- The Washington Times - Monday, May 24, 2010

SLICK OPPORTUNITY

The BP oil spill is hideous. But it also presents a golden opportunity for advocacy groups with high-profile fundraising and political activism on their minds. Greenpeace already has daubed a Shell Oil drilling supply ship with the words, “Arctic Next?” written in oil from the spill. The Sierra Club has created a fundraising effort from Rush Limbaugh’s recent waggish suggestion that the group “pick up the tab for the leak.” The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization are to announce the 15 national parks “most at peril” on Wednesday, casting the spill as a “manifestation of our country’s dangerous over-dependence on fossil fuels.”

The National Park Foundation - official charity of America’s national parks - launched the National Parks Disaster Recovery Fund; the National Wildlife Federation also inaugurated instant fundraising conducted via phone texting to benefit wildlife affected by “the senseless tragedy.”

The Climate Alliance, founded by Al Gore, has weighed in on the “tragic event,” with Chief Executive Maggie Fox advising, “If we want to truly protect our environment, our national security and our economic well-being, President Obama and the Senate must step up their efforts to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation.”

The legal realm also is percolating. The Food & Water Watch has filed a federal lawsuit seeking a temporary injunction to halt operations on another BP oil-drilling platform, deeming the site “a ticking time bomb.” The experts also arriving: Robert F. KennedyJr., described by HB Litigation Conferences as “an international leader in environmental protection efforts,” will be on the faculty of an upcoming two-day networking conference for lawyers interested in liability of the spill, already awash with 100 lawsuits and counting.

DREAMING OF DRONES

“I would ask you, as overseas operations in Iraq and Afghanistan permit, to consider the wider deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles along our nation’s southern border. I am aware of how effective these assets have become in operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and it seems UAV operations would be ideal for border security and counter-drug missions.”

(Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, in a letter to President Obama requesting that Predator drones be added to the state’s arsenal)

JUST ADDED

Combating Racism Allegations is a public workshop and forum for the Tea Party Unity Convention, scheduled for July 15 through 17 in Las Vegas. Also on the program: How to Raise $50,000 in 90 days, Losing Our Religion, and Freedom of Information Act and Open Government Laws. Organizer Judson Phillips tells Inside the Beltway that the festivities also include the Tea Party Nation Conservative Film Festival, the Ronald Reagan Film Awards and the Conservative Book Fair, plus speakers Lou Dobbs, Joseph Farah, Andrew Breitbart, Neal Boortz, Michael Reagan, Mark Thiessen, Tom Fitton, Richard Viguerie and 15 more.

ALSO JUST ADDED

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will honor Paul McCartney on June 2 with a tribute concert in the East Room boasting performances by Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Faith Hill, Dave Grohl, Herbie Hancock, Emmylou Harris, Jack White and the Jonas Brothers,and uh, Jerry Seinfeld will pay tribute to Mr. McCartney, who is to receive the Library of Congress’ George and Ira Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

PBS will broadcast the whole thing July 28 for everyone whose invitation was lost in the mail.

CRUDE PHILOSOPHY

Advice for everybody from Politickles editor F.R. Duplantier:

O SPILL

With dispersants and skimmers and booms,

Well contain the contaminate blooms,

Stop the Slick from Chicago

More toxic than Blago,

And avert the disaster that looms.

CROSS ROADS

A crash course in First Amendment rights? The American Center for Law and Justice is filing a federal lawsuit against a New York school that suspended a seventh-grader on Monday for the second time after he wore a rosary to school. Raymond Hosier was also sent home last week from Oneida Middle School in Schenectady.

“The continuing action taken by the school district in punishing Raymond for wearing a rosary to school violates the constitutional rights of our client,” said chief counsel Jay Sekulow, who is representing the boy and his mother. “Under the law, Raymond has a First Amendment right to wear his Rosary to school.”

In a “demand letter” to the Schenectady City School District superintendent, the Board of Education and the school principal, Mr. Sekulow reminded the educators that “Raymond’s rosary is a form of symbolic speech” and that the young man, who has no prior disciplinary issues, also wore the rosary as a memorial to his brother and an uncle - both deceased.

POLL DU JOUR

86 percent of New York City voters say they are “going about life as usual” following the failed attempt to bomb Times Square.

69 percent are still worried about another terrorist attack in the city.

85 Percent approve of how city police handle terrorism, 71 percent approve of how Mayor Michael Bloomberg handles it.

65 percent approve of how President Obama deals with terrorism.

61 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats say civil liberties should “take a back seat to safety.”

Source: A Quinnipiac University Poll of 797 New York City voters conducted May 17-19.

Jaunty rhyme, pushy press releases to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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