- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Piccadilly Circus

Visiting Britain this week to actually debate whatever similarities there are between terrorism and global warming is lawyer Christopher C. Horner, Washington counsel to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“How I looked forward to attending the long-scheduled event here in London at which British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s chief science adviser, Sir David King, was to discuss his hysterical claim that global warming is a greater threat than terrorism, along with another non-expert on terrorism — Greenpeace’s chief ‘climate’ adviser,” Mr. Horner told Inside the Beltway yesterday.

Here is the precise wording of the event, mailed to invitees on July 1 (obviously, before London’s recent string of deadly terrorist attacks): “Is climate change really a greater threat than terrorism? Join the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir David King and Charlie Kronick, chief policy adviser for Greenpeace, to discuss this environmental issue and more.”

As Mr. Horner pointed out: “Given they are both on record in the affirmative, this was hardly ‘the Great Debate.’ Oh, those intrusive realities, however.

“Recent London events in the form of an actual threat confronting society cast an uncomfortable context for this lack of proportion and perspective, what with the [London subway] tunnels still stained with blood and as many as 11 Britons buried in the rubble at Sharm el Sheik,” he said, referring to the Egyptian Red Sea resort, the site of terror bombings last week.

So yesterday, the “climate-worse-than-terrorism” event was airbrushed into a simple inquiry: “Were the [Group of Eight] promises on climate change hot air?”

Stop the presses

Former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, host of “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America” radio show, couldn’t believe his ears yesterday when interviewing White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. CardJr.

In the space of five minutes, Mr. Card not once, not twice, but four times labeled Supreme Court nominee Judge John G. Roberts Jr. a “conservative.” Not that anybody else would be surprised; it’s just that the Bush White House has been coy about it until now.

“We think this is a new or unique adjective coming from the White House — perhaps to settle any ‘movement’ concerns, to remove any doubt,” says show producer Seth Leibsohn.

Here’s a partial transcript:

Mr. Bennett: “Let me ask you a couple of concerns that I have expressed. It is hard for the liberal critics to get a grip on the guy, but that’s a complaint that some of us have on the conservative side, too, or what you might refer to us as the ‘crazy’ side.”

Mr. Card: “I would never call you crazy, Bill.”

Mr. Bennett: “Thank you, but can’t we say the guy is conservative? Is he a conservative? Do you think he’s a conservative?”

Mr. Card: “I think he’s a good, solid conservative. You know, I worked with John Roberts in the Reagan White House. He’s extremely smart … and dedicated to serving President Reagan at the time. … I’m quite comfortable he’s a conservative and also respectful of the role he has to play as a judge.”

Mr. Bennett: “But it seems as if the guy has to be quiet to be nominated as an ideal candidate, and can’t push his views. … ‘Boy, if our guy expresses his view he’s disqualified.’ We checked the adjectives back in [Justice David H.]Souter’s days — ‘judicious,’ ‘quiet,’ ‘thoughtful,’ we [now] hear some of the same adjectives. Can you reassure me, Andrew?”

Mr. Card: “I have known John Roberts for a long time, and am quite confident that what you see is what you’ll get, and he is a conservative. He’s grounded in good, solid principles, has got a great character to him. He is a man of his word. As he served Ronald Reagan is how he will serve the country, and that was as a conservative.”

Future leaders

There’s cause for celebration at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, founded in 1839 and alma mater of Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, numerous congressmen, ambassadors, governors, Rhodes scholars, Pulitzer Prize winners, college presidents and Hollywood actors.

The school’s Young Republicans Club has just been selected as the Outstanding TAR Club of the Year at the National Teenage Republicans (TAR) convention in Washington.

“Our club was cited for our positive agenda, community service, size — we’re the largest club in the country — outstanding speakers and innovation,” says club faculty adviser G. Craig Stewart III. “Needless to say, the members and I are thrilled to receive this recognition.”

This past school year, more than 200 students — about half the student body — joined the Young Republicans Club. The boarding school’s 420 students come from 28 states, the District of Columbia, and 15 foreign countries.

And yes, the school has a spirited Young Democrat Club as well.

“We co-hosted an election-evening TV-watching party in Bryan Library with the Young Democrat Club,” Mr. Stewart recalls of November 2004. “They came in happy based on exit polls, and we left happy based on actual votes.”

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

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