- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Helen's war strategy
Helen Thomas, who has long been at the White House, first for United Press International and lately with Hearst Newspapers, regards herself as "the dean of the White House press" (which might explain a lot of things). She often lectures on the necessity of a disinterested and impartial press. But her hostility to Israel would be legendary if it were not real, and long-running.
Barry Rubin of the Jerusalem Post tells of a journalists' dinner with Tariq Aziz, the right-hand man of Saddam Hussein who is now in U.S. military custody, at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington in 1984.
Dean Thomas interrupted Mr. Aziz with a question: "Why didn't you retaliate against Israel," she asked, "when [it] destroyed your nuclear reactor?"
Mr. Aziz tried to brush off the question. She persisted, and he resisted. Mzz Thomas, described by the Wall Street Journal as "American journalism's nutty old aunt in the attic," answered her own question. "Just yellow, I guess."

Catholic vs. Catholic
From the altar to the pews to high atop Capitol Hill, Catholics struggle to follow the teachings of their church.
"Mount St. Mary's College may think 'diversity' is a wonderful thing," says American Life League President Judie Brown. "But when it comes to defending the preborn, the Catholic Church demands a zero-tolerance embrace of a single truth. So I find it appalling that even a nominally Catholic school has chosen the pro-abortion Sanchez sisters to address its graduates."
Rep. Loretta Sanchez and freshman Rep. Linda Sanchez, both California Democrats and both Catholic, are scheduled to speak at the Mount St. Mary's commencement in Los Angeles on May 10. The militantly antiabortion league describes the sibling pair as "militant supporters of abortion on demand."
"You cannot be both Catholic and pro-abortion," says Mrs. Brown, not necessarily speaking ex cathedra. "These women have built their political careers on a platform that flies in the face of what the Catholic Church teaches on the sanctity of life." A Catholic college, she says, "should not allow abortion supporters to have an open platform to spew their antilife … views."
The league has sent letters to Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, and Jacqueline Powers Doud, president of Mount St. Mary's, urging them to cancel the appearances. "If they do not," she says, "we will lead a coalition of those willing to protest this despicable act."
In recent days, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has come under fire from the bishop of his South Dakota diocese for holding beliefs contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Numerous Catholic lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Democrats in particular, are pro-choice.
No immediate response was available from the Sanchez sisters.

Can't blame Fidel
Albert Fox, who has spent years working to lift the travel ban to Cuba, was upset after directors of the Cuba Policy Foundation, created in the wake of the Elian Gonzalez episode, resigned over Fidel Castro's recent human rights crackdown.
Or did the crackdown happen to come along at an opportune time?
"They were disingenuous in their public statement," says Mr. Fox of the Alliance for a Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation. "They folded for two reasons: one, because in light of the crackdown, it is conventional wisdom that nothing will happen on Capitol Hill for at least a year.
"And two, funding is hard. They were out of money. It had nothing to do with principle."
Mr. Fox said the group's "self-serving" public statement "demeans all the hard work" others have accomplished to lift the travel ban and U.S. economic embargo on Cuba.
Another insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity, agreed that the resignations "were a death-with-dignity ploy."
"They ran out of money."
The first director of the Cuba Policy Foundation was Sally Grooms Cowal, a former ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. She resigned several months ago over a funding dispute with Smith Bagley's Arca Foundation, a Democratic philanthropy organization. Arca says it gave the foundation $450,000 in 2001.

Citizen Kayne
A former cop-turned-political strategist is the new president of the National Rifle Association, succeeding actor Charlton Heston, who served an unprecedented five years.
Kayne Robinson was elected unanimously yesterday by the NRA board of directors. Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the association, said "as a career law enforcement officer, Kayne understands the difference between the rights of lawful firearms owners and the blight of violent criminals on the streets."
Mr. Robinson is former chief of detectives and assistant chief of the Des Moines, Iowa, Police Department. During the 2000 campaigns, he was chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa and helped produce the 1999 Iowa straw poll and the 2000 Iowa presidential caucus, the first in the nation.

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