- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving

Lord, we ask of you a boon:

To bless our guests this noon.

We’re so grateful they

Could come today —

And have to leave real soon.

F.R. Duplantier

Make the list?

Thanksgiving and Christmas go hand-in-hand at the White House this holiday season, as President Bush and the first lady Laura present the 2004 White House Christmas card with its inscription: “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”

Tomorrow, the first family will send out more than 2 million of the cards to family, friends, members of the Fourth Estate, and foreign dignitaries, with each card — this year featuring the White House Red Room — bearing a Crawford, Texas, postmark.

Forever a spook

Rule No. 1 of a CIA agent is to be covert, but not after you retire.

So says Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, who complained about a recent front-page story in The Washington Post quoting four unidentified former CIA officials.

CIA Director Porter Goss is the latest Bush-administration official to encounter the media bias Americans know well: the use of anonymous sources to level partisan charges,” says Mr. Smith, who calls the frequent use of anonymous sources “part of the media’s institutional problem.”

The congressman says when anonymous sources are quoted “it is too easy for disgruntled former employees or others to settle scores.”

Envelope, please

Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, which awards the Grammys, recently hosted “Grammys on the Hill” at the Capitol.

And who are this year’s winners?

“All of us at the academy consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to recognize our distinguished honorees: Sen. Hillary Clinton, Representative Mary Bono and the legendary Natalie Cole,” Mr. Portnow announced.

He said through hands-on action in Congress, the academy helps legislators understand the importance of sound cultural and intellectual-property policies.

Mrs. Bono, California Republican, helped start the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus, a congressional body designed to advance artists’ rights. Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat, co-sponsored legislation to fight the violation of copyright laws.

Traditional invasion

U.S. sportsmen are rallying around British brethren after the anti-hunting movement spurred Britain’s Parliament to issue a hunting prohibition that the Americans say “flies in the face of the citizens, whose way of life is vested in the traditions of the countryside.”

On Nov. 18, the House of Commons “rammed a bill” to ban hunting with hounds through Parliament by invoking the rarely used Parliament Act, notes the head of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. Barring appeal, the ban is to take effect by February 2005.

“The anti-hunting movement and an increasingly urbanized society that is removed from the traditions of the countryside have brought the sportsmen’s community to its knees in England,” says alliance President Bud Pidgeon, who warns that the circumstances that contributed to the British hunting ban are in no way unique to that country.

“In the United States, animal-rights groups spend millions [of dollars] on campaigns to end hunting,” he says. “They focus their rhetoric and anti-hunting propaganda on the 80 percent of our population who dwell in urban areas.”

God forbid

Much reader response to our item yesterday about the Pentagon’s decision to curtail its support of the Boy Scouts of America — despite enlisting many a Boy Scout in its ranks over the years.

Despite hosting Scouts for its installations and providing equipment, transportation and other services, the Pentagon panicked after being targeted by an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit. The ACLU complains the Scouts require members to believe in God.

Suggests Ray Carroll of Cumming, Ga.: “I believe that the Boy Scouts should amend the oath to insert, ‘and will not volunteer for the armed forces of the United States, while fully supporting our country otherwise.’

“If the Pentagon does not want them, why should they want the Pentagon?”

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

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