- The Washington Times - Monday, August 22, 2005

Hysterical claims

“The Voting Rights Act, whose 40th anniversary we celebrate this month, has helped minorities elect 81 sitting members of Congress and thousands of local officials. But the rally civil rights groups held in Atlanta earlier this month to push for extension of the act’s key temporary provisions downplayed those gains and instead pushed wild claims that some state laws requiring an ID to vote are the functional equivalent of Jim Crow poll taxes,” Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund writes.

“Both Judge Greg Mathis, the star of a syndicated courtroom TV show, and California Rep. Barbara Lee claimed that the last two presidential elections had been ‘stolen.’ Judge Mathis told the rally Republican leaders ‘need to be locked up because they’re all criminals and thieves.’

“Other speakers claimed Georgia’s new photo-ID law would suppress poor and elderly minority voters who might lack such a document. When the bill passed the Georgia House in March, black legislators sang slave songs and one even slammed a prisoner’s shackles on the desk of the sponsor,” Mr. Fund said.

Juan Williams, a National Public Radio correspondent and author of ‘Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years,’ is ‘stunned’ by such vituperation. He told Fox News that it is ‘reacting to devils that have been slain 40 years ago.’ He says that ‘in service to having no-fraud elections, I think you could say to people, go and get a legitimate ID. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.’”

Humorless reporters

“Washington Post foreign affairs reporter Robin Wright has no sense of humor — at least when it comes to a conservative daring to make any kind of joke related to women in the workplace, even a little girl,” the Media Research Center (www.mediaresearch.org) reports.

“Saying ‘I don’t know whether they were quips,’ on Friday’s ‘Washington Week’ on PBS, Wright proceeded to act offended as she made clear that ‘as a woman’ she was ‘struck’ by how, in the Reagan-era memos written by Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, he ‘questioned whether it was a good thing for a woman to go back later in life to law school’ and he dubbed, as a ‘little huckster,’ a Girl Scout who wanted to sell some cookies” to President Reagan.

“The humor-challenged Wright arrogantly judged: ‘I have to say, you know, one case of this is one thing, but to see this repeatedly was really striking, as a woman, to me.’

Host Alan Murray pointed out that Roberts’ asides were ‘jokes’ and, as noted in an earlier NewsBusters/CyberAlert posting about the Post’s deliberate distortion of his quip in a story headlined ‘Roberts Resisted Women’s Rights,’ his remark about homemakers becoming lawyers was a slap not at women, but at how there are too many lawyers. NBC’s Pete Williams, however, chimed in with how ‘the President of NOW said his views are, quote, Neanderthal.’”

Dogma over science

A scientist has resigned from a government panel, citing a political agenda to boost the theory of man-made global warming.

The scientist, Roger Pielke Sr., is the Colorado state climatologist and professor at Colorado State University.

Mr. Pielke resigned in a letter to the head of the Climate Change Science Program, citing a recent article in the New York Times as the “last straw.” He complained not only that certain aspects of a CCSP report had been leaked to the Times, but also that another committee member was surreptitiously circulating a chapter to replace the one for which Mr. Pielke was lead author.

Referring to other CCSP members in an entry on his blog Climate Science (https://climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu), Mr. Pielke said they “inappropriately, vigorously discourage the inclusion of diversity of perspectives on the topic of the CCSP report in order to promote a narrowly focused topic which has a clear political agenda.”

Marriage mumble

William F. Weld, the former Massachusetts governor who is seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination in New York, “is refusing to take a position on the highly controversial 2003 ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalizing same-sex marriages — even though he once enthusiastically supported it,” the New York Post’s Fredric U. Dicker writes.

“Weld — who, as Massachusetts governor, appointed the judge who wrote the 4-3 gay-marriage decision — at first told the Post that he’d ‘rather take more time’ to review the ruling before saying if he thought it was legally right or wrong,” Mr. Dicker said.

“But then he conceded that he had already ‘read both sides’ of the decision — and concluded that both of them ‘were brilliant.’

“Pressed to say which side was the legally correct one, the one-time federal prosecutor said, ‘I’m not going to give you any free legal advice.’

“However, in a Nov. 27, 2003, Associated Press report headlined ‘Former Mass. governor supports gay-marriage ruling,’ Weld was described as having ‘hailed’ the decision.’”

Party time

In a campaign strategy reminiscent of the “coffee klatches” of John F. Kennedy in 1960, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is having 1,000 house parties.

Mr. Bloomberg’s re-election campaign is inviting supporters such as Lorraine Bracco of “The Sopranos,” fashion maven Anna Wintour and sex therapist Ruth Westheimer to host some of the 1,000 parties Sept. 20, the New York Daily News reports.

“We have 25,000 volunteers and we’re trying to use people to enlist their friends to mobilize people for the mayor,” said Stu Loeser, Bloomberg campaign spokesman. “It’s a tried-and-true grass-roots strategy that we’re applying to New York City.”

However, since the billionaire mayor pays for his own campaign, the house parties won’t be used to raise money, United Press International reports.

Instead, Mr. Bloomberg is offering free “party kits” to his supporters at no charge.

Call for a hit

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson yesterday called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a “terrific danger” to the United States, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former presidential candidate, said on TV’s “The 700 Club” that it was the United States’ duty to stop Mr. Chavez from making Venezuela a “launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism.”

Mr. Chavez has accused the United States of conspiring to topple his government and possibly backing plots to assassinate him. U.S. officials have called the accusations ridiculous.

“You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it,” Mr. Robertson said. “It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.”

Electronic pages and a message to a Robertson spokeswoman were not immediately returned last night.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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