- The Washington Times - Monday, October 27, 2003


It’s “scientific McCarthyism,” an attempt to impose a “right-wing ideological agenda,” says Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat.

Mr. Waxman is upset about a list of more than 250 research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Republican congressional staffers sent the list to NIH officials after an Oct. 2 Capitol Hill hearing in which the propriety of some of the grants was questioned.

In a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, Mr. Waxman says the “hit list” sends “a clear message to scientists … that the Bush administration is prepared to attack leading researchers and sacrifice scientific integrity at NIH to further a narrow right-wing ideological agenda.”

Mr. Waxman says the list looks like “an inside job,” adding: “Officials within HHS itself appear to have been directly involved in the creation of this list.”

Wrong, says Andrea Lafferty.

“The research is my research, mine and my staff,” says Mrs. Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition. “We began collecting the information [on the list] under the Clinton administration … and worked on it for months and months.”

The list represents “almost $100 million of NIH grants that we wanted looked into,” Mrs. Lafferty says, “such as studying the sex habits of illegal immigrants … [and] prostitutes that hang out at truck stops.” She calls NIH “a bureaucracy run amok.”

As for charges of an “inside job” at HHS, Mrs. Lafferty says: “Maybe Henry Waxman ought to learn how to use the Internet, since Al Gore invented it.”

Punishing Democrats

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois supports an effort to punish Democrats who voted en masse against an appropriations bill, the Hill newspaper reports.

Rep. Ralph Regula, Ohio Republican and a member of the Appropriations Committee, plans to eliminate projects “earmarked” for Democratic congressional districts in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education spending bill, reporter Hans Nichols writes.

Mr. Regula seeks to redirect those funds to projects in the districts of vulnerable Republicans.

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, condemned the potential action as “criminal,” while New Jersey Rep. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, called it “a clear declaration of war.”

Clark’s likely impact

“It looks increasingly as though the effect of Wesley Clark’s campaign will be to waste the Democratic Party’s time,” Ramesh Ponnuru writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“His entry was exciting, and his first name — ‘General’ — pushed him to the top of the polls. But his entry may also have been his peak. The excitement was bound to fade as he became another candidate. And the longer he has campaigned, the more his flaws have become apparent,” Mr. Ponnuru wrote.

“If in two months’ time it is obvious that Clark isn’t going anywhere, what will have been the effect of his candidacy? The main effect, it seems to me, will have been to freeze the field. Thanks to Clark, the anti-Dean forces will have lost several months during which they could have consolidated around a single candidate. The anyone-but-Dean campaign will have been delayed, possibly until after New Hampshire — and possibly until after Dean is unstoppable.

“Clark was supposed to save the party from Dean. By collapsing, however, he could save Dean from the party establishment.”

Another whopper?

Downing Street says it is “mystified” by reports that Tony Blair discussed his health problems several years ago with Bill Clinton, according to a report at the news Web site www.ananova.com.

Mr Blair’s spokesman insisted that the prime minister’s irregular heartbeat, which caused him to be hospitalized briefly last week, had never happened before.

But Mr. Clinton was quoted in the Sunday Mirror as saying: “I’ve known about this for a long time. He told me about it quite a few years ago.

“As soon as I heard what happened, I called to check he was OK. We had a talk and he sounded in good shape.”

Mr Blair’s spokesman said: “What we have said has been based on the opinion of those who have been responsible for the prime minister’s medical care. We are slightly mystified by this story as this is the first time this has happened.”

More examples

Matt Drudge keeps finding more examples of how an upcoming CBS movie apparently seeks to denigrate former President Reagan and wife, Nancy, the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker reports at www.mediaresearch.org.

“Since the New York Times story last Tuesday, the DrudgeReport.com has been given more excerpts from the script of CBS’ mid-November mini-series, ‘The Reagans,’ in which Nancy Reagan slaps 5-year-old daughter Patti, Ronald Reagan curses in the Oval Office and refers to himself as ‘the anti-Christ,’ and, in what Drudge dubs the ‘showcase line,’ Nancy Reagan argues: ‘Ketchup is a vegetable! It is not a meat, right? So IT IS a vegetable.’

“As reported in the Oct. 22 CyberAlert, CBS’ upcoming ‘The Reagans’ mini-series starring James Brolin, aka Mr. Barbra Streisand, as Ronald Reagan, looks to be so slanted against Reagan from the left that even the New York Times has taken notice,” Mr. Baker said. “In an Oct. 21 story, Times reporter Jim Rutenberg revealed: ‘As snippets about the television movie circulate in Washington and Los Angeles, friends and relatives of the ailing Mr. Reagan are expressing growing concern that this deconstruction of his presidency is shot through a liberal lens, exaggerating his foibles and giving short shrift to his accomplishments.’

“Specifically, the two-parter which is scheduled to air on Nov. 16 and 18, ignores the Reaganomics economic boom and recovery from [President] Carter’s malaise, claims Reagan provided the FBI with the names of communists in Hollywood, insists that he got the idea for SDI from a 1940 movie and, in a portrayal even liberal biographer Lou Cannon labeled as ‘unfair,’ paints Reagan as a mean-spirited lout on AIDS funding as he charges of AIDS victims: ‘They that live in sin shall die in sin.’ ”

Fox signs Wallace

Chris Wallace will take over from Tony Snow as host of “Fox News Sunday,” the network announced yesterday.

Mr. Wallace comes over from ABC News, where he most recently served as the senior correspondent for “Primetime Thursday” and was also a frequent substitute host for “Nightline.” Mr. Snow recently was named host of a syndicated program for Fox News Radio.

Mr. Wallace will begin his hosting duties in mid-November, said Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive of Fox News. Mr. Ailes also said that Mr. Wallace will play a key role in Fox News’ 2004 political coverage.

“I am delighted to be joining the aggressive, innovative team at Fox News,” Mr. Wallace said in a prepared statement. “They understand perhaps better than anyone in the news business what people care about. And the audience has figured that out. I am especially excited about taking over ‘Fox News Sunday.’ It’s a remarkable opportunity to ask our leaders important questions about their policies and to help set the agenda for what Americans are talking about.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected].

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