- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 8, 2007

Nancy’s bad day

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is having a bad day. Beyond the cries of “Fancy Nancy” from Republicans jumping on news of the California Democrat’s plane request, some said she was given less than fair treatment during her testimony on global warming this morning.

Such a committee appearance from the third in line to the presidency is rare.

Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon, Tennessee Democrat, tried to use a parliamentary move that would free Pelosi to leave following her opening statement on climate change, irking some.

“I just want to see the rules followed,” Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin objected, forcing Pelosi to stay an extra 15 minutes to take questions from panel members.

Most were friendly, but some said they were worried that climate change bills would hurt the economy.

Later, Rep. Jerry F. Costello, Illinois Democrat, told members he was “disappointed” they kept her there. Other members for decades are allowed to submit remarks without sitting for “the long ordeal of questions,” he said.

“I just have to tell you I am very disappointed and very surprised … we are subjecting the speaker of the House of Representatives to a higher standard than we have extended the courtesy to other members,” Costello said.

Responded Gordon, “I agree with you. The good news is we have a great speaker who can handle herself very well.” That statement prompted applause from the audience and its overflow room. Okay, maybe it wasn’t such a bad day after all.

— Christina Bellantoni, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

The perfect accessory for 2008?

Nothing shows your love for a presidential candidate like winter wear. Sen. John McCain sent out this e-mail, letting folks know it’s the “Last Chance To Get Your Exclusive McCain 2008 Fleece.”

The fleece, which is black and has a simple “McCain” logo with a star, is meant to generate support for the Arizona Republican’s presidential campaign, though he is still just “exploring” a bid at this point.

“Today, we are reaching out to you, John McCain’s early and strong supporters, who share our enthusiasm for a John McCain 2008 presidential bid,” the e-mail says.

The “special offer” gives donors a John McCain 2008 fleece with a contribution of $200 or more. “You can be among the first to prepare for the cold weather during next winter’s primaries and, with this fleece, show your commitment to John McCain at the same time,” it says.

— Christina Bellantoni, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

More on Edwards and the bloggers

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards today denounced the “anti-Catholic” remarks in blogs by two of his campaigns Web chiefs but said he would give them a “fair shake” and keep them on the job.

“The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte’s and Melissa McEwen’s posts personally offended me,” Mr. Edwards said. “It’s not how I talk to people, and it’s not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people.”

However, he said that “everyone is entitled to their opinion” and he took the women at their word that they didn’t intend to “malign anyone’s faith.”

Earlier today, the Family Research Council called out Mr. Edwards for hiring the bloggers.

The traditional-values group criticized Ms. Marcotte, who is Mr. Edwards’ new blogmaster, for missives such as, “The Pope’s gotta tell women who give birth to stillborns that their babies are cast into Satan’s maw. … The Catholic Church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics.”

They fault Ms. McEwan, Mr. Edwards’ Internet outreach coordinator, for demanding the “wing-nut Cristo-fascist base [keep] your noses our of our britches, our bed and our families.”

The council passed on these relatively tame passages because the women’s “scathing personal blogs, littered with profanity and barbs about the Pope [are] too obscene to reprint.”

Catholic groups have called on Mr. Edwards to fire the bloggers.

Ms. Marcotte said entries about religion on her personal blog, Pandagon, are “generally satirical [and] intended strictly as a criticism of public policies and politics.”

Ms. McEwen said she didn’t expect Mr. Edwards to share the views expressed on her personal blog, Shakespeare’s Sister. “We do, however, share many views — including an unwavering support of religious freedom and a deep respect for diverse beliefs,” she said. “It has never been my intention to disparage people’s individual faith, and I’m sorry if my words were taken in that way.”

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

Edwards vs. Catholics?

The traditional values promoting Family Research Council today weighed in on Democrat John Edwards’ hire of “anti-Catholic” bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan for Web jobs on his presidential campaign.

“The newest members of the Edwards team have a long — and unfortunately vulgar — anti-Catholic history,” the council said in an e-mail to supporters.

The group criticized Ms. Marcotte, who is Mr. Edwards’ new blogmaster, for missives such as, “The Pope’s gotta tell women who give birth to stillborns that their babies are cast into Satan’s maw. … The Catholic Church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics.”

They fault Ms. McEwan, Mr. Edwards’ Internet outreach coordinator, for demanding the “wing-nut Christo-fascist base [keep] your noses our of our britches, our bed and our families.”

The council passed on these relatively tame passages because the women’s “scathing personal blogs, littered with profanity and barbs about the Pope [are] too obscene to reprint.”

Catholic groups have called on Mr. Edwards to fire the bloggers. “This should alarm a man running for president,” the council’s e-mail said, “particularly one who told NBC’s Tim Russert last Sunday that he ‘grew up in a Southern Baptist church [and] was baptized in a Southern Baptist church,’ and who claims that religion is ‘just part of who [he is].’”

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

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