- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Pew squirming

“You and I both know those who are in power don’t like to be asked questions about their sex life.”

Part of the 8 a.m. sermon delivered in the company of President Bush this past Sunday by the Rev. Luis Leon, rector of St. John’s Church, opposite Lafayette Square from the White House.

Anybody for walking?

Length of last Sunday’s motorcade that took President and Mrs. Bush on a two-minute drive to St. John’s Church across the street from the White House: 14 vehicles.

No rest for weary

Perhaps Democrats in the Senate will have better luck in the next election as New Jersey Sen. Jon Corzine officially hands over the reins of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to incoming chairman Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York.

Mr. Corzine, who watched his party’s minority leader, Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, go down in flames, calls Mr. Schumer “a fighter” who is looking forward to battling Republicans in 2006.

“And he’s not waiting until 2006, because the Republicans are not waiting, either,” Mr. Corzine notes. “Before they lit their last cigars and polished off the final bottle of champagne on election night, the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee had already launched their campaign plans for 2006.”

Not too shabby

Imagine being one of the lucky few to raise your right hand and take the oath to become an American citizen with the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights (adopted 213 years ago today, by the way) as the backdrop.

This morning, the National Archives will open its rotunda for what has become a popular and moving tradition of holding a naturalization ceremony for several privileged petitioners seeking U.S. citizenship.

Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will preside as 35 petitioners for U.S. citizenship take the oath in front of the charters of freedom.

Christmas epidemic

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) blew the lid off one of the nation’s new public health scourges: Christmas lights.

As a result, suspects the Center for Consumer Freedom, while you might think that Christmas lights are little more than an innocent holiday tradition, “it is now clear that Christmas decorating is slowly crippling our nation.”

The skeptical watchdog group says the CDC’s “cheery journal” — Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report — states that more than 5,000 Americans suffer “holiday-decorating-related falls” each year, a holiday-decoration study “gift-wrapped for public health zealots.”

Fruitcake season

A fruitcake came one day

And I sent it on its way.

The next day, then,

It was back again,

But here it cannot stay.

I sent it to one brother,

Who sent it to another.

It eventually

Came back to me,

In a package from my mother.

F.R. Duplantier

Kyoto asides

For global-warming negotiators who need to get into the Zen zone at the just-convened Kyoto talks in Buenos Aires, the conference features a “meditation room.”

The “Lost and Found” is located in the same room. Read into this what you wish.

Attendees of the conference, meanwhile, can’t help but be reminded that the Buenos Aires negotiating venue is typically used for livestock shows in cattle-rich Argentina. Once again, pick your own punch line.

Outside the convention center, Greenpeace has constructed an enormous ark, symbolizing its prophesied catastrophic flooding. Greenpeace is most notorious for having had its flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, sunk in Auckland Harbor, New Zealand, on July 10, 1985. No word yet whether French frogmen have plans to scuttle this one in such a fashion.

And the lead editorial in this week’s Buenos Aires Herald is worth a second read: “So far all the evidence is that climate change will cause the world a damage far worse than any terrorism, but let us keep an open mind.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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