- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Budding Democrat

This year's presidential election, if nothing else, has been a great education for our children.
"Yesterday," Charles Dresser writes, "my eight-year-old brought me a stack of ballots. Each one had the names of all the presidential candidates. They were punched or marked in every conceivable way, from one with clear punches for every candidate to those that had dimpled chad or hanging chad or no mark at all. As she showed them to me, my daughter explained why each one of them must be counted as a vote for Al Gore."

By Clark Kent

There is absolutely no truth to the story out of Belgrade that Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica is set to deploy more than 30,000 peacekeeping troops to the United States, pledging full support to the troubled North American nation as it struggles to re-establish democracy.

U.S. stability is vital to Yugoslav interests in the Western Hemisphere, and the story notes Mr. Kostunica was firm in his message to Al Gore, the U.S. opposition party leader who is refusing to recognize the nation's Nov. 7 election results.

The Yugoslav president said until America's political figures learn to respect the institutions that have been put in place, the nation will never be restored as a true democracy.

Though Mr. Kostunica pledged to work with U.S. leaders, he did not rule out the possibility of economic sanctions if the crisis is not resolved soon.

Party's over

"It does the nation little good," agrees Rep. J.C. Watts, Oklahoma Republican, "to continue to argue a point that has become obvious to everyone but Al Gore. The point is this: George W. Bush is the next president of the United States. He won the election. Al Gore did not."

Giving us chads

It's timely, given debate over the unrecognized military absentee ballots in Florida, that Bob Smyth discovered the following tribute titled "The American Soldier" typed on a small piece of cardboard in a Vietnam War artifacts exhibit case at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us the freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier,
Who salutes the flag.
Who serves beneath the flag.
And whose coffin is draped by the flag.
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
The Rev. Dennis Edwards,
chaplain, USMC
Rather than cardboard, Mr. Smyth says, the tribute "should be on a golden plaque in Arlington [National] Cemetery and at the Vietnam memorial."

Goooooood morning, Al

Speaking of the military, hats off to more than three dozen active and retired GIs who were correct in recognizing the name of Washington communications lawyer Adrian Cronauer of Burch & Cronauer.

We'd written yesterday that Mr. Cronauer mailed us the latest craze in Florida T-shirt slogans: "My grandparents moved to Florida, and all I got was three lousy recounts."

"To the best of my memory," writes Owen Spivey, "the protagonist in 'Good Morning Vietnam' was based on the experiences of 'Adrian Cronauer,' a real U.S. Air Force disc jockey in Saigon. Is this the same gentleman, just coincidence, or a practical joke?"

That would be the same Adrian Cronauer once heard over Armed Forces Radio, Mr. Spivey wrote.

A resident of Northern Virginia, Mr. Cronauer these days considers himself a social centrist and economic conservative. He often throws his support and booming, legendary voice behind Republican candidates.

In 1996, he served as national co-chairman of Veterans for Dole, and earlier he stumped for fellow veteran Oliver North in his unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate.

I'm Placido, fly me

Washington Opera's artistic director and world renowned tenor Placido Domingo has acquired the title of "Godfather."
Godfather of the second Airbus 321 in Spanair's fleet, that is, a title bestowed during a recent ceremony in Spain. Spanair, the fastest growing airline in Europe, is honoring "living" legendary Spaniards by naming each of its new Airbus 321s in their honor.
The first Spanair A321 is the "Camilo Jose Cela," named after the Nobel Prize-winning Spanish novelist.
"In Spain, we've always recognized important people after they pass away and I think we have to honor our important Spaniards so they can receive the tribute while we still have the privilege of having them with us," says Gonzalo Pasqual, Spanair's president.

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