- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 17, 2004

Gas conspiracy

It’s been exactly one month since Brian J. Kennedy, communications director for the House Resources Committee, suspected that the Democratic Party was nearing completion of a four-part strategy to obfuscate simple supply and demand principles and obstruct passage of President Bush’s national energy policy.

“Here is how it works,” he said.

• “Step One: Avoid directly addressing problem at all costs. If confronted on solutions, vote No.”

• “Step Two: Bloviate about the evils of ‘Big Oil’ and SUVs (Yes, even though [senators and congressmen] drive one, are driven around in one, or have a private Gulfstream jet).”

• “Step Three: Call for investigations on price gouging, point fingers, and assign blame.”

• “Step Four: Repeat steps one, two, and three until issue goes away (prices temporarily decline).”

The third step was completed the very day Mr. Kennedy issued his prophecy. Seven Democratic state attorneys general joined a Democratic senator in asking authorities to investigate whether oil and gas companies have colluded to drive up gasoline prices.

Now, Inside the Beltway has obtained “daily talking points” provided this week to Democratic congressmen, cheat sheets of sorts instructing them what to tell the public about gas prices. As Mr. Kennedy predicted, all 10 points call for probes of gas price gouging, blame the Bush administration for being “in the pocket” of big oil companies, and blame House Republicans for “doing their dirty work.”

Sure enough, as gas prices drop nationwide this week, step four is complete.

Simple solution

In convening yesterday’s hearing on the Family Movie Act, Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on courts, the Internet and intellectual property, said the legislation would help ensure that parents can provide a wholesome home environment for their children — arguably more difficult today than when Mr. Smith was a lad.

“A generation ago, there was not near the amount of sex, violence and profanity on television and in movies that there is today,” he said. “But I still remember how my parents dealt with it. … They would get up and turn the television off.”

Kerry’s pride

“As the Nation celebrates Pride Month, I am excited to join the LGBT community in fighting for equal rights for gay Americans,” Sen. John Kerry said in a recent proclamation, using a politically correct acronym to refer to the “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender” community.

“I am committed to using the power of the White House to advance equal rights for all Americans, including gay Americans,” the Democratic presidential candidate proclaimed.

Robert H. Knight of Concerned Women for America was amused by this remark in Mr. Kerry’s proclamation: “We need to reject hate and embrace acceptance.”

Says Mr. Knight: “Translation: and we will pass laws to persecute you if you don’t.”

Dennis Juan

No sooner did we write this week that presidential wannabe and confirmed bachelor Dennis J. Kucinich has lined himself up a date, we read the following letter that Margie of Milton, Wis., submitted to a national “Liberal Hearts” contest seeking a wife for the Democratic congressman from Ohio:

“Dennis, there are thousands of us that are in love with you and would give our left arm to have a few moments alone with you. That’s our fantasy! In Madison I heard you … and then at the Democratic Convention in Milwaukee, where I was able to shake your hand. It was cold, which seemed impossible after such a fiery speech!”

Uh oh

“Seconds it took a Maryland consultant … to pick a Diebold voting machine’s lock and remove its memory card: 10.”

Harper’s Index, July 2004

Lost her bet

Up to the lectern stepped Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat: “I am here to announce the celebration of the Detroit Pistons in their sweep last night [of the Los Angeles Lakers] and offer my condolences to those members of the House, in particular from the Los Angeles area. I will not mention any names, but one, M.W., comes to mind.”

Los Angeles is the district of Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters.

• John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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