- The Washington Times - Monday, May 17, 2004

Cheney wins

To avoid those annoying little “dings” in life, Washington lawyer Joseph Cammarata, who represented Paula Jones in her sexual-harassment lawsuit against President Clinton, parked his shiny new car far away from other vehicles while volunteering at Virginia’s 8th Congressional District Convention this weekend.

Nevertheless, while walking from the secluded parking space to the convention hall, Mr. Cammarata was surprised to observe a “beat-up battleship of a car coming his way,” recalls Republican activist LaDonna Curzon.

The lawyer watched in disbelief as the driver of the “battleship,” described as an elderly woman, crashed her car into the side of his new wheels. And to make matters worse, when Mr. Cammarata tried to exchange insurance information with the woman, a man appeared out of nowhere and admonished, “You are no gentleman.”

In other convention news, Lisa Marie Cheney (no relation to Dick) locked up the Republican nomination with 66 percent of the vote and will take on the winner of the June 8 Democratic primary between incumbent Rep. James P. Moran and challenger Andy Rosenberg.

Beats fiction

“It’s funny because it’s true,” reacts Christopher C. Horner, counsel with the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington.

He’s referring to Roger Pielke Jr., director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, who is author of a “Generic News Story on Climate Change,” sent recently to environmentally minded editors with the instructions: “Please repeat the below every 3-4 weeks ad infinitum.”

Here’s the generic article, which allows editors to fill in the blanks as they see fit:

“This week the journal [Science/Nature] published a study by a team of scientists led by a [university/government lab/international group] [challenging/confirming] that the earth is warming. The new study looks at [temperature/sea level/the Arctic] and finds evidence of trends that [support/challenge] the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Scientist [A, B, C], a [participant in, reviewer of] the study observed that the study, [‘should bring to a close debate over global warming,’ ‘provides irrefutable evidence that global warming is [real/overstated] today,’ ‘demonstrates the value of climate science’].

“Scientist [D, E, F], who has long been [critical/supportive] of the theory of global warming rebutted that the study, [‘underscores that changes in [temperature/sea level/the Arctic] will likely be [‘modest/significant,’ ‘ignores considerable literature inconvenient to their central hypothesis,’ ‘commits a basic mistake’]. Scientist [A, B, C or D, E, F] has been criticized by [advocacy groups, reporters, scientific colleagues] for receiving funding from [industry groups, conservative think tanks]. It is unclear what the study means for U.S. participation in the Kyoto Protocol, which the Bush administration has refused to participate in. All agreed that more research is necessary.”

Speaking of CEI, the public-policy organization led by Fred Smith Jr., and dedicated to free enterprise and limited government — when not calling attention to eye-opening articles like the generic one — celebrates its 20th anniversary with a gala tomorrow evening, featuring a keynote address by Treasury Secretary John W. Snow.

Field of dreams

While a member of Princeton’s class of 1954, Donald H. Rumsfeld was a star athlete who captured Ivy League and All-Eastern wrestling titles.

Later, when he wasn’t piloting Navy fighter jets, Mr. Rumsfeld won the All-Navy wrestling championship, catching the attention of the U.S. Olympic team. That much we knew.

Now, we learn that while a young congressman on Capitol Hill during the 1960s, Mr. Rumsfeld was a first-rate catcher in a fast-pitch softball league.

“He was [a great] athlete,” says Jim Martin, the 68-year-old president of the 60 Plus Association. “He was a crew-cut congressman then. I was the pitcher, he was the catcher. And we’re talking fast-pitch.”

The team’s sponsor was Capitol Hill’s Roll Call newspaper.

Power parrot

It must be “Take Your Parrot to Work” week at the Department of the Interior.

A secretary in the executive secretariat’s office, or so we learned from our insider, sat at her desk yesterday with a rather intelligent parrot seated on her shoulder. The woman placed a towel under the bird to prevent her outfit from being stained.

No word on whether the parrot was a government contractor.

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

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