’re disabled, so you’re incompetent. You’re a woman, so you’re here finding your husband. You’re Indian, so where’s your accent? You are white, so you hate me.

As horrible as it sounds, this type of thought pervades society. These ideals only manifest themselves at Cal because of their prevalence in our greater American society. And as long as such ignorance pervades our society there will eventually be Jews named Adolf, Japanese people named for Manzanar, and blacks named Arian White.