- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Turning down Dubya
Steps from the White House on 15th Street is the landmark Old Ebbitt Grill, so close it's practically a White House wing.
In fact, the stately establishment, which dates to 1856, reeks of presidential history and was a favorite watering hole for presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt.
Apart from the regular White House crowd, political insiders and journalists alike belly up to the Old Ebbitt's bars. Nine such scribes, who toil in the nearby National Press Club, were seated there St. Patrick's night when the bartender turned up the TV volume for President Bush's address on Iraq.
"The whole room stopped what they were doing; it was real quiet in there," one of the reporters tells this column. "Then all of a sudden [a night manager] comes in and turns the volume all the way down. We all said, 'What's going on here?'
"He replied that it was corporate policy. … You can't have the television to the point where you can hear it."
At that point, the reporter continues, the crowd grew "pretty angry," so the manager "told everybody they could leave. And a lot of people left. All nine in our group closed our tabs. It became a ghost town in there."
"Bad decision," Old Ebbitt General Manager David Moran agrees. "Our policy is not to have the TV turned up for sporting events, but common sense dictates over policy."
Asked whether that point was made to his night manager, Mr. Moran said, "absolutely."

Nothing to it
CNN founder Ted Turner said during a question-and-answer session yesterday with Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Journalism that he recently volunteered to go to Baghdad as a CNN reporter but was rebuffed by his former news network.
"Nobody's supposed to know that. Honest to God, I did," Mr. Turner said in a transcript we obtained from the New Yorker. "It was a spur of the moment thing. I knew that they were having discussions about whether to stay in Baghdad this time. …
"I think it would be a sad day if CNN wasn't there. Apparently some people wanted to pull out. And I did say, 'If nobody else will do it, I'll do it.' They said, 'no.' I'm 64, and I've been pretty well wiped out anyway. Here I am going down in flames. It would be a dramatic way to exit the world," he said.
"They turned me down. They said, 'You're not really qualified to do it.' I said, 'All you have to do is hold the microphone up and say, the bombs are falling all around me.'"

Now is the time
Now that diplomacy has failed to eject Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from his throne, three of the leading Democratic presidential contenders are lining up behind President Bush as he leads U.S. troops into probable battle.
Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina casts blame on Saddam for bringing "us to the brink of war" and asks for "prayers [for] our troops, their families and our commander in chief."
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts says, "It is the duty of any president, in the final analysis, to defend this nation and dispel the security threats, threats both immediate and longer term, against it."
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut says, "Now is the time for all Americans to join together in support of our commander in chief, and the brave men and women of our armed forces."

Iraqi Road
A trio of Washington politicos has closed the conservative-liberal ice cream gap with the debut of Star Spangled Ice Cream. "And yes, it's for real," says Ralph Benko of Capital City Partners.
The gimmick being that Americans who love Ben & Jerry's ice cream, but hate Ben & Jerry's politics have an alternative, created by three guys "who previously knew absolutely nothing about making ice cream."
Consumers can lick four politically incorrect flavors: "I Hate the French Vanilla," "Iraqi Road," "Smaller Govern-mint, " and "Nutty Environmentalist."
"We offer conservatives guilt-free ice cream," Star Spangled Vice President Richard Lessner says. "Plus, a portion of every purchase of Star Spangled Ice Cream goes to charities that support the great men and women in America's armed forces."
Ice cream can be delivered, frozen of course, in just two days through the Star Spangled Web site: www.starspangledicecream.com.

Real Americans
A patriotic group of "real Americans" has launched War.us, a Web site devoted to supporting U.S. troops in time of battle.
The site is described as a "counterbalance to the multitude of well-funded, anti-American, anti-war efforts now permeating the internet. War.us offers citizens a place to sign petitions and polls, read breaking news and commentary, and to find like-minded citizens through interactive links all in support of our troops."

It's the water
"Joe is gone now, no doubt having a beer with his pals who have been waiting for him in heaven."
Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner on the death of his mentor Joseph Coors, the Colorado brewer who, with a $250,000 startup grant, made it possible for the influential Washington think tank to open its doors in 1973.

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