- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Forty acres

Descendants of slaves are entitled to what historically was called “40 acres and a mule,” according to Alan Keyes, a Republican who is running for senator in Illinois.

“I think a cogent argument could be made for reparations in principle,” Mr. Keyes told reporters yesterday.

“I think you would certainly have to say that people were deprived of not only their liberty. What we forget is that enslaved black Americans were deprived of any opportunity to build wealth,” he said.

Mr. Keyes proposed that descendants of slaves be exempt from federal taxes “for a generation, or two generations,” and called slavery “an egregious failure on the part of the federal establishment.”

Meanwhile, things were less than cordial between Mr. Keyes and Democratic rival Barack Obama, who told Mr. Keyes to “talk less and listen more” on the weekend.

Mr. Keyes, who spent 11 years as a diplomat with the State Department, did not take it to heart. It was, he said, just an exchange of “frank courtesies.”

Kerry lite

John Kerry has a crush on actress Charlize Theron and considers the ideal woman as one with a “sense of womanhood. Full woman. Confident. It’s a woman who loves being a woman. Who wears her womanhood. Who knows how to flirt and have fun. Smart. Confident. Has a sense of self. Strong. And obviously sexy and saucy and challenging.”

He described his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, as a domestic goddess:

“She’s not defined by her money. She’s not defined by her surname. She’s defined by what she thinks. Who she is. Where her heart is. What her gut is,” Mr. Kerry said. “She spent years as a mom, like every other mom in America, taking care of her kids. She wasn’t spoiled. She didn’t have nannies … things like that. She cooked for her kids, she took care of her kids, she raised her kids.”

According to a profile in the September issue of GQ, which will be on newsstands Tuesday, Mr. Kerry’s favorite sports heroes include: Bobby Orr, Jaromir Jagr, Wayne Gretzky, Joe DiMaggio and Phil Esposito.

He most identifies with the fictional characters Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. His favorite Rolling Stones songs? “Brown Sugar,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Satisfaction” and “Little Red Rooster.” And his favorite Bob Dylan tune is “Lay Lady Lay.”

Kerry vs. Kerrey

In news releases and postings on John Kerry’s campaign Web site as recently as Friday, Mr. Kerry was touted as the “former vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.”

Oops. That was Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator from Nebraska who served in the position.

“John Kerry, Bob Kerrey — similar names,” Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan told the Associated Press yesterday.

“It’s difficult to take John Kerry’s claims about his intelligence experience seriously when one of his credentials is completely made up,” countered Republican National Committee spokeswoman Christine Iverson. “If he had shown up for intelligence committee hearings, he would notice he wasn’t vice chairman.”

Gourmet Democrat

Perhaps it’s his quiche recipe.

John Kerry has earned a four-star rating with New York Times food editor Christine Muhlke, who donated $500 to the Kerry presidential campaign June 24, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Miss Muhlke’s contribution was discovered by San Francisco AIDS activist Michael Petrelis who has waged a one-man campaign to disclose political donations by members of the Fourth Estate. Mr. Kerry is also in style with Manhattan fashionistas.

“I was under the impression that Times editorial employees were barred from making such contributions,” Mr. Petrelis wrote in a letter to Times officials. “Yet I’ve recently discovered that a fashion editor with the Sunday magazine, Ms. Elizabeth Stewart, also donated to Kerry’s campaign.

“While neither Muhlke nor Stewart cover politics in any way for the Times, so there’s no chance their donations could influence the paper’s coverage of Kerry’s bid for the White House, I must wonder how these editors could donate to a political candidacy and not face any reprimand from executive editors,” he added.

Treasure map

“The Los Angeles Times and the New York Times have taken the frenzy over electoral votes and undecided states to the next level with some unusual interactive options at their Web sites,” Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher noted yesterday.

Readers of the Los Angeles Times online (latimes.com) who click on to its electoral map get each state’s latest polling results and voting data going back to 1988, plus “the current electoral breakdown showing which states are going for Kerry, Bush, and the all-important undecided.”

As of Monday, the L.A. Times had Mr. Kerry with 172 electoral votes, President Bush with 146, and 219 up for grabs.

McGrievances

Oh dear. Village Voice writer Michael Musto did not mince words yesterday in describing New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey’s vow to leave office because he had a homosexual affair with another man.

He calls it “Alien vs. Predator.”

“By his own admission, New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey has been a poster child for duplicity, finally forced by a legal wake-up call to come clean while wearing a patterned red tie that would have outed him anyway,” Mr. Musto wrote.

He later observed, “The same day ‘I am a gay American’ became the hottest catchphrase since ‘Shove it!,’ the California Supreme Court routinely invalidated 4,000 or so marriages. The hilarious result is that Rosie O’Donnell is now living in sin. … Adding yet more ironic texture, McGreevey himself helped fuel this very climate by arguing against gay marriage (though he did sign Jersey’s Domestic Partnership Act).”

Cutting edge

Hispanic gang members are armed with machetes and chain whips, said the Boston Globe and other press reports.

“For years, the gun rights community has insisted that even if there were no guns, criminals would resort to some other type of weapon. The Massachusetts situation proves that point,” Joe Waldron of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms told Cybercast News Service yesterday.

Several Boston-area communities have passed ordinances restricting or banning long knives.

“When are politicians going to wake up and understand that it’s not inanimate objects — whether we’re talking about guns, knives, clubs or rocks — but criminals that are causing urban and suburban problems?” Mr. Waldron asked.

“Gun control laws haven’t worked, and pretty soon, politicians in Massachusetts will discover that machete laws won’t work, either. They will merely penalize the wrong people,” Mr. Waldron said.

cContact Jennifer Harper at [email protected] or 202/636-3085.


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