- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 29, 2002

In the Marine Corps, we called them fitness reports. In the private sector, they're annual reviews. Even Santa keeps a list of whose been "naughty or nice." Whatever you want to call them, here's how my radio audience rated the best and worst performances on the banks of the Potomac in 2002.
Best performances:
(1) President George W. Bush. He continues to lead the war against terror; sallied into the toothless U.N. and demanded enforcement of resolutions on Iraq; made history in the midterm elections; and is cleaning up corporate America. Last week he led by example, getting a smallpox inoculation. What's the encore?
(2) The men and women of our armed forces. From the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines risking their lives in the war on terror to reservists spending the Christmas holidays away from home America loves you all.
(3) The men and women of law enforcement. Attorney General John Ashcroft has federal, state and local law enforcement officials working together. The Beltway Snipers case showed police cooperation at its best. A salute to those who wear badges.
(4) Pennsylvania miners and their saviors. For 77 hours, rescuers struggled around the clock to free nine coal miners trapped beneath the earth in Somerset County. When they succeeded, some called it "a miracle." It was.
(5) Don Rumsfeld. He's masterfully directing the war against terror and simultaneously reforming the procurement process. The SecDef's press briefings are the hottest ticket in town. His performances make Jay Leno and David Letterman look like amateurs.
(6) Long-shot conservatives. Few gave them a chance, but they fought and won: Minnesota's Senator-elect Norm Coleman; Maryland's Governor-elect Robert Ehrlich; Massachusetts Governor-elect Mitt Romney; and Georgia's Governor-elect, Sonny Perdue. No "cold and timid souls," these.
(7) (Some) Hollywood filmmakers. "Black Hawk Down" and "We Were Soldiers" are the best depictions of the horrors and heroes in war since John Wayne roamed Tinsletown. Oliver Stone, eat your America-bashing, propaganda-pumping heart out.
(8) The Fox News Channel. I would say it even it I didn't work for them. Fair and balanced reporting is in, liberal bias in the media is out. Dan Rather, call your agent.
(9) Prime Minister Tony Blair. Kudos to the British PM for standing up to Euro-leftists and peaceniks in his own Labor Party. He has helped preserve the special Anglo-American relationship that has promoted peace and stability in the world for over a century. God save the Queen.
(10) Augusta National. Hootie and the Boys stood up to the combined assault of the feminist lobby and the New York Times to save an endangered species: their all-male club. You gotta admire anyone who tells the New York Times to shove their opinions. Well, you get the point.
Worst performances:
(1) The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. By ruling that the words "under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance are unconstitutional, they showed why this court has the dubious distinction of being reversed more often than any other. Time for the Senate to act on those judicial appointments.
(2) The United Nations. From the America-bashing by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the "Earth Summit" in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they jeered U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and cheered Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe, this outfit has worn out its welcome.
(3) Hollywood's clueless. Jessica Lange says "it's an embarrassing time to be an American." Woody Harrelson insists America is waging "a racist and imperialist war" against Iraq. Sean Penn flew to Baghdad on a private peace mission. Barbra Streisand babbles incoherently about how we're to blame for the ills of the world. Is there a new "Oscar" for "Best America Basher?"
(4) German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. His virulent anti-American rhetoric and the vicious personal attacks his ministers have made on President Bush have earned this guy his own personal "Oscar." See No. 3, above.
(5) Jimmy Carter's diplomacy. He denounces the U.S. in Cuba and gets the Nobel Peace Prize for keeping the North Koreans from building nuclear weapons. Stick to building houses, Mr. Carter.
(6). Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat. She tells high school students that we're attacked by terrorists because Osama bin Laden has "built schools, roads and even day-care facilities" and that, "We haven't done that." How stupid are U.S. senators allowed to be?
(7) Minnesota Democrats. Even Gov. Jesse Ventura, who used to earn a living wearing tights in a steel cage, was embarrassed by the political pep rally/funeral for Sen. Paul Wellstone. Does the new campaign finance law cover funerals?
(8) U.N. weapons inspectors. From the double-dealing Scott Ritter to the S&M; sex aficionados working for the Inspector Clouseau of weapons inspectors, Hans Blix, this is the gang that can't shoot straight, talk straight or see straight. Replace 'em all with French Figure Skating judges.
(9) Former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat. Dumb and Dumber insist they're victims of "conservative media bias" in America. Their axis of evil: Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and talk radio. Lay off the eggnog boys.
(10) William "The Zipper" Clinton. On CNN he denounced the GOP as racist by claiming Republicans, " try to suppress black voting, they ran on the Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina ." Apparently the zipper on his lip doesn't work any better than the one on his pants.

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