- The Washington Times - Friday, May 10, 2002

Gephardt's example

House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt yesterday compared the possible ouster of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat with an impeachment of President Bush.

Asked if it was time for Mr. Arafat to go, Mr. Gephardt called the Palestinian leader "a huge disappointment to everybody, including his own people." But he said it was not for American politicians to demand Mr. Arafat's resignation.

"I would not take well to a suggestion from somebody in the Middle East that we impeach George Bush because they don't like what he's doing," the Missouri Democrat said. "That's a decision of the American people. That's a sacred decision, in my view. And as I said during the impeachment of President Clinton, it's something that we ought to do in very rare occasions and only for the right reasons. So I don't think we should blithely go around saying Country X ought to get rid of their leader."

He did say the United States should tell Mr. Arafat and the Palestinians that "they need a leader who will lead who will stop the violence, stop the terrorism and build a country that is good for the people of that country."

Passing the baton

Conservative columnist Jeffrey Hart will discontinue his twice-weekly column, King Features Syndicate announced yesterday.

"After convalescing from an extended illness, Jeffrey Hart has decided to take time off and will not continue writing his twice-weekly column," King Features said in a note to editors. Mr. Hart's column has been featured regularly in The Washington Times and other newspapers.

Mr. Hart, a professor emeritus of English at Dartmouth College and a senior editor of National Review, is the author of "Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe: Toward the Revival of Higher Education," published last year by Yale University Press.

"King Features Syndicate is proud to announce that Hart has tapped Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative stalwart National Review, to take over the column permanently," the syndicate told editors. Mr. Lowry had been filling in for Mr. Hart in recent weeks.

The Cincinnati kid

Apparently the Cincinnati Enquirer has a solution to the city's racial woes: Bill Clinton.

Mr. Clinton told the newspaper last weekend that he would be willing to come to Cincinnati in the interests of racial reconciliation if invited by the mayor's office.

But Mayor Charlie Luken was unenthusiastic, the Enquirer reported.

"I will see what he knows, and what his real interest is," Mr. Luken was reported as saying in a prepared statement.

"Ultimately, it is up to us to keep moving on the right path, which we have been doing."

Showing considerable media savvy, Mr. Luken also figured out that the newspaper invited Mr. Clinton and was "so vested in a Clinton visit that it cannot fairly report what happens next."

Rosemary Goudreau, Enquirer managing editor, who spoke with Mr. Clinton in New York on Saturday, disputed the suggestion.

"I did not invite Bill Clinton to Cincinnati," she said.

Robertson's horses

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson will sell his sizable horse-racing interests because some of his followers objected to his involvement in a sport driven by gambling, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Robertson, whose involvement in thoroughbred horse racing was first detailed by the New York Times in a story last month, said in a letter that he will sell his interests in horse racing by November, when a nearly two-week sale of breeding stock is held in Keeneland, Ky.

"I am sorry that my fondness for the performance of equine athletes has caused you an offense," he wrote in a reply sent this week to followers who had written to say they disapproved of his involvement in horse racing.

In the letter, Mr. Robertson wrote that competition among horses has been part of every society that owned them, and that as a child, he used to race his horses against others "over country roads or rolling pastures."

"Very frankly, none of this brought any sense of embarrassment to me because I felt then, and feel now, there is nothing wrong with contests of skill, either between human athletes or equine athletes," he wrote.

However, he concluded, "for your sake and the sake of others like you," he will dispose of all his horse racing interests by November.

The religious left

"Who is the religious left's favorite person this year? Peter Jennings," World magazine reports.

"The liberal Interfaith Alliance plans to honor the ABC anchorman on June 12 with the 'Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award' in a ceremony at Rockefeller Plaza in New York," said the weekly magazine, which reports and analyzes the news from a conservative Christian perspective.

"In the publicity surrounding the award ceremony, Mr. Cronkite took a shot at religious conservatives, saying that the Interfaith Alliance is 'dedicated to protecting America's basic freedoms of speech, press and religion from the fringe groups who cloak in religious garb their challenge to these principles.'

"The group is honoring Mr. Jennings for having 'embodied the values of civility, tolerance, diversity and cooperation' in his coverage surrounding the September 11 attacks. The alliance will also honor Forrest 'Frosty' Troy, editor of the biweekly newspaper the Oklahoma Observer, who in less civil and cooperative moments has joked in speeches that his dream in life is to give President Bush an SAT test. Mr. Troy said of Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating: 'The little jerk. It takes him 90 minutes to watch "60 Minutes."'

"The awards are selected by a committee of mainly leftist celebrities, including PBS star Bill Moyers, Joan Brown Campbell of the National Council of Churches (who last month dined with that great respecter of free speech and religion, Fidel Castro, in Havana), former Carter official Andrew Young, Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat, and former President Gerald Ford."

Rivals go on stage

The Republican candidates for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, who have yet to debate, are finally set to face off on the Shakespearean stage.

Jim Rappaport and Kerry Healey will appear on stage together as love interests in an abridged performance of Shakespeare's "Henry V," the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Rappaport plays Henry, King of England, and Miss Healey plays Katherine, his French love interest. The performance is presented by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

The play calls for a stage kiss, and for Miss Healey to wear a tiara and Mr. Rappaport to wear a crown. But given their political competition, it's not clear what will happen, said Daniel Kells, the Shakespeare Company's general manager.

Native son

He's usually seen as a Texan, but President Bush has been honored as a native son by the Connecticut General Assembly, which called on state transportation officials to install signs pointing travelers to his New Haven birthplace.

Republican Rep. Ruth Fahrbach introduced legislation Tuesday to recognize what she called Connecticut's "important distinction."

The provision was part of a transportation bill that won final approval by the Senate and now goes to Republican Gov. John G. Rowland, the Associated Press reports.

The measure would require the Department of Transportation to place signs on two interstate highways near the New Haven city line. The markers would say, "Welcome to New Haven, Connecticut, Birthplace of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States."

Mr. Bush was born in New Haven when his father, the former president, was an economics student at Yale, just after returning from service in World War II.

The president's official biography omits his birthplace and says he grew up in Houston and Midland, Texas. The only reference to Connecticut in his official biography is his graduation from Yale University in 1968.

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