- The Washington Times - Friday, June 22, 2007

Subpoena showdown

President Bush headed toward a showdown with the Senate over his domestic spying program, Reuters news agency reported yesterday. Lawmakers approved subpoenas for documents that the White House declared off-limits.

“The information the committee is requesting is highly classified and not information we can make available,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the subpoenas by a 13-3 vote. They may be issued within days.

The short of it

The New York Post’s John Podhoretz has a notion about the potential candidacy of a certain New Yorker.

“God loves Michael Bloomberg,” Mr. Podhoretz said yesterday. “But our mayor will be stretching the limits of what the Almighty can do for him if he runs for president of the United States and harbors even a mild hope of winning the office. First, there is the most superficial aspect of the presidency to consider. Bloomberg is a giant in every way except for the vertical. Literally: Our mayor is 5-foot-7.

“Sorry, Mr. Mayor, but presidents in the television era, with one exception, are tall.George Bush is just shy of 6 feet. So was Richard Nixon. John Kennedy stood 6 feet. Ronald Reagan was 6-foot-1. Bush’s father and Bill Clinton are 6-foot-2. Lyndon Johnson was 6-foot-3½.

“Only Jimmy Carter scraped the sky at 5-foot-9 — and look what happened when he was president. You might say Americans have refused to stoop so low ever since.”

Campaign message

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser founded the Arizona-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy in 2003 to articulate the ideas of “liberty-minded” moderate Muslims whose beliefs are in concert with American freedoms and citizenship.

“The American public has become increasingly attuned in recent months to terrorist threats after plots for violence at Fort Dix and JFK Airport were foiled, underscoring the fact that homeland security is still the No. 1 campaign issue for 2008,” Dr. Jasser said during a meeting with The Washington Times editorial staff yesterday.

“This awareness is something for candidates on both sides of the aisle to keep in mind: The American voter is yearning for clarity, for strong, defining language about this threat. Those who aspire to be in the White House need to consider,” he said. “And if the left ever gets educated about it all, you’ll see the Michael Moores of the world running from the imams, not embracing them.”

Gaffney avenged

“ABG Films is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that will bring to an end the suppression of ‘Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center’ by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS),” said Frank Gaffney and Martyn Burke, producers of the documentary, which was funded and produced with taxpayer dollars but never made it to the air.

Producers initially accused the broadcasters of shelving their film in an “ideological vendetta,” convinced that the production demonized Muslims. It now will be broadcast on five Oregon Public Broadcasting stations. In addition, Fox News will broadcast “Muslims Against Jihad” — a companion documentary also produced by Mr. Gaffney and Mr. Burke — Saturday at 9 p.m.

“It is deeply regrettable that PBS and its Washington station, WETA, precluded the former from airing as CPB had intended during the April rollout of the ‘Crossroads’ series and refused even to view, let alone air, the latter,” Mr. Gaffney said.

“Indeed, those unfounded and, in some cases, defamatory charges will be seen for what they always were: scurrilous efforts by some of those entrusted with control of the public airwaves to suppress the voices of courageous, anti-Islamist Muslims at the very moment they need most to be encouraged and amplified.”

This just in

Should we keel over in surprise? Nah, don’t bother. An analysis by MSNBC released yesterday officially found what most readers already know: The press is liberal. The study identified 144 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

Macaca moment

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign handlers sent out a not-for-attribution memo recently slamming Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for courting Indians and Indian-Americans while supporting outsourcing, ultimately crowning her “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab).” There was a kerfuffle, and the senator from Illinois apologized Monday to the senator from New York, claiming he had never even seen the memo.

Uh-oh. It has become “Obama’s Macaca moment,” Kerry Howley of Reason magazine said yesterday.

“So is Clinton in bed with the enemy? … To whip up hysteria about outsourcing is to pit American against American; the Americans who benefit from lower prices, increased productivity, and job creation, against those whose jobs are lost to more efficient producers,” Miss Howley wrote.

“It’s a cheap shot. And when a candidate who promises to rebuild alliances with the rest of the world characterizes mutually beneficial trade relationships as violence; when his campaign casts investment in allies as a failure of fealty; you’ve got to wonder what his actual diplomacy is going to look like.”

Low blow

“Just 14 percent of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress. This 14 percent congressional confidence rating is the all-time low for this measure,” said a Gallup Poll released yesterday.

So much for the shiny new Democrat-controlled Congress.

“What’s even worse is that the previous all-time low also belonged to a Democrat-led Congress,” Rebecca Fisher of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said yesterday.

The previous low point for Congress was 18 percent at several points from 1991 to 1994, she noted.

“In six months, Democrat congressional leadership has managed to bring it all back to where they began — at the lowest congressional confidence levels in Gallup’s history. At least we know Democrats can be successful at something,” she said. “How will Senate Democrats up for re-election explain these numbers to their constituents? Democrats like Mary Landrieu, Max Baucus, Tom Harkin, Mark Pryor, Dick Durbin, Carl Levin, John Kerry, Jack Reed, Jay Rockefeller, Frank Lautenberg and Joe Biden need to enlighten voters as to why the public has lost all confidence.”

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