- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Berger update

“I read two (sometimes three) papers every day,” writes Dick Cheney, “and hope that maybe you can provide us news junkies an update on the following:

“There’s been nothing in print during the past two or so weeks on what was a hot issue just a short time ago concerning Sandy Berger. How could an issue involving the suspicious theft of exceptionally sensitive classified material just disappear off the horizon?”

Rest assured, sir, President Clinton’s national security adviser remains under Justice Department investigation after stuffing his stockings and britches with highly classified National Archives documents,some of which he proceeded to destroy.

(Mr. Cheney, no relation to the vice president, lives in Odenton, Md.)

Anthrax suit

Our source within the State Department says an internal memo indicates that anthrax victim David Hose is preparing to sue Uncle Sam.

Mr. Hose, 62, worked at the State Department’s diplomatic mail facility in Sterling, Va., where he apparently inhaled anthrax spores from an envelope addressed to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat.

A resident of Winchester, Va., he has been hospitalized more than once since the rash of terrorist mailings to politicians and news agencies in 2001. He charges that the federal government isn’t doing enough to monitor the effects of anthrax exposure on survivors.

Eleven Americans contracted the inhaled form of anthrax that autumn. Five of them died.

Pass the popcorn

If you didn’t get to watch the controversial anti-John Kerry Swift Boat Veterans’ ads on television, rest assured that Republicans and Democrats will soon be appearing on a TV screen near you.

And they won’t be on their best behavior.

“It’s getting dirty,” agrees Anne Lewis of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, who in 1992 ran media buying for Bill Clinton’s campaign — placing $75 million worth of ads in three months.

“The way I see it, the Republicans are mounting their attack, and it’s going to be big,” she predicts, learning that Republicans are gearing up to “bombard” South Dakota, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Alaska.

“In North Carolina, they purchased a whopping $5 million in airtime and, in South Dakota alone, the Republicans and other third-party groups are scheduled to spend [a] gargantuan $3 million. Now that’s what I call a bombast brigade,” she says.

And Democrats are going on the defensive, with ads already airing in several states.

If these “official” campaign ads aren’t enough — and despite President Bush demanding this week that the television ads attacking Mr. Kerry’s Vietnam military service be taken off the air — leaders of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have vowed to pour hundreds of thousands of additional dollars into new anti-Kerry ads.

Harry scare

American women awoke to alarming news yesterday that consuming their favorite soft drinks could lead to Type 2 diabetes.

But before you pour your favorite fizzy down the drain, be advised that the study of soda consumption, appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was co-authored by members of the self-described “food police” at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, or CSPI.

• Co-author JoAnn Manson serves on the scientific advisory board of CSPI, which wants extra taxes on soda. She endorsed CSPI’s campaign to prevent Coca-Cola from sponsoring literacy projects in conjunction with Harry Potter.

• When not endorsing CSPI’s campaign against Harry Potter, co-author Walter Willett backs consumer advocate and 2004 presidential candidate Ralph Nader’s support of global restrictions on food advertising.

• Co-author David Ludwig has complained of an “invasion of our diet by soft drinks” and supports a special consumer tax on soda.

• Co-author Graham Colditz co-authored a study that concluded obesity costs the U.S. economy $117 billion each year.

The Center for Consumer Freedom, which draws attention to the authors’ resumes, says those who aren’t fat needn’t worry about drinking sodas. In fact, the center says the study finds no relationship between soda consumption and Type 2 diabetes for “non-obese” people.

“This report is the latest effort to use fizzy research to scare Americans over nothing,” says the center’s executive director, Rick Berman.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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