- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 20, 2006

Go figure

“Scott seemed somewhat choked with emotion as he delivered the news,” observed Finlay Lewis of Copley News Service in yesterday’s White House pool report, referring to the resignation announcement by White House spokesman Scott McClellan. “It must have been the thought of saying farewell to our sunny personalities.”

Goldilocks & Cheney

On Good Friday, Bill Press, the former CNN “Crossfire” and MSNBC “Buchanan & Press” political commentator who now hosts the “Bill Press Show” on Sirius Satellite Radio, happened to be standing on the emergency room steps of George Washington University Hospital when he suddenly felt ill.

“I felt like I was going to pass out,” Mr. Press told Inside the Beltway yesterday. “It happened once, then twice, and I said to myself, ‘Do I get back on the Metro, or do I do the smart thing and walk into the hospital?’”

“When I had a third very serious episode — I had a very irregular and rapid heartbeat — I did the smart thing and walked into the hospital.”

Before he knew it, the one-time chairman of the California Democratic Party was admitted. And instead of an ordinary room, wouldn’t you know that the nurses rolled him into what the hospital commonly refers to as the “Dick Cheney Suite.”

Indeed, it was revealed last week, the vice president in 2005 donated a considerable sum of money to the Cardiothoracic Institute at GW hospital, where he’s been treated for his heart ailment.

“I had the Cheney Suite for five days,” said the left-leaning Mr. Press, who had a pacemaker installed on Tuesday. “I suspected it was the Cheney Suite when I walked in and all TV sets were turned to Fox News. I knew it was the Cheney Suite when I found the shotgun in the closet.”

Doctors have prescribed several more days’ rest for Mr. Press — at home — before he gets back behind the microphone.

As he puts it: “It’s a good thing Mr. Cheney didn’t walk in while I was sleeping in his bed, or he would have really had a heart attack.”

Melting in 2013

For much of the mainstream press, April is traditionally “climate alarmism month.” This year is no exception, with one broadcast network distributing a climate model for personal computer use.

How reliable is this model, created by Oxford University’s climate prediction center and distributed by the British Broadcasting Corp.?

“Unfortunately, people running the model, which starts in 1920, noticed that the world was heating up much faster than it did in real life, and for some it crashed in 2013,” says British-born climate specialist Iain Murray, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute, who previously toiled for the British Department of Transport.

“This is because the programmers forgot to include sulfate pollution, which it is believed has played a role in cooling the Earth,” he explains. “An earlier version of the model suggested a 20-degree temperature rise this century, way beyond what other models predict.”

Needless to say, Mr. Murray gives a thumbs-down to the Oxford model, going so far as to label his alma mater, from which he holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, “the home of lost causes.”

After Oxford, Mr. Murray earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of London and the Diploma of Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine.

Heat rashness

Every spring they start their swarming

And fantastical alarming,

Fearing and oh-dearing

That the end is nearing,

‘Cause it’s April and it’s warming.

—F.R. Duplantier

Spare a dime?

We often make reference to the Fourth Estate, a term coined by British politician Edmund Burke during the 18th century after observing the three estates in the parliament, albeit “in the reporters gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate important far than they all.”

Now, or so one can gather from Investor’s Business Daily, the once-mighty Washington press corps has been evicted by the lawyers.

“In 1970, there were only a few law firms with offices in Washington that had as many as 150 lawyers, whereas today there are dozens in the 500- to 1,000-lawyer range,” write IBD contributors Ernest Christian and Gary Robbins of the Center for Strategic Tax Reform.

“Journalists claim that they are the Fourth Estate, and perhaps they once were. But today that position is occupied by the 200,000 or so lobbyists, lawyers, accountants and economists who are engaged in what is euphemistically called ‘legislative and policy work.’”

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

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