- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2001

What's his name
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is having a difficult time fingering one Republican congressman it accuses of fiscal irresponsibility.
In a memo to the Washington press corps detailing how Rep. Adam H. Putnam, Florida Republican, first pledged to strengthen and protect Social Security, only to then turn around and "raid $9 billion from the Social Security surplus," the DCCC first identified the congressman as "Rob" Putnam.
If that's not irresponsible enough, we skip down a few paragraphs to learn about "John Putnam's" rhetoric on Social Security and the careless spending of trust-fund dollars.
Finally, in the memo's last paragraph, the DCCC gets it right calling Mr. Putnam by his real first name, Adam.
Or is it Opie?
You see, Mr. Putnam was elected to the Congress in 2000, entering the House of Representatives as its youngest member, at 26.
And if you think that's too young to be a politician, Mr. Putnam was first elected to the Florida state House in 1996, at 22.
"Putnam is 26 and looks as if he's going on 13," Daniel Ruth wrote in the Tampa Tribune shortly before the 2000 election, beneath a story headlined "Opie runs for Congress."

Against a backdrop of public criticism of the homosexual lifestyle after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver tomorrow night's keynote address at the fifth annual national dinner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest homosexual political and lobbying organization.
The HRC was "stunned" when, on the heels of the surprise attacks on New York and Washington, televangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blamed everybody but the terrorists themselves.
He included the American Civil Liberties Union, abortionists, pagans, feminists "and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle . I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
Elizabeth Birch, the HRC's executive director, said the words of Mr. Falwell and Mr. Robertson "were beyond contempt."
"They were irresponsible at best, and a deliberate attempt to manipulate the nation's anger at worst," she said.
Mr. Falwell later apologized for his remarks.
Tomorrow's dinner in Washington will include a special memorial tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks.
There will be appearances by Sen. Gordon H. Smith, Oregon Republican, and D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who will be presented with the HRC's leadership award.

How about murderers?
House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts Jr. of Oklahoma is urging the Reuters news agency to reconsider its position of not using the word "terrorist" to describe the 19 men who killed some 6,000 people on Sept. 11.
"I fail to see how this noun is not an accurate portrayal of the aggressors who committed the acts of violence witnessed by the entire world last month," Mr. Watts writes in a letter to the chief executive officer and editor in chief of the Reuters Group in London.
"I am not asking Reuters to be Radio Free Afghanistan. Rather, I am merely requesting that you not sever the word 'terrorist' from your stylebook," the Republican chairman writes.
Mr. Watts also sent out a "Dear Colleague" letter to every member of the House, urging fellow congressmen to write to Reuters, which banned the word "terrorist" for its so-called "inflammatory" potential.

Authentic Dubya
Former Indiana Rep. Roger Zion, now a lobbyist for the 60-Plus Association who turned a robust 80 years old on Sept. 17, was feted in "Broadway style" at the Capital Hill Club on Wednesday night.
Rep. Ernest Istook, Oklahoma Republican and one of several VIP revelers in attendance, took to the microphone to croon a heartfelt a-cappella rendition of what else, "Oklahoma." The congressman even brought his wife, Judy, to the stage, so he could cuddle her during the song's "honey lamb" line.
As for the birthday boy, Mr. Zion certainly was decked out in his patriotic birthday suit: navy-blue velvet jacket, complemented by a Stars & Stripes necktie.
His biggest birthday present by far was the surprise gift from Presidents 41 and 43. Former President George Bush, who served in Congress with Mr. Zion, sent along a signed photograph of himself and his son, President George W. Bush.
In addition to a birthday card bearing some kind words, Mr. Bush pulling fatherly rank penned an apology of sorts for his "boy."
It seems the current president smudged his signature on the photo, and the elder Mr. Bush wanted to assure Mr. Zion that indeed Dubya's signature was authentic.

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