- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 8, 2007

Pelosi’s ride

What, no Prius? As if all the turbulence over her request for a personal aircraft were not enough.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tooled down to Capitol Hill in a nice, government-owned black Chevy Tahoe sport utility vehicle to act as lead witness yesterday at a global-warming hearing held by the Science and Technology Committee, observed Richard Miniter, Washington editor of Pajamas Media. He did the math on the ride.

“The Tahoe emits 11 tons of greenhouse gases per year, according to U.S. Department of Energy. The agency ranks it as ‘one of the worst’ vehicles on the road, … 15 miles per gallon in city driving,” Mr. Miniter continued, noting that Mrs. Pelosi’s vehicle is exempt from federal gasoline taxes.

Still, she voted to raise the federal gasoline tax five times in the past six years and is chauffeured by the U.S. Capitol Police.

“Everyone had a hunch that Speaker Pelosi was a limousine liberal, but the hypocrisy in this takes it to a whole new level,” Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the Republican Study Committee, told Mr. Miniter.

By the numbers

A Harris survey of more than 10,000 Americans reveals some noteworthy political trends. Although Democrats still hold a lead over Republicans, conservatives continue to outnumber liberals by a wide margin (37 percent to 19 percent, an increase from a 34 percent to 20 percent margin in 2005).

Moderates have dropped and now are even with conservatives at 37 percent, a change from 2005, when they outnumbered conservatives by a 42 percent to 37 percent margin.

Between 1969 and 2006, the Democratic lead over Republicans fell from 21 percentage points in the 1970s, to 11 points in the 1980s and seven points in the 1990s. The lead has averaged six percentage points since 2000.

The nationwide survey of 10,032 adults was conducted by telephone between February and November last year; it has a margin of error of one percentage point.

Daddy has spoken

John Edwards did not jettison the two political bloggers who brought him both bad press and Catholics’ ire. Mr. Edwards issued this statement yesterday:

“The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte’s and Melissa McEwen’s posts personally offended me. 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. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it’s intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I’ve talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith.”

And what did the two naughty girls do? In their personal blogs, Miss McEwan referred to President Bush’s “wingnut Christofascist base,” while Miss Marcotte commented on Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexual assault, “Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.”

Philip Klein of National Review Online yesterday observed about the lack of punishment: “So, the angry left showed him who’s boss after all.”

Exhibit A

New York Times publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger has shed some light on how he envisions his newspaper in the greater scheme of things.

“We are curators — curators of news,” Mr. Sulzberger told Ha’aretz yesterday, also predicting that the Times would be available only online within five years.

By the book

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? So help you God — or Allah, suggests a bill in the North Carolina Senate.

Washington Times reporter Audrey Hudson noted that the bill to “clarify the existing law on administration of oaths” was introduced Wednesday. It would no longer require that the Bible be used when being sworn to testify in court cases.

State Sen. Eleanor Kinnaird, a Democrat, is sponsoring the measure that says witnesses may place their hand “upon the Bible or any text sacred to the party’s religious faith. If appropriate to the person’s religious faith, the words ‘so help me God’ may be deleted.”

Her bill replaces existing language that says judges and others empowered to administer oaths “require the party to be sworn to lay his right hand upon the Holy Scriptures in token of his engagement to speak the truth.”

The six-term senator and lawyer also writes that “officials empowered to administer oaths are not required to provide sacred texts other than the Bible.” In other words, bring your own Koran.

The legislation follows newly elected U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s ceremonial oath during which the Minnesota Democrat swore his allegiance to the country with a Koran. The legislation also could affect a lawsuit in North Carolina in which a Muslim woman is suing the state because she was not allowed to swear her oath on the Koran in court.

E flat

Run for the hills, everybody. Al Gore is organizing a concert that he says will be “bigger than Live Aid” and coordinated in Washington, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Kyoto. He will announce his intentions in London today, according to the Financial Times. The big hoopla, scheduled for July 7, will showcase “major broadcasters and media owners aiming to extend the reach of public awareness of global warming.”

Organizers hope to involve up to 2.5 million people; Mr. Gore is promising a lineup of artists to “dwarf” previous charity concerts.

“This is about effecting systemic change,” an anonymous source told the Times.

The paper also judiciously noted, “These actions are likely to include personal pledges to reduce emissions, for instance by using energy efficient equipment or flying less.” Yes, well. Mr. Gore makes a pretty hefty carbon footprint as owner of two big homes totaling 14,000 square feet, plus he flies most everywhere on a private jet supplied by Paramount.

Power trio

Lynne V. Cheney, Michael Reagan and Haley Barbour on Tuesday replaced three members of the Ronald Reagan Alumni Association Board who died last year, Washington Times reporter Ralph Z. Hallow reports.

Mrs. Cheney, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, is the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney. Michael Reagan is the son of the late president. Mr. Barbour, a former Republican National Committee chairman, is the governor of Mississippi.

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, who served for four years as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, with the title of ambassador and the rank of Cabinet officer who broke with the neoconservative movement in later years, died Dec. 7. Lynn Nofziger, a traditional conservative, former newspaper reporter and Mr. Reagan’s first White House political director, died March 27. Caspar Weinberger, Mr. Reagan’s defense secretary and one of his strongest advocates of a missile defense system popularly known as “Star Wars,” died March 28.

• Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.

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