- The Washington Times - Monday, May 10, 2004

Rummy mail

It seems the Pentagon’s postal system isn’t any speedier than Uncle Sam’s — yet another cause for Democrats to demand the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

(Burning question: Will the Pentagon, when it releases videos Mr. Rumsfeld says exist of U.S. military personnel humiliating Iraqi prisoners, also release videos of Americans and fellow allies being beheaded, burned alive and hung out to dry by enemy captors?)

Back to the mail problem, the House tomorrow considers a bipartisan resolution directing the Defense Department to rectify deficiencies in the military postal system to ensure members of the armed forces stationed overseas are able to receive and send mail in a “timely manner.”

That includes receiving and sending election ballots in time to be counted in the 2004 presidential election.

Duck and run

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Or so observes House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, condemning last week’s wartime rhetoric of Democrats who say the Iraqi conflict cannot be won.

Mr. Blunt says Democrats “hiding behind podiums” are now “engaging in the same soft bigotry that the French and Spanish use.”

“They don’t believe that democracy can ever take root in an Arab nation. This belief is wrong.”

Sound the horns

What in the world was Oliver North up to this time as he followed a spirited bagpiper through the streets of Washington Saturday evening?

Actually, Mr. North, who recently returned from war-torn Iraq, was among the guests being led to a Lafayette Galleria reception after witnessing Capitol Hill spokeswoman Amy Harkins and White House spokesman Taylor Gross exchange vows at historic St. Matthew’s Cathedral.

Last summer, with the covert cover of the Secret Service, Mr. Gross lured his bride-to-be to the White House under the ruse of attending a reception in the East Wing. Once the couple was in the Rose Garden, the spokesman dropped down on one knee and proposed.

After Miss Harkins said “yes,” the president’s bodyguards — hiding in the bushes and atop the White House roof — broke into applause.

This time, unlike that nervous moment in his life, Mr. Gross slid the ring on his bride’s right (as in left) hand.

Conservative ketchup

Former college roommates Patrick Spero and Chris Cylke, the latter a Republican staffer on Capitol Hill, are the brains behind “Bush Country Ketchup.”

“While dunking our [french] fries in ketchup a few months ago, we came to a sudden realization,” explains one. “With each drop of ketchup we ingested — bottled by a company whose single largest individual shareholder is the wife of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry — we were indirectly making his wallet fatter.”

So, the pair took out a $5,000 loan in February and are now peddling the President Bush alternative to Heinz — although a bottle of the obviously higher-quality Bush ketchup fetches $5.99, plus $4.99 shipping and handling.

Showing the colors

You might not be able to sing our National Anthem everywhere in this country, but American flags will soon be hanging in every public classroom in Florida because of a patriotic group of students at the University of Florida.

The Florida Legislature has approved a plan to place flags in every state-funded classroom — kindergarten to colleges and universities — by August 2005.

The Florida Freedom Foundation, an independent conservative student group, hatched the idea in 2002 when proposing that flags fly in every classroom at the University of Florida.

Mailbag

Concerning our item last week on Congress cracking down on producers of phony college diplomas (several of which have been known to hang on some of the walls of the U.S. government), Gerald Wetzel of Butler, Pa., writes:

“From 1973 to 1976, I was an executive officer for the U.S. Army District Recruiting Office covering New York, Bronx and points north. When a commander at Fort Meade [Maryland] retired, we gave him a high school diploma, an associate degree, a bachelor of science, a master’s of science, a master’s of arts, and a Ph.D.”

(Even more reason to call for Defense SecretaryDonald H. Rumsfeld’s head, eh Democrats?)

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

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