- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Edwards‘ ad buy

Former Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, went up on the New Hampshire airwaves yesterday with what his campaign called a major buy in the key early-primary state.

The New Hampshire ad, posted yesterday on The Washington Times’ blog Fishwrap, includes his standard stump line: “It’s time for the president of the United States to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war.”

Deputy Campaign Manager Jonathan Prince told reporters on a conference call that Monday’s “Haircuts and hatchet jobs” e-mail complaining about political attacks, as noted in this column yesterday, was “one of our best fundraising e-mails of the entire campaign.”

The campaign sent a new note yesterday with the subject “The Right Wing’s Worst Nightmare” and featuring a photo of political commentator Ann Coulter. It used her comments Monday morning on “Good Morning America” to raise money, a successful tactic earlier this year after Miss Coulter used a homosexual slur when speaking about Mr. Edwards.

Asked about it on the show, Miss Coulter said, “I wouldn’t insult gays by comparing them to John Edwards. Now, that would be mean. But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So I’ve learned my lesson. If I’m gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”

The Edwards fundraising solicitation didn’t use the entire quote; instead, it started with “If I’m going to say anything … .”

A party ‘in denial’

Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani said yesterday that Democrats are in denial about the threat to the nation from Islamic terrorists.

The former New York mayor blamed former President Bill Clinton for failing to respond forcefully enough to the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center or to later terrorist attacks, the Associated Press reports.

“Islamic terrorists killed more than 500 Americans before September 11. Many people think the first attack on America was on September 11, 2001. It was not. It was in 1993,” Mr. Giuliani told some 650 business, corporate and political leaders at Regent University, the conservative Christian college in Virginia Beach, founded by religious broadcasterthe Rev. Pat Robertson.

For Mr. Clinton to treat the first World Trade Center bombing as a criminal act instead of a terrorist attack was “a big mistake” that emboldened other strikes on the Khobar Towers housing complex in Saudi Arabia, at embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and later on the USS Cole while it was moored in Yemen in 2000, he said.

“The United States government, then-President Clinton, did not respond,” Mr. Giuliani said. “[Osama] bin Laden declared war on us. We didn’t hear it.”

In hindsight, Mr. Giuliani said, maybe it’s all clearer now, “but now is now, and there is no reason to go back into denial, and that is essentially what the Democratic candidates for president want to do: they want to go back, to put the country in reverse to the 1990s.”

Once a lobbyist

Fred Thompson, a likely Republican presidential candidate, yesterday defended his work as a Washington lobbyist, telling the Associated Press that lobbying is an important part of life because “government’s got their hands in everything.”

The actor and former U.S. senator from Tennessee added, “Nobody yet has pointed out any of my clients that didn’t deserve representation.”

Mr. Thompson, who likes to cast himself as a political outsider, earned more than $1 million lobbying the federal government for more than 20 years. He lobbied for a savings-and-loan deregulation bill that some blame for the industry’s eventual collapse and a failed nuclear energy project that cost taxpayers more than $1 billion.

He also was a lobbyist for deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was criticized for endorsing torture.

In a brief interview with the AP, Mr. Thompson said he expects to hear criticism about his lobbying activities as he moves closer to declaring his candidacy. Opponents during his Senate races in 1994 and 1996 emphasized his lobbying work.

“They’ll talk about it — probably with the same results,” he said.

Film fantasy

Michael Moore’s denunciation of America’s health care system is about to hit the silver screen. In the film’s trailer, a desk attendant at a British hospital smiles while explaining that in Britain’s National Health Service, ‘everything is free.’ But for free hospital care, Britons pay an awfully high price,” Helen Evans writes at www.chicagotribune.com.

“Just ask the nearly 1 million British patients on waiting lists for treatment. Or the 200,000 Britons currently waiting merely to get on NHS waiting lists. Mr. Moore must have missed those folks,” said the writer, who is director of Nurses for Reform, a pan-European network of nurses dedicated to consumer-oriented reform of European health care systems.

“Curiously, though, many American policy-makers seem to think that a government-managed, NHS-style system is the answer to all of America’s health care woes. Before heading down that road, however, America’s leaders ought to actually investigate Britain’s experience with state-sponsored medical care. …

“Consider waiting lists. Across Britain, patients wait years for routine — or even emergency — treatments. And many die while waiting.”

The writer added: “The U.S. health care system certainly has its shortfalls. But the solution to America’s woes can’t be found in [Britain] — no matter how many movie tickets Mr. Moore sells.”

In praise of Hitler

President Bush is actually worse than Hitler because at least the German dictator meant well when he was trying to exterminate Jewish people, former ‘Seinfeld’ sitcom writer and [former] Washington Post sports reporter Peter Mehlman contended in a rant last Wednesday on the Huffington Post blog,” Matthew Sheffield reports at www.mrc.org.

“Pointing out how many see Bush as the worst president ever, the featured Huffington Post contributor asserted that ‘what no one is saying is the one overarching reason he’s the worst: the Bush administration is the first that doesn’t even mean well.’

“Mehlman contended: ‘You could argue that even the world’s worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc.”

Mr. Mehlman wrote that Mr. Bush set a new precedent by coming into office with the attitude of “I’m so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends’ good?”

c Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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