- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Stop the presses

ABC News reporter Brian Ross reports that Justice Antonin Scalia missed the September swearing-in of John G. Roberts Jr. as the new chief justice of the United States because Justice Scaliahad a prior commitment to attend a legal seminar sponsored by the Federalist Society at a resort in Bachelor Gulch, Colo.

Mr. Ross, the network’s chief investigative reporter, apparently was eager to pin something scandalous on the justice in his story at www.abcnews.go.com. He came up with this:

“One night at the resort, Scalia attended a cocktail reception, sponsored in part by the same lobbying and law firm where convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff once worked.”

Mr. ‘Nonpartisan’

Hill Democrats and the so-called mainstream media have made much of a recent Congressional Research Service report that asserted President Bush had violated the law by allowing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on phone calls to the United States from suspected terrorists overseas.

In fact, Democrats such as New York Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as most media outlets, have practically grafted the word “nonpartisan” to the front end of that agency’s name.

However, this is Washington, and nothing is quite that simple. What you probably haven’t heard is that the author of the report, Alfred Cumming, is a registered Democrat who served as staff director for the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence undersince-retired Sen. Bob Graham, Florida Democrat.

And you probably haven’t heard that in December the “nonpartisan” Mr. Cumming also authored a 15-page memo for the Congressional Research Service that shored up Democrats’ claims that President Bush lied about pre-Iraq war intelligence.

That earlier report said the president and his most senior advisers have access to “a far greater overall volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence Information” than Congress.

The “nonpartisan” Mr. Cumming contributed $1,250 to Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, according to the Web site www.tray.com.

Rendell’s rebuke

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, expressed disappointment yesterday in how some Democratic senators treated Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. during recent confirmation hearings for the nominee to the Supreme Court.

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