- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Resurgent symbol

"Virtually patriotism on wing, the majestic bald eagle swoops low over the Mississippi River, drops its talons below water line, then rises with a flopping fish in its grasp.

"Most of the crowd gathered on the ramparts of Lock and Dam No. 19 and elsewhere around this river park barely notice the catch. They're too busy watching the rest of the record number of eagles 730 by one count that have shown up for this year's Keokuk [Iowa] Bald Eagle Appreciation Days… .

"Americans love a comeback, and the bald eagle has gone from being a monument atop a flagpole to a resurrected, living, national symbol. As a survivor, the bird is starting to take on cult status… .

"In the 1990s, the nation's symbol saw a well-documented resurgence throughout the continental United States. On the brink of extinction in the 1960s, the number of wintering bald eagles in the lower 48 states has increased to between 10,000 and 16,000 last year."

Craig Savoye, writing on "America's symbol inspires awe and draws tourists," in Friday's Christian Science Monitor

Ashcroft and Hormel

"At a news conference … James Hormel contended that Sen. John Ashcroft opposed his confirmation as ambassador to Luxembourg 'solely because I am a gay man.' Sen. Ashcroft has denied this was the reason… .

"The Catholic League, which led the opposition to the Hormel appointment at the time, believes that Hormel's accusation is unfair and without basis in fact …

"On Jan. 21, 1998, the Catholic League issued a news release formally opposing the nomination of James Hormel … We did so because of Hormel's reaction to an anti-Catholic group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, during the 1996 San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade. During the parade, Hormel joined two broadcasters from KOFY-TV in welcoming the nun-dressed drag queens, laughing at their antics. Worse than this was Hormel's refusal to disassociate himself from this Catholic-bashing incident.

"On Dec. 19, 1997, Sen. Tim Hutchinson gave Hormel an opportunity to 'repudiate those who would mock the church,' but the would-be ambassador declined comment … .

"The issue all along has been Hormel's reluctance to distance himself from anti-Catholic bigots, not his sexual orientation."

Catholic League President William Donohue in a Jan. 26 press release

Reagan writes

"One day in 1998, while working her way through boxes containing the private papers of Ronald Reagan, an assistant professor of history named Kiron Skinner discovered scripts in Reagan's own handwriting for the five-minute, five-day-a-week radio spots that he broadcast in the late '70s.

"Aside from private correspondence and a few items dating from Reagan's earliest years … the radio scripts that Skinner discovered represent the only body of material in Reagan's own hand… . Soon a major publisher agreed to bring out excerpts of the material … .

" 'Reagan, In His Own Hand' will appear in February. In some quarters, the incontrovertible proof that Reagan could actually read and write was enough to cause a sensation… . Above all, it makes untenable the lingering perception of Reagan as a genial dolt… .

"To everyone who still permits himself to think of Reagan as a simpleton, 'Reagan, In His Own Hand' will prove both unpleasant and impossible to ignore… . To those of us who have always admired the 40th president, the book proves satisfying in a different way. It explains how Reagan did it."

Peter Robinson, writing on "How Reagan Did It," in the February issue of the American Spectator

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