- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mixed celebration

That was recent Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and a group of his friends sharing a celebratory dinner Wednesday night at DC Coast.

Keeping fit, Mr. Armstrong’s guests sipped chilled cucumber soup with a dollop of caviar, followed by tuna tartare. For dessert, pastry chef David Guas wrote in chocolate around the plates Mr. Armstrong’s motto, “Live Strong.”

And to help the cyclist celebrate his seventh Tour de France victory, DC Coast uncorked complimentary champagne for those at the table.

Unfortunately for Mr. Armstrong, dinner was served on the heels of Jean-Marie Leblanc, director of the Tour de France, charging that the cyclist had “fooled” the sports world and should apologize for purportedly taking a performance-boosting drug during the race in 1999.

“For the first time — and these are no longer rumors or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts — someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body,” Mr. Leblanc told the French sports daily L’Equipe.

Mr. Armstrong, who went bike riding with President Bush at his Texas ranch earlier in the week, denied the accusations, saying on his Web site that he has “never taken performance-enhancing drugs.”

Then and now

We’re told former Secretary of State James A. Baker III will lead a presidential delegation to Gdansk, Poland, to attend the 25th anniversary of the Solidarity movement on Wednesday.

Other members of the delegation will include U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe, who was mayor of Knoxville, Tenn., until 2003, and lost a 1984 Senate bid to Al Gore in a landslide.

Also making the trip are Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; former Sen. Hank Brown, who is president of the University of Colorado system; and Irena Kirkland, widow of former AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland.

Bolton clones

It’s mighty difficult, but we think we recognize a few of the mustached faces in today’s Inside the Beltway photograph of John Bolton “fan-club” members celebrating the U.S. ambassador’s arrival at the United Nations.

Come to think of it, Mr. Bolton wasted no time finding his desk at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, in New York — arriving less than five hours after his recess appointment by President Bush.

As for the photo, it was snapped at a recent board meeting of the American Conservative Union, during which men and women alike donned “Bolton mustaches” to demonstrate their support of the ambassador.

Glass houses

What’s the saying, “He who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones?”

Sean Rushton, executive director of the Washington-based Committee for Justice, writes to members of the Fourth Estate covering President Bush’s nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court that one should consider the source.

“Reporters: As you finalize stories on People for the American Way’s charge today that John Roberts is extreme, remember to consider recent amicus briefs filed by PFAW:

“People for the American Way opposes pornography filters on public library computers; regulation of hardcore Internet pornography; restrictions on simulated child pornography; school choice; voluntary prayer in public places.

“People for the American Way supports deleting “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance; redefinition of traditional marriage; voting rights for felons; forcing the Boy Scouts to permit openly gay scoutmasters; partial birth abortion; judicially imposed tax hikes; removing the Ten Commandments from public settings; racial quotas in college admissions.”

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

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