- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 20, 2001

Mugged by reality
Is the American Jewish community prodded by none other than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton rethinking its leftist loyalties?
A recent drift of Jews away from their traditional attachment to "left-liberalism," especially in New York, has been charted by a leading national coalition of Jews and Christians.
"Irving Kristol defined a conservative as a liberal who has been mugged by reality," says Toward Tradition President Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who draws this column's attention to a cluster of recent events.
"First, in the New York mayoral race, what had been thought to be impossible happened a second consecutive Republican, Michael Bloomberg, was elected mayor," Mr. Lapin points out. "More shocking, he was elected with 52 percent of the Jewish vote."
Then there's Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat, who has startled everybody Jews and atheists alike by calling American Taliban John Walker "a traitor to our country," while expressing hearty support of President Bush's war efforts, including his order to try terrorists before military tribunals.
"These comments are quite out of line with some of Senator Clinton's left-leaning colleagues," observes Mr. Lapin, who stresses that Mrs. Clinton is no doubt seeking to reflect the patriotic view of her state's hard-hit constituents.
"What's really interesting here is the Jewish angle," he says. "To the extent that the state Hillary Rodham Clinton represents is dominated by New York City, the quintessential Jewish town, we may be seeing a revival of common sense in the American Jewish community as a whole."

Money trails of a number of activist foundations that are increasingly telling Americans how to go about living their lives are being uncovered by the Washington-based Guest Choice Network.
"Essentially, what we've done over the past year is compile some 100,000 pages of [Internal Revenue Service] documents," network spokesman Mike Burita tells Inside the Beltway, "going through foundation funding, profiles and financial data on some of the leading activist groups.
"And what we found is a pretty impressive network of funding and some interesting connections that people might want to be aware of," he says.
The network, a coalition of America's leading restaurant chains and tavern operators positioning itself as a first line of defense "against groups that want to tell you what not to eat, what not to drink, and what not to smoke" found, as one example, that the Ben & Jerry's Foundation has given $10,000 to Mothers for Natural Law, which the network labels "a radical anti-food-technology group that is operated by disciples of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi."
The network not only has been examining the financial records of similar activist groups Greenpeace USA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Organic Consumers Association and United Poultry Concerns, to name a few but also foundations such as the Barbara Streisand Foundation, the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Also falling under the restaurant group's microscope are dozens of outspoken celebrities, from Pamela Anderson and Casey Kasem to Bill Maher and Yo-Yo Ma, who enjoy telling others what's good and bad for them.
All the money trails and activities of foundations and celebrities alike are updated monthly over the network's new Web site, activistcash.com.

Hanks and Hume
Yes, that's Fox News Washington anchor Brit Hume lacing up his sneakers to run a leg of the Olympic torch relay through Washington (well, actually Arlington, but close enough) tomorrow, joining an elite group of Washington torchbearers that includes former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and actor Tom Hanks.
"This is the closest I'll ever get to the Olympic Games," Mr. Hume tells Inside the Beltway. "If they're using people like me to carry the torch, I hope there is plenty of lag time before they need to get it into Salt Lake City."
Mr. Hume, in all seriousness, says he was honored to be among those selected by the Olympic Committee to carry the Olympic flame. The Washington-area flame bearers are among 11,500 "Inspirational Torchbearers" who are carrying the flame through 46 states in 65 days.

Regarding our several items on the D.C. government continuing to send certified letters to the late Luther Miller, who died in 1976, in an attempt to collect an old debt, Inside the Beltway reader Michael W. Hansrote of Tempe, Ariz., says it used to be that two things in life were certain: taxes and death. We can now scratch the latter.
"Not even death can save you from them," Mr. Hansrote notes.

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