Inside the Beltway

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APRES VACATION

The Obamas are long gone, the networks are off on some another tangent, and peace activist Cindy Sheehan is mulling over the four days she spent in Martha’s Vineyard to draw public support for her cause. But things have changed now that former President Bush is out of office.

“I really didn’t learn anything on this trip. My suspicions were confirmed on a few things, though. Sadly, the ‘antiwar movement’ wasn’t so much antiwar, as anti-Bush - and not many people are willing to compromise politics to help the people who are tragically and unnecessarily dying. Except for a handful of people, there was very little support for an antiwar message and action,” Ms. Sheehan tells Inside the Beltway.

“Would I consider running for office again? Today, I say ‘no,’ but I am not shutting any doors,” she adds.

In 2008, Ms. Sheehan ran as an independent for Congress in California’s 8th District, challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The “Peace Mom” placed second with 16 percent of the vote.

LEST WE FORGET

Plans to retool the anniversary of 9/11 into a day of service and ecology awareness are generating uneasiness in Manhattan.

“Acts of kindness are easily distorted into propaganda, issues advocacy and attempts to redefine 9/11 for political purposes. This cheapening has already happened, and in the most inappropriate place - the White House,” said a New York Daily News editorial Sunday.

“Wrong. Entirely wrong. 9/11 is not about green jobs or health care or bank bailouts or about the ideologies and egos of celebrities who are planning concerts and other performances this year. To them, hands off. And ‘remembrance’ must not, must never, be forgotten. It would be sacrilege to smother 3,000 murders under gauzy and fleeting good feelings. It would be a gross betrayal to gloss the evil that targeted - and still targets - America.”

ECO-NAUGHTY

The Green Police have arrived on college campuses, starting with the University of California at San Diego, which is building a new 1,000-bed “village” for students that must be ecologically sound - or else.

“In first-time effort to help students with their sustainability efforts, seven student ‘Econauts’ have been hired to provide peer-to-peer education. The students will work with the campus residential life staff to educate students and dining customers about ways to reduce their carbon footprint,” the campus housing office says.

Newly arriving students get a recycling bag and a reusable water bottle to be filled at “free filtered water hydration stations.” Oh, and mom, dad - dorm rooms will have individual electric meters.

“That way, awareness of the cost of energy for activities such as all-night gaming, and use of plasma TV, stereo and [PlayStations], is built in,” notes Mark Cunningham, director of the Housing, Dining and Hospitality Department

NO SMALL CHANGE

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About the Author
Jennifer Harper INSIDE THE BELTWAY

Jennifer Harper INSIDE THE BELTWAY

A graduate of Syracuse University, Jennifer Harper writes the daily Inside the Beltway column and provides additional coverage of breaking national news, plus long-term trends in politics, media issues, public opinion, popular culture, Hollywood foibles and “eureka” moments in health and science.

She has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Citadel Broadcasting, ...

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