- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2003

Miniature guard
During a live broadcast this week from the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was asked on WMAL-AM 630's "The Chris Core Show" whether he, like some Washington residents, has duct tape, plastic sheeting and a three-day supply of water should terrorists raise their ugly heads.
"I would like to say I did," Mr. Rumsfeld replied. "I don't believe we do, but I do have a miniature dachshund named Reggie who looks out for us."
Homeland Defense Secretary Tom Ridge has advised worried Washingtonians and other citizens of the country to store any duct tape in a drawer for now.
After all, several security experts say duct tape would be virtually useless in the majority of terrorist attacks.

Brink of stardom
If all goes well in Iraq, one of the nation's top Democrats says, President Bush has the potential of becoming the most popular and powerful president in modern lifetime.
"If that were to happen, Bush would be the most popular president in the modern history of this country and the most powerful," former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo tells "After Hours with Cal Thomas" on the Fox News Channel. "It would then be very difficult to beat [Mr. Bush] at all, even on the economic issues, where he's a big loser at the moment."
What must "happen" for the Republican president to enjoy such success?
"The miracle solution is Saddam Hussein's not crazy enough to kill himself," Mr. Cuomo explains. "And at the last moment, when you finally resolve the ambiguity created by France and Germany being against us, and the United Nations, and the people in the streets, when you get everybody saying, 'OK, we tried everything, but now the guy just won't disarm, we have to attack.'
"At that point, [Saddam] says, 'Give me my top 50 people, give me my money, my two sons. I'm not going to wait for 72 virgins up there I've got 72 virgins here. Let me take them, too, and let me get out of here.'
"If that were to happen," says Mr. Cuomo, "that would be such a triumph, such a relief. The stock market would go through the roof the minute that headline runs, 'Saddam Hussein Leaves in Exile. America Moves In To Democratize.' This country would, overnight, be a spectacular new opportunity."
Could such a scenario play out?
"I said it on January 7th at the Press Club," Mr. Cuomo reminds Mr. Thomas. "Since then, [Defense Secretary Donald H.] Rumsfeld has talked about exile, [Secretary of State] Colin Powell has talked about exile, and the president, every chance the president gets, he says, 'Look, the best thing would be for the guy to leave.'"

Political journalism?
Several journalists have signed up to participate in a political action committee fund-raiser to be held Monday night in the homes of some of New York's most influential residents.
Jane Brody of the New York Times, Catherine Crier of Court TV, Jim Cramer of CNBC, TV newsman Garrick Utley and Foreign Affairs Editor Jim Hoge are a few of the journalists joining former Attorney General Janet Reno, former Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, past Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to raise money for the pro-choice Women's Campaign Fund and its "progressive women candidates."
Fund-raising dinners will be held simultaneously in 17 New York homes, attended by a number of politicians and celebrities and journalists.

Slap in the face
A veteran Kentucky congressman is telling CBS President Leslie Moonves to cancel a new reality television series called "The Real Beverly Hillbillies."
In a letter to Mr. Moonves, Republican Rep. Hal Rogers expressed outrage over the proposed program, which moves a family from rural Appalachia to a Beverly Hills mansion and tapes their lives for a year.
Mr. Rogers said the show "will reinforce inaccurate stereotypes that have plagued Appalachian residents for decades."
"As a lifelong resident of Appalachian Kentucky, I am appalled by the very idea of this program, which seeks to humiliate and exploit rural Americans," wrote the congressman. "This program is an insult to the millions of people living in Appalachia, and CBS should pull the plug on this poorly conceived show immediately."
During his 23 years in Congress, Mr. Rogers' primary goal has been to bring jobs and better education and opportunities to constituents in southern and eastern Kentucky, once the home of widespread economic troubles.
He noted that his congressional district has been "coming back to life," and warned that CBS' program would have a devastating impact on those efforts.
"This show is a slap in the face to all that we have accomplished and threatens the positive progress and momentum that have taken years to create," he said.

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